Current Balance News and Events

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Discovery of a mechanism by which epithelial tumours cause developmental delays
- Conducted on the fly Drosophila, the study shows that tumours caused by chromosomal instability delay entry into the adult phase. - The tumours produce the Upd3 protein (equivalent to human Interleukin-6) to block the production of developmental steroid hormones. - The work of IRB Barcelona's Growth Control and Development laboratory has been published in the journal Current Biology. (2021-02-22)

Cloudy eyes caused by protein imbalance
Cataracts are the most common eye ailment in humans. However, the exact processes leading to this condition are not fully understood. A team of researchers headed by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered that the composition of the protein solution plays a decisive role. Their conclusions are contrary to prevailing opinion in the field. (2021-02-16)

Implant improves balance, movement and quality of life for people with inner ear disorder
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that they can facilitate walking, relieve dizziness and improve quality of life in patients with BVH by surgically implanting a stimulator that electrically bypasses malfunctioning areas of the inner ear and partially restores the sensation of balance. (2021-02-11)

How messenger substances influence individual decision-making
A research team of psychologists and physicists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg investigated the neurobiological processes in various forms of decision-making. They report in the journal Nature Communications that a different ratio of two messenger substances affects short-term and long-term strategic decisions differently. (2021-02-10)

Study finds childhood diet has lifelong impact
Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter your microbiome for life, even if you later learn to eat healthier, a new UC Riverside study in mice suggests. (2021-02-03)

Sunbathing after menopause may be harmful
UV-radiation can affect hormone levels of postmenopausal women negatively and this may contribute to several health issues, according to new research from Kai Triebner, University of Bergen, and colleagues. (2021-01-20)

A plant's way to its favorite food
Nitrogen is one the most essential nutrients for plants. Its availability in the soil plays a major role in plant growth and development, thereby affecting agricultural productivity. Scientists at the IST Austria were now able to show, how plants adjust their root growth to varying sources of nitrogen. In a new study published in The EMBO Journal they give insights in the molecular pathways of roots adaptation. (2021-01-05)

Exposure to metals can impact pregnancy
Exposure to metals such as nickel, arsenic, cobalt and lead may disrupt a woman's hormones during pregnancy, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-12-21)

A matter of balance: asymmetric divisions are crucial to form a functional retina
Researchers at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, have discovered that in the developing retina, and important part of the central nervous system, the divisions leading to the first differentiating neurons are asymmetric and that this asymmetry is necessary to generate the correct types of neurons in the right numbers and proportions. (2020-12-11)

Calibrating kidney function for cancer patients
A new model to evaluate kidney function can help clinicians find the right balance between treating cancer and avoiding chemotherapy's dangerous side effects. (2020-12-10)

Reductive stress in neuroblastoma cells aggregates protein and impairs neurogenesis
Cells require a balance among oxidation-reduction reactions, or redox homeostasis. Loss of that balance to create oxidative stress is often associated with neurodegeneration. Less is known about how loss of that balance at the other end of the spectrum -- reductive stress -- may affect neurons. Now researchers show for the first time that reductive stress promotes protein aggregation in neuroblastoma cells and impairs neurogenesis. (2020-12-08)

Psychology research shows 'water cooler talk' can have big benefits
In settings where people are working together on a task, making time for small talk allows for a newly-described behavior called ''reciprocity in conversation,'' which is associated with higher levels of task enjoyment. (2020-12-01)

Taking charge to find the right balance for advanced optoelectronic devices
Heterojunction structures composed of 2D materials are useful for designing advanced energy devices. In a new study, researchers from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, find a way that makes it easier to build heterojunction structures. They used a technique that enabled them to dig deeper into how charge properties of the device can be regulated. (2020-11-16)

Study reveals physical demands of two-hour marathon
Elite runners need a specific combination of physiological abilities to have any chance of running a sub-two-hour marathon, new research shows. (2020-11-13)

Balance dysfunction after traumatic brain injury linked to diminished sensory acuity
Compared with the control group, the TBI group had higher perturbation perception thresholds (PPT) and lower functional scores on balance - findings with important implications. 'As a means of detecting and quantifying sensory acuity PPT may serve as a novel marker for sensory integration deficits that underlie balance impairments after traumatic brain injury,' said Dr. Pilkar. 'This line of research will provide the information we need to develop new rehabilitative treatments that restore balance and reduce the risk for falls, and improve long-term outcomes.' (2020-11-11)

New artificial skin functions like natural skin
Researchers at RIKEN in Japan have developed an improved human-skin equivalent that reproduces a property that controls the structure and physiological function of skin. This artificial skin will enhance in-depth analyses of physiological skin functions, provide solutions to skin problems caused by diseases or ageing, and reduce the need for animal testing. (2020-10-30)

Research team discovers mechanism that restores cell function after genome damage
Researchers at the University of Cologne have found out how cells can recover their development and longevity after damage by UV / discovery may enable therapy against premature aging (2020-10-13)

Mysterious molecular phenomenon could boost precision of targeted drug delivery
Scientists have shown how a type of cellular binding could help pave the way for highly targeted therapies against diseases like cancer. (2020-10-06)

New climate model helps researchers better predict water needs
New research from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering combines climate and land use projections to predict water availability, information that is crucial for the preparations of resource managers and land-use planners. (2020-10-06)

Two molecular handshakes for hearing
Scientists have mapped and simulated those filaments at the atomic level, a discovery that shed lights on how the inner ear works and that could help researchers learn more about how and why people lose the ability to hear. (2020-10-01)

How the brain balances emotion and reason
Navigating through life requires balancing emotion and reason, a feat accomplished by the brain region ''area 32'' of the anterior cingulate cortex. The area maintains emotional equilibrium by relaying information between cognitive and emotional brain regions, according to new research in monkeys published in JNeurosci. (2020-09-28)

