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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Synthetic biology
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Implantable slimming aid

Implantable slimming aid | Biology | Scoop.it

ETH-Zurich biotechnologists have constructed a genetic regulatory circuit from human components that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signalises satiety to the body. Tests on obese mice reveal that this helps them to lose weight.


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Vietnam: Italian tourist treated with rhinoceros horn develops breast cancer

Vietnam: Italian tourist treated with rhinoceros horn develops breast cancer | Biology | Scoop.it

An Italian woman, on holiday in Vietnam, was treated with a mixture of herbs and rhino horn against a fever developed during her stay in Ho Chi Min City and surroundings. The dosage of the drug administered is not known but the woman received orally, precise quantities prescribed by a local doctor, during a ten days period.

The breast cancer is shaped by a “stone” similar structure, which at its base has been identified and removed a formation of Keratin which has likely caused the carcinoma as it’s clear in the radiography and photo.

Nguyen Huu Truong, a doctor at Hanoi's Centre for Allergy Clinical Immunology, stated that a handful of patients visit him each year complaining of rashes he links to rhino horn consumption.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) highly values the rhino horn as a panacea against almost every pathology, in particular to reduce the body’s high temperature.

 

Francesco Nardelli

franardelli@gmail.com

 

 

Skin cancer composed by keratin in a woman treated

with a concoction of herbs and rhino horn

 

10 September 2013 (Abstract - article in press.)

 

Authors: Prof. Roberto Milella – Prof. Carlo Guglielmi – Dott.ssa Monica Di Giovanni

 

Case description

 

A 43-year-old, Caucasian woman was evaluated for the presence of a mass above the surface of the cutis of the mammary gland. 

Clinical findings: Clinical, radiographic and echo-graphic findings were indicative of a collection of firm, thick material. A biopsy was performed, and histopathology demonstrated a conical projection of keratin. Such findings were consistent with a tegument horn. 

Outcome: The woman was hospitalized and excision of the mass was performed in the following days. Safety margins were considered to be major than5 cm. in each direction. The mass to date has not recurred.

Conclusions: The woman during a recent journey in Vietnam was being treated for hyperthermia of unknown causes. The drugs consisted in a mixture of herbs and rhinoceros horn given twice a day in unknown dosages, during a twelve days period.

The authors suspect a relationship between the skin horn neoplasm and the use of uncontrolled, potentially noxious drugs such as keratin compacted rhino horn.

Various histological lesions have been documented at the base of the keratin mound, and histological confirmation is often necessary to rule out malignant changes.
No clinical features reliably distinguish between benign and malignant lesions. Tenderness at the base and lesions of larger size favour malignancy.

 

Dermal Horn

A cutis horn is a conical projection of keratin above the surface of the skin, in a configuration that resembles a miniature horn. The condition is usually asymptomatic; however, the lesion may grow rapidly and is vulnerable to trauma.

Malignant lesions, usually squamous cell carcinomas, may be found at the base of the horn. Other tumours, more rarely found in that location, include Paget disease of the breast, sebaceous adenoma, and granular cell tumour.

 

2013 Policlinico di Bari - Tutti i diritti riservati

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Plant Phys: A modern ampelography: a genetic basis for leaf shape and venation patterning in Vitis vinifera

Plant Phys: A modern ampelography: a genetic basis for leaf shape and venation patterning in Vitis vinifera | Biology | Scoop.it

I had to look up "Ampelography" - here's the definition I found, "the field of botany concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines".

 

Anyhow, it's a lovely paper looking at a combination of morphometric analysis of grape leaves from >1200 accessions, combined with mathematical analysis of shape and venation patterns, and finally with GWAS to look at the genetic basis of leaf shape. Fascinating work, and, of course, very applied (to preserve the interaction between genotype, environment and culture in grape and wine production).


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Ohio zoo tries to mate rhino siblings - CBS News

Ohio zoo tries to mate rhino siblings - CBS News | Biology | Scoop.it
With an estimated 100 of their kind left in the wild, experts worry for survival of Sumatran rhino
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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from The science toolbox
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Python Displacing R As The Programming Language For Data Science

Python Displacing R As The Programming Language For Data Science | Biology | Scoop.it
R remains popular with the PhDs of data science, but as data moves mainstream, Python is taking over.

