World Cup Science, DNA Recombination (Abstract Science: June 11 - 15)
A potential new drug therapy for spinal cord injuries, a fun way to explain DNA recombination and some interesting scientific studies behind the 2018 World Cup.
(Medical Xpress, 6/11/2018, Steve Tally)
An experimental drug has shown promise as a potential therapy for spinal cord injuries in animal studies. The compound, 4-aminopyridine-3-methanol, works in a similar way as a drug previously developed at Purdue, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat multiple sclerosis. Dr. Riyi Shi, professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, who was involved in the development of both drugs, compared the two compounds in both cell cultures and animal models and found that 4-AP restored function in chronic spinal cord injuries.
(FirstPost, 6/12/18, Agence France-Presse)
Soccer fans are not the only people who are interested in this year’s World Cup. Scientists, too, will follow every move of the players and ball, probing all facets of the beautiful game for insights into disciplines as divergent as aerodynamics, psychology and the human physique. Specifically, the ball. With just about every World Cup, there seems to be grumbling about the ball, which Adidas has designed for the four-yearly FIFA tournament since 1970. Already, this year's offering, Telstar 18, has been criticized by some goalkeepers for being too flighty and hard to grip. But scientists say the new sphere is quite stable – certainly more so than Jabulani, the much-denigrated official ball for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
(Science News, 6/13/2018, Helen Thompson)
Genetic DNA testing is so hot right now! Have you ever wondered why you and your cousin don’t share the same amount of DNA from your common grandparents? The team at Science News have put together a series on consumer genetic testing. Including this fun video on DNA recombination. It can be a confusing concept especially when it influences genetic test results. They explain it with Lego blocks. Wouldn’t it be nice if everything could be explained that way?
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola