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Last feed update: Saturday October 20th, 2018 05:50:44 PM

A new way to measure nearly nothing

Friday October 19th, 2018 11:19:42 PM
Scientists have designed a vacuum gauge, based on ultracold trapped atoms, is small enough to deploy in commonly used vacuum chambers.

Genomic evidence of rapid adaptation of invasive Burmese pythons in Florida

Friday October 19th, 2018 11:19:38 PM
New researchers set out to determine whether pythons could have adapted to an extreme Florida freeze event in 2010. They generated data for dozens of samples before and after the freeze event. By scanning regions of the Burmese python genome, they identified parts of the genome that changed significantly between the two time periods, providing clear evidence of evolution occurring over a very short time scale in this population.

Earth’s inner core is solid, 'J waves' suggest

Friday October 19th, 2018 05:51:24 PM
A new study could help us understand how our planet was formed. Scientists report that their research shows that Earth's inner core is solid -- a finding made possible by a new method for detecting shear waves, or 'J waves' in the inner core.

Sleep apnea more deadly when patients experience short interrupted breaths

Friday October 19th, 2018 05:15:18 PM
Patients with sleep apnea who have short interruptions in breathing while they sleep are at higher risk for death than those with longer interruptions, according to a new study. The finding could help doctors better prevent long-term mortality associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Monkeys do not start to resemble their parents before puberty

Friday October 19th, 2018 02:06:55 PM
Researchers experienced human raters with digital images of rhesus macaques of different ages and asked them to identify related individuals. They found that although infant rhesus macaque faces are individually distinguishable, only just before they reach puberty can offspring be matched correctly to the faces of their parents.

Working lands play a key role in protecting biodiversity

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:11:03 PM
Diversifying working lands -- including farmland, rangeland and forests -- may be key to preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, says a new review article. These changes could extend the habitat of critters like bats, but also much larger creatures like bears, elk and other wildlife, outside the boundaries of protected areas, while creating more sustainable, and potentially more productive, working lands.

Producing defectless metal crystals of unprecedented size

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:11:00 PM
Researchers have developed a new method to convert inexpensive polycrystalline metal foils to single crystals with superior properties. It is expected that these materials will find many uses in science and technology.

Pushing the (extra cold) frontiers of superconducting science

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:57 PM
Scientists have developed a method to measure magnetic properties of superconducting and magnetic materials that exhibit unusual quantum behavior at very low temperatures in high magnetic fields.

Genetic breakthrough will aid whitebark pine conservation efforts

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:53 PM
A research team for the first time developed reliable genetic markers known as nuclear microsatellites for the whitebark pine, a discovery that could improve the tree's prospects for survival. Whitebark pine, which is declining rapidly nearly range-wide, is currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Social media for medical journals operates in 'wild west,' needs more support to succeed

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:50 PM
In this first study to examine social media editor roles at medical journals, researchers found that while medical journals are using social media more to extend the reach of new research, the responsibilities and measures of success for these roles aren't well defined or supported. More support is needed to get the information to the public more efficiently.

New cell movement process key to understanding and repairing facial malformations

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:47 PM
The embryonic stem cells that form facial features, called neural crest cells, use an unexpected mechanism of moving from the back of the head to the front to populate the face, finds a new study.

3D printers have 'fingerprints,' a discovery that could help trace 3D-printed guns

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:44 PM
Like fingerprints, no 3D printer is exactly the same. That's the takeaway from a new study that describes what's believed to be the first accurate method for tracing a 3D-printed object to the machine it came from. The advancement could help law enforcement and intelligence agencies track the origin of 3D-printed guns, counterfeit products and other goods.

To track how students ace the LSAT, watch their eyes

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:41 PM
Neuroscientists are tracking eye movements to understand how practicing tough reasoning tests like the LSAT makes students smarter.

