Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020
Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020 15:17

Women could conceive after ovarian tumours

Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumours were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows. Natural fertility was preserved in most of them and only a small proportion required assisted reproductive treatment such as in vitro fertilization. Survival in the group was also as high as in women who had undergone radical surgical for treatment of similar tumours.

“The ability to become pregnant seems to be preserved with fertility-sparing surgery, a knowledge that is absolutely critical for the advice and treatment given to young women with ovarian borderline tumours,” says the study’s first author Gry Johansen, doctoral student at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet.

Earlier studies of fertility-sparing surgery (FSS) for borderline ovarian tumours (BOT) have primarily focused on the oncological therapeutic outcome, and knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth after FSS has been scant. In this study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have also examined the effects of FSS on fertility in women of a fertile age treated for early-stage BOT.

Radical or fertility-sparing surgery

Every year, some 700 women in Sweden develop ovarian cancer. Up to 20 percent of ovarian tumours are BOTs, and of these a third are diagnosed in young women of fertile age. FSS – which preserves the uterus and at least parts of the ovaries – is the most common option for women wishing to preserve fertility.

The relapse risk after FSS is larger than after radical cancer treatment, in which the uterus and both ovaries are removed, but the advantages make it an accepted course of action for young women.

Data from several registries

The study is based on data from Sweden’s healthcare registers. The selection included all women between the ages of 18 and 40 who received FSS for early-stage BOT between 2008 and 2015, according to the Swedish Quality Registry for Gynaecologic Cancer (SQRGC). The control group were peers with similar tumours treated with radical surgery.

The women who had given birth after FSS were identified using the National Board of Health and Welfare’s Medical Birth Register and the National Quality Registry for Assisted Reproduction (Q-IVF).
In Sweden, assisted reproduction (IVF) is offered by the public health services and is free of charge for women under 40.

No difference in survival

Of the 213 women who underwent FSS between 2008 and 2015 in Sweden, 23 percent had given birth to 62 babies after treatment. A minority – 20 women or 9 percent of the cohort – had undergone IVF. The women who had given birth after FSS were followed for 76 months, while the women who had not given birth were followed for 58 months.

The survival rate for the entire cohort of 277 women was an excellent 99 percent, and there was no difference between those who had received FSS and those who had undergone radical surgical cancer treatment.

“In the choice of treatment for borderline ovarian tumours, safety and the effectiveness for future childbearing must be taken into account,” says the study’s last author Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, researcher at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet.

The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, the Cancer Research Funds of Radiumhemmet, Region Stockholm and Karolinska Institutet. There are no declared conflicts of interest.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020 15:08

Nerve cells let others "listen in"

Spines with astrocyte GLT1.jpg: Single fragment of a neuron in green and the astrocyte processes mentioned in the communication in yellow. (c) Michel Herde


Study by the University of Bonn: The signal transmission in the brain is more or less exclusive depending on the situation.

How many "listeners" a nerve cell has in the brain is strictly regulated.
This is shown by an international study led by the University College London and the universities of Bonn, Bordeaux and Milton Keynes (England). In the environment of learning neurons, certain processes are set in motion that make signal transmission less exclusive. The results have now been published in the journal Neuron.

If you want to share a secret with a friend in a busy environment, you may try to find a quiet spot, close the doors and shield the conversation from possible eavesdroppers. Nerve cells in the brain also communicate with each other behind closed doors. But the extent of this protection could be strictly regulated depending on the situation. The findings now presented by the international research team point in this direction.

The information transfer between neurons is mostly done chemically: In response to an electrical signal, the "transmitting cell" releases a so-called neurotransmitter at a synapse; this may often be glutamate molecules. These migrate through the synaptic cleft to the recipient cell.
There, they dock to certain receptors and generate an electrical reaction in the receiving neuron.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020 14:59

World Dream Day 25 settembre Sogni e realtà


World Dream Day 25 settembre Sogni e realtà – Piero Barbanti: “I sogni pescano nella quotidianità, sono considerati anche uno strumento per riviverla e superare paure”

Metti in moto i tuoi sogni e fa che diventino realtà: è questo il leitmotiv della Giornata Mondiale dei Sogni, celebrata ogni anno il 25 settembre. Per il 2020 l’esortazione è a sognare per un nuovo mondo: “New dreams for a new world", ma qual è il significato di questi viaggi notturni che la nostra mente compie indisturbata? “Freud sosteneva che il sogno derivasse da desideri repressi o traumi rimossi. La visione attuale - spiega il Professor Piero Barbanti, docente di Neurologia presso l’Università Telematica San Raffaele e Direttore dell’Unità per la Cura e la Ricerca su Cefalee e Dolore dell’IRCCS San Raffaele di Roma - è che il sogno rappresenti piuttosto uno strumento: per rivivere situazioni emozionali importanti ed ingombranti del passato allo scopo di gestirle meglio e da ciò deriverebbero i sogni ricorrenti, quasi come tentativo di “annacquarle” progressivamente; per liberarsi da una situazione emotiva causa di paure alla quale – per “realpolitik” - non abbiamo permesso di esprimersi nella vita quotidiana pur avendola intravista di sfuggita”.

