Aging also results in things we don't like, such as the formation of wrinkles or sagging skin.The scientists managed to create a reactive polymer blend composition with a tensile modulus of 0.48 MPa, a fracture strain of 826 percent, an adhesive strength of 78 N/mm, and the appropriate elasticity.This level of improvement had only been achieved previously through an invasive surgical procedure called a "blepharoplasty" .Both blinded and trained graders found significant improvements in skin quality after one hour and four hours of wear.Those treated with the placebo also exhibited some modest improvements compared to the baseline, likely due to hydration caused by the polymer layer and potentially optical changes caused by the light-scattering particles.The synthetic material showed a remarkable adherence to the underlying skin and remained intact following activities such as running and swimming.
1
The authors of the study suggest that the microbial mayhem explains why the bears occasionally poop out their intestinal mucosal linings amid that seasonal shift.If the hypotheses hold up in further studies, the findings may help explain why pandas are notoriously bad breeders—it s likely hard to get in the mood if you re battling stomach cramps, bloating, and mucus poops.Currently, there are only a couple thousand giant pandas in the wild.But during the fall, the silica levels in the foliage drop and the bears ditch the stalks and go for the leaves.The mucus-filled dropping, on the other hand, had huge spikes in microbial levels, particularly of bacteria that cling to mucosal linings and some linked to inflammatory bowel disease.While the study is just on two animals and doesn t point to any clear solutions, the authors are hopeful that it s a starting point to study better care for the animals, such as dietary supplements or offering different food sources.
In one of the studies, certain types of antibiotics appeared to spur an inflammatory condition in humans that can sabotage life-saving transplants.Two drug combinations in particular—a regimen of piperacillin and tazobactam as well as a combo of imipenem and cilastatin—linked with patients having a higher risk of developing graft-versus-host disease GVHD , a life-threatening inflammatory condition in which the transplanted cells treat the recipient s body as a foreign enemy and mount an attack.Those antibiotic combinations are considered broad spectrum, meaning they can massacre many different types of microbes, particularly helpful anaerobic microbes.While the authors don t prove causation and would need to back up the results in further trials, they note that their results suggest that selecting antibiotics with a more limited spectrum of activity especially against anaerobes could prevent microbiota injury and thus reduce GVHD in the colon and GVHD-associated mortality.In the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory, there was a slow down in brain cell production in drugged mice compared to controls.The findings, while only in mice and await validation in further trials, suggest so far that antibiotics may take a significant toll on the brain.
The protein globs that jam brain circuits in people with Alzheimer s disease may not result from a sloppy surplus, but rather a bacterial battle, a new study suggests.And efforts to cure Alzheimer s focused on clearing out clogs and banishing beta amyloid from the brain.But a new study conducted using mice and worms suggests that the protein clumps are actually microbial booby traps, sturdy proteinaceous snares intended to confine invading microbes and protect the brain.For instance, past research had found that people who developed Alzheimer s had increased levels of antibodies to herpes virus, suggesting past infections.In the study, researchers at Harvard injected a lethal dose of bacteria into the brains of mice genetically engineered to overproduce amyloid beta—a model for studying Alzheimer s disease—as well as normal mice.If the findings hold up in further studies, the data points to problems clearing out the infection debris in patients with Alzheimer s and may provide hints to new treatments.
It pulls out hydrocarbons stored safely in the ground and sends carbon dioxide into the air, releasing a molecule that is contributing both to rising global temperatures and ocean acidification.So getting onto a zero-carbon energy system that uses a totally clean fuel, or at least a carbon-neutral system that recycles the carbon in the air, is of serious importance in the coming decades, scientists say.Study co-author Daniel Nocera, a Harvard chemist, is one of those scientists: He famously made what was dubbed the artificial leaf — a semiconductor wafer coated in a catalyst that could be dropped in water and produce hydrogen gas.But the scientists also took some of the bacteria and changed key genes so that the bacteria produced the alcohol isopropanol instead.For the moment, the scientists have been using electricity from the wall, but the system should work the same when hooked up to existing photovoltaic devices, Nocera explained.The scientists also developed a strain of the bacteria that was resistant to reactive oxygen molecules.
If pH is too low, it could severely irritate your eyes and skin and we ve all been in a pool where that s happened before.No matter what, the next pool you dive into is likely going to have pee, sweat, and other bits of gross stuff in there, and there s nothing you can do about that.Here are some rather common sensical precautions and advice to consider:Keep out if you have stomach issues: Yes, it s super obvious and it sounds like common courtesy, but it s a big enough problem that CDC has written a whole article about it.They probably will, but you can schedule regular bathroom breaks to help them relieve themselves outside of the pool.Just be ready for those Code Browns.The danger is even greater in a crowded swimming pool, as it d be especially difficult to tell when someone is having trouble if everybody is splashing and moving around.
