Archive for the ‘Urine’ Category

New findings indicate that phosphorylated LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) protein levels in urine are elevated in patients diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson Disease (PD), and that urinary phosphorylated LRRK2 levels correlate with the presence and severity of symptoms such as cognitive impairment in individuals with PD. Researchers affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham published their findings in Neurology and in Movement Disorders (1,2).

The etiology of PD is currently unknown and mechanisms of action are still not completely clarified. It is well established, however, that aging is the single most important risk factor. PD is the second most frequent age-related neurodegenerative disorder, and one of the key pathogenic features is slow and progressive neuronal death that is concomitant with cognitive dysfunction. Current therapeutic modalities are inadequate and clinical need is significant. More than 6 million individuals worldwide are diagnosed with PD.

To date, several common genetic variants, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been identified that influence the risk for disease. For example, polymorphic variants in LRRK2 gene have previously been validated as genetic factors that confer susceptibility to PD.

Although the gene remains poorly characterized, five different mutations in the gene encoding LRRK2 are considered a common cause of inherited PD (3). One of the five mutations that are causal is the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 kinase domain, a mutation that significantly increases phosphorylation activity (1,3).

“There are currently no known ways to predict which G2019S mutation carriers will develop PD,” the authors wrote in the Neurology publication. Investigators purified LRRK2 protein from urinary exosomes collected from a total of 76 men. (Exosomes are membrane vesicles of endosomal origin that are secreted by most cells in culture, and are present in most biological fluids such as urine, blood, and saliva.) Then, they compared the ratio of phosphorylated LRRK2 to total LRRK2 in urine exosomes. Results show that “elevated … phosphorylated LRRK2 predicted the risk” for onset of PD in LRRK2 G2019S mutation carriers (1).

In their follow-up study, which was published in Movement Disorders, investigators compared phosphorylated LRRK2 levels in urine samples of 79 individuals diagnosed with PD to those of 79 healthy control participants. Results show that phosphorylated LRRK2 levels were significantly elevated in patients with PD when compared to those of controls. Also, phosphorylated LRRK2 levels correlated with the severity of cognitive impairment in patients with PD (2).

“Because few viable biomarkers for PD exist … phosphorylated LRRK2 levels may be a promising candidate for further exploration,” the authors concluded in their publication.

References
1. Fraser KB, Moehle MS, Alcalay RN, et al. Urinary LRRK2 phosphorylation predicts parkinsonian phenotypes in G2019S LRRK2 carriers. Neurology. 2016;86:994-999.
2. Fraser KB, Rawlins AB, Clar RG, et al. Ser(P)-1292 LRRK2 in urinary exosomes is elevated in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2016. doi: 10.1002/mds.26686.
3. Greggio E, Cookson MR. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 mutations and Parkinson’s disease: three questions. ASN Neuro. 2009;1:e00002.

http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/neurocognitive-disorders/urinary-biomarker-of-parkinson-disease-identified/article/508195/?DCMP=EMC-PA_Update_RD&cpn=psych_md,psych_all&hmSubId=&hmEmail=5JIkN8Id_eWz7RlW__D9F5p_RUD7HzdI0&NID=1710903786&dl=0&spMailingID=14919209&spUserID=MTQ4MTYyNjcyNzk2S0&spJobID=820575619&spReportId=ODIwNTc1NjE5S0

Ein Weißfuß-Wieselmaki (Lepilemur leucopus) in seinem Schlafbaum.

Emily loves Justin – Stop global warming – Two more weeks till I graduate!: The exchange of information in public toilets is widespread. It also occurs in the world of white-footed sportive lemurs. Only instead of writing on the walls, they use scent-marks in order to communicate with their own kind.. In a study published online in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Iris Dröscher and Peter Kappeler from the German Primate Center (DPZ) have found that the urine left on latrine trees serves as a method to maintain contact with family members. It also serves as a means to inform an intruder that there is a male that will defend his partner. Latrines thus serve as information exchange centers and promote social bonding in territorial nocturnal animals that do not live in closely-knit groups.

In the animal kingdom, the use of latrines, which serve as specific locations for urination and defecation, is a common occurrence. Because little is known about why primates, in particular, use the same latrines over and over, the researchers set out to investigate this phenomenon among white-footed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur leucopus) in southern Madagascar. Do they hint to others that they want to defend their mate or territory? Or, do they indicate the fertility of the female? Or do they promote exchange of information within a group and support social bonding? To answer these questions, the researchers wanted to establish where such latrines were found, and if they were used differently between seasons and between individuals of different ages and sexes. In the process, Dröscher and Kappeler spent over 1,000 hours watching the toilet habits of 14 radio-collared adult sportive lemurs.

