Global Science News for 11 Dec 2018
Last week, news of CRISPR-engineered babies launched a firestorm of debate on the future of human reproduction: Is it safe? Is it ethical? Do we now have the ability to "play God"? But even as... scientists, ethicists, and the general public struggled with the implications of a fundamentally-altered reproductive future, other teams released results that […]
(University of California - San Diego) Home energy storage systems might save you money, but under current policies, they would also often increase carbon emissions. That is the conclusion reached by... a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego in a study published recently in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
For the first time, researchers have fabricated light-guiding structures known as waveguides just over one micron wide in a clear silicone commonly used for biomedical applications. The tiny, flexible... waveguides can be used to make light-based devices such as biomedical sensors and endoscopes that are smaller and more complex than currently possible.
Researchers report low levels of GABA producing bacteria is associated with brain signatures of depression. They believe it may be possible to treat clinical depression by increasing GABA producing... bacteria.
Researchers have identified 14 genetic regions linked to activity.
According to researchers, brainwaves play a crucial role in inhibiting habitual thinking, leading us to explore more complex and creative ideas.
A team of researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Aarhus University in Denmark has developed an algorithm for predicting the effect of an external electromagnetic field on... the state of complex molecules. The algorithm, which is based on a theory developed earlier by the same team, predicts tunneling ionization rates of molecules. This refers to the probability that an electron will bypass the potential barrier and escape from its parent molecule. The new algorithm, presented in a paper in the Journal of Chemical Physics, enables researchers to look inside large polyatomic molecules, observe and potentially control electron motion therein.
In recent years, the observation of single protein molecules has made a phenomenal development, and it has become possible to observe molecular dynamics in vivo at high-speed and with high accuracy.... In conventional DXT (Diffracted X-ray Tracking), by labeling with a gold nanocrystal a specific site of a target protein molecule and by observing the positional change of the diffracted X-ray spots from the labeled gold nanocrystal with time-resolution of micro-second and pico-meter precision, we could successfully measure the internal motions of single molecules using DXT.
A law designed to open up civilian access to the skies in India overturns a ban on drones, but only by giving the government automated control over when they can take off
How atoms arrange themselves at the smallest scale was thought to follow a 'drum-skin' rule, but mathematicians have now found a simpler solution.
A terahertz laser designed by MIT researchers is the first to reach three key performance goals at once--high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning--and could thus be... valuable for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging.
Neurons are brain cells that communicate with each other by sending electrochemical signals along axons. When a neuron is about to release a signal in the form of an electric charge, it allows ions to... pass through its membrane via ion channels. This ion transfer creates an electrical potential difference between the inside and outside of the cell, and that difference is referred to as the membrane potential.
Most lasers emit photons of exactly the same wavelength, producing a single color. However, there are also lasers that consist of many frequencies, with equal intervals in between, as in the teeth of... a comb; thus, they are referred to as "frequency combs." Frequency combs are perfect for detecting a variety of chemical substances.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx probe, which just arrived at the asteroid Bennu last week, has already found lots of hydrated minerals on the space rock, mission team members announced today (Dec. 10).
Following an epic 20-year-long excavation in South Africa, researchers have finally recovered and cleaned the nearly-complete skeleton of an ancient human relative.
Why did megalodon go extinct? New research has answers, and the shark's high body temperature likely played a part.
Some simple tips, including weighing yourself regularly, can help prevent holiday weight gain, a new study finds.
(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) EPFL researchers have developed a method to observe the electrical activity of neurons by analyzing the behavior of surrounding water molecules. This... simple and non-invasive method, which could eliminate the need for electrodes and fluorophores, can be used to monitor the activity within a single neuron or potentially on an entire region of the brain.
(National University of Singapore) Professor Dean Ho, Director of the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology at the National University of Singapore, has been elected as a Fellow of the United States... National Academy of Inventors, the highest professional accolade for academic inventors.
(University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health have found a possible connection between the intensity of oil and gas exploration in an area and... early indicators of cardiovascular disease among nearby residents.
(University of Alaska Fairbanks) Seventy percent of the current infrastructure in the Arctic has a high potential to be affected by thawing permafrost in the next 30 years. Even meeting the climate... change targets of the Paris Agreement will not substantially reduce those projected impacts, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.
(University of Kansas) The effects of a supernova -- and possibly more than one -- on large ocean life like school-bus-sized Megalodon 2.6 million years ago are detailed in a paper just published in... Astrobiology.
(University of Basel) A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth - this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's... Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in Cell Reports, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
(Yale University) In a new study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, chemistry professor Victor Batista and his colleagues used the Google algorithm... PageRank to identify key amino acids in the regulation of a bacterial enzyme essential for most microorganisms.
(University of Münster) Cell biologists at the University of Münster have developed a new method for measuring how mechanical forces in cells are processed. The results have been published in the... journal "Nature Communications".