Research showed microbiome may be used to track impact of injuries and recovery timeline —


A lately printed examine by Houston Methodist scientists suggests telltale indicators of concussions could be discovered within the intestine. By taking blood, stool and saliva samples from 33 Rice College soccer gamers, the researchers have been in a position to look at the diagnostic potential of the intestine’s microbiome. They are saying their findings show {that a} easy, goal diagnostic take a look at could possibly be developed to trace the affect of concussions and sign when it is secure to return to motion.

The findings of this examine are described in a paper titled “Alterations to the intestine microbiome after sport-related concussion in a collegiate soccer gamers cohort: A pilot examine” showing within the Could problem of Mind, Conduct, & Immunity — Well being, a peer-reviewed journal of the Psychoneuroimmunology Analysis Society with an emphasis on analysis that has translational affect and medical implications. Sonia Villapol, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neurosurgery on the Heart for Neuroregeneration within the Houston Methodist Analysis Institute, is the corresponding writer on the examine.

Whereas mind motion throughout the cranium might trigger damage to nerve cells, such microscopic mobile accidents are usually not seen on imaging assessments like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, that are extra able to find accidents on the dimensions of cranium fractures, mind bleeding or swelling. So, probably the most generally used take a look at for diagnoses of concussions depends completely on self-reported signs like blurry imaginative and prescient, dizziness, nausea and complications, which may be very obscure, subjective and sometimes underreported by athletes who wish to proceed enjoying. This could make them notoriously tough to diagnose.

The examine, performed over the course of 1 season, discovered a post-concussion drop-off of two bacterial species usually present in abundance in stool samples of wholesome people. It additionally discovered a correlation between traumatic mind damage linked proteins within the blood and one mind damage linked bacterial species within the stool.

Whereas there have been dozens of mind damage biomarkers recognized, there was restricted success in growing industrial blood assessments delicate sufficient to detect tiny will increase in biomarker concentrations. Nonetheless, the central nervous system can be intimately linked to the enteric nervous system, occurring within the intestines, and head trauma invariably results in adjustments within the intestine microbiota, Villapol stated.

After a concussion, the accidents trigger irritation, sending small proteins and molecules circulating by the blood that breach the intestinal barrier and trigger adjustments within the intestine, affecting metabolism.

She stated these adjustments within the microbiota might provide a possibility to amass a readout of the continued damage to the central nervous system.

“Till your intestine microbiome has returned to regular, you have not recovered,” Villapol stated. “For this reason learning the intestine is so helpful. It would not lie. And that’s the reason there may be a lot curiosity in utilizing it for diagnostic functions.”

Whereas solely 4 of the gamers within the examine have been recognized with main concussions, the researchers say the outcomes will should be confirmed in a bigger pattern measurement. In addition they plan to conduct the same examine quickly utilizing ladies’s soccer athletes, who equally have frequent head trauma.

“Men and women do not have the identical immunities or intestine microbiomes, and as a lady and a mom of daughters, I’d hate to be that researcher who solely seems to be at males’s points whereas overlooking ladies,” Villapol stated. “Ladies soccer gamers have very excessive charges of concussions, as effectively, and all the identical issues in terms of current diagnostic strategies.”

Villapol’s collaborators on this examine have been Rice College investigators Kristen Curry, Qi Wang, Michael Nute, Elizabeth Reeves, Sarah Schodrof and Todd Treangen from the pc science and?athletics departments; and Houston Methodist colleagues Sirena Soriano, Saeed S. Sadrameli, Rasadul Kabir, Jonathan Wiese, Amber Criswell, Gavin W. Britz, Rajan Gadhia and Kenneth Podell.

This work was supported by the Nationwide Institute for Neurological Problems and Stroke (grant quantity R21NS106640), Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Hamill Innovation Award, Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses (grant quantity P01AI152999-01) and funds from the Houston Methodist Analysis Institute.

Tiny sensor used to track the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies —


Hundreds of thousands of monarch butterflies migrate every fall to a particular cluster of mountain peaks in central Mexico. How precisely they navigate to their winter dwelling, and the way in which they select their path, is a subject of nice curiosity to scientists — particularly as local weather change redirects their chosen path.

Inhee Lee, assistant professor {of electrical} and laptop engineering on the College of Pittsburgh, is a part of a crew growing a monitoring system that could possibly be connected to monarch butterflies and transmit information about their location all all through the three month journey south. A paper detailing these findings just lately gained the Greatest Paper Award on the MobiCom 2021 Convention.

