Cocktail of chemicals in the mother inhibits child growth

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019For the first time, researchers have shown that a combination of perfluorinated substances in the mother significantly inhibits child growth.They make many everyday things easier, such as keeping children’s feet dry in waterproofed boots, stopping the meat balls sticking to the frying pan and making it easier to clean the carpet.But these environmental chemicals, the perfluorinated substances, have a wide range of damaging effects, with the most recent turning out to be reduced growth in fetuses.This is shown by a new study in which researchers from Aarhus University have examined the cocktail effect of the chemicals, leading to findings which are both significant and alarming according to Professor Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen from the Department of Public Health.”The perfluorinated substances can mimic the hormone estrogen and can therefore disrupt the body’s natural hormonal processes including the development of the fetus. We can see that the complex mix of perfluorinated substances in the mother impairs fetal growth and length,” she says.Researchers had previously only studied the individual impact of the substances on the fetus, and these results had not been entirely clear-cut.Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen and her research colleagues have developed a new method for extracting and isolating the contents of the substances from the blood and then subsequently determining the combined endocrine disrupting effect of the substances – popularly called the cocktail effect – on the development of the fetus.”When it comes to the overall effect, the calculation is not 1+1=2, but rather 1+1=3. Low birth weight can lead to a number of diseases later in life, but we still lack specific knowledge about how the children who are exposed to the substances subsequently develop,” says Bonefeld-Joergensen of the results which have been published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.Related StoriesPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeShe is currently waiting for an answer to an application for a foundation grant to carry out the necessary follow-up studies on the ongoing development of these children.The researchers have examined blood samples from 702 pregnant Danish women who were registered in the database “Aarhus Children’s Biobank”. Such thorough studies of the concentration of perfluorinated substances and their biological effect in pregnant woman have not been done previously, but the study is nevertheless in line with previous research in the area. The substances have furthermore been associated with a range of issues including breast cancer, fertility problems, ADHD, the risk of asthma, a weakened immune system and the reduced effect of vaccines.The harmful environmental chemicals accumulate in the body and are not easily degradable. They are fat and water repellent and are found in our food, in the air we breathe, in dust and water and in a wide range of everyday products such as e.g. waterproof clothing, food packaging, furniture textiles and make-up. Only a few of the almost one thousand different perfluorinated substances are presently regulated by law, and there is no product labeling requirement.”As a consumer, you have to ask in the store. Products with these toxic substances are popular, but we pay the price with our children’s and our own health if we don’t avoid these products,” says the researcher.The area is regulated by the EU, but the Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (the Danish Liberal Party), has recently announced that he will explore the possibility of a national ban on the substances in cardboard and paper for food packaging.The new study is part of Aarhus University’s Fetotox project, which studies the impact of perfluorinated substances on women and children. Source:http://www.au.dk/last_img read more

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Scientists create powerful method for directed evolution of molecules

