回顧星期天LBS - 科學研究相關時事趣聞 All about scientific research

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English,國際時事跟讀Daily Shadowing

Topic: About scientific research - Certain Junk Foods Could Be Messing With Your Brain’s Appetite Control, Study Finds

Emerging evidence in humans suggests a typically Western high-fat, high-sugar ’junk food’ diet can quickly undermine your brain’s appetite control.


After indulging in a week-long binge of waffles, milkshakes and similarly rich foods, researchers in Australia found young and healthy volunteers scored worse on memory tests and experienced a greater desire to eat junk food, even when they were already full.


The findings suggest something is amiss in the hippocampus - a region of the brain that supports memory and helps to regulate appetite. When we are full, the hippocampus is thought to quieten down our memories of delicious food, thereby reducing our appetite.


When it’s disrupted, this control can be seriously undermined.


Over the years, extensive research on juvenile mice has found the function of the hippocampus is very sensitive to ’junk food’ , but this has only recently been observed in young and healthy humans.


Next Article

Topic: Squatting or kneeling is better for your posture than sitting all day, anthropologists claim 人類學家:蹲姿或跪姿比坐一整天來得好

Resting postures such as squatting or kneeling may be better for health because they require more muscle activity than sitting on a chair, researchers claim.


The findings are based on data gathered from a hunter-gatherer population in Tanzania who wore devices that measured physical activity as well as periods of rest.


Anthropologists from the US found that despite being sedentary for almost 10 hours each day, equivalent to clocking a shift in the office at the desk, the Hazda people appeared to lack the markers of chronic diseases associated with long periods of sitting.


They believe this is down to the ‘active rest postures’ used by the tribe.


Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1368761 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1367176

Next Article

Topic: Aboriginal canoe sets out on voyage to Japan for research

An Aboriginal Amis canoe is set to sail from Taiwan’s Taitung County to Japan’s Yonaguni Island some time between Monday and July 13. Organized by Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory and Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS), the voyage is part of the NMNS’ research on people’s movement from Taiwan to Japan in ancient times.


According to archaeologists, some of the early inhabitants of Japan most likely traveled from Taiwan to the Ryukyu Islands on similar wooden vessels during the Paleolithic, about 30,000 years ago. The canoe will have to cross the Kuroshio Current (the Black Current) and travel around 205km to Yonaguni Island, Japan’s westernmost island in Okinawa Prefecture.


The research team failed to complete a voyage on an Amis bamboo raft last year and the year before that, because the boats used were not strong enough for the big waves. This time around, a canoe made of cedar will be used in the adventure, which is expected to take 2 to 3 days.


Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/06/20/2003717213

Next Article

Topic: Researchers ‘reboot’ pig brains hours after animals died

The brains of decapitated pigs can be partially revived several hours after the animal has died, researchers have revealed, with some of the functions of cells booted back up when an oxygen-rich fluid is circulated through the organ.


The scientists stress that the brains do not show any signs of consciousness — for example, there was no sign that different parts of the brain were sending signals to each other — and that it does not change the definition of death. “This is not a living brain. But it is a cellularly active brain,” said Prof Nenad Sestan from Yale University, who led the research.


A number of studies have suggested brain cells might not inevitably die after blood stops circulating. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers in the US reported how they sought to examine this further by taking brains from 32 pigs that had been killed in a slaughterhouse. Four hours after their deaths the arteries of the pig brains were hooked up to a sophisticated system dubbed BrainEx, which pumped an oxygenated synthetic blood through the organ. This fluid contained a host of nutrients as well as other substances to tackle processes that lead to cell death, and the circulation was continued for six hours.


At that point, the team found the circulating fluid successfully flowed through blood vessels in the brain, including tiny capillaries, and that the blood vessels were able to dilate in response to a drug, while the brain as a whole consumed oxygen and glucose from the fluid and released carbon dioxide back into it at similar rates to an intact brain.


What is more, the cells showed certain functions, including the release of various immune-response substances when triggered. After tissues were removed from the brains and flushed of the BrainEx fluid the researchers found individual neurons were still able to function.


The team said that while the BrainEx fluid was circulating, they monitored the brains to check for any signs of organized electrical activity that might suggest consciousness. “That monitoring didn’t show any kind of organized global electrical activity,” said Dr Stephen Latham, a bioethicist and co-author of the study.


But, he said, the team had been ready for signs of consciousness. “Had that appeared they would have lowered the temperature of the brain and used anesthesia to stop that kind of activity,” said Latham, adding that at present there are no ethics committees set up for such an eventuality, and it remained unclear in any case if the technique could ever restore consciousness.


The team said the approach could provide a new way to study the brain, and even help in the development and testing of new therapies for stroke and other conditions in which bloodflow to parts of the brain is blocked, causing cells to die.


Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/04/28/2003714163/2