The Global Fool

our planet is our village

Tasmanian Devils: Contagious Cancer Drives the Risk of Extinction
Dec05

Tasmanian Devils: Contagious Cancer Drives the Risk of Extinction

By Roberta Attanasio In November 2013, a team of biologists scattered 15 plastic cylinders in the fields of Maria Island, three miles off the east coast of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Each cylinder contained a healthy Tasmanian devil, a marsupial  species that until then lived only in Tasmania. Soon, the 15 devils emerged from the containers, becoming the first ever to inhabit Maria Island. The biologists were planning to...

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Prenatal Exposure to Pollutants: Influence on the Immune Response
Nov30

Prenatal Exposure to Pollutants: Influence on the Immune Response

By Roberta Attanasio The development of the immune system during fetal and neonatal life is negatively influenced by exposure to toxic chemicals, resulting in compromised immune function later in life. An example is fetal exposure to arsenic, which has deleterious effects on the immune response to influenza virus infection in adulthood. Now, results from a new study provide additional evidence for the role that exposure to toxic...

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Inflammation Drives Susceptibility to Anxiety and Depression
Nov28

Inflammation Drives Susceptibility to Anxiety and Depression

By Roberta Attanasio Stress and anxiety are part of life — but while a little bit of stress (good stress) may keep us active and alert, and sometimes even motivate us, the long-term type (bad stress) can have negative effects on our health.  Elevated blood pressure and heart disease are just some examples of the so-called “stress-related diseases”. In addition, chronic stress increases the risk of developing depression. Scientists...

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Chlorovirus ATCV-1, a Green Algae Virus, May Slow Human Brain Activity
Nov03

Chlorovirus ATCV-1, a Green Algae Virus, May Slow Human Brain Activity

By Roberta Attanasio Chlorella viruses, or chloroviruses, infect green algae, single-celled organisms present throughout the world in freshwater ecosystems such as lakes and ponds. Now, it seems that chlorovirues also infect humans, causing changes in cognitive functions — the processes by which information is perceived, registered, stored, retrieved, and used. In other words, chloroviruses influence the ability to acquire and...

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Nanoparticles and Sunscreen Products: Toxicity to Sea Life in Coastal Waters
Aug31

Nanoparticles and Sunscreen Products: Toxicity to Sea Life in Coastal Waters

By Roberta Attanasio The debate on the safety of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles contained in sunscreen products is still on. Some scientists have raised concerns about the negative impact that these tiny particles — generally between one and 100 nanometers (between one and 100 billionths of a meter) across — may have on human health. Due to their small size, nanoparticles might do harm to humans...

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