Wednesday Science News Roundup #26

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Alzheimer’s disease reversed in mouse model – Researchers have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby improving the animals’ cognitive function. The study raises hopes that drugs targeting this enzyme will be able to successfully treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Science Daily

Experimental therapy restores nerve insulation damaged by disease – When the body attacks its own healthy tissues in an autoimmune disease, peripheral nerve damage handicaps people and causes persistent neuropathic pain when insulation on healing nerves doesn’t fully regenerate. Unfortunately, there are no effective ways to treat the condition. Now scientists describe an experimental molecular therapy that restores insulation on peripheral nerves in mice, improves limb function, and results in less observable discomfort. Science Daily

Poor fitness linked to weaker brain fiber, higher dementia risk – Scientists have more evidence that exercise improves brain health and could be a lifesaving ingredient that prevents Alzheimer’s disease. Science Daily

Ancient ozone holes may have sterilized forests 252 million years ago – Volcano-fueled holes in Earth’s ozone layer 252 million years ago may have repeatedly sterilized large swaths of forest, setting the stage for the world’s largest mass extinction event. Such holes would have allowed ultraviolet-B radiation to blast the planet. Even radiation levels below those predicted for the end of the Permian period damage trees’ abilities to make seeds, researchers report February 7 in Science Advances. Science News

The small intestine, not the liver, is the first stop for processing fructose – When it comes processing fructose, the liver is a pinch hitter for the small intestine. Science News

Humans are overloading the world’s freshwater bodies with phosphorus – Human activities are driving phosphorus levels in the world’s lakes, rivers and other freshwater bodies to a critical point. The freshwater bodies on 38 percent of Earth’s land area (not including Antarctica) are overly enriched with phosphorus, leading to potentially toxic algal blooms and less available drinking water, researchers report January 24 in Water Resources Research. Science News

Watch nerve cells being born in the brains of living mice – Brain scientists have filmed a first-of-a-kind birth video. It reveals specialized cells in the brains of mice dividing to create newborn nerve cells. Science News

Surprise Discovery Shows We Have Been Totally Wrong About The Size of Andromeda Galaxy – A new technique for measuring the mass of galaxies has been applied to our closest galactic neighbour – and it has found that the Andromeda galaxy is roughly the same size as the Milky Way, and not two to three times bigger as was previously thought. Science Alert

Scientists Just Found a Super-Powerful New Class of Antibiotics in Dirt – The modern medical era began when an absent-minded British scientist named Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find that one of the petri dishes he forgot to put away was covered in a bacteria-killing mould. He had discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic. Science Alert

An Incredible New Type of Brain Implant Can Boost Memory by 15% – Neural implants that claim to boost memory function aren’t new, but a novel approach to the problem has led to a device that listens to the brain before responding. Science Alert

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