Although there are many causes for this disease, UGR [http://www.ugr.es] scientists focused on smooth muscle cells (SMCs) transformation into dedifferentiated and proliferative cells, able to carry lipids in culture. In this sense, cells from animals fed with control diet represent a difference. Experts carried out an early cell atherosclerosis experimental model with chickens, as these birds develop atherosclerosis very rapidly: a 20-day high cholesterol diet is enough to detect atheromatous plaques in their arteries.
Experts obtained SMCs from arteries before the formation of the plaques. Ten days after the start of the high cholesterol diet – when atheromatous plaques are not still visible using an electron microscopic – aortic SMCs are extracted and in-vitro cultured. Experts cultured SMC-Cs (obtained from animals without a cholesterol dietary supplement) and SMC-Chs (extracted from animals with cholesterol dietary supplement) under the same conditions. After genetic analysis, scientists confirmed that regarding the samples (without cholesterol) modifications took place in birds fed with a high cholesterol diet. Differences show that cholesterol causes changes in messenger RNA synthesis in proteins related to lipid metabolism control, proliferation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) and, therefore, that diet has an influence on gene expression.
Through other studies, these experts discovered that, whilst cholesterol causes changes in gene expression, fish oil reverts such changes. In this case, scientists fed the animals with a high cholesterol diet for ten days, then substituted cholesterol for fish oil (rich in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids) for another ten days.
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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.
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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.
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