Latest Science Tidbits #3

Understanding antibiotic resistance

Dated: 15 August 2017

Read More: Understanding antibiotic resistance

Original Source (if any): N.A

Reference Material (if any):

  1. Antibiotics Disrupt Coordination between Transcriptional and Phenotypic Stress Responses in Pathogenic Bacteria
Summary:

Researchers from Boston College has uncovered new insights into how bacteria respond to stress by using Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antibiotic is a form of stressor and understanding how bacteria respond is key to figuring out why they become antibiotic resistant.

It turns out when faced with a common threat or stress such as nutrient deprivation, the bacteria mount a highly organized response. However, when faced with antibiotics, the response was highly disorganized, demonstrating that the organism has a hard time with this kind of stressor.

With the use of RNA sequencing and transposon insertion sequencing, the researchers were able to determine that genes rely on collaboration that enables the organism to mount a successful response. When dealing with a new stress, the gene collaboration was nearly ineffective.

This discovery will allow us to stress bad bacteria out and eradicate them.

Author’s Take:

I want to applaud the efforts of these researchers. I for one is very concern with the rising antibiotics resistance.

A tiny fraction of oceans could meet world’s fish demand

Dated: 14 August 2017

Read More: Tiny fraction of oceans could meet world’s fish demand

Original Source (if any): Seafood for Thought

Summary:

A study by scientists from UC Santa Barbara and researchers from Nature Conservancy, UCLA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that nearly every costal country has the potential to meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture.

To determine aquaculture’s global potential, the researchers identified areas where the conditions of the oceans are suitable enough to support farm by using parameters such as ocean depth, temperature, and the biological needs of 180 species of finish and bivalve mollusks, such as oysters and mussels. They also ruled out places that would conflict with other use of the oceans such as high shipping zones and marine protected areas, and excluded ocean depths that exceed 200 meters. Not all possible political and social constraints are also considered.

This will allow for the flexibility to think about and doing the best way for conservation, economic development and other uses.

Author’s Take:

I like to eat seafood but I’m also concern about the environmental fallout. Let’s say we over exploit a certain species of fish just to feed the demand. That will be bad for the whole ecosystem. By implementing aquaculture properly and taking advantage of the available space, I believe it is sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

New way of making hair grow by activating stem cells

Dated: 14 August 2017

Read More: New way to activate stem cells to make hair grow

Original Source (if any): UCLA scientists identify a new way to activate stem cells to make hair grow

Summary:

UCLA researchers found a new way to activate stem cells in hair follicle to make hair grow.

What the researchers found was the hair follicle stem cell metabolism is different from other cells in the skin. When these stem cells consume glucose, they process it to produce a metabolite called pyruvate. This pyruvate is either sent to their mitochondria or converted to another metabolite called lactate.

When the researchers observed this, they went to investigate what if the amount of pyruvate sent to the mitochondria is reduced, will it cause the stem cells to produce more lactate, which will then activate the cells and make hair grow faster.

The researchers were able to confirm the increase in lactate production accelerated hair growth in mice model.

Author’s Take:

This is definitely good news for those who are suffering from heavy hair loss.

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