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.
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?
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.
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.
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."
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.