29,258 science & technology articles
  • Chrome 37 Beta released
    Just a day after releasing the stable version of Chrome 36 Google has announced the release of Chrome 37 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Now Windows users will be happy to learn support for DirectWrite, a text layout rendering API that first arrived in Windows Vista, has finally been implemented. This is a technology that improves the way fonts look on modern screens. … Read more
  • Study shows state legislators in favor of voter ID laws are motivated by racial bias
    Groundbreaking research by USC Dornsife’s Christian Grose, associate professor of political science, and doctoral candidate Matthew Mendez has shown that lawmakers who support voter ID laws are more likely to show racial bias against Latino constituents. “We wanted to find out if we could detect bias among legislators toward certain groups of people affected by voter ID laws,” Mendez said. Such laws require registered voters to show government-issued ID, such as a driving license, before they can vote. … Read more
  • Toxoplasma gondii can stop cancer in its tracks as a vaccine
    From the litter box to the laboratory, a microscopic organism native to cats shows promise in treating cancer. Dartmouth researchers’ mutated strain of T. gondii reprograms the natural power of the immune system to kill cells. … Read more
  • New findings show strikingly early seeding of HIV viral reservoir
    The most critical barrier for curing HIV-1 infection is the presence of the viral reservoir, the cells in which the HIV virus can lie dormant for many years and avoid elimination by antiretroviral drugs. Very little has been known about when and where the viral reservoir is established during acute HIV-1 infection, or the extent to which it is susceptible to early antiretroviral therapy (ART). … Read more
  • Metabolic enzyme stops progression of most common type of kidney cancer
    In an analysis of small molecules called metabolites used by the body to make fuel in normal and cancerous cells in human kidney tissue, a research team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania identified an enzyme key to applying the brakes on tumor growth. The team found that an enzyme called FBP1 – essential for regulating metabolism – binds to a transcription factor in the nucleus of certain kidney cells and restrains energy production in the cell body. What’s more, they determined that this enzyme is missing from all kidney tumor tissue analyzed. These tumor cells without FBP1 produce energy at a much faster rate than their non-cancer cell counterparts. When FBP1 is working properly, out-of-control cell growth is kept in check. … Read more
  • Scientists map one of most important proteins in life—and cancer
    Scientists reveal the structure of one of the most important and complicated proteins in cell division – a fundamental process in life and the development of cancer – in research published in Nature today (Sunday). Images of the gigantic protein in unprecedented detail will transform scientists’ understanding of exactly how cells copy their chromosomes and divide, and could reveal binding sites for future cancer drugs. … Read more
  • Scientists discover genetic cause of common breast tumours in women
    Singapore, 21 July 2014 – A multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, and Singapore General Hospital have made a seminal breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis of fibroadenoma, one of the most common breast tumours diagnosed in women. The team, led by Professors Teh Bin Tean, Patrick Tan, Tan Puay Hoon and Steve Rozen, used advanced DNA sequencing technologies to identify a critical gene called MED12 that was repeatedly disrupted in nearly 60% of fibroadenoma cases. Their findings have been published in the top-ranked journal Nature Genetics. … Read more
  • Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate, study shows
    The size and age of plants has more of an impact on their productivity than temperature and precipitation, according to a landmark study by University of Arizona researchers. UA professor Brian Enquist and postdoctoral researcher Sean Michaletz, along with collaborators Dongliang Cheng from Fujian Normal University in China and Drew Kerkhoff from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, have combined a new mathematical theory with data from more than 1,000 forests across the world to show that climate has a relatively minor direct effect on net primary productivity, or the amount of biomass that plants produce by harvesting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. … Read more
  • Speedy computation enables scientists to reconstruct an animal’s development cell by cell
    Recent advances in imaging technology are transforming how scientists see the cellular universe, showing the form and movement of once grainy and blurred structures in stunning detail. But extracting the torrent of information contained in those images often surpasses the limits of existing computational and data analysis techniques, leaving scientists less than satisfied. … Read more
  • Mixing it up: Study provides new insight into Southern Ocean behaviour
    A new study has found that turbulent mixing in the deep waters of the Southern Ocean, which has a profound effect on global ocean circulation and climate, varies with the strength of surface eddies – the ocean equivalent of storms in the atmosphere – and possibly also wind speeds. It is the first study to link eddies at the surface to deep mixing on timescales of months to decades. … Read more
