Current Event Summaries by Saumya V.

5 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Saumya V.

  1. Saumya Verma says:

    Title: How memories form and fade
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190823140729.htm
    Author(s): Lori Dajose
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: August 23, 2019

    Article Summary:
    The main point of this article was that the more something is done, the stronger the memory of that thing is. Memories are bound by neurons that are what help us preserve memories. Some biologists came together and conducted an experiment with mice to determine how memories work. When they placed a mouse in an enclosure with white walls and different symbols that eventually led to a mouse snack, the mouse became more and more familiar with how to get to it. The neurons surrounding the memory in the mouse’s hippocampus part of the brain became bigger in numbers. Then, the scientists took the mouse away from the enclosure for twenty days and when the mouse placed back into it after that time, it was still able to find the snack. Which shows the more we do something, the better we remember it. The mice were able to remember the location of the snack even though they were removed from it for so long since they had become familiar with the space. The experiment was led by postdoctoral scholar Walter Gonzalez. The less you experience something, the faster the memory fades. The more frequent you experience something, the slower it fades.

    Personal Reaction:

    I chose to read this article because I thought it was an interesting topic. I thought it was interesting that our memories are bound by neurons that preserve them. It’s cool how we develop more of them around the certain memories we experience more. I’ve always found the way our brains work interesting. It’s kind of how like if we start studying something early we are more likely to score better on a test than if you hadn’t studied as much. I think this helps us gain a better understanding of how our body (more specifically brain) works.

  2. Saumya Verma says:

    Title: Scratching the surface of how your brain senses an itch
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190822125501.htm
    Author(s): Science Daily
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: August 22, 2019

    Article Summary:

    The main point of this article is that some salk researchers discovered the way neurons in the spinal cord help send itch signals to our brains. This discovery could help understand itches better and could help create new drugs to treat a chronic itch, which could happen in diseases such as eczema, diabetes and some cancers. One of the researchers is Salk Professor Martyn Goulding. Goulding and his colleagues discovered a set of inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord which act like cellular brakes. They keep the mechanical itch pathway in the spinal cord mostly turned off. Without these neurons, the mechanical itch pathway would always be on, which is what would cause chronic itch. We’re still not quite sure about what exactly happens in chronic itch. In this article, they had also used mice to conduct an experiment. The experiment proved that the NPY neurotransmitter controls the level of Y1 neuron. According to the researchers, a little more information is needed to uncover the entire neuron pathway.

    Personal Reaction:

    I think this discovery would really help us move forward to discovering more ways to treat chronic itch. This is an itch that could occur in diseases like eczema, diabetes and some cancers. We have gained a better understanding of itch from this discovery as well. I chose to read this article because I found it an interesting topic. I honestly never really thought about how we sense an itch until I read the title of this article and decided to check it out. I found this article a nice way to research a topic I’ve never really thought about.

  3. Saumya Verma says:

    Title: Molecular basis of vision revealed
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190930114730.htm
    Author(s): Krishna Ramanujan
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: September 30, 2019

    Article Summary:

    This article tells how Some researchers have discovered/created a three-dimensional structure of a protein complex that is involved in vertebrate vision at atomic resolution, this helps us understand biological signaling processes and the design of over a third of the drugs that are on the market today, better. The research shows us how signals from photons (which are particles of light) grow bigger in the eye. The study mentioned tells us how the largest family of cell membrane proteins, which are known as G-protein-coupled receptors or GPCRs, work in humans. GPCRs are involved in almost every biological process. There more than 800 GPCRs in humans which signal through around 20 different G-proteins.

    Personal Reaction:

    Honestly, I didn’t know much about this topic before I read this article. I decided to read it because I know we learned a little about molecules and I thought that I should look at an article that goes deeper into it. I found the article pretty interesting even though this was not exactly what I thought it would be about when I clicked on it. I was thinking along the lines of how the molecular basis helped us see but it was more about the structure of the molecular basis instead of the function. Now that I look back at the title, it makes more sense why the article had the content that it did.

  4. Saumya Verma says:

    Title: Scientists print first 3D heart using patient’s biological materials
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190415102242.htm
    Author(s): Science Daily
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: April 15, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Some researchers ‘printed’ the world’s first 3D vascularised engineered heart in which they used the patient’s own biological material. This was considered a medical break through. It was considered an advancement in science. Until that moment, scientists had generally only printed simple tissues that were without blood vessels. The heart was complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. This project was led by Professor Tal Dvir. The reason they did it was because currently the leading death cause would be some sort of heart disease. For both men and women and heart donors are very rare. Which causes there to be a shortage of hearts to be transplanted. They had created a small heart that was about the same size of a rabbit’s but they say that human hearts still require the same technology. They are eventually going to try to place the hearts in some animals to test it.

    Personal Reaction:

    I found this article REALLY interesting. It’s amazing what we can do and discover. I feel like this is going to help us in a major way in the future. I hope they don’t give up on this because this could help save a lot of lives. This is so useful because it is true that it’s hard to find heart donors. Since it is unlikely to find an alive person that would donate and after a person dies, there is a certain amount of time that it would work to transplant it. So, the heart would have to be really fresh otherwise the transplant wouldn’t work.

  5. Saumya Verma says:

    Title: CRISPRed fruit flies mimic monarch butterfly, and could make you vomit
    URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002131939.htm
    Author(s): Robert Sanders
    Published by: Science Daily
    Date: October 2, 2019

    Article Summary:

    Monarch butterflies and other insects evolved in a similar way as time went on. Which allowed them to develop mutations, like being able to eat toxic milkweed without getting sick, through time. When they eat the milkweed, predators who eat them would fall sick and learn not to eat any more of them. Some scientists gathered together and used CRISPR gene editing to add these mutations into fruit flies. This had never been done before. It was the first time an animal was genetically modified to eat a new type of food and be able to handle it. The scientists had modified the fruit flies to be able to resist poison.

    Personal Reaction:

    The fruit flies being resistant to poison wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. When you get fruit flies, it’s hard to get rid of them. They might develop such a strong poison resistance that even bug spray might not work. I’m not quite sure that if they become resistant to milkweed poison then they would also be able to resist bug spray or not. This experiment still did answer the question of why convergence evolves sometimes, but not other times. Which is what this experiment was conducted for. It was pretty cool how they were able to turn the fruit flies from having drosophila proteins into having monarch proteins using three mutations.

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