Study of Eyes Sheds Light on Nervous System
The circuitry of the central nervous system is immensely complex and, as a result, sometimes confounding. When scientists conduct research to unravel the inner workings at a cellular level, they are sometimes surprised by what they find.
Patrick Keeley, a postdoctoral scholar in Benjamin Reese’s laboratory at UC Santa Barbara’s Neuroscience Research Institute, had such an experience. He spent years analyzing different cell types in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the inner surface of the eye that mediates the first stages of visual processing.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/study-eyes-sheds-light-nervous-system
Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed a technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly – a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand – by making female flies dependent upon a common antibiotic to survive.
Max Scott, professor of entomology at NC State, and his research team genetically modified lines of female Australian sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) so that they required doses of tetracycline in order to live. Female blowflies that did not receive the antibiotic died in the late larval or pupal stages, before reaching adulthood. Several genetically modified lines lacking tetracycline showed 100 percent female deaths.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/researchers-develop-genetic-control-mechanism-blowflies
Humans, Monkeys of One Mind When It Comes to Changing It
Covert changes of mind can be discovered by tracking neural activity when subjects make decisions, researchers from New York Univ. and Stanford Univ. have found. Their results, which appear in the journal Current Biology, offer new insights into how we make decisions and point to innovative ways to study this process in the future.
“The methods used in this study allowed us to see the idiosyncratic nature of decision making that was inaccessible before,” explains Roozbeh Kiani, an assistant professor in NYU’s Center for Neural Science and the study’s lead author.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/humans-monkeys-one-mind-when-it-comes-changing-it
‘Natural’ Moisturizers Can Cause Food Allergies
A woman has experienced a life-threating allergic reaction after using a moisturiser with “natural” ingredients. The 55-year-old woman experienced the reaction after eating goat’s cheese, which researchers say was triggered by the repeated use several months earlier of a moisturizer that contained goat’s milk.
Prof. Robyn O’Hehir, Director of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, at Monash Univ. says many creams – even for the treatment of dry skin and eczema – are advertised as “natural” products.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/%E2%80%98natural%E2%80%99-moisturizers-can-cause-food-allergies
Computer Can ID Bio-parents
A Univ. of Central Florida research team has developed a facial recognition tool that promises to be useful in rapidly matching pictures of children with their biological parents and in potentially identifying photos of missing children as they age.
The work verifies that a computer is capable of matching pictures of parents and their children. The study will be presented at the nation’s premier event for the science of computer vision – the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Columbus, Ohio, which begins Monday, June 23.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/computer-can-id-bio-parents
Diet Makes Kids 15 Percent Less Likely to be Overweight
A study of eight European countries presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO)in Sofia, Bulgaria, has shown that children consuming a diet more in line with the rules of the Mediterranean one are 15 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than those children who do not.
The research is by Gianluca Tognon, Univ. of Gothenburg, and colleagues across the 8 countries: Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Belgium, Estonia and Hungary.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/diet-makes-kids-15-percent-less-likely-be-overweight
Today in Lab History: June 20, 1861- Sir Frederick Hopkins
Sir Frederick Hopkins was an English biochemist, born June 20, 1861, who shared, with Christiaan Eijkman, the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of essential nutrient factors, now known as vitamins, needed in animal diets to maintain health. Hopkins fed young rats on a basic diet that, in addition to the necessary salts, contained a carefully purified mixture of lard, starch and casein (the most abundant protein in milk).
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-sir-frederick-hopkins
New Zealand Announces High-security Biocontainment Lab
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says a new $65 m high-security biocontainment laboratory announced in Wallaceville is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to biosecurity.
“The new facility will replace the existing high security laboratory and continue more than 100 years of animal disease diagnostics at the site,” says Guy. “The existing laboratories and skilled personnel have an essential role in responding to disease outbreaks, protecting public health and providing international trade assurances about New Zealand’s animal disease status. While these current labs have a good service record, they are now reaching the end of their design life. This new, fit-for-purpose laboratory facility will be equipped to current international standards, and have better capacity to deal with a large-scale emergency situation, in the unlikely event one should occur.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/new-zealand-announces-high-security-biocontainment-lab
New Lab to Speed Michigan Water Testing
A new laboratory at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township aims to speed and improve the process of testing water at beaches in Michigan.
