News Round-up November 23rd-29th

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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

The Tardigrade genome was sequenced and found to contain more foreign genes than any previously sequenced animal genome. Tardigrades are extromophiles, meaning they can survive in conditions that would kill most organisms (they’ve even survived the cold and radiation of space!). It is thought that these wondrous little creatures pick up this foreign DNA when they dessicate (which helps them survive extreme conditions), in a similar way to Bdelloid rotifers. Since Bdelloids also dessicate to survive unideal conditions, there is a possibility that horizontal gene transfer is more common among extremophilic animals than previously thought.

Tardigrades!

A new immunotherapy method may change how Type I Diabetes is treated in the future, and may even help prevent the progression of the disease. Since Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, the new approach targets the regulatory T (T-reg) cells of the immune system. In affected patients, the T-reg cells target the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and destroy them, meaning that Type I diabetics need to inject insulin daily to combat this lack of insulin production by their bodies. By replacing the T-reg cells in a patient, researchers have prevented diabetic symptoms in early-onset patients and the slowing of the disease progression was also observed. Hopefully, further trials will continue to show promise.

New Diabetes Treatment (1)

 

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

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News Round-up October 19th-25th

Bioscience news 1

 

 

 

 

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

Ever wondered why cats have vertical pupils? A new publication suggests that animals’ pupil shapes really help them fit into their ecological niche. For example, grazing animals have horizontal pupils to allow them to see around them better, and the most interesting part is that even when they tilt their head, their pupils stay mostly horizontal!

Verticle pupils

New evidence suggests that life may have originated on Earth much earlier than we previously thought. If this is true, then life may develop much easier in the right conditions than we currently believe possible, so this raises questions about the probability of the prescence of life elsewhere in the universe.

Some geneticists from Johns Hopkins University got the chance to test a few things in zero-gravity. It seems that molecular biology is possible in these conditions, with the right equipment. A small sequencing run with a MinION was even completed!

Genetics in space

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