A traveller who resorts to using antibiotics will pick up the most resistant strains of common “super bacteria”, proves a recent study.
Every year, millions of travellers visit countries with poor hygiene, and approximately one third of them return home carrying antibiotic-resistant ESBL intestinal bacteria. Most of them remain unaware of this, as the bacteria cause no symptoms. High-risk areas for contracting ESBL bacteria are South and South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America. Diarrhoea is the most common health complaint for people who travel to poor regions of the world. Those contracting diarrhoea have an increased risk of ESBL acquisition, and if they choose to treat it with antibiotics, the risk becomes multiplied. A Finnish study led by Professor Anu Kantele and published two years ago showed that among people travelling to high-risk areas, those contracting diarrhoea and taking antibiotics, up to 80% brought ESBL super bacteria home with them.
Research group offers new insights into the roles of different subareas in the prefrontal cortex
Whether the brain responds to an external stimulus or not depends significantly on the balance between areas of excitation and inhibition in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Synaptic connections in the front of the cerebral cortex enable the brain to make a conscious decision on whether to react to a stimulus with movement or not. However, the roles of the individual regions in the PFC and how they work together in this decision-making process were unknown until now. An international team led by Stefanie Hardung from the research group of Professor Ilka Diester, a member of Bernstein Center Freiburg and the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools, has now identified the roles five subareas in the prefrontal cortex play in making decisions on movement. Their results were now published in the journal Current Biology.. This study may be of particular significance for the further investigation of impulse control disorders.
Cloth used for wrapping scrolls, found by Hebrew University excavators, the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it. (Credit: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld)
Hebrew University archaeologists working near the Dead Sea have found a cave that previously contained Dead Sea scrolls, which were looted in the middle of the 20th Century. Scholars now suggest the cave should be numbered as Cave 12, along with the 11 caves previously known to have housed hidden Dead Sea scrolls.
A team of researchers led by Patrik Verstreken (VIB–KU Leuven) have identified an underlying mechanism in early onset Parkinson’s. Using flies, mice and patient cells, the team focused on cardiolipin, a fat unique to cells’ mitochondria, organelles that produce energy. They demonstrated that reducing the effects of the protein FASN influences the mitochondria, leading to increased cardiolipin levels and reduced Parkinson’s symptoms. These results could pave the way to therapies for Parkinson’s disease that target lipids. The team’s research was published in the scientific magazine Journal of Cell Biology.
The biological formation of neurotoxic methyl mercury is an enigmatic process underpinning mercury-related health and environmental hazards. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms and the factors controlling the process are still not well understood.
In a collaborative effort, researchers at Uppsala and Umeå University now show that the formation of methylmercury in sediment is controlled by the molecular composition of the organic matter. The study has been published in Nature Communications.
In a drive to prevent a recurrence of the VW emissions scandal, Internal Market Committee MEPs amended EU car “type approval” rules on Thursday, to make environmental and safety testing more independent and strengthen national and EU oversight of cars already on the road. Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK), who is steering this legislation through Parliament, said “With today's vote the Internal Market Committee has sent a clear signal to national governments and consumers that it is about time we addressed the weaknesses that allowed the emissions scandal to take place. We agreed that the key to rebuilding consumer trust in the motor vehicle approval system is more rigorous and systematic oversight at every stage”.