19 Burst results for "Sarah Crespi"

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

14:29 min | 8 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Hi Hannah, hi Sarah. What exactly happens when an animal is hibernating? Is it much different than sleeping? It is different, Sarah. When we go to sleep at night, we drop our body temperatures, maybe a degree or two, ground squirrels go into hibernation, the state of torpor actually is what we use, metabolic depression. They enter that state from deep sleep, but then they go full in. Their metabolism starts to slow to very low levels and that causes body temperature to fall by many, many more degrees than ours. But the hibernators are in an unconscious state, just like we are during sleep. But after that, the differences are quite extreme. There's no eating during hibernation. They don't get to take in extra water or food when they're in this torpor state. And these are really slow, but the animal could actually run low on nitrogen. Where is it going? And why is it a bad thing for that to happen? The hibernators that we study actually are called seasonal hibernators and for the whole season of the winter hibernation period, they don't eat. Some hibernators, periodically eat food that they cash in their burrows, but not these ground squirrels or animals like groundhogs and marmots and those sorts of animals, and even bears. When they're at that very low body temperature and low metabolic rate, they have turned down their thermostats and they actually don't need that much energy. And then using that much of their protein. But periodically during the winter, they'll turn on their metabolism without any external cues they'll turn on their metabolic capacity and rise up to close to summertime body temperature and metabolism. And that is an energetically expensive process, and there's a lot of protein synthesis that goes on during those what we call inter bout in between the torpor bout arousals. So nitrogen in the body is used to synthesize new proteins during that time. These periods of high body temperature that occur every few days to every few weeks throughout the winter. It varies with species and temperature, but it lasts for about a half a day and a lot of the time they're sleeping. They're catching up on their sleep, but at high body temperature. Oh, wow. So they're leaving a hibernation state just so they can catch up on their sleep and then go back to hibernating? Yes, that's why we like the word torpor. They leave the torpid state. They're still in hibernation, but they leave torpor. Come up, do a lot of important biochemistry that we're all just still trying to figure out. And then they go back down into their top or state, but some of the nitrogen is used to make new protein, but no new nitrogen is taken in because they are fasting, no food intake. And so it's not good for them to run super low on nitrogen. That's right, but of course they've evolved to do this very well. And evolution has led to seasonal cycles such that they don't normally run out before the springtime comes. And they come out when they know they need their body tells them it's time to start eating again. And our study actually adds this little twist that involves a process that's well known in ruminant animals of all things. So cattle and sheep and goats. And their microbes do some digesting for them, right? Absolutely. That's the crowning glory of what we call urea nitrogen salvage, where the waste product urea that all animals vertebrates, even some invertebrate animals make to get rid of excess nitrogen that can be toxic to the body. We make urea and we usually comes out in our urine. But certain microbes, not all gut microbes but certain microbes have the special enzyme urease that's able to split the urea molecules liberating that nitrogen molecule that's in this waste product. And use it for their own purposes and for ruminants, this all happens in the rumen, which is the big part of the four stomach that occurs before the small intestine. What made you think that this might be happening in ground squirrels into this might be a process that would be in place during hibernation? The question of whether non ruminant animals, including humans, get some help from their gut microbes by liberating nitrogen from urea that they could eventually use that question been around for a long time and there's been quite a bit of research in the past, including with humans to see if it really can contribute to our biology and help us especially in times of protein need low protein diets, for example, or even pregnancy where there's a lot of new growth in the body. You need robust protein stores. So research has gone on on this process in non ruminants. And even in hibernation literature, people have studied hibernation for decades have hypothesized, really, that hibernators that go through the winter with no new nitrogen intake, maybe they're especially linked through symbiosis to their gut microbes so that they can regain that nitrogen back from the urea molecule and recoup it back to their bodies, but there was very little evidence. Good data that suggested this happened. So we asked whether the hibernators, first of all, if we could get evidence that urea nitrogen salvage, which involves the microbes using that nitrogen for their own purposes to get nitrogen so that they proliferate, but they release metabolites like ammonia and even some of the amino acids that they make for themselves. It's possible that some of those metabolites are coming back and absorbed across the gut wall and are available to the hibernators. So we asked, does it happen in squirrels, ground squirrels? Does it happen especially prominently in hibernation and we went a step further than hypothesized that the longer their fasting, the more important their symbiotic relationship with microbes might be, what did you do to track nitrogen seeing if the microbes were contributing any to their host? We used a technology known as stable isotope tracing or stabilized tracking. And when I thought years ago about this project, and how I could be able to track the microbial signature, if you will, actually know that that nitrogen molecule in the ground squirrel tissues originated from their gut microbes. The way science goes as funny I was at a graduate student lecture, and I saw her talk about using stable isotope technology tracking a stable isotope of carbon carbon 13 instead of the more common carbon 12. And using that technology in breath testing to see if you could pick up changes in metabolic state of an animal, then they used NMR nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, metabolomics, essentially, to actually look at that carbon isotope in the body of the animals. And I said, wow, maybe that's it. Maybe if we could get a stable isotope of nitrogen in a urea molecule which you can, you can purchase doubly labeled urea with carbon 13 and nitrogen 15, and then through these breath testing and metabolomic technologies you could ask whether it would appear after injecting the UW labeled urea into the body of the ground squirrel, could you pick it up later on? And by definition, this is key mammals, other vertebrates, even invertebrates. Do not make the urea enzyme. You need to have that urease enzyme or this nitrogen will not be liberated from the urea molecule, but microbes only certain microbes make urease and are able to do that. So we said, well, perhaps, this can be happening during hibernation with the help of these urea lytic microbes. Right. And so you're able to show that the microbes liberated it and pass it on to their squirrel host. Did you see I don't know if you want to say seasonality, but did you see it changing over time, depending on where in hibernation, the squirrel was? Yes, we did. We did all our experiments with summer ground squirrels that were eating and winter that were fasting. And then we looked at our swirls that we studied after just one month of fasting early in the hibernation season and those three or four months or longer out closer to when they'd finally emergent spring. And the two tissues we examined showed this time dependent increase in the protein pool that had the nitrogen 15 in it. So as we thought, when the animals needed the most, their bodies were incorporating the urea nitrogen that was originally released by their gut microbes into their tissues. Is this something that it's possible people are doing now that you pin down how it might be happening in hibernating squirrels? Is it more likely to be happening in people? The answer there is yes, as I mentioned earlier, there are have been studies with human subjects to examine this. So we know that from those studies, the machinery, if you will, to go through all the steps and there are several steps along the way that are needed both in the microbes and the host to pull this off, that machinery is there. What would it mean if this type of bacterial assistance was happening in people? We think there are some potentially helpful or important implications of this work that could eventually make their way back to humans. There are diseases and pathological conditions where there is what's called muscle wasting, for example. People, for example, who are at bedridden because they're in a coma, when you don't use those muscles, especially put weight on them, muscles pretty quickly start to atrophy start to lose mass and therefore function. And then if the person is able to, once again, resume locomotion walking, it takes a while to rehab those muscles and get back up to speed again. So perhaps there may be a way through the microbiome if we understood more in detail about what the microbes are doing functionally and the steps within the body that we also looked at in the ground squirrels. Maybe understanding how to enhance those steps would help individuals that were in these situations. We have to go all the way to space travel here. We can't stop before we get to that application. This one is kind of cool. And actually, it's something that's on the plate of the first author of this paper, Matthew Regan, who was a postdoc on the project. And as a young child, he's been fascinated with space travel. And the studies that he'll be continuing along these lines includes asking whether enhancing the symbiosis between gut microbes and their human hosts could be manipulated in a safe beneficial way to enhance their ability to recoup their urea nitrogen during long distance long duration space travel, like in deep space, where you just can't put enough food on these spacecraft, right? Right. We'd have onboard recyclers. Humans and their buddies they've got microbes. It's a symbiosis for sure. Yeah, I thought you were gonna say, you know, working on human hibernation, like if we could induce hibernation in humans. That's part of the equation too. Both European space agency and NASA are interested in this idea about inducing a safe and reversible metabolic depression, a torpor like state. Nothing is extreme as the little ground squirrels do, but something more akin to bears actually bears would be a good model because of their body size and they don't drop their body temperatures nearly as low as the squirrels, but there's definitely interest there in terms of going through these periods so that they don't have to have so much food and oxygen. The other benefit is there are studies supported by NASA in the 50s and 60s that suggest the torpor state protects against radiation damage. Oh, wow. And that is one of the most important impediments to progress is the radiation burden that humans would take on with deep space travel. So there may be a double benefit there. Thank you so much, Hannah. Thank you, Sarah. This is always a joy for me to talk about hibernation and we're very excited about this project. So with great talking to you. Panicking is a professor in the department of comparative biosciences within the school of veterinary medicine at the university of Wisconsin Madison. You can find a link to the paper we discussed and a related commentary piece at science dot org slash podcast. And that concludes this edition of the science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions for the show, write to us at science podcast at ORG. You could listen to the show on the science website at science that org slash podcast. You can subscribe on the site or anywhere you get your podcasts. This show was edited and produced by Sarah crespi, with production help from patagia, Meghan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg. Transcripts are by scrubby. Jeffrey cook composed the music on behalf of science magazine and its publisher, triple AS. Thanks for joining us. This episode is brought to you in part by the fulbright U.S. scholar program. The fulbright U.S. scholar program, 2023 to 2024 competition will open in February 2022. This gallery program offers diverse opportunities for U.S. academics, administrators and professionals to teach research do professional projects and attend seminars abroad. Explore the catalog of awards and connect with fulbright to learn more. For more information about the program, please visit WWW dot CI, ES ORG. That's WWW dot CI, ES dot org..

metabolic depression Sarah Hannah Matthew Regan UW coma NASA department of comparative bios school of veterinary medicine university of Wisconsin Madiso depression Sarah crespi patagia Meghan Cantwell Joel Goldberg Jeffrey cook science magazine U.S.
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

01:32 min | 8 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Look at how this works in other parts of the world? As I mentioned, who's considered family is really different across different cultures. And also the norms around saliva sharing are really different. So one question is whether those early experiences might affect the inferences that infants and toddlers make. So if we tested an 8 month old in a totally different culture with these exact same stimuli, would they have the same expectations? And if they don't, then what is it about their environment that's leading them to learn different things about how close relationships work? And if they do, how do those early inferences sort of constrain how people think about family? Thank you so much, Ashley. Thank you. It was a pleasure talking to you. Ashley Thomas is a postdoctoral researcher in the brain and cognitive science department at MIT. You can find a link to the article we discussed at science dot org slash podcast. And that concludes this edition of the science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, write to us. At science podcast at ORG. You can listen to this show on the science website at science dot org slash podcast. You can subscribe there or anywhere you get your podcasts. This show was edited and produced by Sarah crespi with production help from patigi, Megan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg. Transcripts are by Scripps. Jeffrey cook composed the music on behalf of science magazine and his publisher, triple AS. Thanks for joining us..

