Two studies led by UT Southwestern researchers shed light on the biology and potential vulnerabilities of schistosomes — parasitic flatworms that cause the little-known tropical disease schistosomiasis. The findings, published online today in Science, could change the course of this disease that kills up to 250,000 people a year.
About 240 million people around the world have schistosomiasis — mostly children in Africa, Asia, and South America in populations that represent “the poorest of the poor,” says study leader James J. Collins III, Ph.D., associate professor in UTSW’s department of pharmacology.
Most of those infected survive, but those who die often suffer organ failure or parasite-induced cancer. Symptoms can be serious enough to keep people from living productive lives, Collins says.
The parasite that causes this disease has a complicated life cycle that involves stages in both freshwater snails and mammals. Dwelling in mammalian hosts’ circulatory systems, schistosomes feed
When Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier embarked on the project that would change science and medicine in incalculable ways, their intentions were much more muted. Theirs was a basic research inquiry into bacterial immune systems, not an attempt to develop a new tool to manipulate the genetic code.
Yet their discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 editing complex, recognized Wednesday with the Nobel Prize in chemistry, has ignited what even scientists allergic to hyperbole routinely call a revolution in how science is conducted. Researchers and companies are regularly discovering new applications in agriculture, diagnostics, and therapeutic development.
While the world wants flashy quick fixes for everything, especially massive threats like the coronavirus and global warming, next week’s Nobel Prizes remind us that in science, slow and steady pays off.
It may soon do so again.
Science builds upon previous work, with thinkers “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as Isaac Newton put it, and it starts with basic research aimed at understanding a problem before fixing it. It’s that type of basic science that the Nobels usually reward, often years or decades after a discovery, because it can take that long to realize the implications.
Slow and steady success in science has made researchers hopeful in the fight against the pandemic. It even offers a glimmer of climate optimism.
Many years of advances in basic molecular science, some of them already Nobel Prize-winning, have given the world tools for fast virus identification and speeded up the development
Progress, despite what you have heard lately from some environmentalists and populists (of the left and right), is good. Really good, in fact. The new working paper “A Calculation of the Social Returns to Innovation” by Benjamin F. Jones and Lawrence H. Summers opens with several reminders of that reality: “Standards of living in advanced economies have risen dramatically over the last two centuries, with U.S. income per-capita currently 25 times its level in 1820. … Scientific and technological advances, ultimately delivering valuable new products and services, are thought to be critical drivers of these gains. … Innovative advances also appear central to improving human health and life expectancy.”
Students, who have started appearing for mock tests for the final year theory examinations, state that basic internet and a smartphone is required for it. Some students said it is better to use a computer or laptop, rather than a smartphone, as multiple tabs need to be opened at the same time.
Degree colleges under University of Mumbai (MU) have started conducting mock tests for final year theory examinations. Melvis Pereira, a final year student of Bachelor of Commerce (B Com) who appeared for a mock test said, “The MCQ format was not that difficult. But, keeping a track of time and completing the paper within 60 minutes from home is a challenge.”
Amruta Shahani, a final year engineering student, said, “I appeared for the mock test on my smartphone. However, it is better to appear for it on a computer or laptop because you can open multiple tabs. Also,