Scientists grow functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells

Thursday October 18th, 2018 07:10:36 PM
A team of researchers has developed three-dimensional (3D) human tissue culture models for the central nervous system that mimic structural and functional features of the brain and demonstrate neural activity sustained over a period of many months. With the ability to populate a 3D matrix of silk protein and collagen with cells from patients with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other conditions, the tissue models allow for the exploration of cell interactions, disease and response to treatment

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: How DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:12:20 PM
How to create nanocages, i.e., robust and stable objects with regular voids and tunable properties? Short segments of DNA molecules are perfect candidates for the controllable design of novel complex structures. Physicists investigated methodologies to synthesize DNA-based dendrimers in the lab and to predict their behavior using detailed computer simulations.

New data science method makes charts easier to read at a glance

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:12:14 PM
Researchers have developed a new method -- 'Pixel Approximate Entropy' -- that measures the complexity of a data visualization and can be used to develop easier to read visualizations. 'In fast-paced settings, it is important to know if the visualization is going to be so complex that the signals may be obscured. The ability to quantify complexity is the first step towards automatically doing something about this.'

Superflares from young red dwarf stars imperil planets

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:12:04 PM
Flares from the youngest red dwarfs surveyed are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when the stars are older. This younger age is when terrestrial planets are forming around their stars.

Researchers propose CRISPR as influencer of low genetic diversity in deadly bacteria

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:52 PM
Scientists have shed light on the evolutionary history of a soil-borne bacteria that is so dangerous to grazing animals it is kept behind lock-and-key to prevent its spread.

Estimating the feeding habits of corals may offer new insights on resilient reefs

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:49 PM
Researchers have found that corals living in more productive waters take advantage of the increased food availability. The findings reevaluate scientific understanding of how corals survive and could aid predictions on coral recovery in the face of climate change.

Wheel running measures mouse distress better

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:35 PM
The amount of time a mouse spends running on the wheel provides an accurate and objective measure of the discomfort induced by research procedures, according to a new study. The finding may improve care and reduce suffering for animal subjects, a key goal of statutory guidelines governing animal welfare in biomedical research.

Bug guts shed light on Central America Chagas disease

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:32 PM
In Central America, Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is spread by the 'kissing bug' Triatoma dimidiata. By collecting DNA from the guts of these bugs, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have described patterns in the behavior of the bugs, the strain of parasite, and the communities of microbes that interact with the parasite.

Piranha-like specimen, 150 million years old, is earliest known flesh-eating fish

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:29 PM
Researchers have described a remarkable new species of fish that lived in the sea about 150 million years ago in the time of the dinosaurs. The new species of bony fish had teeth like a piranha, which the researchers suggest they used as piranhas do: to bite off chunks of flesh from other fish.

Weight loss success linked with active self-control regions of the brain

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:26 PM
New research suggests that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight. In a study among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated more activity in the brain regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex associated with self-control.

Bioceramics power the mantis shrimp's famous punch

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:21 PM
Researchers in Singapore can now explain what gives the mantis shrimp, a marine crustacean that hunts by battering its prey with its club-like appendages, the most powerful punch in the animal kingdom. They show that a saddle-shaped structure in the mantis shrimp's limbs, which acts like a spring to store and then release energy, is composed of two layers made of different materials.

Not all prion strains interfere with each other

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:18 PM
The first example of prion strains that replicate independently in vitro and in vivo suggests that strain diversity may be greater than previously thought, according to a new study.

Roadmap for quantum internet development

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:15 PM
Researchers have published a comprehensive guide towards a quantum internet. It describes six phases, starting with simple networks of qubits that could already enable secure quantum communications -- a phase that could be reality in the near future. The development ends with networks of fully quantum-connected quantum computers. In each phase, new applications become available such as extremely accurate clock synchronization or integrating different telescopes on Earth in one virtual 'supertelescope.'

Asthma's effects on airways at the single cell level

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:13 PM
By sequencing genetic material at a cell-by-cell level, researchers have described how type 2-high asthma affects the airways and results in mucus production with more detail than ever before. These findings, which help move forward scientific understanding of the biology behind asthma and could inform the development of targeted treatments for asthma and other airway diseases.

New tool helps align investment with objectives in biodiversity conservation

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:10 PM
Researchers developed a tool, called the Recovery Explorer, that can be used to help guide conservation scientists in making decisions on how to best use limited funds to conserve the greatest number of species. The tool was developed in collaboration with US Fish & Wildlife Services scientists in a two-year project supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

First proof of quantum computer advantage

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:07 PM
Quantum computers promise to revolutionize the future of computing. Scientists have now demonstrated for the first time that quantum computers do indeed offer advantages over conventional computers. They developed a quantum circuit that can solve a problem that is unsolvable using any equivalent classical circuit.

