Recent comments in /f/Science

pearl wrote (edited )

The vast majority of a person’s genes – about 99.8% – are found on the 23 pairs of chromosomes that sit inside the nucleus in each cell in the body, and in the IVF procedure this DNA comes from the two parents.

However, a tiny proportion of genetic material also resides in a cell’s mitochondria, small structures that act as the cell’s batteries and float around freely in the cell body. In mitochondrial donation, the mother’s mitochondria are removed from her egg and replaced by a donor’s.

The treatment was originally developed as a treatment that could prevent women with debilitating or even fatal mitochondrial diseases from passing them on to their children.

The title seems a bit clickbait; imply a certain idea, and then its a single organelle that was transferred.

That's about as strong a case as saying "person found with 3 people's DNA" and it turns out they've had two organ transplants


spacersparanoid wrote

In captive amphibians, chytridiomycosis can be successfully treated with antifungal medications and by disinfection of contaminated enclosures (Pessier and Mendelson, 2010).

A variety of different antifungal medications have been described for the treatment of chytridiomycosis, however, one of the most common methods was developed at the Smithsonian National Zoo and uses a series of baths in the drug itraconazole (Nichols and Lamirande, 2000).

Itraconazole baths have been used successfully in rescue operations that capture wild amphibians from populations that are experiencing deaths to chytridiomycosis (Gagliardo et al., 2008). Other potential treatment methods include the use of elevated body temperature and paradoxically, the antibiotic chloramphenicol.

Treatment is not always 100% successful and not all amphibians tolerate treatment very well, therefore chytridiomycosis should always be treated with the advice of a veterinarian. Unfortunately, there are no good methods for the treatment of wild animals in the natural environment.

It is very difficult or impossible to get enough of the antifungal medications into the environment to be able to successfully rid infected frogs of Bd. In the future, it may be possible to treat some amphibians in the wild in order to reduce the intensity of infection to a less lethal level with the hope that animals could survive with a mild Bd infection (Briggs et al., 2010; Vrendenberg et al., 2010).

Another promising area of research is looking at the possibility of introducing symbiotic bacteria that inhibit the growth of Bd into wild amphibian populations (Harris et al., 2009). So far, there is no evidence that a vaccine for chytridiomycosis could be effective for controlling the disease in wild populations (Stice and Briggs, 2010).


skaalgard wrote (edited )

So, I actually have a degree in anthropology and there are two main paradigms when it comes to the taxonomy of genus Homo - among other taxa, obviously. Jokingly, we refer to these two main paradigms as "lumpers" and "splitters." Obviously there's a little more nuance to it, but depending on which paradigm to which you subscribe, the questions of what does and does not constitute a new species in Homo can have different answers. Broadly, splitters don't really account for spatial and temporal variation in morphology, and lumpers do. If you're a splitter, there are so many species in our genus that are only differentiated from other species by, for example, the slightest difference in dentition. One reason why this is problematic is that it can misrepresent human evolution to laypeople and make it look like small morphological differences among humans have more significance than they do.