  • Team finds sea level rise in western tropical Pacific anthropogenic
    A new study led by Old Dominion University and the University of Colorado Boulder indicates sea levels likely will continue to rise in the tropical Pacific Ocean off the coasts of the Philippines and northeastern Australia as humans continue to alter the climate. … Read more
  • Common gene variants account for most genetic risk for autism
    Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date. … Read more
  • A noble gas cage: New material traps gases from nuclear fuel better
    Richland, Wash. — When nuclear fuel gets recycled, the process releases radioactive krypton and xenon gases. Naturally occurring uranium in rock contaminates basements with the related gas radon. A new porous material called CC3 effectively traps these gases, and research appearing July 20 in Nature Materials shows how: by breathing enough to let the gases in but not out. … Read more
  • Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity
    Berkeley — New technology under development at the University of California, Berkeley, could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition. A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. They noted that it could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists. … Read more
  • Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory
    Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new Dartmouth study in the journalDevelopmental Science tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing, a crucial component of the reading shift theory. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don’t switch until after fifth. … Read more
  • Twin study suggests that language delay due more to nature than nurture
    A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found that compared to single-born children, 47 percent of 24-month-old identical twins had language delay compared to 31 percent of non-identical twins. Overall, twins had twice the rate of late language emergence of single-born children. None of the children had disabilities affecting language acquisition. … Read more
  • First Ab Initio Method for Characterizing Hot Carriers Could Hold the Key to Future Solar Cell Efficiencies
    One of the major road blocks to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells may have been cleared. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed the first ab initio method – meaning a theoretical model free of adjustable or empirical parameters – for characterizing the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. … Read more
  • BitPay Launches Facebook App
    Now you can get bitcoins from your Facebook friends. BitPay has announced a new Facebook App for easy bitcoin sharing. This App allows users an easy way to trade bitcoin in-person.  … Read more
  • The problem of false balance when reporting on science
    Who needs balance? Adrian Berg, CC BY-NC How do you know the people billed as science experts that you see, hear and read about in the media are really all that credible? Or have they been included just to create a perception of balance in the coverage of an issue? It’s a problem for any media and something the BBC’s Trust is trying to address in its latest report on science impartiality in programming. … Read more
  • New potential way to control spread of insect-borne disease
    A cross-disciplinary team is calling for public discussion about a potential new way to solve longstanding global ecological problems by using an emerging technology called “gene drives.” The advance could potentially lead to powerful new ways of combating malaria and other insect-borne diseases, controlling invasive species and promoting sustainable agriculture. … Read more
  • Researchers combine hundreds of videos to reconstruct 3D motion without markers
    Carnegie Mellon researchers created this 3D reconstruction of a man swinging a baseball bat using 480 videos that traced the trajectories of thousands of points on the bat and batter.  Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed techniques for combining the views of 480 video cameras mounted in a two-story geodesic dome to perform large-scale 3D motion reconstruction, including volleyball games, the swirl of air currents and even a cascade of confetti. Though the research was performed in a specialized, heavily instrumented video laboratory, Yaser Sheikh, an assistant research professor of robotics who led the research team, said the techniques might eventually be applied to large-scale reconstructions of sporting events or performances captured by hundreds of cameras wielded by spectators. … Read more
  • Scientists track gene activity when honey bees do and don’t eat honey
    Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive. This practice has come under scrutiny, however, in response to colony collapse disorder, the massive — and as yet not fully explained — annual die-off of honey bees in the U.S. and Europe. Some suspect that inadequate nutrition plays a role in honey bee declines. … Read more
  • Researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells
    University of Houston researchers have devised a new method for extracting molecules from live cells without disrupting cell development, work that could provide new avenues for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The researchers used magnetized carbon nanotubes to extract biomolecules from live cells, allowing them to retrieve molecular information without killing the individual cells. A description of the work appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. … Read more