Bacteria that cause dangerous infections are become increasingly resistant to drugs, leading us inexorably towards the so-called antibiotic apocalypse.These samples, unlike the others, produced unique colonies of bacteria that appear to be producing antibiotics that could, in theory, be developed as medicine.We ve got at least three different types of bacteria from the Dalek that were able to exterminate our Micrococcus indicator strain, added Dr. Adam Roberts, the founder of the Swab and Send project.It s not immediately clear why this particular object is home to such potentially valuable microbes.It could be completely random.Or, in direction violation of the sign next to it that says, do not touch, visitors are in fact putting their grubby little hands all over it, spreading their germs all over this thing.
Bacteria that cause dangerous infections are become increasingly resistant to drugs, leading us inexorably towards the so-called antibiotic apocalypse.These samples, unlike the others, produced unique colonies of bacteria that appear to be producing antibiotics that could, in theory, be developed as medicine.We ve got at least three different types of bacteria from the Dalek that were able to exterminate our Micrococcus indicator strain, added Dr. Adam Roberts, the founder of the Swab and Send project.It s not immediately clear why this particular object is home to such potentially valuable microbes.It could be completely random.Or, in direction violation of the sign next to it that says, do not touch, visitors are in fact putting their grubby little hands all over it, spreading their germs all over this thing.
Joanna ServaesAfter several hints that gut microbes may be key players in the obesity epidemic, a new study provides a mechanistic explanation of how the intestinal inhabitants directly induce hunger, insulin resistance, and ultimately obesity in rodents.After mice and rats were fed a high-fat diet, their gut microbes produced more acetate, a short-chain fatty acid made during bacterial fermentation.That acetate spread throughout the rodents bodies and into their brains where it activated the parasympathetic nervous system.By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the microbe-made acetate spurred the rodents to produce more insulin, a hormone made by pancreatic β-cells that promotes calorie storage, as well as ghrelin, a hormone involved in hunger.The result was rodents that ate more developed insulin resistance—a precursor to diabetes—and became obese, the researchers report in Nature.This generates a positive feedback loop, the authors conclude—which makes sense for foraging animals, they add.
Image: ShutterstockUsing the CRISPR gene-editing tool, scientists from Harvard University have developed a technique that permanently records data into living cells.The cheap and easy-to-use molecular editing system that burst onto the biotech scene only a few years ago is being used for a host of applications, including genetic engineering, RNA editing, disease modeling, and fighting retroviruses like HIV.And now, as described in a new Science paper, it can also be used to turn lowly microorganisms into veritable hard drives.During the experiment, loose segments of DNA were injected into a strain of E. coli bacteria equipped with CRISPR/cas9.For instance, it could eventually help us answer questions like what happens to the gene regulation inside a cell as it goes from a healthy to disease state.Or it could also be used to record information on the cell s outside environment, for example the presence of specific chemicals, toxins, or pathogens.
A new technique, however, could help predict what wine will taste like before it s even made.A paper out today in mBio from researchers at the University of California Davis details an extensive survey undertaken of over 700 different Napa and Sonoma wines, beginning in 2011.They then compared those results with analyses of their finished wines and found that they were able to link chemical compounds associated with flavor and taste to the microbial juice profiles.Senior author of the paper David Mills of the University of California Davis Mills Laboratory said that this information suggested a new avenue for how we describe the tastes of wine.Mills also suggested that the microbial profiles could eventually help winemakers in replicating particularly good vintages or, alternately, avoiding bad ones.Of course, the microbial profile of juice is one of many factors that shapes a wine s overall flavor.
And according to a new study, leaving your gut in charge all the time might not be a bad idea—it may actually help dodge neurodevelopmental disorders.If the findings do hold up in more animal studies and human trials, it could mean that treatments as simple and unfussy as probiotic foods could relieve some symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, the authors conclude.With all of that and other data on the mounting importance of the gut-brain axis, the researchers hypothesized that an out of whack gut microbiome may play a role in the development of disorders such as autism.Researchers examined the mice's microbiomes and found that they had less microbial diversity than control mice born to normal weight moms.Oxytocin is a hormone involved in many things, including social behavior, anxiety, and autism.Still, the study provides a proof of concept that probiotics can treat certain social disorders.
Nasa's Curiosity Mars rover is shown at a location called 'Windjana,' where the rover found rocks containing manganese-oxide minerals, which need water and strongly oxidising conditions to formChemicals found in Martian rocks suggest the Red Planet once had more oxygen in its atmosphere than it does now."The only ways on Earth that we know how to make these manganese materials involve atmospheric oxygen or microbes," said Nina Lanza, a planetary scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico."One potential way that oxygen could have gotten into the Martian atmosphere is from the breakdown of water when Mars was losing its magnetic field," added Lanza.Yet without a protective magnetic field as seen on Earth, ionising radiation began splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.This, coupled with Mars' relatively low gravity, meant the planet wasn't able to hold onto the lightest of hydrogen atoms, while leaving the heavier oxygen atoms behind.Nasa's Opportunity rover, exploring Mars since 2004, also recently discovered high manganese deposits thousands of miles from Curiosity.
