Hexbyte Glen Cove Scientists find strongest evidence yet of 'migration gene' thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Scientists find strongest evidence yet of ‘migration gene’

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Tagged peregrine falconMust credit Andrew Dixon. Credit: Andrew Dixon

A team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Cardiff University say they have found the strongest evidence yet of a “migration gene” in birds.

The team identified a associated with migration in by tracking them via satellite technology and combining this with genome sequencing.

They say their findings add further evidence to suggest genetics has a strong role to play in the distance of migration routes.

The study, published today in the journal Nature, also looks at the predicted effect of climate change on migration—and how this might interact with evolutionary factors.

The researchers tagged 56 Arctic peregrine falcons and tracked their journeys by satellite, following their annual flight distances and directions in detail.

They found the studied peregrines used five migration routes across Eurasia, probably established between the last ice age 22,000 years ago and the middle-Holocene 6,000 years ago.

The team used and found a gene—ADCY8, which is known to be involved in in other animals—associated with differences in migratory distance.

They found ADCY8 had a variant at in long-distance (eastern) migrant populations of peregrines, indicating this variant is being preferentially selected because it may increase powers of long-term memory thought to be essential for migration.

Tagged peregrine falconCredit Andrew Dixon. Credit: Andrew Dixon

One of the authors on the study, Professor Mike Bruford, a molecular ecologist from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, said: “Previous studies have identified several candidate genomic regions that may regulate migration—but our work is the strongest demonstration of a specific gene associated with migratory behaviour yet identified.”

The researchers also looked at simulations of likely future migration behaviour to predict the impact of global warming.

If the climate warms at the same rate it has in recent decades, they predict populations in western Eurasia have the highest probability of population decline and may stop migrating altogether.

“In this study we were able to combine animal movement and genomic data to identify that climate change has a major role in the formation and maintenance of patterns of peregrines,” said Professor Bruford.

Professor Xiangjiang Zhan, honorary visiting professor at Cardiff University, now based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: “Our work is the first to begin to understand the way ecological and evolutionary factors may interact in migratory birds—and we hope it will serve as a cornerstone to help conserve migratory species in the world.”

The work was carried out by a joint laboratory for biocomplexity research established in 2015 between Cardiff University and the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.



More information:
Climate-driven flyway changes and memory-based long-distance migration, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03265-0 , dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03265-0

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Scientists find strongest evidence yet of ‘migration gene’ (2021, March 3)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final functional tests to prepare for launch thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope completes final functional tests to prepare for launch

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Following the conclusion of the James Webb Space Telescope’s recent milestone tests, engineering teams have confirmed that the observatory will both mechanically, and electronically survive the rigors anticipated during launch. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

February marked significant progress for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which completed its final functional performance tests at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California. Testing teams successfully completed two important milestones that confirmed the observatory’s internal electronics are all functioning as intended, and that the spacecraft and its four scientific instruments can send and receive data properly through the same network they will use in space. These milestones move Webb closer to being ready to launch in October.

These tests are known as the comprehensive systems test, which took place at Northrop Grumman, and the ground segment test, which took place in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Before the launch environment test, technicians ran a full scan known as a comprehensive systems test. This assessment established a baseline of electrical functional performance for the entire observatory, and all of the many components that work together to comprise the world’s premiere science telescope. Once environmental testing concluded, technicians and engineers moved forward to run another comprehensive systems test and compared the data between the two. After thoroughly examining the data, the team confirmed that the observatory will both mechanically and electronically survive the rigors of launch.

Through the course of 17 consecutive days of systems testing, technicians powered on all of Webb’s various electrical components and cycled through their planned operations to ensure each was functioning and communicating with each other. All electrical boxes inside the telescope have an “A” and “B” side, which allows redundancy in flight and added flexibility. During the test all commands were input correctly, all telemetry received was correct and all electrical boxes, and each backup side functioned as designed.

“It’s been amazing to witness the level of expertise, commitment and collaboration across the team during this important milestone,” said Jennifer Love-Pruitt, Northrop Grumman’s electrical vehicle engineering lead on the Webb observatory. “It’s definitely a proud moment because we demonstrated Webb’s electrical readiness. The successful completion of this test also means we are ready to move forward toward launch and on-orbit operations.”

Webb’s recent systems scan confirms the observatory will withstand the launch environment.