  • No evidence that California cellphone ban decreased accidents, study says
    In a recent study, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder found no evidence that a California ban on using hand-held cellphones while driving decreased the number of traffic accidents in the state in the first six months following the ban. The findings, published in the journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, are surprising given prior research that suggests driving while using a cellphone is risky. For example, past laboratory studies have shown that people who talk on a cellphone while using driving simulators are as impaired as people who are intoxicated. … Read more
  • Fires are major cause of wind farm failure, according to new research
    Fire is the second leading cause of accidents in wind turbines, after blade failure, according to research out today.   Wind farming is one of the leading industries in the renewable energy sector. However, the industry faces a number of challenges, such as opposition by wind farm lobbyists. Today’s research suggests that incidents of wind turbines catching fire are a big problem that is not currently being fully reported. Our research outlines a number of strategies that can be adopted by the industry to make turbines safer and more fire resistant in the future – Dr Guillermo Rein the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London Researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden carried out a global assessment of the world’s wind farms, which in total contain an estimated 200,000 turbines. The team found that ten times more fires are happening than are being reported. Instead of an average of 11.7 fires each year, which is what is reported publicly, the researchers estimate that more than 117 separate fires are breaking out in turbines annually. By comparison, with other energy industries, fire accidents are much less frequent in wind turbines than … Read more
  • Clone collection: First comprehensive library of master genetic switches in plants
    The collection could lead to the design of a more robust plant for future food The clones for the library were taken from Arabidopsis, a flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard. (Photo/Dawn Nagel) Dean Steve A. Kay and researchers at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences have created the first comprehensive library of genetic switches in plants, which will be available for scientists to use around the globe. The collection contains about 2,000 clones of plant transcription factors — nature’s genetic on-off switches. The research that made the library possible, an eight-year process, is published in Cell Reports. “They’re like smart missiles that go into the nucleus and bind to specific sequences of DNA,” Kay, corresponding author on the study, said of transcription factors. “They will regulate genes, switching them on or off, according to how that cell needs to respond to its environment.” Clones of these “master switches” are contained in the “wells” of microtiter plates. The library will be sent to stock centers, which will distribute the plates to national and international scientists studying plants. To those of us who stand in the aisle of the supermarket, it’s hard to believe there could be anything like … Read more
  • Faithful cell division requires tightly controlled protein placement at the centromeres
    Centromere (red) location and proper division of chromosomes (blue) by microtubules (green) in mitosis require the protein CENP-A to be deposited in the correct place.  When the the two kinases responsible for regulating this process–CDK and Plk1–are blocked, dividing cells have severe mitotic defects, including dramatically misaligned chromosomes and multipolar spindles (right), compared to normal cells (left). Image: Kara McKinley/Whitehead Institute From fertilized egg to adult, the cells of the human body go through an astronomical number of divisions. During division of any of the body’s roughly 30 trillion cells, DNA from the initial cell must be split precisely between the two resulting cells. Critical to successful cell division is the integrity of the centromere—a region of DNA on each chromosome where the cell division machinery attaches to segregate the chromosomes. For the segregation machinery to recognize this region, it must contain many copies of a pivotal protein known as CENP-A. … Read more
  • Russian meteorite sheds light on dinosaur extinction mystery
     A long-standing debate about the source of the asteroid that impacted the Earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs has been put to rest thanks to the Chelyabinsk meteorite that disintegrated over Russia in February 2013, a new paper published in the journal Icarus shows. … Read more
  • Scientists sleuth out proteins involved in Crohn’s disease
    University of Delaware researchers have identified a protein, hiding in plain sight, that acts like a bodyguard to help protect and stabilize another key protein, that when unstable, is involved in Crohn’s disease. The fundamental research points to a possible pathway for developing an effective therapy for the inflammatory bowel disease.  … Read more
  • Study shows how effects of starvation can be passed to future generations
