The Spanish Pediatrics Association has recently awarded the Pediatrics laboratory at the University of Navarre for a research into tobacco and foetal genetic instability. The study, by Marta Zalacaín, was carried out in conjunction with the Department of Gynacology and Obstetrics at the Hospital Virgen del Camino. “It involved analysing umbilical cords from many births which took place at both centres over three years and which have been distributed in four groups: non-smoking mothers, ex-smokers, those who stop smoking during pregnancy and those who continue to smoke. The aim was the look for any instability in the cord blood to see if there was any relationship with the smoking habits of the mother, either active or passive. In order to carry out this study, the collaboration by the Hospital Virgen del Camino has provided us with a very wide-ranging population of smoking mothers”, explains Marta Zalacaín. The research involved a questionnaire filled in by both the mother and father regarding their smoking habits, together with biochemical tests to measure cotinine in urine, the metabolite produced by nicotine in the body.
This work involves the micronuclei testing, the technology of which has been developed and applied successfully by Marta Zalacaín. According to Dr. Patiño, “When a genotoxic agent affects the cells, such as benzoapyrene in tobacco, genetic damage may be caused which interfere with cell division. As a product of this damage, a number of chromosomic fragments separate from the main nucleus and come together in a secondary nucleus known as a micronucleus. The research is aimed at seeing how the number of micronuclei vary amongst smoking and non-smoking mothers”.
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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