During its final full systems test, technicians powered on all of the James Webb Space Telescope’s various electrical components installed on the observatory, and cycled through their planned operations to ensure each was functioning, and communicating with each other. Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Following the completion of Webb’s final comprehensive systems evaluation, technicians immediately began preparations for its next big milestone, known as a ground segment test. This test was designed to simulate the complete process from planning science observations to posting the scientific data to the community archive.

Webb’s final ground segment test began by first creating a simulated plan that each of its scientific instruments would follow. Commands to sequentially turn on, move, and operate each of four were then relayed from Webb’s Mission Operations Center (MOC) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. During the test, the observatory is treated as if it were a million miles away in orbit. To do this, the Flight Operations Team connected the spacecraft to the Deep Space Network, an international array of giant radio antennas that NASA uses to communicate with many spacecraft. However, since Webb isn’t in space yet, special equipment was used to emulate the real radio link that will exist between Webb and the Deep Space Network when Webb is in orbit. Commands were then relayed through the Deep Space Network emulator to the observatory at Northrop Grumman.

One of the unique aspects of Webb’s final ground segment test occurred during a simulated flight environment when the team successfully practiced seamlessly switching over control from its primary MOC at STScI in Baltimore to the backup MOC at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This demonstrated a backup plan that isn’t anticipated to be needed but is necessary to practice and perfect prior to launch. Additionally, team members successfully sent multiple software patches to the observatory while it was performing its commanded operations.

“Working in a pandemic environment, of course, is a challenge, and our team has been doing an excellent job working through its nuances. That’s a real positive to highlight, and it’s not just for this but all of the tests we’ve safely completed leading up to this one,” said Bonnie Seaton, deputy ground segment & operations manager at Goddard. “This recent success is attributable to many months of preparation, the maturity of our systems, procedures, and products and the proficiency of our team.”

When Webb is in space, commands will flow from STScI to one of the three Deep Space Network locations: Goldstone, California; Madrid, Spain; or Canberra, Australia. Signals will then be sent to the orbiting observatory nearly one million miles away. Additionally, NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network—the Space Network in New Mexico, the European Space Agency’s Malindi station in Kenya, and European Space Operations Centre in Germany—will help keep a constant line of communication open with Webb.

Engineers and technicians continue to follow personal safety procedures in accordance with current CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance related to COVID-19, including mask wearing and social distancing. The team is now preparing for the next series of technical milestones, which will include the final folding of the sunshield and deployment of the mirror, prior to shipment to the launch site.

The next series of milestones for Webb include a final sunshield fold and a final mirror deployment.



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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope completes final functional tests to prepare for launch (2021, March 2)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Uncovering patterns in California's blazing wildfires thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Uncovering patterns in California’s blazing wildfires

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Brody Hessin, CC BY 4.0” data-thumb=”https://scx1.b-cdn.net/csz/news/tmb/2021/uncoveringpa.jpg”>

Brody Hessin, CC BY 4.0” width=”800″>
The Apple Fire, seen here burning on 31 July north of Beaumont, Calif., was one of thousands of wildfires that burned across the state in 2020. Credit: Brody Hessin, CC BY 4.0

California’s 2020 wildfire season was unprecedented, the latest tragedy in a decades-long trend of increasing fire. Six of the 20 largest fires in state history burned during the calendar year. In August, a 14,000-strike “lightning siege” sparked 900 fires, and by the end of the year, roughly 17,200 square kilometers had burned across the state.

In California and elsewhere, the environmental context, including topography and vegetation, combines with climate to dictate fire probabilities at any given location. Humans play a role too. Past research shows, for example, that population density and distance to the wildland-urban interface help explain fire frequency.

Chen et al. took a closer look at the variables affecting fires in California, focusing on the Sierra Nevada, the state’s mountainous spine that runs more than 600 kilometers north to south. Using a fire database from state and federal natural resources agencies that spans more than 30 years, from 1984 to 2017, the researchers modeled fire probability in the Sierra Nevada.

The researchers developed a fire probability model with Maxent, a machine learning algorithm, across a 4-by-4-kilometer grid blanketing the mountain range. They evaluated three versions of the model: one considering only physical and climatic variables, one considering only like population density and human modification, and one integrating both natural and human variables.

By looking at each variable’s relative contribution to model performance, the authors found that the annual mean vapor pressure deficit was the most significant predictor of fire occurrence. (Vapor pressure deficit is the difference between the air’s water content and its saturation point.) This result supports the hypothesis that increasing aridity in the region, driven by human-caused , will increase California’s fire risk, the researchers noted.

