1. Development of stem cells between modern humans and Neanderthals
To investigate the significance of these six changes for neocortex development, scientists first introduced the modern human variants in mice. Mice are identical to Neanderthals at those six amino acid positions, so these changes made them a model for the developing modern human brain.
Felipe Mora-Bermúdez, the lead author of the study, describes the discovery: “We found that three modern human amino acids in two of the proteins cause a longer metaphase, a phase where chromosomes are prepared for cell division, and this results in fewer errors when the chromosomes are distributed to the daughter cells of the neural stem cells, just like in modern humans.”
Felipe Mora-Bermúdez et. al, Longer metaphase and fewer chromosome segregation errors in modern human than Neanderthal brain development, Science Advances, 29-Jul-2022, 10.1126/sciadv.abn7702
2. The gut patrol
A new study in Science Immunology reveals how the barrier cells that line the intestines send messages to the patrolling T cells that reside there. These cells communicate by expressing a protein called HVEM, which prompts T cells to survive longer and move more to stop potential infections.
Barrier cells, or “epithelial” cells, form a one-cell thick layer that lines the gut. One can picture these cells lining up like a busy queue outside a nightclub. The epithelial cells squish together. They jostle each other and chat. Meanwhile, T cell security guards circulate around the line, looking up and down the block for signs of trouble. “These T cells move around the epithelial cells as if they are truly patrolling,” says Kronenberg.
Mitchell Kronenberg et. al, Epithelial HVEM maintains intraepithelial T cell survival and contributes to host protection, Science Immunology, 29-Jul-2022, DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abm6931
3. Sex differences in the recognition, monitoring, and treatment of chronic kidney disease
A team led by Juan Jesus Carrero studied a variety of CKD-care indicators among 227,847 people with a first-ever detected low level of kidney function denoting probable CKD in Stockholm’s health system from 2009–2017.
The investigators found that compared with men with similar characteristics, women were less likely to receive a diagnostic code related to CKD, be referred to a nephrologist, and have their kidney function monitored. Additionally, women were less likely to receive guideline-recommended medications.
“This study identifies healthcare gaps that may explain previously reported sex differences in the prevalence, progression rates, and outcomes of persons with chronic kidney disease,” said Dr. Carrero
Reference: Oskar Swartling, Yuanhang Yang
JASN Jul 2022, ASN.2022030373; DOI: 10.
4. Impact of sleep deprivation on kids on cognitive development
The findings were published today in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children aged 6 to 12 years of age sleep 9 to 12 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
To conduct the study, the researchers examined data that were collected from more than 8,300 children aged 9 to 10 years who were enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. They examined MRI images, medical records, and surveys completed by the participants and their parents at the time of enrollment and at a two-year follow-up visit at 11 to 12 years of age.
Ze Wang et. al, Children Who Lack Sleep May Experience Detrimental Impact on Brain and Cognitive Development That Persists Over Time, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 29-Jul-2022, DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00188-2