Dr Bernhard Gerber and colleagues from the University of Zurich, Switzerland rounded up 160 Bernese Mountain Dogs and 62 control dogs, predominantly from other longhaired, large breeds. They asked owners about their dog’s exposure to rural walks and the number of ticks attached to the dogs. The team used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as well as a Western blot test to see whether the dogs had developed antibodies against B. burgdorferi.
Of the Bernese Mountain Dogs, 58 percent had developed antibodies against B. burgdorferi, compared with only 15 percent of the control dogs. Factors such as living in a rural area or coat colour did not explain the result, leading the authors to conclude that the breed may be predisposed to B. burgdorferi infection.
The authors data did not allow them to reach any conclusions regarding speculation that glomerular disease found in Bernese Mountain Dogs may be caused directly by B. burgdorferi, and the high incidence of B. burgdorferi infection may mean it coincides with glomerulonephritis without being the cause of the disease.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a farm dog and originally came from Berne in Switzerland. The dogs are known for intense breeding and their narrow gene pool, which makes them especially susceptible to diseases such as epilepsy, bleeding and cancers.
However Gerber says that “the findings in the present study are unique as infections with B. burgdorferi are not causing disease”, whereas other breeds with a predilection for an infectious disease become sick. The biological reasons behind infection with the bacteria and the consequences for Bernese Mountain Dogs are currently unknown.
Charlotte Webber | EurekAlert!
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
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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