“Monitoring animal migration is a vital ecosystem indicator,” mentioned Lee. “Migrators journey lengthy distances throughout complete continents, and it can provide us unprecedented perception into their migratory paths, how the atmosphere round them is altering, and the way species interactions are impacted by altering actions and distributions.”

Beforehand, solely bigger animal migrators may be tracked for vital parts of their migration. Insect migrators, nevertheless, make up an infinite portion of the entire migrators internationally. To trace them, researchers have created a brand new wi-fi sensing platform referred to as mSAIL, particularly designed for monarch migration.

The tiny, 62 mg, 8×8×2.6 mm chip is connected to the butterfly’s again and might concurrently measure gentle depth and temperature, wirelessly speaking that data again to researchers as soon as the butterflies attain their vacation spot. The system will use a deep learning-based localization algorithm to reconstruct the butterfly’s migration trajectory after it has made the journey.

To check the potential of mSAIL, researchers connected the system to a reside monarch butterfly in a botanical backyard. The chip was glued to the butterfly; it had no challenge flying, opening and shutting its wings, or participating in some other regular butterfly behaviors with the chip in place.

mSAIL is an extension of labor that Lee accomplished whereas an assistant analysis scientist on the College of Michigan. mSAIL integrates beforehand developed built-in circuits inside a 3D-stacked type issue and demonstrates, for the primary time, the feasibility of particular person butterfly localization and monitoring utilizing the novel embedded system.

The subsequent step of the mission is to mass produce over 100 mSAIL sensors that may reliably function through the three-month monarch migration interval. The researchers will launch the mSAIL-equipped butterflies at numerous areas within the U.S. and can examine in with the sensors on the butterflies’ well-established resting spots — comparable to within the western Lake Erie archipelago — and on the closing overwintering web site in central Mexico. Finally, the crew hopes so as to add an air strain sensor to mSAIL, which is able to enable it to find out altitude and extra precisely assess the butterflies’ path.

The paper, “mSAIL: Milligram-Scale Multi-Modal Sensor Platform for Monarch Butterfly Migration Monitoring,” was led by Lee and Roger Hsiao, who was an undergraduate scholar on the College of Michigan and at the moment a graduate scholar at UC Berkeley. Further co-authors are from Pitt, College of Michigan, the College of Nebraska and the College of Delaware.

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Wearables can track COVID symptoms, other diseases —


If you happen to turn into ailing with COVID-19, your smartwatch can observe the development of your signs, and will even present how sick you turn into.

That is in keeping with a College of Michigan research that examined the consequences of COVID-19 with six components derived from coronary heart charge knowledge. The identical technique could possibly be used to detect different ailments reminiscent of influenza, and the researchers say the method could possibly be used to trace illness at house or when medical sources are scarce, reminiscent of throughout a pandemic or in growing international locations. Their outcomes are revealed within the journal Cell Reviews Medication.

Following U-M college students and medical interns all through the nation, the researchers found new alerts embedded in coronary heart charge indicating when people have been contaminated with COVID and the way sick they turned. The researchers discovered that people with COVID skilled a rise in coronary heart charge per step after symptom onset, and people with a cough had a a lot greater coronary heart charge per step than these with no cough.

“We discovered that COVID dampened organic timekeeping alerts, modified how your coronary heart charge responds to exercise, altered basal coronary heart charge and brought on stress alerts,” stated Daniel Forger, professor of arithmetic and analysis professor of computational drugs and bioinformatics. “What we realized was information of physiology, how the physique works and arithmetic may help us get extra data from these wearables.”

The researchers discovered that these measures have been considerably altered and will present symptomatic vs. wholesome durations within the wearers’ lives.

“There’s been some earlier work on understanding illness by way of wearable coronary heart charge knowledge, however I feel we actually take a unique method by specializing in decomposing the center charge sign into a number of completely different elements to take a multidimensional view of coronary heart charge,” stated Caleb Mayer, a doctoral scholar in arithmetic.

“All of those elements are based mostly on completely different physiological methods. This actually provides us further details about illness development and understanding how illness impacts these completely different physiological methods over time.”

Members have been drawn from the 2019 and 2020 cohorts of the Intern Well being Research, a multisite cohort research that follows physicians throughout a number of institutes of their first 12 months of residency. Researchers additionally used data from the Roadmap School Pupil Knowledge Set, a research that examined scholar well being and well-being throughout the 2020-21 tutorial 12 months utilizing wearable knowledge from Fitbits, self-reported COVID-19 diagnoses and symptom data, and publicly obtainable knowledge.

