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Sun emits 3rd solar flare in two days

The sun emitted its solar flare on October 25, 2013, which peaked at 11:03 a.m. EDT, and was it’s third in the past two days.

This flare has been classified as an X2.1 class while “X-class” denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

About two weeks back it had released its most powerful solar flare in nearly two months, which resulted in a small geomagnetic storm, as charged particles from the sun passed by the Earth.

Brown fat cells govern daily control of body temperature

 Researchers have tried to explain how body temperature rhythms are synchronized while maintaining the ability to adapt to changes in environmental temperature no matter the time of day or night.

Mitchell A. Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania said that food is plentiful in our present day society, and his team, including lead author Zachary Gerhart-Hines, Ph.D., found that the ability of mice to withstand a cold-temperature challenge was greater at 5:00 AM, when the mice are awake, compared to 5:00 PM when they are normally sleeping. This previously unrecognized circadian susceptibility to cold was found to be controlled by a protein called Rev-erb alpha, which is a molecular component of the body’s biological clock mechanism.

Indeed, mice engineered to lack the Rev-erb alpha protein had similar cold tolerance throughout the 24-hour day and also lost the physiological circadian rhythm of body temperature.

Rev-erb alpha’s effects were produced mainly by circadian regulation in brown adipose tissue, commonly called brown fat, the body’s furnace. Brown fat cells, as opposed to white fat cells, make heat for the body and are thought to have evolved to help mammals cope with the cold. But, their role in generating warmth might also be applied to coping with obesity and diabetes.

Brown fat cells are thought to counteract obesity by burning off excess energy stored in lipid, but white fat cells store energy. Indeed, brown fat cells contain many smaller droplets of lipids and the most mitochondria (containing pigmented cytochromes that bind iron) of any cell type, which make them brown. Mitochondria are the cells’ energy factories in the form of the molecule ATP.

How bacteria with sweet tooth keeps us healthy

A new study is providing insights into the interaction between bacteria and mucus building mucins – proteins that have sugars associated with them - and how the specificity of these interactions affects health.

Dr Nathalie Juge and her team at the IFR have shown that the ability to use mucins in the human gut varies between different gut bacteria strains.

The IFR researchers looked at Ruminococcus gnavus. This is a common species of gut bacteria found in over 90 percent of people, including infants just a few days old. It has also been implicated in gut-related health conditions.

A number of studies have shown that patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases have a disproportionate representation of R. gnavus.

This study looked at two different R. gnavus strains. Although both R. gnavus strains can use mucins, only one had the ability to survive when mucins were the sole source of food.
Comparing the genomes of the R. gnavus strains identified gene clusters used to breakdown mucins.

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