Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.


Cannabis exposure, particularly heavy cannabis use, has been associated with neuroanatomical alterations in regions rich with cannabinoid receptors such as the hippocampus in some but not in other (mainly cross-sectional) studies. However, it remains unclear whether continued heavy cannabis use alters hippocampal volume, and whether an earlier age of onset and/or a higher dosage exacerbate these changes.

Concepts: Brain, Cross-sectional study, Sociology, Hippocampus, Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Cannabidiol


International Conference on Nanopore Technology (Shenzhen), 30 March-1 April 2017, Shenzhen, China The International Conference on Nanopore Technology (Shenzhen) was held from 30 March to 1 April 2017 in Shenzhen, China. The goal of the meeting was threefold: leverage the unique properties of nanopore technology to promote transformative advances in medicine, encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations in the research community within China and abroad; and discuss critical challenges that need to be addressed to rapidly advance the field. The meeting was chaired by Peixuan Guo, Endowed chair professor and Director of The Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology & Nanomedicine at The Ohio State University, USA and co-chaired by Xian-En Zhang, distinguished professor of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. The conference was attended by more than 300 academic researchers, hospital administrators, government leaders and scientists from many disciplines across the country from both academic institutions and industry.

Concepts: United States, Science, Management, University, Ohio, Hong Kong, Tenure, Ohio State University


The mechanosensing ability of lymphocytes regulates their activation in response to antigen stimulation, but the underlying mechanism remains unexplored. Here, we report that B cell mechanosensing-governed activation requires BCR signaling molecules. PMA-induced activation of PKCβ can bypass the Btk and PLC-γ2 signaling molecules that are usually required for B cells to discriminate substrate stiffness. Instead, PKCβ-dependent activation of FAK is required, leading to FAK-mediated potentiation of B cell spreading and adhesion responses. FAK inactivation or deficiency impaired B cell discrimination of substrate stiffness. Conversely, adhesion molecules greatly enhanced this capability of B cells. Lastly, B cells derived from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients exhibited an altered BCR response to substrate stiffness in comparison with healthy controls. These results provide a molecular explanation of how initiation of B cell activation discriminates substrate stiffness through a PKCβ-mediated FAK activation dependent manner.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Protein, Enzyme, B cell, Rheumatoid arthritis, T cell, Focal adhesion, Discrimination


Highly caffeinated energy drinks (EDs) are popular with adolescents and young adults, but longitudinal consumption patterns are poorly understood especially in relation to other substance use.

Concepts: Coffee, Caffeine, Soft drink, Energy drink, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Guarana, Jolt Cola


Proper treatment of waste-activated sludge (WAS) involves three pivotal processes, dewatering, anaerobic digestion, and pollutants removal, which need to be re-assessed urgently. Although many traditional sludge treatments have been developed, it is prudent to enhance the efficiency of sludge treatment using multifunctional, flexible, and environmentally friendly surfactants. With regard to sludge dewatering, surfactants can weaken the binding interaction between sludge flocs and promote the dissolution of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), resulting in the release of bound water. Using surfactants in anaerobic digestion promotes the release of enzymes trapped in sludge and improves the activity of enzymes during hydrolysis. Owing to their characteristic encapsulation of hydrophobes into self-assembled aggregates (micelles), surfactants can form host-guest complexes with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Additionally, surfactants can enhance the desorption of heavy metals and prevent the emergence of heavy metal residue. This review summarizes the current surfactant-based sludge treatment technologies according to their roles in sludge disposal solutions. Then, possible mechanisms of surfactants in sludge dewatering, anaerobic digestion, and the removal of organic pollutants and heavy metals are analysed systemically. Finally, changes to sludge treatment via the aid of surfactants are highlighted. This review presents the comprehensive advances in the use of surfactants in WAS reduction, recycling, and risk relief, underscoring their roles in increasing economic efficiency and ensuring environmental quality.

