Culture

New European Union regulations on batteries could offer a huge boost to the global decarbonisation mission - but only if it leverages its political and economic weight to ensure a fairer global marketplace.

According to a team of scientists and researchers writing in Science, the new regulations, due to come into force from January 2022, have the potential to unify policy on approaches such as recycling, use of recycled raw materials, and creating a circular economy.

Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a new study.

Pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (228 to 66 million years ago). Due to the rarity of fossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos, and difficulties distinguishing between hatchlings and small adults, it has been unclear whether newly-hatched pterosaurs were able to fly.

A research team led by Wim Annaert (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovered the early assembly of gamma-secretase, a protein complex linked to numerous cellular processes including the development of Alzheimer's disease. In a first step, two dimeric subcomplexes are formed, which independently exit the ER and only afterwards assemble into a four-subunit complex. This 'buckle up' mechanism is thought to prevent premature assembly and activity. The new insights are very relevant, as gamma-secretase is an important potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer's and other conditions.

In a new study, published recently in the journal Circulation Research, scientists discover how the production of protective molecules known as specialised pro-resolving mediators (SPM) is altered in patients with COVID-19.

The results suggest that treatments which increase SPM production, such as dexamethasone or SPM based drugs, could play a key role in limiting inflammation in these patients.

Currently there is little understanding around the mechanisms that lead to uncontrolled inflammation in patients with COVID-19.

Alexandria, Va., USA - Jiachen Lin, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA., presented the poster "Burden of Oral Diseases in Emerging Countries: A Prediction Model" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.

Since early 2019, researchers have been recording and analysing marsquakes as part of the InSight mission. This relies on a seismometer whose data acquisition and control electronics were developed at ETH Zurich. Using this data, the researchers have now measured the red planet's crust, mantle and core - data that will help determine the formation and evolution of Mars and, by extension, the entire solar system.

Mars once completely molten

Astronomers using two of the world's most powerful radio telescopes have made a detailed and sensitive survey of a large segment of our home galaxy -- the Milky Way -- detecting previously unseen tracers of massive star formation, a process that dominates galactic ecosystems. The scientists combined the capabilities of the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the 100-meter Effelsberg Telescope in Germany to produce high-quality data that will serve researchers for years to come.

Around 470 million years ago, plants began to conquer the terrestrial surfaces. The first examples had a small axis terminated by a structure capable of forming spores, almost like current mosses. The appearance of plant organs mediated the explosive radiation of land plants, which shaped the surface of our planet and allowed the establishment of terrestrial animal life.

A new study increases knowledge of the genetics behind aortic aneurysm, a disease that can spark life-threatening events like aortic dissections and ruptures.

University of Michigan Health-led researchers compared blood samples from more than 1,300 people who had a thoracic aortic aneurysm with more than 18,000 control samples, in partnership with U-M's Cardiovascular Health Improvement Project and its Michigan Genomics Initiative.

Scientists at Cambridge and Leeds have successfully reversed age-related memory loss in mice and say their discovery could lead to the development of treatments to prevent memory loss in people as they age.

In a study published today in Molecular Psychiatry, the team show that changes in the extracellular matrix of the brain - 'scaffolding' around nerve cells - lead to loss of memory with ageing, but that it is possible to reverse these using genetic treatments.

Over the last few decades, neurodegenerative diseases became one of the top 10 global causes of death. Researchers worldwide are making a strong effort to understand neurodegenerative diseases pathogenesis, which is essential to develop efficient treatments against these incurable diseases. However, our knowledge about the basic molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is still lacking. A team of researchers found out the implication of lysosomes in the spread of Parkinson's disease.

Replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, depends on a series of interactions between viral proteins and different cellular partners such as nucleic acids (DNA or RNA). Characterizing these interactions is crucial to elucidate the process of viral replication and identify new drugs for treating COVID-19.

When Alexander Flemming discovered a mould on a culture plate overgrown with bacteria in 1928, he did not expect to find one of the most widely used active substances: penicillin. Accidental discoveries and the identification of active ingredients from traditional remedies, such as the morphine of the opium poppy, have shaped the discovery of new medicines for a long time.

Modern drug discovery - from chance to system

TROY, N.Y. -- An innovative testing platform that more closely mimics what cancer encounters in the body may allow for more precise, personalized therapies by enabling the rapid study of multiple therapeutic combinations against tumor cells. The platform, which uses a three-dimensional environment to more closely mirror a tumor microenvironment, is demonstrated in research published in Communications Biology.

It's a favourite first-order for the day, but while a quick coffee may perk us up, new research from the University of South Australia shows that too much could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that high coffee consumption is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia.