Science Friday: Antibiotics that kill gut bacteria also stop growth of new brain cells | Trees seen resting branches while ‘asleep’ for the first time

Prolonged antibiotic treatment might impact brain function.
Credit: © adimas / Fotolia

Date: May 19, 2016

Source: Cell Press

Summary:Antibiotics strong enough to kill off gut bacteria can also stop the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a section of the brain associated with memory, reports a new study in mice. Researchers also uncovered a clue to why — a type of white blood cell seems to act as a communicator between the brain, the immune system, and the gut.

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160519130105.htm


Trees seen resting branches while ‘asleep’ for the first time

They don’t snore, but might creak during their slumbers. For the first time, trees have been shown to undergo physical changes at night that can be likened to sleep, or at least to day-night cycles that have been observed experimentally in smaller plants.

Branches of birch trees have now been seen drooping by as much as 10 centimetres at the tips towards the end of the night.

“It was a very clear effect, and applied to the whole tree,” says András Zlinszky of the Centre for Ecological Research in Tihany, Hungary. “No one has observed this effect before at the scale of whole trees, and I was surprised by the extent of the changes.”

Zlinszky and his colleagues scanned trees in Austria and Finland with laser beams between sunset and sunrise. From the time it takes beams to bounce back from branches and leaves, they could measure the movements of each tree, in three dimensions and at resolutions of centimetres.

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https://www.newscientist.com/article/2088833-trees-seen-resting-branches-while-asleep-for-the-first-time/

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