Small marine worm emits one of the ocean’s loudest noises

A small worm emits one of the loudest noises emitted by animals in the oceans, so strong that it could break even small glass vessels. The study analyzed the Leocratides kimuraorum, marine worms a little less than three cm long discovered for the first time in 2017.

These worms, which live in the small grooves of the hexattellellid sponges, were identified off the coast of Japan. But only when they were brought to the laboratory did the researchers discover the strangest feature related to these small animals. When they fight each other, they strangely contract their bodies by jumping “head down” towards the enemy.

This specific movement is the cause of the emission of a loud popping sound, similar to the noise emitted when ripping off the champagne. The researchers detected this municipality through specific underwater microphones. These are not the only small marine animals that produce such loud noises: even shrimps usually “snap” with their bodies but do so by quickly closing their claws.

The Leocratides kimuraorum, on the other hand, have no hard part because they boast a completely soft body. They simply manage to generate this loud noise through very high pressure by twisting the body which, at the simple contraction of the muscles, emits noise.

New method for detecting extrasolar planets using gravitational waves

A group of researchers confirms that a new method for detecting extrasolar planets using gravitational waves could be very useful indeed. Specifically, this method would apply to the identification of those exoplanets that orbit binary systems of white dwarfs, both in the Milky Way and in the nearby Magellanic Clouds.

The method is based on the observations of gravitational waves, something that would allow the LISA observatory, a space observatory consisting of three satellites whose mission should be launched in 2034, to detect planets with at least 50 land masses. To date, the techniques most used to identify extrasolar planets are those related to the planet’s transit system in front of their own star from our point of view and that which is based on the interception of the gravitational influence that the planet can have on its own star.

In the new article, which appeared in Nature Astronomy , Nicholas Tamanini, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, and Camilla Danielski, a researcher at the French Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy (CEA) in Saclay, state that the inherent limitations of these methods can be overcome by resorting to gravitational wave analysis.

As the same Tamanini explains, the LISA observatory will measure, after the launch of the mission, the gravitational waves of many thousands of white dwarf binary systems. However, if in the vicinity of these latter orbits a fairly large planet, the same gravitational waves will appear different and this change can be analyzed to acquire information on the planet, as well as its own presence.

Focusing on muscle building is more effective than losing fat to counter diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Focusing on muscle strengthening rather than fat loss could prove to be a more efficient tactic to combat cardiovascular disease or diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at the medical school of the University of Augusta.

According to the researchers the poor health of the muscles, in particular the skeletal ones, is an equally important factor, as regards the sensitivity of the human body to insulin or obesity, compared to other factors such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity or also stress.

A notion of this kind could make, among other things, the measurement of muscle health a more accurate indicator of our health than the detection of fat.

The study made use of the analyzes carried out on the data of 400 pairs of twins aged between 22 and 45 years. In fact, identical twins have helped researchers to understand which are the main factors that can contribute to obesity, in addition to genetics.

Unlike other research, however, in this the muscle becomes the real target, as reported by Ryan A. Harris, a vascular physiologist and one of the authors of the study: “We believe it is an organ that we can really direct towards improving metabolic health and cardiovascular health.”

Kratom herb supplements are dangerous according to a new study

A study confirms the danger of the kratom herb used for pain relief or even to treat opioid addiction. This herb comes from a plant native to Southeast Asia. It has been reported that the chemicals that this herb contains can have a positive effect on the body’s opioid receptors but other studies have also pointed to its degree of toxicity to the human body.

The degree of toxicity or in any case the very negative side effects are now underlined by another study, published in Pharmacotherapy and conducted by William Eggleston, a researcher at the University of Binghamton, who wanted to understand the toxicity levels of a herb-based supplement kratom. To do this he examined various databases of New York State medical examiners to understand all the deaths associated with this herb.

The researcher worked on 2312 cases of exposure to kratom grass of which 935 saw the compounds of this herb as the only assimilated substance.

Among the negative side effects that the researcher found were agitation, tachycardia, drowsiness, vomiting and confusional states. To a lesser extent, the researcher also found cases of convulsion, abstinence, hallucinations, respiratory depression, coma and cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The death of four of the people analyzed could be traced back to kratom, which could be considered a cause or a trigger for death.

According to Eggleston, in too high doses the kratom can cause effects that see sedation and slowing of the breath as well as convulsions and liver toxicity.