Pubblicato in Eventi
Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020 13:37

Il valore del tempo. Mito, fisica e ambiente


In uscita in data odierna il terzo libro di divulgazione scientifica di Walter Grassi. 

Pubblicato in Eventi

The white, fluffy layer that covers Camembert is made of a mould resulting from human selection, similar to the way dogs were domesticated from wolves. A collaboration involving French scientists from the CNRS1 has shown, through genomic analyses and laboratory experiments, that the mould Penicillium camemberti is the result of a domestication process that took place in several stages. According to their work, a first domestication event resulted in the blue–green mould P. biforme, which is used, for example, for making fresh goat's cheese. A second, more recent domestication event resulted in the white and fluffy P. camemberti.

Both domesticated species show advantageous characteristics for maturing cheese compared to the wild, closely related species: they are whiter and grow faster in cheese-ripening cellar conditions. In addition, they do not produce, or only in very small quantities, a toxin that is potentially dangerous to humans; they also prevent the proliferation of undesirable moulds. This research, published on 24th September in Current Biology, may have an impact on cheese production, by steering the selection of moulds according to the desired characteristics.

1- The study involved scientists from the Ecology, Systematics and Evolution laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay/AgroParisTech) and the Biodiversity and Microbial Ecology laboratory (Université de Brest, Plouzané).

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

Human skulls found in Cueva de la Dehesilla

Experts from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology of the University of Seville have just published a study in the prestigious journal Plos One on an important archaeological find in the Cueva de la Dehesilla (Cádiz). Specifically, two human skulls and a juvenile goat were discovered along with various archaeological structures and materials from a funerary ritual from the Middle Neolithic period (4800-4000 BC) hitherto unknown in the Iberian Peninsula.

"This finding opens new lines of research and anthropological scenarios, where human and animal sacrifice may have been related to ancestral cults, propitiatory rituals and divine prayers in commemorative festivities," explains US researcher Daniel García Rivero.

The archaeological site located in the Cueva de la Dehesilla consists of two adult human skulls, one male one female, the former being older. The female skull shows a depression in the frontal bone, which probably comes from an incomplete trepanation, as well as cuts in the occipital bone produced by decapitation. In addition, a wall was found separating the human skulls and the skeleton of the goat, on the one hand, from a stone altar with a stele and a hearth, on the other. Finally, several uniquely decorated ceramic vessels, some lithic objects and charred plant remains were discovered in the so-called Locus 2.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Venerdì, 25 Settembre 2020 09:43

Al Museo delle Mura “Narrazioni d’argilla”

Dal 18 settembre al 15 novembre 2020 le Mura Aureliane ospitano l’arte ceramica di diciotto artiste, ricca di significati simbolici e spirituali

Le torri delle Mura Aureliane, la sapiente arte ceramica di un gruppo di artiste e il fantastico mondo simbolico delle fiabe: sono questi gli elementi che compongono la mostra “NARRAZIONI D’ARGILLA. Gli Archetipi nelle fiabe e nei miti” ospitata al Museo delle Mura dal 18 settembre al 15 novembre 2020. L’esposizione, a ingresso gratuito e promossa da Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Crescita culturale – Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali, è ideata dall’associazione culturale Officina creativa le Lase ed è curata da Manuela Troilo. La mostra fa parte di ROMARAMA, il programma culturale di Roma Capitale. Servizi museali di Zètema Progetto Cultura.

“Narrazioni d’argilla” è una rassegna d’arte ceramica in cui l’argilla è lavorata in tutte le declinazioni possibili, con particolare attenzione alle sperimentazioni e contaminazioni dell’avanguardia artistica contemporanea. Unite dall’amore per un mezzo espressivo così versatile, diciotto artiste provenienti da percorsi molto diversi si sono unite in questo progetto espositivo per raccontare le loro emozioni intessute di ricordi di infanzia e rappresentare gli archetipi femminili che si incontrano nelle favole, nei miti, e nei racconti epici. Attraverso un insieme di oltre 70 opere di dimensioni differenti – alcune quasi miniature, altre alte 2 metri – propongono spunti di riflessione e insieme di giocosa fantasia espressiva, spaziando dalle citazioni di Basile a quelle di Calvino, secondo cui la fiaba è una spiegazione generale della vita; il catalogo dei destini che possono darsi a un uomo e a una donna, soprattutto per la parte di vita che è il farsi un destino: la giovinezza, che poi vede la sua conferma nella maturità e nella vecchiaia.