White-footed sportive lemurs are nocturnal tree-dwellers that are found exclusively in southern Madagascar. They live together in families consisting of parents and their offspring. Even though the family members share a common territory, the individuals do not interact much. Neither do pair-partners sleep in the same tree nor do they associate while foraging. But what they have in common are latrines that are located in the core of their territory. All members of the family visit the same latrines for defecation and urination. Dröscher and Kappeler believe the latrines are a way in which to maintain familiarity and social bonding among members of a social unit, who otherwise have very little contact with each other. Such scent signals are picked up from urine that stains the tree trunks rather than feces that accumulate on the ground under the trees.

Males visited the latrines more often during nights when an intruder invaded the territory. In addition, the males placed scent marks from their specialized anogenital glands preferentially in latrines. “This indicates that latrine use in this primate species should also be connected to mate defense,” says Iris Dröscher, a PhD student at the German Primate Center.

“Scent marks transmit a variety of information such as sexual and individual identity and may function to signal an individual’s presence and identity to others,” continues Dröscher. “Latrines therefore serve as information exchange centers of individual-specific information.”

“Especially nocturnal species with limited habitat visibility and low inter-individual cohesion profit from predictable areas for information exchange to facilitate communication,” says Peter Kappeler, head of the Department for Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology at the DPZ. “The white-footed sportive lemur has found these information centers by means of latrine use.”

More information: Dröscher I, Kappeler PM (2014): “Maintenance of familiarity and social bonding via communal latrine use in a solitary primate (Lepilemur leucopus).” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, DOI: 10.1007/s00265-014-1810-z

http://phys.org/news/2014-10-lemurs-latrines-exchange-centers.html

teeth2

Scientists have grown rudimentary teeth out of the most unlikely of sources, human urine.

The results, published in Cell Regeneration Journal, showed that urine could be used as a source of stem cells that in turn could be grown into tiny tooth-like structures.

The team from China hopes the technique could be developed into a way of replacing lost teeth.

Other stem cell researchers caution that that goal faces many challenges.

Teams of researchers around the world are looking for ways of growing new teeth to replace those lost with age and poor dental hygiene.

Stem cells – the master cells which can grow into any type of tissue – are a popular area of research.

The group at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health used urine as the starting point.

Cells which are normally passed from the body, such as those from the lining of the body’s waterworks, are harvested in the laboratory. These collected cells are then coaxed into becoming stem cells.

A mix of these cells and other material from a mouse was implanted into the animals.

The researchers said that after three weeks the bundle of cells started to resemble a tooth: “The tooth-like structure contained dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ.”

However, the “teeth” were not as hard as natural teeth.

This piece of research is not immediately going to lead to new options for the dentist, but the researchers say it could lead to further studies towards “the final dream of total regeneration of human teeth for clinical therapy”.

Prof Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, said urine was a poor starting point.

“It is probably one of the worst sources, there are very few cells in the first place and the efficiency of turning them into stem cells is very low.

“You just wouldn’t do it in this way.”

He also warned that the risk of contamination, such as through bacteria, was much higher than with other sources of cells.

Prof Mason added: “The big challenge here is the teeth have got a pulp with nerve and blood vessels which have to make sure they integrate to get permanent teeth.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23492425

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

hydrogen-from-urine-for-cars

British scientists said they have harnessed the power of urine and are able to charge a mobile phone with enough electricity to send texts and surf the Internet.

Researchers from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory in south west England said they had created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down urine to generate electricity, in a study published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

“No one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it’s an exciting discovery,” said engineer Ioannis Ieropoulos Tuesday.

“The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the sun; we are actually reusing waste to create energy.

“One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine,” he added.

The team grew bacteria on carbon fibre anodes and placed them inside ceramic cylinders.

The bacteria broke down chemicals in urine passed through the cylinders, building up a small amount of electrical charge which was stored on a capacitor.

Ieropoulos hoped that the cell, which is currently the size of a car battery, could be developed for many applications.

“Our aim is to have something that can be carried around easily,” he explained.

“So far the microbial fuel power stack (MFC) that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call.

“The concept has been tested and it works – it’s now for us to develop and refine the process so that we can develop MFCs to fully charge a battery.”

