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The Genetic Prehistory of the Andean Highlands 7000 Years BP Though European Contact

Penelitian - A multi-center study of the genetic remains of people who settled thousands of years ago in the Andes Mountains of South America reveals a complex picture of human adaptation from early settlement, to a split about 9,000 years ago between high and lowland populations, to the devastating exposure to European disease in the 16th-century colonial period.

The researchers used newly available samples of DNA from seven whole genomes to study how ancient Andean people, including groups that clustered around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia, 12,000 feet above sea level, adapted to their environment over the centuries.

They compared their seven historical genomes to 64 modern-day genomes from a current highland Andean population, the agropastoral Aymara of Bolivia, and the lowland hunter-gatherer Huilliche-Pehuenche in coastal Chile.

The goals were to date the initial migration to the Andean highlands, to identify the genetic adaptations to the high-altitude environment that allo…
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Dlk1-Dio3 Locus-derived lncRNAs Perpetuate Postmitotic Motor Neuron Cell Fate and Subtype Identity

Penelitian - When a gene is active, its DNA sequence is ‘transcribed’ to form a molecule of RNA. Many of these RNAs act as templates for making proteins. But for some genes, the protein molecules are not their final destinations.

Their RNA molecules instead help to control gene activity, which can alter the behaviour or the identity of a cell. For example, experiments performed in individual cells suggest that so-called long non-coding RNAs (or lncRNAs for short) guide how stem cells develop into different types of mature cells.

However, it is not clear whether lncRNAs play the same critical role in embryos. Ya-Ping Yen of the National Taiwan University and team used embryonic stem cells to model how motor neurons develop in the spinal cord of mouse embryos. This revealed that motor neurons produce large amounts of a specific group of lncRNAs, particularly one called Meg3.

Further experiments showed that motor neurons in mouse embryos that lack Meg3 do not correctly silence a set of g…

2D Organic Molecular Metallic Soft Material Derived from BEDO-TTF with Electrochromic and Rectifying Properties

Penelitian - Migration and chemical transformation of iodine species in the organic salt has been utilized to make dual functional devices that can operate at low voltages. An international team led by Eden Steven from Florida State University and Elena Laukhina from Ciber-BBN (ICMAB-CSIC) develops flexible electrochromic and rectifying components based on bi-layered thin films of a molecular metal.

The thin film consists of a thin polycarbonate substrate and a metallic triiodide salt of an organic molecule BEDO-TTF which undergoes losses or restore of I3- anions under forward or reverse biases in the presence of water, respectively, resulting in discoloration/coloration and electrical rectifying behavior.

The simple working principle and the versatile functionalities shown here enable promising design and fabrication of organic electrochromic and rectifying devices in the near future.

Journal : Daniel Suarez et al. 2D organic molecular metallic soft material derived from BEDO-TTF with…

A Bet-hedging Strategy for Denitrifying Bacteria Curtails Their Release of N2O

Penelitian - New research has revealed that some soil bacteria are primed ready to consume the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide when they experience life without oxygen in the environment. Previously it was thought that bacteria had to first sense nitrous oxide, also known as 'laughing gas', before they could breathe and consume it in place of oxygen.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have discovered that in fact bacteria hedge their bets and gamble on nitrous oxide being present in their environment, and so keep the systems for nitrous oxide destruction active, and even deliberately distribute them within new cells, to give them a chance to survive low oxygen levels within the soil.

The European team, working as the Nitrous Oxide Research Alliance, focused on the denitrifying organism Paracoccus denitrificans. The team say they have important implications for controlling emissions and using such bacteria as &…

Modern Slavery Promotes Overfishing

Penelitian - Labour abuses, including modern slavery, are 'hidden subsidies' that allow distant-water fishing fleets to remain profitable and promote overfishing, new research from the University of Western Australia and the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia has found.

"Crews on vessels from China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Russia are particularly at high risk because of a lack of regulatory oversight in those countries combined with the complexities of jurisdiction at sea," said David Tickler of the University of Western Australia.

"This makes it easier to force people to work excessively long hours, often under appalling conditions, to extract as much fish as possible in exchange for a low -- or zero -- pay," Tickler said.