Concepts: Protein, Environment, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, Anaerobic digestion, Aromaticity, Heavy metal music, Heavy metal, Tungsten


A 54-year-old African-American man presented with 2 years of progressively worsening dyspnea and anasarca. Over the past 6 months he gained 30 lbs with worsening lower extremity, abdominal wall, and scrotal edema. A recent workup for cardiac, renal, and liver disease, including two-dimensional echocardiogram, liver and renal function tests, and abdominal ultrasound, was unremarkable. He reported a 15-pack year history of smoking and quit 3 years ago. Chest radiograph at that time revealed bilateral pleural effusions that were both reportedly milky in appearance when drained by thoracenteses.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Organ, Liver function tests, Pleural effusion, Peritoneum, Thorax, Abdominal cavity


Given its proximity to northern Africa, southern Spain is regularly affected by high-altitude African intrusions. This determines a well-defined wind dynamics at surface levels. Although this weather event-mainly recorded in spring and summer-coincides with the flowering season of many wind pollinated species, its potential influence on long term airborne pollen transport has been not investigated in detail. We analyse their influence on olive pollen transport at surface level in south Spain. Daily and bi-hourly olive pollen data from 2010 to 2015, recorded at two sites 150km apart, Málaga (coast) and Córdoba (inland), were analysed together with 1) air masses at 300m above ground level (m.a.g.l.), 2) surface wind direction and 3) surface wind speed over the same period. Air masses at 3000m.a.g.l. were used to identify the periods under the influence of African intrusions. The combined analysis has enabled the identification of different pollen patterns and source contributions. In Málaga, hourly pollen peaks were recorded during the early morning coinciding with the arrival of north-westerly winds (developing sea-land breezes), with a minimal impact of local pollen sources; in Córdoba, by contrast, pollen concentrations reflected the joint contribution of local and long term sources, being the maximum concentrations associated with the arrival of southerly air masses in the afternoon. These results help to understand the potential distant sources and back-trajectories of olive pollen detected. In our case pollen from sources located at the west-northwest areas in the case of Malaga, and from the south in Cordoba. These results reinforce the idea that combined studies between synoptic meteorological and aerobiological data together with different atmospheric height air masses data, offer us a better explanation and understanding of the behaviour and the potential sources of recorded airborne data in a given place.

Concepts: Weather, Transport, Spain, Meteorology, Southern United States, Wind, Wind power, Wind speed


In recent years, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has emerged as an efficient tool for arthropod identification. Its application for field monitoring of adult mosquitoes was demonstrated, but identification of larvae has been limited to laboratory-reared specimens. Study aim was to test the success of MALDI-TOF MS in correctly identifying mosquito larvae collected in the field. Collections were performed at 13 breeding sites in urban areas of Marseille, a city in the South of France. A total of 559 larvae were collected. Of these, 73 were accurately morphologically identified, with confirmation either by molecular identification (n = 31) or analysis with MALDI-TOF MS (n = 31) and 11 were tested using both methods. The larvae identified belonged to six species including Culiseta longiareolata, Culex pipiens pipiens, Culex hortensis, Aedes albopictus, Ochlerotatus caspius and Anopheles maculipennis. A high intra-species reproducibility and inter-species specificity of whole larva MS spectra was obtained and was independent of breeding site. More than 92% of the remaining 486 larvae were identified in blind tests against the MS spectra database. Identification rates were lower for early and pupal stages, which is attributed to lower protein abundance and metamorphosis, respectively. The suitability of MALDI-TOF MS for mosquito larvae identification from the field has been confirmed.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Insect, Larva, Arthropod, Mosquito, Aedes, Culicidae, Culiseta longiareolata


The present study aimed to describe change in feeding intentions and predictors of breast-feeding intentions during the course of pregnancy.

Concepts: Present, Time, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Breastfeeding


The purpose of present approach is to target C-Type lectin (CTL) receptors for preferential uptake by the macrophages/dendritic cells and improving the cross-presentation of ovalbumin.

Concepts: Immune system, Immunotherapy, Cancer immunotherapy