Older people with early, asymptomatic Alzheimer's at risk of falls
Older people without cognitive problems who experience a fall may have undetected neurodegeneration in their brains that puts them at high risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. (2020-09-14)

Managing data flow boosts cyber-physical system performance
Researchers have developed a suite of algorithms to improve the performance of cyber-physical systems - from autonomous vehicles to smart power grids - by balancing each component's need for data with how fast that data can be sent and received. (2020-09-01)

Tel Aviv University study sheds light on brain mechanism activated by uncertainty
A new Tel Aviv University study examined the brain's reactions in conditions of uncertainty and stressful conflict in an environment of risks and opportunities. The researchers identified the areas of the brain responsible for the delicate balance between desiring gain and avoiding loss along the way. (2020-09-01)

Citizen scientists bring surprising insights into cowslip mating system
Heterostyly is a floral polymorphism promoting pollen transfer between plant individuals. The purpose of heterostyly was puzzling already Charles Darwin. Now, nearly 160 years after Darwin's landmark study on the heterostyly of cowslips, a large-scale citizen science campaign in Estonia has brought novel insights into this fascinating but complex 'marriage arrangement' of heterostylous plants and describes another threat in the list of negative consequences of habitat loss. (2020-08-31)

Brain protein linked to seizures, abnormal social behaviors
A team led by a biomedical scientist at the University of California, Riverside has found a new mechanism responsible for the abnormal development of neuronal connections in the mouse brain that leads to seizures and abnormal social behaviors. (2020-08-31)

Overlooked 'housekeeping' gene plays unexpected role in seizures
Molecules known as tRNAs are often overlooked in studies of disease processes. UC San Diego researchers have found that a mutation in a tRNA gene called n-Tr20--expressed only in the brain--can disrupt the landscape of entire cells, leading to chain reactions that alter brain function and behavior. The results are published in the journal Neuron. (2020-08-26)

A new molecular guardian of intestinal stem cells
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) investigated how intestinal stem cells are controlled at the molecular level to remain stem cells or to develop into one of various intestinal cells. By studying mice lacking the protein IRF2, the researchers found a blunted regenerative response and an increased development of immature Paneth cells upon intestinal inflammation and infection. These findings help clarify the molecular biology of intestinal stem cells. (2020-08-21)

Unconventional monetary policy and bank risk taking
Unconventional monetary policy does not lead to greater risk-taking by banks, according to new research. This will be welcome news for policymakers and central banks as they ramp up efforts to limit the economic fallout of the pandemic. (2020-08-19)

Researchers identify enzyme linked to colitis
An enzyme that usually stops bacterial growth in the large intestine stimulates inflammation in some people, resulting in ulcerative colitis - a chronic digestive disease. The gut enzyme lysozyme which normally functions to restrain bacterial growth, instead stimulates inflammation and results in the formation of ulcers and sores. (2020-08-18)

Green electricity for Europe: Small scale solutions also affordable
The European Union aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and is relying largely on renewable electricity to reach this goal. The implementation of this energy transition is the subject of heated debate: A continental-scale system that concentrates energy generation infrastructure in the most suitable locations would provide the most affordable solution but many citizens favor smaller, more dispersed supply networks. A new study prepared by researchers in Potsdam and Zurich shows that the implementation of such systems would not incur significant additional costs. (2020-08-14)

Novel approach reduces SCA1 symptoms in animal model
Manipulating a novel mechanism that regulates ATXN1 levels reduced ATXN1 and improved some of the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease SCA1 in animal models. (2020-08-07)

Penis microbiota predicts if a man's female partner will develop bacterial vaginosis
Penile microbiome composition can vary; however, the presence of some bacterial vaginosis-related bacteria correlates with bacterial vaginosis onset in their female partners. Results highlight 10 bacteria that could be used to accurately predict bacterial vaginosis incidence in women. The study suggests that treatment manipulating the penile microbiome may reduce BV incidence in sex partners. (2020-08-04)

Easy to overdose on paracetamol if you're selenium deficient, says research
A lack of the mineral selenium in the diet puts people at risk of paracetamol overdose, even when the painkiller is taken at levels claimed to be safe on the packaging, according to collaborative research emerging from the University of Bath and Southwest University in China. (2020-08-04)

Reducing the adverse impact of water loss in cells
A University of Houston College of Medicine researcher has found how a protein inside the body reduces the adverse effects of hypertonicity, an imbalance of water and solutes inside cells, which leads to cell death. (2020-08-04)

Study helps to settle debate on roles of REM and non-REM sleep in visual learning
A study by a team of Brown University researchers sheds new light on the complementary roles of REM and non-REM sleep in visual perceptual learning. (2020-07-20)

A balancing act between immunity and longevity
Changes in the immune system can promote healthy ageing (2020-07-10)

A new theory about political polarization
A new model of opinion formation shows how the extent to which people like or dislike each other affects their political views -- and vice versa. The resulting division of societies can even become a matter of life and death, as the current crises show, according to researchers of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH). (2020-06-29)

Control over work-life boundaries creates crucial buffer to manage after-hours work stress
Workers with greater boundary control over their work and personal lives were better at creating a stress buffer to prevent them from falling into a negative rumination trap, says a new study co-written by a trio of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign experts who study occupational stress and employee well-being. (2020-06-25)

The balancing act between plant growth and defense
Kumamoto University researchers have pinpointed the mechanism that regulates the balance between plant growth and defense. Excessive accumulation of hormones that protect against pathogen infection significantly hinders plant growth. Researchers found that the DEL1 gene plays a role in balancing growth and defense of plants infected with nematodes. This finding is expected to contribute to the improvement of agricultural crop varieties and the identification of infection mechanisms of various pathogens. (2020-06-16)

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