what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Rising CO2 - threat to human nutrition

A new study has revealed that the rising levels of atmospheric CO2 can lead to major reduction of nutrients important to humans by 2050.

It was estimated that around two to three billion people in the world receive 70 percent or more of their dietary zinc and/or iron from C3 crops, particularly in the developing world where zinc and iron deficiency is already a major health concern.

The study stated that there is a significant decrease in the concentrations of zinc, iron, and protein in C3 grains. Zinc and iron were also considerably reduced in legumes.The researchers also found that zinc and iron varied substantially across cultivars of rice and their further efforts might be able to find the opportunity to breed cultivars that have less sensitivity to the effect of elevated CO2.
How viruses use human cells to multiply and spread

A new study has shed light on how viruses use human cells in order to multiply and spread, which involves interacting with cellular host factors as well as virus-virus interactions.

According to the study, viral proteins are essential for the assembly of newly produced infectious virions.

Scientists at the Institute of Virology at the Helmholtz Zentrum have discovered how these proteins interact with one another and thus regulate important stages in the viral replication cycle.

Professor Michael Schindler said that their results show how viral proteins interact within human cells, which provides a basis for identifying new antiviral substances. We propose by specifically targeting virus-virus interactions to find drugs with low cellular toxicity.

Schindle said that since their method can be applied in an interdisciplinary manner, they are also aiming to elucidate the networks of other human pathogenic viruses, like in hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Being forty never too late to start endurance training

A new study suggests that 40 is not too old to start endurance training. 

The study of healthy senior men has found that “relatively intensive” endurance exercise confers benefits on the heart irrespective of the age at which they began training.

The benefits were evident and comparable in those who had started training before the age of 30 or after the age of 40. As a result, the investigators said.

The study, which was performed in France, was reported at the EuroPRevent congress 2014 in Amsterdam by David Matelot, from the Inserm 1099 unit in Rennes, France.

The study was performed in 40 healthy men (without cardiovascular risk factors) aged between 55 and 70 years who were divided for assessment according to the level of exercise they took and the ages at which they began. 

10 of the men had never exercised for more than 2 hours a week throughout their lives, and 30 had exercised for at least 7 hours a week for over five years, either beginning their programmes before the age of 30 or after the age of 40.

The regular exercise they took was either running or cycling.

“Despite biological changes with age, the heart still seems - even at the age of 40 - amenable to modification by endurance training. 

Starting at the age of 40 does not seem to impair the cardiac benefits,” Matelot said.“However, endurance training is also beneficial for bone density, for muscle mass, for oxidative stress. 

And these benefits are known to be greater if training was started early in life,” he added.