Via Niklaus Grunwald
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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Genomics and metagenomics of microbes
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PNAS: Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis (2013)

PNAS: Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis (2013) | Biology | Scoop.it

The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged genomes. The expansion of mating-related genes suggests the existence of cryptic sex-related processes. A comparison of gene categories confirms that R. irregularis is close to the Mucoromycotina. The AMF obligate biotrophy is not explained by genome erosion or any related loss of metabolic complexity in central metabolism, but is marked by a lack of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and of genes involved in toxin and thiamine synthesis. A battery of mycorrhiza-induced secreted proteins is expressed in symbiotic tissues. The present comprehensive repertoire of R. irregularisgenes provides a basis for future research on symbiosis-related mechanisms in Glomeromycota.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Bradford Condon
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Rhino poaching nearly outpaces births, experts warn

AFP | Nov 22, 2013, 08.12 PM  READ MORE Sumatran Rhinos|Rhino|IRF|Vietnam|Cancer  South Africa is the epicenter of the crisis, with a record 827 black and white rhinos killed so far this year, already far surpassing last year's record of 668, said the International Rhino Foundation. RELATED Rhino poacher arrestedMilitant link to rhino deaths worries expertsPoachers kill another rhino in KazirangaRhino 'accidentally' killed by forest guardPoachers kill rhino in Orang national park WASHINGTON: Deaths of rhinos by poaching are fast approaching a tipping point, with the number of endangered creatures killed annually nearly outnumbering births for the first time, international experts warned Friday. 

South Africa is the epicenter of the crisis, with a record 827 black and white rhinos killed so far this year, already far surpassing last year's record of 668, said the International Rhino Foundation.

"These poaching levels threaten to wipe out decades of conservation progress, and it is imperative that we take action now," said IRFexecutive director Susie Ellis. 

Despite the heavy toll of poaching, birth rates by black rhinos - of which there are 5,000 left in nine countries in Africa - continue to slowly increase, said the IRF. 

Meanwhile, the white rhino population of about 20,400 is also slowly increasing. 

"Overall, populations have remained relatively stable in the face of increasingly aggressive and sophisticated poaching, but the situation is almost certainly unsustainable in the long term," said the IRF in its annual State of the Rhino report released on Friday. 

Representatives of the US-based foundation were meeting with conservation leaders from around the world in Tampa, Florida to discuss new strategies to end the crisis. 

All five kinds of rhino species alive today face some kind of threat, whether from poaching, loss of habitat through deforestation or human settlements encroaching on their land. 

Demand for rhino horn is driven by lucrative criminal trafficking and the belief in some Asian countries that it can cure cancer and other ailments, though experts say the horn has no special powers and is made of the same material as fingernails. 

"Despite the crisis, there is hope for rhinos," Ellis said. "We believe that the situation can be turned around. The sticking point is whether rhino countries like South Africa and consumer countries like Vietnam and China will enforce their laws and whether countries like Indonesia will take the bold actions needed to save Sumatran and Javan rhinos." 

As few as 100 Sumatran rhinos are left, and there are around 44 Javan rhinos. Both are critically endangered and considered on the brink of extinction. 

The State of the Rhino report also warned of "recent increases in poaching activity in northeastern India," home to the greater one-horned rhino of which about 3,300 remain in the world. 

Detailing steps forward in the worldwide effort to save the ancient creatures, it touted some successes in Botswana, Zimbabwe, India and Indonesia, and urged officials to ramp up their efforts to protect rhinos and their habitat.

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Biomedical synthetic biology
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Symbiotic lactobacilli stimulate gut epithelial proliferation via Nox-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species

Symbiotic lactobacilli stimulate gut epithelial proliferation via Nox-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species | Biology | Scoop.it

The resident prokaryotic microbiota of the metazoan gut elicits profound effects on the growth and development of the intestine. However, the molecular mechanisms of symbiotic prokaryotic–eukaryotic cross-talk in the gut are largely unknown. It is increasingly recognized that physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) function as signalling secondary messengers that influence cellular proliferation and differentiation in a variety of biological systems. Here, we report that commensal bacteria, particularly members of the genus Lactobacillus, can stimulate NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1)-dependent ROS generation and consequent cellular proliferation in intestinal stem cells upon initial ingestion into the murine or Drosophila intestine. Our data identify and highlight a highly conserved mechanism that symbiotic microorganisms utilize in eukaryotic growth and development. Additionally, the work suggests that specific redox-mediated functions may be assigned to specific bacterial taxa and may contribute to the identification of microbes with probiotic potential.


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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Seahorse Project
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3 Reasons Why You Should Invite a Greenland Shark to Thanksgiving Dinner

3 Reasons Why You Should Invite a Greenland Shark to Thanksgiving Dinner | Biology | Scoop.it
Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) This is a guest post from Sizing Ocean Giants team member Lindsay Gaskins 1) Not the best cook? No worries, Greenland sharks won’t complain! Forgot to thaw your frozen turkey?

