Brain infections may spark Alzheimer’s, new study sugge

Strands of beta amyloid fibrils form around yeast in culture media. (credit: Credit: D.K.V. Kumar et al. / Science Translational Medicine (2016)])

The protein globs that jam brain circuits in people with Alzheimer’s disease may not result from a sloppy surplus, but rather a bacterial battle, a new study suggests.

Previously, researchers assumed that the protein—beta amyloid—was just a junk molecule that piled up. And efforts to cure Alzheimer’s focused on clearing out clogs and banishing beta amyloid from the brain. But a new study conducted using mice and worms suggests that the protein clumps are actually microbial booby traps, sturdy proteinaceous snares intended to confine invading microbes and protect the brain.

The findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, suggest that Alzheimer’s may result from the brain’s effort to fight off infections. While that hypothesis is controversial and highly speculative at this point, it could dramatically alter the way researchers and doctors work to treat and prevent the degenerative disease.

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Brain infections may spark Alzheimer’s, new study sugge

Strands of beta amyloid fibrils form around yeast in culture media. (credit: Credit: D.K.V. Kumar et al. / Science Translational Medicine (2016)])

The protein globs that jam brain circuits in people with Alzheimer’s disease may not result from a sloppy surplus, but rather a bacterial battle, a new study suggests.

Previously, researchers assumed that the protein—beta amyloid—was just a junk molecule that piled up. And efforts to cure Alzheimer’s focused on clearing out clogs and banishing beta amyloid from the brain. But a new study conducted using mice and worms suggests that the protein clumps are actually microbial booby traps, sturdy proteinaceous snares intended to confine invading microbes and protect the brain.

The findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, suggest that Alzheimer’s may result from the brain’s effort to fight off infections. While that hypothesis is controversial and highly speculative at this point, it could dramatically alter the way researchers and doctors work to treat and prevent the degenerative disease.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

If climate scientists are in it for the money, they’re

It’s Memorial Day, all Ars staff is off, and we’re grateful for it (running a site remains tough work). But on a normal Monday, inevitably we’d continue to monitor news from the world of climate change. Our John Timmer examined the claims that scientists are in it solely for the money in February 2011, and we’re resurfacing his piece for your holiday reading pleasure.

One of the more unfortunate memes that makes an appearance whenever climate science is discussed is the accusation that, by hyping their results, climate scientists are ensuring themselves steady paychecks, and may even be enriching themselves. A Google search for “global warming gravy train” pulls out over 50,000 results (six of them from our forums).

It’s tempting to respond with indignation; after all, researchers generally are doing something they love without a focus on compensation. But, more significantly, the accusation simply makes no sense on any level.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

If climate scientists are in it for the money, they’re

It’s Memorial Day, all Ars staff is off, and we’re grateful for it (running a site remains tough work). But on a normal Monday, inevitably we’d continue to monitor news from the world of climate change. Our John Timmer examined the claims that scientists are in it solely for the money in February 2011, and we’re resurfacing his piece for your holiday reading pleasure.

One of the more unfortunate memes that makes an appearance whenever climate science is discussed is the accusation that, by hyping their results, climate scientists are ensuring themselves steady paychecks, and may even be enriching themselves. A Google search for “global warming gravy train” pulls out over 50,000 results (six of them from our forums).

It’s tempting to respond with indignation; after all, researchers generally are doing something they love without a focus on compensation. But, more significantly, the accusation simply makes no sense on any level.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

If climate scientists are in it for the money, they’re

It’s Memorial Day, all Ars staff is off, and we’re grateful for it (running a site remains tough work). But on a normal Monday, inevitably we’d continue to monitor news from the world of climate change. Our John Timmer examined the claims that scientists are in it solely for the money in February 2011, and we’re resurfacing his piece for your holiday reading pleasure.

One of the more unfortunate memes that makes an appearance whenever climate science is discussed is the accusation that, by hyping their results, climate scientists are ensuring themselves steady paychecks, and may even be enriching themselves. A Google search for “global warming gravy train” pulls out over 50,000 results (six of them from our forums).

It’s tempting to respond with indignation; after all, researchers generally are doing something they love without a focus on compensation. But, more significantly, the accusation simply makes no sense on any level.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

If climate scientists are in it for the money, they’re

It’s Memorial Day, all Ars staff is off, and we’re grateful for it (running a site remains tough work). But on a normal Monday, inevitably we’d continue to monitor news from the world of climate change. Our John Timmer examined the claims that scientists are in it solely for the money in February 2011, and we’re resurfacing his piece for your holiday reading pleasure.

One of the more unfortunate memes that makes an appearance whenever climate science is discussed is the accusation that, by hyping their results, climate scientists are ensuring themselves steady paychecks, and may even be enriching themselves. A Google search for “global warming gravy train” pulls out over 50,000 results (six of them from our forums).

It’s tempting to respond with indignation; after all, researchers generally are doing something they love without a focus on compensation. But, more significantly, the accusation simply makes no sense on any level.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A gratuitous gallery of warbirds for Memorial Day

Jonathan Gitlin

The workhorse of the US Army Air Corp’s Eighth Air Force in World War II was the B-17. This one is a B-17G called Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby and it flew 24 combat missions during the war, ending its service after making an emergency landing in Sweden. The Eighth Air Force suffered very heavy casualties during WWII—more than 26,000 personnel lost their lives.

