Wagamaga OP t1_jd4b32j wrote

A team of international astronomers have discovered a galaxy that has changed classification due to unique activity within its core. The galaxy, named PBC J2333.9-2343, was previously classified as a radio galaxy, but the new research has revealed otherwise. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

PBC J2333.9-2343, located 656 844 372 light years away, has now been classified as a giant radio galaxy that is 4 million light years across and happens to have a blazar in its core; a blazar is an active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a relativistic jet (a jet travelling close to the speed of light) directed towards an observer. Blazars are very high energy objects and are considered to be one of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe. The research has revealed that in PBC J2333.9-2343, the jet changed its direction drastically by an angle of up to 90 degrees, going from being in the plane of the sky, perpendicular to our line of sight, to pointing directly towards us.

A blazar jet is made of elemental charged particles like electrons or protons that move at velocities close to the speed of light. These move in circles around a strong magnetic field, causing the emission of radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. In PBC J2333.9-2343, the jet is thought to originate from or close to the supermassive black hole in its centre.

With the jet pointing in our direction, the emission is strongly enhanced and can easily exceed that coming from the rest of the galaxy. This in turn drives high-intensity flares stronger than those coming from other radio galaxies, thus changing its categorisation.



Wagamaga OP t1_jct2bt9 wrote

Scientists have found a novel way to block the transportation of mutant RNA and subsequent production of toxic repeat proteins which lead to the death of nerve cells in the most common genetic subtypes of motor neurone disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), also showed that using a peptide to stop the transport of mutant repeated RNA molecules and production of toxic repeat proteins actually increases the survival of C9ORF72 nerve cells - protecting them against neurodegeneration.

The Sheffield team previously discovered the abnormal transportation of the rogue RNAs copied from the C9ORF72 gene - known to be the most frequent cause of MND and FTD - is caused by excessive stickiness of a cell transporter named SRSF1.

Instead of using conventional drugs, which are inefficient in disrupting the stickiness of the SRSF1 protein, or invasive therapies to edit or modulate the activity of defective genes, the new study found that a small peptide incorporating a cell-penetrating module can stick to SRSF1 and effectively block the transportation of the rogue repeat RNA.



Wagamaga OP t1_jcqu6fj wrote

The researchers have called for more sophisticated diagnostic criteria and clinical record keeping to address their findings.

The study led by Ms Amira Skeggs, a clinical researcher in the School of Psychology, has been published in the Journal of Neurology. It focuses on one of three types of the disease known as behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). In February, American actor Bruce Willis announced he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

“Frontotemporal dementia refers to a set of younger-onset dementia syndromes, which are typically diagnosed before the age of 65,” Ms Skeggs said.

“Our findings suggest that current diagnostic methods might be less accurate at identifying symptoms in Australians from culturally diverse backgrounds.

“When it comes to neurodegenerative syndromes like bvFTD, culturally diverse people can have a later onset of the disease compared to monolingual Australians because they have other factors which could increase their resilience or cognitive reserve.”

Cognitive reserve is a kind of fortification that helps the brain weather progression of neurodegeneration before symptoms of mental decline emerge. This reserve is built up over an active lifetime and is influenced by a range of factors.

“There is a tendency for culturally diverse patients, particularly those who come to Australia, to have higher levels of cognitive reserve,” Ms Skeggs said.

“Multilingualism, education, working in a complex profession for a long time, all of these factors add up and make you more resilient to cognitive decline – up to a point.



Wagamaga OP t1_jcqffup wrote

The football players were both amateur and professional. Sweden was a prominent football nation during the 20th century and many of the players from the top division were competing at the highest international level. However, due to ideals of sportsmanship and amateurism, football clubs in Sweden were not allowed to pay salaries to their football players until the late 1960s.

In recent years, there have been growing concerns about exposure to head trauma in football (soccer) and whether it can lead to increased risk of neurodegenerative disease later in life. A previous study from Scotland suggested that footballers were 3.5 times more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease. Following this evidence, certain footballing associations implemented measures to reduce heading in younger age groups and training settings.

Peter Ueda, assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, says, “While the risk increase in our study is slightly smaller than in the previous study from Scotland, it confirms that elite footballers have a greater risk of neurogenerative disease later in life. As there are growing calls from within the sport for greater measures to protect brain health, our study adds to the limited evidence-base and can be used to guide decisions on how to manage these risks.”