    Starvation in roundworms induces changes in small RNAs, resulting in the transmission of acquired traits to subsequent generations. (Image by Columbia University Medical Center.)   Evidence from human famines and animal studies suggests that starvation can affect the health of descendants of famished individuals. But how such an acquired trait might be transmitted from one generation to the next has not been clear. A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in so-called small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement. The study, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers, offers intriguing new evidence that the biology of inheritance is more complicated than previously thought. The study was published in the July 10 online edition of the journal Cell. … Read more
  • Culture influences strategy in online coordination game
    People strategize better with those from their own culture and they are poor at predicting the behaviour of those from different cultures, suggests a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. … Read more
  • Lipoic acid helps restore, synchronize the ‘biological clock’
    Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and synchronize circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock” found in most life forms. The ability of lipoic acid to help restore a more normal circadian rhythm to aging animals could explain its apparent value in so many important biological functions, ranging from stress resistance to cardiac function, hormonal balance, muscle performance, glucose metabolism and the aging process. … Read more
  • Largest-ever study of spider genetics shows orb weaver spiders do not share common origins
    For decades, the story of spider evolution went like this: As insects became more and more diverse, with some species taking to the skies, spiders evolved new hunting strategies, including the ability to weave orb-shaped webs to trap their prey. From that single origin, the story goes, orb-weaver spiders diverged along different evolutionary paths, leading to today, where several species weave similar – though not identical – webs. … Read more
  • Eye movements reveal difference between love and lust
    Soul singer Betty Everett once proclaimed, “If you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss.” But a new study by University of Chicago researchers suggests the difference between love and lust might be in the eyes after all. Specifically, where your date looks at you could indicate whether love or lust is in the cards. The new study found that eye patterns concentrate on a stranger’s face if the viewer sees that person as a potential partner in romantic love, but the viewer gazes more at the other person’s body if he or she is feeling sexual desire. That automatic judgment can occur in as little as half a second, producing different gaze patterns. … Read more
  • A new stable and cost-cutting type of perovskite solar cell
    Perovskite solar cells show tremendous promise in propelling solar power into the marketplace. The cells use a hole-transportation layer, which promotes the efficient movement of electrical current after exposure to sunlight. However, manufacturing the hole-transportation organic materials is very costly and lack long term stability. Publishing in Science, a team of scientists in China, led by Professor Hongwei Han in cooperation with Professor Michael Grätzel at EPFL, have developed a perovskite solar cell that does not use a hole-transporting layer, with 12.8% conversion efficiency and over 1000 hours stability under full sunlight in ambient temperature. The innovation can reduce the cost of perovskite cells, and firmly propel them into the marketplace. … Read more
  • Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport
    Physicists have created a unique combination of computer models, based on the theory of quantum mechanics, and applied them to a previously well characterised protein found in muscle to develop a new picture of how biomolecules transport and store oxygen (O2). In doing so, the international team have shown how the process of respiration, which is fundamental in humans and other vertebrates, exploits quantum mechanical effects working on tiny scales. … Read more
  • Geophysicists prep for massive ‘ultrasound’ of Mount St. Helens
    A small army of 75 geophysicists is set to converge on Mount St. Helens this weekend to begin final preparations for the equivalent of a combined ultrasound and CAT scan of the famous volcano’s internal plumbing. The ambitious project, a joint undertaking by Earth scientists at Rice University, the University of Washington, the University of Texas at El Paso and other institutions, requires placing more than 3,500 active seismological sensors and 23 seismic charges around the volcano over the next few days. … Read more
  • Discovery may make it easier to develop life-saving stem cells
    Not unlike looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, a team of Michigan State University researchers have found a gene that could be key to the development of stem cells – cells that can potentially save millions of lives by morphing into practically any cell in the body. The gene, known as ASF1A, was not discovered by the team. However, it is at least one of the genes responsible for the mechanism of cellular reprogramming, a phenomenon that can turn one cell type into another, which is key to the making of stem cells. … Read more
  • Students show Wallace and Gromit ‘Wrong Trousers’ are scientifically possible for a short period of time
    In the classic 1993 Wallace & Gromit film The Wrong Trousers Gromit receives a pair of ex-NASA robotic Techno Trousers from Wallace for his birthday which allows for its wearer to walk on walls – and physics students from the University of Leicester have found that scaling walls and ceilings using the technology would indeed be scientifically possible, albeit for a short period of time. … Read more