Population density and fuel amount also play a large role in where fires erupt, according to the modeling. Less densely populated areas had a higher risk, as did more densely vegetated tracts. However, these trends did not hold across all elevations. For instance, population density affects low-elevation forests more than higher-elevation forests.

According to the authors, the results highlight factors shaping wildfires in California and provide region-specific guidance for forest management in the state, which could help limit risk in future years.



More information:
Bin Chen et al. Climate, Fuel, and Land Use Shaped the Spatial Pattern of Wildfire in California’s Sierra Nevada, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (2021). DOI: 10.1029/2020JG005786

This story is republished courtesy of Eos, hosted by the American Geophysical Union. Read the original story here.

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Uncovering patterns in California’s blazing wildfires (2021, March 2)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell

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dendritic cells stained by PS100 was found in corneal epithelium. Credit: Zhiguo.he

WEHI researchers have uncovered a process cells use to fight off infection and cancer that could pave the way for precision cancer immunotherapy treatment.

Through gaining a better understanding of how this process works, researchers hope to be able to determine a way of tailoring immunotherapy to better fight .

Led by Dr. Dawn Lin and Dr. Shalin Naik and published in Nature Cell Biology, the research provides new insight into the way cells adapt to fight .

This research lays the foundation for future studies into the body’s response to environmental stressors, such as injury, infection or cancer, at a single cell level.

Flt3L hormone plays vital role in fighting off infection

Dendritic cells are that activate ‘killer’ T cells, which are vital for clearing viral infections, such as COVID-19, but also for triggering a response to cancers such as melanoma and bowel cancer.

The Flt3L hormone can increase dendritic cell numbers, helping the immune system to fight off cancer and infection.

Dr. Naik and his team studied developing immune cells at a single cell level to gain a deeper understanding of how the body uses these cells to trigger immune responses.

“There is one type of dendritic cell that the body uses to fight some infections and cancer. The Flt3L hormone increases numbers of this particular dendritic cell. We know quite well how the dendritic cell fights the cancer, but we don’t know how the Flt3L hormone increases the numbers of those dendritic cells,” he said

Single-cell barcoding provides vital clues to how dendritic cells function

Researchers used a single-cell ‘barcoding’ technique to uncover what happened when dendritic cells multiplied.

“By using cellular barcoding—where we insert short synthetic DNA sequences, we call barcodes inside cells—we were able to determine which cells produced dendritic cells in pre-clinical models,” Dr. Naik said.

“As a result of this research, we now better understand the actions of the Flt3L hormone that is currently used in cancer immunotherapy trials, and how it naturally helps the body fight cancer and infection. This is a first step to design better precision immunotherapy treatments for cancer.”

Using single cell technology to improve immunotherapy treatment

This research answers a 50-year-long question as to what causes a stem cell to react in response to immense stress, such as infection or inflammation.

“We have known that the Flt3L hormone increases the number of for decades but now there is a focus on applying this knowledge to cancer immunotherapy and potentially to infection immunotherapy as well,” Dr. Naik said.

“The next stage in our research is to create ‘dendritic cell factories’ using our new knowledge, to produce millions to billions of these infection fighting and then use those in immunotherapy treatments.”

“These findings are a vital first step to improving treatments for patients, to help them better fight cancer and infection.”



More information:
Dawn S. Lin et al. Single-cell analyses reveal the clonal and molecular aetiology of Flt3L-induced emergency dendritic cell development, Nature Cell Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41556-021-00636-7

Citation:
Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell (2021, March 2)
retrieved 3 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-key-production-critical-immune-cell.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Using neutron scattering to better understand milk composition thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Using neutron scattering to better understand milk composition

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Neutron scattering is a technique commonly used in physics and biology to understand the composition of complex multicomponent mixtures and is increasingly being used to study applied materials such as food. A new paper published in EPJ E by Gregory N Smith, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, shows an example of neutron scattering in the area of food science. Smith uses neutron scattering to better investigate casein micelles in milk, with the aim of developing an approach for future research.

Smith, also a researcher at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in the UK, explains why better modeling of how neutrons are scattered by structures in colloid materials is important. “How well you can understand the structure of a system from scattering data depends on how good your model is, and the better and more realistic your model, the better your understanding,” the researcher says. “This is true for food as for any material. A better understanding of the structure of casein in can help better understand dairy products.”

