Month: August, 2017

Monkeys With Parkinson’s Disease Benefit From Human Stem Cells

One of the last steps before treating patients with an experimental cell therapy for the brain is confirmation that the therapy works in monkeys.

Today, scientists at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Japan, report monkeys with Parkinson’s disease symptoms show significant improvement over two years after being transplanted neurons prepared from human iPS cells.

The study, which can be read in Nature, is an expected final step before the first iPS cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

Parkinson’s disease degenerates a specific type of cells in the brain known as dopaminergic (DA) neurons. It has been reported that when symptoms are first detected, a patient will have already lost more than half of his or her DA neurons.

Several studies have shown the transplantation of DA neurons made from fetal cells can mitigate the disease. The use of fetal tissues is controversial, however.

On the other hand, iPS cells can be made from blood or skin, which is why Professor Takahashi, who is also a neurosurgeon specializing in Parkinson’s disease, plans to use DA neurons made from iPS cells to treat patients.

Our research has shown that DA neurons made from iPS cells are just as good as DA neurons made from fetal midbrain. Because iPS cells are easy to obtain, we can standardize them to only use the best iPS cells for therapy, ” he said.

To test the safety and effectiveness of DA neurons made from human iPS cells, Tetsuhiro Kikuchi, a neurosurgeon working in the Takahashi lab, transplanted the cells into the brains of monkeys.

We made DA neurons from different iPS cells lines. Some were made with iPS cells from healthy donors. Others were made from Parkinson’s disease patients,” said Kikuchi, who added that the differentiation method used to convert iPS cells into neurons is suitable for clinical trials.

It is generally assumed that the outcome of a cell therapy will depend on the number of transplanted cells that survive, but Kikuchi found this was not the case. More important than the number of cells was the quality of the cells.

Each animal received cells prepared from a different iPS cell donor. We found the quality of donor cells had a large effect on the DA neuron survival,” Kikuchi said.

To understand why, he looked for genes that showed different expression levels, finding 11 genes that could mark the quality of the progenitors. One of those genes was Dlk1.

Dlk1 is one of the predictive markers of cell quality for DA neurons made from embryonic stem cells and transplanted into rat. We found Dlk1 in DA neurons transplanted into monkey. We are investigating Dlk1 to evaluate the quality of the cells for clinical applications.

Another feature of the study that is expected to extend to clinical study is the method used to evaluate cell survival in the host brains.

The study demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and position electron tomography (PET) are options for evaluating the patient post surgery.

MRI and PET are non-invasive imaging modalities. Following cell transplantation, we must regularly observe the patient. A non-invasive method is preferred,” said Takahashi.

The group is hopeful that it can begin recruiting patients for this iPS cell-based therapy before the end of next year.

This study is our answer to bring iPS cells to clinical settings,” said Takahashi.

In a related study, the same group reports a strategy that improves the survival of the transplanted cells in monkeys. For a transplantation to succeed, the donor and patient must have matching human leukocyte antigens (HLA) to prevent tissue rejection.

The equivalent to HLA in monkeys is MHC, or major histocompatibility complex.

This study, which can be read in Nature Communications, shows that dopamine neurons derived from MHC-matched monkey iPS cells stimulate far less neuroinflammation when transplanted into monkey brains than did dopamine neurons derived from MHC-unmatched monkey iPS cells.

While this difference did not completely eliminate the need for immunosuppressants, it did lower the dosage so as to reduce the risk of infection.

The findings suggest HLA matching for iPS cell therapies will improve outcomes in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

The combination of MHC-matching and immunosuppression will reduce the dose and duration of the immunosuppresive drug and be the best strategy for the transplantation,” said neurosurgeon and CiRA Assistant Professor Asuka Morizane.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: New Scientist

Company Dumps Thousands of Tons of Orange Peels onto Land. 16 Years Later, It Turns Something Surprising

Unfortunately, the world we live in today has countries all around the world burning down rainforests to fuel capitalist industries while leaving many acres of land deforested.