  • ‘Nanocamera’ takes pictures at distances smaller than light’s own wavelength
    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that an array of novel gold, pillar-bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs) can be used like traditional photographic film to record light for distances that are much smaller than the wavelength of light (for example, distances less than ~600 nm for red light). A standard optical microscope acts as a “nanocamera” whereas the pBNAs are the analogous film. … Read more
  • Researchers find protein-building enzymes have metamorphosed and evolved new functions
    Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and their collaborators have found that ancient enzymes, known for their fundamental role in translating genetic information into proteins, evolved myriad other functions in humans. The surprising discovery highlights an intriguing oddity of protein evolution as well as a potentially valuable new class of therapeutic proteins and therapeutic targets. … Read more
  • To change attitudes, don’t argue —— agree, extremely
    What if the best way to change minds isn’t to tell people why they’re wrong, but to tell them why they’re right? Scientists tried this recently and discovered that agreeing with people can be a surprisingly powerful way to shake up strongly held beliefs. … Read more
  • Tiniest catch: Scientists’ fishing expedition reveals viral diversity in the sea
    A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought. Using lab-cultured bacteria as “bait,” a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from an ocean water sample in a single experiment. The study, published online on July 14 by the journal Nature, revealed that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. This enables scientists to recognize actual populations of viruses in nature for the first time. … Read more
  • Understanding graphene’s electrical properties on an atomic level
    Graphene, a material that consists of a lattice of carbon atoms, one atom thick, is widely touted as being the most electrically conductive material ever studied. However, not all graphene is the same. With so few atoms comprising the entirety of the material, the arrangement of each one has an impact on its overall function. … Read more
  • New study shows how existing cropland could feed billions more
     Feeding a growing human population without increasing stresses on Earth’s strained land and water resources may seem like an impossible challenge. But according to a new report by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, focusing efforts to improve food systems on a few specific regions, crops and actions could make it possible to both meet the basic needs of 3 billion more people and decrease agriculture’s environmental footprint. … Read more
  • Physicists reveal random nature of metastasis
    The spreading of a cancerous tumour from one part of the body to another may occur through pure chance instead of key genetic mutations, a new study has shown. Physicists from the University of Dundee and Arizona State University have used a statistical model to show that the formation of a new secondary tumour—commonly known as a metastasis—could just as likely derive from “common” cancer cells that circulate in the bloodstream, as from “specialist” cancer cells. … Read more
  • Scientists complete chromosome-based draft of the wheat genome
    Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as common wheat. The food plant is grown on more than 531 million acres around the world and produces nearly 700 million tons of food each year. … Read more
  • How does the cerebellum work?
    Shark Brain. Credit: Wikipedia Nothing says “don’t mess with me” like a deeply-fissured cortex. Even the sharpest jaws and claws in the animal kingdom are worthless without some serious thought muscle under the hood. But beneath the highly convoluted membrane covering the brains of the evolutionary upper crust hides the original crumpled processor—the cerebellum. How this organ might actually work is the subject of a review published in Frontiers of Systems Neuroscience by researchers at the University of Minnesota.   … Read more
  • Experiments show disproportionately large number of big boulders on asteroids likely due to Brazil-nut effect
    Schematic diagram of a cross-section of the experiment after an infinitely long cylindrical container (with a diameter of 10 cm) is filled up with small particles (up to ∼ 22 cm from the origin), but before shaking begins. The large cyan particle (the intruder) is initially located at the floor. Credit: arXiv:1407.2748 [astro-ph.EP] A team of researchers led by Soko Matsumura of Dundee University in Scotland has found evidence that appears to explain the inordinately large numbers of big boulders found on the surface of asteroids. In their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the team describes lab experiments they conducted that show the Brazil-nut effect is likely responsible for the seemingly odd phenomenon.   … Read more
  • Ultrafast X-ray laser sheds new light on fundamental ultrafast dynamics
    Ultrafast X-ray laser research led by Kansas State University has provided scientists with a snapshot of a fundamental molecular phenomenon. The finding sheds new light on microscopic electron motion in molecules. Artem Rudenko, assistant professor of physics and a member of the university’s James R. Macdonald Laboratory; Daniel Rolles, currently a junior research group leader at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg, Germany, who will be joining the university’s physics department in January 2015; and an international group of collaborators studied how an electron moves between different atoms in an exploding molecule. … Read more
