On the tracks of oncoviruses with Renato Dulbecco

2021-12-09T00:51:28+01:009 December 2021|Categories: Medicine and Research|Tags: , , , |

Certainly, nowadays, hunting for viruses may not seem like the best of ideas but, for Renato Dulbecco, following step by step the Polyomavirus was the solution to understand how some of these pathogens are capable of inducing the formation of tumors. We are talking about the category of oncoviruses, today responsible for about 1 tumor on 6 in the world, and that among its ranks includes the Papillomavirus (cause of cervical cancer), Hepatitis B and C (which instead attack the liver). Dulbecco discovered that the integration of the viral genome with that of the host is responsible for the generation of tumors, [...]

The Chetogenic Diet: new discoveries, Risks and Benefits of the Low-Carb Diet

2021-07-14T13:16:11+02:0017 September 2019|Categories: Food and Health|Tags: , , , , |

“I don't eat carbohydrates, make you fat! ”How many times have you heard it? Indeed, it would not be a completely wrong choice, but this goes beyond the flat stomach and the six-pack. The low-carbohydrate diet in fact has several positive effects on our body and several studies highlight them, but as in all diets, there are pros and cons and you need to know how they work. The chetogenic diet, which is now also in fashion, it goes slightly beyond the reduced consumption of carbohydrates. let's talk about! Since 1920 it was thought that a low-carbohydrate diet could [...]

The cockroaches will conquer the world

2021-07-15T19:55:05+02:0030 June 2019|Categories: Nature|Tags: , , , |

After a sensational title and an incredibly realistic photo, we are going to describe a discovery that will terrify housewares across the globe. Let's talk about cockroaches, insects that are considered like rats for the same reasons: they have managed to adapt very well to anthropogenic environments, hiding where we have no way of seeing them and waiting for the right moment to catch some rest of food. Actually, for the elements mentioned above we should applaud these little animals who have managed to take advantage of all the environmental transformations we have caused. But they are shady creatures and we associate them with [...]

Parasites and mind control: the case of zombie ants

2017-07-12T18:57:09+02:008 August 2017|Categories: No Category|Tags: , , , |

Ophiocordiceps unilateralis fungus is also known as “zombie ant fungus”. It is a parasite of a species of ant of the genus Camponotus and reproduces by manipulating the behavior of its host. Its spores fall on the back of an ant, they penetrate its body and gradually begin to colonize it and feed on its soft tissues, until they secrete chemicals that reach the brain directly. The ant then stops performing its normal tasks and turns into a "zombie" serving the parasite: first forced to anchor itself with the jaws to the most leaf [...]

From birds to bats: new animal models for the genetics of language

2021-03-14T13:00:57+01:0017 January 2017|Categories: Nature|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Human language is still today one of the most complex aspects of cognition to study and understand. What are the biological bases that allow a child to acquire at least one language only by being exposed to it? When did this ability emerge in the human species? Which genes and molecular processes are involved? How the competence of a language is implemented at the neural level? These are some of the questions that linguists have, psychologists, biology, paleoanthropologists and neuroscientists have been asking themselves for at least half a century [1]. In the second half of the 90s in some members of a British family, the so-called "KE family", one was identified [...]

Stop aging: telomeres as molecular clocks

2021-03-14T13:01:37+01:0025 February 2016|Categories: Medicine and Research|Tags: , , , , |

What determines the aging of an organism? Through what mechanisms it is established? Once the latter are understood, it is possible to stop its progress? Since time immemorial, man has been asking himself similar questions, as numerous as the attempts to arrive at a solution. Magic, alchemy and religion are just some of the means employed over the millennia to attempt to penetrate the secrets of concepts such as eternal youth and immortality. Seduced by the mirage of an unlimited life and the ambition to subjugate time to one's will, our ancestors sought, with the tools at their disposal, to arrive at answers that later proved to be unsuccessful. These ancients [...]

The plague between us

2017-07-12T17:19:16+02:0020 February 2016|Categories: No Category|Tags: , , , |

L’analisi dei resti ossei delle vittime di un’epidemia avvenuta a Marsiglia nel 1722 ha rivelato che il ceppo responsabile di questa epidemia era strettamente imparentato con quelli che hanno prodotto la morte nera del 14o secolo. Il batterio è quindi sopravvissuto in Europa nascosto in un serbatoio umano o animale non ancora identificato. Ring a-ring o’ roses, A pocketful of posies. a-tishoo!, a-tishoo! We all fall down Una collana di rose (bubboni ai linfonodi) Una borsa di spezie (ritenute utili a tenere lontano le infezioni) a-tishoo!, a-tishoo! (equivalente onomatopeico inglese dell’taliano Etchiu-Etciu ) Tutti cadiamo giù Versione inglese del nostro [...]

Guerra e pace nel pancione

2017-07-12T17:18:22+02:0012 February 2016|Categories: No Category|Tags: , |

Le cellule fetali che dalla placenta vanno a insediarsi nel corpo della madre contribuiscono spesso alla sua salute, salvo nei rari casi in cui gli interessi genetici di madre e figlio non coincidono. La placenta umana , fra i mammiferi, è una fra quelle più invasive: i villi coriali, i prolungamenti simili a dita che della placenta scavano nella parete dell’utero per fornire nutrimento al feto, nella specie umana entrano in contatto direttamente col sangue della madre. Una delle conseguenze di questa condizione è che cellule provenienti dal bambino in crescita si distaccano e entrano in circolo nel sangue materno. [...]

The origin of multicellular life forms

2017-07-12T17:18:04+02:0011 February 2016|Categories: No Category|Tags: , , , , , |

What allowed at the evolutionary level, the appearance of multicellular organisms? This question, remained unsolved for a long time, may have finally found an answer. A recent study has in fact revealed the origin of one of the essential events for the existence of multicellularity: the correct orientation of the mitotic spindle. Let's try to understand what it is. […]

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