Il gruppo di ricerca Quantum Lab della Sapienza, in collaborazione con le Università di Natal e Rio de Janeiro (Brasile), ha dimostrato come gli effetti della meccanica quantistica siano talmente radicati nella Natura da incidere sui modelli basilari della fisica classica, come le relazioni causa-effetto. Lo studio è pubblicato sulla rivista Nature Physics
“Perché alcune cose succedono e altre no?”, “Cosa determina gli eventi che osserviamo in Natura?”. Queste sono da sempre tra le più ricorrenti e affascinanti domande che si sono posti scienziati e filosofi. Tentare di dare una risposta definitiva resta tutt’oggi una sfida.
Un nuovo studio, condotto dal gruppo di ricerca Quantum Lab della Sapienza in collaborazione con le Università di Natal e Rio de Janeiro in Brasile e pubblicato su Nature Physics, ha dimostrato dal punto di vista teorico e verificato sperimentalmente che, quando entra in gioco, la fisica quantistica può offrire una predizione alternativa alla fisica classica degli schemi causa-effetto.
Endogenous viral elements are viral sequences integrated into the nuclear genome of their host. They are veritable molecular fossils that prove infections that may have happened millions of years ago, and studying them can serve to understand how viruses evolve over time. As part of an international collaboration, researchers from CIRAD and INRA looked into the endogenous elements of viruses of the family Caulimoviridae, which cause numerous infections in plants. They studied the genome of plants to assess the diversity of those viruses and their host spectrum.
Endogenous viral elements in vascular plants, from lycopods to flowering plants
The scientists used the most advanced genomics and bioinformatics tools to analyse the genome of 72 plants representative of the different phylogenetic groups characterized to date - from green algae to flowering plants -, to look for all or part of the sequences that code for a viral protein of the family Caulimoviridae that is both specific and highly conserved, retrotranscriptase. While the presence of such sequences was known in the genome of flowering plants, they also found some in most vascular plants, including the most primitive plants - ferns, conifers and lycopods -, a result that illustrates the capacity of Caulimoviridae to infect a wide, previously underestimated range of hosts. Of the 62 flowering plant species studied, it appeared that the number of endogenous Caulimoviridae was correlated with the size of the genomes, with thousands of sequences at the heart of the giant genomes of gymnosperms, and notable exceptions: the maize (Zea mays ) genome did not have any despite its size. On the other hand, the density was remarkably high in castor (Ricinus communis ) and orange (Citrus sinensis ). Endogenous viral elements associated with new genera of the family Caulimoviridae
An in-depth analysis of the endogenous viral elements identified in the plants studied revealed that most of the endogenous Caulimoviridae came from the genera Florendovirus and Petuvirus. It also led to the discovery of previously unknown evolutionary branches of Caulimoviridae : four new genera of the family Caulimoviridae were detected in conifers (Gymnendovirus 1 to 4), two in ferns (Fernendovirus 1 and 2) and five in flowering plants (eg Xendovirus or Yendovirus).
Endogenous viral elements dating back to the Devonian period
Based on an analysis of the distribution of different viral genera of the family Caulimoviridae in the plant species studied, the scientists were able to propose an evolutionary scenario in which this virus family apparently emerged in an ancestor shared by flowering plants and gymnosperms during the Devonian period (- 320 million years). There were apparently subsequent exchanges between hosts belonging to different divisions. It is worth noting that the large host spectrum of viruses in the family Caulimoviridae may be due to the presence in these viruses of a movement protein that facilitates the transport and circulation of viral particles between the cells via specific channels, or plasmodesmata, whose structure is characteristic of vascular plants. These results prove the substantial adaptability of viruses of the family Caulimoviridae and their influence on the evolution of vascular plants. They call for a more detailed study of the role and consequences of the presence of these viruses in the genome of plants.
3D image of the maxillary of Homo sapiens found in Misliya Cave (Israel)/ Israel Hershkovitz et al.
Today, the journal Science publishes the description and dating of human fossil remains found in Misliya Cave (Israel), which suggest that the first departure by our species from the African continent took place at least 60,000 years earlier than had previously been documented. This is work that was carried out by an international team in which scientists from three institutions in Burgos participated: the CENIEH, the MEH and the UBU Today, the journal Science publishes the description and dating of human fossil remains found in Misliya Cave (Israel), which suggest that the first departure by our species from the African continent took place at least 60,000 years earlier than had previously been documented. This is work that was carried out by an international team in which scientists from three institutions in Burgos participated: the CENIEH, the MEH and the UBU Spanish scientists form part of the international team which has just published a study in the journal Science of the oldest fossil remains of modern humans encountered outside Africa. This relates to a left maxillary fragment which preserves the dentition, discovered in Misliya Cave (Mount Carmel, Israel), whose age range, between 177,000 and 194,000 years, suggests that the earliest migration by our species out of the African continent took place at least 60,000 years earlier than had hitherto been documented.
- COME VEDE CHI SOFFRE DI GLAUCOMA. In chi soffre di glaucoma, si ha una perdita graduale del campo visivo fino alla visione tubulare, cioe' e' come guardare attraverso un foglio di carta arrotolato: il paziente vede bene, puo' avere anche 10/10, ma vede solo una piccola porzione, per cui e' incapace di orientarsi, per esempio di attraversare la strada. 'Il glaucoma e' una malattia che interessa il 3% della popolazione con piu' di 40 anni di eta'- dice il professor Giorgio Marchini, direttore Clinica Oculistica dell'azienza ospedaliera universitaria Integrata di Verona- Viene chiamato 'il ladro silenzioso della vista' poiche' non da' sintomi e puo' portare alla cecita' se non scoperto e non curato. La causa e' principalmente legata all'aumento della pressione intraoculare, che danneggia progressivamente il nervo ottico e il campo visivo. Nella sua genesi tuttavia giocano un ruolo anche fattori neurodegenerativi e vascolari'.