New insight into the evolution of the nervous system

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:05 PM
Pioneering research has given a fascinating fresh insight into how animal nervous systems evolved from simple structures to become the complex network transmitting signals between different parts of the body.

3D-printed supercapacitor electrode breaks records in lab tests

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:11:02 PM
Scientists have reported unprecedented performance results for a supercapacitor electrode. The researchers fabricated electrodes using a printable graphene aerogel to build a porous three-dimensional scaffold loaded with pseudocapacitive material. In laboratory tests, the novel electrodes achieved the highest areal capacitance (electric charge stored per unit of electrode surface area) ever reported for a supercapacitor.

Electrical properties of dendrites help explain our brain's unique computing power

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:57 PM
Neuroscientists have discovered that human dendrites have very different electrical properties from those of other species. These differences may contribute to the enhanced computing power of the human brain.

Expanding the optogenetics toolkit

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:44 PM
A new molecular engineering technique has the potential to double the number of light-sensitive proteins available for studying brain circuits.

MS genes formerly missing-in-action have been found

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:41 PM
Scientists have cracked a tough nut in multiple sclerosis: where are all the genes?

Making gene therapy delivery safer and more efficient

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:38 PM
Viral vectors used to deliver gene therapies undergo spontaneous changes during manufacturing which affects their structure and function. As gene therapy approaches become more common for treating disease, managing consistency of the molecular makeup of the virus particles that deliver genes is a key concern in manufacturing on a larger scale.

Brain cells called astrocytes have unexpected role in brain 'plasticity'

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:35 PM
Researchers have shown that astrocytes -- long-overlooked supportive cells in the brain -- help to enable the brain's plasticity, a new role for astrocytes that was not previously known. The findings could point to ways to restore connections that have been lost due to aging or trauma.

Insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:10:33 PM
Personal electronic devices are a growing source of the world's electronic waste. Many of these products use nanomaterials, but little is known about how nanoparticles interact with the environment. Now chemists have discovered that when certain coated nanoparticles interact with living organisms it results in new properties that cause the nanoparticles to become sticky. Nanoparticles with 5-nanometer diameters form long kelp-like structures that are microns in size. The impact on cells is not known.

Study points to new method to deliver drugs to the brain

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:52:14 PM
Researchers have discovered a potentially new approach to deliver therapeutics more effectively to the brain. The research could have implications for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and brain cancer.

Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:52:10 PM
Diamond nanomaterials are considered hot candidates for low-cost photocatalysts. They can be activated by light and can then accelerate certain reactions between water and CO2 and produce carbon-neutral 'solar fuels'. The EU project DIACAT has now doped such diamond materials with boron and shown at BESSY II how this could significantly improve the photocatalytic properties.

Aerobic exercise has antidepressant treatment effects

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:52:07 PM
An analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials indicates that supervised aerobic exercise has large antidepressant treatment effects for patients with major depression.

Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:54 PM
Developed countries imposing their own Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes onto nations recovering from war often rely on entrenched colonial attitudes with no guarantee of success. Researchers looked at the Democratic Republic Congo and Nepal contrasting their outcomes and examining the reasons for success or failure of SSR policies based on Europe. They question whether the systems work in their countries of origin where statistics show ongoing institutional racism.

Unfolding secret stability of bendy straws

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:49 PM
Collapsible dog bowls and bendable straws seem to work on a common principle, snapping into stable and useful states, but mechanisms have remained elusive. Now a team led by polymer scientists discuss how 'pre-stress' built into the structure helps them function.

Colored filter improves dyslexic children's reading speed

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:48 PM
Volunteers aged 9-10 with dyslexia took less time to read passages from children's books, possibly thanks to attenuated excitability of the cerebral cortex.

'Geek Girl' gamers are more likely to study science and technology degrees

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:44 PM
Girls who play video games are three times more likely to choose physical science, technology, engineering or maths (PSTEM) degrees compared to their non-gaming counterparts, according to new research.

