Animal Tumors of the Female Reproductive Tract: Spontaneous and Experimental

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While there are countless tales reporting the innovative and resourceful nature of Indigenous and prehistoric people, this particular claim is unlikely to be true. Smoke and ash from a camp fire might smell good, but the fire is actually releasing organic carbon and black carbon particles into the air around you.

When fires occur on a larger scale, like they do in Indonesia , these particles can have unintended health impacts. Fine particles that are 30 times smaller than a human hair, called PM2. Once there, PM2.

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New research estimates that, assuming the current rates of fires, logging, and deforestation continue , exposure to air pollution from Indonesian fires could cause around 36, deaths per year. Because the particles are airborne, they aren't constrained to Indonesia — particles from fires across the islands that make up Indonesia impact health in neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, too.

Photo by Thomas Ehling on Unsplash. There is some potential good news, though: there are several land management strategies that could reduce deaths from fire emissions, some as much as 60 percent. Researchers developed a simulation tool that allows anyone to test out the effects management strategies, like blocking fires over peatland or in industrial logging sites.

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The tool clearly and quantitatively highlights the value of conservation efforts and reducing fires, showing that these efforts wouldn't just save trees, they could actually save thousands of lives. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mtb , the bacterium responsible for causing tuberculosis TB , is a particularly potent pathogen when it comes to antibiotic resistance.

But the drug regimen to treat extensively drug-resistant TB cause substantial side-effects and are very expensive. The U. Food and Drug Administration recently approved new drugs to tackle this form of TB which, as pointed out here , could potentially bridge the gap between patients and affordable therapeutics. Although a welcome development, this move took several years to come to fruition and patients can rarely afford to wait this long.

A recent study by a group of Harvard Medical school-associated researchers took a new approach to this problem. They used a fast-screening method on a library about bioactive molecules to test which ones were effective in fighting Mtb. They eventually narrowed the list down to about 40 candidate molecules. The beauty of the method is that it allows molecules to be tested against multiple variations of Mtb, each with slightly different genetic makeups.

The 40 candidate molecules they ended up with are much more likely to be effective in a wide variety of patients, who all likely have slightly different variants of the bacteria than those tested in the lab. A study published in August found that antibiotic-resistant E. Acquiring resistance sometimes comes at the cost of reduced fitness survival and reproduction of the pathogen, implying a tug-of-war between these two characteristics.

Such findings come in the wake of calls for heavy restrictions on antibiotic use, which on occasion actually have led to l oss of resistance in clinical populations. While completely halting our use of antibiotics is not the most practical course of action, it is definitely one worth thinking about. During one of the test situations, the assessor, whom the wolves had never met, threw a tennis ball across a room, called the name of the wolf pup and encouraged it to bring the ball back.

The other 10 wolf pups either played with the ball on their own or showed no interest in it. Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash.


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Other than being what I imagine was an incredibly cute situation, this research fills in an important gap in our knowledge about how wolves evolved into dogs. Most scientists support the theory of self-domestication , in which the friendliest members of a species gain an evolutionary advantage such as greater access to food or protection.

Descendants of these super-friendly wolves eventually gained the traits we associate with pooches, like puppy-dog eyes and floppy ears. But for this kind of selection to take place, there would need to be pre-existing variation in wolf populations that made some pups friendlier than others. Though all dogs are good boys, Sting, Lemmy and Elvis might be examples of these intrinsically better wolf boys.

And even after the rains end, health risks persist. Drenched land and ravaged infrastructure summons mosquitoes and disease. In the aftermath of the flooding, Ethipoian officials have reported over 15, cases of chikungunya , a debilitating mosquito-transmitted virus that is similar to dengue fever.

The outbreak is being managed by local ministries of health, but there is no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya at this time. Experts have made clear the link between climate change and sub-Saharan summer floods. In the summer, this causes significantly higher sea temperatures near East Africa, leading to more rain and floods.

Practically the same sequence of events — flooding and a chikungunya outbreak — occurred last year in Sudan. It is also worth noting that, with warmer temperatures and more intense hurricanes , the Americas are not immune to this problem. Chikungunya recently became a concern in the U. Here at Massive, we have reported extensively on the public health threats of climate change. This outbreak is just the latest example of a new normal.

Our bodies contain clocks that regulate everything from our sleep to weight. They also control our metabolism, or the process by which our bodies convert food into energy. Metabolic disorders are serious illnesses that can take many forms.

