Posts Tagged ‘Populations’

Democracy Threatened When Census Undercounts Populations

The 2020 U.S. Census is still two years away, but experts and civil rights groups are already disputing the results. Professor Emily Merchant’s research on the international history of demography demonstrates that the question of how to equitably count the population is not new, nor is it unique to the United States.

The post Democracy Threatened When Census Undercounts Populations appeared first on Social Science Space.

Synthetic vulnerabilities of mesenchymal subpopulations in pancreatic cancer

Malignant neoplasms evolve in response to changes in oncogenic signalling. Cancer cell plasticity in response to evolutionary pressures is fundamental to tumour progression and the development of therapeutic resistance. Here we determine the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer cell plasticity in a conditional oncogenic Kras mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a malignancy that displays considerable phenotypic diversity and morphological heterogeneity. In this model, stochastic extinction of oncogenic Kras signalling and emergence of Kras-independent escaper populations (cells that acquire oncogenic properties) are associated with de-differentiation and aggressive biological behaviour. Transcriptomic and functional analyses of Kras-independent escapers reveal the presence of Smarcb1–Myc-network-driven mesenchymal reprogramming and independence from MAPK signalling. A somatic mosaic model of PDAC, which allows time-restricted perturbation of cell fate, shows that depletion of Smarcb1 activates the Myc network, driving an anabolic switch that increases protein metabolism and adaptive activation of endoplasmic-reticulum-stress-induced survival pathways. Increased protein turnover renders mesenchymal sub-populations highly susceptible to pharmacological and genetic perturbation of the cellular proteostatic machinery and the IRE1-α–MKK4 arm of the endoplasmic-reticulum-stress-response pathway. Specifically, combination regimens that impair the unfolded protein responses block the emergence of aggressive mesenchymal subpopulations in mouse and patient-derived PDAC models. These molecular and biological insights inform a potential therapeutic strategy for targeting aggressive mesenchymal features of PDAC.

Extinction threatens 60% of world’s primates

Sixty percent of the world’s primates face extinction. “We are at a turning point where we must take action or lose many species during the next 50 years.”

Are humans evolving, due to technological changes?

From Darren Curnoe at RealClearScience: Geneticists have found clear evidence that the choices people make can have profound impacts on the evolution of entire populations, and ultimately, our species as well. Some striking examples have been found like that both women and men are currently under selection for earlier age at first birth across a […]

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