The hardest animal on earth is the tardigrades, which are also known as water bears or moss piglets. Tardigrades are small eight legged creatures that live in mosses that are in small bodies of water. These animals are known for their ability to live through extreme conditions, such as: 100 degrees Celsius, in space, being frozen for several years, etc… This creature can also withstand more radiation than most creatures on planet Earth. Water bears do this by forming an envelope of protein around their DNA called Damage suppressors or Dsup for short. The Dsup appears to work by physically cuddling up to DNA and cocooning it from harm, but without disrupting its normal functions. Human cells were genetically engineered to create Dsup and it protected the DNA as well. This is the first identification of a DNA-associating protein which gives DNA protection and improved tolerance to radioactivity in animal cells.
The full article can be found on new scientist, here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2106468-worlds-hardiest-animal-has-evolved-radiation-shield-for-its-dna/
Author: Sophia Kudratov
Scientists at the University of Tübingen have found an antibody capable of killing the most deadly strain of staph, right in your nose!
That's right, the tiny golden nuggets present in your nose have antibodies in them capable of decimating a deadly disease. Staph through the history has always been a very formidable disease, it has been found to fight with other strains of the Bacteria in order to gain resources. But when scientists swabbed patients noses they were dumbfounded to find a strain of deadly Staphylococcus was found in a human nose but no side effects were present. Scientists performed many tests and found that a different strain of staph (S. Lugdunensis) created an antibody capable of killing S. aureus. Scientists soon harnessed this antibody and named it lugdunin. Test trials for this new drug will occur later this month.
A. Zipperer et al. “Human commensals producing a novel antibiotic impair pathogen colonization.” Nature. Vol. 535, July 28, 2016, p. 511. doi: 10.1038/nature18634
Author: Jared Ryley
A Macrophage is a large cell found within the tissues of your body or roaming around within your white blood cells responsible for reactions to injuries or infections within your body. These macrophages have TLR's also called Toll-like receptors which are proteins. These TLR's are responsible for the Macrophages detection and response to an infection or tissue injury. This allows the macrophages to either promote inflammation of the body part or to allow the process of wound repairing to begin.
These macrophages are incredibly important to your body's immune and repair systems. In the study conducted by Dr. Piccinini, they investigated how the macrophages reacted to two substances. These 2 substances being LPS (bacterial product lipopolysaccharide) and an extracellular matrix component called tenascin-C.When these two substances were put together they would stimulate TLR4, which is a different type of Toll-like receptor, responsible for the activation of the innate immune system.After a gene analysis to see how the macrophages reacted to this stimulated TLR4, the scientists found out that both stimuli (LPS and tenascin-C) activated common signaling pathways. However LPS stimulated macrophages showed bias towards matrix destruction (inflammation) and tenascin-C stimulated macrophages were shown to prefer synthesized matrix components (tissue repair).
So why do we care? Well this study made the Science Magazine because it revealed and showcased how activating the cell receptors of macrophages with different stimuli, can either create an inflammatory response(destructive) or a tissue repair response (constructive response). This being an incredibly important part of your body's defense system.
Sources: http://stke.sciencemag.org/content/9/443/ra86.abstract Authors: Anna M. Piccinini*, Lorena Zuliani-Alvarez, Jenny M. P. Lim, and Kim S. Midwood
Author: Adrian Bozocea
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