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Fri, 24 Jan 2020
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US: Another Chemical Emerges in Pet Food Case

A second industrial chemical that regulators have found in contaminated pet food in the United States may have also been intentionally added to animal feed by producers seeking larger profits, according to interviews with chemical industry officials here.

Three Chinese chemical makers said that producers of animal feed often purchase or seek to purchase a chemical called cyanuric acid from their factories to blend into animal feed.

Stop

Chromium in US drinking water causes cancer

A type of chromium highlighted in the film "Erin Brockovich" causes cancer in lab animals when they drink it in water, and it could be harmful to people, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said on Wednesday.

Hexavalent chromium, also called chromium 6, already has been shown to cause lung cancer when inhaled and is controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency as well as by states.

Health

West Nile hitting harder than believed

West Nile virus has prompted a long-term crash in the population of bluebirds, crows and other bird species that once dominated the suburban landscape, according to a new study that dashes hopes that the disease might cause only a temporary drop.

©Centers for Disease Control
Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito (Centers for Disease Control)

Coffee

Nutrition and heredity are genetically linked

A challenging goal in biology is to understand how the principal cellular functions are integrated so that cells achieve viability and optimal fitness under a wide range of nutritional conditions. Scientists from the French research centers INRA and CNRS showed by genetic approaches that, in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis, central carbon metabolism (which generates energy from nutrients) and replication (which synthesizes DNA), two key functions in the fields of nutrition and heredity, are tightly linked. The results appear in the May 16th issue of the online, peer-reviewed, open-access journal PLoS ONE.

The discovered link involves the activity of a small region of the central carbon metabolism (the terminal reactions of a process called glycolysis that burns sugars) and several enzymes of the replication machinery that synthesizes DNA. It is proposed that the link depends on metabolic signals generated as a function of the activity of the terminal reactions of glycolysis which are sensed, directly or indirectly, by replication enzymes. This system would then adjust the speed of DNA synthesis and the stability of the replication machinery to the nutritional richness of the environment, and thus to the cell's growth rate.

Bulb

UC Irvine researchers reveal first images of brain changes associated with memory

University of California, Irvine researchers have developed the first images of the physical changes in brain cells thought to underlie memory, a discovery that is already uncovering clues about memory loss linked to cognitive disorders.

Three decades of work by neuroscientists have established that a physiological effect known as long-term potentiation (LTP) encodes everyday forms of memory. In the Journal of Neuroscience today, a UC Irvine research team led by neuroscientists Christine M. Gall and Gary Lynch presents these unique images, which show that the size and shape of synapses were changed by LTP.

"The way is now open to mapping where in the brain memories are laid down," said Lynch, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior. "Seeing memory-related physical changes to synapses means that we can at last use mouse models to test if the effects of retardation, aging and various cognitive disorders involve a specific, long-suspected defect in the connections between cortical neurons."

Magic Wand

Hyperactivity and academic achievement could be linked by genetics

Children who are hyperactive tend to do worse academically than their peers who are not hyperactive. Although the relationship between such behaviors as overactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness in children and poor achievement in math, reading, language, and other areas has been well documented, little is known about the reasons for this link. New research shows that the tie may be due to genetic influences.

The study, conducted by researchers at Boston University and at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry in London, appears in the May/June 2007 issue of the journal Child Development. The researchers examined the extent to which common genetic and environmental factors operate across hyperactivity and achievement in nearly 2,000 7-year-old pairs of twins taking part in the U.K.-based Twins Early Development Study. In the study, both parents and teachers provided ratings of twins' hyperactive behavior problems (e.g., restlessness, fidgeting, distractibility, impulsivity, and attention span). Academic achievement was based on teacher assessments of English and mathematics skills conducted at the end of the first year of primary school (equivalent to first grade in the United States).

Health

University of Missouri Study on Link Between Autism and Mercury a Discredit to Sound Science, Says SafeMinds

Undisclosed industry funding, unsubstantiated conclusions on vaccines, and study sample alteration undermine credibility on controversial topic

A recent press release from the University of Missouri announced the results of a study on autism and Rh immune globulin (RhIg) injections, some of which contained a mercury preservative called thimerosal. SafeMinds reviewed information about this study and found several troublesome aspects, including undisclosed industry funding, unsubstantiated conclusions on vaccines and mercury, and deviation from acceptable scientific practice.

Attention

IDF secretly uses soldiers as anthrax vaccine guinea pigs

The IDF secretly used elite combat soldiers as "guinea pigs" for experimental anthrax vaccines, according to an expose broadcast Wednesday night by the "Uvda" (Fact) documentary program.

Presenter Ilana Dayan revealed how in 2000, the army decided to carry out anthrax antibody experiments ahead of independent manufacture in Israel.

According to the report, hundreds of young recruits into Israel's elite combat units were offered the opportunity to partake in a top secret experiment codenamed "Omer 2". They were led to believe they were performing a national service of the utmost importance to the state.

The soldiers were told that the antibody had been approved by the American FDA as far back as 1970 and was used on thousands of American military personnel. It was explained that the experiment they would undergo constituted the final phase prior to anthrax vaccine production in Israel, which would cater to a possible eventuality of a biological attack on military or civilian populations.

Ambulance

Children face exposure to pesticides

STRATHMORE, Calif. - On Grandparents Day, Domitila Lemus accompanied her 8-year-old granddaughter to school. As the girls lined up behind Sunnyside Union Elementary, a foul mist drifted onto the playground from the adjacent orange groves, witnesses say. Lemus started coughing, and two children collapsed in spasms, vomiting on the blacktop.

Health

Back Pain: X-rays and MRIs are often unnecessary. Your best bet? Staying active

Getting off the couch and accepting low-grade pain may be one of the keys to improved function in back pain.

The intervention that shows the most benefit? Keeping active. Millions of dollars of research to tell us that "motion is lotion, baby." Not as in moving propane tanks or other heavy activity that makes the pain worse, but just keeping moving.