MI weekly selection #470
AI identifies viruses with high zoonotic potential
Artificial intelligence identified viruses in the bunyavirus, rhabdovirus, filovirus and flavivirus families as the viruses most likely to spill over from animals to humans, and the platform may help researchers better estimate risks of zoonosis within viral families. The computer model also identified the Amazon River basin as a hotspot for novel host-virus interactions. The model could guide surveillance and targeted sampling campaigns.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria thriving in Antarctica
Researchers studying samples of bacteria collected from Antarctica have found some to have developed “superpowers” in response to the harsh conditions under which they live, resulting in their genes giving them natural antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance. “It is worth asking whether climate change could have an impact on the occurrence of infectious diseases,” said Andres Marcoleta, lead author of the study.
Slow-moving wave at root of Earth’s odd magnetic field
According to data presented in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a previously unknown type of magnetic wave could be the cause of the strange behavior observed in Earth’s magnetic field. Researchers used a computer model to chart oscillations of the wave and found the interaction of the Earth’s molten core and the slow-moving wave creates magnetic fluctuations.
Adaptive evolution happening faster than expected
A study of 19 bird and mammal populations over many years revealed some species are evolving and adapting more quickly than expected, suggesting some may be able to survive a rapidly changing environment. However, adaptive evolution in one species could imperil another, writes study co-author Timothee Bonnet.
Type 2 Diabetes patients may have faster brain aging
A study found that patients with type 2 diabetes had approximately 26% faster brain aging than those without the condition, and those who had had diabetes for longer also had higher neurodegeneration. A meta-analysis also revealed that type 2 diabetes patients also had poorer numeric memory, verbal fluency, abstract reasoning, working memory and visuospatial reasoning, compared with controls.