Lunedì, 21 Agosto 2017



Una Ricerca della Sapienza ha analizzato lo smalto dei denti da latte rinvenuti a Velia

Lo smalto prenatale, studiato in relazione con il successivo sviluppo postnatale, costituisce il principale oggetto di ricerca del progetto condotto da un team della Sapienza in collaborazione con il Museo delle Civiltà di Roma, l’Université di Toulouse III e l’University College London. La ricerca, realizzata per la Sapienza da Alessia Nava e coordinata da Alfredo Coppa nell’ambito del corso di dottorato in Biologia ambientale ed evoluzionistica, è pubblicata sulla prestigiosa rivista PLoS ONE.
I denti umani sono importanti archivi paleobiologici che raccontano la storia di un individuo; quelli decidui, la cui formazione comincia già dai primi mesi in utero, possono costituire l’unica finestra di conoscenza sullo sviluppo intrauterino, un momento cruciale nella vita, che ha inevitabili ricadute sulla salute anche in età adulta.
A oggi molti studi si sono focalizzati sulle porzioni di smalto dei denti decidui sviluppate dopo la nascita, ma è l’analisi delle porzioni prenatali che è cruciale nella conoscenza dello sviluppo intrauterino: permette infatti di identificare eventuali eventi stressanti e può rivelare informazioni utili circa lo stato di salute della madre durante la gravidanza.

Pubblicato in Antropologia


Pubblicato in Scienceonline




A prospective study of more than 20,000 nurses aged 20-45 years, 88% of whom had worked night shifts, reported their most common health issues, disease history, reproductive experiences, occupational exposures, and other lifestyle- and work-related factors. The study, which included 13% of all active Korean female nurses, is published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website until September 17, 2017.
The article entitled "The Korea Nurses' Health Study: A Prospective Cohort Study," is coauthored by Hyun-Young Park, MD, PhD and colleagues from Korea National Institute of Health, Ewha Womans University, Doowon Technical University, Hallym University, Yonsei University, and Seoul National University, Republic of Korea; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T..H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline



Children and young people under-25 who become victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to enact self-harm and attempt suicide than non-victims. While perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and behaviours, researchers say. The study, which is a collaboration of a number of researchers from across the UK including the University of Birmingham looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries, over a 21-year period. Their findings, published on open access in PLOS One, highlighted the significant impact that cyberbullying involvement (as bullies and victims) can have on children and young people. The researchers say it shows an urgent need for effective prevention and intervention in bullying strategies. Professor Paul Montgomery, University of Birmingham said: ‘Prevention of cyberbullying should be included in school anti-bullying policies, alongside broader concepts such as digital citizenship, online peer support for victims, how an electronic bystander might appropriately intervene; and more specific interventions such as how to contact mobile phone companies and Internet service providers to block, educate, or identify users. ‘

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

 Right now, the European Union doesn’t have enough animal feed of its own to nourish livestock, forcing it to bring in supplies from beyond the bloc’s borders. To face this unsustainable dependency, researchers are looking for alternative protein sources. More than the 70 percent of the protein sources required by animals bred in the European Union are imported from non-EU countries. Soybean dominates the protein supply for animal feed. This dependency is costly, subjected to market fluctuations and price rises. The European Parliament adopted a resolution stating the urgency in replacing at least part of the imported feeding stuff with alternative sources, of EU origin. One of the exit-strategies investigated by researchers is reusing food waste to feed animals, with the help of low energy consumption technologies. Considering the huge amount of food waste generated in Europe, estimated to be 88 million tons each year, the project NOSHAN identified functional feeding ingredients derived from food waste that can be adapted to the needs of animals. A free food waste database has been created, which includes the molecular characterisation performed on 42 different waste streams.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Lunedì, 21 Agosto 2017 17:38

Cancer detection with sugar molecules


Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1. This could help to recognize tumors at an early stage and to combat them in a targeted manner. Galectins are a family of proteins that have become a promising source of cancer research in recent years. A representative thereof is galectin-1. It sits on the surface of all human cells; on tumor cells, however, it occurs in enormous quantities. This makes it an interesting target for diagnostics and therapy. "Among other things, it is known that galectin-1 hides the tumor cells from the immune system," explains Professor Jürgen Seibel of the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany. Recent studies have shown that when Galectin-1 is blocked, the immune system can recognize the tumor and attack it with T cells.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

Working in collaboration with teams from the Czech Republic and Japan, researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), and Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM) have identified, for the first time, the likely origin of the cross-reactivity between cypress pollen, peaches and citrus fruits. Their work has shown that these sources contain allergens belonging to a new family of proteins involved in pollen food associated syndrome. This discovery, which was published in JACI on August 3rd, paves the way for the development of novel allergy diagnostic tests.