Neutron scattering can be used to investigate fluids by swapping the water solvent within them with —water where hydrogen is replaced with deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen possessing a nucleus with a proton and a rather than just a proton.

“I set out to see if the model that I had developed for casein micelles in milk could also be applied to existing data. The particular set of data that I looked at was extensive and had measurements from a large number of backgrounds, with different water to heavy water ratios,” Smith continues. “This meant that I would not only be able to see if the model worked with different measurements, which would support its wider application, but also meant that I would be able to better quantify the composition of milk.”

Smith further explains that he was pleased to see his model agreed well when compared with existing data, something that is not always guaranteed when testing out new models with scattering experiments. What surprised the researcher, however, was just how much scattering occurred even in skimmed milk with less fat droplets.

“Even common and everyday materials, such as , have a on the nanoscale,” Smith concludes. “You might look at milk and just see a cloudy liquid, but inside there are proteins that self-assemble into colloids, proteins that are free in solution, large droplets of fat, and many other components as well.

“By using a technique like scattering to study such a system, you can get beneficial information about all these constituents.”



More information:
Gregory N. Smith, An alternative analysis of contrast-variation neutron scattering data of casein micelles in semi-deuterated milk, The European Physical Journal E (2021). DOI: 10.1140/epje/s10189-021-00023-y

Citation:
Using neutron scattering to better understand milk composition (2021, February 26)
retrieved 2 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-neutron-composition.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove On-surface synthesis of graphene molecules and their superlattices thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove On-surface synthesis of graphene molecules and their superlattices

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Figure shows the transformation from the precursor molecule to the atomically-precise circumcoronene superlattice. (a) The precursor molecule undergoes a cyclodehydrogenation chemical process with the use of copper (111) substrate which forms the circumcoronene. (b) High-resolution image of the circumcoronene superlattice obtained by using a non-contact atomic force microscopy with a cobalt tip. (c) Schematic illustration of the chiral Kagome-honeycomb lattice. Credit: Science Advances

NUS scientists have devised a new method for the synthesis of nanographene molecules with a high product yield for the development of next generation quantum devices.

On-surface have shown potential in the synthesis of new organic functional materials such as atomically-precise nanographenes. The core concept of this strategy relies on the rational design of specific molecular precursors, which subsequently undergo chemical transformation along certain reaction pathways toward the desired product. The electronic, magnetic and optical properties of these nanographene molecules can be precisely tuned for the development of next-generation quantum devices. Unfortunately, conventional surface-assisted synthetic routes often involve a series of cascade reactions with competing reaction pathways. This inevitably leads to the formation of numerous undesired products and lowers the yield. The limited yield of the targeted products poses a challenge for practical applications of the nanographenes.

A NUS research team led by Prof Jiong Lu, in collaboration with Prof Jishan Wu’s research group, both from the Department of Chemistry, NUS has developed a route for synthesizing the hexagonal zigzag-edged nanographene, known as circumcoronene, on a copper (111) substrate. The reaction route relies on the robust dehydrogenative coupling of the methyl groups at the adjacent sites of the rationally-designed precursor molecules, followed by the ring closure reactions on the metallic substrate. This forms the elusive circumcoronene molecule consisting of 19 fused benzene rings. Importantly, such a synthetic route allows for an ultra-high yield of the reaction product (up to 98%), which has not been attained to date.

The between the large number of circumcoronene molecules and the copper substrate enabled the molecules to self-assemble into extended superlattices. This was observed by the team using bond-resolved scanning probe microscopy measurements. The researchers demonstrate that the unique hexagonal zigzag topology of circumcoronenes, along with their periodic electrostatic landscape, confines the two-dimensional (2-D) electron gas on the copper (111) surface. This creates a chiral electronic Kagome-honeycomb lattice with two emergent electronic flat bands. This arrangement of the circumcoronene in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles can be particularly interesting in a wide range of condensed matter physics because of their favorable potential in the realization of a variety of exotic many-body phenomenon, including anomalous quantum Hall states, Wigner crystallization, and topological insulating transitions.

Prof Lu said, “Our findings open up a new route for the ultra-high yield synthesis of and atomically-precise fabrication of synthetic two-dimensional lattices with unique electronic properties for future technological applications.”



More information:
Telychko M et al. Ultrahigh-yield on-surface synthesis and assembly of circumcoronene into a chiral electronic Kagome-honeycomb lattice. Science Advances Volume: 7 Issue: 3 Article Number: eabf0269 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0269 Published: 2021.