For this evaluation, the researchers included people who reported a COVID-positive check, signs and had wearable knowledge from 50 days earlier than symptom onset to 14 days after. In all, the researchers used knowledge from 43 medical interns and 72 undergraduate and graduate college students.

Particularly, the researchers discovered:

  • Coronary heart charge improve per step, a measure of cardiopulmonary dysfunction, elevated after symptom onset.
  • Coronary heart charge per step was considerably greater in individuals who reported a cough.
  • Circadian section uncertainty, the physique’s lack of ability to time every day occasions, elevated round COVID symptom onset. As a result of this measure pertains to the energy and consistency of the circadian element of the center charge rhythm, this uncertainty might correspond to early indicators of an infection.
  • Every day basal coronary heart charge tended to extend on or earlier than symptom onset. The researchers hypothesize this was due to fever or heightened nervousness.
  • Coronary heart charge tended to be extra correlated round symptom onset, which may point out the consequences of the stress-related hormone adenosine.

The researchers used an algorithm that was initially developed to estimate every day circadian section from wearable coronary heart charge and step knowledge. They checked out a baseline interval of 8-35 days earlier than COVID symptom onset and an evaluation interval outlined as 7-14 days round COVID symptom onset. The researchers hope that with additional testing, the identical strategies may improve the pre-detection of COVID with wearables.

“The worldwide outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus imposed necessary public well being measures, which impacted our every day lives,” stated Sung Gained Choi, affiliate professor of pediatrics. “Nevertheless, throughout this historic occasion in time, cell expertise supplied monumental capabilities — the flexibility to watch and gather physiological knowledge longitudinally from people noninvasively and remotely.

“We have been amazed on the U-M college students’ willingness and want to take part on this research, which was all executed remotely, from recruitment to enrollment and onboarding. The work reported by Mayer and our group was actually made attainable not solely by way of wearables sensors themselves, however the convergence of novel knowledge analytics, outstanding advances in expertise and computing energy, and ‘group science’ intersection throughout analysis groups.”

This “group science” method coalesced as a aspect product of the 2019 U-M Concepts lab, which included the group’s senior investigators.

The researchers say this work establishes algorithms that can be utilized to know diseases’ impression on coronary heart charge physiology, which may kind the premise for medical professionals would possibly deploy the usage of wearables in well being care.

“Figuring out the various patterns of various coronary heart charge parameters derived from wearables throughout the course of COVID-19 an infection is a considerable advance for the sector,” stated Srijan Sen, professor of psychiatry and director of the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and Household Melancholy Heart at U-M. “This work may help us extra meaningfully comply with populations in future COVID-19 waves. The research additionally demonstrates following cohorts with cell expertise and sturdy knowledge sharing can facilitate unanticipated and invaluable discoveries.”

Limitations for the research embody that the work doesn’t contemplate influenza-like diseases, in keeping with the researchers. Future work ought to concentrate on whether or not the findings mirror the consequences of COVID-19 or whether or not these results will persist in different diseases. The researchers have been additionally not capable of account for the consequences of things reminiscent of age, gender or BMI, nor the seasonality results within the knowledge — that’s, whether or not the info was taken throughout a time frame the place flu or different illness transmission is excessive.

Co-authors of the research additionally embody U-M researchers Jonathan Tyler, Yu Fang, Christopher Flora, Elena Frank and Muneesh Tewari. The work was supported by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, Human Frontier Science Program, Nationwide Science Basis and a Taubman Institute Innovation Venture grant.

How to track a shark —


A global workforce of researchers, led by the College of Massachusetts Amherst, has compiled a large dataset that overlays years’ value of data on the place, migration and interplay of sharks and sport fish. This analysis has instant relevance for anglers, who’ve been reporting elevated contact with sharks over time. The analysis, lately revealed in Ecological Purposes and which depends on an revolutionary use of acoustic telemetry and machine studying, offers us the clearest window but into advanced ecological relationships and guarantees to be a great tool in ongoing conservation efforts.

“It is so uncommon to watch multi-species interplay within the ocean,” says Lucas Griffin, the paper’s co-lead writer and a postdoctoral researcher in environmental conservation at UMass Amherst. That is as a result of species resembling those the researchers targeted on — nice hammerhead and bull sharks, allow and Atlantic tarpon — can vary over a whole bunch of sq. miles of open ocean. There has lengthy been anecdotal proof from the game-fishing group that cases of depredation — when a shark eats a fish that has been hooked — are on the rise, however so far there’s been no exhausting knowledge to assist whether or not or not such encounters are certainly rising and, in that case, why.