The Reproductive System: How Gonads Go - CrashCourse Biology #34

Lots of metabolic research is done with mice. When mice are provided free access to unhealthy food, they develop metabolic issues. Researchers have observed that these mice also show disrupted cycling of their core clock genes. But when the same mice are given access to the unhealthy food during only a subset of the day, many of the negative metabolic and clock gene consequences are ameliorated. This led to the hypothesis that clock gene cycles could be a primary mediator of a healthy metabolism. This is really important for people who do shift work, or those who are exposed to particularly high light levels at night, both of which disrupt normal human circadian rhythms.

The video below explains more background information on this idea. Researchers at the Salk Institute recently published their investigation of how to prevent obesity in mice with dysfunctional clocks. Mice in their experiment were given an unhealthy diet, with food available either throughout the day or just in a nine-to-ten-hour-long window. The overall caloric intakes of the two groups of mice were kept the same. The researchers then measured several markers of metabolism function.

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They found that the restricted feeding time kept mice metabolically healthy and lean, even when they lacked a regular circadian rhythm. So, rather than regulating metabolism the clock's main function may be to control the behavioral rhythms of feeding and fasting. This is exciting in that it lays the foundation for human studies regarding how timed eating can override the consequences of clock disturbances. It obviously has real world applications, but it'll take time for it to trickle down from academic labs to the world at large.

But perhaps, quicker now. Two nanotechnology companies, Cardea Bio and Nanosens Innovations, are merging and in the process, announced the production of what they call the "Genome Sensor. Cas9, the protein that is used by synthetic biologists to cut DNA at specific sequences, is fixed to a graphene net. Instead of cutting DNA though, it's instead given a sequence of DNA to search a sample of genomes that washes over the net.

Since it's hand-held, it can be done live in the field. Or in a field, as the case may be. Imagine a farmer seeing an infection on their land. Instead of removing the infected crops or spraying non-specific pesticides willy-nilly and hoping for the best, the farmer can load a sample on to their hand-held device and get an ID right then there.

From there, a specific action can be taken. Says Goldsmith:. It's supposed to be these little robots running around, self-replicating, doing cool things, controlled by computers and software, and with wireless communication and things like that. You know, we read science fiction books. The reality of what nanotechnology is, and will be, is: we have little robots, they're proteins themselves. They're made by biology, and we can integrate them with electronics, and we can control them with electronics.

And so that's what Cas9 is, it's a biological robot that searches through DNA more effectively than we can do with software alone. Academic scientists in the field were optimistic but not necessarily sold. Plant and synthetic biologist Devang Mehta , who is not affiliated with either Cardea or Nanosens, after reading about the Genome Sensor, said, "I'm not sure how realistic this is in the near future though as it would require In my view, it's a promising invention that isn't quite there yet in terms of field use.

The San Francisco-based biotech start-up ZBiotics is selling 15 ml vials of engineered bacteria - a shot of liquid tech designed to prevent hangover. Acetaldehyde is an intermediate in alcohol metabolism in humans and it is toxic. There is some debate as to whether acetaldehyde really contributes to hangover headaches, but it does play a big part in the alcohol flushing response when the face, neck, and chest become warm and red after drinking alcohol.

Photo by Quentin Dr on Unsplash. The engineered bacteria are really good at breaking down acetaldehyde in the lab — but there is no published evidence yet that this does any good in humans. So how is ZBiotics able to sell their product already? Marketing the cultures as a food supplement rather than as a drug allowed the company — founded in — to move very fast and begin commercial sales before proving efficacy in humans. They are conducting safety trials in animals and hope to conduct human trials in the near future.

The company hopes that they will next be able to develop similar products to help those suffering from lactose intolerance , but this first product is aimed at people who wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle but still over-indulge a little on the weekends. Keeping the focus on consumer benefit, instead of corporate profit as in many crops engineered to be pest- or herbicide-resistant, may result in people being more willing to engage with GMOs as part of their lifestyle.

My ultimate low at as a grad student hit like a ton of bricks. Already reeling from a poor advising relationship and sexism from being a female student working in fluid dynamics, my second dissertation chapter was rejected from a journal. As trainees, grad students and early career scientists are just that — trainees. Constructive criticism, the kind that helps us see where and how we can grow, is invaluable.