SciBites: Week of September 23rd

SciBites: Week of September 23rd

Managing chronic kidney disease

A five-year study based in the U.K. followed over 1,700 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and found that a majority of patients with mild CKD managed by primary care doctors have a
benign disease with little risk of progression and complications. At the end of the study, researchers found that 34 percent of the patients still had stable mild CKD, 19 percent met the criteria for complete remission of CKD and only 0.2 percent of the patients had progressed to end-stage disease. These statistics on how patients progressed may not be applicable to all CKD patients since the study population was predominantly elderly and white. However, the authors say the new analysis highlights that “management of CKD in primary care should focus principally on identifying the minority of people at high risk of adverse outcomes.”

New pterosaur found in Brazil

Brazilian scientists from the Museu Nacional and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro may have discovered a new species of dinosaur belonging to the tapejarine family, a group of toothless pterosaurs that are known for their prominent cranial crests and downturned snouts. The researchers uncovered an almost complete lower jawbone in the Crato Formation in Brazil with traits that suggest it is a primitive species, as well as more advanced characteristics that are not known to have existed in its previous ancestors.

Sleep cycle affects malignant breast cancer’s spread

A new study finds that the expression of a gene in the circadian rhythm pathway called Arntl2 has a significant effect on whether certain breast cancers will metastasize to form additional tumors. Using mice, researchers at the National Cancer Institute tested the relationship between breast cancer metastasis and circadian rhythm genes. They found that risk of metastasis of certain forms of breast cancer depended on variations in Arntl2 expression. The authors note in the study that this finding could help explain the previous suggestion that nightshift workers may have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Image Credit: Figure 1 Holotype of Aymberedactylus cearensis by Rodrigo Begas et al.  PLOS ONE


Jen is the Editorial Media Manager at PLOS. Before her time at PLOS, she's worked in broadcast news, radio and online media.

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