By combining fisheries data from the Sea Around Us initiative at UBC with country-level data on modern slavery, the researchers found that countries whose fleets rely heavily on government subsidies,…

UN: Obesity growing uncontrollably in Latin America

Penelitian - Obesity has become the worst nutritional threat in Latin America, which is adding overweight people at a rate of 3.6 million annually, as the poorer often go for cheaper high-fat, sugar loaded foods, a United Nations report determined.

"Obesity is growing uncontrollably. The situation is appalling," the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's regional representative Julio Berdegue said in a report released Wednesday.

Well over 250 million Latin Americans are now overweight. About 3.9 million or 7.3 percent of Latin American and Caribbean children are affected by obesity, topping the global average of 5.6 percent, the report said.

The report, called the Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security 2018, indicates the new threat is a result of changes in the region's food systems, or cycles of food from production to consumption.

"These changes have affected the entire population, but the most excluded members of society have suffered the worst effects,&q…

The Transferable Resistome of Produce

Penelitian - Researchers from the Julius Kühn Institut, Germany have found that produce is a reservoir for transferable antibiotic resistance genes that often escape traditional molecular detection methods.

These antibiotic resistance genes might escape cultivation-independent detection, but could still be transferred to human pathogens or commensals. The results, which highlight the importance of the rare microbiome of produce as a source of antibiotic resistance genes, are published in mBio.

Produce is increasingly recognized as a source of pathogenic bacteria, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes. This study aimed to explore methods to characterize the transferable resistome, the collection of antibiotic resistance genes present in bacteria, associated with produce.

The researchers analyzed mixed salad, arugula, and cilantro purchased from supermarkets in Germany by cultivation and DNA-based methods. These results confirmed that cultivation-independent DNA…

Earth Tectonics as Seen by GOCE - Enhanced Satellite Gravity Gradient Imaging

Penelitian - Scientists from Germany's Kiel University and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have used data from the European Space Agency (ESA), Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission to unveil key geological features of the Earth's lithosphere, the rigid outer layer that includes the crust and the upper mantle.

Published this week in the Scientific Reports the study is a step forward in the quest to image the structure and setting of different continents using satellite gravity data, including Antarctica, the least understood piece of the whole plate tectonic puzzle.

Satellite gravity provides a new tool to link the remote and ice-covered continent with the rest of the Earth. This improves our understanding of Antarctica's deep structure, which is particularly important, as the properties of its lithosphere can also influence the overlying ice sheets.

GOCE measures differences in horizontal and vertical components of the gravity field, know…

Machine-learned Epidemiology: Real-time Detection of Foodborne Illness at Scale

Penelitian - Machine learning using Google data was significantly more accurate in identifying potentially unsafe restaurants compared with consumer complaints and routine inspections, according to a study. Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health worked with Google to develop search and location data in a system called FINDER.

In findings published Tuesday in the npj Digital Medicine, the researchers concluded that their method can spot problems more quickly than the slow, cumbersome process of determining outbreaks based on consumer complaints or routine inspections.

"Foodborne illnesses are common, costly and land thousands of Americans in emergency rooms every year," said Ashish Jha of the Harvard Chan School and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

"This new technique, developed by Google, can help restaurants and local health departments find problems more quickly, before they become bigger public health problems," Jha said.


Antibiotic Resistance Killed 33,000 Europeans in 2015

Penelitian - Superbugs resistant to antibiotics cause more than 33,000 deaths in the EU each year, according to a new study. Scientists say the picture has become worse since 2007 with Italy and Greece by far the hardest hit.

A study by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that around 33,000 people in the EU die each year after becoming infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The analysis, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases warned that the burden of these pathogens is similar to HIV, flu and tuberculosis combined.

"Infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria are threatening modern healthcare," the researchers wrote. They tracked a significant increase in the toll from 2007, when there were around 25,000 deaths.

Infants and the elderly were most at risk, with three quarters of infections contracted in hospitals and health clinics. The researchers also recorded vast differences between European countries.

The ECDC study used…