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Tiny shrimp discovered living in the mouth of whale sharks

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A new species of gammarid (Gammaridea), a suborder of amphipod crustaceans, was discovered by a Japanese researcher from the University of Hiroshima in a rather unusual environment. The new species, later named Podocerus jinbe, was in fact discovered in the mouth of a whale shark, a discovery that surprised Ko Tomikawa himself, the researcher who made the study.

3-5 cm long, this species of crustacean can live in different diametric types but the one related to the mouth of a whale shark is probably the strangest of all. Brown in color and with hairy legs to more easily capture organic substances, this new species has been classified according to the findings in the mouth of a whale shark Rhincodon typus off the village of Yomitan, on the island of Okinawa. This is the first time an amphipod is found attached to the body of a whale shark.

Morphologically it is very similar to Podocerus zeylanicus: it differs from the latter only in body sizes a little larger and for other morphological details.

The discovery was carried out in collaboration with the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and the University of Tromso (Norway). The study was published in Species Diversity.

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
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Jane Baker
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Deep brain stimulation to treat severe tinnitus: encouraging results

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Results defined in the press release as “encouraging” were obtained by a group of researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and the Veterans Affairs Health Care System regarding a new type of treatment for severe tinnitus.

The researchers used deep brain stimulation to treat severe refractory tinnitus on a group of patients. These initial results are the basis of a study published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Tinnitus is a particular ear disorder that causes the patient to hear noises even without any stimulation from the outside. These noises can be represented by buzzing, hissing, pulsations, and similar noises. If in most cases the symptoms are not particularly bothersome and do not require treatment, in some cases tinnitus can be quite intrusive and serious.

There are some therapies that can help reduce the perceived sound range even if for many patients there is basically no cure. Deep brain stimulation is performed to treat various movement disorders as well as various psychological disorders. The treatment involves surgery with electrodes attached to the brain in particular areas where normal electrical impulses are interrupted.

These areas are connected to a pulse generator that can also be implanted in the body, for example under the skin. This generator provides a small electrical stimulation to these areas of the brain through the cables that lead to the electrodes.

The researchers used this technique on a group of three men and two women with a mean age of 51 years suffering from severe tinnitus in both ears for four of five patients and in one ear for another patient. Patients underwent stereotactic neurosurgery for electrode implantation in the caudate nucleus on each side of the brain.

After five weeks they started a stimulation period to find an optimal setting to reduce the tinnitus severity. This period was quite long and lasted from 5 to 13 months depending on the needs of each patient.

Once the correct degree of stimulation was found, a third phase of 24 weeks began which saw constant stimulation. According to the press release, this technique proved “effective in reducing the negative tinnitus experience” for four out of five patients.

Now the researchers intend to investigate the usefulness of this method with new studies also to shorten the period of optimization of the stimulation level to make it shorter.

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
Jane@fusionscienceacademy.com
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

Scientific Research

Turmeric powder adulterated with lead to make it more yellow in Bangladesh

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A group of Stanford researchers found that Bangladesh turmeric, one of the most common spices used throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia, is sometimes adulterated with a lead-based chemical compound to make it more yellow and therefore more attractive in the markets or on the shelves. Lead is one of the most powerful neurotoxins so it is considered unsafe in any quantity. Its presence in any food, therefore, represents a danger. Lead can increase the risk of contracting heart or brain disease and can interfere with brain growth in children with cognitive impairment.

According to Jenna Forsyth, a researcher at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, she openly states that people in Bangladesh are unknowingly ingesting lead-contaminated turmeric and this could cause them serious health problems. The study that analyzes this phenomenon of adulteration for commercial reasons has been published in Environmental Research.

The researcher, together with colleagues, carried out various surveys, including interviews with farmers and workers in the spice processing sector in various districts of Bangladesh. The researcher has discovered that it is quite usual for the producers themselves to add lead chromate to the turmeric powder.

It is an industrial dye that is usually used to make yellow objects such as toys or furniture. All to produce a more striking and therefore more desirable yellow color.

This is the first research to directly link turmeric lead in Bangladesh to lead levels in Bengali blood.

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
Jane@fusionscienceacademy.com
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

Scientific Research

Earth’s crust has grown much more during the first billion years than ever before

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The growth rate of the earth’s crust was faster and more massive in the early stages of Earth’s history than ever before, according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience and carried out by researchers at Monash University.

The earth’s crust is the outermost layer of the Earth and is essentially the one on which we depend for the vast majority of our activities so that its evolution over time has shaped the environment in which life has developed and where it has developed.

The new study shows that during the first billion years of the history of the Earth a quantity of “proto-crust” has been formed four times greater than the current one so that its growth rate must be reviewed according to the researchers. Alex McCoy-West, the lead author of the study, used various biochemical tools to arrive at this conclusion to understand the differentiation and evolution of the earth’s crust by modeling.

The researchers also found that the mantle, the much deeper layer found after the crust, remained constant in terms of growth and composition over the past 3 and a half billion years. Just the constant composition of the mantle has allowed the calculations performed by researchers about the mass and volume of the crust on the primitive Earth.

The study, according to the same McCoy-West, is important above all because it indicates that this process of tumultuous growth and recycling of the crust in the early stages of the history of the Earth would have made the evolution of life as we know it today and that it substantially it was possible only when the crust itself became stable.

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
Jane@fusionscienceacademy.com
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

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