Study Examines Pesticides’ Impact on Wood Frogs
A new study looks at how neonicotinoid pesticides affect wood frogs, which use surface waters in agricultural environments to breed and reproduce. Neonicotinoids are widely used insecticides that are applied to a variety of crops and are relatively persistent in the environment. The study found that some neonicotinoids may cause developmental delays in the frogs, but these are not necessarily detrimental. Additional studies are needed to investigative the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids on wood frogs and other amphibian populations.
“The slight delay in development may not be cause for concern on its own; however, in the natural environment, additional stressors such as mixtures of pesticides, predators, or parasites can contribute to further delays,” said Dr. Stacey Robinson, lead author of the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry article. “Such cumulative stressors are important to consider in understanding the potential impact on amphibian populations.”
May SmartPhones Help to maintain memory in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease?
The patient is a retired teacher who had reported memory difficulties 12 months prior to the study. These difficulties referred to trouble remembering names and groceries she wanted to purchase, as well as frequently losing her papers and keys. According to the patient and her husband, the main difficulties that she encountered were related to prospective memory (e.g., forgetting medical appointments or to take her medication).
Clima,ministri Ambiente UE riuniti a Bruxelles
28 febbraio a Bruxelles il Consiglio Ambiente. “L’Italia persegua davvero impegni Parigi e chieda obiettivi più ambiziosi per Emission Trading Scheme”
Greenpeace, Legambiente, WWF, Italian Climate Network, Coordinamento Free e Kyoto Club rivolgono un appello al Ministro dell’Ambiente, Gianluca Galletti: l’Italia deve avere un ruolo propulsivo per rendere efficace il meccanismo dell’Emission Trading, non attestandosi su posizioni di mera difesa di alcuni settori e aiutando così mediazioni al ribasso, ma contribuendo a rendere davvero efficace lo schema quale strumento di lotta al cambiamento climatico e riconversione dell’economia. È essenziale che la UE riaffermi la propria leadership a livello globale sul clima.
Frogs have unique ability to see colour in the dark
The night vision of frogs and toads appears to be superior to that of all other animals. They have the ability to see colour even when it is so dark that humans are not able to see anything at all. This has been shown in a new study by researchers from Lund University in Sweden. Most vertebrates, including humans, have two types of visual cells located in the retina, namely cones and rods. The cones enable us to see colour, but they usually require a lot of light and therefore stop working when it gets dark, in which case the rods take over so that we can at least find our way home, albeit in black and white.
Nanocubi per identificare precocemente Alzheimer e Parkinson
Il metodo innovativo utilizza nanocristalli d’argento che, attivati con luce laser, consentono di individuare anche minime tracce molecolari di malattie neurodegenerative. Lo ha messo a punto un team, guidato dall’Ifac-Cnr di Firenze, e formato da ricercatori dell’Imm-Cnr di Catania, dell’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia e dell’Università di Saratov (Russia). Lo studio è stato pubblicato su Acs Nano
Grazie a una tecnica innovativa è possibile identificare l’‘impronta digitale’ di proteine e biomarcatori quando sono ancora presenti in minime tracce, riuscendo così a effettuare una diagnosi precoce di malattie neurodegenerative, quali l’Alzheimer e il Parkinson. A metterla a punto, un team di ricercatori dell’Istituto di fisica applicata (Ifac-Cnr), in collaborazione con i colleghi dell’Istituto di microelettronica e microsistemi (Imm-Cnr), del Dipartimento di chimica e scienze geologiche dell’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia e dell’Università statale di Saratov (Russia). La ricerca è stata pubblicata su Acs Nano.
Fabo è libero, la politica ha perso. Quale risposta dare ai cittadini?
Il nuovo Welby era il simbolo dell’Associazione Luca Coscioni nella battaglia per una legge sul fine vita, ancora assente in Italia. È morto questa mattina in una clinica Svizzera, costretto all’esilio per liberarsi da una condizione di vita insopportabile. Tre i suoi appelli al Parlamento accolti con altrettanti silenzi e inspiegabili rinvii della discussione sul biotestamento in Aula. Dichiarazione Marco Cappato e Filomena Gallo, a nome dell’Associazione Luca Coscioni per la libertà di ricerca scientifica . “Fabo è morto alle 11.40. Ha scelto di andarsene rispettando le regole di un Paese che non è il suo”, annuncia Marco Cappato su Twitter.
Stem cells derived neuronal networks grown on a chip as an alternative to animal testing
Scientists at the Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern have developed an in vitro stem cell-based bioassay grown on multi-electrode arrays capable of detecting the biological activity of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. Their assay could serve in minimizing animal experiments as well as provide a physiological relevant platform for drug-screening of neuroactive compounds. The Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by the Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium botulinum, are the most poisonous naturally-occurring protein toxins known to date. However, when applied in small quantities, the toxin causes a locally-confined paralysis, which is beneficial in the treatment of various diseases such as different forms of dystonia, hyperhidrosis, strabismus, chronic pain and headaches. Currently, it is most widely used in aesthetic treatmet for the smoothing of wrinkles and frown lines - an application that has seen an enormous increase in use over the last few decades.
Observations of an aeolian landscape: From surface to orbit in Gale Crater
Landscapes derived solely from aeolian processes are rare on Earth because of the dominance of subaqueous processes. In contrast, aeolian-derived landscapes should typify Mars because of the absence of liquid water, the long exposure times of surfaces, and the presence of wind as the default geomorphic agent. Using the full range of available orbital and Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity images, wind-formed features in Gale Crater were cataloged and analyzed in order to characterize the aeolian landscape and to derive the evolution of the crater wind regime over time. Inferred wind directions show a dominance of regional northerly winds over geologic time-scales, but a dominance of topography-driven katabatic winds in modern times.
Nerve Wrapping Nanofiber Mesh Promoting Regeneration
Conceptual diagram showing a nanofiber mesh incorporating vitamin B12 and its application to treat a peripheral nerve injury.
A NIMS-Osaka University joint research team developed a mesh which can be wrapped around injured peripheral nerves to facilitate their regeneration and restore their functions. A research team consisting of Mitsuhiro Ebara, MANA associate principal investigator, Mechanobiology Group, NIMS, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, assistant professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, developed a mesh which can be wrapped around injured peripheral nerves to facilitate their regeneration and restore their functions. This mesh incorporates vitamin B12 -- a substance vital to the normal functioning of nervous systems -- which is very soft and degrades in the body. When the mesh was applied to injured sciatic nerves in rats, it promoted nerve regeneration and recovery of their motor and sensory functions. The team is currently considering clinical application of the mesh to treat peripheral nerve disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).