Extending the same estimate to the U.S., the average household of four is losing $275-455 per year on needlessly trashed food.Figuring Out When Food s Gone FoulA lot of factors determine the usable life of a food product, both in terms of safety and quality.For example, they could add Listeria moncytogenes to refrigerated packaged deli meats.This bacterium causes listeriosis, a serious infection of particular concern for pregnant women, older adults and young children.Another option for food companies is to use mathematical modeling tools that have been developed based on the results of numerous earlier challenge studies.If a product has a use-by date on the package, consumers should follow that date to determine when to use or freeze it.
So in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics, US rowers, sailors, and swimmers are getting creative to protect themselves against pathogens lurking in the water.The US Olympic Rowing Team revealed earlier this week that they will wear a newly-developed unisuit complete with an antimicrobial finish while they train in Rio s Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, where recent Associated Press investigations have found virus counts thousands of times higher than federal safety limits.They will literally be immersing themselves in very high levels of pathogens, says Katherine Mena, who researches waterborne pathogens at the UT-Houston School of Public Health.A boat drifts on the polluted waters of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, on February 3, 2016.Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty ImagesMena was one of the water quality experts who helped analyze data collected by the AP during its investigation of Rio s water.Last summer, the news organization found unsafe levels of fecal bacteria, enteroviruses, rotaviruses, and adenoviruses in every water sport venue.
Scientists at the University of Southeast Norway have released microorganisms into a Pac-Man-style maze made out of fluid to observe how the single-celled euglena in this case, Pac-Man avoid their predators, the multi-celled rotifers.In addition to looking cool, these micromazes make it easier to view and study microorganisms, which are usually bunched together in a Petri dish.The Pac-Man imitation, though, was an inspired move on the part of the researchers, who wanted to better communicate their findings to the public.
Scientists at the University of Southeast Norway have released microorganisms into a Pac-Man-style maze made out of fluid to observe how the single-celled euglena in this case, Pac-Man avoid their predators, the multi-celled rotifers.In addition to looking cool, these micromazes make it easier to view and study microorganisms, which are usually bunched together in a Petri dish.The Pac-Man imitation, though, was an inspired move on the part of the researchers, who wanted to better communicate their findings to the public.
An example of synthetic biology is making 'real' milk without rearing cows.Synthetic biology made possible by costs of genome sequencing now 12 million times cheaper than a decade agoBeneath all the fancy talk, economic growth comes down to something quite simple: turning low-value commodities into high-value items.But a fast emerging branch of science, synthetic biology, could bring Smith's reign to an end.At its heart synthetic biology takes micro-organisms, like yeasts or bacteria, modifies their DNA, and uses them as microscopic factories, converting raw materials into finished products.Bill Liao is a partner at SOSventures the backers of Indie.Bio the world's first accelerator devoted to start-ups using biology to solve fundamental human problems.
Florencio Mazzoldi manages the software development efforts within the Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter Research Group at Autodesk.In the last 20 years we have gone further by modifying the genetic programming of organisms directly.Access to the genetic program gives scientists higher control to hopefully produce intended results faster and create behaviors not easily accessible through evolution.We have modified the genetic programs of organisms to solve hard problems.We have even modified higher-level organisms to fight diseases, such as Zika-fighting mosquitoes.And viruses modified to deliver genetic therapeutics are currently yielding increasing cure rates in previously deadly cancers.
Merck MRK 0.44 % & Co. said it plans to lay off research-and-development workers at three East Coast sites in a shake-up of its early-stage drug-hunting efforts that also includes a new focus on the health effects of micro-organisms that populate the human body.A Merck spokeswoman said the job cuts, and some employee transfers, would affect less than 10% of discovery, preclinical and early development employees in Kenilworth, N.J., Rahway, N.J., and North Wales, Pa.The move marks the latest round of layoffs and reorganization for Merck s research unit, which was once known for cutting-edge drug development but which hit a fallow period late last decade.Other large drugmakers including Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC also have cut R spending or reorganized research units in recent years to become more productive relative to their spending.The Merck spokeswoman said the company is making the changes to allow it to have earlier access to emerging external science and technology to augment our leading discovery and development capabilities.At the same time, Merck plans to start new laboratories in Cambridge, Mass.—near Boston—and the San Francisco Bay Area, as part of a trend among large drug makers to try to tap into hot clusters of biotechnology start-up activity and academic research.
More

Top