  • Binary bacteria “bits” in human intestines associated with health status
    Five binary bacteria groups (rows) co-occur in various combinations in the 1,006 subjects (columns) in the study. The most frequent combination (18%) corresponds to the high-abundance states of the B. fragilis and two groups of uncultured …more The human gut contains hundreds of different types of bacteria, which vary widely among individuals. Understanding these variations is a complex and relatively new area of research. Now in a new study, researchers have found that some bacteria in the gut are distributed in a somewhat surprising way: they are bistable, meaning that most people either have very large numbers of these bacteria or nearly none at all. Some of these bistable bacteria groups are associated with individual factors, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and age—making these bacteria groups potential targets for microbiome-based diagnostics and therapies. … Read more
  • Scientists enlist big data to guide conservation efforts
    Despite a deluge of new information about the diversity and distribution of plants and animals around the globe, “big data” has yet to make a mark on conservation efforts to preserve the planet’s biodiversity. But that may soon change. A new model developed by University of California, Berkeley, biologist Brent Mishler and his colleagues in Australia leverages this growing mass of data – much of it from newly digitized museum collections – to help pinpoint the best areas to set aside as preserves and to help biologists understand the evolutionary history of life on Earth. … Read more
  • Chrome 36 stable released for Android
    Google has announced Chrome 36 stable release for Android. Chrome 36.0.1985.122 will be available in Google Play in the next few days. This release contains a: Improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized sites. Doodles return to the new tab page. Lots of bug fixes and performance improvements! Source: Google Chrome Blog … Read more
  • Ecologist helping to eradicate fatal sleeping sickness
    A BYU ecologist is playing a role in the effort to curb a deadly disease affecting developing nations across equatorial Africa. Steven L. Peck, a BYU professor of biology, has lent his expertise in understanding insect movement to help shape a UN-sanctioned eradication effort of the tsetse fly—a creature that passes the fatal African sleeping sickness to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. … Read more
  • Giant sea bass census
    A California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) swims with a giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas). Photo Credit: LINDA BLANCHARD Download Image Fished nearly to extinction in the recent past, giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) are starting to make a comeback. But no one really knows the size of the population. So UC Santa Barbara researchers are asking recreational divers to report sightings of giant sea bass up and down the California coast during a week when the fish are likely to be in shallow water. The Great Giant Sea Bass Count will take place Aug. 1-7. “What’s nice about this is that people can dive or snorkel anywhere — reefs, wrecks, shallow water, harbors — and for any duration, five minutes or an hour,” said Milton Love, an associate research biologist with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute and author of “Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast.” He is organizing the sea bass count with Douglas McCauley, an assistant professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. The juvenile giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) looks vastly different than the adult. Photo Credit: TRACY CLARK Download Image “We want to know how many giant sea bass each diver sees, even if that … Read more
  • Scientists urge greater efforts to protect orangutan forests
    Protecting the forest homes of orangutans is the most cost-effective way of boosting the great apes’ chances of survival in the long-run, international scientists have found. New research at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) has established the best strategies for maintaining orangutan populations for more than 20 years on a limited budget. … Read more
  • Pelicans most at risk from fishing tackle injuries
    South Australia’s recreational fishermen are more likely to snag pelicans than any other marine birds, who are often the victim of fishing line and hook entanglements, according to new research. Fishermen are being warned to be more aware of the risks to seabirds and to report any injuries as soon as possible. … Read more
  • Anti-tank missile detector joins the fight against malaria
    State-of-the-art military hardware could soon fight malaria, one of the most deadly diseases on the planet. Researchers at Monash University and the University of Melbourne have used an anti-tank Javelin missile detector, more commonly used in warfare to detect the enemy, in a new test to rapidly identify malaria parasites in blood. Scientists say the novel idea, published in the journal Analyst, could set a new gold standard for malaria testing. … Read more
  • What do Google searches tell us about our climate change fears?