One example of these barren lands was Costa Rica.

Fortunately, there are some people out there who are trying to save these ecosystems – ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs.

In the 1990s, the two of them approached orange juice manufacturer Del Oro and exchanged a deal for them to donate a part of their land in exchange for the ecologists granting permission for them to deposit agricultural waste on the degraded land for free.

Del Oro agreed and dumped 1,000 truckloads of orange pulp and peels on that land.

Over the years, Del Oro offloaded over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, orange compost onto the worn-out plot until rival company TicoFruit sued, saying Del Oro had defiled the park.

TicoFruit won the lawsuit and the land went overlooked for over a decade.

A sign was placed on the site for researchers to locate and study it if they wanted to.

16 years later, environmental researches decided to evaluate the site and discovered a lush forest that had a 176 percent increase in aboveground biomass.

The researchers concluded that regenerating forests with agricultural waste could help us reduce the carbon footprint we create.

With so many food companies out there that need a way to eliminate their food waste, this is the perfect opportunity for recycling at its best.

Thanks to these two humble ecologists, they may have discovered something that could impact the future of our planet for the better.

Please like, share and share this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Astronomers Solve Mystery Of ‘New Star’ Spotted In 1437 AD

On a spring night in 1437 AD, something unusual happened — Korean astronomers spotted a new star in the sky above Seoul. Two weeks later, they reported, it vanished again.

Now scientists have finally tracked down the object behind that temporary sparkle in the sky, offering a new glimpse into the hidden lives of stars, and how they evolve through different stages of their lives.

The new star was a nova (a word that literally means new star) or stellar eruption that appeared in the tail of the constellation known in the western world as Scorpio.

Canadian astronomer Michael Shara began looking for the source of the ancient nova more than 30 years ago. He has finally found it, he reports in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Shara, an astrophysics curator at the American Museum of Natural History who was born and raised in Montreal, became interested in the story of the mysterious Korean star back in 1986.

The fact that it appeared and then disappeared in 14 days suggested it was a classical nova, sudden brightening of a star that isn’t as intense or long lasting as a supernova or star explosion.

What excited Shara was the Korean astronomers had provided a lot of details that should allow astronomers to figure exactly where in the sky that nova had appeared.

It was spotted above Seoul on March 11, 1437, they reported, between the second and third star of a part of the sky that eastern astronomers call the sixth lunar mansion. That would have been very near the horizon.

The problem was, Shara said, “there’s no good map from the Koreans which points at the sky or shows you the constellations and tells you which is second star and which is the third.

Historian help

Shara enlisted the help of Richard Stephenson, a historian of ancient Asian astronomical records at Durham University in England.

By looking at Chinese maps, which also divide the sky into lunar mansions, Stephenson managed to pinpoint where he thought the star that caused the nova should be located.

For decades, on and off, Shara, Stephenson and other collaborators used telescopes around the world to search the area that Stephenson pointpointed.

It became a bit of an obsession,” he admitted.

Then about a year and a half ago, after a long break, he decided to try again. But this time, he widened his search area a little bit.

And in 90 minutes, I found it,” he recalled. “It was the moment both of exaltation and a little bit of, ‘Oh my God, all that wasted time and effort!’

It turns out the star wasn’t where it was expected because it had “moved” over the past 580 years, owing to the fact the star is relatively close by — just a few hundred light years away — compared to most other stars in the sky.

So it appears to move more quickly, just as nearby objects go by more quickly than those that are farther away when you look out the window of a moving car.

That inconvenient quirk made it hard to find the star, but now represents a new way to measure time in astronomy, Shara said. “That’s a cool thing.

Butterflies and caterpillars

But an even more exciting discovery was what got Shara interested in the star in the first place — he thought it could help him observe the way certain stars evolve through different stages of their life cycle.

It would help prove his theory that two types of binary stars — systems of two stars that orbit each other — were actually two different life stages of the same star.