Citation:
On-surface synthesis of graphene molecules and their superlattices (2021, February 26)
retrieved 2 March 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Cerium sidelines silver to make drug precursor thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Cerium sidelines silver to make drug precursor

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A mild process discovered by Rice University chemists could replace difficult, silver-based catalysis to create valuable fluoroketones, a precursor in the design and manufacture of drugs. Credit: Renee Man/@chemkitty

Save your silver! It’s better used for jewelry than as a catalyst for drugs.

Rice University scientists have developed a greatly simplified method to make fluoroketones, precursors for drug design and manufacture that typically require a silver catalyst.

Rice chemist Julian West and graduate students Yen-Chu Lu and Helen Jordan introduced a process for the rapid and scalable synthesis of fluoroketones that have until now been challenging and expensive to make.

Their open-access work graces the cover of the Feb. 21 issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal ChemComm.

The lab’s new process replaces silver with cerium-based ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN), which produces functional precursors under mild conditions in about 30 minutes.

“We could make batches of this in a bathtub,” West said.

Cerium has demonstrated such potential in other labs, and the fact that it’s 800 times more abundant in the Earth’s crust than silver made it of great interest to the Rice team.

“Ketones are a gateway functional group in molecules that you can use to make different things, like anti-cancer compounds,” said West, who came to Rice in 2019 with funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 science “game changer” last year.

“They’re a great foothold to turn into an alkene or an aromatic ring,” he said. “The important part of this paper is that we’re incorporating into these fragments. Fluorine is an interesting element and quite abundant, but it’s barely used in biology.

“Fluorine has some extreme properties: It’s incredibly electronegative, so it holds onto its electrons,” West said. “That makes it hard for enzymes in to deal with them in pharmaceuticals like anti-cancer molecules.”

Hydrogen atoms in molecules are easy for the liver to process, but replacing them with fluorines “is like armor plating at that position,” he said. “That helps drugs last far longer in the body, so you don’t have to take as much. That’s desirable for chemotherapeutics.” He noted that atorvastatin (aka Lipitor), one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, incorporates fluorine for the same purpose.

“We want to put fluorine in specific places in the molecule where we know it will make a difference, and this ketone functional group allows us to do it,” West said. “People have been using a silver catalyst, but the process requires a lot of , it takes a long time at high temperature and it has to be done under a carefully controlled nitrogen or argon atmosphere.

“Our process is cheap bucket chemistry, and we think the reaction is done in about five minutes,” he said. “But we leave it for 30, just to be safe.”

The process is highly scalable. “When Yen-Chu tripled the initial recipe, he got the exact same result,” West said. “That’s rare in these kinds of reactions.”



More information:
Yen-Chu Lu et al, Rapid and scalable synthesis of fluoroketones via cerium-mediated C–C bond cleavage, Chemical Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D0CC08183C

Citation:
Cerium sidelines silver to make drug precursor (2021, February 26)
retrieved 2 March 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Argentine titanosaur may be oldest yet: study thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Argentine titanosaur may be oldest yet: study

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Image of the Titanosaur, Patagotitan, skeleton cast on display at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL. Credit: Zissoudisctrucker / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

A colossal dinosaur dug up in Argentina could be the oldest titanosaur ever found, having roamed what is now Patagonia some 140 million years ago at the beginning of the Cretaceous period, scientists said Sunday.

The 65-foot (20-meter) lizard, Ninjatitan zapatai, was discovered in 2014 in the Neuquen province of southwest Argentina, the La Matanza University reported on its analysis.

“The main importance of this fossil, apart from being a new species of , is that it is the oldest recorded for this group worldwide,” a statement quoted researcher Pablo Gallina of the Conicet scientific council as saying.

Titanosaurs were members of the sauropod group—gigantic plant-eating lizards with long necks and tails that may have been the largest animals ever to walk the Earth.

The new discovery, the statement said, meant titanosaurs lived longer ago than previously thought—at the beginning of the Cretaceous era that ended with the demise of the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.

Fossils from 140 million years ago are “really very scarce” said Gallina, main author of a study published in the Argentinian scientific journal Ameghiniana.

The creature was named after Argentinian paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, nicknamed “El Ninja,” and technician Rogelio Zapata.



