From Daily Anatomy

"This is where the sperms get produced: Cross section of a human testis tubule filled with sperm." (assuming they mean the seminiferous tubules?

Scanning electron micrograph, magnification x363.
By Richard Kessel


Vaginal microbe yields novel antibiotic (Nature News)

Bacteria living on human bodies contain genes that are likely to code for a vast number of drug-like molecules — including a new antibiotic made by bacteria that live in the vagina, researchers report in this week’s issue of Cell1.

The drug, lactocillin, hints at the untapped medical potential of this microbial landscape.

“They have shown that there is a huge diverse potential of the microbiome for producing antimicrobial molecules,” says Marc Ouellette, a microbiologist at the University of Laval’s Hospital Centre (CHUL) in Quebec, Canada, who was not involved in the research.

Donia, M. S. et al. Cell 158, 14021414 (2014)

The antibiotic lactocillin was isolated from a Lactobacillus bacterium (shown here). BSIP SA / Alamy


Biologists delay the aging process by ‘remote control’

UCLA biologists have identified a gene that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when activated remotely in key organ systems.

Working with fruit flies, the life scientists activated a gene called AMPK that is a key energy sensor in cells; it gets activated when cellular energy levels are low.

Increasing the amount of AMPK in fruit flies’ intestines increased their lifespans by about 30 percent — to roughly eight weeks from the typical six — and the flies stayed healthier longer as well.

The research, published Sept. 4 in the open-source journalCell Reports,could have important implications for delaying aging and disease in humans, said David Walker, an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at UCLA and senior author of the research.

"We have shown that when we activate the gene in the intestine or the nervous system, we see the aging process is slowed beyond the organ system in which the gene is activated," Walker said.

Walker said that the findings are important because extending the healthy life of humans would presumably require protecting many of the body’s organ systems from the ravages of aging — but delivering anti-aging treatments to the brain or other key organs could prove technically difficult. The study suggests that activating AMPK in a more accessible organ such as the intestine, for example, could ultimately slow the aging process throughout the entire body, including the brain.

Humans have AMPK, but it is usually not activated at a high level, Walker said.

"Instead of studying the diseases of aging — Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes — one by one, we believe it may be possible to intervene in the aging process and delay the onset of many of these diseases," said Walker, a member of UCLA’s Molecular Biology Institute. "We are not there yet, and it could, of course, take many years, but that is our goal and we think it is realistic.


Study Finds Air Pollution Harmful to Young Brains

Read the full article Study Finds Air Pollution Harmful to Young Brains at

Findings by University of Montana Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, MA, MD, Ph.D., and her team of researchers reveal that children living in megacities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

The research is in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (full access paywall)

Research: “Air pollution and children: Neural and tight junction antibodies and combustion metals, the role of barrier breakdown and brain immunity in neurodegeneration” by Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Aristo Vojdani, Eleonore Blaurock-Busch, Yvette Busch, Albrecht Friedle, Maricela Franco-Lira, Partha Sarathi-Mukherjee, Su-Bin Park, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, and Amedeo D’Angiulli in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. doi:10.3233/JAD-141365

Image: The study found when air particulate matter and their components such as metals are inhaled or swallowed, they pass through damaged barriers, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and the blood-brain barriers and can result in long-lasting harmful effects. The image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit NeuroscienceNews.


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