· Medical science ·

The first Ebola drug is expected to come out: or reduce the mortality rate to less than 10%

Image Credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

Since August last year, the Ebola epidemic has spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo, causing nearly 8 infections and more than 3000 deaths. At present, there is no specific medicine for Ebola, so the mortality rate is as high as 1800%. Today, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced that the two drugs have significantly reduced Ebola mortality in clinical trials in the Congo, and the human battle against Ebola is expected to enter a new chapter.

The research team tested the efficacy of three Ebola antibodies and one antiviral drug. Two of the drugs: the monoclonal antibody mAb3, and the cocktail therapy REGN-EB114 composed of three monoclonal antibodies, showed exciting effects: Ebola patients treated with mAb3 or REGN-EB114 had a mortality rate of 3. % And 34%; and among patients who received treatment in the early stages of infection, the mortality rate dropped to 29% and 11%, respectively. The researchers also said that it is only preliminary test results, and they will continue to collect clinical data.

· Microbiology ·

Bacteria evolved into populations for hospitals

Clostridium diffucile (clostridium diffucile) is a common dysentery infection bacterium, which is usually suppressed by the probiotics in the intestines, but with the abuse of antibiotics, it is easy to cause the bacterial infection. Last published on"Nature Genetics"The above research pointed out that Clostridium difficile has evolved into two types of populations, one of which lives in the hospital and is fully adapted to the hospital environment. In the test samples, 2% of this type of Clostridium difficile came from hospital patients. The evolved new populations can better metabolize simple sugars, and have changes in genes related to sporulation, and can better resist hospital disinfectants. Their rapid spread in the hospital system will bring huge hidden dangers and challenges to the medical system.

· Proteology ·

Cracking the drug-resistant protein of super bacteria

Last published onProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesIn the study, scientists discovered a key protein that resists the disinfectant chlorhexidine in a super bacteria called Acinetobacter baumannii. This protein, called AceI, is located on the surface of bacteria and helps bacteria to expel the chlorhexidine that enters the bacteria. In fact, the gene encoding this protein existed in this bacterium long before the invention of chlorhexidine. The original natural function of AceI is to transport other substances, and pumping out chlorhexidine is only an unexpected function. Because of the wide range of substances that AceI can transport, AceI is expected to be used in the synthesis of industrial catalytic polymers and act as a catalyst transport membrane in chemical reactions.

· Species protection ·

The U.S. government weakens the Endangered Species Act

Image source: New York Times

This week, the US government’s amendments to the Endangered Species Act caused an uproar. This amendment has greatly weakened the bill and restricted its scope of application. In the new bill, it will be easier to remove a species from the endangered species list, and the degree of protection of threatened species will be weakened. In addition, the protection of species will be economically evaluated for the first time to judge whether the species needs protection. The new rules will come into effect next month. Since its signing in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has been the most important regulation for fish, plant and wildlife protection in the United States. The Trump administration’s amendments to the bill have also encountered a lot of opposition.

· robot ·

The robot completes grabbing objects in a complex environment

Robots can now grab single objects in open spaces, but it is very difficult to grab specific objects in a messy environment. In fact, before we grab something, the brain will judge in advance how much space we need, and then remove irrelevant objects away. This is also called pre-grabbing manipulation. Last published onPreprint this websiteA study by, built a brand-new algorithm that allows the robot to also master human-specific grasping technology. With the help of the new algorithm, the robot can learn to interact with the surrounding environment, and judge and complete complex grasping tasks. With built-in camera feedback and algorithm learning, a robot can learn pre-grabbing control in about 80 hours.

· food science ·

China's first "artificial meat" will be listed in September

Li Jian, associate professor of the School of Food and Health at Beijing Technology and Business University, said in an interview that the first-generation "artificial meat" product developed by his laboratory team in cooperation with the plant meat brand Starfield is expected to come out in September. This kind of artificial meat is made of plant proteins such as soybeans, and contains a large amount of protein and a small amount of fat, which is close to the taste and smell of normal meat. However, compared with the "artificial meat" in the United States, this "artificial meat" is slightly inferior in terms of taste, flavor and texture.

· Ecology ·

Large-scale forest disasters have a major impact on carbon storage

Recently published in"Nature·Earth Science"The above research shows that more than one-tenth of the world's tree deaths are caused by large-scale disasters such as fires, felling, storms and insects. Based on the results of satellite observations of forests between 2000 and 2014 and the assessment of the frequency of large-scale disasters, the research team used a computer model to calculate: 12% of the global tree deaths are attributed to large-scale disasters. In addition, even small changes in the frequency of large-scale disasters will have an impact on the carbon storage of 44% of the world’s forests. For example, fires frequently occur in the Arctic recently. Under this abnormal situation, researchers can use models to predict how much carbon will be released due to disasters.

Text: Wu Fei, Yang Xinzhou, Zhang Duoer, Ma Yiyuan, Xie Ruyu

Editor: Yang Xinzhou, Wu Fei