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Fecal Transplants of Bacteria Let Packrats Eat Poisonous Creosote Diet

Fecal Transplants of Bacteria Let Packrats Eat Poisonous Creosote Diet | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it

Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found.

 

The new study confirms what biologists long have suspected: bacteria in the gut – and not just liver enzymes – are “crucial in allowing herbivores to feed on toxic plants,” says biologist Kevin Kohl, a postdoctoral researcher and first author of the paper published online today in the journal Ecology Letters.


Many plants produce toxic chemicals, which they use as a defense against herbivores, or plant-eating animals. A toxic resin coats the leaves of the creosote bush; juniper toxins are found inside juniper needles.

Most mammals are herbivores. Some face serious challenges: their bodies must handle up to hundreds of toxic chemicals from the plants they consume each day. “Plant toxins determine which plants a herbivore can eat,” says Kohl.

 

Liver enzymes help animals detoxify such poisons. Researchers previously isolated toxin-degrading microbes from herbivores, but Kohl and Dearing say that, until now, scientists have lacked strong evidence for what has been conventional wisdom: Gut microbes also help some herbivores eat toxic plants.



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Human blood platelets grown in bone marrow-replicating bioreactor

Human blood platelets grown in bone marrow-replicating bioreactor | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Scientists have already successfully coaxed stem cells into becoming red blood cells. Now, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have also created fun...
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Salt water-powered Quant e-Sportlimousine gets European approval

Salt water-powered Quant e-Sportlimousine gets European approval | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
After making a debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Quant e-Sportlimousine has received approval from Germany's TÜV Süd. The car, which uses an electrol...
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Encryption tool alternatives to TrueCrypt

Encryption tool alternatives to TrueCrypt | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
When developers of the TrueCrypt disk encryption program warned the open source project was insecure, it left users hanging. Fortunately, there are TrueCrypt alternatives.

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Louis Joseph's comment, July 17, 2014 4:41 PM
it is not unsecure as long you have proff...
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One-Third Of Borneo's Rainforest Has Been Cut ... - Popular Science

One-Third Of Borneo's Rainforest Has Been Cut ... - Popular Science | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
In the last 40 years, nearly one-third of the rainforest on Borneo have been cut down. That's nearly twice as fast as the average deforestation rate for tropical rain forests worldwide. That raises the question: What's going on?
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Aloha point-of-sale terminal, sold on eBay, yields security surprises

Aloha point-of-sale terminal, sold on eBay, yields security surprises | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
An HP researcher's findings highlight ongoing problems with POS software and hardware
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Li-Fi record data transmission of 10Gbps achieved

Li-Fi record data transmission of 10Gbps achieved | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it

A Mexican software company has managed to transmit audio, video and Internet across the spectrum of light emitted by LED lamps – at a data transfer rate of 10 gigabytes per second.

 

The technology can illuminate a large work space, such as an office, while providing full mobile Internet to every device that comes into the range of the light spectrum. The technology, called Li-Fi or light fidelity, is presented as an alternative to Wi-Fi because it will maximise the original provided speed of the internet to offer safer data transfer and a transfer rate of up to 10 gigabytes per second. The Li-Fi device circulates data via LEDs that emit an intermittent flicker at a speed imperceptible to the human eye.

 

“As Wi-Fi uses cables to spread our connections, wireless transmission Li-Fi uses LED lamps that emit high brightness light,” said Arturo Campos Fentanes, CEO of Sisoft in Mexico.

 

Another advantage in comparison to Wi-Fi is that there is no way to hack the signal since the internet is transmitted by light, there is no way to “steal it.” Furthermore, it can be installed in hospitals areas that use radiation apparatus and generally block or distort internet signal, Fentanes said.

 

With this new technology expansion through the market is sought, with lower costs and a service increased by five thousand per cent internet speed.

 

Currently in Mexico the highest transfer rate is 200 megabytes per second. Just to get an idea, with Li-Fi you could quickly download an entire HD movie in just 45 seconds.

 

Also known as visible light communications (VLC), this technology began with an internet speed of two Gigabits per second, but Sisoft along with researchers from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) adapted the system to be multiplied five times.

 

Fentanes explained that the first experiments were conducted with audio, in which a cable is connected via 3.5 mm audio Jack from a smartphone to a protoboard table to transform the auditory signal in optical waves.

 

That way a special emitter transmits data across the spectrum of light generated by an LED lamp and is captured by a receptor located in a speaker that reproduces sound.

