New Study Busts the 7 ‘Dog Years’ Myth and Explores Data That Could Help Humans Live Longer:
A new study into how long dogs live busts the myth that each of our years is seven for dogs and could even help humans live longer. A commonly-held belief is that dogs age seven times faster than us, so a one-year-old dog is like a seven-year-old child, but large breeds age ten times quicker than us, and some small dogs can be half of that. Now scientists are studying the genomes of 10,000 dogs in a long-term study called the Dog Aging Project where they will investigate why certain dogs can live 20 years and apply what they learn to humans. They anticipate that their findings will translate to human aging, for several reasons, dogs experience nearly every functional decline and disease of aging that people do. The extent of veterinary care parallels human healthcare in many ways, and our dogs share our lived environments, a major determinant of aging and one that cannot be replicated in any lab setting. The study will also answer questions around the evolutionary history of dogs and the history of the domestication of dogs.
Light-driven micro-swimmers for responsive drug delivery:
The biocompatible microswimmers and biological cells. Credit: Sridhar et al.
In recent years, scientists have introduced a wide variety of robots of all shapes and sizes. Among these are microswimmers, carefully engineered microstructures that can move in water and other liquids. Microswimmers could have numerous interesting applications, for instance allowing doctors to deliver drugs to targeted regions inside the human body, or scientists to introduce specific substances in water-based environments. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) have recently developed new light-driven microswimmers that could be more suited for navigating biological systems, including body fluids. The new, light-driven microswimmers developed by Sridhar, Podjaski, and their colleagues are made of an organic-based material known as Carbon Nitride, which has photocatalytic properties. This means that when light is shone on the material, it is absorbed and produces electric charges that are used to drive chemical reactions which allow the devices to swim. These robots can move in all water-based environments which allows them to be used for many applications such as faster transport of medicine to targeted parts of the human body and water treatment of seas or lakes. Currently, the researchers are working to make the microswimmers responsive to infrared light so that they can function in a wider variety of environments.
An anime convention in November was not an omicron superspreader event:
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Image
A large anime fan convention held in New York City last November was not an omicron super spreading event despite cases of the highly contagious variant linked to the gathering, researchers report in two studies in the Feb. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In early December, the Minnesota public health department sounded the alarm about Anime NYC, a convention celebrating Japanese comics and cartoons that drew attendees from across the United States and 30 other countries. The state agency had identified that Peter McGinn, a Minnesota resident, had attended the event while infected with omicron. This was only the second omicron case identified in the United States and media reports labeled the 53,000-person convention as a potential superspreader event when several of McGinn’s friends, who had also attended the convention, tested positive. However, two parallel investigations into the convention failed to find any omicron transmission outside of this group. Meanwhile, the second group of researchers used data from convention organizers to search state and local health databases for positive coronavirus tests among event attendees. The search turned up 4,560 results, 119 (or 2.6 percent) of which were positive. The event did not spur widespread omicron transmission, the researchers found and the test positivity rate among attendees was similar to the rate in New York City as a whole in the week after the convention, about 3 percent.