Current Event Summaries by Lindsey M.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Lindsey M.

  1. Lindsey Muchiri says:

    Title: Studying proteins moving (relatively) slowly: The discovery will allow views of interactions never before seen
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918105639.htm
    Author(s): Ohio State University
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: September 18, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Proteins are the workers in our bodies. They help to keep our organs and cells functioning properly. For a protein to function it would need to move. However, scientists still don’t know a lot about their motions at certain speeds of movement. Specifically, the know very little about speeds slower than a nanosecond. They have a lack of knowledge in this area because the technology scientists use can’t detect the slower movements. A team of biophysical chemists at Ohio State University found a way to measure the slower moving proteins. This discovery is considered a great breakthrough because it will allow tons of new research. The way they used traditional experiments lost sensitivity to the slower speeds. Rafael Brüschweiler, a professor, had been working on the best ways to study proteins for decades. His research focused on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) which is a widely accepted tool used for the studying of proteins. His team added nanoparticles (silica or glass) to a protein water solution and used it with the NMR. THis was how the made their discovery and made it possible to analyze the movements of the protein. The discovery can allow scientists to ask deeper questions about protein and its behavior. Since each protein has its own function in the body the tool will help make it possible to find out why.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that this discovery will be really impactful. Since we have learned about what the proteins do this could dig deeper into it and give more of a ‘why’ proteins are tasked differently. Which is something you wouldn’t find answers to when using the traditional methods. Not only could it possibly affect the complex parts of the protein but from my understanding, the basics could be affected and explained with more detail. Like why protein is built a certain way and its correlation to its purpose in the body. I do wonder if this method can be used to study other things and not just protein. I also would like to know more about how the NMR works. I do think that this discovery could give inspiration to other scientists with similar problems regarding research. Another thought I had was if Brüschweiler had succeded 25 years ago when he attempted would it have a large impact on what we are being taught in school.

  2. Lindsey Muchiri says:

    Title: Disabling one protein might one day lead to a cure for the common cold: Rhinoviruses couldn’t replicate in mice and human cells engineered to lack SETD3
    URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/common-cold-virus-disable-protein
    Author(s): Sofie Bates
    Published by: Science News
    Date: September 24, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Researchers found a protein in humans that some viruses use to multiply and spread. If we were to disable the protein we don’t need to attack the protein. This could possibly prevent the spreading of infections. It is not a cure to a cold but a step closer. “Colds are the most common infectious disease in humans.” Two to Three times a year is the average amount of times an adult will catch a cold. Researchers in California thought to focus on the human instead of the virus might have been a better way of doing research. They wanted to identify the genes that make the hijacked proteins. Using CRISPR they tested genes and tried to link the viruses that cause colds to the proteins the genes make. I another test they tried to identify which human proteins interacted with the viral proteins they tested. They had indicated that the viruses were using proteins to infect the cells. Scientists repeated several other experiments and found that their approaches could possibly be effective on more than just a common cold. Although they ran many tests they don’t fully understand the effects of this gene on the human body. If they were to get rid of it the effects could be catastrophic for all they know since the effects are still unknown. Reachers think i would be best to search for a ‘drug’ to block the protein from viral counterparts.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that finding a cure to the common cold would be universally helpful. Although if they were to succeed I think that it would become a frantic situation to get cured because most people get them. I do wonder how they narrowed it down to a relationship with the protein and how long did that take. Personally I think I get a cold more often than the adult average. However, when I get a cold it can last a while. So if science gets closer to a cure, my thought is could they be able to reduce its effects on humans and its symptoms? I do believe that from what I know about cells and CRISPR is that the CRISPR’s technology could be a major key to the scientists’ research. My other question is what other kinds of illnesses could these discoveries help combat. Also, can scientists evolve their skills and use this on plants to improve their growth. Possibly if they figure out a cure would we be able to use it or would it only benefit the future generations if it used gene editing.

  3. Lindsey Muchiri says:

    Title: Dog behaviors like aggression and fearfulness are linked to breed genetics: A study looking at 101 breeds finds strong ties between certain behaviors and genes
    URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dog-breed-behavior-genetics
    Author(s): Jonathan Lambert
    Published by: Science News
    Date: October 1, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Scientists are thinking that a dog’s ability to learn new tricks may be less due to training and more reliant on their genetics. The research was done on about 101 different dog breeds compared to the few other researchers compared. People know that the different dogs have different traits and behaviors bu we didn’t know why. Within the last 300 years breeders became to produce other varieties. Data from two dog genotypes was comparing the behaviors of the dogs. Since they are animals and owners they are not perfect data sources. Scientists used data from around 14,000 dogs. For traits such as aggression toward strangers, trainability and chasing, the researchers found that genes contribute more than 50% or the variation. While energy level and fearfulness showed a smaller genetic contribution. They found that differences in environment or training play a big part as well. “While such a study doesn’t show if or how a genetic variant causes a specific behavior,” it can direct us toward deeper research.“Dogs are a really powerful system to investigate the genetics of many traits and diseases because generations of domestication and breeding have simplified their genomes,” Alvarez says. This study highlights development in the understanding of dogs.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that this topic is extremely unique and that the discoveries could possibly be applied to other pets. If we were able to understand their behavior via their breed, it could be helpful. Owners would be able to take better care of their pets based on what it actually wants. There would be the elimination in the guesswork in the care of pets. This could possibly mean that pet/ dog abuse could be reduced and tht it would be a better environment for humans to have pets. If the variation could be identified under the breeds catagories it would possibly be an even easier way of making new discoveries. My question is that would this only apply to animals that are only near humans/ are domesticated. Could these discoveries lead to us being able to understand dogs’ minds and their thoughts? Does understanding the behavior mke it easier to teach a dog new abilities.

  4. Lindsey Muchiri says:

    Title: Limited seed availability, dry climate hamper post-wildfire forest recovery
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002075937.htm
    Author: the University of Colorado at Boulder
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: October 2, 2019

    Article Summary:

    There were a lot of wildfires in western areas. Scientists have been studying the variations in forest responses after they were over. He found that between 1988-2010 post-burn seedlings density was below the lowest reported in historical tree densities for that area. Data showed how some areas were more vulnerable to forest loss than others. There was an absence of viable seeds toward the interior of the severe burn zones. That can completely affect a forest’s ability to recover to its previous state. Hence seed availability is so important. Certain areas can only come back if live trees can dispures their seeds onto the burned areas. One test was used as a “novel method” of cutting and dating tree seedlings to determine its age. Their studies found that two main types of trees struggled to come back. “A significant percentage of the burned area hasn’t recovered to even low densities, especially in these warmer areas,” Rodman said. Being closer to the surviving trees is showing it is like a recovery filter. “These results reinforce findings from many similar recent studies across the western U.S. showing that in dry forests … following recent severe fires, tree regeneration is being limited both by reduced availability of seed due to fewer surviving trees and by warmer-drier climatic conditions unfavorable for tree seedling establishment,” which shos how theri are many different factors that go into this.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that this could negatively affect a lot of the surrounding areas. If ther are a limited amount of trees there would be fewer natural resources. Several states such as California have dealt with these fires. They have been burning up whole owns from what I saw on the news. There are a lot of ecosystems that depend on those forests. Not having them come back quickly enough could affect a lot of things. Like the economy, ecosystems, towns/people, etc. Climate change has a big role on our earth and this could be a smaller part of it. I do wonder if there is a way people could help disperse the tree seeds and seedlings. If people could find a way to large scale impact this in a positivly way we could help others. Trees are so important to our way of life that without them we would have a much harder time here on earth. I think the sooner scientist can figure out what to do the better.

  5. Lindsey Muchiri says:

    Title: Limited seed availability, dry climate hamper post-wildfire forest recovery
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002075937.htm
    Author: the University of Colorado at Boulder
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: October 2, 2019

    Article Summary:

    There were a lot of wildfires in western areas. Scientists have been studying the variations in forest responses after they were over. He found that between 1988-2010 post-burn seedlings density was below the lowest reported in historical tree densities for that area. Data showed how some areas were more vulnerable to forest loss than others. There was an absence of viable seeds toward the interior of the severe burn zones. That can completely affect a forest’s ability to recover to its previous state. Hence seed availability is so important. Certain areas can only come back if live trees can dispures their seeds onto the burned areas. One test was used as a “novel method” of cutting and dating tree seedlings to determine its age. Their studies found that two main types of trees struggled to come back. “A significant percentage of the burned area hasn’t recovered to even low densities, especially in these warmer areas,” Rodman said. Being closer to the surviving trees is showing it is like a recovery filter. “These results reinforce findings from many similar recent studies across the western U.S. showing that in dry forests … following recent severe fires, tree regeneration is being limited both by reduced availability of seed due to fewer surviving trees and by warmer-drier climatic conditions unfavorable for tree seedling establishment,” which shos how theri are many different factors that go into this.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think that this could negatively affect a lot of the surrounding areas. If there are a limited amount of trees there would be fewer natural resources. Several states such as California have dealt with these fires. They have been burning up whole owns from what I saw on the news. There are a lot of ecosystems that depend on those forests. Not having them come back quickly enough could affect a lot of things. Like the economy, ecosystems, towns/people, etc. Climate change has a big role on our earth and this could be a smaller part of it. I do wonder if there is a way people could help disperse the tree seeds and seedlings. If people could find a way to large scale impact this in a positivly way we could help others. Trees are so important to our way of life that without them we would have a much harder time here on earth. I think the sooner scientist can figure out what to do the better.

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