Creating Babies with no Egg or Sperm

Biology

Health and Medicine

Date: April, 2018

Source: New Scientist

A number of discoveries and researches have opened up the possibility of making babies without the use of egg or sperm from the parents. A bioengineer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yue Shao, published in 2017 his findings when he was still at the University of Michigan that the cells he was working with seemed to have assembled themselves into what appeared to be early-stage human. A year before that, Japanese researchers in Kyoto University were able to produce mice babies from eggs that were made from adult skin cells.
 
This has important implications on the possibility of having babies for people who are infertile. Coupled with growing research on the possibility of letting the fetus grow outside the body using artificial sacs, a new way of reproduction seems no longer remote.
 
Hank Greely, a bioethicist and lawyer at Stanford University in California, said, “My guess is this would be a major way of having babies 100 years from now.” 
 
​Source: New Scientist, April 14-20, 2018;​

Yoga and Mindfulness Improve Emotional Health of Third-Graders

Psychology

Education

Health and Medicine

Date: December, 2017

Source: Science Daily, Psychology Research and Behavior Management

A study made by Tulane University showed that third graders who manifest anxiety were helped in their well-being and emotional health after practicing yoga and mindfulness activities.

A group of 20 students underwent special yoga practice while a control group of 32 students underwent the usual school care including counseling. The yoga practice included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and yoga postures. The researchers used two instruments to assess the change in the students: the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery version and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

“The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care,” said principal author Alessandra Bazzano, associate professor of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health. “We also heard from teachers about the benefits of using yoga in the classroom, and they reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention.”

Sources:

  • www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180410100919.htm
  • Alessandra N Bazzano, Christopher E Anderson, Chelsea Hylton, Jeanette Gustat. Effect of mindfulness and yoga on quality of life for elementary school students and teachers: results of a randomized controlled school-based studyPsychology Research and Behavior Management, 2018; Volume 11: 81 DOI: 10.2147/PRBM.S157503

4 days after death, hundred of genes still active

Biology

Health and Medicine

Date: June, 2016

Source: Science Alert; Science

A team of researchers from the University of Washington found that genes continue to be active in mice and zebra fish even days after their death. This research was triggered by a previous finding that genes in human cadavers were still active more than 12 hours after death. What they noted was that the gene activity after death was not sputtering but rather they became more active after death. In the case of zebra fish, “548 genes retained their function for four whole days after the animals had died before showing any signs of winding down.” This finding raises the question on when really is the time of death. It also has implications on the state of the organs after death when they are being considered for transplant.

What surprised researchers was the fact that the genes which were activated after death were those which were active during the formation of the embryo and which become inactive during one’s lifetime.

Sources:

Estonia to give DNA test and advice to citizens

Biology

Health and Medecine

Date: April, 2018

Source: New Scientist

Estonia plans to test the DNA structure of 100,000 residents and give advice regarding their predispositions to certain diseases so that they could adopt healthier lifestyles and take preventive measures.
“We want to invest in preventing or delaying the onset of common chronic diseases by using genetics to identify people at high risk,” says Jevgeni Ossinovski, Estonia’s minister of health and labour.
The country plans to do it eventually for the entire population.

 

Source: New Scientist, April 7-13, 2018

Increased Cancer Rate in US Linked to Bad Environment

Health and Medicine

Date: May 13, 2017

Source: New Scientist

A study by Jyotsna Jagai and her colleagues at the University of Illinois compared data from the Environmental Quality Index from 2000 to 2005 with the incidence of cancer from 2006 to 2010.

Their findings reveal a correlation between increase in cancer incidence with the decrease in environmental quality, particularly in the case of prostate and breast cancer.

Source: New Scientist, May 13-19, 2017; https://www.newscientist.com/article/2130086-increased-cancer-rate-in-us-linked-to-bad-environment/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.30709