Ashley Thomas Ashley MIT Sarah crespi patigi Megan Cantwell Joel Goldberg Jeffrey cook Scripps science magazine
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

07:37 min | 9 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"This is the science podcast for January 14th, 2022. I'm Sarah crespi, each week we talk about the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First up this week, we have news intern, Rachel Fritz. We talk about using cloning to bring back genetic diversity in an endangered species. Next we have researcher Rick Krause. His group used a powerful laser to compress iron to pressures similar to those found inside some rocky exoplanets. If these so called super earth cores are like our earth core, they may have a protective magnetosphere, which increases their chances of hosting life. What do you do with an endangered species that has a tiny population and very low genetic diversity? Basically, the whole population is made up of genetic first cousins or siblings. One surprising solution to this involves cloning. Rachel Fritz is a news intern for science. She wrote about the first endangered species that has been cloned in order to be integrated into a conservation program. Hi, Rachel. Hi, thanks for having me on. Oh, sure. I'm excited to talk about ferrets. Even rare ones that I've probably never run into in the real world. Black footed ferrets have actually been on the ropes for a long time. Basically, since the U.S. started protecting endangered species, these have been under threat. How big is their population these days? Right now, as a species, they are still really dependent on captive breeding. So there are usually about 300 ferrets in captive breeding programs in the U.S. and Canada at any given time and about the same number in the wild. They're not a lot. And unfortunately, there is a serious lack of genetic diversity in these guys. Is it starting to cause problems with the population with breeding? Every ferret alive today is actually descended from just 7 individuals who are captured from the wild in Wyoming in the 1980s. And I should say every individual except for elizabethan. Okay, we'll get to that in a second. They've seen some decline in what they call reproductive fitness. They are just getting a little bit worse at making babies. And then the babies that are born still mostly, I think, coming out healthy, normal black food, ferrets, but some problems have started to crop up like their tails will have a little kink in them or their sternums will be a little bit deformed, mutations that are cropping up because all of the ferrets are basically as related at this point as siblings or first cousins. Okay, here's a question. So they're very kind of uniform. They're cousins or siblings to each other. How can cloning help increase diversity in a population like this? There were 18 ferrets that were initially captured for the captive breeding program and just 7 were able to reproduce and pass on their genes. So there were actually two individuals who were captured who did not breed, but their DNA was cryopreserved somewhere called the San Diego frozen zoo cloning is a way to unlock the biodiversity that's been frozen in time at the frozen two. We've had this type of cloning since the 1990s, right? Dolly the sheep. Yes. And it's been used for sheep for pets for more kinds of livestock. Why is it just now being applied to conservation? You know, several wild animals have been cloned. Even a few endangered species have been cloned the first kind of right at the turn of the 21st century, but in all of those instances, it's just been one or two individuals cloned as a proof of concept. One of the challenges with endangered species is they don't necessarily have the infrastructure, the facility, the resources that, for instance, agriculture does to try a sort of riskier form of breeding. We're pretty good at keeping sheep alive in breeding sheep. Yes. Maybe it's a little bit easier than some rare animal that people have almost never read in captivity. Right, we have so much more practice with sheep. Why are black footed ferrets a good early test for this? They actually have a lot of things going for them that make them kind of perfect to be pioneering this as a potential option for other endangered species down the road. One thing was just that they happened to be lucky and have these two individuals that happened to be able to make a really big difference for black food for genetic diversity. Part of it is that black food ferrets were very unlucky. They have this genetic basis that is so slim that even help from one extra individual can make a ton of difference for them. They also have close relatives that can support the cloning process. Yes, so one of the things that makes cloning endangered species challenging is because each individual is so important. Another animal is usually used as the surrogate mom. So in the case of black footed ferrets, that's actually the domestic ferret. So any cloned black food ferrets will be born from a domestic ferret mom and luckily black food ferrets and domestic ferrets are very closely related and because domestic ferrets are used in, for instance, biomedical research and bred as pets. We have a lot of experience, breeding them as well. When you say that domestic ferret is the surrogate mom, it's not just that the fertilized embryo are put into the mom. But the embryo itself comes from the domestic ferret, right? Basically when I say cloning, I'm talking about something called somatic cell nuclear transfer. That's just a fancy way for saying you take an egg cell and you suck out the nucleus that contains that egg cells, DNA. And then you take a cell from the individual that you want to clone and you put its nucleus in that egg cell, and then you kind of give them a little jolt of electricity. If everything has gone well, they start to reproduce, divide and form an embryo. The tricky bit there is that there is mitochondrial DNA hanging around that's inherited from the domestic ferret mom. Yes. That's an added complication of using this form of cloning where you're using a surrogate mom from a different species. The mitochondrial DNA always comes from the mother. So if you use a surrogate from a different species are going to have the mitochondrial DNA from that species, but there is actually a way to deal with that. This is when we finally get to mention Elizabeth.

Rachel Fritz Sarah crespi Rick Krause U.S. Rachel Wyoming Dolly Canada San Diego Elizabeth
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

07:50 min | 9 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"It seems not a very logical argument to be making, but the point is it is being made, and it's being made with considerable funding. You know, there are heavyweight funders funding this research from the NIH that you horizons project to darpa. It's still a very small community. But over the last 5 years, they've still had over a dozen scientific publications on this and it's got a fair bit of coverage in popular science and in media. And so the idea is seated, it's being put out there, but you're not seeing the discussion within the scientific community about what are the anticipated benefits of this? Are they realistic? What are the potential harms? What are the potential risks? How do we weigh those? Yeah, it does seem like that discussion was had. People kind of agreed and then it was forgotten about because it's been so long and it's kind of like zombie science. It's just going to keep showing up. People are going to keep proposing it and testing it out. And do we need to have these discussions again with virologists with epidemiologists with wildlife management? I think the answer really is to have a more open debate about whether we should be doing this kind of research at all. This is clearly a global concern. So we need to have a global governance effort that means at the international level, we need to update existing regulations around this to reflect contemporary societal values. And, you know, these will have shifted in light of the COVID experience for sure. We also need national governments to clarify if necessary update any relevant legislation and guidance they have in this area. And I think we need to ask more of the researchers and their institutions and the funders who are working on these approaches to actively articulate credible regulatory paths that they believe the safety and efficacy of self spreading vaccines can be established. This seems especially important if the research is being done by one country with the aim of applying it in another country. For a problem that isn't local to the researchers. Yes, we do see that happening. We do see, for example, funders in the United States, funding research, going ahead in Africa, for instance, saying, this is going to be a huge benefit to them. But it is also at a risk to them. And so right. There are questions around outsourcing risks. There are questions about for whose benefit is this really? And I think that discussion needs to be brought more to the fore and more to the communal level and not be kept in these very specialized niches or groups. What are some of the safeguards that have been proposed or that people discuss as a possibility for something that's self spreading? What the researchers are currently claiming is that there are approaches that exist that will suppress viral evolution. So that these viruses that you release won't mutate in the environment. They also say that the viruses and the vaccines can be fine tuned so that they only have predetermined lifetimes. Now, none of that is proved. I was going to say, how does that hold up? Yeah, not very well, you know? These are claims that are being made, but they've not been proved. They've not been evidenced. And I think that would be a lot of suppressed faces if they could evidence the fact that evolution doesn't continue with viruses. We're talking in the middle of an omicron wave, we are, I think, all of us very conscious that viruses evolve in the wild. In my experience on social media, some of the wilder things I've seen are people saying, oh well, the COVID vaccines, the coronavirus vaccines are spreading person to person. Obviously that's not true, but it's not something we should avoid talking about. No, I think that's right. I mean, I think that would be an incredible backlash against any suggestion that we would introduce self spreading vaccines for humans. We see that particularly with the anti vaxxers movement, for instance, and what was interesting before this article came out in science, I wrote with some of my co authors another smaller piece for the Bolton atomic scientists where our title, which was scientists at working on vaccines and spread like a disease what could possibly go wrong attracted an incredible amount of clicks and attention. And that was primarily from the anti vaxxer community. They thought from the headline that this could be something to back up their arguments. But of course, if you read through the article, that's not at all. It was. I have to admit that when I first read self spreading vaccine, I was like, you know, maybe. But as soon as I read your piece, I was like, oh no, we do not want to give people vaccines that don't want them because they could have a reaction they can have an immune compromised situation. There's so many reasons. That's right. There are more vulnerable communities out there, of course. But what is interesting, it is, it does seem like an inherently sort of attractive idea, especially when you think about it in terms of not humans. But wildlife, could we just have let a virus loose on bets that then would have ensured the coronavirus didn't spill over into the human population? It kind of seems a very attractive idea at first glance. But the practicalities and the dangers are really big questions. Yes. I mean, there are safety aspects to this. They're ethical aspects to this. There are also security aspects to this. So it needs and warns a much deeper discussion and the steps that we're seeing currently where researchers are suggesting this is a possibility right now. I think our worrying when we don't have when we haven't had that discussion. All right, thanks, felipa. Thanks Sarah. It's been good to speak to you. Philip alento is a senior lecturer in science and international security and the department of war studies, and in the department of global health and social medicine. And also co director for the center for science and security at King's College London, you can find a link to the inside article we discussed at science dot org slash podcast. And that concludes this edition of the science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, write to us at science podcast at AAS that ORG. You can listen to the show on the science website at science dot org slash podcast. You can subscribe there or anywhere you get your podcasts. The show was edited and produced by Sarah crespi with production help from prodigy, Meghan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg. Transcripts or by Scripps? Jeffrey cook composed the music of science magazine and its publisher, triple AS. Thanks for joining us. This episode is brought to you in part by the fulbright U.S. scholar program. The fulbright U.S. scholar program, 2023 to 2024 competition will open in February 2022. This gallery program offers diverse opportunities for U.S. academics, administrators and professionals to teach research do professional projects and attend seminars abroad. Explore the catalog of awards and connect with fulbright to learn more. For more information about the program, please visit WWW dot CI, ES ORG. That's WWW dot CI, ES dot org..

darpa NIH U.S. Africa felipa Philip alento department of war studies department of global health an center for science and securit Sarah crespi Meghan Cantwell Joel Goldberg Jeffrey cook Sarah science magazine Scripps
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