They’re like butterflies and caterpillars,” he told CBC News. But while caterpillars turn into butterflies within weeks, stars transform very slowly.

Often, even very “fast” changes would take hundreds of years to observe, so you would have to compare a star today to what it looked like hundreds of years ago.

That’s what Shara did.

Sure enough, the data seemed to show what he predicted.

A nova like the one spotted by the Korean astronomers is typically caused by a binary star consisting of a white dwarf and a younger, active star such as a red dwarf.

A white dwarf is a tiny, dense dead star, while a red dwarf is a star similar to our own sun, but a little bit smaller and cooler.

A nova comes from a nuclear eruption from the surface of the white dwarf “in kind of a giant hydrogen bomb,” Shara said. The eruption throws a giant shell or nebula of material from the surface into space.

It also heats everything up into a “nova-like binary star,” an object that glows 100 to 1000 times as bright as the sun for hundreds of years, Shara said.

Shara had predicted that nova-like binary stars eventually cool down and become much dimmer objects called dwarf novas, which brighten to a tenth the brightness of the sun every few months.

But no one had ever observed that — until now.

By looking at images over the past century of the star that caused the 1437 nova, Shara spotted the shell thrown off by the eruption and multiple dwarf novas.

Interestingly, Shara likely first spotted the shell at the beginning of his search in the 1980s, when  he was searching with University of Montreal astronomer Anthony Moffat at an Australian telescope.

And we saw, ‘Oh, there’s a smudge — that could be the nova,'” recalled Moffat, who co-authored the paper.

But the star, which later turned out to have moved more than the shell, was nowhere to be found.

Moffat finally heard the news about the discovery of the star itself last year.

I couldn’t believe it,” he said, “after all these years.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Renewable Energy Series: Solar Vs Wind

Legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens called the US the Saudi Arabia of wind and when you see maps like this, you understand why.

As the Earth spins toward the west, it slides underneath the air in the atmosphere, giving it from our perspective a generally eastward direction.

That easterly wind sweeps over the rocky mountains and then rushes back down across the Great Plains, creating one of the largest wind corridors in the world.

And in the last 10 years, investments in commercial wind energy have boomed across the United States. Economies of scale have started to kick in, causing the price of wind turbines to drop.

They also cost little to maintain and operate and help create energy independence for smaller communities and provide a revenue source for local ranchers who lease out the land to the energy companies.

And they’re more space-efficient. On the ground they take up very little space and those ranchers can still use the land below them for agriculture.

Plus it’s a large growth sector for jobs and currently employs over 100,000 people, expected to rise up to 600,000 in the next 30 years.

And there’s a reason I saved saved solar for last. Because there’s something different about solar from all other forms of energy, clean or dirty.

Photovoltaic solar panels, or PV panels, have no moving parts.

Every other energy source creates electricity by using heat or steam or water or wind to turn a turbine. Solar literally just collects the energy coming out of the sun and repurposes it.

When asked if he was interested in fusion power as a source of energy, Elon Musk famously said that we already have a massive fusion reactor in the sky just feeding us energy every day. All we have to do is collect it.

Now there are some negatives to solar power, let’s just get that out of the way…

First the obvious one, there’s no sun at night, so solar power is intermittent. But intermittent more like tidal energy than wind energy because we know the sun will be coming up every day.

And even in cloudy weather, it is producing something.

They take up a lot of land, unlike wind farms mentioned earlier, if you have a solar farm, you can’t use that for other things.

But, you can also use existing infrastructure like buildings and transport corridors.

The big hangups come in the construction of the solar panels because there are some hazardous materials used that need to be properly disposed of at the end of the panel’s life span.

And some PV panels require rare Elements like those found in cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper iridium gallium selenide (CIGS), which is all the more reason to recycle the panels properly.

Luckily, 96% of a solar panel can be recycled. Unfortunately, the recycling infrastructure for solar panels is pretty small, but expected to grow tremendously in the next 30 years.

But the one that gets the solar haters the most worked up is that producing solar panels does generate greenhouse gasses. Specifically nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride. And yes, that sucks.

