Current Event Summaries by Gavin G.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Gavin G.

  1. Gavin Goldston says:

    Title: Mouthwash could inhibit benefits of exercise
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190903111242.htm
    Source: University of Plymouth
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: September 3rd, 2019

    Article Summary:
    A new study has now shown that rinsing one’s mouth with antibacterial mouthwash may significantly reduce the blood pressure-lowering effect that exercise has on one’s body. When one exercises, the blood vessels expand because of the production of nitric oxide, to increase blood circulation to active muscles. However, scientists have been stumped as to why the blood pressure of the human body is lowered even after the exercise has concluded. However, recently some species of bacteria located in the mouth that convert nitrate to nitrite (an extremely important molecule in the production of nitric oxide) have been used to find that nitric oxide is important even after exercise has been concluded. The study involved 23 healthy adults that were asked to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes, then after a varied amount of time, they were asked to rinse their mouths with either antibacterial mouthwash or a placebo made from mint-flavored water. The study showed that the effect of the exercise on blood pressure was diminished by over 60% in the first hour of recovery and abolished by the second. This study can help find more of a connection to how our bodies react to exercise over a long period and what can affect blood pressure in the human body.

    Personal Reflection:
    I believe this study can be very useful in studying how the body reacts to exercise and for obtaining a better understanding of how the human body recovers and grows stronger after exercising. This study also demonstrates a link between bacteria and blood pressure, which I believe may open the door to studying more oral and gut bacteria to find more ways bacteria are being used for exercise recovery, muscle gain, etc. The article also reads that antibacterial mouthwash has been demonstrated to heighten blood pressure when used in time or rest, this makes me think more about how antibiotics can affect you in negative ways as well, since using antibiotics is like a carpet bombing – everything is taken out regardless of if it’s good or bad, which may have some serious effects on gut bacteria.

  2. Gavin Goldston says:

    Title: Neurological signals from the spinal cord surprise scientists
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190919095226.htm
    Source(s): University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    Published by: ScienceDaily
    Date: September 19, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Most movements are signals that originate in the spinal cord and are sent to the brain for processing, with some reflexes being completely in the spinal cord with almost no communication with the brain. It has been assumed for a while that there is a central “origin of movement” in humans which is where all of the signals for movement-related activities originate from. However, recent research has usurped that idea. Scientists equipped electrodes to a turtle to study where these movement signals come from, they compared signal data from when the turtle was reflexively scratching itself and when it was simply roaming about. The study showed no evidence of a correlation between the two actions, and thus no evidence that movement signals originate in a single place. New research now suggests that movement signals origin is rather a scattered network of cells, with each controlling only a few other cells.

    Personal Reaction:

    I believe this research to be very important in furthering our study of the human nervous system. The nervous system right now is quite unknown to us seeing as it’s one of, if not, the most complex thing in our body. Despite how little we know about it, the human nervous system still has a huge impact on our lives seeing as it’s how we think and control things in our body. It is also stated in the article that this new research has the potential to be used to help understand and treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal cord injuries. Now that we have a better understanding of where body movements come from, we can use that to narrow down treatments for long term spinal cord injuries rather than simply guessing at what might work as a treatment. I think this will be very useful in either reducing the suffering of spinal cord injury patients or even completely reversing the effects of their injuries in the future.

  3. Gavin Goldston says:

    Title: Innovative candidate drug against malaria
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918140746.htm
    Source(s): Radboud University Medical Center
    Published by: ScienceDaily
    Date: September 19, 2019

    Article Summary:

    A new candidate drug has been developed that may be able to cure malaria completely in humans. Biologist Joost Schalwijk from the Dermatology Research Laboratory at the Radboud University Medical Center was trying to develop a drug against psoriasis – a skin disease that causes itchy patches of dry skin – but his drug was proven to have no affect against that disease. However, he found in a book dating to 1946 that related compounds could cure malaria in chickens, so he began testing to cure malaria with his medicine. This drug proved lethal for the parasites that cause malaria and stops the transmission of the parasite from humans to mosquitoes. Resistance to drugs has been a problem in the past for malaria, however with this new drug it is a method of attack that hasn’t been used before, meaning that the parasites have no resistance to it yet.