They hope the technology will eventually be used to power domestic devices.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/17/scientists-power-mobile-phone-using-urine/#ixzz2ZJII394D

sn-hyrax

When it comes to peering into Africa’s climate past, the ancient homes of hyraxes are number one. Paleoclimatologists typically dig up muddy core samples and analyze their pollen content for clues to long-ago weather, but parts of southern and central Africa are too dry to preserve such evidence. Enter the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) (inset), a furry mammal that looks like a large groundhog but is actually a distant cousin of the elephant. Brian Chase, a geographical scientist at the University of Montpellier in France, turned to urine accretions left by the animals thousands of years ago; hyrax colonies use the same rock shelters for generation after generation, depositing pollen, calcium remnants, charcoal particles, stable isotopes, and other detritus in their urine (black splotches on rock in main image). Most climate models predict arid conditions in southern Africa 12,000 years ago, but the pollen content of hyrax urine from that period indicates that they ate grasses, which flourish in wetter conditions Chase, who reported his findings here today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW), believes his method can be used to give researchers a wealth of data to improve their models of Africa’s paleohistory. “You can turn a 2-meter pile of pee into a very nice section which you can bring back to the lab,” he told the audience. “These are very high-resolution records.”

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/02/scienceshot-ancient-pee-provides.html?ref=hp

Thanks to Dr. Rajadhyaksha for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Intereting community.

cow

Demand for ‘Gomutra Arka’, a medicine distilled out of cow urine, is on the rise in Mangalore, India. An arka manufacturer on the outskirts of the city, who supplies around 10 litres a day, claims that even the educated are using the ayurvedic preparation regularly to prevent diseases.

Govanithashraya Trust manufactures gomutra arka at its goshala (cow shelter) in Beejaguri at Pajeer, 26 km from the city. Goshala in-charge Santhosh Kumar told TOI that they have plans to expand the manufacture unit as the demand for gomutra arka is increasing.

“We take care of more than 300 cows of various breeds. “Gomutra arka is effective in checking 109 types of diseases if consumed regularly as per the prescribed dosage. It increases resistance power, life span and purifies the blood, reduces cholesterol and checks obesity. It is also effective in skin diseases, acidity, kidney ailments and other diseases,” he claimed adding that even doctors use it routinely to prevent diseases.

Cow urine collected from local breeds like malenadu gidda, hallikaru and kankrej are used to make arka. “An average of 10 litres of arka is sold at our outlet in the city. There are other manufacturers, who also market arka in the city,” he added.

Santhosh underwent training in making organic products from panchagavyas (cow urine, cow dung, milk, ghee and curd) at a goshala in Devarapur in Nagpur. He makes medicines like gomootra arka, ghanvati, harde churna, kala taila, madhu meha churna, padasputana, goumaya taila, soundarya face pack, tooth powder, kapila bath soap and many other items using panchagavyas and medicinal herbs at the goshala. The products made at the goshala are sold through an outlet in the city.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-15/mangalore/37118603_1_cow-urine-cow-dung-cow-shelter

bunny-rabbit

It’s a problem that plagues passengers who park at Denver International Airport- bunnies are causing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in damage to cars. The rabbits eat the wires under the hood. The USDA Wildlife Service is removing at least 100 bunnies every month but the problem persists.

“I see at least dozens every morning. They go hide under the cars and the cars are warm,” said airport shuttle driver Michelle Anderson.

“They like to chew on the insulator portion of the ignition cables. That’s what we see,” said Arapahoe Autotek spokesman Wiley Faris.

Faris said rabbit damage is a common problem. The suspects are easily identified by the fur and pellets left behind. “That wiring harness has all the wiring for the car so it can run from the hundreds into the thousands depending on where the harness is damaged,” said Faris.

USAirport Parking is taking action to keep the bunnies out of vehicles.

“It’s hard to get rid of the bunnies but we’re going to try as many natural things as possible,” said an USAirport Parking employee.

Crews will install new fencing to make it harder for the bunnies to burrow under.

“We’re also going to build raptor perches for the hawks and eagles,” said USAirport Parking.

Local mechanics are also giving drivers a secret weapon: coyote urine. They’re coating car wires with the substance. “We have found a good deterrent is predator urine, you can pick up fox urine at any pro hunting shop,” said Faris.

DIA and City of Denver officials said parking permits clearly state they are not responsible for any damage which means repairs needed because of ravenous rabbits are the responsibility of the driver. DIA said they have only received a handful of claims concerning rabbits damaging cars in recent years. Since 2009 there have been nine official claims from passengers reporting damage to their cars from rabbits.

DIA said more than 11,720 cars are parked on the property each day. Most insurance companies won’t cover the costs of rabbit damage.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/02/14/dia-parking-lots-consider-measures-to-stop-bunnies-from-attacking-cars/?hpt=us_bn10