But the argument that we should stick with something like coal because PV panels create greenhouse gasses is frankly absurd.

Because with the solar panels, it’s a one-shot deal and then you’re getting clean, free energy for the next 20 or 30 years, while coal is constantly pumping out greenhouse gasses that whole time.

This debate was laid to rest by Wilfried Van Sark of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In a paper for the trade Nature Communications, he and his team calculated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by PV panel production all the way back to 1975 to see how long it would take before they made back their debt.

I didn’t even mention the other type of solar energy, concentrated solar thermal plants.

Go Off The Grid With This Powerful Solar-Powered External Battery

ZeroLemon is created by a handful of smartphone enthusiasts who want more power with their phones and provide the best battery solution.

They created the world’s first Tri-Cell Battery Design and apply it to all flagship smartphones so that users around the world can enjoy the world’s highest capacity battery.

They had their 20000mAh SolarJuice battery charger in 2015 and found this is a great product to help people who need power outdoor.Therefore,we tried to upgrade the 20000mAh SolarJuice to the current 26800mAh version with more function and more power. And the new version is here now!

Therefore, they tried to upgrade the 20000mAh SolarJuice to the current 26800mAh version with more function and more power. And the new version is here now!

ZeroLemon 26800mAh Solar Juice – The World’s Largest Capacity Rain-resistant & Shockproof Portable Solar Charger. Perfect for Camping, Hiking, Survival Travelling and Indoor Use.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

New Study Reveals That London Was The Most Violent Place In Medieval England

A new study suggests that medieval London was notorious for its excessive violence. The overall findings suggest that violence affected many parts of medieval London, although predictably it disproportionately affected the lower socioeconomic classes.

Analysis of 399 Skulls Reveals London’s Violent Past

Medieval times could be truly rough times for any man – especially a poor one – as a new study shows. The study identified the patterns and prevalence of violence-related skull trauma among a large sample of skeletons from medieval London.

It appears that violence in medieval London may have been largely tied to sex and social status,” archaeologist Kathryn Krakowka from the University of Oxford tells New Scientist, having reached that conclusion after examining 399 skulls from six different sites from across medieval London (1050-1550).

The skulls were analyzed for evidence of trauma and assessed for the likelihood that it was caused by violence.

Kathryn Krakowka and her team collected the skulls from two types of cemeteries; monastic and free parish.

The monastic cemeteries were usually reserved for the upper class while the free parish was used by the lower socioeconomic classes.

Poor Suffered More Violence

Unsurprisingly, males from the free parish cemeteries appear to have been the demographic most affected by violence-related skull injuries, particularly blunt force trauma to the cranial vault.

Specifically, Krakowka found that 6.8 per cent of all skulls examined showed some kind of violence-related trauma, while it was mostly males from 26 to 35 years old that were affected.

Additionally, nearly 25 per cent of the skull injuries took place near the time of death, indicating that people died from blows to their heads.

Furthermore, Krakowka noticed that the London cemeteries she explored had a violence rate almost double than elsewhere else in England.

Despite the results showing violence was more prevalent in medieval London than in any other part of medieval England, it appears to be quite similar to other parts of medieval Europe.

High levels of violence are evident in cemeteries from other parts of medieval Europe such as Croatia,” Krakowka said, as a similar study showed an incredible 20.1 per cent of people had cranial fractures in Croatia.

Poor Had No Access to Law

The fact that males from the free parish cemeteries were disproportionately affected by violence-related trauma, makes Krakowka speculate that this could be the result of an informal conflict resolution between individuals of lower status, as they couldn’t afford the fees or didn’t know how to access the services.

On the other hand, she concludes that the upper classes had access to the developing legal system of the time, and this was how they usually avoided a more informal (and violent) way of resolving disputes.

Coroners’ rolls from the time bolster Krakowka’s suggestions as it shows that a way too large amount of homicides took place on Sunday night, when many working-class men would have been drinking at a pub, and on Monday morning.

