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Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbours from birthing planets

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Artist's impression of an evaporating protoplanetary disc. Image:NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

Stars don’t have to be massive to evaporate material from around nearby stars and affect their ability to form planets, a new study suggests. Newly formed stars are surrounded by a disc of dense gas and dust. This is called the protoplanetary disc, as material sticks together within it to form planets. Stars of different shapes and sizes are all born in huge star-forming regions. Scientists know that when a protoplanetary disc around a relatively small star is very close to a massive star, the larger star can evaporate parts of the protoplanetary disc.

 

How can you help save endangered species? Save the Pink Pigeon

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“Conservation genomics to the rescue, saving the pink pigeon #seqthepinkpigeon” is a research project led by the Earlham Institute (EI) and the University of East Anglia in partnership with PacBio. By voting to save the pink pigeon – we also hope to increase survival for other threatened species. Earlham Institute is one of just five finalists and only UK entry selected by a scientific committee to win a PacBio SMRT Sequencing grant. As part of the 2017 Plant and Animal SMRT Programme. EI, in collaboration with the UEA, EnvEast and partners are aiming to save the pink pigeon from its diminishing population on the island of Mauritius. This would be the first endangered bird species to be sequenced by the Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq method; the potential project will identify immune system genes and their variants which enable the unique species’ survival from a disease humans unwittingly introduced to the island.

 

‘The influence of the media on legislation is limited’

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Anyone watching the question hour in the Lower House on Tuesday afternoon will regularly hear MPs referring to news articles. Media attention is often the direct cause of questions to ministers or state secretaries, and often the reason for putting topics on the political agenda. If we look only at the course of legislative processes, the influence of the media is much less. PhD research by Lotte Melenhorst has led to this conclusion. The positions of politicians and their parties change little or not at all as a result of media attention. Melenhorst reaches this conclusion after studying three recent proposals for legislation, each of which received a lot of media attention: the Executives’ Pay (Standards) Act, the Law on Work and Social Security, and the Law on Tuition Fees Loans in Higher Education.

 

TPU foot implants improve life for pets and humans

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Thomas and Kutuzov the cats with artificial feet

Veterinaries successfully apply Tomsk Polytechnic University’s developments for implantology. Now titanium implants with bioactive coatings are already used to treat pets in BEST vet clinic, Novosibirsk, Russia. Tomas and Kutuzov the cats were the first patients to apply the Tomsk development. A scientific team led by associate professor Sergey Tverdokhlebov, the TPU Department of Experimental Physics, is engaged in the property modification of materials used in implant manufacturing. Tomas and Kutuzov the cats were the first patients to test the innovation. “One cat was missing a front foot, another – a back foot. Their owners addressed the clinic and doctors suggested implants with our coatings. The owners agreed and the pets were operated. Now the two are under observation and veterinaries systematically do them radiograph and tomography. Results show the implants have taken roots well. According to the doctors the four-leg patients feel themselves with artificial feet as comfortable as with their native ones,” says Sergey Tverdokhlebov.

 

Heat exposure associated with mental illness, older people in rural areas especially vulnerable

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A mental hospital-based study in Hanoi, Vietnam looked at if there is a relationship between heat exposure and mental health problems. The results showed significant increase in hospital admissions for mental illnesses during periods of heatwaves, especially during longer periods of heat exposure. This is according to a doctoral thesis from Umeå University. The study, which looked at admissions data from the Hanoi Mental Hospital during a 5 year period (2008 – 2012), also found that factors including old age, gender and rural-dwelling contributed to more mental illness among vulnerable and susceptible groups during heat or extreme heat exposure.

 

Medication Linked to Improved Reading Skills in Children with Dyslexia

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Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

A new study of atomoxetine, a drug used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was associated with improved reading skills among children 10-16 years of age with either dyslexia alone or with ADHD and dyslexia, compared to placebo. The study results demonstrated improvements in critical reading skills such as vocabulary and coding among children with dyslexia-only, and showed the positive effects of atomoxetine on reading to be independent of the drug's effect on ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD and dyslexia, as reported in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology website.

 

Nepal’s rich indigenous medical knowledge is under threat

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Medicinal plant Pogosteomon benghalensis (Local name: Rudhilo) to treat fever and chronic typhoid.

Nepal is a diverse demography with over 125 ethnic communities. It is equally rich in biodiversity. The diverse ethnic communities have a rich repertoire of knowledge related to the use of the herbs and animals for medicinal purposes. A recent research article published in Journal of Institute of Science and Technology explores indigenous knowledge systems in the Darai community living in the Chitwan Valley in Nepal, some 200 kilometres southwest of capital Kathmandu. The article, available online on the NepJOL platform supported by INASP, describes this community’s usage of animal and plant products to treat various diseases and ailments as a result of rich indigenous knowledge.

 

Tutto quello che avreste voluto sapere sul noce

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Uno studio dell’Ibaf-Cnr e Ibam-Cnr identifica origine e modalità di diffusione del noce comune, evidenziando l’influenza dell’uomo. Il lavoro, pubblicato su Plos One, ha incrociato i dati genetici della pianta con l’analisi glottologica della parola ‘noce’ e con i dati archeologici, topografici e storici relativi alla distribuzione geografica della specie

Un recente studio condotto dagli istituti del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche di Biologia agro-ambientale e forestale (Ibaf-Cnr) e per i Beni archeologici e monumentali (Ibam-Cnr), ha permesso di identificare l’origine e le modalità di diffusione del noce comune (Juglans regia L.), specie oggi apprezzata per le proprietà nutraceutiche dei frutti ricchi di acidi grassi polinsaturi. Pubblicato su Plos One, il lavoro evidenzia l’origine asiatica della pianta e l’esistenza nel Caucaso e nelle valli delle montagne dell’Asia Centrale di almeno quattro zone dove le popolazioni di noce conservano un valore elevato di diversità genetica, probabilmente sopravvissute in nicchie ecologiche protette dopo le glaciazioni del Pleistocene (Kyrgyzstan occidentale, Asia occidentale e centro-meridionale, Uzbekistan centro-orientale, province di Xinjiang and Shandong in China).

 

New species discovered: Protist parasites contribute to the stability of rainforest ecosystems

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Nature_ecology_Micah_Dunthorn_480


Tropical rainforests are one of the most species-rich areas on earth. Thousands of animal and plant species live there. The smaller microbial protists, which are not visible to the naked eye, are also native to these forests, where they live in the soils and elsewhere. A team of researchers formed by Micah Dunthorn, University of Kaiserslautern, examined them more closely by analyzing their DNA. They discovered many unknown species, including many parasites, which may contribute to the stability of rainforest ecosystems. These results have now been published in the scientific journal "Nature Ecology and Evolution".

 

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