EurekAlert! Science News Service from AAAS (2022)

1-Sep-2022 New approach predicts disease transmission among wildlife and humans University of South Florida Peer-Reviewed Publication A new methodology predicts disease transmission from wildlife to humans, from one wildlife species to another and determines who is at risk of infection. Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
1-Sep-2022 A near-death experience worsens some cancer cells St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Peer-Reviewed Publication Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discovered how some cancer cells survive treatment and cause cancer to recur, along with a potential way to stop the process. Journal Cell Funder NIH/National Cancer Institute, NIH/National Cancer Institute, NIH/National Cancer Institute, German Research Foundation, American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities
1-Sep-2022 New in the Hastings Center Report The Hastings Center Peer-Reviewed Publication New in the Hastings Center Report: Access to Female Sterilization, health care carbon emissions, and more in the latest issue. Journal The Hastings Center Report
1-Sep-2022 Rethinking indoor air chemistry Max Planck Institute for Chemistry Peer-Reviewed Publication High levels of hydroxyl radicals (OH) can be generated indoors, simply due to the presence of people and ozone. This has been shown by a team led by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in cooperation with researchers from the USA and Denmark. Journal Science Funder Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
1-Sep-2022 Ant queens control insulin to boost lifespan and reproduction University of Florida Peer-Reviewed Publication Ant queens simultaneously boost and restrict insulin to both extend lifespan and lay eggs, an exclusive trade-off in the rest of the animal world. Journal Science
1-Sep-2022 Individual risk-factor data could help predict the next Ebola outbreak, new study shows Lehigh University Peer-Reviewed Publication Researchers have examined how social and economic factors, such as level of education and general knowledge of Ebola, might contribute to “high-risk behaviors” that may bring individuals into contact with potentially infected animals. A focus on geographical locations with high concentrations of individuals at high-risk could help public health officials better target prevention and education resources. Journal PLoS ONE
1-Sep-2022 Single-cell transcriptomics reveals evolutionary innovations in reptile and amphibian brains American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Peer-Reviewed Publication Across four studies, evolutionary innovations in reptile and amphibian brains are revealed via comparative single-cell transcriptomics. While vertebrate brain evolution traditionally has focused on similarities in brain regions across disparate species, this new research highlights the role of cell type evolution in vertebrate brain innovations. Over the past several years, hundreds of distinctive cell types have been identified in specialized brain regions in mice. However, how such a diversity of cell types and regions evolved remains unknown. Here, in four studies, researchers use single-cell and spatial transcriptomics to investigate cell type evolution at the brain scale in reptiles and amphibians to understand this diversity’s evolutionary roots better.In the first study, David Hain and colleagues used single-cell transcriptomics to create a whole-brain cell atlas of the bearded dragon lizard and compared it to that of the mouse. Hain et al. found that cells from broadly defined brain regions in both species correspond to each other, suggesting deeply conserved region-specific gene expression signatures. However, when mapped at a higher resolution, the authors observed very dissimilar cell types across species in nearly every brain division. The existence of conserved and new cell types within conserved brain regions indicates that brain cell types are evolutionarily plastic and capable of independently evolving new and innovative expression signatures and functions.Three other studies expand upon these findings, focusing on the amphibian’s telencephalon – the part of the brain that in mammals contains the six-layered neocortex, which amphibians lack. Jamie Woych and colleagues assembled a cell-type atlas of this region to chart the evolutionary innovations that set it apart from other vertebrate brains. Katharina Lust and colleagues and Xiaoyu Wei and colleagues present single-cell analyses of the axolotl telencephalon, with particular attention paid to understanding why this animal’s brain is so much more capable of regeneration than the mammalian brain. “These studies highlight the potential of applying the powerful transcriptomic methods that are usually reserved for mouse to nonstandard models,” write Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez and Justus Kebschull in a related Perspective. “Each of the articles produced massive single-cell and often multimodal datasets and mined publicly available data, showcasing the importance of data sharing and the power of accumulating single-cell data from many species for evolutionary comparisons.” Journal Science
1-Sep-2022 The human body produces hydroxyl radicals when exposed to ozone in indoor environments American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Peer-Reviewed Publication The human body’s exposure to ozone in indoor spaces generates highly reactive hydroxyl (OH), radicals which are largely responsible for the oxidation of most pollutant gases, researchers report. The findings have implications for our understanding of the role of humans in indoor air chemistry and quality. “[The authors] observed that the human body interacts with the indoor environment in an analogous manner to how Earth interacts with the atmosphere,” write Coralie Schoemaecker and Nicola Carslaw in a related Perspective. “Both the human body and Earth are chemical reactors, consuming or producing oxidants and oxidized species in their surrounding atmospheres.” The vast majority of humans spend most of their time indoors – whether at their home or workplace or while traveling between the two – and are exposed to a number of chemicals from various sources, including outdoor pollutants that find their way inside, gaseous emissions from building materials and furnishings, and products of activities such as cooking and cleaning. Moreover, the human body is also a potent mobile source of emissions. Chemical removal of gas-phase pollutants in outside air during daytime is mostly driven by the production of OH radicals, which are formed primarily by the photolysis of ozone by ultraviolet sunlight. However, indoor air quality is much less impacted by this process, as glass windows largely filter out ultraviolet light. While research has shown that some OH radicals can be generated by other means in indoor environments, few studies have evaluated the chemical influence human bodies in these environments. Through a series of experiments, Nora Zannoni and colleagues found that high concentrations of OH radicals are generated when people were exposed to different concentrations of ozone within a climate-controlled, stainless-steel chamber. According to Zannoni et al., squalene in skin oil reacted with to produce 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (6-MHO), which was key to establishing this human-induced oxidation field. What’s more, they found that isoprene from human breath and products of its interaction with OH also react with ozone to produce more OH radicals, suggesting that humans are a net source of reactive oxidants indoors. Journal Science
