Bloccare l’infiammazione per ridurre le disabilità cognitive
Per la prima volta uno studio pubblicato sulla prestigiosa rivista eLife dimostra la relazione diretta tra le disabilità cognitive che caratterizzano i disturbi dello sviluppo del cervello infantile e l’infiammazione che colpisce le sinapsi, cioè le strutture cerebrali di smistamento di informazioni e segnali a tutto il corpo. Questa importante scoperta potrebbe aprire la strada al trattamento con antinfiammatori E’ nota da diversi anni la relazione tra i difetti genetici nella produzione di proteine che operano a livello delle sinapsi nel cervello e i disturbi del neurosviluppo caratterizzati da deficit cognitivi. Tuttavia, una percentuale di tali patologie non ha chiare cause genetiche. Uno studio realizzato da Humanitas e Istituto di neuroscienze del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (In-Cnr), in collaborazione con l’Universidad Miguel Hernández lnstituto de Neurociencias, per la prima volta identifica la relazione tra alti livelli di infiammazione e aumentata espressione della proteina MeCP2.
The researcher Oscar Barambones behind a solar panel at the University of the Basque Country (Nuria González / UPV/EHU)
Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have managed to maintain the maximum power point of solar panels despite changes in irradiation and load. The Advanced Control Group of the UPV/EHU’s Department of Systems Engineering and Automation has developed a control system designed to ensure that photovoltaic generators always work at their maximum power point by adapting them in terms of the level of irradiance received from the sun and the load connected to the system. This constitutes an improvement in the efficiency of photovoltaic generators with respect to current control systems, although it also requires the use of more powerful processors and elements and therefore more expensive ones.
Palmer amaranth infestation
Palmer amaranth is a nightmare of a weed, causing yield losses up to 80 percent in severely infested soybean fields. It scoffs at farmers’ attempts at control, having evolved resistance to six classes of herbicides since its discovery in the United States 100 years ago. And now, scientists have discovered it has two new tricks up its sleeve. About a year ago, a group of researchers discovered Palmer is resistant to the herbicide class known as PPO-inhibitors, due to a mutation—known as the glycine 210 deletion—on the PPX2 gene. “We were using a quick test that we originally developed for waterhemp to determine PPO-resistance based on that mutation. A lot of times, the test worked. But people were bringing in samples that they were fairly confident were resistant, and the mutation wasn’t showing up. We started to suspect there was another mechanism out there,” says University of Illinois molecular weed scientist Patrick Tranel.
Dr Ruth Griffin in the laboratories at Kingston University
Kingston University London scientists have completed the genome sequence for a deadly strain of the bacteria that causes meningitis and septicaemia – a breakthrough which could lead to improved vaccines to help prevent its spread. Meningococcal infections are the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the United Kingdom, a life-threatening disease that poses a continuing threat worldwide. With growing fears around the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, understanding why certain strains don't respond to vaccines could prove vital in helping reduce the number of global deaths from the disease. The Kingston University London team focused on meningococcal B (menB) strains, which have historically proven problematic to vaccinate against. As part of their work examining how bacteria respond to vaccines, the researchers have now been able to determine the complete DNA sequence of the genome for a particular strain called L91543.