Images of the week

Bed Bugs

Entomology ; Created: 30 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 02 Jul 2020

The bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and C. hemipterus) have undergone a significant resurgence worldwide since the 1990s. Herein, we discuss on the main evolutionary events, from fossil evidence, dating from 11,000 years ago, until the present that has led to the current worldwide expansion of Cimicid species. We present the hypotheses on the possible dispersion pathways of bed bugs in light of the major historical and evolutionary events. A detailed classification of the Cimicidae family and finally, an illustrative map displaying the current distribution of known Cimex species in each geographical ecozone of Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Australia are presented.

Micronutrients and Human Health

Created by: Munmun Chattopadhyay
Nutrition ; Created: 01 Jul 2020; Latest updated: 02 Jul 2020

Minerals and trace elements are micronutrients that are essential to the human body but present only in traceable amounts. Nonetheless, they exhibit well-defined biochemical functions. Deficiencies in these micronutrients are related to widespread human health problems such as diabetes, insulin resistance, improper immune function, bone health and brain development. The levels of trace elements may vary considerably among different populations, contingent on the composition of the diet and location. Local differences in selenium, zinc, copper, iron, chromium and iodine in the diet can affect physiological functions leading to malnourishment. Inadequate supply of a number of minerals and trace elements including iodine, selenium, zinc, calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, boron and magnesium and in a few cases, excess of essential trace elements may lead to imbalances in glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance. Changes in these micronutrient levels in the serum and urine of subjects may signal towards metabolic changes, oxidative stress and other disease-related complications. Adequate supplement of the micronutrients may eliminate or protect against certain diseases such as heart disease.

Non-Mechanical Hybrid Hydrogen Compression

Mechanical Engineering ; Created: 25 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 29 Jun 2020

Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors consists of a first electrochemical compression stage followed by a second one based on the adsorption-desorption of hydrogen on microporous materials. They allow compressing hydrogen up to 70 MPa. Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors can be a valid alternative to the mechanical compressors. 

Sjögren’s Syndrome (SS)

Created by: Pio Conti
Pathology & Pathobiology ; Created: 24 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 29 Jun 2020

Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease which affects primarily older women and is characterized by irreversible damage of the exocrine glands, including tear (xerophthalmia) and salivary glands (xerostomia). Mast cells (MCs) are ubiquitous, but are primarily located close to blood vessels and nerves and can be activated early in autoimmune diseases, including SS, to express a wide variety of cytokines and chemokines. Activation of MCs by IL-1 and IL-33 in SS plays a crucial role and mediates the inflammatory process. Inhibitory effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines could be a new therapeutic strategy in the treatment of  SS.

Non-Mechanical Hybrid Hydrogen Compression

Mechanical Engineering ; Created: 25 Jun 2020; Latest updated: 29 Jun 2020

Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors consists of a first electrochemical compression stage followed by a second one based on the adsorption-desorption of hydrogen on microporous materials. They allow compressing hydrogen up to 70 MPa. Non-mechanical hybrid hydrogen compressors can be a valid alternative to the mechanical compressors.