December 14, 2017

STEM News-27th Feb

Credit: ALAMY

Sperm grown in lab could allow infertile men to have children

Sperm has been grown in the lab and used to create offspring for the first time in major scientific breakthrough which could signal the end of male infertility.

Scientists in China coaxed embryonic mice stem cells into sperm cells which were implanted into eggs, from which healthy mouse pups were born.

It is hoped the same technology will eventually be available for men who do not produce sperm and British scientists said it marked a ‘significant step’ towards reversing infertility.

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Animals revived after being in a frozen state for over 30 years

Tardigrades (water bears) were successfully revived and reproduced after having been frozen for over 30 years. A moss sample collected in Antarctica in Nov. 1983, stored at -20°C, was thawed in May 2014. Two individuals and a separate egg retrieved from the thawed sample were revived, thereby providing the longest record of survival for tardigrades as animals or eggs. Subsequently, one of the revived tardigrades and the hatchling repeatedly reproduced after recovering from their long-term cryptobiosis.

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Process to convert CO2 and water directly into liquid hydrocarbon fuel

A team of University of Texas at Arlington chemists and engineers have proven that concentrated light, heat and high pressures can drive the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into useable liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact, researchers said.

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Running helps mice slow cancer growth

Here’s one more benefit of exercise: mice who spent their free time on a running wheel were better able to shrink tumors (a 50% reduction in tumor size) compared to their less active counterparts. Researchers found that the surge of adrenaline that comes with a high-intensity workout helped to move cancer-killing immune (NK) cells toward lung, liver, or skin tumors implanted into the mice. The study appears Feb. 16, 2016 in Cell Metabolism.

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Metabolism ‘rewiring’ can lead to aggressive lung cancer

Scientists have discovered that lung cancers with extra copies of a cancer causing gene-defect ‘rewire’ their energy supply, helping them to survive and making them more likely to spread.

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Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

n a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans).

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Scientists eliminate core symptom of schizophrenia in mice

Researchers have successfully disrupted a genetic chain of events in a mouse model of schizophrenia and reversed memory deficits, one of the disorder’s most difficult-to-treat symptoms. This discovery — which builds upon decades of early-stage research — could lead to more effective therapies for the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, a psychiatric disorder that affects more than 21 million people worldwide.

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Scientists Use Light to Alter Memories of Cokehead Mice

Researchers from the University of Oxford have rewritten positive memories associated with cocaine in mice. The achievement could expand our understanding of memory, while demonstrating that it’s possible to neurologically reverse ingrained bad behavior, such as drug addiction.

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Obesity linked to ‘worse memory’

People who are obese have a worse memory than their thinner friends, a small study shows.

Tests on 50 people showed being overweight was linked to worse “episodic memory” or the ability to remember past experiences.

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