Cannabis, ‘spice’ – better think twice

Natural (∆9-THC) and synthetic (JWH-018) cannabinoids induce seizures by acting through the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10447-2

Natural (∆9-THC) and synthetic (JWH-018) cannabinoids induce seizures by acting through the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10447-2

A research group of International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS), University of Tsukuba, discovered that seizures, a life-threatening condition, can be induced by natural Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC, main constituent of marijuana) or the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 (main component of synthetic blend “Spice”) in mice. This was demonstrated by continuous recording of animals’ electric brain activity (electroencephalogram, EEG), video and movement activity tracking...

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Locking down the Big Bang of Immune Cells

Schematic diagram showing how a subset of immune cells, named DN2a T cells, mature into DN2b T cells. The maturation of this step is among the earliest in immune cell development and is controlled by the forgotten DNA strands that allow the genome to change its architecture to induce the “Big Bang” of T cell development. In the absence of the “forgotten strands” DN2a cells fail to mature and ultimately after accumulating additional mutations become malignant T cells also named leukemias or lymphomas. Credit: UC San Diego

Schematic diagram showing how a subset of immune cells, named DN2a T cells, mature into DN2b T cells. The maturation of this step is among the earliest in immune cell development and is controlled by the forgotten DNA strands that allow the genome to change its architecture to induce the “Big Bang” of T cell development. In the absence of the “forgotten strands” DN2a cells fail to mature and ultimately after accumulating additional mutations become malignant T cells also named leukemias or lymphomas.
Credit: UC San Diego

Ignored pieces of DNA play a critical role in the development of immune cells (T cells). These areas activate a change in the structure of DNA that brings together crucial elements necessary for T cell formation...

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Ultra-Light Aluminum: Chemist reports breakthrough in Material Design

Chemists from Utah State University, USA and Southern Federal University, Russia, computationally designed a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum. Credit: Iliya Getmanskii, Southern Federal University, Russia

Chemists from Utah State University, USA and Southern Federal University, Russia, computationally designed a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum. Credit: Iliya Getmanskii, Southern Federal University, Russia

Scientists computationally design new metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum using density functional calculations with imposing periodic boundary conditions. If you drop an aluminum spoon in a sink full of water, the spoon will sink to the bottom. That’s because aluminum, in its conventional form, is denser than water says Utah State University chemist Alexander Boldyrev.

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NASA’S OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Slingshots past Earth

This artist's concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona.

This artist’s concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona.

NASA’s asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth’s gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August. At 12:52 p.m. EDT on Sept. 22, the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) spacecraft came within 10,711 miles (17,237 km) of Antarctica, just south of Cape Horn, Chile, before following a route north over the Pacific Ocean.

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