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3Episodes
Category: Science & Medicine

A fun take on the latest science news with enough data to sink your teeth into. Lagrange Point goes beyond the glossy summary and gets in depth with the research from across the world.

October 22, 2018

Episode 297 - Antibiotic superweapons - hunter killer cells, dream teams and evolutionary history

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Making new treatments often starts by finding out just what building blocks you have. But what if you could use the blocks with whole new sets? What if you could see how the blocks changed between owners? What about making your own brand new blocks? When fighting bacteria, we need every tool we can get. This week we find out about some great ways to take the fight back to bacteria in new and interesting ways from artificial cells, or new combinations of treatments, even to tracking the way bacteria changes over aeons.

References:

  1. Emily J. Richardson, Rodrigo Bacigalupe, Ewan M. Harrison, Lucy A. Weinert, Samantha Lycett, Manouk Vrieling, Kirsty Robb, Paul A. Hoskisson, Matthew T. G. Holden, Edward J. Feil, Gavin K. Paterson, Steven Y. C. Tong, Adebayo Shittu, Willem van Wamel, David M. Aanensen, Julian Parkhill, Sharon J. Peacock, Jukka Corander, Mark Holmes, J. Ross Fitzgerald. Gene exchange drives the ecological success of a multi-host bacterial pathogen. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018; 2 (9): 1468 DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0617-0
  2. Elif Tekin, Cynthia White, Tina Manzhu Kang, Nina Singh, Mauricio Cruz-Loya, Robert Damoiseaux, Van M. Savage, Pamela J. Yeh. Prevalence and patterns of higher-order drug interactions in Escherichia coli. npj Systems Biology and Applications, 2018; 4 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41540-018-0069-9
  3. Yunfeng Ding, Luis E. Contreras-Llano, Eliza Morris, Michelle Mao, Cheemeng Tan. Minimizing Context Dependency of Gene Networks Using Artificial Cells. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018; DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b10029
October 15, 2018

Lagrange Point Episode 296 - Fighting back against hayfever, what histamines do for you, stopping travellers sickness

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A change of seasons means you may be sniffling, sneezing and having teary eyes. So why do our bodies sometimes cause such an over the top response to pollen? We dive into the science behind hay fever, what histamine even does for you, and how it's helping you in more ways than you realise. Plus we find out what's being done to deliver a 1,2,3 blow to Traveller's Diarrhoea.

References:

  1. Alessandra Misto, Gustavo Provensi, Valentina Vozella, Maria Beatrice Passani, Daniele Piomelli. Mast Cell-Derived Histamine Regulates Liver Ketogenesis via Oleoylethanolamide Signaling. Cell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.09.014
  2. Caroline B.K. Mathiesen, Michael C. Carlsson, Stephanie Brand, Svenning Rune Möller, Manja Idorn, Per thor Straten, Anders E. Pedersen, Sally Dabelsteen, Adnan Halim, Peter Adler Würtzen, Jens Brimnes, Henrik Ipsen, Bent L. Petersen, Hans H. Wandall. Genetically engineered cell factories produce glycoengineered vaccines that target antigen-presenting cells and reduce antigen-specific T-cell reactivity. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.030
  3. Renee M. Laird, Zuchao Ma, Nelum Dorabawila, Brittany Pequegnat, Eman Omari, Yang Liu, Alexander C. Maue, Steven T. Poole, Milton Maciel, Kavyashree Satish, Christina L. Gariepy, Nina M. Schumack, Annette L. McVeigh, Frédéric Poly, Cheryl P. Ewing, Michael G. Prouty, Mario A. Monteiro, Stephen J. Savarino, Patricia Guerry. Evaluation of a conjugate vaccine platform against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), Campylobacter jejuni and Shigella. Vaccine, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.09.052

 

September 17, 2018

Episode 292 - Roller coasters for medical treatment - Ignobel Prize 2018 Part 1

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It's Ignobel Prize 2018 time. As part of Improbable Research's celebration of curious and comedic science, we find out the rollercoasters, and how they are just what the doctor ordered. The Ignobel Prize 2018 in Medicine went to Mitchel and Wartinger for their ground breaking work into how to use rollercoasters to treat Kidney stones. We look into how rollercoasters work, their impact on the body, and how it can help pass kidney stones. Plus we look at some research into how rollercoaster g-force can impact your brain. 

