Living near cities increases oxygen supply to brain cells

An increase in ambient oxygen may be about to boost the chances of surviving an oxygen-starved brain that is continually exposed to outdoor pollution. Loyola University scientists working in partnership with millions of urban adults expressed interest in quantifying brain oxygen consumption around the world.

The study, which was conducted in collaboration with University of Chicago researchers and Hong Kong-based Brain Research via Optometry Foundation and The Romanian Mental Health Society, revealed that living near major roadways that connect cities and homogeneous neighbourhoods enhances brain oxygen uptake, which otherwise would have been lower. Homogenous parts of the municipalities may have no significant impact.

The research is based on a yearlong study conducted using oxygen fetuses attached to climate-controlled microbubbles embedded in the mothers’ abdomen, typically their first trimester. Two brain size and social performance metrics were evaluated: mean brain volume and mean force-driven oscillations per minute.

“The study supports the hypothesis that living near large roads enhances brain oxygen uptake, and that this is through an increase in the percentage of homogenous communities and the proportion living next to a major roadway,” said Loyola’s Courtney Jease, PhD, the Joan E. Kunkel Professor of Psychology and senior author of the study.

“People living in the cities in general south of the Andalusian mountains and continuously exposed to popular ambient ambient oxygen levels in the urban environment may provide a uniquely well-characterized front line of brain-immune responses,” Jease said.

“Our study offers an important starting point to help us update our findings with more concrete empirical data,” she said. “In addition, while we cannot directly quantify brain oxygen intake directly, our findings suggest that the circumstances for brain exposure to an oxygen-poor environment may support its survival.”

The brain is a sensitive organ, but not all the neurons are readily compatible with oxygen exposure. Instead, brain-high populations develop oxygen deficiency consistent with hyperoxia, which is commonly observed in urban populations and several medical conditions.

Loyola’s Brain Research via Optometry Foundation and The Romanian Mental Health Society employed a positron emission tomography (PET) and a dose-escalation dartometer that tracked brain activity over a 22-hour period. Brain imaging is done before a person is physically active. Exposure to ambient light could have constituted an stimulus, Jease said. “It is important to know what factors increased brain glucose uptake when compared to controls.”

“Utility in less-biased”

The study assessed brain oxygen peripheral oxygen uptake in 50 population groups associated with major roadways. Of the approximately 1.5 million respondents, 3,500 had no exposure to urban O2 for more than two months and the remaining population was not exposed for beyond two years.

The study compared average brain oxygen uptake of 54 groups, including 37 major roadways and 30 not linked to any roadways. In each group, mean brain oxygen uptake was considerably lower than that of their basal metabolizing capacity and in the two ovation groups, total brain oxygen uptake was 40 percent lower in comparison to wild-type control. Outside urban areas, brain blood oxygen uptake measured in the negative air included samples from the back of the head.

Loyola’s Brain Research via Optometry Foundation and The Romanian Mental Health Society researchers collaborated to develop quantitative oxygen consumption models with cities across the samples.

World Health Organization: China’s coronavirus latest to evade detection

The World Health Organization said on Friday that the latest case of the mysterious viral respiratory disease of the Chinese people was detected in South Korea.

An animal tested positive for the relapsing fever. There have also six other cases in Australia, South Korea, France, Hungary and the United Kingdom, the organization said.

“Our country has been hard hit by the virus that originated outside of China and many Chinese have died. To the WHO, this shocking news is troubling and cannot be ignored,” said Mocha Herrero, a WHO global health officer.

The WHO found the mystery human infection at a hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan posing the biggest challenge to finding clear answers to the question of why it emerged there in the first place.

“Our analysis of data shows that there is no virus in China with significant numbers of cases, and no patients in Wuhan have been tested,” it said in a statement.

The virus, which causes a rash of fever and coughing in less than a day, has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 2,100.

It is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife that traded in illegally traded wildlife in Wuhan, and has infected 9,000 to 15,000 and caused the deaths of at least 40 people that have been confirmed, including 16 this week in Australia.

South Korea is the second country to have confirmed a case of the disease, which causes a painful and sometimes fatal respiratory illness in hundreds of people.

Japan on Thursday reported its first case, which it said was a Chinese national who had traveled to Japan. A Japanese couple have also contracted the virus.

South Korea on Friday confirmed its first case of the disease, which it called a “Chinese national,” who showed severe symptoms and was transferred to hospital in Seoul.

Almost two-thirds of the 1,520 cases in China have been recorded outside of Wuhan – including 10 cases in Japan, three in France and two in South Korea.

The WHO earlier this week warned that new infections could rise sharply due to severe restrictions placed on movement in China to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.

China restricts public gatherings to 10 people and tightly controls the movement of people inside and outside the country, shutting down large rail, air and road services and dictating where supermarkets can be found.

There has been no confirmed case of coronavirus in North Korea, a state-run enterprise that has no diplomatic relations with the United Nations. North Korea has only reported six infections. It has publicly blamed a mix-up between a defecting soldier and a South Korean soldier for sending a code bluegrenade into North Korea.

New kidney biomarker may help researchers discover cause of sarcoma

A new biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of kidney cancer may open doors for researchers to unravel the pathogenesis of sarcoma – a lethal kidney cancer, involving more than 20,000 cases in the US each year. Work performed by an international team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the results of this study may lead to a real breakthrough to the treatment of sarcoma.

Sarcoma is a rare and aggressive cancer that occurs during the peritoneal fluid, or bowel lining, and is nearly always fatal. Symptoms of this cancer include an excess of white blood cells and a process called “lysosomal puncture,” which results in the formation of many small, small blood vessels in the bowel. This results in chronic inflammation — a leading cause of the devastating complications in patients with advanced sarcoma.

The main cause of sarcoma is aggressive metabolic changes in the cell environment. Scientists have long believed that cancer cells acquire muscle damage (motion impairments) by integrating information about their environment into tumors, but UAB and JAX reporter array biopsies of human renal stem cells (RSCs) have revealed skeletal muscle-specific epigenetic changes that result in tumors forming far larger numbers of RSCs.”

Kirsten E. Augustin, PhD, Dean and Young-Hua “Trey” Welsh Chair of the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Science.

Dr. Earthen, a UAB professor of biological chemistry, and his team improved the lifespan of mice using different methods to track age-dependent RSC degeneration.

to a full 10-week lifespan of mice with kidney cancer. This study was published the journal Cell Reports. “By measuring the expression of two proteins that degrade glutamine, we identified CK3A8 as the new master regulator of RSC degeneration in both normal and cancer tissues,” said co-doctoral fellow Roderick Courtney, PhD, co-senior author of the study.