7 Days in Science – February 14, 2020
List Feb 14, 2020
Glacier Maps the Industrial Revolution
Human beings altered one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there, new research has found. Byproducts of burning coal in Europe in the late 18th century made their way to the Dasuopu glacier in the central Himalayas, some 6,400 miles as the crow flies from London, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
Published in: PNAS
Cancer Vaccine Could Amplify Effects of Immunotherapy
Scientists forced lab-grown cancer cells to evolve more rapidly than usual using a molecule called APOBEC3B, which is often used by tumors to drive rapid genetic change and drug resistance. They found that these highly mutated cells could be used to create a vaccine, which boosted the effects of immunotherapy – curing mice with a variety of otherwise treatment-resistant tumors.
Published in: Nature Communications
How Some Mammals Pause Their Pregnancies
Some mammals, such as mice, can delay their pregnancies after conception until conditions are better for bearing offspring. Biochemical reasons for these lag times became clearer in a recent study.
Published in: Developmental Cell
Happy Partner, Healthy Future?
Researchers have found that those who are optimistic contribute to the health of their partners, staving off the risk factors leading to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as they grow old together.
High Testosterone in Women Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
Having genetically higher testosterone levels increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in women, while reducing the risk in men. Higher testosterone levels also increase the risks of breast and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.
Published in: Nature Medicine
A new study by scientists at Imperial College London explores whether the hormone kisspeptin could be utilized in the treatment of men with sexual problems that are psychological in origin, an example being low libido.
Research has contradicted longstanding theory around the origins of phantom limb pain (PLP), where amputees feel agony in limbs that have been amputated, persisting even decades after the removal. The research suggests that new interpretations of PLP are required to develop effective treatments.
Getting to the Heart of Cancer
This is a fluorescence microscopy image of a section from a mouse mammary tumor, which has formed a heart-like shape. The red color labels the active form of a protein; as cancer develops the levels of this protein may increase. The image was produced by scientists studying the progression of breast cancer and won the 2017 BMC “Research in Progress” photo competition.
Credit: Sarah Boyle
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