New peanut butter with probiotics developed by scientist

A new peanut butter that allows you to acquire probiotic positives was developed by researcher Dan Perlman. Probiotics are microorganisms that live in the digestive system that help to promote digestion, produce important hormones and vitamins and generally strengthen the immune system.

For years, Perlman has been looking for new ways to “pack” probiotics into food to allow people to acquire them without using pills or third-party capsules. Probiotics need to be ingested alive to take advantage of their positive characteristics but if there is not enough water or other energy sources in the food to support these bacteria, they die quickly and are therefore useless once ingested.

Walnut butters seem to be unsuitable for cramming live probiotics as they contain very little water. However, the researcher noted that when freeze-dried peanut butter bacteria come in, the bacteria themselves remain “suspended” in a sort of deep sleep, still alive but ready to get back to work and “wake up” once they are ingested by people.

This is because they remain trapped in the structure of the fat matrix of these foods, a rather crystalline fat.

In the new peanut butter developed by the researcher, there are 500 million to one billion bacteria in a two-spoon portion, the amount of a probiotic pill.

Now the researcher himself is looking for a way to make this new peanut butter with probiotics for commercial use.

Judo is very useful for autistic children according to a new study

Judo can be useful for children with autism spectrum disorders according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Central Florida. According to the researchers, this martial activity, in addition to reducing the level of physical inactivity, which in itself can be linked to other diseases such as diabetes and obesity, can also have positive effects with regard to social interaction in autistic children, as the researchers noted during their analysis.

During the pilot study, in fact, the researchers noticed that children who practiced this physical activity were then anxious to continue the lessons when they finished and were generally very interested. As a consequence, the researchers themselves found a moderate to vigorous increase in physical activity among the study participants. The results of the study were then published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Parents interviewed about it also stated that their children with autism spectrum disorders seemed to be more comfortable with social interaction and physical contact while practicing judo.
These are characteristics, those related to social interaction, for which children diagnosed with autism usually have a certain difficulty.

“While for karate, a form of martial arts, the benefits to the autistic population related to social interaction have been documented, we hypothesized that the emphasis on awareness and self-defense promoted by judo could provide additional benefits to young people with ASD,” explains Jeanette Garcia, researcher at the College of Health Professions and Sciences who carried out the research. “In fact, our study shows that judo not only promotes social skills, but is well accepted by this population and is an excellent program to reduce sedentary behavior and increase confidence.”

Homo erectus arrived in Southeast Asia earlier than previously calculated

The first apparitions of homo erectus in Southeast Asia would have occurred earlier than previously theorized: a new study that places the arrival of the first hominids in the area of Sangiran, island of Java, in a period between 1.3 and 1.5 million years ago comes to this conclusion.

These first humans migrated from Asia to Southeast Asia to reach Java at least 300,000 years later than previously believed. The Sangiran area is in fact rich in human fossils, the oldest in Southeast Asia, and is a well-known site, one of the most important to understand the evolution of the first humans in this area.

However, the chronology of the site has always remained uncertain, especially with regard to homo erectus and its first appearance in the region. Precisely for this reason, the researcher Shuji Matsu’ura, together with colleagues, has carried out a new study analyzing with various dating methods, including Uranium Lead (U/Pb) to calculate the age of various volcanic zircons found in this area.

The results that the scientist and his colleagues have obtained are therefore significantly different from the previous ones and estimate the arrival of homo erectus in this area at 1.3-1.5 million years ago while previous results estimated the arrival at 1.7 million years ago.

The life span of nematodes has been prolonged by 500% with new genetic manipulations

A new cell pathway that amplifies the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, an approximately one-millimeter long nematode that usually lives in soil, has been identified by a team of researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California and the University of Nanjing, China.

Specifically, this new cell pathway can extend the life of this small worm, which usually lives up to 3-4 weeks, by five times: if the thing could be applied, for example, even to a human being, it could extend the life of the latter up to a duration of 400 or even 500 years.

Of course, we are very far from a possible application on humans due to the extreme complexity of our body and our genetic profile compared to that of a nematode, however thanks to the fact that this nematode shares with us many of its genes, the result is certainly worthy of note in the context of the fight against aging. Specifically, researchers have genetically altered the insulin signalling pathways (IIS) and the target of the rapamycin pathway (TOR), as well as other mitochondrial functions.