The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens and The Detroit News report the lab opened this week in Harrison Township following years of work to improve testing. The lab is part of a pilot project designed to help state officials plan for future water monitoring.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/new-lab-speed-michigan-water-testing
Diabetes-linked Gene Regulates Cell’s Powerhouse
A team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the Univ. of Pennsylvania found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell’s energy factory. They report their findings this week in Cell.
The pathway central to this gene could be targeted for prevention and control of type-1 diabetes and may extend to the treatment of other metabolic-associated diseases.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/diabetes-linked-gene-regulates-cells-powerhouse
New Lab Designed for High-altitude Medical Research
An international laboratory for high-altitude medical research has been established in Xining City, capital of northwest China’s Qinghai Province.
The lab is a joint project by Qinghai Univ. and the Univ. of Utah. Scientists from the two universities have been partners in academic exchange, personnel training and research collaboration since a cooperative agreement in April 2010.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/new-lab-designed-high-altitude-medical-research
Evidence Shows Sunscreen Use in Childhood Prevents Cancer
Research conducted at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, has established unequivocally in a natural animal model that the incidence of malignant melanoma in adulthood can be dramatically reduced by the consistent use of sunscreen in infancy and childhood.
According to senior author John VandeBerg, the research was driven by the fact that, despite the increasing use of sunscreen in recent decades, the incidence of malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, continues to increase dramatically. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 75,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/evidence-shows-sunscreen-use-childhood-prevents-cancer
Breathalyzer May Detect Deadliest Cancer
Lung cancer causes more deaths in the U.S. than the next three most common cancers combined — colon, breast and pancreatic. The reason for the striking mortality rate is simple: poor detection. Lung cancer attacks without leaving any fingerprints, quietly afflicting its victims and metastasizing uncontrollably — to the point of no return.
Now a new device developed by a team of Israeli, American and British cancer researchers may turn the tide by both accurately detecting lung cancer and identifying its stage of progression. The breathalyzer test, embedded with a “NaNose” nanotech chip to literally “sniff out” cancer tumors, was developed by Prof. Nir Peled of Tel Aviv Univ.’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Hossam Haick of the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology and Prof. Fred Hirsch of the Univ. of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/breathalyzer-may-detect-deadliest-cancer
‘Genomic Dark Matter’ Controls Airway Development
It’s a long way from DNA to RNA to protein, and only about two percent of a person’s genome is eventually converted into proteins. In contrast, a much higher percentage of the genome is transcribed into RNA. What these non-protein-coding RNAs do is still relatively unknown. However, given their vast numbers in the human genome, researchers believe that they likely play important roles in normal human development and response to disease.
Large-scale sequencing has allowed investigators to identify thousands of non-coding RNAs. Small non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, are known to be important players in regulating gene expression in many contexts, including tissue development. On the other hand, the function of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is less well understood.
Research led by Ed Morrisey, professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine, Univ. of Pennsylvania and scientific director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has identified hundreds of these lncRNAs, sometimes called the “genomic dark matter,” that are expressed in developing and adult lungs. Their findings, described in and featured on the cover of the current issue of Genes and Development, reveal that many of these lncRNAs in the lung regulate gene expression by opening and closing the DNA scaffolding on neighboring genes.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/%E2%80%98genomic-dark-matter%E2%80%99-controls-airway-development
Scientist Gets World Food Prize for Wheat
A crop scientist credited with developing hundreds of varieties of disease-resistant wheat adaptable to many climates and difficult growing conditions was named this week as the 2014 recipient of the World Food Prize.
Sanjaya Rajaram, 71, wins the $250,000 prize founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug that honors vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/scientist-gets-world-food-prize-wheat