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Scientists have found the origin of obesity in stem cells

Researchers at the Moscow State University described a new mechanism which possibly underlines the development of obesity. They found a group of stem cells which actively transform into fat cells under the action of a hormone called angiotensin II.
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Scientists have investigated the effect of angiotensin II on stem cells during the process of their specialization — these «universal» cells have the ability to become any type of cell.

In the course of the experiments, Russian scientists identified a group of stem cells which are particularly actively converting into fat cells (adipocytes) when under the action of the hormone. This group of cells shows particularly strong reaction to the hormone, speeding up the process of specialization. The authors of the paper believe that such an intensive differentiation of these cells can underlie disturbances in the formation of adipose tissue, leading to obesity.

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The best science communicators to be announced February 7

Popularizers of science — scientists, journalists and businessmen who have contributed to the development of Russian science — can apply to participate in the IV National «For Loyalty to Science» Award competition until January 15, the press service of the Ministry of Education and Science informs.
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The list of nominations for the most prestigious national award for the popularization of science has grown to 11 positions: to the traditional best television, radio, print and internet projects, photographic works and the «anti-prize» four additional prizes will be awarded for the best project on science in social networks, the best children’s project about science, the best popular science project of the year and, of course, the «Popularizer of Science — 2017».

Applications for participation in the award can be submitted through the Ministry’s website. The winners of «For Loyalty to Science — 2017» will be announced on February 7.

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Scientists have grown nanotubes for protection of bones and delivery of drugs

Scientists at the Tomsk Polytechnic University and their foreign colleagues have grown nanotubes that will improve the survival rate of bone implants. It will be possible to place drugs into nanotubes that will enter the patient’s body, helping it to fight certain diseases.
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Nanotubes are hollow cylinders of titanium dioxide with a length of up to 10 micrometers. They are covered with a layer of calcium phosphate, which masks them, making them more like natural human tissues. Thanks to the coating, titanium implants are less likely to be rejected by the body.

The coating made of nanotubes performs one more function — it reduces the load on the implant, which arises from the fact that bone tissue and titanium elasticities are different.

The discovery will allow for future use of nanotubes for drug delivery to the patient’s body — nanotubes are hollow inside so they can be loaded with medicinal substances, and the drugs can thus be delivered to the targeted part of the body together with the implant.

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Siberian archaeologists have found in Altai one of the largest rock carvings of a deer

Scientists at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography (IAET) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a boulder with a carving of a deer figure. The object has been found in the river Taldur valley in the Altai region near the Mongolian border. It is 170 cm long and is one of the largest images of a deer in Altai petroglyphs.
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The petroglyph composition measures 310 cm by 170 cm. There are at least 28 figures carved on the stone — goats, bulls, deer and a man*. The largest figure is a deer with branched horns, located on the left side of the composition. A female deer is depicted next to it, but it is smaller in size and not so carefully graven — scientists believe that its image could be unfinished.

Archaeologists dated to the find to the second half of the II millennium BC.

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