These are genetic manipulations that, at least on this worm, have led to an almost exponential effect, as Jianfeng Lan, a researcher who participated in the study, suggests: “The effect is not one plus one equal to two, it is one plus one equal to five. Our results show that nothing exists in nature in a vacuum; in order to develop the most effective anti-aging treatments we must look rather at the longevity networks of individual pathways.”

Now researchers want to understand more about the actual role of the mitochondria of aging probably also to understand if any genetic manipulation could have a similar effect on humans.

Losing even one night’s sleep increases Tau protein in the brain, an Alzheimer’s marker

Losing even one night’s sleep increases levels of Tau, abundant proteins in central nervous system neurons that can be considered a marker of senile dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
This is the discovery made by a team of researchers at the University of Uppsala who published their study on Neurology.

Tau proteins present in neurons usually form “tangles.” When the formation of these tangles exceeds a certain limit, they accumulate in the brain and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Before the symptoms of the same disease appear, the accumulation can last for decades. Already in the past, studies had shown that Tau levels in cerebral spinal fluid could increase as a result of sleep deprivation.

According to Jonathan Cedernaes, one of the authors of the study, even a single night’s sleep can cause an increase, albeit slight, in the level of tau in the blood. This, in turn, suggests that repeated sleep interruptions or long-term sleep deprivation can therefore have harmful effects in terms of cognitive function and the risk of Alzheimer’s itself.

The researchers carried out studies on 15 healthy men with an average age of 22 years who had reported, before the start of the experiment, to sleep regularly from seven to nine hours a night.
In the first phase, these people observed a rigorous program of meals and physical activity for two days two nights. After this first phase, blood samples were taken and analyzed.

Then the second phase began, during which the same people were given a normal night’s sleep, followed by a night in which they were kept forcibly awake with lights on and various activities. Subsequent blood tests showed a 17% increase in blood tau levels after just one night of sleep deprivation. The researchers also examined four other Alzheimer’s related biomarkers but these were not characterized by any particular changes or increases.

According to Cedernaes himself, this is explained by the fact that when neurons are active, the release of TAU in the brain is higher than when we sleep. That is why after only one night when awake, the amount is increased the next day.

Now further studies are needed to determine whether these increases cause a general increase in tau levels in the brain over the long term or whether these proteins are eliminated in whole or in part somehow after a sleepless night. Further studies should also be carried out on different populations, e.g. female patients or elderly people.

A new instrument will allow mass measurement of exoplanets with extreme precision

A new instrument just mounted on the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in southern Arizona promises to detect mass and other characteristics of exoplanets with unprecedented accuracy. In fact, the new instrument, called NEID, will allow an accuracy three times higher than the previous generation of similar instruments.

A high-precision radial velocity spectrometer will collect light from the stars and measure the sometimes minimal gravitational effect that the planets themselves have on the stars around which they orbit. It is a small “wobble” caused by a periodic shift in the speed of the star. This also happens in our solar system. For example, Jupiter, the largest planet, causes an oscillatory movement of the Sun that can be measured in about 30 miles per hour. The Earth, on the other hand, causes a movement of only 0.2 miles per hour.

Of course, the size of the oscillation is proportional to the mass of the planet and this is why it is possible not only to discover the planets themselves but also to measure their mass with extreme precision. The similar instruments used until now can in fact measure this type of oscillation only up to 2 miles per hour but now the NEID will be able to measure oscillations at even shorter speeds, up to one mile per hour, as explained by Jason Wright, a researcher at the State University of Pennsylvania involved in the project. This means that even exoplanets with a land mass can be more easily discovered.

Such an instrument, in collaboration with others such as the TESS space telescope, will therefore allow a greater number of discoveries of exoplanets so that “things will become really interesting and we will be able to learn what planets are made of,” as the scientist himself explains.

The instrument has already been tested with observations of the brightness of the star 51 Pegasi. The instrument can also be updated and can be used by practically all astronomers, as explained by Sarah Logsdon, another researcher involved in the project.

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