Science News

OutwitTrade Updates Its Review Of Pretty Litter

OutwitTrade has updated its Pretty Litter review that is intended to be the most objective and thorough review of the product online. Pretty Litter, created in 2015, has become quite a popular product that is built for cat owners. By using Pretty Litter, it is advertised that you’ll be able to tell from the color of the litter whether your cat may be sick or not. That’s an interesting premise and one that the editor of OutwitTrade, Katie Holmes, was eager to test.

The conclusion from OutwitTrade? Pretty Litter is a quality product, but it doesn’t work for every cat owner. Moreover, you should not subscribe to a recurring billing arrangement – it’s best to buy just one bag and cancel the recurring billing, and only sign up again if the product works for you.

For more information on PrettyLitter:

Official Website

PrettyLitter on Amazon profile of PrettyLitter

Science News

Pest detected in fossilised puma dung from 17,000 years ago

Analyzing a coprolite, or a piece of fossilized dung, of a puma in the mountainous areas of the province of Catamarca, South America, a team of scientists from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) has identified what can be considered the oldest find of traces of a molecular parasite and encoded the oldest DNA sequence of a gastrointestinal nematode parasite of wild mammals.

Researchers have in fact used radiocarbon dating to discover the age of nematode eggs placed within the coprolite reaching the conclusion that they date back to a period between 16,570 and 17,000 years ago. The same analysis of mitochondrial DNA revealed that it was feces expelled from a Puma concolor.

The analyzes also revealed that the eggs belonged to a species of nematode called Toxascaris leonina. This nematode is still present today in the digestive systems of dogs, cats and foxes.

DNA analysis was possible thanks to the conservation conditions of the coprolite that has spent all these years in an extremely dry, cold and salty environment at the Peñas de las Trampas site in the Andean region of the Puna, an environment that was once very much more humid.

Romina Petrigh, the researcher who led the study together with Martín Fugassa, underlines the importance of the research: “While we have previously found evidence of parasites in coprolites, these remains were much more recent, dating back to a few thousand years. This latest finding shows that these nematodes were already infecting South American fauna before the first humans arrived in the area about 11,000 years ago.”

Science News

Increased amount of fat in the body increases risk of depression

A greater quantity of body fat increases the risk of depression according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Aarhus and the University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark.

The research has calculated that having 20 pounds of excess body fat increases the risk of falling into depression by 17%. The greater the amount of fat, the greater the chance of developing depression.

And the position of fat in the body would make no difference, as specified by Søren Dinesen Østergaard, one of the authors of the study. This factor is important because according to the researchers it suggests that it is not a biological cause to increase the risk or otherwise to contribute but psychological causes are purely: “If the opposite were true, we would have seen that the centrally located fat on the body increased the risk more, since it has the most harmful effect in biological terms,” says Østergaard.

The researcher did not take into account the body mass index to measure obesity, a fairly crude measure that does not take into account other factors such as build and muscle mass. Instead, they analyzed data from two large genetic data sets, which contain various types of data, including the correlation between genetic variants and depression and physical measurements such as fat mass distributed around body parts.

Precisely because there is the psychological aspect at stake, according to the researcher, “it is important to have a balanced approach to the issue” given that the psychological consequences of obesity seem to be the main driving force that increases the risk of depression.

Science News

New method will allow using exosomes as biomarkers for diseases

A new method that maps the proteins on the surface of a large number of individual exosomes has been developed by a group of researchers from the University of Uppsala and the company Vesicode AB.

The exosomes, compounds present both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm of the cell, are released by all the cells of the body and are able to transfer proteins and nucleic acids of cells into cells allowing a sort of intercellular communication. They can be considered as excellent biomarkers for the progression of various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases or cancer.

To use them as biomarkers, however, it is necessary to distinguish them on the basis of the protected surface complements they contain. However, it has always been difficult to identify specific exosomes and the tissue region from which they originate.

The new method, called proximity-dependent barcoding assay (PBA), allows the detection of the surface protein composition of individual exosomes using new-generation DNA sequencing techniques.

Di Wu, researcher and inventor of this technology and founder of the same Vesicode AB, comments on this new method: “This technology will not only benefit researchers who study exosomes, but will also allow the discovery of high-performance biomarkers. We will further develop and validate the PBA technology and provide assistance to researchers starting this year. We believe that the analysis of the single exosome will allow this exciting class of biomarkers to reach its full potential.”

Science News

Crows eat food thrown away and suffer from high cholesterol

Wild urbanization is causing raven health problems according to a new study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications. Even crows, like other animal species, resort to the rubbish we throw away to survive: they have learned, over the decades, to feed on the food scraps of human beings, which is leading them to live more and more. permanently in the cities.

In particular, this study suggests that this diet is leading to crows being characterized by higher levels of cholesterol in the blood: in “crows” it is much higher than those living in the countryside or in areas less densely inhabited by humans.

The discovery was made by researcher Andrea Townsend and her colleagues at Hamilton College. In fact, researchers measured cholesterol levels in the blood of 140 small American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) that lived in rural or urban environments in California. They then returned to measuring these rates after they had grown up. They discovered that the more the environment they lived in was urban, the higher the cholesterol in the blood.

To confirm this, they also provided a few regular crow cheeseburgers in some crow farms living in rural New York. They then measured their cholesterol level and compared it to that of neighboring crows that had not assimilated this junk food.

The crows that had eaten cheeseburgers showed higher cholesterol levels, similar to those of “urban” crows in California.