Neandertal DNA found in human organoids
An exciting new approach to understanding human disease across multiple organ systems.
Protocols that allow the transformation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines into organoids have changed the way scientists can study developmental processes and enable them to decipher the interplay between genes and tissue formation, particularly for organs where primary tissue is not available. Gray Camp, head of the IOBHuman Retina and Organoid Development Groupand colleagues applied this technology to study the developmental effects of Neandertal DNA, during his time at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The findings are reported in the journal Stem Cell Reports.
“Human stem cells in culture can self-organize into complex three-dimensional structures that resemble the retina, brain, liver, intestine or other developing organs. This is an exciting new inroad into understanding human disease across multiple organ systems. At IOB we are using organoid technologies to understand and model retinal disease, and to test our therapeutic designs – some of them are personalized to a patient’s disease,” says Gray Camp.
Ten minutes of massage or rest will help your body fight stress
Allowing yourself a few minutes of downtime significantly boosts mental and physical relaxation. Research by psychologists at the University of Konstanz observed higher levels of psychological and physiological relaxation in people after only ten minutes of receiving a massage. Even ten minutes of simple rest increased relaxation, albeit to a lesser degree than massage. The findings, reported on 8 September 2020 in the journal Scientific Reports, provide the first indication that short-term treatments can robustly reduce stress on a psychological and physiological level by boosting the body’s principal engine for relaxation – the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
Swiss Dinosaur Skeleton to Become Museum’s Latest Showpiece
The University of Zurich’s Zoological and Paleontological Museum will soon be home to a new attraction that literally cannot be missed: A nearly eight-meter-long plateosaurus will greet visitors to the museum starting on 15 September. The fossil, which dates back over 200 million years, was excavated in the town of Frick in 2018. The skeleton will be accompanied by a detailed reconstruction of the creature in its original size.
On 15 September, the Zoological and Paleontological Museum of the University of Zurich will reopen its doors following a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and extensive renovation work. The grand reopening will be marked by the unveiling of the museum’s newest and grandest inhabitant: The fossilized skeleton of a nearly eight-meter-long dinosaur from Switzerland, which will be placed at the entrance.
New nanomedicine can diagnose and treat prostate cancer in a more efficient and less aggressive way than chemotherapy
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among European men; its incidence surpasses 100 cases per 100,000 people. Furthermore, it is currently the second most common cause of death by cancer among men. Researchers of the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ), a mixed centre of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have developed and patented a new nanomedicine for its diagnosis and treatment (theranostic system), based on the use of organic porous nanoparticles called COFs – covalent organic frameworks – which stand out for being more efficient and less aggressive than conventional chemotherapy.
Cannabis farms are a modern slavery ‘blind spot’ for UK police, study suggests
Migrants arrested for tending plants in the flats, houses and attics where cannabis is grown in bulk are often victims of trafficking and “debt bondage” – yet many are not recognised as such by police, according to a new study.
Research from Cambridge criminologists suggests that those charged with drug cultivation have often been forced into illegal work as a condition of debt to criminal gangs for smuggling them into the UK.
The researchers, including a Detective Inspector who completed a Masters at Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, argue that police take too narrow a view of modern slavery when it comes to “growers” arrested during cannabis farm raids.
While growers – often Vietnamese nationals – are not always imprisoned within farms, many work under threat of extreme violence towards themselves or family back home, with little in the way of language or contacts in the UK.
The researchers say that arresting officers often lack detailed training on modern slavery, and make only “perfunctory” enquiries: a brief question that places the onus on a victim who doesn’t understand their own situation.
Antagonistic genes modify rice plant growth
Scientists at Nagoya University and colleagues in Japan have identified two antagonistic genes involved in rice plant stem growth. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new ways for genetically modifying rice crops.
Longer, deepwater rice crops are planted in South Asia and West Africa to survive floods. Shorter paddy rice varieties are widely cultivated worldwide because they are easier to harvest.