This, in combination with my results, possibly suggests that those of lower status resolved conflict through informal fights that may or may not have been fueled by drunkenness,” Krakowka said.

Luke Glowacki, an anthropologist from the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France, agrees with Krakowka’s conclusions, “People of low status don’t have resort to the rule of law.

Unable to hire a barrister to represent them, they resort to violence as a means to resolve conflict,” he said.

To conclude, the researchers also noted that even if individuals from the upper class decided to solve a dispute between them (outside a court), they would have most likely fought under different rules, where swords were in play and armor would be involved in order to protect the heads of the opponents.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: New Scientist

NASA Admits It Can’t Afford A Manned Mission To Mars

NASA’s spaceflight boss have admitted the space agency does not have the budget for manned mission to Mars.

During a meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics on Wednesday, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight William H. Gerstenmaier revealed the agency was unable to put a date on missions due to the lack of funding.

The embarrassing admission comes days after Vice President Mike Pence vowed to usher in a ‘new era’ of American leadership in space, with a return to the Moon and explorers on Mars.

I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is that at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,” said NASA’s William H. Gerstenmaier, responding to a question about when NASA will send humans to the surface of Mars.

The entry, descent and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars,” he said.

We think an unfuelled mars asset vehicle would weigh around 20 tons, that’s a 20 fold increase on a rover.”

Gerstenmaier also hinted the agency may instead look at returning to the moon instead, and spoke of ‘fiscal realism’.

If we find out there’s water on the Moon, and we want to do more extensive operations on the Moon to go explore that, we have the ability with Deep Space Gateway to support an extensive Moon surface program,” he said, according to Mars.

If we want to stay focused more toward Mars we can keep that.

Vice President Mike Pence was recently named to head a government advisory body called the National Space Council, said the group would hold its first meeting ‘before the summer is out.’

He also recently toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to see progress in constructing a NASA spaceship destined for deep space and privately built capsules designed to send astronauts to low-Earth orbit in the coming years.

Our nation will return to the Moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” Pence told the cheering crowd of about 800 NASA employees, space experts and private contractors, but gave no specifics.

We did win the race to the Moon,” he added, recalling the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s which sent men – one of whom, Buzz Aldrin, sat in the audience – to the surface of the Moon.

The admission comes after last month NASA confirmed it will not be sending astronauts to space for Orion’s EM-1 mission, the space agency revealed today, following a months-long feasibility study.

NASA’s top staff was given instructions earlier this year to assess the possibility of sending humans to space with the first flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, which was initially slated to launch, uncrewed, in 2018.

While the study found it ‘technically feasible to put crew on EM-1,’ the agency has decided instead to move forward with their baseline plans for the mission, NASA said during a press teleconference.

In addition, NASA confirmed that the EM-1 mission will be pushed back to 2019 following a number of challenges, including funding and scheduling.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: New Scientist

Climate Change May Shrink the Fishes In The World

Warming temperatures and loss of oxygen in the sea will shrink hundreds of fish species—from tunas and groupers to salmon, thresher sharks, haddock and cod—even more than previously thought, a new study concludes.

Because warmer seas speed up their metabolisms, fish, squid and other water-breathing creatures will need to draw more oxyen from the ocean. At the same time, warming seas are already reducing the availability of oxygen in many parts of the sea.

A pair of University of British Columbia scientists argue that since the bodies of fish grow faster than their gills, these animals eventually will reach a point where they can’t get enough oxygen to sustain normal growth.

What we found was that the body size of fish decreases by 20 to 30 perent for every 1 degree Celsius increase in water temperature,” says author William Cheung, director of science for the university’s Nippon Foundation—Nereus Program.

These changes, the scientists say, will have a profound impact on many marine food webs, upending predator-prey relationships in ways that are hard to predict.

“Lab experiments have shown that it’s always the large species that will become stressed first,” says lead author Daniel Pauly, a professor at the university’s Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries, and principal investigator for the Sea Around Us.

