Σάββατο, 19 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:20 PM PDT

A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study. The team determined the different ways the drug SQ109 attacks the tuberculosis bacterium, how the drug can be tweaked to target other pathogens from yeast to malaria -- and how targeting multiple pathways reduces the probability of pathogens becoming resistant.

Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

Target for treating dengue fever discovered

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

New research may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other disease-causing flaviviruses. More than 40 percent of people around the world are at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus that causes Dengue fever and more than 100 million people are infected. This new work explains how flaviviruses produce a unique RNA molecule that leads to disease.

Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 years

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter forest conditions and management needs in the Northern United States have been outlined in a new report. "The northern quadrant of the United States includes 172 million acres of forest land and 124 million people," said one researcher. This report "is helping identify the individual and collective steps needed to ensure healthy and resilient futures for trees and people alike."

How the immune system protects children from malaria

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

Children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. The findings may help researchers develop future interventions that prevent or mitigate the disease caused by the malaria parasite.

Malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton under super-microscope

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite. Their results may in the future contribute to the development of tailor-made drugs against malaria -- a disease that causes more than half a million deaths per year.

Gene variant raises risk for aortic tear, rupture

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

The significance of a genetic variant that substantially increases the risk of a frequently fatal thoracic aortic dissection or full rupture has been confirmed by researchers. Thoracic aortic aneurysms, or bulges in the artery wall, can develop without pain or other symptoms. If they lead to a tear -- dissection -- or full rupture, the patient will often die without immediate treatment. Therefore, better identification of patients at risk for aortic aneurysm and dissection is considered essential.

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

A ten-year effort by an international team has sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year is so malleable and dangerous.

Gene variant increases risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

A common genetic variant that affects one in three people appears to significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat, according to a new study.

Fewer sources for self-cleaning air: Study overturns existing knowledge on nitrous acid, HONO

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 11:19 AM PDT

Up to now, nitrous acid, HONO, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals, OH, which is regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. Scientists have put an end to this conception. The new hypothesis is based on air measurements recorded by a Zeppelin NT.

How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:47 AM PDT

Our eyes not only enable us to recognize objects, they also provide us with a continuous stream of information about our own movements. The world glides by us and leaves a characteristic motion trace on our retinas. Seemingly without effort, our brain calculates self-motion from this "optic flow." This way, we can maintain a stable position and a steady gaze during our own movements. Scientists have now discovered an array of new types of neurons, which help the brain of zebrafish to perceive, and compensate for, self-motion.

East African honeybees safe from invasive pests ... for now

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:45 AM PDT

Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading across East Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to an international team of researchers. The invasive pests include including Nosema microsporidia and Varroa mites.

Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:41 AM PDT

An unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies has been discovered: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them. This study has been using the fruit fly as a model living system in which to study stem cells in their natural state. Most stem cell research is done on cells grown in the laboratory, but in real life, stem cells reside in tissues, where they are sequestered in tiny spaces known as niches. Adult stem cells keep dividing throughout life to make various kinds of cells, like new blood cells and germ cells.

Scientists unlock secrets of protein produced by disease-causing fungus

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 11:33 AM PDT

The fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes yeast infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most common fungal pathogen to infect humans. It can also cause a life-threatening infection of the blood called disseminated candidiasis. In a new study, scientists determined the three-dimensional structure of a never-before-seen cell wall protein called SOD5 that the organism uses as a defense against the human immune system.

Air temperature influenced African glacial movements at height of last ice age

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 11:33 AM PDT

Changes in air temperature, not precipitation, drove the expansion and contraction of glaciers in Africa's Rwenzori Mountains at the height of the last ice age, according to research. The results -- along with a recent study that found air temperature also likely influenced the fluctuating size of South America's Quelccaya Ice Cap over the past millennium -- support many scientists' suspicions that today's tropical glaciers are rapidly shrinking primarily because of a warming climate rather than declining snowfall or other factors.

New drug to combat measles developed

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 11:28 AM PDT

A novel antiviral drug may protect people infected with the measles from getting sick and prevent them from spreading the virus to others, an international team of researchers says. Scientists developed the drug and tested it in animals infected with a virus closely related to one that causes the measles. The virus levels were significantly reduced when infected animals received the drug by mouth. The drug also prevented the animals from dying of the disease.

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