Wagamaga OP t1_jcju97z wrote

Researchers from the University of Waterloo found employees often kept working despite wanting to pause. One potential reason is employees may have felt pressure to continue working to get everything done on time.

"Our research provides a comprehensive account of the processes involved in the decision to take a break and provides insights into how employees and managers can make more effective use of breaks at work, potentially improving both well-being and performance," said James Beck, professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Waterloo.

To conduct the study, researchers asked 107 employees about their reasons for taking a break and not taking one. They then surveyed another 287 employees twice daily over five days about their sleep quality, fatigue, performance concerns, workload, and the number of breaks they take each day.

The researchers also found that although previous research has shown that breaks can benefit employee well-being and performance, they may resist taking breaks if they feel supervisors discourage breaks in their workplace. Although there may be a misconception that breaks are unproductive, Phan notes that many employees take breaks because they are committed to staying focused and maintaining high levels of performance.

"We recognize that it may not always be possible for employees to take more breaks, but if employers can promote employee well-being by addressing the conditions that can make work unpleasant, they may be able to reduce the number of breaks needed," said Dr. Vincent Phan, first author of the study, which he led as part of his doctoral thesis in industrial and organizational psychology at Waterloo.



Wagamaga OP t1_jca7cac wrote

The COVID-19 pandemic was fertile ground for conspiracy theories and misinformation on Twitter, and Bill Gates was a frequent target. A new study, which analyzes well-known conspiracy theories about the role of Bill Gates during the pandemic is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

K. Hazel Kwon, Ph.D., from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, and co-authors analyzed 313,088 tweets surrounding Bill Gates over a nine-month period in 2020.

The investigators define conspiracy theories as "explanatory narratives about the ultimate causes of significant social and political events, with claims of secret plots by powerful actors."

The findings showed that each conspiracy theory is not an isolated event; instead, they are highly dynamic and interwoven. "Most conspiracy theories that emerged in our dataset were complementary to one another," stated the investigators. "Such findings allude that individuals' beliefs in one conspiracy theory may reinforce another, which leads to more sharing behaviors in digital space."



Wagamaga OP t1_jc1j8oa wrote

Scientists have called for a legally-binding treaty to ensure Earth’s orbit isn’t irreparably harmed by the future expansion of the global space industry.

In the week that nearly 200 countries agreed to a treaty to protect the High Seas after a 20-year process, the experts believe society needs to take the lessons learned from one part of our planet to another.

The number of satellites in orbit is expected to increase from 9,000 today to over 60,000 by 2030, with estimates suggesting there are already more than 100 trillion untracked pieces of old satellites circling the planet.

While such technology is used to provide a huge range of social and environmental benefits, there are fears the predicted growth of the industry could make large parts of Earth’s orbit unusable.

Writing in the journal Science, an international collaboration of experts in fields including satellite technology and ocean plastic pollution say this demonstrates the urgent need for global consensus on how best to govern Earth’s orbit.

They acknowledge that a number of industries and countries are starting to focus on satellite sustainability, but say this should be enforced to include any nation with plans to use Earth’s orbit.

Any agreement, they add, should include measures to implement producer and user responsibility for satellites and debris, from the time they launch onwards. Commercial costs should also be considered when looking at ways to incentivise accountability. Such considerations are consistent with current proposals to address ocean plastic pollution as countries begin negotiations for the Global Plastics Treaty.

The experts also believe that unless action is taken immediately, large parts of our planet’s immediate surroundings risk the same fate as the High Seas where insubstantial governance has led to overfishing, habitat destruction, deep-sea mining exploration, and plastic pollution.



Wagamaga OP t1_jbykkl5 wrote

People living with diabetes can be at a higher risk of nerve damage in parts of their body, known as neuropathy. If nerves are damaged in the feet, ulcers can develop, which can lead to amputations if left unchecked.

While symptoms of neuropathy can be treated, at the moment there aren’t any treatments that can reverse or halt the nerve damage.

For some people, neuropathy can also cause debilitating pain, which can be very difficult to treat with over-the-counter painkillers. People tend to be offered antidepressants to manage their pain, but this isn’t always successful and can come with a risk of side effects.

