Readers weigh in on deer-vehicle collisions, mouse sperm in house and extra

Readers weigh in on deer-vehicle collisions, mouse sperm in house and extra

Cover of July 3, 2021 & July 17, 2021 issue

Neuroscience mysteries

A 3-dimensional take a look at 50,000 mind cells taken from a girl with epilepsy uncovered some pairs with an astonishingly massive variety of connections, Laura Sanders reported in “An intricate mind map reveals quirks” (SN: 7/3/21 & 7/17/21, p. 6).

Provided that nerve cells often contact as soon as, reader Leilani puzzled if the girl’s epilepsy may very well be the rationale for the cells’ a number of connections.

The researchers don’t assume epilepsy is liable for this mobile quirk, Sanders says, however for now, we will’t make certain. “The tissue that scientists used to reconstruct the map was considered wholesome, regular tissue that was eliminated to permit entry to the spot within the girl’s mind the place seizures began. Nevertheless it’s potential that irregular neural exercise influenced the cells in that supposedly wholesome tissue too,” she says. “Till scientists have extra maps which might be constituted of a greater diversity of brains, we received’t understand how frequent any of those ‘uncommon’ findings truly are.”

Frankly, my deer, I don’t give a slam

Grey wolves in Wisconsin that use roads as journey corridors might scare deer away, decreasing deer-vehicle collisions, Jack J. Lee reported in “Grey wolves clear deer from roadways” (SN: 7/3/21 & 7/17/21, p. 8).

Reader John Hosack requested if this wolf habits results in elevated wolf-vehicle collisions.

Wolf-vehicle collisions happen, Lee says, however much less often than deer-vehicle collisions do. Based on the Wisconsin Grey Wolf Monitoring Report, there have been 21 wolf-vehicle collisions within the state from April 2019 to April 2020. That quantity is far decrease than the almost 20,000 deer-vehicle collisions that happen within the state every year. Grey wolves’ small inhabitants measurement probably contributes to the low numbers, Lee says. However wolves may are likely to keep away from roads with heavy visitors. A research within the April 2020 Mammalian Biology discovered that wolves in Poland choose to journey alongside high-traffic forest roads when there was low human exercise.

Sure by biology

HIV’s means to create myriad variants in a single particular person partly explains why scientists haven’t been capable of finding an efficient vaccine, Erin Garcia de Jesús reported in “Why HIV vaccines stay elusive” (SN: 7/3/21 & 7/17/21, p. 14).

Given this excessive charge of mutation, reader Artwork Hager wished to know why HIV hasn’t discovered methods to unfold by means of the air or by means of mosquitoes.

Even HIV has its limits, Garcia de Jesús says. The virus doesn’t final lengthy outdoors the physique, and the adjustments it must bear to unfold in other ways would probably be extra hassle than they’re value and wouldn’t occur in actual life, she says. “Let’s faux that HIV is a small animal residing on a mountain. This animal needs to get from peak A to peak B, however the valley in between is crammed with wolves. The creature appears to be like to peak C, however that valley has a lake that’s unattainable to cross. So it would as properly keep on peak A the place there’s loads of meals and house, even when there are a number of hawks flying round.”

What provides, eggsactly?

An experiment on the Worldwide Area Station means that house radiation doesn’t have an effect on the viability of sperm, Maria Temming reported in “After spending years in house, mouse sperm produce wholesome pups” (SN: 7/3/21 & 7/17/21, p. 16).

Reader Suzan Chastain puzzled whether or not eggs are equally unaffected by house radiation.

Extra analysis is required to grasp how eggs fare in house, says biologist Teruhiko Wakayama of the College of Yamanashi in Kōfu, Japan. Lengthy-term experiments with mouse eggs are difficult as a result of, not like freeze-dried sperm, the eggs should be saved at temperatures of about –196° Celsius and the freezers on the Worldwide Area Station don’t get that chilly, Wakayama says. His crew subsequent plans to do a short-term experiment on the house station that may examine microgravity’s results on growing mouse embryos. The embryos will probably be saved for one to 2 weeks in freezers at –95° C.

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