06:42 min | 9 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"This is a science podcast for January 7th, 2022. I'm Sarah crespi, each week we talk about the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First this week, we have science journalist Olga Dober Vita. We talk about plans to set up a national permafrost observatory in Russia. Then we have researcher philippa lentos. She joins me to discuss her insight piece on the dangers of transmissible vaccines for controlling invasive species and viruses found in wildlife. The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet, and it's not just ice sheets that are at risk. It's also the permafrost. Olga dobo Vida is a science journalist based in Moscow. She wrote this week on plans to coordinate permafrost monitoring in Russia. Hi Olga. Hi, sir. Hi Sarah. Is permafrost exactly what it sounds like permanently frozen stuff? Well, at least it used to be before climate change came into the picture. Yeah, it's a very in depth, how much ice is in there so it can be kind of spotty or it can be full on permafrost. In total, it covers two thirds of Russians. So that's a huge world of land. Yeah. And is melting the problem here or warming up. You can indeed melt, but the problem is even if the temperature goes up slightly, the properties of permafrost can change. And that matters if you build something on it. I think this is the biggest difference for Russia, I suppose to other countries who have permafrost. We've got a lot of permanent structures built on top of the roads pipelines, even cities and towns. So it's not just an abstract issue of permafrost melting somewhere. It can impact people. Right, what happens when the ground suddenly changes its status, when it goes from hard, hard permafrost to soft squishy, dirt or mud. Last year in May, I feel depot was destroyed in part because the permafrost underneath it was damaged close to murals. It was partly because I think the conditions of permafrost noticed are really poor due to climate change, but also due to perhaps for management from negligence. So that fuel got destroyed and if you leaked into an open river, it turned it rusty rib really. And it ultimately went into the Arctic Ocean. It was really an environmental disaster. And the company responsible for the depot had to pay quite a lot of money. I think it's the biggest settlement in modern Russian history, at least for an environmental disaster. And this year, in December, they announced they're going to invest about as much money as the Russian government is going to invest in their system. So no risk nickel, the company will track permafrost where it matters to them, right? Right. Pipelines, factories that kind of thing. They're really investing in their own system too. What exactly is permafrost management? Is that something that a city or a town that's built in this kind of region has to pay attention to? If you ever get a chance to visit the you can see a lot of the buildings built actually higher up the ground on some kind of open foundations, a meter or so perhaps two meters above the ground. So that the building itself doesn't heat up the permafrost underneath it. And there was a ventilated, but you have to keep them clean. You have to keep the circulation going. Those are essentially going to sell cooling foundations for buildings. And they're also techniques to build stuff in the right way on this permafrost. But the problem with this is a lot of the standards that are used in building in the Arctic region come from an age before climate change was a thing. And they don't take these climate change impacts into account. So any redundancy they might have might already not be enough for these buildings. So do you mean that climate change is making things different? And so the buildings and the other maintenance things that people are doing aren't as effective. It's like lord bearing capacity, right? How much stuff can keep stable on top of it? Yeah. All those measurements, all those parameters in the building guidelines were designed as such in the pre impact era, where this was not that visible. We're actually seeing some impact. I know that in the northern towns, some of the newer buildings end up being demolished because they're unlivable, essentially. They started cracking tilting to sides because no one had considered that this could be an issue so soon at least. But there is a statewide or a nationwide monitoring effort that's being planned. Yeah. Is it much different than what's been done before to track permafrost in the country? To understand why this is important, you have to go back a bit into the Soviet times where permafrost tracking was really a unified mesh right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A lot of the research Institutes went their separate ways. And in the absence of funding for a system, the permafrost collection became spotty, which means that if a university or research institute has some sort of interest in a particular region, they track permafrost there. Some of those organizations feed their data into international systems, such as the town network or the GTN P, global terrestrial network for permafrost, which gathers data from across the world really. But that depends essentially on their goodwill. So if you want to do this, they do this. And most of them are actually end up studying the regions that are of interest to them. So it's about a sample and the coverage is really sporty because you can't really make any conclusions about the general state of permafrost. One other issue is outside this international project. No one's really sharing the data between them. So companies like Norris usually have their own tracking efforts, because again, they're interested in keeping their investments safe. But they have no motivation, no incentive to share their thinker. The biggest thing about this particular plan is that the data that is going to be collected since this government data and the agency in charge is mandated to collect environmental data and share it with users at least we can count on the data to be accessible. When we talk about monitoring permafrost, what exactly does that entail? Generally, there are two essential.

Sarah crespi Olga Dober Vita philippa lentos Russia Olga dobo Vida Hi Olga Russian government Arctic Arctic Ocean Moscow Sarah university or research institu research Institutes Soviet Union Norris
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

03:55 min | 10 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"If we remove the charge? How do you turn it off? How do you turn up? Well, you can go for the droplet with another molecule. If you cover the droplet with phospholipids, they will form a monolayer that is completely packed around the small droplet. You find that there is virtually no mobility hold of oil droplets. And there's also no frequency shifts anymore in no molecules of the droplet. So you're showing that every time you eliminate that frequency shift, you're not seeing the charge and vice versa. Exactly. Yeah, got it. Another question that you looked at in this system was what is the structure of water next to the droplet? What were you able to find out about that? The structure of water is a little bit different than the air water interface. So the air water interface, as you say, is basically the reference interface that can compare with a structure too. And so the hydrogen bond network on the oil droplets has a bit more order than the one on the are water interface. And so it is, it has a lower temperature. So the water hydrogen bond network add the oil interface has more order than they are water interface. So what does it mean that it's so different than the air water interface? Well, it means that the interactions between oil and water are actually stronger than we thought they would be. I open talking about the importance of oil water interactions for biology from what you've learned in this study. Is there something that you can that can help answer some of the questions biology protein folding, other things that depend on where these two substances meet? Yeah, exactly. I mean, you hit the nail on the head when you and you set this in your introduction. One example that people do in bioengineering is that they try to engineer proteins and computer models for that and so I think for making those computations of these complex systems is really important to quantify these interactions. And the same thing goes for things like atmospheric modeling. You need to have reaction console with interfaces of droplets in the atmosphere. They're not very easy to go more, especially they're impossible to combine until you start measuring what those water droplets is going to estimate. But it's the same kind of experiment that provides you this information. So what do you see as the next steps for this research that you're working on? There's a couple of things that are not yet clarified. One question here is that there is a PH dependence on this mobility that gives you the charge. And that still needs to be explained. There's also the curious fact that if you make the same system, but now you put water in oil, they can not be made stable. You have a pretty good idea why this is now and also about the beauty dependence. But we're currently working this out. I think once we have explained those two things, I would say, yeah, I guess we can close them. You're like, we're done. Thank you so much, sylvie. Well, thank you, too. This was very pleasant interview. Still be roque is a physicist and chemist at EPFL in Switzerland and is the director of the laboratory for fundamental bio photonics. You can find a link to the research article we discussed at science dot org slash podcast. And that concludes this edition of the science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, write to us at science podcast at ORG. You can listen to the show on the science website at science dot org slash podcast. And you can subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. The show was edited and produced by Sarah crespi, with production help from patigi, Meghan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg, transcripts or bicycle, Jeffrey cook compose the music on behalf of science magazine and its publisher triple AS. Thanks for joining us..

laboratory for fundamental bio sylvie EPFL roque Switzerland Sarah crespi patigi Meghan Cantwell Joel Goldberg Jeffrey cook science magazine
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

07:04 min | 11 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"This is a science podcast for November 19th, 2021. I'm Sarah crespi. Each week we share the most interesting news and research, published in science and the sister journals. Could wildfires be destroying the ozone layer? Paul boussen is a staff writer for science. We talk about the evidence for wildfire smoke lofting itself high into the stratosphere, and how the smoke might affect the ozone layer once it gets there. Next, we talk ticks, the ones that fight take blood and can leave behind a nasty infection. And to leave is a staff scientist at the national cancer institute. We discuss her paper on using a vaccine to stop take bites before they can transmit diseases to a host. Now we have staff writer Paul rusen, he wrote this week about smoke from forest fires reaching the stratosphere. Hi Paul. Hello. Your story opens with the polar stern, which I think a research soup that has been featured on the podcast a number of times, which is keep going back to the polar stern. And it's an icebreaker doing research up in the Arctic. And in your story, it's shooting a laser into the sky. What was it looking for? Yeah, the polar stern was got a lot of press coverage. It froze itself in the ice flow and drifted through the Arctic for nearly a year, a couple of years ago. This laser was shooting into the sky was initially designed to look for the interaction of small particles called aerosols and clouds. But they found something else entirely. They found particles in the stratosphere likely from forest fires in Siberia. What's the evidence that that's the source for the particles? They had an advanced lighter there that can detect the fingerprint of smoke in particular, it gets pretty technical pretty quickly of just about reflection of light back versus what is absorbed at different channels. So that was their indication that it was smoke. There's still some dispute about this, others say, oh, maybe it was volcanic. They are very convinced. It was smoke. They've seen this signature in other places that were definitely smoke, then they used in other space born, LIDAR, and other satellites to track it backwards to the Siberian fires. Is this something that's been happening all along with big fires, the smoke getting up into the stratosphere? Or is it new? This is a very strange case because typically just in the past few years we've seen these big global warming amplified wildfires that produce their big, convective storms, in Australia, British Columbia, that shoot into the atmosphere. These did not exist at Siberia. There was big fires, but there were not these big pyro nebulous storms. So you would not expect these particles to smoke to get up to the stratosphere at all, let alone in large quantity like they saw. But there's a different dynamics that might exist for lifting these up. Yeah, how might the smoke get up there without a giant storm system to loft it that high into the stratosphere? There's this theory called or this idea called self lifting, where the smoke particles are so dark. They're so good at absorbing light and heat from the sun that if you have a really kind of no winds, no weather of any kind really. You just have this impressive heat. They pick up that heat and rise because they are so hot that the air around them heats and the buoyant and then they just kind of keep shooting up. They can go up a kilometer a day and reach close to the stratosphere and get whisked into it by winds. So the opposite of a storm a complete wall, it's going to get this to happen. But we've been able to observe particles like this in the stratosphere for a long time with the space based imagery. So something different going on now? These sensors that existed since late 70s and then people realized, oh, hey, wait, that's smoke. Late 90s, early 2000s. And so they're able to go back through the records. And talking to one researcher focused on using these historical measurements, they haven't seen this in any appreciable amounts till 2017. And that was in 2017, 2020, maybe also with the Siberian fires. The appearance of these smoke particles probably originating from Siberia in the stratosphere overlapped with a dip in ozone levels. Why might the smoke have had an effect on ozone? This is the kind of most uncertain aspect of the work. Ozone chemistry is famously complicated. The work has not been done to kind of really Kay this all together. There's a correlation that you saw this huge ozone dip at the same time as the smoke. There are a couple of different ways that this could deplete those. I mean, that makes sense to researchers who have studied this type of chemistry. These polar clouds form, only in wintertime and these smoke particles could cause these clouds to form more droplets and these little droplets allow the chlorine that is in the stratosphere from CFCs like pollution to activate and eat ozone, also the smoke droplets could get coatings that can eat through ozone or they could enhance the polar vortex, which is the swirl of winds that causes cold temperatures. And the colder it gets, the more effective these chlorine chemical reactions get. What can be done to firm up some of these options to figure out which is true or if any of them are happening? I mean, there's a lot of modeling, this is really an emerging kind of line of research. So it's just the full kind of chemical model that has to be worked through. But they also just need to know what those particles look like what coatings they get. I don't know if they'll be aircraft campaigns or satellites or whatever to try and solve that or lab measurements. There's just a whole raft of things because just people didn't think this was a potential issue until 5 years ago. Right. Well, how does the depletion that was seen in concert with this fire smoke in the stratosphere? How does it compare with what we think of as the ozone hole that happened in the 80s and 90s? This is something that would enhance natural processes. So the good news, the best news is that you don't get ozone holes without that human emitted chlorine, bromine in the stratosphere. So that's still going to be there for decades and you know, it's going to slowly go down. So this might be a short term problem if it is a problem by short term meaning decades long. Do we see a dip as it drastic as we have in previous in the last century? The Antarctic past couple of years saw big ozone holes. Nearly as bad as the 80s, it's getting better, the trend overall is still getting better. But with the Australian fires happening around that time, there's curiosity of is there a connection there? And then this Arctic dip didn't qualifies that ozone hole but got very close..

