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Children began to become red because of the virus several thousand years ago

Researchers from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, and a number of European countries have read the genomes of human parvovirus B19 aged 500−6900 years. The findings showed that the virus, which causes infectious erythema (skin reddening) in children and joint pain in adults, has affected people for more than 12,000 years, and not for a century and a half, as was previously thought. The scientific article is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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The authors of the new work obtained fragments of 10 genomes of B19 parvoviruses from the bones and teeth of human remains found in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Poland, Greenland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Great Britain. The researchers have found that the last common ancestor of all the ten variants of parvovirus B19 existed about 12,6 thousand years ago.

The new study showed that samples of virus nucleic acid can also be extracted from human remains dated up to several thousand years ago.

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Infection with flatworms will help asthmatics and diabetics

The international collaboration of scientific groups for the study of opisthorchiasis, based at the Siberian State Medical University (SibMed), found that infection with parasitic flatworms can weaken asthma. The result was obtained using model animals.
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For the new study, biochemists conducted an experiment, infecting golden hamsters with Siberian flakes. It turned out that worms produce pigment haemoizin in the course of their life activity — a substance which, when present in abundance, blocks excessive reactions of the immune system. Hemoizin facilitates the course of asthma, and, the scientists say, will allow to correct the immune system disorders in the course of allergic diseases.

Researchers hope to use the data to improve condition of asthmatics — and, in the future, diabetics as well — without direct infection with helminths.

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Elimination of forest pest with the help of its natural enemies will be attempted in Altai

Scientists are going to try to use an experimental way to fight gingerbread gipsy moth (Lymantria dispar, aka brown arches) that kills forests in the Altai Mountains — namely with the help of the pest’s natural enemy from the family of Encyrtidae.
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The press service of the Government of the Altai Republic informs that research in this area is conducted in the National Research Institute of Forestry and Mechanisation of Forestry. «The rapid increase of gingerbread gipsy moth population in Altai has accelerated development of ways to combat the insect,» the message says. Experts at the Laboratory of Biological Methods of Forest Protection are actively exploring the possibility of breeding of egg parasite from the family of Encyrtidae, which will, it is expected, exterminate the moth pests.

The first party of laboratory-grown egg-eaters is planned to be released in late August 2018. The natural enemies of the forest pests will be released in the areas of mass reproduction of gypsy moth. Experts note that the level of reproduction of gypsy moth is rather high and it will not be possible to eliminate the entire population all at once in this way.

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MIPT scientists found a way to increase efficiency of organic solar cells

The group of scientists have found a way to increase the efficiency of organic photoconverters (solar cells) by several times by adding fluorine atoms to cell’s composition, the press service of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology informs.
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«The international group of scientists, which includes specialists from MIPT, showed that ordered structures based on organic molecules can become the basis for solar cells. The scientists have found a way to use such structures to increase the efficiency of organic photoconverters by several times,» the message says.

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