 

References:

  1. Marc A. Mitchell, David D. Wartinger. Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 2016; 116 (10): 647 DOI: 10.7556/jaoa.2016.128
  2. ROLLER COASTER PHYSICS & G FORCES - COASTERFORCE. (2018). Retrieved from http://coasterforce.com/physics/
  3. DeHart, Roy L. (2002). Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine: 3rd Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  4. "NASA Physiological Acceleration Systems". Web.archive.org. 2008-05-20. Archived from the original on 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  5. NASA Technical note D-337, Centrifuge Study of Pilot Tolerance to Acceleration and the Effects of Acceleration on Pilot Performance, by Brent Y. Creer, Captain Harald A. Smedal, USN (MC), and Rodney C. Vtlfngrove, figure 10
  6. NASA Technical note D-337, Centrifuge Study of Pilot Tolerance to Acceleration and the Effects of Acceleration on Pilot Performance, by Brent Y. Creer, Captain Harald A. Smedal, USN (MC), and Rodney C. Vtlfngrove
  7. Kuo, Calvin & Wu, Lyndia & P Ye, Patrick & Laksari, Kaveh & Benjamin Camarillo, David & Kuhl, Ellen. (2017). Pilot Findings of Brain Displacements and Deformations During Roller Coaster Rides. Journal of neurotrauma. 34. 10.1089/neu.2016.4893.
September 10, 2018

Episode 291 - Concussion science, assessment frameworks and biomarkers

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Concussions are a serious issue for everyone from the largest professional leagues to the weekend amateurs. The CDC has released some updated guidelines for assessing concussions and we dive into some new tests to help take the decision out of players hands and back it up with some sound evidence. 

  1. Angela Lumba-Brown, David W. Wright, Kelly Sarmiento, Debra Houry. Emergency Department Implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline RecommendationsAnnals of Emergency Medicine, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.03.045
  2. Johnson VE, Stewart W, Smith DH. Axonal pathology in traumatic brain injury. Experimental Neurology. 246: 35-43 (2013).
  3. Ling H, Hardy, J, Zetterberg H. Neurological consequences of traumatic brain injuries in sports. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 66(B): 114-122 (2015).
  4. Alexander M. Weber, Anna Pukropski, Christian Kames, Michael Jarrett, Shiroy Dadachanji, Jack Taunton, David K. B. Li, Alexander Rauscher. Pathological Insights From Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping and Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Ice Hockey Players Pre and Post-concussionFrontiers in Neurology, 2018; 9 DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00575
  5. Pashtun Shahim, Yelverton Tegner, Niklas Marklund, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg. Neurofilament light and tau as blood biomarkers for sports-related concussionNeurology, 2018; 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005518 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005518
August 13, 2018

Episode 287 - Fighting back against fungal infections

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Everyone knows about bacteria and viruses, but fungal infections can also wreak havoc with our health. Since we know so little about them, fighting back is difficult. But we can learn a lot but diving deep into the way fungal infections are structured, how they fight back and how they fight eachother. 

  1. Xue Kang, Alex Kirui, Artur Muszyński, Malitha C. Dickwella Widanage, Adrian Chen, Parastoo Azadi, Ping Wang, Frederic Mentink-Vigier, Tuo Wang. Molecular architecture of fungal cell walls revealed by solid-state NMRNature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05199-0
  2. Timothy M. Tucey, Jiyoti Verma, Paul F. Harrison, Sarah L. Snelgrove, Tricia L. Lo, Allison K. Scherer, Adele A. Barugahare, David R. Powell, Robert T. Wheeler, Michael J. Hickey, Traude H. Beilharz, Thomas Naderer, Ana Traven. Glucose Homeostasis Is Important for Immune Cell Viability during Candida Challenge and Host Survival of Systemic Fungal InfectionCell Metabolism, 2018; 27 (5): 988 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.03.019
  3. University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2018, May 22). A hidden world of communication, chemical warfare, beneath the soil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180522082202.htm
July 9, 2018

Episode 282 - More precise precision medicine plus last chance medications

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How far would you go to find a treatment that helps you or a loved one suffering from a chronic condition? Is it worth the side effects or the pain of jumping through bureaucratic hoops? Is it worth risking the black market? Plus we find out ways to make precision medicine even more precise to rule out side effects. 