Sarah crespi Paul boussen Siberia Paul rusen Arctic Hi Paul national cancer institute British Columbia Australia Kay
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

06:18 min | 11 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"This is the science podcast for November 11th, 2021. I'm Sarah crespi. Each week we share the most interesting news and research, published in science and the sister journals. In December this year, the web telescope will launch into space. This has been 30 years coming. Daniel clary is a staff writer for science. We talk about the excitement surrounding webs launch, and the data that will rain down upon us once it's up there in space. Next we have Greg Owens. He's an assistant Professor of biology at the university of Victoria. His team compared the genomes of short and long lived rockfish species. We talk about the genes linked to those long lifespans. The James Webb space telescope was first conceived of in the late 1980s. And now it's set to launch in December of this year, more than three decades later. After such a long road to launch, the anticipation for what web will bring to astronomy is intense. Daniel clary is a staff writer for science. He wrote about Webb's past and future in this week's issue. Hi Diane. Hi. This has been such a long time coming. I guess we just need to highlight of the hiccups along the way. What were some of the big blacks to getting web launched? I think you just turned out to be much more complicated than the foreshaw at the beginning. They wanted a big mirror, bigger than you could fit inside a rocket fairing. So they had to come up with a mirror that could be folded. And they wanted a telescope that could see in the infrared. So they needed to be able to cool the telescope and its instruments to very low temperatures because in the infrared things glow brightly and that would spoil their view. All of that made it of much more complicated telescope than the Hubble Space Telescope. And that took a long time to develop. You know, development costs money and time. Right, how much was the cost at the end of the day? The telescope itself is about $9 billion. There's a bit of money as well for operating it and the launch and there are certain components that were contributed by the Canadian space agency and the European space agency. So those add to the cost. It's a lot of money for a telescope. Definitely. Launches in December. It's very close to now, but the telescope will actually be ready to capture data for about a month after. What has to happen first? Once it's up in space, it sort of starts to unfurl like a flower. So first of all, solar arrays have to open so that it can power itself. And then it needs to unfold its antennas. And after a while, the telescope has to start unfolding. It's a segmented mirror, but it has two sides which are folded back so that it's tall and thin and can fit inside the rocket. And so those have to swing around and form the mirror properly. And it also has this enormous sun shield, which protects the telescope in the mirror and its instruments from the sun's heat. And that's about the size of a tennis court. And that has to be thin down on the booms. It's quite a lot of processes going on during that month. And they all have to happen faultlessly because unlike Hubble, it's going to be positioned a long way away from earth and it's much too far away to be repaired by astronauts if something goes wrong. A lot of people compare the web telescope to Hubble. What are some of the differences in their capabilities? Apart from the size of the mirror, you know, it's more than 5 times larger the mirror. So it'll just collect more light. So if you're looking at a very faint object, you'll get a much clearer view with the web. The other thing is it's designed to work over a much broader range of wavelengths. Hubble looks mostly invisible light, a little bit of the ultraviolet and a little bit of the infrared, the web is almost entirely in the infrared. It's longer wavelength than we can see with our eyes. But it's a wavelength that are particularly interesting to astronomers. With this giant mirror and the ability to look into the infrared. The web telescope is really poised to look far far back in time. What big questions about the beginning of the universe will tackle? Just being able to see back there is going to enable them to do a ton of things. The father you look the father back in time, you're also looking because late, you know, takes time to get to us. Hubble managed to look much further than people expected. The universe is 13.8 billion years old and Hubble has looked about 400 million years after the Big Bang. So that's yeah, that is pretty far back. That's a long way. But, you know, when Hubble's looking that far back, it's only seeing the very brightest things. So there were a lot of things going on back then that we can't currently see. Firstly, because they're too faint for Hubble to see. And also because the light is red shifted. So because the universe is constantly expanding, any light that's emitted back then gets stretched as it travels along through space to reach us. So things that were emitted in visible light will be deep in the infrared by the time they get to us. And that means that Hubble can't see them. Right, Hubble's presented us with a biased view of the bright things. Yeah, that's it. So it's only seeing the things that back then that are shining brightly in the ultraviolet. So web has been designed from the beginning to be an infrared telescope. Pretty much for that reason because astronomers realized if they wanted to look a long way back in time, they would need to look for things in the infrared because.

Daniel clary Sarah crespi Greg Owens James Webb university of Victoria Canadian space agency Webb European space agency Diane tennis Hubble
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

03:38 min | 11 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Of the carbon recalibration. The Intel group is really busy to plan for the next the next iterations. But it's not tedious, but we need to measure more and more fine new archive find new trees, find new spare times, find new marine archives. This is an ongoing process. The only key thing that we did not mention that I don't know if team did is ten years ago came a discovery that the carbon 14 can also behave on a very rapid and annual can have jumps. In fact, at an annual time scale, the jump in the production. And this was based on research that was performed by a group in Japan. And this has been confirmed. And more of these events have been found in the trees that are measured in the frame of anchor, and we have discovered many other of these events that are very brief in fact. But the corresponding fact to a massive change of the production of carbon 14, the present theory about them is that the corresponding to massive injection of particles, they are called solar particle Evans, and they are completely unprecedented. Astronomers have not seen them over the past decades, so there is no instrumental record of that, but these Evans are really a true new thing. And this is the reason why in the frame of an we want to remeasure all the true rings at annual resolution. This is a massive effort. I mean, if you can consider, we have 50,000 years to sample. And in the future, we need to do that at annual resolution. For the moment, it's not done, but this is the only way to discover this very special event that's also part of the solon variability. Let me ask you a little bit more about that. So there was this discovery of fluctuations year to year in carbon 14 and the thought is that it's something happening with the sun. And when you say year to year, do you mean you'll have a spike one year out of ten or how frequent is that variation? For the moment, there are a handful of these events that have been discovered. But there are many more probably because for the moment, the record has not been looked at sufficient precision and resolution. I mean, here is only the resolution. We need to measure the carbon 14 in every ring every year. And this is a massive effort, especially because you need to do that at very high precision very high accuracy on three rings and you need to replicate that in different trees at different latitudes and different locations. But this is happening. This is a spike that is happening in one year. In fact, 50,000 samples would not be enough basically. No, it's not. You need to probably ten times more. Wow. All right, thank you so much, edouard. Edouard Bard is a professor at the collage de France. You can find a link to the review we discussed at science dot org slash podcast. And that concludes this edition of the science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions, write to us at science podcast at AAAS dot ORG. You can listen to the show on the science website at science dot org slash podcast. You can subscribe anywhere you get your podcast. The show was edited and produced by Sarah crespi, with production help from prodigy, Megan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg, transcripts or bicycle, Jeffrey cook composed the music. On behalf of science magazine, and its publisher, AS, thanks for joining us..

Evans Intel Japan Edouard Bard collage de France edouard AAAS Sarah crespi Megan Cantwell Joel Goldberg Jeffrey cook science magazine
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

08:22 min | 11 months ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"This is the science podcast for October 29th, 2021. I'm Sarah crespi, each week we feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First up this week we have, why brainless animals sleep? Jellyfish, Hydra, roundworms. They all have a version of sleep. Liz ponisi is a staff writer for science. She talks about what we can learn from these simple sleepers. Next, we're gonna look at centuries of alien invasions or put more simply invasive insects moving around the planet with trade. Matthew McLaughlin is a research economist at the USDA economic research service. He wrote in science advances about how long it takes us to realize an invader is already here. Finally, a book on racism and search algorithms. Angela saney is the host for a series of interviews on race and science. This month, she talks with safiya noble about her book. Algorithms of oppression, how search engines reinforce racism. Did you know that jellyfish can sleep? Brainless creatures, like Hydra, roundworms, these things seem to need sleep, or something like sleep. This week, we have a special issue on sleep, and there are a ton of open questions in this area. Liz ponisi is a staff writer for science. She wrote about what simple sleepers can tell us about the big sleep questions. Hi Liz. Hi. I love the way you open your piece with these really existential sleep thoughts. How can something without a brain or even neuron sleep? And why do they need to sleep? My favorite, though, is this idea of sleep as the default state and that wakefulness is the evolved state. Can you expand on that? For a long time, people just thought about sleep in terms of something that you need for the brain. And now recently they've been finding sleep like or sleep behavior in ever simpler creatures. And that's led some researchers to speculate when sleep evolve and to think that it evolved in the very, very beginning of life. And so there's one idea out there that life started out as a pretty dormant thing and that wakefulness. In other words, the ability to respond to the environment and adapt to the environment is a secondary state, whether or not this is true, I have no idea. But it's an interesting way to think about it because it kind of puts the burden of wakefulness on us rather than the burden of sleep when we're trying to figure out how it evolve. Exactly. If we start with brainy creatures, maybe it's a little easier here. How do we define sleep in animals with brains? The definition of sleep has shifted over time, depending on the technology we have for measuring sleep. So of course, early on, it was just what happens when you go to sleep. You lay down. You become oblivious to the world around you. You wake up noises, but you might not wake up if someone walks by you. So what they call unresponsive to stimuli. And another key thing is if you don't get the sleep you need, you have to make up for it. So that was one definition that held sway up until the 50s or 60s. Then researchers developed ways to put electrodes, which measure electrical activity on their surface of the brain or the scalp. So, you know, you can think about those little wires attached by little adhesive tape. They attach electrodes to the surface of the head and they watch what happens in the brain and they notice that when people sleep, they have two kinds of sleep that have active sleep or rem sleep and then quiet sleep or non rem sleep. And so for a period of time, that's how researchers really knew that people were asleep and really defined sleep in that way by the electrical activity in the brain. So what happens after looking at the brainwaves? What have we done new things since then? Since then, people began to think about, well, maybe something besides mammals sleep. For the longest time we thought only mammals and maybe birds went to sleep and needed to sleep. Because they have big brains and they always brains need to rest and rejuvenate. But then at the turn of the 21st century, some researchers started looking at fruit flies and lo and behold, found they sleep. But because they didn't have electrodes to put on the scalps of these fruit flies. So they turned to the older definition of sleep, which is based on the behavior laying down, stopping moving, becoming unresponsive, needing to have makeup for deprived sleep. And using those criteria, they figured out that, yes, fruit flies sleep. And so do crayfish and octopus and roundworms and a whole bunch of other things. How can you even detect sleep in something like a jellyfish, which I think is one of the examples that you bring up in the story? They focused on a behavior and started videoing whether or not that behavior changed. So with these jellyfish, which are called upside down jellyfish because they hang out with their tentacles facing the surface of the water. They notice that they tend to spend time at the bottom of an aquarium say if you watch them in the lab where the bottom of the shallow area where they're saying. And so they realized since these jellyfish sort of stay put in are not constantly floating around. They could actually video them over a 24 hour period to see if they change what they did and what they watched is how often the jellyfish pulse and move their tentacles in a uniform way to get water to pass over them. And what in a video them over the day in the night, they noticed that the pulse rate changes from about 60 beats a minute to about 39 beats a minute. And so they thought, okay, that might be sleep. So to further test that, they then looked at whether or not the jellyfish were unresponsive. In other words, like you, when you're asleep, you don't notice when somebody walks by. This jellyfish notice when you do something that might disturb them. And the way they tested that is they made a false bottom in their aquarium and basically pulled the bottom out from underneath them. Now during the day, as soon as you do that, the jellyfish swim down to the nu bottom. No hesitation. But at night when they're posting only 39 beats and are maybe asleep, it takes them quite a long while to sort of recognize that they're not at the bottom anymore and move back down. And what if you deprive them of their slow beat time? Then what you notice the next night that they sleep the sleep more soundly. In other words, they pulse even more slowly and they pull slowly for an ever long period of time. So I want to sense they're making up for lost sleep. Can we call that sleep or is this just a circadian rhythm? Is this just syncing up with the processes of the world that are all synced up to the sun and the darkness and the light periods? Well, you know, that's a difficult question and there's some debate in the research community about whether jellyfish.