Today, more and more people suffer from allergies, especially in industrialized countries (where almost 30% of the population is affected). In view of this, doctors are observing an increase in cases of "pollen food associated syndrome", or "combination" allergies, i.e. those which occur via a cross-reaction between pollen (respiratory allergies) and food (food allergies). In Mediterranean regions, allergic reactions to cypress pollen/peach and cypress pollen/citrus fruits have been described in clinical practice. In such cases, certain people, having been exposed and sensitized to cypress pollen from a young age, go on to develop allergies to citrus fruits and peaches in adulthood. It is estimated that 60% of food allergies occur in combination with respiratory allergies.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline


Europe is demographically divided. In the north, west and centre of the continent, comparatively high fertility rates and immigration are ensuring population growth for the foreseeable future. By contrast, many regions in southern and Eastern Europe are threatened with accelerated aging processes and marked population losses.

Europe is not just the proverbial “old” continent. Its populations are also on average older than elsewhere in the world. Even now, there are only some three persons of working age to every pensioner. By the middle of the century, this ratio may fall to one to two. This will have consequences for the economy and social systems. It will become more difficult to finance social benefits, and companies will find it harder to find suitable personnel. “This is all the more serious in view of the fact that the economies of the twenty-first century require well-qualified people rather than major industrial plants”, says Reiner Klingholz, Director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. 

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Lunedì, 21 Agosto 2017 13:34

Chewing gum rapid test for inflammation


Researchers from the University of Würzburg are working on a chewing gum that is capable of detecting oral inflammation. (Photo: JMU )

Dental implants occasionally entail complications: Six to fifteen percent of patients develop an inflammatory response in the years after receiving a dental implant. This is caused by bacteria destroying the soft tissue and the bone around the implant in the worst case. In future, patients will benefit from a quick and affordable method assessing whether they carry such bacteria: using a chewing gum based diagnostic test developed by a pharmaceutical research team at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany. In practice, the test works as follows: If there is an inflammation in the oral cavity, a bittering agent is released while chewing the gum. Patients can then visit their dentist who confirms the diagnosis and treats the disease. This type of early detection aims at preventing serious complications such as bone loss. "Anyone can use this new diagnostic tool anywhere and anytime without any technical equipment," Professor Lorenz Meinel says; he is the head of the JMU Chair for Drug Formulation and Delivery. He developed the new diagnostic tool with Dr. Jennifer Ritzer and her team; the invention is currently featured in an article in the journal "Nature Communication".

Pubblicato in Scienceonline

Scientists have discovered fossil remains of a new carnivorous mammal in Turkey, one of the biggest marsupial relatives ever discovered in the northern hemisphere. The findings, by Dr Robin Beck from the University of Salford in the UK and Dr Murat Maga, of the University of Washington who discovered the fossil, are published today in the journal PLoS ONE. The new fossil is a 43 million year old cat-sized mammal that had powerful teeth and jaws for crushing hard food, like the modern Tasmanian Devil. It is related to the pouched mammals, or marsupials, of Australia and South America, and it shows that marsupial relatives, or metatherians, were far more diverse in the northern hemisphere than previously believed. Dr Maga found the fossil at a site near the town of Kazan, northwest of the Turkish capital, Ankara. It has been named Anatoliadelphys maasae, after the ancient name for Turkey, and Dr Mary Maas, a Turkish-American palaeontologist. The fossil is remarkably well preserved, and includes parts of the skull and most of the skeleton. It shows that Anatoliadelphys weighed 3-4 kilograms, about the size of a domestic cat, and that it was capable of climbing. It had powerful teeth and jaws, for eating animals and possibly crushing bones. Features of the teeth and bones of Anatoliadelphys show that is closely related to marsupials, but it is not known whether it had a pouch or not.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
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