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Researchers have discovered a way to stimulate the brain's natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer's disease. 

One of the main characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the production in the brain of the toxic molecule amyloid beta. Microglial cells, the nervous system's defenders, are unable to eliminate this substance, which forms deposits called senile plaques. 


Scientists have established that the majority of ozone-depleting iodine oxide observed over the remote ocean comes from a previously unknown marine source - the principal source of iodine oxide can be explained by emissions of hypoiodous acid (HOI), a gas not yet considered as being released from the ocean, along with a contribution from molecular iodine (I2).

Since the 1970s when methyl iodide (CH3I) was discovered as ubiquitous in the ocean, the presence of iodine in the atmosphere has been understood to arise mainly from emissions of organic compounds from phytoplankton -- microscopic marine plants.


The HIrisPlex DNA analysis system
that can establish hair and eye color from forensic samples in modern crime scenes can also identify details from ancient human remains, according to a paper which used the system to reconstruct hair and eye color from teeth up to 800 years old.

The system looks at 24 DNA polymorphisms, naturally occurring variations, which can be used to predict eye and hair color  from human remains such as teeth and bones.


The IFIT protein enables the human immune system to detect viruses and prevent infection by acting as foot soldiers guarding the body against infection. They recognize foreign viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) produced by the virus and act as defender molecules by potentially latching onto the genome of the virus and preventing it from making copies of itself, blocking infection. 


Researchers have created a device which potentially can see one molecule though a simple optical system and can analyze its components within minutes. It uses plasmonics, the study of vibrations of electrons in different materials, and could allow for rapid and more accurate drug testing for professional athletes because it could detect the presence of even trace amounts of a substance.

It could also be used at airports or other high-security locations to prevent would-be terrorists from concealing explosives or traffickers from smuggling drugs. 


What was the backbone of early tetrapods, the earliest four-legged animals, like?

High-energy X-rays and a new data extraction protocol have allowed researchers to reconstruct the backbones of the 360 million year old fossils in exceptional detail. The results shed new light on how the first vertebrates moved from water onto land. 

Tetrapods are four-limbed vertebrates,today represented by amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Around 400 million years ago, early tetrapods were the first vertebrates to make short excursions into shallower waters where they used their four limbs for moving around. How this happened and how they then transferred to land is the science debate.