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Ancestors' exposure to DDT may contribute to obesity, study says

Ancestors' exposure to DDT may contribute to obesity, study says | Science | Scoop.it
Exposure to the pesticide DDT could be playing a role in high rates of obesity three generations later, a new study says.
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This article, taken from The LA Times, discusses another study proving the long-term harmful effects from the pesticide DDT. I found it interesting that I wrote about another article on the negative impact that DDT had on the California Condor population. According to Michael Skinner, a professor of biological sciences at WSU, after exposing DDT to pregnant rats, scientists found that the third generation showed significantly increased levels of fat as well as weight gain. This is important because the 3rd generation rats were never exposed to DDT yet they were the ones that suffered the side effects. This article demonstrates another example of the harmful, lasting effects that DDT has on several different populations. 

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Researchers Discover Innate Virus-killing Power in Mammals

Researchers Discover Innate Virus-killing Power in Mammals | Science | Scoop.it
October 10, 2013: Findings by UC Riverside's Shou-Wei Ding could help create vaccines against deadly infections, including SARS, West Nile, dengue, Hepatitis C and influenza.
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This article, taken from UCR Today, describes the 20 years of crucial research that Shou-Wei Ding, a microbiology professor at UCR is getting recognition for. By applying some basic knowledge acquired from his background in plant, mice, fruit flies, and nematode research, Ding not only that RNA interference (RNAi) is responsible for killing viruses, but he also discovered that the human body is affected by viruses due to the protein B2. Ding's work showed that by removing the suppressor, B2, RNAi is able to effectively build up a defense against the virus and eliminate it from the cell. This novel work will be especially useful in the development of possible cures and vaccinations for viruses, which are currently difficult to treat due to the risk of killing the necessary good cells as well as the virus-infected host cells in our body. 

These findings were published in the October 11th issue of the journal "Science". 

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Banned Pesticide DDT Is Still Killing California Condors | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network

Banned Pesticide DDT Is Still Killing California Condors | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network | Science | Scoop.it
Just one week after the California legislature voted to ban lead ammunition to protect California condors from the toxic substance, which they can consume via carcasses ...
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This article, taken from Scientific American, provides some startling news that the pesticide DDT, banned in 1972, may still be affecting the newly integrated colonies of California condors. DDT has shown to decrease the the exterior of the shells by 34%, therefore directly affecting the population of the already endangered species. Research in the Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) suggests that the pesticide breaks down to form DDE which may cause the thinness of the eggs. 

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West Nile Virus Season to Last Longer as Climate Changes | Climate Central

West Nile Virus Season to Last Longer as Climate Changes | Climate Central | Science | Scoop.it
New research shows that as the climate warms, the West Nile virus season could grow longer, but possibly less severe, across the southern U.S.
Lexi Nicole's insight:

I chose this article, taken from Climate Central.org, because I found it interesting that the ridiculously hot weather due to climate change could prove to be beneficial to those of us who are sick of the mosquitos eating them up. Cory Morin, a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona is the lead author of a study that initially hypothesized that the climate change causing warmer weather could increase the presence of the mosquito species, therefore increasing the incidence of West Nile Virus. Interestingly enough, the study seems to prove otherwise; that the excessive heat is too much, even for mosquitos, to thrive in. However, one variable such as heat is not sufficient to predict this. Morin suggests that the heat will probably just delay their "peak season" and for certain regions, an increase in precipitation will facilitate the reproduction and sustain the mosquito population. Although this isn't the best news, this research will allow the preventitive methods to increase and become more effective against preventing infection and transmission of West Nile Virus. 

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Taking out the brain's trash: It may be why we need our sleep

Taking out the brain's trash: It may be why we need our sleep | Science | Scoop.it
Among the many vital roles that sleep plays in our lives, our nightly rest may give us the chance to take out the cerebral trash, says a new study.
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This article, taken from the LA Times website, provides great insight into how important sleep really is for our bodies. It basically says that our brain needs to rid itself of metabolites such as beta-amyloid and tau that it accumulates after a day's worth of cognition. In a study from University of Rochester Medical Center and NYU, scientists observed that mice's brains, whether they were anesthetized or sleeping, showed increased activity at these "transfer stations" where the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain actively carries away the metabolic byproducts. This is an important article, especially for college students who believe pulling an "all nighter" before a test is more efficient than calling it an early night. The brain processes become slower as the metabolic levels increase, thus once the brain eliminates these during our sleep cycle, we wake up refreshed and ready to learn. 

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Scientists report finding gene mutations connected to eating disorders

Scientists report finding gene mutations connected to eating disorders | Science | Scoop.it
Scientists have discovered two gene mutations that they believe are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders .
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This article taken from the LA Times provides interesting data on a possible association between eating disorders and two gene mutations. I found this particularly interesting because we usually attribute the cause of eating disorder development to be solely psychiatric. According to Michael Lutter, the senior author of the study and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa, states that ESSR and HDAC4 genes are unable to be properly expressed due to mutations in the Transcription Factors that lead to their expression. With this information, a serious disease can have cures other than psychiatric help and could possibly be prevented since it may be genetic. 

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Drug-resistant 'superbugs' deemed urgent threats: U.S. report

Drug-resistant 'superbugs' deemed urgent threats: U.S. report | Science | Scoop.it
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, a diarrhea-causing superbug and a class of fast-growing killer bacteria dubbed a nightmare were classified as urgent public-health threats in the United...
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This article, taken from Reuters.com, provides some shocking information about antibiotic-resistant gonnorhea, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, described these three organisms as "health threats" due to their antibiotic resistance. Especially because of the recent outbreak in Ventura county of gonnorhea, it was of particular interest that a strain of this STD is becoming antibiotic resistant. Also, C. diff, one of the main causes of hospital acquired infections, is so dangerous because it preys on the use of antibacterial soap because it kills all bacteria, even the good kind. 

 
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CDC | Facts About Sarin

Information on terrorism and public health. Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lexi Nicole's insight:

This information page, taken from the CDC's website, is about Sarin. I was looking up information about this gas for another class but found it fascinating that something that killed 1,400 people including over 400 children, was used as a pesticide in 1938. As someone who usually does not keep up with the news very often, I believe it is important to know why our government is so concerned about Syrian's using this chemical weapon due to its potent and fatal actions as a nerve agent. 

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