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first_img Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals are 1-3, and quarterback Kevin Kolbhas seen his rating drop with every game. His struggles have brought about questions and concernover his play, and especially the QB’s tendency to bail onthe pocket prematurely and not go through progressions tofind an open receiver.“A little bit unsettled in the pocket, not staying withthe progressions, sometimes feeling that pressure,” ESPNNFL Insider Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620’s Burnsand Gambo. “You would call that ‘cabin fever,’ you feelthat pressure and you get out of the pocket.” Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke What happens then is Kolb not seeing open receivers,getting sacked and, when he does get the ball away,sometimes throwing inaccurately. In all, Jaworski said theQB is playing “very, very fast.”The disappointing thing is one would have thought Kolb’splay would improve as the season went on, but sincethrowing two touchdowns in the season opener the 27-year-old has thrown for more interceptions (4) than touchdowns(3).But Jaworski said it would be far too soon to give up onKolb, even if he has been somewhat underwhelming.Kolb has not done well for the Cardinals on a consistentbasis, but it would behoove the team and its fans to havepatience with their new signal caller.“I think eventually he’ll be fine,” he said. “Like mostquarterbacks you have to work through some of theseslumps.“Right now there’s no question he’s in a slump.”And once he breaks out of it?“I think eventually you’re going to have an outstandingquarterback in Arizona.”last_img read more

New project aims to estimate scientific basis of health risks posed by

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018The BfR is involved with two work groups in the project, which is being coordinated by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).In addition to residues of the active substances contained in plant protection products, the work focuses on contaminants in foods and potentially health-damaging food ingredients. “The goal is to be able to make a more realistic estimation on a scientific basis of the health risks posed by substance mixtures of this kind,” explains BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. Strategies for identifying toxicologically relevant substances, for example, and the first results of tests on the toxicity of multiple residues of the active substances contained in plant protection products are to be presented at the 8th Consortium Meeting.Consumers are exposed every day to a wide variety of undesired substances which are potentially damaging to health. Using computer-supported in silico methods (QSAR) and with the help of exposure modeling, a strategy for prioritizing the substances relevant to risk assessment in mixture experiments has been developed in the EuroMix project. This enables the fast and necessary restriction of the extensive list of substances and substance classes to be tested. As a large number of different substance mixtures is conceivable, EuroMix has concentrated on a small number of particularly relevant key mixtures identified at the beginning of the project. One area of main focus here lies in mixtures of the active substances contained in plant protection products.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsGenetic study on liver iron content may pave way for better treatmentStudy finds link between poor oral health and increased risk of liver cancerParallel to this, a test strategy was devised to test and characterize the effects of substance mixtures of many different classes with regard to their damaging effect on the liver, the development of the organism and the endocrine system. New methods were developed here among other things which enable a high test throughput at low costs as an alternative to experiments with animals in order to facilitate the testing of a large number of relevant substance combinations.To test combination effects in the liver, for instance, a toolbox was specially developed for the specific symptoms of pathological fatty liver (steatosis) which permits a forecast of combination effects with the help of consecutive in vitro test methods. The successful use (proof of principle) of the system has already been published and was achieved with a pesticide with a known mechanism of action. This toolbox was then used for the characterization of mixture effects. It could be seen here, especially for the class of pesticides, that above all dose addition effects predominate for which a risk assessment concept already exists. The successfully tested toolbox can also be used for the testing of other relevant substance classes in order to characterise and/or examine substance combinations for effects such as inhibition, dose addition or synergism. The objective here is to be able to better assess the interaction of substances in mixtures. At the end, a web-based evaluation toolbox should be available for the analysis and overall assessment of mixtures. Source: read more

Researchers synthesize artificial cells to detect histamine

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Baking a cake from scratch is a task deemed difficult for many. Constructing an artificial cell-like system from scratch, well that’s another story.”Synthesizing cells from scratch is of fundamental importance to understand what life is,” said Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi, leader of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit.Scientists around the world are beginning to create simple artificial cells that conduct some basic biological functions and that contain small strands of DNA or RNA. However, getting these snippets of genetic material to express their encoded proteins in response to precise signals has been a challenge.Now, Yokobayashi and other researchers from OIST and Osaka University have found a way to make artificial cells interact with a wide range of chemicals. They developed a riboswitch – a gene switch that senses chemical signals – that can respond to histamine, a chemical compound that is naturally produced in the body. In the presence of this chemical, the riboswitch turns on a gene inside the artificial cells. Such a system, could one day be used as a new way of administering medicine, said Yokobayashi, a corresponding author on a recent study in Journal of the American Chemical Society, which describes the approach.”We want the cells to release drugs based on their detection of histamine,” Yokobayashi said. “The ultimate goal is to have cells in your gut use histamine as a signal to release the appropriate amount of drug to treat a condition.”Signal selectionThe scientists chose histamine as the chemical signal for their artificial cells because it is an important biological compound in the immune system. If you feel an itch, histamine is the likely culprit. It is also released by the body during allergic reactions and helps defend against foreign pathogens by spurring inflammation.To detect histamine, they created a molecule called an RNA aptamer. RNA aptamers are small segments of RNA building blocks that can be engineered to act as binding agents to specific target molecules. It took Yokobayashi and his colleagues, former OIST postdocs Dr. Mohammed Dwidar and Dr. Shungo Kobori and OIST PhD student Charles Whitaker, two years to create an aptamer that targeted histamine.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesNext, the team developed a so-called riboswitch that would turn this signal detection into action – specifically, translating a gene to produce a protein. Normally, cells produce proteins when templates made of messenger RNA (mRNA) bind to cellular structures called ribosomes. Here, the scientists used the histamine aptamer to design a riboswitch that alters the shape of the mRNA upon binding histamine. In the absence of histamine, the shape of the mRNA prevents the ribosome from binding, and no protein is produced. Histamine-bound mRNA, however, allows ribosome to bind and synthesize proteins.”We demonstrated that riboswitches can be used to make artificial cells respond to desired chemical compounds and signals,” Yokobayashi said.The next step resulted from a collaboration with senior author Prof. Tomoaki Matsuura and graduate student Yusuke Seike of the Department of Biotechnology at Osaka University. Matsuura and Seike put the cell-free riboswitch created by Yokobayashi’s team into lipid vesicles to create artificial cells. The Osaka team attached the riboswitch to a gene expressing a fluorescent protein, so that when the riboswitch was activated by histamine, the system glowed. Then, they controlled another protein by the riboswitch – one that makes nanometer-scale pores on the cell membrane. When the aptamer sensed histamine, a fluorescent compound encapsulated in the vesicles was released out of the cells through the pores, modeling how the system would release a drug.The scientists also created a ‘kill switch’, which instructs the cell to self-destruct – creating a control for the technology.The technology is in the early stages of development. The next step is to make the artificial cells more sensitive to a smaller amount of histamine. Medical use may be in the distant future, but the potential exists, the scientists say. Source:Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate UniversityJournal reference:Dwidar, M. et al. (2019) Programmable Artificial Cells Using Histamine-Responsive Synthetic Riboswitch. Journal of the American Chemical Society. .last_img read more