A key driver of plant growth is a hormone called gibberellic acid. It activates cell division in the stem tissue, causing the stem to lengthen. Breeders know they can control plant height by stimulating or inhibiting gibberellic acid activity. However, exactly how this works has been unclear.
Bioscientist Motoyuki Ashikari has been studying the growth and evolution of rice for years. He and a team of researchers conducted genetic studies and identified two genes that are involved in regulating rice plant growth.
A Notarchirico in Basilicata rinvenuti i più antichi manufatti litici Acheuleani europei: la scoperta sposta l’origine della tecnica a 700mila anni fa
Un team internazionale di ricercatori, fra cui alcuni studiosi dei dipartimenti di Scienze della Terra e di Scienze dell'Antichità della Sapienza, ha ritrovato nel sito archeologico di Notarchirico in Basilicata, già noto per precedenti scavi, utensili in pietra scheggiata riconducibili alla cultura Acheuleana del Paleolitico inferiore associati a una datazione che consente di spostare indietro nel tempo l’origine dell’’Acheuleano in Europa. I risultati della ricerca sono stati pubblicati sulla rivista Scientific Reports
Il sito di Notarchirico, nei pressi di Venosa in Basilicata, da decenni è oggetto di diversi studi archeologici e geo-paleontologici.
Human milk oligosaccharides: sweet treats not just for kids
Supplements of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), the sugars found in breast milk, may help improve the gut health of adults, according to new research carried out at the Quadram Institute. Using highly advanced “gut-on-chip” technology, they showed that the fermentation products of HMOs made the gut lining less “leaky.” A leaky intestinal barrier has been linked to gut conditions such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome as well as a range of conditions affecting the rest of the body. This study provides scientific evidence that HMOs may be used to develop strategies to counter these conditions and improve gut health in adults.
COVID-19 IN PREGNANT WOMEN: EFFECTS ON PLACENTA AND FETUS
Addressing the risks that Covid-19 infection may cause to a pregnant woman, particularly to placenta and fetus, is the aim of a new study of the R&D&I group “Maternal-fetal medicine, epigenetics, women’s diseases and reproductive health” of the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA), which received EUR10,000 funding from the American pharmaceutical company “FERRING”.
A pioneering project to study the consequences on placenta derived from maternal inflammatory reaction caused after SARS-Cov2 infection. “Since placenta is the structure that connects maternal and fetal compartments, any structural modification may have a negative impact on both the course of pregnancy and fetal development”, explains Ernesto González Mesa, Professor of Gynecology of the University of Malaga and one of the main researchers of this study, together with Dr. Jesús Jiménez López, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology service of the Regional University Hospital of Malaga.
COVID-19: RIENTRO A SCUOLA IN SICUREZZA. I CONSIGLI DEGLI ESPERTI DEL BAMBINO GESU’
Sul nuovo numero di ‘A scuola di salute’ tutto sul ritorno tra i banchi riducendo ansie e preoccupazioni. Le regole per l’accesso in classe e le indicazioni per non confondere i mali di stagione con dall’infezione da SARS-CoV2.
Rientro a scuola al tempo del COVID con molte novità per bambini, ragazzi, genitori e insegnanti. Cambiano le modalità di relazione (limiti al contatto fisico e alla condivisione di materiale), l’organizzazione degli spazi (aule, banchi singoli, percorsi, mensa in classe) e il modo di comunicare (uso della mascherina). Queste novità - spiegano gli specialisti del Bambino Gesù - possono generare confusione e ansia perché distanti da ciò a cui si è abituati. Nel nuovo numero di ‘A scuola di salute’, il magazine digitale a cura dell’Istituto per la Salute, diretto dal prof. Alberto Ugazio, le informazioni e i consigli degli esperti dell’Ospedale per affrontare il ritorno tra i banchi in sicurezza, riducendo le preoccupazioni.