Small species have an advantage, respiration-wise.

Still, while many scientists applaud the discovery, not all agree that Pauly’s and Cheung’s work supports their dramatic findings. The study was published today in the journal Global Change Biology.

Pauly is perhaps best known for his global, sometimes controversial, studies of overfishing.

But since his dissertation in the 1970s, he has researched and promoted a principle that suggests fish size is limited by the growth capacity of gills.

Based on this theory, he, Cheung and other authors published research in 2013 that showed average body weight for some 600 species of ocean fish could shrink 14-24 percent by 2050 under climate change.

It’s a difficult concept for people to imagine because we breathe air,” Pauly says. “Our problem is getting enough food—not oxygen. But for fish, it’s very different. For humans, it would be like trying to breathe through a straw.

Other scientists have linked oxygen to smaller fish sizes. In the North Sea, for example, haddock, whiting, herring and sole have already seen significant loss in size in areas of the sea with less oxygen.

Still, Pauly’s and Cheung’s 2013 results were criticized in some corners as overly simplistic. Earlier this year, a group of European physiologists argued that Pauly’s basic premise about gill size was, itself, flawed.

So Pauly and Cheung used more sophisticated models and re-examined their theory.

The new paper doubles down on their earlier case, explains the gill theory in more detail and argues that it can and should be used as a guiding principle.

The new work goes on to suggests their original conclusions actually underestimated the scale of the problem fish will soon face.

The earlier paper, for example, suggested the size of some species, such as tuna, may be less affected by climate change.

But the new research states that fast-swimming ever-mobile tunas, which already consume significant oxygen, may be more susceptible than some other fish.

In fact, in parts of the tropical Atlantic, Cheung says, there is a vast region where oxygen is already low in the open ocean. Other studies have shown tunas altering their range to avoid that bad water.

Tunas’ distributions have followed very closely the bounds of these oxygen minimum zones,” Cheung says.

Some fish experts find Pauly’s and Cheung’s gill theory and new work convincing.

Jeppe Kolding, a biology professor at the University of Bergen in Norway, who studies fish in Africa, says Pauly’s gill concept is the only thing he’s found that elucidates the dwarfing he’s seen in Nile tilapia, guppies, and a type of sardine found in Zambia and in Lake Victoria.

It does explain the phenomena I have encountered in Africa,” he says.

Nick Dulvy, a marine biologist at Simon Fraser University, says his own research “tends to confirm” Pauly’s ideas.

It is absoutely an inevitability that as fish grow heavier they will eventually reach a point where oxygen intake does not match their metabolic demand.

Still, one of Pauly’s earlier critics, Sjannie Lefevre, a physiologist with the University of Oslo in Norway, lead author of the critique published earlier this year in the same journal, continues to find Pauly’s gill theory wanting.

I am not at all impressed or convinced by their attempt to refute our arguments,” Lefevre says, adding that she doesn’t “consider the new results any more reliable.”

She says fish absolutely are capable of growing larger gills. “There are no geometric constraints stopping gills from growing as fast as the body of a fish,” she says.

She and Poertner could not view the work more differently. Lefevre says she hopes ecologists and modelers keep “an open and cautious mind” before accepting such unifying theories.

Poertner, on the other hand, maintains that Pauly’s and Cheung’s work is a great example of the right way to apply such theories.

The new research shows how “careful use of an overarching principle in a wide set of observations across species can support insight that is difficult to reach otherwise,” he says.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

This 375 Year-Old Mummy Discovered In South Korea Had Parasitic Liver Infection

A 375-year-old mummified man who had parasitic liver infection was discovered in South Korea in the earlier case of the disease ever found.

Researchers think that the man caught the infection by eating raw shellfish, which was considered a treatment for measles at the time.

The mummified man, named Jing Lee, died in 1642 aged 63, and researchers found a lump on his liver containing parasite eggs.

The research on the mummy, published in the Journal of Parasitology, was conducted by researchers based at the Seoul National University College of Medicine.