1-Sep-2022 Altered insulin signaling allows queen ants to live long and reproductively prosper American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Peer-Reviewed Publication Altered insulin signaling in ant queens may endow them with their characteristic longevity, despite being a colony’s sole reproducers, researchers report. In most living organisms, there exists a trade-off between reproduction and lifespan. This is largely because animals that bear many offspring often allocate important nutritional and metabolic resources for reproduction at the cost of their own longevity. It’s thought that the insulin and the insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway underlies the anti-correlation between reproduction and shortened lifespan. Ants are an exception to this pattern, however. In any colonies, reproductive activity is limited to one or a few queens. Reproductive queens can live for decades – many lifetimes beyond a colony’s non-reproductive female workers – and lay millions of eggs. In some ant species, like Harpegnathos saltator, workers can switch castes and become reproductive pseudo-queens, or gamergates, when a queen dies or is removed. Despite being born as workers, gamergates can live up to five times longer than their previous counterparts. What’s more, gamergates can revert to workers (revertants) when placed in a colony with an established worker caste, returning to a shortened life span. How this reproduction-associated longevity in these animals is regulated, particularly during active reproduction, remains unclear. To evaluate the relationship between reproduction and longevity, Hua Yan and colleagues performed bulk RNA sequencing on tissues important for reproduction and metabolism from worker, gamergate, and revertant H. saltator ants and compared gene expression during caste switching. As expected, Yan et al. found that insulin was upregulated to promote oogenesis in gamergates, however, this did not lead to a shorter lifespan as it does in other animals. The authors propose that part of the insulin signaling pathway (the branch that activates the protein kinase AKT) is inhibited in the fat body of gamergates and that this may be mediated by a protein Imp-L2. According to the authors, decreased activity of AKT may enable H. saltator queens and pseudo-queens to live longer. Journal Science
1-Sep-2022 GnRH therapy improves cognition in patients with Down syndrome American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Peer-Reviewed Publication Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) therapy improves cognitive function in Down syndrome (DS) mouse models and male patients with DS, according to a new study. The findings reveal a previously underappreciated role of GnRH – a hormone commonly associated with fertility and reproduction – in olfaction and cognition and offer a promising pathway toward therapies that could improve the cognitive deficits in DS. Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and occurs in one in 30 pregnancies for women aged 45 or more and is caused by having 3 copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual 2. Among the various clinical manifestations associated with the condition, many adult DS patients experience symptoms like those of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a gradual loss of olfaction. Additionally, men with DS may also display deficits in sexual maturation. Currently, however, there are no viable treatment options for the cognitive and olfactory deficits associated with DS. Recent research has suggested that olfaction loss and male infertility is also a characteristic of GnRH deficiency, and that GnRH may play a role in higher brain functions, such as cognition. Whether GnRH plays a role in DS pathology isn’t fully understood. In a mouse model of DS, Maria Manfredi-Lozano and colleagues discovered that strands of microRNA regulating the production of GnRH – which are found on chromosome 21 – were dysfunctional, resulting in abnormalities in the neurons that secrete the hormone. Manfredi-Lozano et al. show that epigenetic, cellular, chemogenic, and pharmacological interventions that restore GnRH functions reversed olfactory and cognitive defects in DS mice as well as in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Building on these findings, the authors conducted a pilot clinical trial to assess the effects of GnRH therapy on cognition in seven adult male DS patients. While the treatment did not affect olfaction, cognitive performance increased in all but one of the participants. In a related Perspective, Hanne Hoffmann discusses the study and its implications in greater detail. Journal Science
1-Sep-2022 Global analysis identifies at-risk forests University of Utah Peer-Reviewed Publication Researchers quantify the risk to forests from climate change along three dimensions: carbon storage, biodiversity and forest loss from disturbance, such as fire or drought. The results show forests in some regions experiencing clear and consistent risks. In other regions, the risk profile is less clear, because different approaches that account for disparate aspects of climate risk yield diverging answers. Journal Science Funder National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, European Research Council
1-Sep-2022 Researchers propose new framework for regulating engineered crops North Carolina State University Peer-Reviewed Publication A Policy Forum article published today in Science calls for a new approach to regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops, arguing that current approaches for triggering safety testing vary dramatically among countries and generally lack scientific merit – particularly as advances in crop breeding have blurred the lines between conventional breeding and genetic engineering. Journal Science
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Videos

1. 2013 EurekAlert! PIO Seminar: Communicating Science Across Online and Social Media
(EurekAlert)
2. SciPak Portal Tour: EurekAlert! Re-Imagined
(EurekAlert)
3. 2018 EurekAlert! PIO Webinar
(EurekAlert)
4. 2007 EurekAlert! PIO Seminar (Audio): Communicating Health News Across the Media Spectrum
(EurekAlert)
5. ആണവായുധത്തേക്കാൾ ശക്തിയുണ്ട് കൊറോണ എന്ന് തെളിയിച്ചു കഴിഞ്ഞുThe corona has proven to be more powerful
(Jack raBbit)
6. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) | Wikipedia audio article
(wikipedia tts)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated: 09/08/2022

Views: 5928

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.