    Personal Reaction:

    I believe that this drug is very important in the fight against malaria, as malaria is a very serious disease. According to the article, there are around 216 million cases and 400,000 deaths a year caused by malaria so any leads on discovering a cure to this deadly disease would be very good for society. A huge problem with malaria is how easily it spreads, especially in poorer countries, so the fact that this drug also stops malaria from spreading to mosquitoes is very important. Also, this drug is reportedly very cheap to produce which is an important factor since, as stated before, malaria spreads very easily in poorer countries where mosquitoes are less controlled. All in all, if this drug makes it past testing, I believe it will be a huge factor in eradicating malaria and stopping thousands of people from dying each year.

  4. Gavin Goldston says:

    Title: Up-close and personal with neuronal networks
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190923155132.htm
    Source(s): Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Published by: ScienceDaily
    Date: September 24, 2019

    Article Summary:

    A new tool may help greatly to solve how our neurons use electrical signals to allow our brain to function. In the past, researchers have used electrodes to record neural signals to solve this mystery, however, recently researchers from Harvard University have developed an electronic chip that can record signals from thousands of neurons simultaneously. This has allowed scientists to identify hundreds of synaptic connections and map synaptic connectivity better than it has ever been mapped before. The chip was fabricated in the same way as computer microprocessors and has an array of nanometer-scale electrodes on it. The electrodes are covered in platinum powder and have rough surface textures to pass signals better. Neurons are cultured onto the chip and the circuit sends a current to each neuron creating intracellular access. In experiments, the array recorded over 1,700 neurons and allowed them to map over 300 synaptic connections.

    Personal Reaction:

    I believe this research is very important. How the brain functions has eluded scientists for years and this may be the first step to finally mapping where certain things in the brain happen. It also says in the article that this may “provide a new strategy for machine intelligence to build next-generation artificial neural networks and neuromorphic processors.” These are very important steps forward, as artificial neural networks are very important in developing machine learning, and neuromorphic engineering is very important in developing systems to sense surroundings which can be used in all sorts of things. All in all, I believe being able to accurately map out synaptic connections in the brain will be very useful in future research.

  5. Gavin Goldston says:

    Title: Rare view into the formation of viruses
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191004132338.htm
    Source(s): Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Published by: ScienceDaily
    Date: October 4, 2019

    Article Summary:
    With recent developments, scientists have been able to find a way to look at how viruses form. The recent discovery has been able to look at the structure of the viruses down to single atoms in every protein, however, it is still unknown how the structure assembles in the first place. The scientists focused on the simplest and most common type of virus for their observations – single-stranded RNA viruses. The virus that the team used has one piece of RNA with around 3600 nucleotides and a bunch of proteins forming a shell around the RNA. The researchers used a technique called interferometric scattering microscopy, where light beamed onto an object creates a dark spot in the field of vision, which can reveal size and changes but not structure. These observations concluded that viruses assemble by forming a mass of proteins called a nucleus, and then grow into the capsid surrounding the RNA.
    Personal Reaction:
    I believe that this research can be quite useful in the future, seeing as it helps us understand how viruses can form and how we may be able to stop them from forming. It is stated in the article that “Viruses that assemble in this way have to balance the formation of nuclei with the growth of the capsid. If nuclei form to quickly, complete capsids can’t grow.” By understanding more of how this formation works, we may be able to find a way to interrupt their formation, thereby stopping it from reproducing to infect more cells. The scientists are still trying to understand how the individual proteins come together, however, this discovery is a good first step to figuring out how this happens and further research using this as a model may allow us to finally find out.

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