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Stress hormone release can be controlled, says Brazilian research

The finding is the result of research that investigates the relationship between stress and depression.

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Researchers at the Butantan Institute, one of the world’s largest biomedical research centers, have been able to inhibit the secretion of the hormone released in stressful situations, adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH), also called corticotrophin (CRH).

The finding is the result of research that investigates the relationship between stress and depression. The progress of investigations into the brain structures responsible for the stress response will in the future allow the manipulation of these structures and the understanding of the mechanisms that trigger depression.

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Researcher Lanfranco Troncone, responsible for the Laboratory of Pharmacology at the Butantan Institute, explained that stress control occurs by blocking other hormones that act as mediators of the two types of stress analyzed, both physical and psychological.

The study was able to show that two mediators can separately control physical and psychological stress: the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin seems to control the physical, while the corticotropin release factor appears to be related to the psychological.

Thus, by blocking vasopressin receptors, the response to physical stress was prevented. E, blocking CRH receptors. it was possible to block psychological stress better.

“Another point is to be able to improve the tests that are made for new anti-depression drugs. With this, we will make them more reliable and there will be a reduction in the cost of developing new drugs, “says Adriana de Toledo Ramos, biologist responsible for the research.

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Currently, treatments for depression involve various attempts and adjustments of medications, doses, and frequency of use, making therapy long and often failure.

Simple blockade of vasopressin and CRH receptors may not have antidepressant action, but these and other issues still need to be investigated.

“This is where we stop and we will continue the investigation. Let’s map the brain areas that are involved in physical and psychological stress to see if we can manipulate these places until we get the expected response, “Lanfranco says.

The study has been developed since 2006, when researchers Adriana T. Ramos, Sergio Tufik and Lanfranco Troncone published an article in the journal Neuroendocrinology, which can be accessed.

Erdogan’s personal crusade against tobacco

In Turkey, 44% of men smoke, whether daily or occasionally, although the national average is 30%, as only 17% of women smoke.

All governments warn their citizens of the dangers of tobacco, but for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it is a personal crusade, to the point where he takes out the cigarettes of those close to him.

“If I see someone with a pack of cigarettes in their pockets, I go and confiscate them,” Erdogan himself confirmed about his efforts to rid the country of tobacco.

The president usually writes the person’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the date, on the cigarette pack, demanding a promise to quit the addiction.

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In 2016, the presidential palace was presented with cigarette packets ” confiscated ” and signed, and Erdogan invited 20 citizens who had been persuaded by him to quit smoking.

In Turkey, 44% of men smoke, either daily or occasionally, although the national average is 30 %, as only 17% of women smoke the habit.

In large cities, women smoke as much or more than men, but tobacco in the Anatolian municipalities is an exclusively male habit, Professor Recep Erol Sezer.

“We managed to lower consumption a bit among men, which was 58% in 1993, but increased that of women, which was 13%, ” the professor said.

Sezer is part of the association Yesilay (Green Moon), founded in 1920 to fight against alcohol consumption, but which today is dedicated to preventing all kinds of addiction.

The organization organizes days during which dozens of young volunteers take to the streets with posters and leaflets, stopping passers-by to tell them about the dangers of tobacco.

According to Sezer, dependence worsened when Turkey abolished the tobacco monopoly in the 1980s and allowed the entry of foreign brands, although the ban on advertising of this product in 1996 has somewhat restrained the expansion of the habit.

In addition to the international brands, it is frequent to find in the markets tobacco in bulk of different qualities from the crops of Turkey, which is a major exporter, but the consumption of local production almost does not represent 1% of the total, according to Sezer.

More troubling is the narghile, which is successful among many young people in large cities, although the authentic Turkish hookah habit “with a dry tobacco that was only supported by veteran smokers” was forgotten in the 1980s, Sezer said.

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The new version, popular in Istanbul, offers flavored tobaccos that are easy to inhale but no less harmful.

The law banning smoking in bars, restaurants, offices and any public space approved in 2009 failed to reduce consumption, but created a new culture, says the professor.

Now almost all leisure facilities have a few outdoor tables, either on the street or on a balcony, equipped in the winter with powerful gas stoves, and are busy spaces even on rainy or snowy days.

But it’s not uncommon to go into a bar and get an ashtray on the table first. Other times, the waiter places a plastic cup of water, or an empty beer bottle, easier to disguise in case of police control.

Some bars have even created a network of warnings by telling each other by phone when a patrol is approaching, at which point a waitress walks the bar imposing a temporary veto on cigarettes and hiding the ashtrays.

However, Yesilay devised a counter-attack: it announces to its sympathizers a mobile application called ” Detector “, which sends a “breach of standards” alert to anti-smoking working groups that exist in every Turkish city.

These groups are composed of officials from the Ministry of Health and municipal, but also include a police representative, who will strengthen their supervision of the site according to the geolocation data sent by the Detector.

“The tobacco industry resists, but it is necessary to create a culture of smokeless air,” concluded Professor Sezer.

They look for ways to control maize diseases through genetics

Within the Center for Bioinvestigations of UNNOBA (CeBio) (Argentina), Dr. Inés Catalano directs the project funded by the Commission of Scientific Investigations of the Province of Buenos Aires (CIC), in which two species are studied of “leafhoppers”: Delphacodes kuscheli, vector of the agent that causes the “Evil of Río Cuarto”; and Dalbulus maidis, which causes corn stunting. “While the evil of Río Cuarto affects the core zone, what is known as ‘achaparramiento’ occurs more towards the north of the country. With a different scope, the entire maize area was affected in one or another campaign by these diseases, “said Catalano. The model they use takes some axes of the advances achieved by research developed at the University for the study of the kissing bugs.

