One of these is cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in the US and other developed countries. A new study by Joshua Barzilay (Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and Emory University) and colleagues, published in the international open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine, finds that older people with diabetes are much more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than their non-diabetic peers.
The researchers studied a randomly selected group of nearly 6000 individuals over 65, of whom about 9% were known to have diabetes and were using oral drugs or insulin injections to control their blood sugar. They followed the participants for an average of 11 years. During that period, over 40% of the individuals died, and approximately 50-60% of the deaths were attributable to cardiovascular causes. Compared to those without diabetes, and after adjusting for many factors known to affect cardiovascular disease risk such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and cholesterol levels, participants with diabetes were found to be twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease. The risk was particularly high for patients treated with insulin injections.
As Andre Pascal Kengner and Anushka Patel (from the University of Sydney) point out in an accompanying Perspective article, the finding that older adults with diabetes are at very high absolute risk of death from cardiovascular events makes it clear that strategies aimed at reducing those risks in elderly diabetic patients should be pursued aggressively.
Andrew Hyde | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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