It is well known that a tiny number of cyanobacteria, previously known as blue-green algae, produce substances that can be toxic to both humans and animals. Now a research team from Sweden, Scotland, and the U.S. has found that a further toxin (BMAA, -methyl amino-alanine) with a possible connection to degenerative nerve diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s is produced by cyanobacteria that are widespread around the world.
The findings are reported in the new issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) in the U.S. Swedish collaborators in the project are Professor Birgitta Bergman and Associate Professor Ulla Rasmussen at the Department of Botany, Stockholm University.
The connection between BMAA and these disorders has been intensively studied over the years on the Pacific island of Guam, where the incidence following World War II has been 50-100 times higher than elsewhere in the world. Previously scientists thought that BMAA was produced only by cone palm trees, which are extremely common in that part of the world and have sometimes been used as food. High levels of BMAA have been found in the brains of disease victims in Guam, but since BMAA has recently been discovered in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients in Canada, the hunt for the sources of the BMAA toxin has been intensified.
Agneta Paulsson | alfa
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences