A research shows that spine fluid may cause headaches in mice

Science in Japan: Scientists’ hopes for the shake-up of the UK’s shaky economy after last week’s election

The United Kingdom’s incoming Labour government will have a long list of issues to tackle after winning a decisive victory in yesterday’s election — and scientists who spoke to Nature say that they are hoping that the shake-up will bring positive change. Research and innovation were mentioned in the party’s manifesto, raising hopes that they will be at the forefront of efforts to boost the country’s shaky economy. A growing crisis in university finances, influenced by the previous government’s view of universities as evil and liberal, is crucial.

Hundreds of thousands of scientists in Japan have signed a petition calling on the government to increase funds for Japan’s most important source of basic-science funding, KAKENHI. The annual budget for KAKENHI remained constant over the past 10 years at just under 200 billion Japanese dollars. The organizers of the petition say double this amount is needed to regain the country’s competitiveness. Others argue that the country needs to fundamentally restructure its funding mechanisms.

Brain activity heralded by blind spots, flashes and other migraine ‘auras’ seems to trigger a change in cerebrospinal fluid. Plus, a ‘frog sauna’ protects against killer fungal disease and the benefits of full-body, continuous wearable ultrasound.

The Nature is read for 12 minutes: Science and research to improve health care and research outcomes for endangered species (Naturature | 8 min read) Litoria aurea (Litoria australis)

The narrow scope of many science degrees — without social science, humanities or arts modules — hamper researchers’ abilities to build trust, do work relevant to the public and be innovative and creative, says interdisciplinary scholar Furaha Asani. The Nature is read for 12 minutes.

Health care and research will benefit from Full Body, Continuous WearableUltrasons. Existing wearables — such as smart watches and glucose monitors — generally collect data from only within millimetres below the skin’s surface. Medical images can be done using sound waves, like the one used to map the body under water. Researchers need to refine theDurability, Flexibility, and Accuracy of these devices, as well as make them more comfortable to wear and prolong their battery life. (Nature | 8 min read)

Endangered Australian green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea) who take a ‘mini sauna’ in sun-warmed bricks can develop resistance to chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that has driven at least 90 amphibian species to extinction. As a bonus, it helps them to become resistant to future infections at cooler temperatures — and anyone can build one in their backyard. When you read the research, it is obvious and easy to understand, but you wonder why you didn’t do it.

Andrew Robinson’s pick of the top five science books to read this week includes a fascinating history of 30 threatened European scientists who were turned away from the United Kingdom during World War II and a valuable book based on a national survey of whether climate anxiety is affecting people’s decisions about procreating.

Source: Daily briefing: Spinal fluid causes aural migraine pain, suggests research in mice

Patient-centered stem cell development for a mouse-like mammal to bring back thylacine: a photojournalist’s perspective

Lynn Brielmaier was a father with a demanding job as a maritime electronics engineer when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic laminitis. As he became progressively more paralyzed, he gained hope from a US programme to allow expanded access to experimental therapies. The track is full of bureaucratic hurdles, he writes. People with fatal diseases who are living with a smooth system that helps them get access to treatments that might extend their lives are deserving of it.

In this photo, Andrew Pask is checking his stem cells from the fat-tailed dunnart, a mouse-like mammal which is the closest living relative of the Tasmanian tiger. “Our main project is to bring back the thylacine,” says Pask. To achieve it, the team is trying to produce a complete genome for the species and developing cloning and in vitro fertilization for marsupials. People say that we are playing God with our work. But we played God when we wiped out the thylacine. My research is looking at ways to heal lost biodiversity.” 3 min read.

Source: Daily briefing: 15-minute reaction turns old clothes into useful molecules

The 29 May report of the Infected Blood Inquiry: A triumphant triumph for the science of the 21st century and for the future of frog biology

On 29 May, Stuart Cantrill (the editorial director of the physics and chemistry Nature journals) was present when the final report of the United Kingdom’s Infected Blood Inquiry was delivered. The report’s damning verdict: a litany of failures in the country’s National Health Service, more than 30,000 people infected with HIV and hepatitis from blood and blood products, and successive governments who failed to respond adequately to the unfolding scandal. “Of course, many died long before the inquiry was even set up, including my dad,” writes Cantrill. Lessons should be learned and real change implemented in the patient safety culture, that will bring some solace to my family, who have been devastated.

Even though they are ideally suited for the job, biology PhDs who desire to break into industry often face impersonal, early-stage rejections. The career development leader and the industry scientist know how to stop your application from going into a black hole.

Peter Stott was present at the climate summit where the landmark Kyoto Protocol was agreed, when he was a junior researcher. A new stage play based on the event “feels as relevant today as the summit did in 1997”, he writes. The finale in Kyoto was as thrilling as it was in the city.

Endangered-species biologists face tough challenges, from the psychological weight of studying a disappearing species to the bureaucratic hurdle of getting the animal listed as endangered in the first place. Humour, collaborations and connecting with local communities helps them to cope. And occasionally, a small miracle — such as when ecologist Luis Coloma saw evidence of an iconic Ecuadorian jambato toad (Atelopus ignescens) that was thought to be extinct. It was something I could not believe. I lost the faith that I would see these frogs again,” he says. It was a dream.

Source: Daily briefing: 15-minute reaction turns old clothes into useful molecules

Chemical-processing on the Buffels River reveals the oldest known inhabited mounds of the southern harvester termites and how to recycle clothing

Since woolly mammoths left the earth, the southern harvester termites have been living in mounds along the Buffels River in South Africa. Using radiocarbon dating, researchers estimate the mounds to be 34,000 years old — making them the oldest known inhabited mounds by some thirty thousand years. “We knew they were old, but not that old,” says soil scientist Michele Francis.

A chemical-processing technique breaks down polyester fabrics into reusable molecules in only 15 minutes. It can break down mixed materials and leave the cotton to be recovered. The researchers estimate that a refined version of the process could recycle 88% of clothing worldwide. A chemical engineer and study co-author says that they can treat large quantities of clothing with a simple process. “We are very optimistic that this can actually be taken to the real world.”

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