Liz ponisi Sarah crespi Matthew McLaughlin Angela saney safiya noble USDA Liz
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

04:40 min | 1 year ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Welcome to the science podcast for October 8th, 2021. I'm Sarah crespi. Each week we feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First up this week is contributing correspondent Josh sokol. He discusses plans for launching tens of thousands of small satellites into low earth orbit, and how these mega constellations have opened a new frontier for environmental debate. After that, we have researcher, Arthur cocher. We talk about what can be learned about the history of people by looking at the genetic history of the hepatitis B virus over 10,000 years. Back in 2019, a SpaceX rocket released 60 small satellites into low earth orbit. And a new field of environmental debate opened up. Mega constellations. Josh sokol is a contributing correspondent for news. He's here to talk about his feature story on the conflicts that have arisen along with plans for swarms of more and more satellites. Hi Josh. Hi. How many are there now? How many of these swarms are there now and what are the plans look like for more?.

Josh sokol Sarah crespi Arthur cocher hepatitis B virus Josh
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

07:40 min | 1 year ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Science podcast august. Sixty thousand twenty. One i'm sarah crespi each week. We featuring the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals first up this week. International news editor martin. Entering talks about a moratorium on pre-owned research after the fatal brain disease infected to lab researchers in france x. researcher obey going out talks with intern claire hogan about his science advances paper on figuring out how to reduce a massive carbon footprint of cement by looking at its molecular structure finally in a sponsored segment director of custom publishing shawn. Sanders talks with researcher on monster. Poppy about the benefits of supporting early career. Researchers now we have martin answering international news editor for science. We're going to talk about a moratorium on prion disease research in france. Martin they are and this is a story you actually edit right correct yes sorry. By barbara processes of freelance embarrassed that i had the buzzer fencing. Let's with preowned diseases. I think many people might be familiar with mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy which is a fatal infectious brain disease. In cows in humans there is a prion disease called creutzfeldt-jacob disease and it also causes brain damage and death but prion diseases have some very unusual features. What's so unusual about preemptive martin pre-owned so really fascinating proteins that cause disease without there being any virus or bacterium or anything else. Involved there proteins. Misfold that when they come into contact with similar protein skunk caused those proteins misfold as well so it is like an infection. Except there's no virus but briones enter your brain. They can cause proteins in your brain to misfold and that destroys the brain tissue and causes. It's like holes in your brain almost Eventually is always fatal. Prion disease hasn't been much in the news since about two thousand when the mad cow outbreak finally ended in europe. But now there's a moratorium on prion research and france. What's happened yes. It's really unusual but the five french institutes that do discount for search decides to stop it for three months. But what happens. Is that two years ago. A lab worker in france died from variant for shell. Jacob disease the human form of matthau disease or bse and it's almost certain that she acquired this disease ten years ago when she pricked herself in the lab with forceps that was dominated with reaon tissue so basically it was a lab accident. She died a horrible disease and it was one case but now there's a second case of retired loud worker in france. The new patient is still alive. The french don't know she was also effective on the job. But they're airing on the side of fortune and said let's let's stop this cycle free search for while while we look into the case. How likely would it be for someone to catch a preowned disease in the while. Not in a lab well for a variance. C. j. d. That is the type that you get from contaminated beef that's virtually impossible now because there is no bc anymore or very very very rare so for somebody of the age of the lab work or who died two years ago. That just won't happen. That's why people think she got in the lab but there's also what's both classic c. j. d. that's the form that's not related to mad cow disease and for this new case they don't know if it was very nc jd or classic seizures if it was classic than it may not be related to her work in the lab and sadly there's no real way to find out which type it is until after a patient dies and the brain autopsy and examined a bright and conclude which format is so. We may not know for awhile. What type of disease. She hasek section. Yeah this really points out you know how different it is if you get a stick with a potentially prieand laden needle or sharp in the lab. It's different than say you know. You're working in a lab with virus or bacteria every yes although of course there are other ry dangerous diseases like ebola and the have been accidents with ebola but even there your chance of dying is is not one hundred percent if you become infected and now they're also about a vaccines and with many other deceased. You can be treated. You have a lab accidents but with pre-owned if you're exposed you have a very long period in which you don't know if you've become infected because see incubation period is gonna be as long as a decade or even longer and if you are in texas there's hope because of diseases are always fatal right. Are the safety measures for working with priante similar to what's done with other infectious diseases like ebola. You have safety. Measures are already very strict but the family of the patient who died fronts. Two years ago they claim there were strict enough They've filed a lawsuit against the institute. Where is one works. They say it's basically manslaughter because she wasn't well enough protective but there are strict safety measures since them. In france they've become even stricter for instance people can try to avoid the use of berry sharp objects second use plastic instead of metal knives for instance in the story that we have about disgraced this week. There's a researcher and switzerland's who says he's gone even further. He doesn't really worked with bovine premiums because they are so dangerous unless it's absolutely necessary for instance for medical diagnostics but not in research so for the moratorium is the idea to take another look at the safety procedures to see what can be done. Yeah what they want to do is examine this case. I think and see what they can find out about an accident or something happened. That could have exposed this patient and if necessary Tightened the rules either. Thurber one other unusual thing i saw in the story is that it's possible that preowneds can spread through aerosols now. That probably wasn't known. When a lot of these safety protocols were set up this a researcher in switzerland that are story quotes of listen experiments. Back in two thousand eleven showing outs with mouse freons they can be crystallized and that's another way mice can become infected. Of course you can't do kind of experiments with people. But this researcher said he was shocked when he finds out because he realized that makes lap studies even more dangerous and says he tightened the rules in his own lab. At the time about sunny. Didn't attract all that much attention but it just shows that just how dangerous this fuel isn't the researchers internationally may have to take another closer. Yeah there aren't that many people who do this kind of research and as the story says one person has stopped working in this. Maybe because of the dangerous but it's not a mass exodus. Not everybody's leaving notes. Not i think researchers earl shocks when the hero case like this is really awful when somebody becomes effected on the job and dies but it hasn't caused many other people to leave the field. I think it may have also work more cautiously. Yeah i was really surprised by this number of accidents Seventeen in the hundred or so scientists working on this in france and five of those accidents involved cutting or stabbing.

france prion disease mad cow disease sarah crespi fatal brain disease claire hogan martin fatal infectious brain disease prion disease called creutzfel jacob disease Misfold briones ebola matthau disease cow disease Poppy Sanders shawn bse barbara
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

05:24 min | 1 year ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Podcast for july twenty third. Two thousand twenty one. I'm sarah crespi each week. We feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister turtles first up this week staff writer. Kelly servic joins me to discuss the possibility of mud tests for alzheimer's disease. Could they be used for testing. New drugs are.

sarah crespi Kelly servic alzheimer's disease
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

01:55 min | 1 year ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Last year about six million people in the us. We're living with alzheimer's disease and by twenty sixty that number could be as many as fourteen million people living with the disease. There's no cure and it's not easy to tell if someone has it from symptoms alone. The testing for alzheimer's is invasive and resource and pensive staff writer. Kelly servic is here to discuss. How testing the blood for alzheimer's might facilitate new treatments and new research. Hi kelly hi sarah alright. So this is kinda spurred on by the approval of a potential treatment for alzheimer's disease. I'm not going to say the name of the struggle. I'm going to leave that to you. It's very long but it's really put a spotlight on this issue of testing for the disease in the blood. Why is that first of all. Fda really surprised a lot of people by approving this drug called kanye mab marketed as as you home for alzheimer's and that that approval was special. Not just because there hasn't been an alzheimer's drug approved in more than a decade but also because this is the first approved drug that aims to actually interfere with the underlying disease process and slow the progression of disease and the reason that that is shaken. Things up is that essentially a lot of older people with memory problems. Who did not see care. Did not seek an alzheimer's diagnosis before. Might do so now that there is an available treatment. And what they would do to get screened would be what get speidel. Fluid take it out so diagnosing. Alzheimer's is really complicated. There other neurological conditions that can cause dementia and an older people a lot of other factors. That might contribute to their memory. Problems and as a result really confirming alzheimer's diagnosis requires waiting to get assessed by a specialist and be assured as you can be either getting a pet scan which is expensive. And there aren't a ton of pet scanners in this country or spinal tap so that your spinal fluid can be analyzed for certain

sarah crespi Kelly servic alzheimer's disease
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