 

For wireless internet transmission, the mechanics is similar. The station developed by Sisoft stands above the router device that distributes the internet signal and a lamp-LED is incorporated to maximise the speed of data transfer. Light will emulate an antenna, but only the electronic apparatus that has the receptor for the “optical audio” signal and is inside the range of the halo of light will have a connection.


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Antimicrobial resistance priority for new UK science minister

Antimicrobial resistance priority for new UK science minister | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it

The UK is planning a multi-pronged approach to tackle a growing threat of resistance to antibiotic drugs that is expected to see current treatments become useless within the next two decades.

In his first announcement as science minister Greg Clark said that all seven UK research councils will work together on a strategy to address the many and varied issues related to antimicrobial resistance.


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ESRC's curator insight, July 17, 2014 9:22 AM

Led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) the cross-council initiative to tackle the rise of Antimicrobial resistance, sees all seven research councils coming together for the first time and will apply to medical researchers, biologists, engineers, vets, economists, social scientists, mathematicians and even designers.

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Router attacks: Five simple tips to lock criminals out

Router attacks: Five simple tips to lock criminals out | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Cyber criminals are constantly targeting home routers and its becoming increasingly difficult to keep them secure. Follow these 5 simple tips from We Live Security to lock criminals out.

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Sponge-like structure generates steam using lowest concentration of solar energy yet

Sponge-like structure generates steam using lowest concentration of solar energy yet | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, scientists claim to have created a sponge-like graphite-carbon material that helps convert water to s...
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Seeing Earth as an exoplanet: What signs of life are visible?

Seeing Earth as an exoplanet: What signs of life are visible? | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
An extraterrestrial spacecraft lurking in a satellite's orbit near Earth would be able to see city lights and pollution in our atmosphere. But what if it searched for signs of life on Earth from afar?
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Edward Snowden Wants You To Ditch Dropbox For This Service

Edward Snowden Wants You To Ditch Dropbox For This Service | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Edward Snowden thinks there's a better file storage service than Dropbox

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Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK

Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Heavy jail sentences doled out to phisherfolk - cops
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Heart rate-sensing car seats could alert sleepy drivers

Heart rate-sensing car seats could alert sleepy drivers | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous both for the driver, and for others sharing the road with them. Researchers are working on a solution to ...
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Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it
Two words: Default passcodes... and there's MORE
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Salk: One single injection of FGF1 stops type-2 diabetes in its tracks for 2 days

Salk: One single injection of FGF1 stops type-2 diabetes in its tracks for 2 days | Jeff Morris | Scoop.it

In mice with diet-induced diabetes—the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans—a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days. The discovery by Salk scientists, published today in the journal Nature, could lead to a new generation of safer, more effective diabetes drugs.


The team found that sustained treatment with the protein doesn't merely keep blood sugar under control, but also reverses insulin insensitivity, the underlying physiological cause of diabetes. Equally exciting, the newly developed treatment doesn't result in side effects common to most current diabetes treatments.


 

Controlling glucose is a dominant problem in our society," says Ronald M. Evans, director of Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and corresponding author of the paper. "And FGF1 offers a new method to control glucose in a powerful and unexpected way."

 

 

Type 2 diabetes, which can be brought on by excess weight and inactivity, has skyrocketed over the past few decades in the United States and around the world. Almost 30 million Americans are estimated to have the disease, where glucose builds up in the bloodstream because not enough sugar-carting insulin is produced or because cells have become insulin-resistant, ignoring signals to absorb sugar. As a chronic disease, diabetes can cause serious health problems and has no specific cure. Rather it is managed—with varying levels of success—through a combination of diet, exercise and pharmaceuticals.


 

In 2012, Evans and his colleagues discovered that a long-ignored growth factor had a hidden function: it helps the body respond to insulin. Unexpectedly, mice lacking the growth factor, called FGF1, quickly develop diabetes when placed on a high-fat diet, a finding suggesting that FGF1 played a key role in managing blood glucose levels. This led the researchers to wonder whether providing extra FGF1 to diabetic mice could affect symptoms of the disease.

 

 

Evans' team injected doses of FGF1 into obese mice with diabetes to assess the protein's potential impact on metabolism. Researchers were stunned by what happened: they found that with a single dose, blood sugar levels quickly dropped to normal levels in all the diabetic mice.

 

 

"Many previous studies that injected FGF1 showed no effect on healthy mice," says Michael Downes, a senior staff scientist and co-corresponding author of the new work. "However, when we injected it into a diabetic mouse, we saw a dramatic improvement in glucose."



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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