The research team is focused on studying different aspects of the vector that transmits the causal pathogen of these diseases. What they seek is to determine which genes affect the development or survival of these insects to try to find a control method that preserves the crop and does not affect its performance. “We have the transcriptome sequenced in all stages and we have an infected colony that we are maintaining to be able to work in the search for immunity genes,” he said. With both species try the same thing: discover genes that can be used to devise ways in which the plant itself can exercise some control over the plague. The Deputy Director of CeBio remarked that the relevance of the research is given by the impact that these insects and the diseases they transmit have on the cultivation of corn.

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In fact, the “leafhoppers” have a buccal system similar to that of the kissing bugs. “The leafhoppers and the kissers are of the same order of insects, have the same buccal apparatus and have a similar behavior. The only difference is that the kissers feed on human blood and the leafhoppers of ‘the blood of the plant. According to Catalano, all the knowledge generated in this field will be novel because “there are no studies on leafhoppers that are so specific. The transcriptome and the genome are not studied, so any gene we discover will be an advance. ”

Currently, the management of these diseases is carried out through the use of insecticides. The purpose of this research is to have the knowledge to develop a plant that contains genes that may have the ability to inhibit others of the insect to make your life does not persist. “Our highest aspiration would be to achieve an insecticide method, provide knowledge for the development of a plant that carries with it certain characteristics that affect the development and survival of these pests,” concluded the project director.

The development of this project involves the participation of professionals from different disciplines. With anchoring in genetics, each of them deploys a task within the framework of this research.

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Victorio Palacio, from the Bioinformatics, is devoted to the analysis of the transcriptome of the species studied.
Lucia Dalaison, who is doing her final thesis of the Degree in Genetics, managed to develop the entire life cycle of the leafhoppers artificially. It is also devoted to the study of the normal embryonic development of insects.

Hugo González is an agronomist, has a doctoral fellowship from CONICET and is responsible for the maintenance of infected insects in colonies. You will also have the task of comparing the transcriptome of healthy and infected.
Lucila Pérez has a CIN scholarship and is doing the final work of the degree in Genetics. It was inserted in the project to study neuropeptides in “chinches”, an insect that affects the soybean crop.
Elías Gazza has a degree in Genetics, a doctoral fellowship from CONICET and is putting genome editing techniques to the test.

WHO publishes new guidelines on childbirth with focus on individuality

The UN agency has presented a list of 56 recommendations based on scientific evidence and gathered in the new guidelines on childbirth.

The right to decide how to control pain during childbirth and to reject unnecessary medical interventions are two of the recommendations that are part of the new guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to manage care for pregnant women.

The United Nations agency on Thursday unveiled a list of 56 recommendations based on scientific evidence and brought together in the new guidelines on childbirth. The goal is to highlight the importance of a mother being at the center of decisions and to discard unnecessary medical interventions.

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“The guidelines propose a holistic approach to childbirth where the mother has a pre-eminence,” said Olufemi Oladapo, a specialist in maternal health research at the WHO Department of Reproductive Health.

It is estimated that annually 140 million births worldwide occur, the vast majority without complications. However, over the past two decades the use of medical interventions that were previously only made when there was a risk or some complication, such as the administration of oxytocin to help in dilation or a cesarean section, has been greatly increased.

According to WHO, on many occasions, these interventions are not only unnecessary but also cause the mother to have a negative experience in childbirth. It is estimated that a large number of healthy women, with a normal process, received some type of intervention, although the report does not give concrete data.

Because of this, the agency drew up rules that emphasize the importance of an unmedicalized delivery, which includes the possibility for the mother to decide how to manage her own pain, which involves deciding whether or not to use epidural anesthesia and, if want, at what time.

In addition, the new guidelines recognize that each delivery is a delivery and that rules implemented over the past 70 years should not be maintained. An example of this is the dilation of the neck of the uterus. Until now, it was believed to be “normal” for him to expand by one centimeter per hour. The new guidelines state that these limits are ” unrealistic ” and ” inadequate ” to determine if a child is progressing poorly or is simply slower than average.

“These rules were established in the 1950s and we have enormous scientific evidence that shows that in many cases this does not happen because each delivery is unique. In fact, the speed with which the uterus dilates does not have any importance in the chances of survival of the baby, as long as there is progress, “said Oladapo.

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He stated that no other category of speed has been established for dilatation because they do not want to “restrict” delivery again to a rule since what should change in the mentality of doctors and midwives is that each case is different.

Another generalized intervention is the episiotomy, the surgical incision in the vulva made in certain deliveries to facilitate the exit of the fetus.

“It is almost barbaric and almost routine, although its advantages are a complete myth,” exclaimed Oladapo, explaining that the method should only be used in extreme cases, due to the multiple negative consequences for the mother in the future.

Another intervention used excessively is a cesarean section. According to the organization, the method is applied in many countries of average investment routinely, for the convenience of doctors, and because in many cases, the experts charge much more for a surgical delivery than for a natural one.

“The guidelines are intended for doctors and remind them of the risks in the short and medium term of cesareans, but also mothers, so that they know they are entitled to a birth as natural as possible and with their control.”