08:07 min | 1 year ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"To the science podcast for july. Nineteen thousand twenty one. I'm sarah crespi each week. We feature the most interesting news and research published in science and a sister journals first up this week editor in chief holden thorp cox journalist and author patrick kief about the role. Scientists regulators and physicians played in the release of oxycontin and the opioid crisis in the us. Next researcher caitlyn bomber is going to talk to me about three d. printing proteins using candy. Finally book review editor. Valerie thompson takes us on a journey. Through some scienc- summer reads from the future of food to a biography of the color blue underneath the cove in nineteen pandemic another epidemic continues in the united states the opioid crisis sciences editor. In chief holden thorp talks with. Patrick radin kief about his book empire of pain which mainly describes how the practices of purdue the oxycontin maker owned by the sackler family worsened the opioid crisis in this discussion. They tackle what role. Scientists played in the drug's development approval and the very slow turnaround on its safety. -gratulations everybody's talking about this book and it's outstanding so so much. I appreciate the chance to get to talk to you in a way. This kind of like a lab accident alab accident. Something blows up in the lab and there was always a graduate student in there. That knew it was unsafe and it seems to me that there are a lot of scientists and physicians that were working for purdue who probably knew that. This wasn't going to end. Well so i'm going to sort of go through the chronology a little bit just to set the stage. And i think one thing that is surprising to a lot of people who may just come to this story with. Your book is the amount of coding. That's an oxycontin compared to other painkillers that people think of as strong painkillers. The real innovation in oxycontin wasn't the oxy park. It was the content art that had been developed actually within earlier drug called. Ms contin which was morphine pill if you look at the whole history of this this one drug company purdue that's the one big innovation really isn't marketing everything else is marketing but the one real innovation was this content. Coding system in the idea was that by regulating the flow into the bloodstream of of the narcotic in a controlled continuous manner they could administer larger doses of opioids than would have been possible in the past. You know what happened in morphing morphing wizard. It meant that you could actually take the drug at home. So people didn't have to be administered. Morphine in a hospital environment and this was primarily cancer patients with oxycontin. What it meant was that you could take oxycodone. Which is the only active ingredient in the pill and administered much larger doses than had been available in the past. So in the past. You'd have really quite a small dose whereas with oxycontin you're not just talking twenty milligrams or forty milligrams but eighty milligrams. And for a time. They had one hundred sixty milligram pill available on the idea. Was that meant that you only had to take it twice a day take it once every twelve hours and that it would slowly filter into your bloodstream. And as a consequence you could take safely. These mammoth doses. What's the rationale for giving some much more. There were other treatments. That were available in dosage strengths. Where you would take them. Every four six hours or eight hours here was when we can take every twelve hours and so that's a big advantage because it means that patients can sleep through the night from a marketing point of view. That's a huge and promising huck. Maybe not so true. In practice for a lot of patients a lot of patients actually found that the pain started coming back after eight hours and it didn't last for twelve hours in that had had pretty dangerous repercussions but that was certainly the marketing pitch. And then the other idea is that particularly with opioids. The body does develop a natural resistance in which you need greater doses to feel equilibrium so if initially twenty milligrams every twelve hours is enough to make the pain away if you take that for long enough. It's not gonna be enough. This is very analogous to the heroine addict. Who's always trying to chase the euphoria of that. I hit the you have to take ever-greater doses in order to do so. And so what this meant is that purdue could encourage physicians to as they said titrate up which means graduate the size of the dose and fortunately for them. They had this array of doses. They could offer so if you had a patient forum forty milligrams wasn't doing it any more than eighty milligrams becomes an option. Now we get into some of the science that either didn't get done or got glossed over so you talk a lot about how this twelve hour release either never was real or they thought it was real and then figured out. It wasn't but didn't do anything about it. How come there wasn't a more. Rigorous studied on of that. That had more influence. You've asked exactly the right question. In many instances it's not the studies that word on. It's the studies that weren't i. Think that if you look at the history of the development and marketing of oxycontin. That's very often. The case is that you had crystal clear commercial imperatives for developing and marketing and positioning drug in a certain way and a series of what i would think of as pretty clear disincentives from a commercial point of view to ask the tough questions about. Does it really last twelve hours. Do people start going into withdrawal after eight hours to some patients start doing so. Is it addictive. There were no studies done of the potential for abuse prediction of the drug. Before it was released there was a kind of a. I think a wishful thinking in part probably driven by commercial greed in part by ambition. In part i would argue. Actually by certain idealism at the company hoped that they could crack the code on opioids. These drugs that we've we've known for thousands of years have important therapeutic benefits but also really significant downsides and i think that the the hope and the ambition of view was that they'd act it. They've figured out how to create market and opioid. that didn't have the really serious potential for addiction. And of course we know now they were wrong. And why didn't the fda make them do more of that kind of thing with the role of the fda in this is really david kessler. Who was the head of the fda at the time when purdue got approval for oxycontin has said that the d. stigmatization of opioids in the american medical profession which produce a really significant driver off is one of the great mistakes in modern medicine. That's the quote from kessler to me. This is a story about total system failure. A story about all of the institutional safeguards that are supposed to protect consumers breaking down in one way or the other and i think at fda there was a willingness to take the company at its word to buy what the company was selling in terms of the marketing. Pitch and more perniciously. I tell the story in the book about the chief. Medical examiner at the fda who signed off on oxycontin saying it was both safe and effective to be sold in the united states but also proving some of these marketing claims. Which in retrospect turn out to have been totally bogus. Remember about a year after approving the drug. He took a job at purdue for three times his government salary. So.

holden thorp sarah crespi patrick kief caitlyn bomber Valerie thompson Patrick radin kief oxy park united states cox huck fda purdue cancer american medical profession david kessler
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

09:45 min | 2 years ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Now we have staff writer John Cohen. . He wrote a story this week about an interesting question what happens to all the other covid nineteen vaccine candidates when the first one is approved. . Hi John. . Hi. . Sarah. . How are you? ? I'm good. . He could be let's be honest. . We're both sick of the pandemic. . Yeah. . Absolutely. . Let me leave my house that my child leave the house. . That's all I want to normal. . Yeah. . Normal. . Let's talk about vaccine candidates. . How many are in studies now under study now and what does the trial landscape look like at this moment? ? Know they're forty two in human clinical trials according the WHO list? ? The World Health Organization doesn't update list that was as of October second in there about two hundred in development. . Of, , the forty two in clinical trials tanner in the last stage of efficacy trials, , the phase three, , we're going to be mostly talking about what's going on in the US those numbers reflect worldwide vaccine development that's global. . The US has four efficacy studies underway right now, , and these are all part of what they like to call warp speed all part of operation more speed. . Yeah. . Yeah and so they're going through trials going through all the same steps, , but that could change once one of them gets. . Approval, , why would something changed about? ? You know what's going on with the other CO bids scenes? ? The concern is that the mediocre might be the enemy of the better or the best the way that we've set things up in the United States the food and Drug Administration has a mechanism called an emergency use authorization. . It's received a lot of attention because of hydroxy chloroquine because of rim, , Desa there, , and because of convalescent plasma and because of diagnostic testing, , all of those have used this pathway for. Approval . and authorization essentially is short of a full approval and it says, , Hey, , were in an emergency we only minimal data that gives us an idea of this stuff working and then we'll let it be used widely. . So why are we worried about the other possible covid nineteen vaccines? ? If for example, , one gets a UA by November I the FDA has said in a document issued in June that the EU a could be issued for fifty percent efficacy. . That's a pretty low standard to begin with. . As. . Soon, as , you authorized the use of one vaccine, , first of all, , this is an ongoing study because they're going to use data for an e you a most likely from an interim analysis someone of axion efficacy trial is scheduled to take six months. . An Independent Safety Monitoring Board looks at the data at certain pre scheduled time points in the case of these efficacy trials they look at. . The data early based on what they call? ? It's are basically the end points of the study. . The studies are primarily asking the question. . Do they prevent symptomatic disease that the number one question they're asking? ? So that's an event. . If somebody gets a symptomatic disease and these trials are scheduled to have one hundred and fifty events to reach their final conclusions, , but they're going to take peaks at the data. . At fifty events, , a net one, , hundred events roughly at fifty events a company. . If it had strong evidence that the people in the vaccinated group as opposed to the Placebo group were doing better, , they could seek you a based on fifty percent efficacy at that moment they ethically in a quandary because the people who are still in this trial, , blindly a receiving either vaccine or placebo ethically you could. . Argue you've gotTa Blind and tell the people who are receiving. . Placebo. . We've got a vaccine that looks good. . Do you want to get it? ? So you've undermined that study from reaching it's real and points of one hundred fifty events <hes>. . What's more? ? Every other study underway has to let the participants know that the US has issued and ethically you have to give people the option of taking a vaccine. . The FDA's blessing. . People might walk out a trials who are in trials. . If you were staging a new clinical trial, , you may well have to compare your vaccine to the one that has received the authorization. . Well, , it's much easier to prove that something is better than nothing. . But what if you have a vaccine that's fifty percent effective and that becomes the competitor not a placebo well. . Then, , this new vaccine let's say it has sixty two percent efficacy. . You're comparing sixty two percent to fifty percent not fifty percent zero. . It's really hard to see that small difference or even if they're equivalent, , let's say they're both fifty percent. . So you need a much larger study and it needs to go on for a longer period of time and it costs a lot more money we. . Don't have. . It's not likely that people involved in trials for other vaccines or even the people in the placebo arm of the one that does get approved would have access to the sack seen. . That's a critical consideration. . If supply doesn't meet demand, , then we have an easy you were only giving outlets twenty million doses to the top priority people healthcare workers then for the people in other. . Clinical trials they have no other option. . Then the issue is not this great ethical dilemma, , but remember were speeding things up with operation more speed in order to pump out three, , hundred, , million doses of vaccine from one company by as early as the end of January. . So this problem, , it's not here today because supply doesn't meet demand, , but it sure could be here in late. . January and. . February march April who knows what we're going to have in terms of efficacy data and who knows what we're going to have in terms of trials in their enrollment. . Remember we have a couple of trials that have been stopped because of side effects. . When you put a trial on hold that means it's not going to reach its end point for even longer and that's happening right now with two of the warp speed vaccines. . In your story, , we don't want just one vaccine. . There's some good reasons to continue to investigate and to look further afield even after one is approved, , can you talk about some of those? ? For one thing we may need different vaccines for different populations. . The elderly we know with influenza, , they need a much higher dose because their immune systems don't work as well as they age we may need one that's tailored for pregnant women. . Pregnant women are GonNA, , tolerate a risk factor much much lower than everyone else. . You might need a vaccine that simpler to deliver for some parts of the world that doesn't have a cold chain issue or you need to keep it at. . MINUS SEVENTY DEGREES CENTIGRADE. . You might need a vaccine that's cheaper for many countries even though it's maybe sixty two percent versus sixty, , eight percent effective, , it might be a better deal at the end of the day because more people can get it for the amount of money you have on top of all that we want a lot of vaccines because more vaccines means more supply we have an insurance policy of something goes wrong at a manufacturing plant. . If a side effect crops up when it goes into wider use, , we have this backup of other vaccines. . So there are loads of reasons why we want a whole portfolio vaccines ultimately to prove safe effective. . That's the. . Case that you have to make to participants people who might be involved in trials. . Do you think it's going to be effective? ? Do you think people are gonNA still volunteer to get a vaccine or not vaccine that hasn't been approved? ? You put your finger on a really important issue and that's who enrolls in a vaccine trial why it's not like you have cancer that's going to kill you and you're enrolling in a trial because you've exhausted all medicines and you're hoping beyond hope that this new treatment will work and Save Your Life. . That's a completely different motivation to join a trial. . Then a vaccine when you are healthy, , you're joining this to prevent something from. . Happening so ethically, , you can argue that well, that , person most of these people are doing it for altruistic reasons the really doing it to help other people and you can ethically approach people in a study and say, , Hey, , look this one vaccine got EU a based on the early data that it's fifty eight percent effective. . We'd like to keep you in this trial and it's a blinded study and we promise at the end of the study is one of the bioethicists I interviewed said we promise at the end we're going to give you the better vaccine, , but will you stick with this for a while so that we can figure out if the vaccine that isn't For us is worth pursuing going back to your cancer example. . There are cases where a clinical trials is happening the people in the treatment group are doing so well that it's no longer ethical to continue to deny that treatment to the placebo arm. . That's not what's happening here. . It is a different equation, , some ethicists. . That, , even in a vaccine study, , a person has a right to know if they're a participant whether they're receiving a placebo vaccine if there is convincing and compelling evidence that the vaccines working but keep in mind too and this is something that I think a lot of people have a hard time getting their heads around wearing a mask and social distancing goes a long way toward protecting you from this virus maybe even more than fifty percent effective vaccine 'cause then you're walking around. . With none of this protection or you're not taking it as seriously exactly and that's called behavioral inhibition. . If a vaccine leads to behavioral discipline habituation and people dropped their guard, , stop wearing masks stop social distancing they may be putting themselves at more risk even though they have a vaccine in their bodies