It involved conducting a CT-scan of the body, which revealed a lump on the liver.

The body was excavated in 2014, in Cheongdo, South Korea, in a 17ht century tomb — where well preserved clothes were also found.

The researchers decided to conduct a CT-scan of the mummy, after which they noticed the liver mass just below the right side of the diaphragm.

The researchers then decided to perform an autopsy to get a close look at the mass.

An incision was made in the anterior part of the torso, and the liver was carefully excised.


Paragonimus westermani is a parasitic fluke flatworm that can cause a disease called paragonimiasis.

According to the CDC, the disease tends to infect the lungs of human after eating infected raw or undercooked shellfish.

In less frequent but more serious cases, the parasite can travel to the central nervous system.

They usually penetrate through the intestines and migrate within the body, most often ending up in the lungs.

Diagnosis is usually made by finding the parasites eggs in sputum or stools, but one diagnosis is mage it can be cured.

They then autopsied the mass, and used a microscope to examine it – revealing the eggs of a parasite named Paragonimus westermani.

Paragonimus westermani is a parasitic fluke flatworm that can cause a disease called paragonimiasis.

According to the CDC, the disease tends to infect the lungs of human after eating infected raw or undercooked shellfish.

In less frequent but more serious cases, the parasite can travel to the central nervous system.

In the case of Jing Lee, the parasite had reached his liver and he was suffering from hepatic paragonimiasis.

Researchers believe that Lee may have picked up the parasite by eating raw shellfish, which were eaten by the Joseon culture that he belonged to, and it was also considered an effective treatment for measles at the time.

A clear symptom can occur if the cyst in the lungs bursts, and the eggs will enter the airways, manifesting itself as the patient spitting out blood.

According to Dr Karl Reinhard, a researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the study is the latest in a series of investigations showing that parasites were common in ancient Korean mummies – all 18 examined so far have each had at least one parasite.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

Carbon Nanotube Yarn Generates Electricity When Stretched

Wearable makers have long sought to harvest electricity from your movement, but current tech is expensive and inefficient.

However, researchers from Texas and South Korea have discovered a promising method using our good old friend, the carbon nanotube.

The team twisted the lightweight tubes into tight, elastic-like coils, so that they rotate and generate electricity when stretched.

The threads (called “twistron”) could lead to new types of generators or self-powered wearables that can track your heart rate and breathing.

As shown below, the nanotube threads must be spun very tightly to have the right amount of elasticity.

When pulled, the change in volume and friction frees electrons from the threads, which can be released when dunked in an electrolyte like salt water.

When you insert the carbon nanotube yarn into an electrolyte bath, the yarns are charged by the electrolyte itself,” says research lead Dr. Na Li. “No external battery, or voltage, is needed.”

The energy generated from a single thread is enough to power an LED, and when lumped together, they can put out 250 watts per kilogram when stretched at 30 times per second.

No other reported harvester provides such high electrical power or energy output per cycle as ours for stretching rates between a few cycles per second and 600 cycles per second,” said Li.

In the lab, the team sewed twistron harvesters into a shirt, with the electrolyte integrated via o a gel also woven into the fabric.

When subjects breathed normally, it generated an electrical signal that could power a wearable tracker, for instance.

The team also sought to find out if ocean waves could both stretch the nanotubes and act as an electrolyte.

They waded into the South Korean surf and placed a 4-inch piece of the yarn weighing about the same as a mosquito between a float and a sinker.

That stretched the yarn about 25 percent and generated a small amount of current.

As with all things nanotube, however, cost is an issue. “If our twistron harvesters could be made less expensively, they might ultimately be able to harvest the enormous amount of energy available from ocean waves,” said co-author Dr. Ray Baughman.

He adds, though that they’re perfect for wearables. “Just 31 milligrams of carbon nanotube yarn harvester could provide the electrical energy needed to transmit a 2-kilobyte packet of data over a 100-meter radius every 10 seconds.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science