162 articles from FRIDAY 19.11.2021

Archaeologists discover salt workers’ residences at underwater Maya site

Maya archaeologists have excavated salt kitchens where brine was boiled in clay pots over fires in pole and thatch buildings preserved in oxygen-free sediment below the sea floor in Belize. But where these salt workers lived has been elusive, leaving possible interpretations of daily or seasonal workers from the coast or even inland. This gap left nagging questions about the organization of...

Study: COVID tech took a toll on work-from-home moms

It's no secret that being a work-from-home mom during the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic was a drag. And those tech tools—video meetings and texting—designed to make remote work easier? They just added to the stress and exacerbated the mental health toll on burnt out moms trying to hold everything together.

Scientists use machine learning to predict smells based on brain activity in worms

It sounds like a party trick: scientists can now look at the brain activity of a tiny worm and tell you which chemical the animal smelled a few seconds before. But the findings of a new study, led by Salk Associate Professor Sreekanth Chalasani, are more than just a novelty; they help the scientists better understand how the brain functions and integrates information.

Phages kill dystentery-causing bacteria and reduce virulence in surviving bacteria

Phages are viruses that infect bacteria and can also be used to treat human infections. However, as with antibiotics, bacteria can readily evolve resistance to phage attack, highlighting a key limitation to the use of phages as therapeutics. Now, researchers from Yale University have shown that the naturally occurring phage A1-1 kills Shigella flexneri, a major cause of dysentery in sub-Saharan...

Delta-like SARS-CoV-2 variants are most likely to increase pandemic severity

Mathematical model indicates SARS-CoV-2 variants that combine enhanced transmissibility with the ability to escape immunity cause more infections than variants with either trait alone. Understanding which type of variants are most likely to increase infections and pandemic severity could help researchers and public health officials interpret the significance of novel and existing variants and...

Novel artificial genomic DNA can replicate and evolve outside the cell

Scientists successfully induced gene expression from a DNA and evolution through continuous replication extracellularly using cell-free materials alone for the first time. By adding the genes necessary for transcription and translation to the artificial genomic DNA, it could be possible to develop artificial cells that can grow autonomously, and it will be expected to produce efficient useful...

A genetic change for achieving a long and healthy life?

Researchers presented new insights for improving the health span by just regulating the activity of a protein. A research group has identified a single amino acid change in the tumor suppressor protein phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) that dramatically extends healthy periods while maintaining longevity.

New link between diet, intestinal stem cells and disease discovered

Obesity, diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer are frequently linked to an unhealthy diet. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this are not fully understood. Researchers have gained some new insights that help to better understand this connection. These findings provide an important basis for the development of non-invasive therapies.

Age, sex and waning COVID-19 antibodies

Antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination peaked higher for women and younger people than men and individuals over the age of 65, respectively, but levels dropped by half within six months for everyone in a study group.

COVID-19 vaccine elicits weak antibody response in people taking immunosuppressant

People taking TNF inhibitors, a kind of immunosuppressive drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions, produced a weaker and shorter-lived antibody response after two doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new study. A third vaccine dose drove antibody levels back up, indicating that this additional dose may provide protection as the virus's delta variant...