References:

  1. Bell, F. (2017, March 01). Sick kids chosen as first patients to receive legal medicinal cannabis in Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-01/children-with-epilepsy-receive-legal-medicinal-cannabis-victoria/8313902
  2. Dunstan, J. (2018, June 08). Dad defends medicinal cannabis program as kids drop out. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/victorian-medicinal-cannabis-trial-kids-drop-out/9848596
  3. Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy
  4. Understanding Epilepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.org.au/about-epilepsy/understanding-epilepsy/
  5. Zafar, A. (2017, May 26). Cannabis compound shown to slash seizures in kids with rare form of epilepsy | CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/dravet-syndrome-epilepsy-cbd-1.4130180
  6. A. Suraev, N. Lintzeris, J. Stuart, R. C. Kevin, R. Blackburn, E. Richards, J. C. Arnold, C. Ireland, L. Todd, D. J. Allsop, I. S. McGregor. Composition and Use of Cannabis Extracts for Childhood Epilepsy in the Australian CommunityScientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-28127-0
  7. Lei Zhang, Peng Zhang, Guangfu Wang, Huaye Zhang, Yajun Zhang, Yilin Yu, Mingxu Zhang, Jian Xiao, Piero Crespo, Johannes W. Hell, Li Lin, Richard L. Huganir, J. Julius Zhu. Ras and Rap Signal Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity via Distinct Subcellular MicrodomainsNeuron, 2018; 98 (4): 783 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.03.049
June 4, 2018

Episode 277 - Breaking down the brain and figuring out how the pieces work

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Our brains are incredibly complex machines, running millions of calculations in no time at all. But how do these fantastic circuits work? If you follow AI and computer science you may have heard of a ''neural net'' style program which mimics how the brain learns, but really, how do the messages get passed between neurons along such networks? Does shape matter? Can we study individual pathways? What happens if you try and pulse the brain to give it a boost? We find out about neurons, their networks and more.

 

References:

  1. Shotaro Yoshida, Midori Kato-Negishi, Shoji Takeuchi. Assembly and Connection of Micropatterned Single Neurons for Neuronal Network FormationMicromachines, 2018; 9 (5): 235 DOI: 10.3390/mi9050235
  2. Fong Kuan Wong, Kinga Bercsenyi, Varun Sreenivasan, Adrián Portalés, Marian Fernández-Otero, Oscar Marín. Pyramidal cell regulation of interneuron survival sculpts cortical networksNature, 2018; 557 (7707): 668 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0139-6
  3. Nicole C Swann, Coralie de Hemptinne, Margaret C Thompson, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Andrew M Miller, Ro’ee Gilron, Jill L Ostrem, Howard J Chizeck, Philip A Starr. Adaptive deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease using motor cortex sensingJournal of Neural Engineering, 2018; 15 (4): 046006 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/aabc9b
January 1, 2014

Episode 1 - The Pilot

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Welcome to Lagrange Point! Tune in for an informative but funny look into the world of science from the Young Scientists of Australia. Come and hang out at the Lagrange Point whilst we talk about:
-Polymer clothing from shrimp shells
-If working in scienctific research is the most ethical use of a lifetime
-Why guppy fish hang around with less attractive friends to boost their chances at love.

January 1, 2014

Episode 14 - Fairy Penguins, Tiger troubles and regrowing teeth

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We talk about Fairies at the end of the St Kilda Pier, well fairy penguins that is. We also delve into the challenges facing Tigers in Indian as they try to find a good mate and figure out ways to use stem cells to regrow our teeth!

January 1, 2014

Episode 18 - Studying and Exams Mythbusting

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Are you being bombared by absurd study 'advice' or tricks for getting through exams? In this week's episode we bust a whole bunch of exams and studying myths to try and figure out what works and what is pure fiction! Including associative learning, sleep deprivation, cramming, and strange studying superstitions.

January 1, 2014

Episode 19 - Brain training, vitamins and ebooks for learning

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Want the best tools to help your learning? We investigate brain training, if vitamins boos ttest scores and the benefits of using ebooks for learning!