© 2021 AFP

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Argentine titanosaur may be oldest yet: study (2021, March 1)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Agents of food-borne zoonoses confirmed to parasitise newly-recorded in Thailand snails thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Agents of food-borne zoonoses confirmed to parasitise newly-recorded in Thailand snails

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Shells of the studied thiarid snails (genus Stenomelania) found in Thailand. Credit: Apiraksena K, Namchote S, Komsuwan J, and Krailas D.

Parasitic flatworms known as agents of food-borne zoonoses were confirmed to use several species of thiarid snails, commonly found in freshwater and brackish environments in southeast Asia, as their first intermediate host. These parasites can cause severe ocular infections in humans who consume raw or improperly cooked fish that have fed on infected snails. The study, conducted in South Thailand by Thai and German researchers and led by Kitja Apiraksena, Silpakorn University, is published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

“Trematode infections are major public health problems affecting humans in southeast Asia,” explain the scientists. “Trematode infections depend not only on the habit of people, but also on the presence of first and second intermediate host species, resulting in the endemic spread of parasites, such as intestinal and liver flukes in Thailand”.

The snails of concern belong to the genus Stenomelania, have elongated and pointed shells and can be found near and in the brackish water environment of estuaries in the Oriental Region, from India to the Western Pacific islands. Worryingly enough, science does not know much else about these snails to date. Further, these species are hard to distinguish from related trumpet snails, because of the similarities in their shell morphology.

In order to provide some about the in Thailand and neighbouring countries, the research team collected a total of 1,551 Stenomelania snails, identified as four species, from streams and rivers near the coastline of the south of Thailand in Krabi, Trang and Satun Provinces. Of them, ten were infected with trematodes. The parasites were found at seven of the studied localities and belonged to three different species. In Krabi Province, the researchers observed all three species.

Speculating on their presence, the scientists suspect that it could be related to the circulation of sea currents, as the flow of water along the Andaman coast is affected by the .

In conclusion, the researchers note that it is a matter of public health that further research looks into the biodiversity and biology of these snails, in order to improve our knowledge about the susceptibility of Stenomelania snails to food-borne zoonotic.

“This finding indicated that the resulting parasitic diseases are still largely neglected in , so further studies should be performed on the prevalence of various trematode-borne diseases in locations with snail occurrences in Thailand,” they say.



More information:
Kitja Apiraksena et al, Survey of Stenomelania Fisher, 1885 (Cerithioidea, Thiaridae): The potential of trematode infections in a newly-recorded snail genus at the coast of Andaman Sea, South Thailand, Zoosystematics and Evolution (2020). DOI: 10.3897/zse.96.59448

Citation:
Agents of food-borne zoonoses confirmed to parasitise newly-recorded in Thailand snails (2021, February 26)
retrieved 1 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-agents-food-borne-zoonoses-parasitise-newly-recorded.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Giant iceberg breaks off near UK Antarctic base thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Giant iceberg breaks off near UK Antarctic base

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A vast iceberg almost the size of Greater London has broken away from the Antarctic ice shelf near a British research station, the British Antarctic Survey said Friday.

The research body said the iceberg measuring 1,270 square kilometres (490 square miles) had broken off from the 150-metre-thick Brunt Ice Shelf in a process called “calving”.

This came almost a decade after scientists first saw massive cracks had formed in the shelf.

A crack in the ice widened by several hundred metres on Friday morning before the iceberg broke off completely.

Britain’s Halley VI Research Station monitors the state of the vast floating ice shelf daily.

“Our teams at BAS have been prepared for the calving of an iceberg from Brunt Ice Shelf for years,” said BAS director Jane Francis.

The mobile research base relocated inland for in 2016-2017 as cracks in the ice threatened to cut it off.

“That was a wise decision,” commented Simon Garrod, BAS director of operations.

The glaciologists said the latest event is unlikely to affect the station’s current location.

The base’s 12-person team left earlier this month, as they leave the base uninhabited in winter due to the unpredictable conditions.

While they are away, data from GPS instruments at the site goes to a centre in Cambridge, eastern England, for analysis.

Icebergs naturally break off from Antarctica into the ocean in a process accelerated by .

The BAS said in this case, there is “no evidence that climate change has played a significant role”.

“Over coming weeks or months, the may move away; or it could run aground and remain close to Brunt Ice Shelf,” said Francis.

The British Antarctic Survey is a world leader in environmental research in the region.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Giant iceberg breaks off near UK Antarctic base (2021, February 26)
retrieved 1 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-giant-iceberg-uk-antarctic-base.html

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