Images of the week

Cataracts

Ophthalmology | Pharmacology & Toxicology | Physiology ; Created: 23 Nov 2020; Latest updated: 24 Nov 2020

A cataract is an ophthalmic disorder characterized by the opacification of the lens and occurs commonly in older people. Age-related cataract is a significant cause of blindness affecting the quality of life worldwide. An imbalance between oxidative stress and antioxidant potential of ocular tissue is considered responsible for structural modifications of crystallins, the protein constituents of the lens, which eventually leads to cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two major carotenoids which are concentrated in the human lens. Many preclinical and clinical studies provide compelling evidence for a protective role of dietary carotenoids in age-related cataracts.

Huntington’s Disease

Submitted by: Manuela Bozzi
Clinical Neurology ; Created: 23 Nov 2020; Latest updated: 24 Nov 2020

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by pathogenic expansions of the triplet cytosine-adenosine-guanosine (CAG) within the Huntingtin gene. These expansions lead to a prolongation of the poly-glutamine stretch at the N-terminus of Huntingtin causing protein misfolding and aggregation. Huntingtin and its pathological variants are widely expressed, but the central nervous system is mainly a ected, as proved by the wide spectrum of neurological symptoms, including behavioral anomalies, cognitive decline and motor disorders.

Other hallmarks of HD are loss of body weight and muscle atrophy. This review highlights some key elements that likely provide a major contribution to muscle atrophy, namely, alteration of the transcriptional processes, mitochondrial dysfunction, which is strictly correlated to loss of energy homeostasis, inflammation, apoptosis and defects in the processes responsible for the protein quality control. The improvement of muscular symptoms has proven to slow the disease progression and extend the life span of animal models of HD, underlining the importance of a deep comprehension of the molecular mechanisms driving deterioration of muscular tissue.

Clean Ethanol from CO2 Reduction

Submitted by: Wei Chen
Analytical Chemistry | Surfaces, Coatings & Films ; Created: 24 Nov 2020; Latest updated: 24 Nov 2020

Using renewable energy to convert CO2 to a clean fuel ethanol can not only reduce carbon emission by the utilization of CO2 as feedstock, but also store renewable energy as the widely used chemical and high-energy-density fuel, being considered as a perfect strategy to address current environment and energy issues. Developing efficient electrocatalysts, photocatalysts, and photoelectrocatalysts for CO2 reduction is the most crucial keystone for achieving this goal. Considerable progresses in CO2-based ethanol production have been made over the past decades. This review provides the general principles and summarizes the latest advancements of electrocatalytic, photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic CO2 conversion to ethanol. Furthermore, the main challenges and proposed future prospects are illustrated for further development of the clean fuel ethanol production.

Nanolubricants

Submitted by: Jason Yeoh
Nanotechnology ; Created: 17 Nov 2020; Latest updated: 17 Nov 2020

Nanolubricants are the name given to the dispersion of nanoparticles in a base oil, and has attracted researchers due to its potential application. In addition to being used in the tribology field, nanoparticles are also used for medical, space, and composites purposes. The addition of nanoparticles in base oils is promising because it enhances specific tribological characteristics including wear-resistance and friction, and the most important reason is that the majority of them are environmentally friendly. 

Non-Amyloidbeta-Tau Biomarkers

Submitted by: Le Minh Tu Phan
Molecular Biology ; Created: 17 Nov 2020; Latest updated: 18 Nov 2020

Core biomarkers amyloid beta (Aβ) and Tau have been considered as key neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. However, they did not sufficiently reflect clinical severity and therapeutic response, proving the difficulty of the Aβ- and Tau-targeting therapies in clinical trials. Along with these core biomarkers, non-Amyloidbeta-Tau pathophysiological biomarkers (Neurodegeneration-related biomarkers, biomarkers for neuroinflammation and phagocytosis of an innate immune system, lipid metabolism biomarkers) could serve as advanced reporters for early diagnosing AD, predicting AD progression, and monitoring the treatment response.

Climate Change Impact on Oceans
Subjects: Oceanography ;
Advanced Coatings for Buildings
CtDNA-Based Liquid Biopsy in Cancers
Subjects: Genetics ;
Role of Nrf2 in Neurodegeneration
Subjects: Molecular Biology ;