For this research, the researchers targeted on the coastal areas of the Florida Keys. Over a three-year interval, the collaborative workforce deployed practically 300 acoustic receivers and tagged 257 fish (together with 73 sharks) with transmitters. Each time one of many tagged sharks or fish swam inside vary of the receiver, its presence was recorded and tagged with the date and time. This method, referred to as acoustic telemetry, gave the workforce unprecedented entry to the migratory, reproductive and feeding patterns of sharks and gamefish. The workforce then ran their uncooked knowledge by means of a cutting-edge machine-learning algorithm to mannequin the extremely advanced interaction of environmental components, resembling time of 12 months, lunar cycle and water depth and temperature.

“Combining acoustic telemetry and machine studying helped us to reply a number of questions on predators and prey,” says Grace Casselberry, the paper’s different co-lead writer and a graduate scholar in this system in marine sciences and know-how in UMass Amherst’s Division of Environmental Conservation. It seems that tarpon and allow are returning to the identical spawning grounds, on the identical occasions of 12 months, yearly. Sharks know this: “they appear to recollect the place and when the tarpon and allow mixture,” says Casselberry. So do anglers who, by means of years of word-of-mouth reporting on when the fish are biting the place, wind up attempting to hook the identical fish that sharks feed on. Understanding this, fisheries managers can tailor their administration methods to finest shield the pursuits of sharks, sport fish and anglers.

Lastly, the workforce’s analysis is revolutionary not only for its strategies, however for its cooperation. A variety of establishments shared knowledge from tagged fish, together with analysis establishments, just like the College of Miami and the Bimini Organic Area Station in The Bahamas, to state businesses, just like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee, and the nonprofit environmental teams, Bonefish & Tarpon Belief. “We additionally labored extensively with the native fishing-guide group to assist tag sport fish and sharks, and determine the place to position the receivers,” says Griffin. “Our lab very a lot embraces a collaborative and cooperative spirit,” says Andy Danylchuk, professor of fish conservation at UMass Amherst and one of many paper’s senior authors. “We’re grateful for our analysis companions and hope our science will assist to hone conservation and administration methods for each sport fish and sharks.”

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Study is first to uncover hidden mechanism that keeps cell division on track —


For copy to achieve success, an egg cell should divide completely. Egg cell divisions are so error-prone, nonetheless, that they’re the main reason behind miscarriages and delivery defects in people.

In a brand new research, Northwestern College researchers found a beforehand unknown mechanism in roundworms that protects their egg cells from division errors. Uncovering and understanding this hidden mechanism may finally result in new methods for combatting infertility in people.

“Previous to our work, sure proteins have been regarded as important for cells to divide,” mentioned Northwestern’s Sadie Wignall, who led the research. “Nonetheless, once we eliminated these proteins, we have been stunned to find a beforehand hidden ‘backup’ mechanism that was in a position to kick in when the primary proteins have been lacking. We uncovered one thing that different researchers missed as a result of, if the key mechanism is in place, then you definitely would not know that backup existed.”

The research was revealed at this time (March 29) within the journal eLife.

Wignall is an affiliate professor of molecular biosciences at Northwestern’s Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences. Gabriel Cavin-Meza, a graduate scholar in Wignall’s laboratory, is the paper’s first writer.

When an egg is fertilized with sperm, the ensuing embryo begins to quickly divide, finally growing right into a wholesome organism. If both the egg or the sperm have the incorrect quantity of genetic materials, nonetheless, then the organism can’t correctly develop.

Whereas different cells within the human physique divide completely greater than 99% of the time, egg cells are mysteriously error susceptible. About 10-25% of the time, egg cells incorrectly divide, ensuing within the incorrect quantity of genetic materials ending up within the embryo.

To know why egg cells are extra vulnerable to errors, Wignall research a football-shaped construction, referred to as the spindle, which organizes genetic materials earlier than the egg divides.

“The spindle is sort of a machine,” Wignall mentioned. “It strains up chromosomes after which pulls them aside, making certain that the suitable variety of chromosomes find yourself in every half of the cell.”

The spindle is made up of lengthy ropelike buildings referred to as microtubules. The microtubules collect into factors at every pole of the spindle, giving it its soccer form. Then microtubules connect to the chromosomes and finally pull them aside.