16 more images in gallery

Americans have honored those lost in war in some shape or another since just after the Civil War. Memorial Day as we know it—a federal holiday on the last Monday in May—is more recent, dating back to 1968. But the sentiment is the same—remembering those who paid the ultimate price in defense of their country. Since a recent trip happened to take us by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, we’ve decided to celebrate it here at Ars by bringing you this gallery of some fine-looking warbirds.

The museum can be found at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It’s truly vast—even giants of the air like the B-36 and B-52 can seem small underneath the roof of one of its hangars. It also has some rather significant planes in its collection, notably Bockscar, one of the two B-29s that dropped atom bombs on Japan in World War II (the Enola Gay lives at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy collection in Dulles, VA).

The collections under those massive hangars are organized chronologically, from the beginning of flight through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, through to today. Sadly, we weren’t able to check out one of the museum’s most fascinating aircraft, the remaining North American XB-70 Valkyrie; the new hangar for research and experimental aircraft (and old Air Force Ones) doesn’t open until next week.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

A gratuitous gallery of warbirds for Memorial Day

Jonathan Gitlin

The workhorse of the US Army Air Corp’s Eighth Air Force in World War II was the B-17. This one is a B-17G called Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby and it flew 24 combat missions during the war, ending its service after making an emergency landing in Sweden. The Eighth Air Force suffered very heavy casualties during WWII—more than 26,000 personnel lost their lives.

16 more images in gallery

Americans have honored those lost in war in some shape or another since just after the Civil War. Memorial Day as we know it—a federal holiday on the last Monday in May—is more recent, dating back to 1968. But the sentiment is the same—remembering those who paid the ultimate price in defense of their country. Since a recent trip happened to take us by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, we’ve decided to celebrate it here at Ars by bringing you this gallery of some fine-looking warbirds.

The museum can be found at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It’s truly vast—even giants of the air like the B-36 and B-52 can seem small underneath the roof of one of its hangars. It also has some rather significant planes in its collection, notably Bockscar, one of the two B-29s that dropped atom bombs on Japan in World War II (the Enola Gay lives at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy collection in Dulles, VA).

The collections under those massive hangars are organized chronologically, from the beginning of flight through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, through to today. Sadly, we weren’t able to check out one of the museum’s most fascinating aircraft, the remaining North American XB-70 Valkyrie; the new hangar for research and experimental aircraft (and old Air Force Ones) doesn’t open until next week.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

A gratuitous gallery of warbirds for Memorial Day

Jonathan Gitlin

The workhorse of the US Army Air Corp’s Eighth Air Force in World War II was the B-17. This one is a B-17G called Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby and it flew 24 combat missions during the war, ending its service after making an emergency landing in Sweden. The Eighth Air Force suffered very heavy casualties during WWII—more than 26,000 personnel lost their lives.

16 more images in gallery

Americans have honored those lost in war in some shape or another since just after the Civil War. Memorial Day as we know it—a federal holiday on the last Monday in May—is more recent, dating back to 1968. But the sentiment is the same—remembering those who paid the ultimate price in defense of their country. Since a recent trip happened to take us by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, we’ve decided to celebrate it here at Ars by bringing you this gallery of some fine-looking warbirds.

The museum can be found at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It’s truly vast—even giants of the air like the B-36 and B-52 can seem small underneath the roof of one of its hangars. It also has some rather significant planes in its collection, notably Bockscar, one of the two B-29s that dropped atom bombs on Japan in World War II (the Enola Gay lives at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy collection in Dulles, VA).

The collections under those massive hangars are organized chronologically, from the beginning of flight through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, through to today. Sadly, we weren’t able to check out one of the museum’s most fascinating aircraft, the remaining North American XB-70 Valkyrie; the new hangar for research and experimental aircraft (and old Air Force Ones) doesn’t open until next week.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

A gratuitous gallery of warbirds for Memorial Day

Jonathan Gitlin

The workhorse of the US Army Air Corp’s Eighth Air Force in World War II was the B-17. This one is a B-17G called Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby and it flew 24 combat missions during the war, ending its service after making an emergency landing in Sweden. The Eighth Air Force suffered very heavy casualties during WWII—more than 26,000 personnel lost their lives.

16 more images in gallery

Americans have honored those lost in war in some shape or another since just after the Civil War. Memorial Day as we know it—a federal holiday on the last Monday in May—is more recent, dating back to 1968. But the sentiment is the same—remembering those who paid the ultimate price in defense of their country. Since a recent trip happened to take us by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, we’ve decided to celebrate it here at Ars by bringing you this gallery of some fine-looking warbirds.

The museum can be found at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It’s truly vast—even giants of the air like the B-36 and B-52 can seem small underneath the roof of one of its hangars. It also has some rather significant planes in its collection, notably Bockscar, one of the two B-29s that dropped atom bombs on Japan in World War II (the Enola Gay lives at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy collection in Dulles, VA).

The collections under those massive hangars are organized chronologically, from the beginning of flight through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, through to today. Sadly, we weren’t able to check out one of the museum’s most fascinating aircraft, the remaining North American XB-70 Valkyrie; the new hangar for research and experimental aircraft (and old Air Force Ones) doesn’t open until next week.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments