In a study believed to have implications for children and adults suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, rat pups given alcohol during a period of rapid brain development demonstrated significant changes in circadian or 24-hour rhythms as adults. The alcohol dosage was the equivalent of several nights of binge drinking on the part of a pregnant woman, and it was given at a time during rat brain development (shortly after birth) equivalent to the third trimester of human fetal development.
Dr. David J. Earnest, Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center, presented the findings Sunday, April 3, at an American Association of Anatomists session on dissecting the biological clock during Experimental Biology 2005 in San Diego.
Dr. Earnest says the findings are significant for three reasons:
Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS) can occur in the offspring of mothers who abuse alcohol during pregnancy. Some of the deleterious effects of maternal alcohol use on the developing fetus include craniofacial alterations (e.g. a thin upper lip and a small nose) and defects in brain development. Animal studies examining the spectrum of alcohol-induced brain injuries have revealed that affected offspring are most vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol during the brain growth spurt period, which is the human equivalent of the third trimester and that these defects in brain development often persist into adulthood.
Sarah Goodwin | EurekAlert!
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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