The fight against type 2 diabetes may soon improve thanks to a pioneering high-fiber diet study led by a Rutgers University–New Brunswick professor. Promotion of a select group of gut bacteria by a diet high in diverse fibers led to better blood glucose control, greater weight loss and better lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes, according to research published today in Science. The study, underway for six years, provides evidence that eating more of the right dietary fibers may rebalance the gut microbiota, or the ecosystem of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that help digest food and are important for overall human health. “Our study lays the foundation and opens the possibility that fibers targeting this group of gut bacteria could eventually become a major part of your diet and your treatment,” said Liping Zhao, the study’s lead author and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of … [Read more...] about Fiber-Fermenting Bacteria Improve Health of Type 2 Diabetes Patients
School of environmental studies
By Luca Tancredi BaroneMar. 6, 2018 , 4:15 PM The outcome of Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Italy was a stunning victory for populist and nationalist parties, and a clear warning to Italy’s political establishment and the European Union. But some in Italy worry that the results may also have a negative impact on science. There were two big winners: the populist, web-based Five Star Movement (M5S) and the hard-right, anti-immigrant League, which ran in a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and other right-wing parties. Both have come under fire for taking antiscientific positions on issues such as vaccination and animal testing. Together, these parties obtained more than three-quarters of the seats in the two legislative chambers. Whether the outcome will trigger major science policy shifts is still unclear; negotiations to form a new government, led by President Sergio Mattarella, will be complex and protracted, and their outcome is hard to predict. … [Read more...] about Rise of nationalist and populist parties has Italian scientists worried
The beach is the centerpiece of the city’s promise of escape — escape from cold winters or college classes or family, where you can drink goblets of bright green liquor and cruise down Ocean Drive in a rented tangerine Lamborghini before retiring to the warm sand. To the casual observer, the beach may look like the only natural bit of the city, a fringe of shore reaching out from under the glass and pastel skyline. But this would be false: the beach is every bit as artificial as the towers and turquoise pools. For years the sea has been eating away at the shore, and the city has spent millions of dollars pumping up sand from the seafloor to replace it, only to have it wash away again. Every handful of sand on Miami Beach was placed there by someone. That sand is washing away ever faster. The sea around Miami is rising a third of an inch a year, and it’s accelerating. The region is far from alone in its predicament, or in its response to an eroding coast: it’s … [Read more...] about Miami Beach has run out of sand. Now what?
On June 4th — a date that has become nervously known as “Day Zero” — it’s expected that Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 million, will run dry in the wake of what could arguably be the most alarming and severe water shortage a modern city has ever experienced. But research suggests that a solution to Cape Town’s looming crisis — quadrillions of liters of fresh water — may be sitting practically beneath the city’s feet, and it’s going entirely untapped. The current historic drought began after Cape Town experienced an unseasonably dry winter in 2015. The lack of rainfall that year caused water levels in the city’s dams to plummet by 20 percent, only to be followed by two more dry winters. A changing climate has made drought conditions worse, and poor water management exacerbated the situation, bringing the city’s water supply to the critically low level it sits at today. In response, the Cape Town government is … [Read more...] about A massive freshwater reservoir at the bottom of the ocean could solve Cape Town’s drought — but it’s going untapped
A preliminary case report on the victims of mysterious “health attacks” in Havana, Cuba details the results of extensive clinical evaluations, concluding that the individuals appear to have sustained “injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma.” In clinical evaluations of 21 of 24 individuals affected, an interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine retrospectively pieced together symptoms—an average of 203 days after individuals were exposed. They found that the most common issues persisting more than three months after exposure were cognitive impairment (17/21); balance issues (15/21); visual (18/21) and hearing (15/21) problems; sleep impairment (18/21); and headaches (16/21). More specifically, individuals had difficulty remembering things (17/21), reported feeling more emotional (11/21), had trouble getting their eyes to work together to focus on nearby … [Read more...] about “Injury to widespread brain networks” in victims of mystery attacks in Cuba