Pubblicato in Arte

Anticorpi neutralizzanti contro l’IFN di tipo I sono alla base della polmonite da COVID-19.

Abbiamo verificato l'ipotesi che gli auto-anticorpi contro gli IFN di tipo I possano essere alla base delle forme severe di Covid-19 compromettendo il legame degli IFN di tipo I al loro recettore e l'attivazione della risposta cellulare contro il virus. Gli auto-anticorpi neutralizzanti sono rappresentati in rosso e gli IFN di tipo I in blu. Nei pazienti con autoanticorpi, l'autoimmunità adattativa altera l'immunità antivirale innata e intrinseca.


Alti livelli di anticorpi diretti contro IFN di tipo I nel sangue di individui con forme severe. Tra questi anche pazienti con una malattia genetica rara, l’Incontinentia Pigmenti. Lo afferma, in due studi pubblicati sulla rivista Science, un team internazionale che comprende due ricercatrici dell’Istituto di genetica e biofisica del Cnr di Napoli

Perché la risposta individuale all'infezione da virus SARS-CoV2 varia così tanto da persona a persona? Risolvere questo mistero renderebbe possibile identificare i pazienti a rischio, anticipare e migliorare la loro cura e offrire nuove vie terapeutiche basate su una maggiore comprensione della malattia.

Due studi condotti da un team internazionale a cui hanno partecipato Francesca Fusco e Matilde Valeria Ursini dell’istituto di genetica e biofisica “A. Buzzati-Traverso” del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche di Napoli (Cnr-Igb) e pubblicati sulla rivista Science danno risposta a questa domanda chiave. Il team - guidato da Jean-Laurent Casanova (The Rockefeller University, NY, USA e Istitute Imagine/Necker-Enfants malades, Parigi, Francia) e Helen Su (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, USA) - ha identificato le cause genetiche e immunologiche che spiegano il 15% delle forme gravi di Covid-19. I pazienti hanno in comune un difetto nell'attività delle forme di Interferone di tipo I (INF-1), molecole del sistema immunitario che normalmente svolgono una potente attività antivirale. Queste scoperte potrebbero consentire di sottoporre a screening le persone a rischio di sviluppare una forma grave e di trattare in maniera mirata i pazienti.

Pubblicato in Medicina

As the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have drawn attention as potential therapies for COVID-19 and are being widely used off-label, it’s now more important than ever to have a thorough assessment of the safety of these medications. A recent analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology provides new insights.

In the analysis of real-world data from the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Events Reporting System, a global database of post-marketing safety reports, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were associated with higher rates of various cardiovascular problems, including life-threatening heart rhythm events, heart failure, and damage to the heart muscle itself (termed cardiomyopathy).

“Moreover, we show how these adverse events carry high risks for severe outcomes including death, even with standard doses of the drugs,” said senior author Elad Maor, MD, PhD, of Sheba Medical Center and Tel-Aviv University, in Israel. “The take-home message of our work is that physicians around the world should be careful when prescribing these drugs for off-label indications, especially for patients with cardiac disorders.”


Link to Study:

Pubblicato in Scienceonline


Genome duplications describe an exceptional process in land plants to make available additional genetic variability. Photo: Marcus Koch/Heidelberg University



Researchers study relationship of morphological variation and biological diversity in plants

Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution. Heidelberg University biologists under the direction of Prof. Dr Marcus Koch made this discovery in their research of the Brassicaceae family. To determine the scope of the different variations over 30 million years, they analysed all 4,000 species of this plant family and investigated at the genus level their morphological diversity with respect to all their characteristic traits. The results of this research were published in the journal “Nature Communications”.
The external form of a plant, also known as its morphology, notably depends on environmental factors and their influences. This is true over short time scales of individual development as well as over the long term on an evolutionary scale.

“A plant species always embodies only a portion of the possible breadth of morphological variation in evolution, thus allowing related evolutionary lines to be studied as a group for their morphological disparity,” stresses Prof. Koch, who leads the Biodiversity and Plant Systematics research group at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University. The extent of this disparity can be viewed as evolutionary potential for adaptations to altered environments and an associated differentiation.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
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