United States Sarah Crespi FDA John Cohen staff writer Bert Weck Hausen BROCK PCT Meghan Cantwell Twenty researcher World Health Organization producer Mr Journals chloroquine EU Independent Safety Monitoring Drug Administration
"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

14:25 min | 2 years ago

"sarah crespi" Discussed on Science Magazine Podcast

"Now we have contributing correspondent. Gretchen Vogel she in two other science news staff Jennifer Cousin Franklin Megan. whalen worked on comprehensive story on reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic. Hi, Gretchen Hi, this is a very complicated story and tell you the truth. I'm a little frustrated because I. Just WanNa answers, but there are so many unanswered questions out there about current Ivars in children for example, how likely are kids to get an infection if they're exposed to an infected person? Do we have any numbers on that? The story was was fascinating, but also really frustrating to work on because we kept saying. Why are these answers so? There are no hard and fast answers, but there is accumulating evidence that kids newborns up to for purposes, eighteen are less likely to be <hes>. It's not clear why that is, but it does seem likely that children are about one half to one third as likely as adults to catch the virus in the first place. That's not one hundred percent clear, but let's consistently showing. Showing up in a lot of data then once we get past that question of how likely is a kit? Get infected. We ask the next question. It's still open, which is if they do get exposed to infection and they acquire it. Do they actually get sick? That is also not a number that we know in part because there's so little testing of people who don't. Don't show any symptoms and to find out if somebody is infected, but not showing any symptoms, you have to test a whole lot of people for the trifecta of unknown. How likely is a kid to transmit this infection? So there is some evidence out there saying that even if they do get infected, they are somewhat less likely to share it to other people. That's correct. Correct. There were a couple of intriguing case studies early on I was a kid. In France, who was infected, a family friend was in a ski chalet with his family, and t caught the virus. He tested positive, but didn't yet. No, that between the time he was infected, and and the time he was tested. He attended ski school and Language School in his regular school. Officials, tracked down more than seventy of his contacts and none of them ended up being infected. Even two of his siblings were uninfected. All three siblings shared other viruses, some minor cold viruses. They all had it was that they had contact with each other, but the coronavirus did not pass from this child to anyone else. They could find so that's really intriguing, but it's only one case right right, so it's hard to extrapolate from that. What our story talks about are some newer data from France that are also intriguing in a little town north of Paris. There was pretty large outbreak in high school early February. Teachers happened to get infected way before anybody knew that the coronavirus was circulated in France and so two weeks between the second of February and the fourteenth February when the school went on winter break, the virus had a chance to spread a few weeks later, when researchers looked at how many people had antibodies to the virus, they found that thirty eight percent of pupils, forty-three percent of teachers and fifty nine percent of non teaching staff had been infected, the also looked however at elementary schools in the town and there they found three kids who based on when symptoms had started, and the fact that they also had antibodies to the coronavirus. They figured these three. Three kids probably had been infected by their family members, and then attended school, because they weren't very sick, but they were infected, and they checked with all of their close contacts, and it did not look like they had passed it on to anyone. So this is getting at the idea that there is a sliding scale that younger students might be less likely to carry INS spread versus older students in the high school years. Certainly babies seem to be least impacted and toddlers, and then elementary school kids, and then as you get past the age of ten or eleven, the risk of both acquiring and passing on the virus does seem to increase and high school. School kids seem to be fairly good at both acquiring and passing on the virus be not quite as good as adults, but there does seem to be an increasing risk of both catching and passing on the virus as you age, but that's great news right if that's true, that is really good news for safety of babies for the safety of preschools, and for the safety of elementary schools we have now are setup. We have the limited knowledge we have about their risks of getting sick or infecting others, and then we are talking about reopening schools as the end of summer approaches. What parents would administrators governments are trying to do is balance the risks to. To the health of children and staff against the risk of not having their kids in school, what kinds of things that have taken consideration on that other side of the equation? What our kids missing out on besides actual learning? If they don't go to school in the fall, such a balancing act, because schools are really really important for kids and for society as a whole right, they go to school first contacts, and for their emotional and social development, and then lots and lots of kids and the world get a fair amount of their food at school. Especially, the most vulnerable kids are really dependent on some of the food programs that are at schools. Also sadly, schools are place where some of the most vulnerable kids who might be subject to abuse at home where some of those signs are picked up, and where other adults in their lives can raise red flags and say hey. Maybe something's not right here, so there have been signs that child abuse cases have also been going up as kids have been staying away from school. There's a lot of pressure to reopen schools, but there's. There's not a lot of information about how to do that safely. But as part of your reporting on this year team did some pretty extensive research into how all these different programs that have reopened have fared he. You talk a little bit about what you looked at and what you're looking for. We did to a lot of research. We're intrigued because I live in Berlin and Jennifer lives in Philadelphia and Megan lives in Washington DC. DC Jennifer and I, both have elementary and middle school aged kids Jennifer's were at home. Mine started to go back to school with other kids in Germany at the beginning of May. This part time just a couple of days a week. My fifth grader for example went four days the whole week part time, and then was two weeks off, and then again went four days, and then was two weeks off. They were trying to keep. Keep class sizes super small so that if somebody did happen to be infected and attend school, they would only infect portion of their class. Not Everybody and they tried to keep the desks spaced far apart, so they were trying to keep as few in the classroom as possible so that they can keep a distance from each other. That was my experience in Germany and we wanted to know how other countries had approached the question. We looked at everywhere from South Africa to Benin to South Korea and Japan and Taiwan and lots of countries across Europe. Canada had opened some schools. Most schools in the US had stayed closed in part because summer vacation tends to happen a little earlier in the US, so we took a look at what had happened in those countries that had opened up to different degrees, for example the Netherlands started back with their elementary schools I and small classes, and only part time, but then they gradually as. As things went well, and they saw very few outbreaks in schools gradually opened more and more than we at the same time checked to see if overall rates of infection in the country had changed and in many places we found they hadn't. There's a big caveat there. Though most of these countries had fairly low rates at the time that they open schools, and they had the system place when an outbreak maybe happened to detected and to identify context and isolate them for the two weeks that you. You need to isolate people to make sure they're not going to pass that on. So what is a common practice? When a student has positive for coronavirus, some places would close the whole school. If one student was infected, other places would only isolate the people who had been in direct contact with the student, so their classmates with a subset of classmates that they had been attending within their small reduced size classes, and then that teacher, <hes> or any other teachers. We didn't see a big difference in. In end outcome race between those approaches. What did seem to make a big difference when you looked at all these different schools what seemed to make the most difference was close a small, so the kids could stay separate and wearing masks. Now there were different approaches in different places for example, most places in Germany made them optional, although some in some schools, everybody had masks on it and others only when you came in or were in the bathroom or in the hallways. Did you wear your mask? Israel was one interesting example where they did not try and reduce class sizes, so they went back to their fairly large classes thirty to forty kids. But they really did mandate masks for everybody, and that seemed to go k, until it got super, Super Hot, and then it was just impossible to ask people to wear masks all day, and so the health department and the Education Department said Okay Fine. Let's leave the masks away, but then about two weeks later they had a humongous outbreak in one high school, and some other smaller outbreaks in other places as well so it it. It suggestive that asks. There were making a difference when they couldn't do. The distancing that were happening in other places like Denmark where they they went to great lengths, and even held classes, churches, or outside, or whatever to keep kids as far apart as possible and as much fresh air between them as possible I'm in Indiana and I actually have my daughter in daycare right now because I'm in a county with st low levels. I am very nervous about it, and we keep our eye on the numbers. Because that's what I see as really important gauge for whether or not, it's safe to have my kid go to a situation with six other kids. Do you feel like that background level what your community spread like is important for what's happening at your school. Absolutely, Yes, that is a huge caveat that cannot emphasize enough that the background level of community spread needs to be at A. A low enough place that you can identify outbreaks when they happened in noticed them, and that you can take measures to try and slow them down I. Think if that situation then the harm to kids. Keeping schools close vastly outweighs the potential risk of opening schools right now. Schools are closed colleges or closed, but once the university kids come back, and all the schools are open. We might see a very different background that we need to take into consideration. And Be Flexible. If school need to close again, absolutely universities are such a different situation than high schools elementary schools I mean as we talked about the risk increasing with age, so I think that's going to be a real issue in the fall as universities try to open back up. What do you think are the main takeaways from your review of all these different openings in different countries and in different schools? It's still a little unsatisfying, yeah. Is operatives data are really of still released sparse and it super frustrating, because it's such an important question. It feels like we should have better answers, but we simply don't yet. I do think the main takeaway is is you have to be flexible if to recognize that you can't go back to pretending that the viruses and there or if you do you're GONNA end up with big outbreaks and you're. GonNa have to shut everything down again. Like happened in Israel. One other interesting takeaway that I found was that when we looked at the outbreaks that had been identified, it was frequently teachers who were more affected than kids often. Often it was hard to tell because there were very very few cases where people had really carefully done the tracing that they did in that town in France, but it looked at first glances, or maybe the teachers were spreading it to each other more than to and from the kids. I think that's something that's important to keep in mind as we move toward reopening, because teachers are better able. I think than kids to do the physical distancing. I think it's it's helpful to realize that. Maybe adults are the bigger risk factor than the kids I know. A lot of teachers are super worried about going back for good reason we know as parents and teachers. The kids are generally really good at spreading germs. Happens every single winter exactly and so when the middle of pandemic where people are dying, and then somebody says well. You have to go back and stand in a classroom with even half of the normal kids. In contact with these lovely little people who you really enjoy being with, but you also see his German accelerators <hes>. All, day long is definitely giving a lot of teachers. Pause for good reason, but I think one of the things that we did see emerging as a pattern was the teachers maybe should be wary of each other more than they need to be wary of their of their students I do think also that reducing class sizes and finding some sort of creative hybrid solution where kids. Kids are in school part of the time, but then doing the distance learning also part of the time. I think that's GonNa to be unfortunately the way forward for now until we get things a little bit more under control. We've talked mostly about anecdotal findings, so far are their studies in schools that are taking a look at this and going to give us some good. Good answers. That's another thing that the story mentions. There are a couple of real studies that are starting in the UK there researchers who have started projects at several schools where anybody who wants can be tested both for antibodies and active virus, and so they're hoping to get a better picture of when somebody's infected. How far it spreads in a school and in Berlin and in. In the state, German state of Bavaria also very projects have started all right. Thank you so much, Gretchen thank you Gretchen.