New tool uses your smartphone camera to track your alertness at work

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:41 PM
Our level of alertness rises and falls over the course of a workday, sometimes causing our energy to drop and our minds to wander just as we need to perform important tasks. To help understand these patterns and improve productivity, researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.

New material, manufacturing process use sun's heat for cheaper renewable electricity

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:38 PM
Scientists have developed a new material and manufacturing process that would make one way to use solar power -- as heat energy -- more efficient in generating electricity.

Kids health outcomes have more to do with parents level of education than income

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:36 PM
A recent study finds that parents educated beyond high school have healthier families, as they invest more in family health care which reduces the likelihood of adverse medical conditions.

Bee social or buzz off: Study links genes to social behaviors, including autism

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:33 PM
A new study found that the social lives of sweat bees -- named for their attraction to perspiration -- are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism.

Environmental associations with genes may yield opportunities for precision medicine

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:51:28 PM
A new approach to genetic analysis finds associations between environmental factors and pharmacogenes -- genes associated with a person's response to drugs -- sparking ideas for new research at the interface of population genetics and medicine.

A clearer path to clean air in China

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:49:48 PM
New research shows that a key to reducing extreme wintertime air pollution in China may be reducing formaldehyde emissions rather than sulfur dioxide.

The big problem of small data: A new approach

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:49:37 PM
You've heard of 'big data' but what about small? Researches have crafted a modern approach that could solve a decades-old problem in statistics.

Infection biology: Staying a step ahead of the game

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:43 PM
Trypanosoma brucei, which causes sleeping sickness, evades the immune system by repeatedly altering the structure of its surface coat. Sequencing of its genome and studies of its 3D genome architecture have now revealed crucial molecular aspects of this strategy.

Extremely small magnetic nanostructures with invisibility cloak imaged

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:40 PM
In novel concepts of magnetic data storage, it is intended to send small magnetic bits back and forth in a chip structure, store them densely packed and read them out later. The magnetic stray field generates problems when trying to generate particularly tiny bits. Now, researchers were able to put an 'invisibility cloak' over the magnetic structures. In this fashion, the magnetic stray field can be reduced in a fashion allowing for small yet mobile bits.

Biological invisibility cloak: Elucidating cuttlefish camouflage

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:37 PM
Computational image analysis of behaving cuttlefish reveals principles of control and development of a biological invisibility cloak.

Consumers choose smartphones mostly because of their appearance

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:30 PM
The more attractive the image and design of the telephone, the stronger the emotional relationship that consumers are going to have with the product, which is a clear influence on their purchasing decision. After analysing the data collected, the experts indicated that technical characteristics and functionality are the next factors to influence the purchase of smartphones.

How plants bind their green pigment chlorophyll

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:25 PM
Water-soluble protein helps to understand the photosynthetic apparatus.

Medicating distress: Risky sedative prescriptions for older adults vary widely

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:21 PM
A new study shows wide variation in prescriptions of sedative drugs, called benzodiazepines, to people with Medicare coverage. Some counties, especially in southern and rural western states, had three times the level of sedative prescribing as others. The study also highlights gaps at the level of individual prescribers: Some primary care providers prescribed sedatives more than six times more often than their peers. These high-intensity prescribers also tended to be high-intensity prescribers of opioid painkillers.

Big-picture approach to understanding cancer will speed new treatments

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:19 PM
The new approach lets scientists examine the cumulative effect of multiple gene mutations, providing a much more complete picture of cancers' causes.

Pathogens may evade immune response with metal-free enzyme required for DNA replication

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:16 PM
A new study shows that some bacterial pathogens, including those that cause strep throat and pneumonia, are able to create the components necessary to replicate their DNA using a ribonucleotide reductase enzyme that does not require a metal ion cofactor.

South American marsupials discovered to reach new heights

Thursday October 18th, 2018 02:53:13 PM
There have long been speculations that the mouse-sized marsupial monito del monte climbs to lofty heights in the trees. Yet, no previous records exist documenting such arboreal habits for this creature. Researchers set motion-sensing camera traps to capture photographic evidence confirming the high-climbing theories surrounding this miniature mammal.






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