Zika virus infects human placental macrophages

Zika virus infects human placental macrophages

One of Zika's mysteries is how the virus passes from an infected mother, through the placenta, to a developing fetus. The route may not be direct either -- transmission via multiple cell types may be necessary. A study appearing May 27, 2016 in Cell Host & Microbe supports the possibility that placental immune cells called Hofbauer cells, which have direct access to fetal blood vessels, are one cell type involved.

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation

A U of T Engineering team has designed a simpler way to keep therapeutic proteins where they are needed for long periods of time. The discovery is a potential game-changer for the treatment of chronic illnesses or injuries that often require multiple injections or daily pills.

Appalachian coal ash richest in rare earth elements

Appalachian coal ash richest in rare earth elements

National Science Foundation, Environmental Research and Education Foundation, American Coal Ash Association

DURHAM, N.C. -- A study of the content of rare earth elements in U.S. coal ashes shows that coal mined from the Appalachian Mountains could be the proverbial golden goose for hard-to-find materials critical to clean energy and other emerging technologies.

Guarding the gatekeepers

Guarding the gatekeepers

Information flow in cells relies on calcium as a key agent in several signalling pathways. Calcium dependent signalling is crucial in nearly every aspect of life - muscle movement, immune reactions, nerve function, light sensing and many such processes. In fact, one could consider any cellular function, and calcium signalling is probably involved in it in some way. Now, researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore have discovered a new player in calcium signalling pathways - a protein named Septin 7 that functions as a 'molecular brake' to Orai activation.

Rethinking hospital alarms

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 2016 - Hospital alarms are currently ranked as the "top medical technology hazard" within the United States. On average, there are about 480,000 patients in hospitals -- each generating about 135 clinical alarms per day. But studies show that more than 90 percent of these alarms result in no action. Alarm errors -- either alarms that sound and receive no response or alarms that fail to sound when they should --occur roughly 8 million times per day.

Genomic study tracks African-American dispersal in the Great Migration

An assessment of genomic diversity in the United States of America clarifies the role of pre-Civil War admixture and early 20th century transit routes in shaping the migration history and genomic diversity among African-Americans communities. The new study, by Simon Gravel of McGill University and colleagues, will publish on May 27, 2016 in PLOS Genetics.

How Zika infects the placenta

Zika virus can infect and replicate in immune cells from the placenta, without killing them, scientists have discovered. The finding may explain how the virus can pass through the placenta of a pregnant woman, on its way to infect developing brain cells in her fetus.

The results are scheduled for publication on May 27 in Cell Host & Microbe.

Music for the eyes

Having relaxing music played just before eye surgery leads to patients feeling less anxiety and requiring less sedation, concludes a study presented at Euroanaesthesia 2016 (London, 27-30 May). The study is by Dr Gilles Guerrier, Cochin University Hospital, Paris, France, and colleagues.

Study underlines gaps in pregnancy testing before surgery in women of reproductive age

New research presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia congress (London, May 27-30) addresses the importance of discussing potential pregnancy and providing pregnancy testing for women of reproductive age before they undergo surgery, so that harm to mother and baby can be avoided.

New survey shows that only one-third of older Americans feel financially prepared for retirement

May 25, 2016, Chicago--About a third of Americans age 50 or older expect to outlive their retirement savings, according to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A majority of older Americans have multiple retirement income sources, but over half say they feel more anxious than secure about the amount of savings they have set aside for retirement. A third of those who are still working are not currently saving for their retirement, and many have financial obligations that make saving a challenge.