Hello, and welcome to the #bioscinews round-up! This is the place where you can find all the important biosci new stories from the past week, in a short, digestible paragraph.
This week’s news
Farmers living near big cats may not need to worry about loss of livestock, so long as the local ecosystem is balanced. Wild big cats seem to prefer wild animals to farm animals, and will only hunt the latter if food is otherwise in short supply.
Researchers have been trialling the use of antibodies to treat Alzheimer’s in humans, but recent studies in mice question whether this is a feasible treatment. The author’s found that the antibodies break up the amyloid-beta plaques, the protein build-up that causes Alzheimer’s, but the release of this protein can over-stimulate neurons until they die.
Nanoparticles hold some hope for cancer treatments in the future, especially for individually tailored treatments, but these can be difficult and expensive to produce. Algae can be genetically modified to produce nanoparticles, and this can help reduce the production cost for potential future cancer treatments.
Credit: Wikipedia user Wipeter
We hope you enjoyed this week’s news round-up, thanks for reading!
Devon Smith, The University of Sheffield, @devoncaira
Julie Blommaert, The University of Innsbruck, @jblommaert92
Hello, and welcome to the #bioscisews round-up! This is the place where you can find all the important biosci new stories from the past week, in a short, digestible paragraph.
This week’s news
Pitcher plants’ ant trap. Until recently, carnivorous plants fell into two classes, active and passive, based on how they ‘receive’ their prey. Venus fly traps are an example of ‘active’ carnivorous plants, while all pitcher plants were thought to be ‘passive’. However a species of pitcher plant has now been classified as a ‘free energy’ species, as it uses the force of raindrops hitting its unique lid, to fling ants into its pitcher for digestion.
Mammals flourish at Chernobyl. The human exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is acting as the perfect method of creating a virtually human free nature reserve, and a long-term study has found that mammals appear to be flourishing under these conditions.
Decline of the cactus? A global study has concluded that almost one third of cactus species are under threat, due to over harvesting, slow growth and small distribution range.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s news round-up, thanks for reading!
Stewart Barker The University of Sheffield @Stewart_Barker