According to the same researcher, further research is needed to understand more about the safety of its use and its effectiveness, but these results show that “it should not be available as an herbal supplement.”

New detection system developed that analyzes gaze and detects autism

A new method to more effectively detect autism spectrum disorders in children has been developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo. The new method is based on the analytical and detailed observation of the gaze of children in front of people’s faces.

The researchers, who published their own study on Computers in Biology and Medicine, noticed that children with an autism spectrum disorder scan the face of people differently than children without autism.

In the course of the experiments, the researchers analyzed the reactions of 17 children with an autism spectrum disorder and 23 neurotypical children when they were shown photographs of faces on a screen. The eyes of the children were traced by a special infrared system that also analyzed the iris.

By analyzing how the children moved their eyes and scrutinized the faces as well as the ways in which the eye moved, the researchers were able to establish the presence of an autism spectrum disorder. It is a method that according to the authors could be very useful also because the current approaches, as specified by Mehrshad Sadria, one of the authors of the study, are not very suitable for children and are subject to errors.

“Our technique is not just about behavior or whether a child concentrates on the mouth or the eyes, but it is about how a child looks at everything,” says Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics, pharmacy and biology at Waterloo and another author of the study.

Medicinal cannabis oil is useful in children with severe epilepsy

A group of researchers, through a study published in Frontiers in Neurology, announces that they have achieved good results by experimentally using medicinal cannabis oil, containing both cannabidiol and minimal amounts of THC, in cases of children with severe seizure episodes due to epilepsy.

According to the researchers, after taking small amounts of medicinal cannabis oil, the children also showed a general improvement in the quality of life, including in terms of communication skills with family members. The compound used by the researchers had 95% cannabidiol and 5% THC (the latter, in higher doses, can be toxic).

In addition to not detecting particular side effects, the researchers did not notice any trace of THC intoxication, which could make this new therapy an interesting treatment option for those children with severe epileptic episodes for which the drugs are not helpful, as specified Richard Huntsman, a pediatric neurologist who led the study.

The children on whom this new therapy was tested did not respond to different anti-convulsive drugs and continued to have multiple seizures.

In one of the cases, a child with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe epileptic form, who lived a lethargic life and who suffered attacks substantially throughout the day, started to show clear improvements regarding the frequency of crises once who started taking the compound.

Intentionally elongated skulls of people who lived between 12,000 and 5,000 years ago found in China

Skulls discovered by a group of researchers from China, Singapore and the United States have been defined as the oldest case of cranial modification in a human being ever identified.

The researchers, who published their work in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, have in fact discovered skeletal remains at a site in China, called Houtaomuga, which showed signs of intentional cranial changes.

The cranial modification is a process that sees the alteration of the shape of the skull intentionally and that is carried out, in most cases, by tying ropes or pieces of cloth around the heads of newborns at a time of life during which the bones of the skull are still soft, therefore more malleable. In most cases, this custom, which can still be found in some tribal groups, is to lengthen the skull.

The researchers believe that this type of modification is carried out to label a person who belongs to a certain elite or in any case a special person. The researchers analyzed the remains of 25 human skeletons and found that 11 of these had signs of cranial changes.

They were almost all skulls belonging to adult males (they identified only one case of a woman) who lived in a period between 12,000 and 5,000 years ago: in fact, the bones were not buried at that same point in the same period.

Carbon dioxide used to create graphene by imitating plant enzyme

A team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) published a new study in the journal ChemSusChem which considers the possibility of using carbon dioxide to produce graphene.

According to the researchers, in fact, the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere following the combustion of raw materials such as coal and oil can be used to synthesize precious materials. And it is not just about reducing air pollution: the process could lead to a new profitable sector.

Among other things, we already have an example in nature: chlorophyll photosynthesis made by plants combines carbon dioxide with water and light to create biomass, a cycle that researchers have been trying to reproduce for years. However, in this study, the researchers of the German institute have analyzed above all the enzyme based on metal RuBisCo.

This enzyme absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and makes it reusable for other chemical reactions in the plant. The researchers, trying to mimic the process carried out by this enzyme, are therefore trying to convert carbon dioxide into graphene.

The process involves temperatures up to 1000 ° F and particular catalytic preparations.

As Mario Ruben, professor at Molekulare Materialien explains, and one of the authors of the study, “if the metal surface shows the correct relationship between copper and palladium, the conversion of carbon dioxide into graphene will take place directly in a simple one-step process.”