Purdue University researchers detect new Zika virus structure
Food & Health   Tuesday, January 10, 2017 IST

In a step that would help better understand how the Zika virus infects host cells and spreads, researchers have discovered a new structure of the deadly virus.

Researchers from Purdue University analysed the high-resolution structure of the immature form of the Zika virus.

The research team found that the immature Zika virus had a similar structure to other related viruses, such as the West Nile virus and dengue fever.

The team of study led by Michael Rossmann and Richard Kuhn, both professors in Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences, comprised of postdoctoral research associate Vidya Mangala Prasad.

It is, therefore, probable that the immature form of Zika also plays a role in virus infection and spread," said Michael Rossmann.

Zika belongs to a family of viruses called flaviviruses, which includes dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis viruses.

The study suggests that while only the mature forms of flaviviruses are considered infectious, the virus population secreted from host cells is a mixture of mature, partially mature and immature virus particles.

I think these findings open the door to begin to explore the assembly process of the virus," said Richard Kuhn, director of the Purdue Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, in the release. "We see clear differences between the structure of the immature virus and the mature virus. Not only are there differences in the outer structure, but the inner core must also undergo some significant changes during maturation. We need to study what these changes are and why they occur."

To determine the molecular structure, the team used a technique called cryo-electron microscopy, which allowed the researchers to observe the virus at a resolution of 9 Ångstroms, a high enough resolution to note tiny structural details.

Zika virus has been linked with microcephaly – a birth defect - which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and also with the autoimmune disorder Guillan-Barré syndrome.

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Bilinguals rejoice! Speaking two languages equips brain to fight dementia
Food & Health   Tuesday, January 10, 2017 IST

Bilinguals may be better at saving mind strength and are prepared to stave off cognitive growing old or dementia, a brand new look at has observed.

Researchers from the college of Montreal in Canada compared what are called functional mind connections among seniors who're monolingual and seniors who're bilingual.

They established that year of bilingualism change how the mind incorporates out tasks that require concentrating on one piece of statistics without turning into distracted by means of other statistics. This makes the brain more efficient and budget friendly with its resources.

To reach this finding, they asked agencies of seniors – one of the monolinguals and certainly one of bilinguals – to carry out a venture that concerned focusing on visible information even as ignoring spatial facts. The researchers in comparison the networks among distinct brain areas as people did the venture. They found that monolinguals recruited a larger circuit with multiple connections, whereas bilinguals recruited a smaller circuit that was more suitable for the desired records.

The contributors did a venture that required them to attention on visible information (the colour of an object) whilst ignoring spatial records (the position of the item).

The studies team located that the monolingual mind allocates some of the areas connected to visual and motor feature and interference manage, which can be placed in the frontal lobes. which means that the monolingual brain wishes to recruit a couple of mind areas to do the assignment.

“After years of everyday exercise managing interference among languages, bilinguals grow to be specialists at deciding on relevant information and ignoring information which can distract from an assignment,” stated Ana Ines Ansaldo from the university of Montreal. “Bilinguals showed better connectivity between visible processing areas located at the back of the brain,” Ansaldo said.

“This area is specialised in detecting the visible traits of items and therefore is specialised within the project used in this observe,” she stated.

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“these data suggest that the bilingual mind is extra green and reasonably priced, as it recruits fewer areas and most effective specialised regions,” Ansaldo brought. Bilinguals have more centralised and specialised purposeful connections which save assets compared to the more than one and extra various mind regions allocated with the aid of monolinguals to accomplish the same mission.

Bilinguals additionally obtain the identical result by way of now not the usage of the brain’s frontal areas, which are prone to getting old. this could provide an explanation for why the brains of bilinguals are better prepared at staving off the symptoms of cognitive ageing or dementia. The take a look at turned into published within the journal of Neurolinguistics.

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