Gretchen Vogel Sarah Crespi Jennifer Cousin Franklin Megan Kirsty Thompson researcher
Why men may have more severe COVID-19 symptoms, and using bacteria to track contaminated food

Science Magazine Podcast

08:01 min | 2 years ago

Why men may have more severe COVID-19 symptoms, and using bacteria to track contaminated food

"Welcome, science. I've Casper June two thousand and twenty I'm Sarah Crespi. First up this speak staff writer Meredith. Bodman discusses a link between Corona. Virus, sex hormones and male pattern baldness. It turns out. This link might be behind the higher numbers of men dying from the infection next we have researcher Jason Chen he talks about a system for tracking objects using DNA. Bar coded bacterial spores. We spray the spores on something like lettuce, and then if you ever need to know where that led us came from, perhaps if it was contaminated with dangerous bacteria, you can collect the spores and read out the bar. Now, Ashraf writer Meredith Bodman. She wrote this week in science on a potential source of the male bias. We've been seeing in severe cases of Corona. Virus even corona virus deaths. Hi Meredith Hi Sarah. How are you? I'm okay I. GonNa, Say Okay for now this has been a mysterious, but persistent skew, and the number of deaths with regards to men. How big is the spy us? Well, it's considerable on. It's consistent from the very first days that we getting reports out of Ruhan China. Men have been made sicker by covid nineteen in the died at higher rates than women. From covid nineteen at the same time, children have been largely spared that two lines up with this theory that some researchers putting forward that Andrew Johns which are male hormones may have a role to play in how badly people get sick from woven So there's this new research linking sex hormones and the severity of coronavirus. Where did this idea come from? At first blush. It really landed with a paper that was published in cell online in early March. And it designated or describe a role for a particular enzyme that is bound in cell membranes called temperatures to. And it is an enzyme that cleaves the spy protein on the virus, and in doing that it allows the virus to enter host cells, so it's important for viral entry now. A bunch of prostate cancer researchers looked at the cell pay per and said Whoa. Wait a minute. We know that protein know that protein. They knew the protein because years ago. It was described as being culprit in prostate cancer, this very same t. m., P. R. S. S. two or temperature to enzyme in a mutated form. It was discovered early in this century was responsible for about fifty percent of prostate cancers PSA. Prostate researchers were intimately familiar with this this enzyme in one of the things. Things, they knew about it was that it was controlled by male hormones. At least in the prostate gland, known as Andrew Jackson's of which testosterone as the most famous, actually increased the production of this enzyme in the prostate gland when the enzyme was in a mutated form, it causes prostate cancer, basically in simple definition, and so from that you can take away that if you have more testosterone or other androgen, you're going to have more of temptress to, and so that's kind of the thinking behind this that you might have something that makes it easier for infection to take place, absolutely more tempus to on the cell membrane more opportunities for the virus to knock an inter-. It's almost that simple. Though, of course, it's way more complicated, but basically right and there's there's some other interesting observations that a link to this in your story, and one of them out relates to male pattern baldness. How does that fit in? There's not a clear scientific explanation for why it would be that a couple of studies in Spain have observed that man with male pattern baldness seemed to be over represented in male patients who are hospitalized with covid nineteen, and that's not related to age. No, interestingly, the peak baldness decade among these Spanish patients was in the fifties. Fifties whereas male baldness, typically as most common in the eighties or even older, and there's a link between baldness and temperatures. Well, that's what's not entirely clear. What is known is that one very powerful male hormone named dihydrotestosterone or D. H. T. for short, which is a derivative of testosterone, is abundant and thought to be causative of male pattern baldness. When there's lots of it in the SCALP, it's not causative on its own. It also take some genetic predisposition had a couple of conditions, but one of them is high levels of this hormone dht, and that is. Is the hormone that returning to the prostate we know binds androgen receptor, which in turn kicks up production of T.. N., P. R. S. to compress too

Meredith Bodman Corona Testosterone Sarah Crespi Andrew Johns Staff Writer Jason Chen Ruhan China Scalp Spain Ashraf Researcher N. Writer Dihydrotestosterone Andrew Jackson P. R. S. D. H. T.
Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones

Science Magazine Podcast

11:57 min | 3 years ago

Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones

"Hello. This Welcomes the science podcast for may seventeenth two thousand nineteen. I'm Sarah Crespi this week show Meghan. Cantwell talks with science writer Saratova's about a nonstick chemical that sticks around in groundwater, and I talk with sham. Ota about his science translational medicine paper on using a smartphone. So listen for ear infections. I'm here with Sarah helps who wrote this week's feature to talk about how a small group of citizens in Rockford Michigan uncovered groundwater contamination in their town. And with the greater implications of this discovery are thinks much joining me. Sarah, thanks for having me, Meghan, of course. So could you talk about what prompted these citizens to investigate whether the shoe company factory in their town? Wolverine worldwide had contaminated their water in two thousand and nine wolverine worldwide announced that they would be closing their tannery, which had been inoperational for over a century. And the citizens were requesting the company I do a comprehensive environmental assessment of the property before the demolition. They knew from other tannery closures that Henry's often use hazardous substances when they're transforming rawhide. Hides into leather. And so they wanted to be sure that those same substances had not been sort of left behind on the tannery grounds. They were told that because there was no evidence of contamination on the property, that there was really essentially, no way require that testing be done. Meanwhile, will Verena had said there was no known contamination on the property. They asked the city to assess the site, but they did not want to instead they went and got the help of a scientist and launched their own investigation. What did they find from this, they uncovered helped uncover some of the highest levels of Pecos contamination in drinking water wells anywhere in the country and after many years of trying to get the company to test, the tannery grounds discovered that the tannery grounds are also contaminated with pitas, what exactly is p fasten? How long is this chemical been in production p bosses are a class of chemical? Nls known as per in Pali fluoro- alkyl substances. They were first synthesized by American chemists in the nineteen thirties and forties and their salient chemical feature is that they have a carbon fluorine bond, and that's among the strongest of all chemical bonds. It doesn't degrade naturally an environment that can be very useful for some products at lens durability. And also, these compounds can repel water and oil and stains, and so they're widely used in products, such as firefighting foams, nonstick, coatings, carpets, food, packaging, even dental floss some dental floss, it was discovered recently, there are over four thousand of these compounds. But the two most widely studied are called PF OA sometimes referred to as PICO and PFOS those two are no longer in production in the US. What are the impacts of these? Goes on human health were still looking into that. There was a massive epidemiological study called the seat health project, fat looked at people exposed in West Virginia and Ohio, they were exposed to fella, and their drinking water. And in that project what they found was a probable link to six conditions that included high cholesterol, all sort of colitis by ROY disease, stickler cancer, kidney, cancer, and pregnancy induced, hypertension initially, a lot of the Pecos research, focused on these communities, where there had been this high level of exposure, more recent studies, have started looking at the general population, and I think that that's where this gets really interesting because what they're starting to find is that studies are suggesting that even people exposed to what might be referred to his background levels of p fusses show, negative health effects, most interestingly and may be most concerning laid. Some of these negative effects are on the developing fetus babies. So researchers are saying that it can affect, for example, the immune system and these populations. Is there a standard level for what's considered a dangerous p fast level or is that something that's still also being determined? That is very much being determined and a believe it was two thousand and nine the EPA established a health advisory level of six hundred parts per trillion of PF. Oh. A and PFOS combined drinking water. And then in twenty sixteen. They dropped that level significantly to seventy parts per trillion and that in twenty eighteen a branch of the CDC came out with a new study suggesting Twenty-one parts per trillion for PF away and fourteen parts per trillion for PFOS, and then you have some researchers one at Harvard saying one part petroleum is where that level should be. So there's a lad of conversation around. What is a protective level in drinking water, this investigation in the small town has also prompted other areas to look into what their p Fasces levels are, and what has this unveiled one of the interesting consequences of the concerned, citizens work is that shortly after the state of Michigan launched what I believe is the most comprehensive statewide survey searching for pizzas, and they found is that here in Michigan. Nearly one point four million residents are drinking water from orces, contaminated with pitas. It's also showing up and things like foam, that's on our rivers. And so there have been a number of advisories. Do not eat befo. Don't touch the phone fish advisories, dear advisories. It's really extensive ubiquitous exposure to these compounds. And then other states also. Oh, are just starting to look, but nobody has looked quite as comprehensively as the state of Michigan has right. It interesting that all these investigations are being prompted but this also isn't the first time that p asses have been under investigation happened several decades ago as well. Right. Are you referring to the DuPont trial? Yeah. Sometime around nineteen ninety nine early two thousands a cattle farmer in West Virginia suspected that something was going on. Some of his farm land had been purchased by DuPont and not long after that his cattle died, and he wasn't able to get much help locally. And so he ended up going to a Cincinnati-based Turney who sued the company and in the process of that he was able to obtain a lot of internal documents from DuPont. And what he found in those documents was that both DuPont, and three who. Had been making pieces as well. Head Ben documenting negative health effects from exposure, experienced by humans and animals, and that they hadn't done enough to make this available to the PA, for example. And so the attorneys sent these documents to the EPA, and subsequently DuPont, was fined, and three m was fined believe a year later, was around that time that both companies agreed to voluntarily phase out PF away and PFOS. So when they phased them out, they replace them with a different chemical is this one actually safer persists lessen the environment. Well, that is a matter of conversation. They replaced PF away and PFOS those two compounds are known as long chain pieces. They replace them with shorter chain passes. So molecules with fewer carbons and. What we do know is that those carbons don't bio accumulate the same way as the longer chain compounds. And for that reason, there's an assumption out there that these are safer, but there are studies, just starting this is just starting to be studied suggesting that this might not be the case and the national toxicology program. For example, is in the process of starting study of believe it's one hundred twenty five of these lesser known. Short chain compounds to see if they really are safer than the longer chain compounds after this, this fine that they received were their cleanup efforts, or is there, a way to clean up these P asses from water supplies. What we know is that you can use something called granular activated carbon to filter out in particular longer chain passes, so PF away, and PFOS from drinking water, however. That approach. It has variable success with the shorter chain passes which can sometimes break through the filter and they can break through more quickly. So one of the things that water systems are starting to look at is using perhaps a combination of granular activated. Carbon with reverse osmosis, which is a little bit more effective at filtering out short chain passes. All of this though is very expensive. And so that has really put especially some of these smaller municipalities in a tough spot, and others Superfund cleanup sites that kind of thing is there any sort of fund that these local communities can tap into that ole pay for this remediation, one of the things is that because pizza's is not as needed as a hazardous substance. It doesn't qualify as far as I know for cleanup funds through Superfund now, some states are starting to pass their own legislation. In New York, for example, does designate FOSS as a hazardous substance so you can get funding through there. And then the other thing that states are starting to do is actually sue the manufacturers to try and recuperate some of the costs of updating their drinking water systems. Would you say this whole investigation all across the country is still kind of the first step of finding where these sites are? And then the next step of cleanup is still a little bit murkier. Yes. That's very true. Historically are understanding of pizzas and exposure has really been concentrated in these areas around particular very few limited number of military, bases, and also communities that are near manufacturing facilities, and what we're starting to find now is, especially as we have the tools to detect passes at lower levels were finding that these are in drinking water supplies and places, people would never have suspected. But not everybody is looking. And so that's one of the things that I think different states, and different municipalities will be grappling with for years to come. Thank you so much. Sarah. Yes, thank you. Sarah helps is a freelance, writer and senior editor at undock. You can find a link to her story at signs MAG dot org slash podcasts. Stay tuned for an interview with Shaam Gula KOTA on using phones to listen to erections.

Sarah Crespi Dupont Pfos Michigan EPA West Virginia Writer The Shoe Company Meghan Verena Cantwell Rockford Michigan Wolverine Saratova United States Shaam Gula Kota CDC Henry