A hot topic in pain relief Capsaicin is a molecule found in chillis, which gives them their fiery kick. It can also help to block pain signals from nerves when it’s applied to skin, making them less sensitive to pain. So capsaicin creams and skin patches – which stick to areas where nerves have been damaged – can be really helpful to reduce pain.

There’s also evidence that capsaicin can boost healing in some skin conditions like psoriasis. But we don’t yet know if capsaicin can help to treat the underlying cause of nerve pain, and how to reverse damage.

With our funding, a team of researchers at Imperial College London and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals recruited 75 people with diabetes and neuropathy. They investigated the effects of treating their feet with a patch containing 8% capsaicin (a licensed treatment for neuropathy called Qutenza), with one application for 30 minutes.

They wanted to figure out how the patch works to relieve pain, by looking at whether it could improve nerve damage over the course of three months.

50 of the participants had neuropathic pain, of which 32 were treated with the capsaicin patch and 18 received the current standard care for their pain. The other 25 participants didn’t have pain, but their neuropathy was still treated with the capsaicin patch.

During the study, participants were asked to keep a pain diary where they rated and described their pain, filled in questionnaires about their symptoms, and had their nerve sensitivity tested. They also gave samples of skin from their feet at the start and end of the study, and the researchers counted and analysed the nerves.

What the study found After three months, the team found that those who’d been treated with the capsaicin patch reported that their pain had reduced significantly, compared to those treated with standard care.

Excitingly, everyone who’d been treated with the capsaicin patch appeared to have more new nerves in their skin samples at the end of the study. This suggests that part of capsaicin’s role in lowering pain is by helping to heal the nerves and triggering them to grow back.



Wagamaga OP t1_jbseesx wrote

Research around a new breathing device developed by pulmonologists at the University of Cincinnati offers promise for improving their lives.

The new device not only improves symptoms of breathlessness and quality of life for people with COPD, it also offers benefits for people dealing with stress and anxiety and those practicing mindfulness, meditation or yoga.

The research was published in the journal Respiratory Care.

The device, called PEP Buddy, was created by Muhammad Ahsan Zafar, MD, and Ralph Panos, MD. Zafar is an associate professor in the Department of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the UC College of Medicine while Panos is a professor emeritus in pulmonary and critical care at the UC College of Medicine and is the director of national tele-ICU program for the U.S. Veterans Affairs.

“Dr. Panos and I both see patients with COPD, and it’s a huge population,” says Zafar. “Their life really changes when they have COPD. They were active individuals but now they’re debilitated and limited, so we wanted to come up with something easy that helps improve their life.”

For people with COPD, it takes longer to get inhaled air out of their lungs with each breath due to tighter air tubes. Therefore, when they breathe fast, like during physical activities, air is retained in the lungs. This air stacking or “dynamic hyperinflation” is the main reason for breathlessness and also leads to lower oxygen levels. As the breathing gets difficult during physical activity, people become less and less active and more isolated.



Wagamaga OP t1_jbppl4f wrote

A team of climate scientists from France, Russia and Germany has found that ancient viruses dormant for tens of thousands of years in permafrost can infect modern amoeba when they are revived. For their study, reported on the open-access site Viruses, the group collected several giant virus specimens from permafrost in Siberia and tested them to see if they could still infect modern creatures.

Prior research has shown that permafrost—frozen soil—is an excellent preservative. Many carcasses of frozen extinct animals have been extracted from permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere. Prior research has also shown that plant seeds lying dormant in permafrost can be coaxed to grow once revived. And there is evidence suggesting that viruses and bacteria trapped in permafrost could infect hosts if revived. In this new effort, the researchers tested this theory.

The effort by the research team followed up on prior work in 2014 that showed a 30,000-year-old virus could be revived—and that it could be infectious. The team followed up on that effort by reviving a different virus in 2015 and allowing it to infect an amoeba. In this new effort, the team collected several virus specimens from multiple permafrost sites across Siberia for lab testing.

For safety reasons, the research team collects only so-called giant viruses and only those that can infect amoeba, not humans or any other creature. In reviving the virus samples, the team found that they were still capable of infecting amoeba. They also found, via radiocarbon dating of the permafrost in which they were found, that the viruses had been in a dormant state for between 27,000 and 48,500 years