“Motor proteins bind to the microtubules and take steps to maneuver alongside them — identical to people stroll utilizing their legs,” Wignall mentioned. “When microtubules are first shaped, they’re a random mess. Then the motors use this strolling movement to push the microtubules round to rearrange them into the spindle construction.”

Earlier than Wignall’s new research, researchers believed two motor proteins (dynein and kinesin-12) have been primarily answerable for this activity. However when Cavin-Meza eliminated each proteins from roundworms’ egg cells, he noticed one thing stunning.

“Once we eliminated these proteins, it made all the spindle blow aside,” Wignall mentioned. “Then we have been stunned to see the spindle reform.”

Within the absence of dynein and kinesin-12, one other motor protein (referred to as kinesin-5) got here out of hiding to carry out its backup responsibility. Ultimately, this beforehand unknown mechanism restored the spindle construction, permitting the chromosomes to be pulled aside.

Though this research was accomplished in C. elegans — a well-studied roundworm that’s generally used as a mannequin for replica — Wignall believes comparable mechanisms is likely to be current in people. However as a result of so few human eggs cells are donated to science, researchers research mannequin organisms to probe questions and work out particulars earlier than inspecting people.

“All the parts in our research are additionally current in human eggs,” Wignall mentioned. “Spindles appear to kind the identical manner in people and even look precisely the identical. It could be actually fascinating to see if people even have this backup mechanism.”

The research, “A number of motors cooperate to ascertain and keep acentrosomal spindle bipolarity in C. elegans oocyte meiosis,” was supported by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (award numbers R01GM124354 and T32 CA009560).

Governments are not on track to meet global targets to eliminate violence against women and girls —


Over one in 4 girls (or 27 per cent) expertise intimate companion violence earlier than the age of fifty, in keeping with a worldwide evaluation led by researchers from McGill College and the World Well being Group. The biggest of its form, the evaluation covers 366 research involving greater than 2 million girls in 161 international locations.

“Intimate companion violence towards girls — which incorporates bodily and sexual violence by husbands, boyfriends, and different companions — is very prevalent globally,” says McGill College Professor Mathieu Maheu-Giroux, a Canada Analysis Chair in Inhabitants Well being Modeling.

In line with the discovering printed in The Lancet, one in seven girls (or 13 per cent) skilled intimate companion violence throughout the final 12 months of the examine interval between 2000 and 2018. The evaluation additionally discovered excessive ranges of violence towards younger girls, estimating that 24 per cent of these between the ages of 15 to 19 skilled home violence of their lifetime.

Whereas the numbers are alarming the true scale of violence is probably going even greater, the researchers say, noting that the research have been based mostly on self-reported experiences. Given the stigmatized nature of the problem, girls may be hesitant to report their experiences, they clarify.

Excessive-income international locations reported decrease charges of home violence

The researchers discovered regional variations, with high-income international locations having decrease prevalence of each lifetime and previous 12 months violence. The lifetime prevalence amongst girls aged 15 to 49 was highest in Africa, South Asia, and elements of South America. The areas with the bottom estimated lifetime home violence towards girls have been Central Asia and Central Europe.

The proportion of ladies who skilled intimate companion violence within the final 12 months was round 5 per cent for North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. In areas of Africa, this quantity was as excessive as 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

Canada amongst international locations with lowest charges of home violence

“Whereas Canada is among the many prime 30 international locations with the bottom charges of intimate companion violence, it is nonetheless an issue that impacts 1 in 25 girls,” notes Professor Maheu-Giroux. “Some provinces in Canada are alternative ways to handle home violence. In Quebec, for instance, the federal government accredited a pilot undertaking in 2021 to create a particular courtroom for victims of home and sexual violence,” he provides.

Calls to strengthen response in pandemic rebuilding efforts

“General, our analysis exhibits that governments aren’t on monitor to satisfy international targets to eradicate violence towards girls and women. An essential takeaway is that even in some high-income international locations the prevalence of intimate companion violence is comparatively excessive, which requires funding in prevention at native and international ranges,” says Maheu-Giroux.

“In Québec alone, we witnessed a wave of 17 intimate companion feminicides in 2021 — probably the most excessive consequence of intimate companion violence and the very best quantity in additional than a decade,” he says.

Globally, the issue is more likely to have been additional exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers clarify. There’s an pressing must strengthen the general public well being response to intimate companion violence, and guarantee it is addressed in post-COVID-19 rebuilding efforts, they conclude.

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