first_imgWhat we have developed is the most robust system yet for directed evolution in mammalian cells.”Study lead author Justin English, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine “The scientific community has needed a tool like this for a long time”, said study senior author Bryan L. Roth, MD, PhD, the Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine. “We believe our technique will accelerate research and ultimately lead to better therapeutics for people suffering with many of the diseases for which we need much better treatments.”The broad concept of directed evolution is not new. Researchers have been applying it for centuries in selecting and breeding variants of animals and plants that have desired characteristics, such as crop varieties with larger fruits. Biologists in recent decades also have used directed evolution at the molecular level in the laboratory, for example, by mutating a gene randomly until a variant appears that has a desired property. But on the whole, directed evolution methods for biological molecules have been difficult to use and limited in their application.The new method developed by Roth, English, and colleagues is comparatively quick, easy, and versatile. It uses the Sindbis virus as the carrier of the gene to be modified. The virus with its genetic cargo can infect cells in a culture dish and mutate quite rapidly. The researchers set up conditions so that the only mutant genes to thrive are the ones encoding proteins capable of accomplishing a desired function within the cells, such as activating a certain receptor, or switching on certain genes. Because the system works in mammalian cells, it can be used to evolve new human, mouse, or other mammalian proteins that would be burdensome or impossible to generate with traditional bacterial cell-based methods.Related StoriesThe immune system in women may be different from men finds studyCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchEnglish and his colleagues call the new system “VEGAS” for Viral Evolution of Genetically Actuating Sequences. In an initial demonstration, Roth’s lab modified a protein called a tetracycline transactivator (tTA), which works as a switch to activate genes and is a standard tool used in biology experiments. Normally tTA stops working if it encounters the antibiotic tetracycline or closely related doxycycline, but the researchers evolved a new version with 22 mutations that allows tTA to keep working despite very high levels of doxycycline. The process took just seven days.”To get a sense of how efficient that is, consider that a previously reported mammalian directed evolution method applied to the tetracycline transactivator took four months to yield just two mutations that conferred only partial insensitivity to doxycycline,” English said.The scientists next applied VEGAS to a common type of cellular receptor called a G protein-coupled-receptor (GPCR). There are hundreds of different GPCRs on human cells, and many are targeted by modern drugs to treat a wide variety of conditions. Precisely how a given GPCR changes shape when it switches from being inactive to active is of great interest to researchers trying to create more precise treatments. English and colleagues used VEGAS to quickly mutate a little-studied GPCR called MRGPRX2 so that it would stay in an always-active state.”Identifying the mutations that occurred during this rapid evolution helps us understand for the first time the key regions in the receptor protein involved in the transition to an active state,” English said.In a final demonstration, the team showed the potential of VEGAS to guide drug development more directly. They used VEGAS to rapidly evolve small biological molecules called nanobodies that could activate different GPCRs – including serotonin and dopamine receptors, which are found on brain cells and are targeted by many psychiatric drugs.The team is now using VEGAS in an effort to develop highly efficient gene-editing tools, potentially for curing genetic diseases, and to engineer nanobodies that can neutralize cancer-causing genes. Source:University of North Carolina Health Care Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 5 2019UNC School of Medicine scientists created a powerful new “directed evolution” technique for the rapid development of scientific tools and new treatments for many diseases.The scientists, whose breakthrough is reported in Cell, demonstrated the technique by evolving several proteins to perform precise new tasks, each time doing it in a matter of days. Existing methods of directed evolution are more laborious and time-consuming, and are typically applied in bacterial cells, which limits the usefulness of this technology for evolving proteins for use in human cells.Directed evolution is an artificial, sped up version of the evolution process in nature. The idea is to focus the evolutionary process on a single DNA sequence to make it perform a specified task. Directed evolution can be used, in principle, to make new therapeutics that work powerfully to stop diseases and have few or no side effects. The initial groundbreaking scientific work on directed evolution won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.last_img read more

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Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public

first_imgWorkplace messaging startup Slack has become the latest of the richly valued tech startups to file for an initial public offering Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP Citation: Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public (2019, February 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-workplace-messaging-startup-slack.htmlcenter_img Workplace messaging startup Slack said Monday it had filed a confidential registration for an initial public offering, becoming the latest of a group of richly valued tech enterprises to look to Wall Street. California-based Slack’s filing comes under a special provision of securities laws enabling startups to begin the IPO process without disclosing details of their financing.The statement offered no information on the date or amount of money expected to be raised. Some reports say Slack will use the direct listing, a method used by Spotify, that allows insiders to sell existing shares without issuing new stock, streamlining the IPO process and avoiding big investment banking fees.Slack, which claims some 10 million users in 150 countries, has raised more than $1 billion from investors with the latest valuing the company at $7.1 billion, making it one of the most richly valued “unicorns”—startups with private funding worth at least $1 billion.Slack, which offers real-time messaging for the workplace, is used to help improve communication and help companies get around email overload. It offers free services for small teams and paid plans with additional options.Created in 2013, Slack has been a leader in the new segment but faces competition from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and others offering workplace collaboration tools.Analysts say Slack has found a niche, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses.Other richly valued unicorns aiming for an IPO in 2019 include ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft, and lodging startup Airbnb. Other potential IPOs in the sector include the social platform Pinterest and coworking sector leader WeWork.Slack’s CEO and founder Stewart Butterfield was part of the team that started the photo-sharing service Flickr. Workplace messaging startup Slack eyes 2019 IPO: reportlast_img read more

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Largest Neolithic Settlement in Israel Uncovered Up to 3000 People May Have