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Cell Biology
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Quand les cellules tumorales apprennent à vivre sur du tissu mou

Quand les cellules tumorales apprennent à vivre sur du tissu mou | Biology | Scoop.it
Quand les cellules tumorales apprennent à vivre sur du tissu mou

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Seahorse Project
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Third minke whale found dead on UK shores

Third minke whale found dead on UK shores | Biology | Scoop.it
Cause of death unknown for all three whales found this week, the latest of which was found stranded at Sea Palling, Norfolk Three minke whales have washed up dead on UK shores in just a week due to unknown causes, prompting scientists to carry out...

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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The Arabidopsis Book: Abscisic Acid Synthesis and Response (R. Finkelstein) (Nov 2013)

The Arabidopsis Book: Abscisic Acid Synthesis and Response       (R. Finkelstein) (Nov 2013) | Biology | Scoop.it

Ruth Finkelstein (2013) Abscisic Acid Synthesis and Response. The Arabidopsis Book:  doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1199/tab.0166


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GM machines designed to aid development

GM machines designed to aid development | Biology | Scoop.it

A global bioengineering competition drew many students to design solutions to development problems.


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In vivo genome-wide profiling of RNA secondary structure reveals novel regulatory features : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

In vivo genome-wide profiling of RNA secondary structure reveals novel regulatory features : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Biology | Scoop.it

RNA structure has critical roles in processes ranging from ligand sensing to the regulation of translation, polyadenylation and splicing1, 2, 3, 4. However, a lack of genome-wide in vivo RNA structural data has limited our understanding of how RNA structure regulates gene expression in living cells. Here we present a high-throughput, genome-wide in vivo RNA structure probing method, structure-seq, in which dimethyl sulphate methylation of unprotected adenines and cytosines is identified by next-generation sequencing. Application of this method to Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings yielded the first in vivo genome-wide RNA structure map at nucleotide resolution for any organism, with quantitative structural information across more than 10,000 transcripts. Our analysis reveals a three-nucleotide periodic repeat pattern in the structure of coding regions, as well as a less-structured region immediately upstream of the start codon, and shows that these features are strongly correlated with translation efficiency. We also find patterns of strong and weak secondary structure at sites of alternative polyadenylation, as well as strong secondary structure at 5′ splice sites that correlates with unspliced events. Notably, in vivo structures of messenger RNAs annotated for stress responses are poorly predicted in silico, whereas mRNA structures of genes related to cell function maintenance are well predicted. Global comparison of several structural features between these two categories shows that the mRNAs associated with stress responses tend to have more single-strandedness, longer maximal loop length and higher free energy per nucleotide, features that may allow these RNAs to undergo conformational changes in response to environmental conditions. Structure-seq allows the RNA structurome and its biological roles to be interrogated on a genome-wide scale and should be applicable to any organism.

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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Cell Biology
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The Cell Biology of Dendrite Differentiation

The Cell Biology of Dendrite Differentiation | Biology | Scoop.it

The morphology of neuronal dendrites defines the position and extent of input connections that a neuron receives and influences computational aspects of input processing. Establishing appropriate dendrite morphology thus underscores proper neuronal function. Indeed, inappropriate patterning of dendrites is a common feature of conditions that lead to mental retardation. Here, we explore the basic mechanisms that lead to the formation of branched dendrites and the cell biological aspects that underlie this complex process. We summarize some of the major steps that from developmental transcriptional regulation and environmental information modulate the neuron’s cytoskeleton to obtain the arborized structures that have fascinated neuroscientists for more than a century.


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Rescooped by Catalina Abu-Gosch from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Frontiers | The importance of aboveground–belowground interactions on the evolution and maintenance of variation in plant defense traits

"Over the past two decades a growing body of empirical research has shown that many ecological processes are mediated by a complex array of indirect interactions occurring between rhizosphere-inhabiting organisms and those found on aboveground plant parts..."


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Mary Williams's curator insight, November 28, 2013 5:50 AM

Intriguing! I like this perspective.

As the authors point out, "Unlike most terrestrial biota, the vast majority of plants occupy two connected “compartments”–the open air and soil– that differ in many biotic and abiotic properties. Aboveground plant structures include stems, branches, leaves, shoots, flowers, and seeds, whereas the soil is dominated by the root system. These differing plant structures facilitate interactions between biotic communities that rarely come into direct physical contact with one another".