MI weekly selection #41
PET helps ID tau protein in the brain
PET shows promise in detecting tau protein accumulation in the brain, according to a study in the journal Neuron. Researchers developed a chemical that binds with the substance and used PET to identify areas of the brain at risk of neuronal death. The approach was evaluated in mice and humans with suspected Alzheimer’s disease and could offer a route to early diagnosis.
Earth’s magnetic field controls inner, outer core rotations
The opposing rotations of Earth’s inner and outer cores are controlled by its magnetic field, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We argue that the magnetic field itself is pushing on the outer core, and there is an equal and opposite push on the inner core,” said Philip Livermore of the University of Leeds and the study’s co-author. Researchers found a common link between the rotations by using a computer model.
Faster visual systems give small animals slow-motion view of world
Small animals and birds view time in slow motion because they have faster visual systems, according to a study in Animal Behaviour. “The ability to perceive time on very small scales may be the difference between life and death for fast-moving organisms such as predators and their prey,” said Kevin Healy of Trinity College Dublin, lead author of the study.
HIV’s secret survival trick
For decades, scientists have been confident that HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, must insert its genetic material into a cell’s DNA in order to reproduce. This process, called “integration,” makes the virus a permanent part of the cell. HIV-1 can sometimes skip this integration step entirely, the researchers discovered.
Mixing up math class can boost test scores
High school students in the US get higher scores on a standardized math test if the topics—such as algebra, geometry, etc.—aren’t separated into year-long classes.