first_img Archaeologists have known about this location, called the Motza site, for decades. However, now that the government plans to build a new highway entrance and new roundabouts there, the Israel Antiquities Authority sent a team to do a full-scale excavation of the Neolithic settlement, Vardi told Live Science. This effort quickly became the largest excavation of a Neolithic site in the country, he said. During the Neolithic, hunter-gatherer groups began farming and making permanent settlements. So, it came as no surprise when they found large buildings with rooms where Neolithic people once lived, public facilities and places for rituals. Alleyways ran between the buildings, showing that the settlement had an advanced layout. Some buildings even had plaster floors. The team also uncovered human burials beneath and around the houses. Some of the burials also held burial goods, likely offerings that may have been given to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of these grave goods came from far away — including obsidian beads from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and seashells from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea — indicating that the people at this site traded with neighboring regions. The excavation also uncovered several stone and mother-of-pearl bracelets, which, given their small size, were likely worn by children or adolescents, Vardi said. He added that one burial showed that these bracelets were worn on the upper arm. The site also has thousands of stone arrowheads for hunting, axes for felling trees, and sickle blades and knives, as well as figurines whose styles date to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the seeds found at the site indicates that people lived there between 9,000 and 8,800 years ago, Vardi said. In addition to farming crops and keeping goats, these people kept cows and pigs; they also hunted game, such as gazelle, deer, wolves and foxes, as shown by animal remains found there. “Based on the data that we have and from the fauna, we have a pretty good notion that the people at the site were farmers and they were specialists in what they did,” Vardi said. After the Neolithic period ended, people continued to live there. It’s clear why this spot was so desirable, Vardi said, as it’s near a large spring and several smaller springs that supply fresh water. The site is now 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sorek Stream. The entire Motza site is about 0.1 square miles (30 to 40 hectares). As the excavation wraps up, the team still has a lot on its plate. The researchers plan to publish several papers and articles for the public on the site, as well as put some of the artifacts in museums for public viewing, Vardi said. Before it gets destroyed by a newly constructed highway, a 9,000-year-old Neolithic site just outside of Jerusalem is getting an exhaustive excavation, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The humans who lived there during the Neolithic (the last period of the Stone Age) were a sophisticated bunch. Many of them were likely farmers who had stored hundreds of thousands of seeds — including lentils, chickpeas and beans — in storage facilities. These ancient people also kept domesticated goats, as shown by animal remains found at the site, and they traded with neighboring regions, such as what is now Turkey, Jordan and the areas around the Red Sea. “This is the first time that such a large-scale settlement from the Neolithic period — 9,000 years ago — [has been] discovered in Israel,” Hamoudi Khalaily and Jacob Vardi, archaeologists and excavation directors at the site, who work with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “At least 2,000 [to] 3,000 residents lived here — an order of magnitude that parallels a present-day city.” [See Photos of the Neolithic Excavation]Advertisement Largest Neolithic Excavation on Record in IsraelArchaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old farming settlement in Israel that dates to the Neolithic. Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities AuthorityVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65956-largest-neolithic-settlement-in-israel.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball02:31Surgical Robotics00:29Video – Giggly Robot关闭  Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Road and Coins Discovered in Israelcenter_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndo Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Lifelast_img read more

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Muted mention of health belies needs of the critical sectorMuted mention of

first_imgThe deaths of children due to encephalitis in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur and the nationwide doctors’ strike has sparked concerns over state of healthcare in the country.The crisis has presented a strong case for the long-pending increase in the government’s healthcare spends.But Budget 2019 did not go down that road. The sparse mention of health in the Budget speech came as a surprise for healthcare workers, and representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry — also a vital part of the healthcare landscape. Also, the Centre’s largely remained silent on flagship Ayushman Bharat programme that aimed to provide healthcare coverage to those with limited economic means.The government’s policy statement talks of spending 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025. But the present spending, though higher, is nowhere close to this target, said Sakthivel Selvaraj , health economist with the Public Health Foundation of India.And though the Centre may treat this Budget as “work in progress” on their larger vision, Ayushman Bharat in particular needed to see a larger financial commitment given its ambition to provide ₹5 lakh insurance to 10 crore families annually. The allocation at ₹6,400 crore falls short of the fund required for the programme, he added.“It is appalling that since last three years , it is the first budget with zero mention of healthcare, not even higher allocation for Ayushman Bharat,” said Rajiv Nath with the Association for Indian Medical Device Industry. Nath also expressed dismay over not finding measures to “stem the tsunami of (medical device) imports” that has increased by 24 per cent at ₹38,800 crore and is “crushing Indian manufacturing system”.Pharma industryPharmaceutical industry, too, remained disappointed due tothe absence of strong measures to support them. Besides the expectation on tax sops and support for small and medium enterprises, the pharmaceutical industry was hoping for some direction on bulk drugs and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, which are used to make medicines. Presently, there is huge dependence on China for APIs. July 05, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS strike Bihar COMMENT SHARE Published onlast_img read more

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Changsha hi tech Zone to create super public space

is now the society is an entrepreneurial society, local governments have to create suitable for social development of the business platform, has a good business platform, is the first step in the successful business people, Changsha hi tech Zone to build a good public record space.

9 month, the Tencent multi-creation space officially settled in lugu. On the platform, including account system, social relations chain, the ability to pay, cloud computing and other resources have been opened to Tencent entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs to provide one-stop service. read more

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