An international research team has discovered a new species of luminous fungus in Asia, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said, reports Xinhua.
Scientists from Kunming Institute of Botany under the CAS, along with Indian scientists, conducted several scientific investigations in northeast India since 2018 and found a species of luminous fungus on a dead bamboo.
The analysis showed that the fungus is a new species belonging to the genus Roridomyces.
It is also the first time that Roridomyces has been discovered in India, according to the report.
Due to its wide application in medicine, agriculture and ecology, the luminous fungus has received much attention from scientists.
The study was published in the journal PHYTOTAXA.
Chinese researchers have identified a specific neuron that plays a key role in regulating sleep, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The research, published in the journal Science, reveals the neural mechanism of sleep homeostasis regulation, offering insights into the treatment of sleep disorders, reports Xinhua.
The regulation of sleep involves two major mechanisms including day-night rhythm and sleep homeostasis, referring to the balance between the duration of sleep and wakefulness.
Previous studies have identified many genes and molecules related to sleep homeostasis, among which adenosine is a key factor. But, how neural activity controls the release of adenosine in the brain remains unclear.
Researchers from the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology under the CAS, Peking University as well as other institutions designed a genetically encoded adenosine sensor with high sensitivity and conducted research on mice.
They found that glutamatergic neurons in the basal forebrain region contributed to the adenosine increase and the accumulation of sleep pressure.
Israeli researchers shed light on the survival mechanism activated in the brain in conditions of uncertainty, stressful conflict with a need to take risks, Tel Aviv University (TAU) said Sunday.
The findings published in the journal Nature Communications may help understand the neural mechanisms in mental disorders that feature increased or reduced avoidance.
This may help future therapies for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or disorders associated with excessive risk-taking, such as addiction and mania, reports Xinhua.
In their study, researchers from TAU and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center examined brain conditions of uncertainty and conflict over which course of action to take in an environment of risks and opportunities.
Read Also: Early Islamic gold coins found in Israel
The researchers identified the areas of the brain responsible for the delicate balance between desiring gain and avoiding potential loss along the way.
They found that the human brain is affected more by a prior experience of failure or punishment than a positive experience of success and reward, something that encourages future avoidance of risk.
TAU said the study was performed among epilepsy patients who had electrodes inserted into their brains for testing prior to surgery to remove the area of the brain causing epileptic seizures.
The patients were asked to play a computer game that included risks and opportunities. During this process, researchers recorded the electrical activity in their nerve cells immediately after they won or lost money after taking risks in the game.
It was found that neurons in the area of the inner prefrontal cortex responded much more to loss (punishment) than to the gaining (reward) of coins.
An ultrasound examination in the delivery room significantly reduces infections during childbirth, according to a research conducted by the Kaplan Medical Center in central Israel.
Awareness has risen sharply for preventing infections in hospitals and in general since the Covid-19 outbreak.
The new study established that the use of an ultrasound device to check the progress of childbirth significantly reduces the number of vaginal tests and thus significantly reduces the rate of infections at birth, reports Xinhua.
The study included 180 first-time mothers, some of whom underwent vaginal examinations and the rest ultrasound ones.
It turned out that the use of ultrasound during childbirth significantly reduced the amount of vaginal examinations.
In the ultrasound group, the rate of infection at birth was significantly lower than the group of vaginal examinations (2.6 percent vs 11.9 percent).
The doctors noted that the use of ultrasound did not affect the duration and method of delivery.
Roni Levi, manager of the delivery room at Kaplan hospital, noted that routinely, assessment of progress in childbirth is done through vaginal examinations.
"These tests can be painful and threatening for the patients. Moreover, multiple vaginal tests can increase the risk of infection during childbirth," he explained.
"In contrast, an ultrasound examination is non-invasive, does not cause pain and prevents infection," Levi said.
Lower humidity has a link with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, claims a joint Australian-Chinese study released Tuesday.
Drier air across several different regions of Sydney has been consistently linked to higher numbers of COVID-19 infections, the study found, reports Xinhua.
But similar links are not true for other weather factors including rain, temperature and wind.
The study was published in medical journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.
It is the second such study by the group on the relationship between weather conditions and COVID-19 in Australia, following a larger study conducted in China earlier this year.
The study estimated that 1 percent drop in humidity could push up COVID-19 cases by 7-8 percent, and for a 10 percent drop, the infections could as much as double.
To conduct the research, epidemiologist Professor Michael Ward from the University of Sydney teamed up with Shuang Xiao and Zhijie Zhang from the partner institution Fudan University School of Public Health in Shanghai.
"The consistency between studies is increasing confidence that humidity is a key factor in the spread of COVID-19,” Ward said. “Dry air appears to favour the spread of COVID-19, meaning time and place become important.”
Further research required
Ward said the result raises the prospect of seasonal disease outbreaks and greatly supports the use of face masks in order to prevent the spread.
He said the result is not entirely unexpected considering that when humidity is lower, the air is drier and it makes aerosols smaller.
"When you sneeze and cough, those smaller infectious aerosols can stay suspended in the air for longer. That increases the exposure for other people," he elaborated. "When the air is humid and the aerosols are larger and heavier, they fall and hit surfaces quicker."
The team said further research is required to draw more conclusive ties between humidity and coronavirus transmission and expand on how that can be taken into account to shape the public health response.
The number of globally confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 2.2 million on Wednesday with more than 781,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University tally.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year. In March, the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic.
Bangladesh confirmed its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18. Currently, the country has more than 282,000 officially confirmed cases and over 3,700 deaths.