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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 10

Oct 3, 2023

Beetle grows ‘termite’ on back to steal food

Posted by in categories: evolution, food

In what may be one of Earth’s craziest forms of mimicry, researchers have discovered a new species of rove beetle that grows a termite puppet on its back to fool real termites into feeding it. The replica is so precise, it even mirrors the termites’ distinct body segments and has three pairs of pseudoappendages that resemble antennae and legs.

Rove beetles (family Staphylinidae) are already infamous in the animal kingdom as masters of disguise. Some, for example, have evolved to look like army ants, allowing the beetles to march alongside them and feed on their eggs and young.

The new beetle species (Austrospirachtha carrijoi)—found beneath the soil in Australia’s Northern Territory—emulates a termite by enlarging its abdomen, a phenomenon known as physogastry. Evolution has reshaped this body part into a highly realistic replica of a termite (as seen above), head and all, which rides on top of the rest of the beetle’s body. The beetle’s real, much smaller head peeks out from beneath its termite disguise, the authors report this month in the journal.

Oct 2, 2023

Tower of Power Charges EVs, No Grid Required

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Solar-and wind-based EV charger originally designed for off-grid farms.

Oct 2, 2023

Australian Seaweed Boosts Collagen Levels in Human-Like Skin Cells in The Lab

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension

If you believe the headlines, seaweeds can do almost anything from storing tons of carbon and stopping cows from belching methane, to making biofuels and renewable plastics – all while sustaining vibrant coastal ecosystems and feeding communities.

Add to that list their potential wound-healing properties and possible anti-aging effects, and it’s no wonder the seaweed farming industry is booming.

A new study adds to that fanfare, with lab experiments based on human-like skin cells revealing extracts from two brown seaweeds can inhibit reactions linked to skin aging and boost collagen levels.

Oct 2, 2023

NASA publishes never-before-seen photos of ‘ravioli’ moon orbiting Saturn

Posted by in categories: food, space

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) dropped never-before-seen photos of one of Saturn’s moons while comparing them to well-known food dishes. Ravioli, pierogi, empanada… What…

Oct 1, 2023

A new wearable sensor can monitor sweat in real time

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, wearables

The patch can calibrate the glucose measurements based on the pH and temperature changes in sweat due to factors such as exercise and eating.

A team of researchers at Penn State has developed a new wearable patch that can monitor your health by analyzing your sweat. The patch, which is made of a special material that can detect glucose, pH, and temperature in sweat, can provide valuable information about your body’s condition and help diagnose and manage diseases such as diabetes.


Credit: Kate Myers/Penn State.

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Oct 1, 2023

Migraine headaches: What are they and how do you treat them?

Posted by in categories: education, food

The first time it happened, I was in a high school physics class. Suddenly, I couldn’t read half of the board. A crack zig-zagged through my vision, obscuring my teacher’s notes. “Huh,” I thought. “This can’t be good.”

My classmate walked me to the school nurse, who called my mom. Pain rippled from the back of my neck to my forehead. I’d had headaches before, but not like this. “Ah, your first migraine,” Mom said. “Welcome to the club.”

For nearly a billion people worldwide, migraine attacks disrupt work, vacation and school. They can be triggered by stress, weather changes, hormone shifts, missed meals or sleep changes — in other words, just about anything. These reoccurring headaches often spur pain on one side of the head. They can last a few hours or a few days, and they can cause nausea along with sensitivity to noises and light.

Sep 30, 2023

Newly engineered CRISPR enzyme for editing DNA could improve patient treatment

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics

A new CRISPR-based gene-editing tool has been developed which could lead to better treatments for patients with genetic disorders. The tool is an enzyme, AsCas12f, which has been modified to offer the same effectiveness but at one-third the size of the Cas9 enzyme commonly used for gene editing. The compact size means that more of it can be packed into carrier viruses and delivered into living cells, making it more efficient.

Researchers created a library of possible AsCas12f mutations and then combined selected ones to engineer an AsCas12f with 10 times more editing ability than the original unmutated type. This engineered AsCas12f has already been successfully tested in mice and has the potential to be used for new, more effective treatments for patients in the future.

By now you have probably heard of CRISPR, the gene-editing tool which enables researchers to replace and alter segments of DNA. Like genetic tailors, scientists have been experimenting with “snipping away” the genes that make mosquitoes malaria carriers, altering food crops to be more nutritious and delicious, and in recent years begun to overcome some of the most challenging diseases and genetic disorders.

Sep 29, 2023

Immune response to eating chitin linked to better health

Posted by in categories: food, health

Eating a type of dietary fiber called chitin evoked an immune response in mice that was linked to better metabolic health.

Sep 29, 2023

A new breakthrough in obesity research allows you to lose fat while eating all you want

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, neuroscience

This is a significant development that brings hope to the one billion individuals with obesity worldwide. Researchers led by Director C. Justin LEE from the Center for Cognition and Sociality (CCS) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have discovered new insights into the regulation of fat metabolism. The focus of their study lies within the star-shaped non-neuronal cells in the brain, known as ‘astrocytes’. Furthermore, the group announced successful animal experiments using the newly developed drug ‘KDS2010’, which allowed the mice to successfully achieve weight loss without resorting to dietary restrictions.

The complex balance between food intake and energy expenditure is overseen by the hypothalamus in the brain. While it has been known that the neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are connected to fat tissue and are involved in fat metabolism, their exact role in fat metabolism regulation has remained a mystery. The researchers discovered a cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus that specifically express the receptor for the inhibitory neurotransmitter ‘GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)’. This cluster has been found to be associated with the α5 subunit of the GABAA receptor and was hence named the GABRA5 cluster.

In a diet-induced obese mouse model, the researchers observed significant slowing in the pacemaker firing of the GABRA5 neurons. Researchers continued with the study by attempting to inhibit the activity of these GABRA5 neurons using chemogenetic methods. This in turn caused a reduction in heat production (energy consumption) in the brown fat tissue, leading to fat accumulation and weight gain. On the other hand, when the GABRA5 neurons in the hypothalamus were activated, the mice were able to achieve a successful weight reduction. This suggests that the GABRA5 neurons may act as a switch for weight regulation.

Sep 29, 2023

Saturated fat may interfere with creating memories in aged brain

Posted by in categories: food, life extension, neuroscience

New research hints at a few ways fatty foods affect cells in the brain, a finding that could help explain the link between a high-fat diet and impaired memory – especially as we age.

The Ohio State University study in cell cultures found the omega-3 fatty acid DHA may help protect the brain from an unhealthy diet’s effects by curbing fat-induced inflammation at the cellular source.

Separate experiments using brain tissue from aging mice showed a high-fat diet may lead specific brain cells to overdo cell-signaling management in a way that interferes with the creation of new memories.

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