MI weekly selection #502

ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO) /A. Hacar et al. /Digitized Sky Survey 2 / Davide De Martin

Analysis of cell villages yields insight into Zika infections

Studying cell villages, or samples from different donors in a shared environment, is an effective method “to identify genes and genetic variants that change a cell’s phenotype.” Scientists used the method along with the Dropulation and Census-seq algorithms to assess genetic variation in cell villages and found genetic features linked to brain function and vulnerability to Zika virus infection.

Full Story: GenomeWeb

Astronomers decipher formation of complex organic molecules

The simple molecule ortho-benzene plays an important role in forming complex molecules in gas clouds that later produce stars and planets. The study suggests that large organic molecules are composed of smaller elements such as ortho-benzene that build up in deep space to create new stars and planets.

Full Story: Space

Canine distemper antibodies found in wild Nepalese cats

Three of 28 tigers and six of 20 leopards examined in Nepal had antibodies to canine distemper virus, indicating prior infections. Scientists believe Nepal’s leopard population is decreasing while the tiger population has tripled in the past 12 years, and tigers may be pushing leopards into developed areas where they prey on dogs, which may be the source of the infections, says veterinarian and study co-author Jessica Bodgener.

Full Story: Cornell Chronicle

Unvaccinated may have higher diabetes risk after COVID-19

People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 may have a higher risk of diabetes after having a SARS-CoV-2 infection. “I think this study points very clearly that COVID-19 vaccination has benefits beyond just protecting from severe COVID-19,” said Dr. Davey Smith who was not part of the study team.

Full Story: HealthDay News

Studying female animals may advance women’s health

Female giraffes and other animals “have evolved impressive physiological adaptations” to avoid predators and catch prey while pregnant, but female humans slow down in late stages of pregnancy and are prone to preeclampsia and heart failure, writes cardiologist and evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. Studying female animal biology can shed light on a range of women’s health issues from heart failure to cancer, and Natterson-Horowitz has learned that, from a health perspective, women have more in common with other female animals than with men.

Full Story: Scientific American

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