    Republicans search the Net for information about the weather, climate change and global warming during extremely hot or cold spells. Democrats google these terms when they experience changes in the average temperatures. These are some of the surprising findings from a study by Corey Lang of the University of Rhode Island in the US, published in Springer’s journal Climatic Change. He tracked how the temperature fluctuations and rainfall that Americans experience daily in their own cities make them scour the Internet in search of information about climate change and global warming. To do so, he used data from Google Trends, local weather stations and election results.  … Read more
  • Finding NEEMO
    Neemo aquanauts NEEMO NEEMO – NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations – trains astronauts for life in space. Living and working in an underwater base is similar to being on a space station. This year, NASA has two NEEMO missions planned with three ESA astronauts and a trainer taking part. Underwater base NEEMO’s underwater habitat off Florida acts as makeshift a space base for astronauts to make regular ‘waterwalks’ in full scuba gear. Both underwater missions plan sorties for the astronauts to simulate spacewalks. Different gravity levels will test tools that could be used when humans land on the Moon, Mars or even asteroids. The waterwalks will also test ways of communicating between mission control and the astronauts during the excursions. NEEMO 18 NEEMO 18 crew The 18th underwater mission will see ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet take part in a nine-day mission, starting his underwater session on 21 July under the command of Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, along with NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps and Mark Vande Hei. ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli is also onsite for crew communications, functioning as capsule communicator for ‘ground control’. Training started on 14 July. NEEMO 19 ESA astronaut trainer Hervé Stevenin at NEEMO base The 19th … Read more
  • Sexual harassment and assault are common on scientific field studies, survey indicates
     A survey of 142 men and 516 women with experience in field studies in anthropology, archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines reveals that many of them – particularly the younger ones – suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work in the field.A majority of the survey respondents (64 percent) said they had experienced sexual harassment (inappropriate sexual remarks, comments about physical beauty or jokes about cognitive sex differences, for example). And more than 20 percent reported they had been the victims of sexual assault (unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, including touching, physical threats, or rape).  … Read more
  • Li-fi protocol allows use of the internet at the speed of light
    Sisoft Company in Mexico has developed a technology that can illuminate a large work space, an auditorium or an office, while providing full mobile internet to every device that comes into the range of the light spectrum. … Read more
  • 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survives series of simulated earthquakes
    A 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survived a series of 10 earthquakes in the first multiple-shake-table experiment in the University of Nevada, Reno’s new Earthquake Engineering Lab, the newest addition to the world-renowned earthquake/seismic engineering facility. “It was a complete success. The bridge withstood the design standard very well and today went over and above 2.2 times the design standard,” John Stanton, civil and environmental engineering professor and researcher from the University of Washington, said. Stanton collaborated with Foundation Professor David Sanders of the University of Nevada, Reno in the novel experiment. … Read more
  • James Webb and the search for life beyond Earth
    A sunflower-shaped ‘starshade’ launched to space with a simple telescope could help scientists on the ground hunt for another Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltec Before the invention of the telescope, before every continent was on a map, even before the revelation that Earth was not the center of the Universe, humans have wondered at the possibility of life beyond our planet. Now, scientists know there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone (one of 10 billion galaxies in the mere observable Universe), and 10-20 percent of these stars could have earth-size planets within the habitable zone. Science has arrived, for the first time in human history, at the crux that will push the world to expand from the question, “is there extraterrestrial life” to the question of “how can we find it?” NASA, spearheading Earth’s pursuit of distant life, hosted an open panel discussion at its Washington headquarters Monday with leading scientists to put the physics into the philosophical. The topic of alien life is not merely for the lovers and dreamers of science fiction. Space missions, specialized telescopes, and unprecedented technological advances are underway at NASA to find signs of life, and eventually, extraterrestrials themselves.   Planet occurrence from Kepler. Credit: NASA “Do we believe there … Read more
  • Dispersant from Deepwater Horizon spill found to persist in the environment
    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest accidental release of oil into the ocean, with approximately 210 million gallons gushing from the blown out well. In an attempt to prevent vast quantities of oil from fouling beaches and marshes, BP applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant to oil to oil released in the subsurface and to oil slicks at the sea surface. The dispersant was thought to rapidly degrade in the environment. … Read more
  • An anti-glare, anti-reflective display for mobile devices?
    If you’ve ever tried to watch a video on a tablet on a sunny day, you know you have to tilt it at just the right angle to get rid of glare or invest in a special filter. But now scientists are reporting in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces that they’ve developed a novel glass surface that reduces both glare and reflection, which continue to plague even the best mobile displays today. … Read more
  • Neural networks that function like the human visual cortex may help realize faster, more reliable pattern recognition
    Artificial neural networks that can more closely mimic the brain’s ability to recognize patterns potentially have broad applications in biometrics, data mining and image analysis. Credit: janulla/iStock/Thinkstock Despite decades of research, scientists have yet to create an artificial neural network capable of rivaling the speed and accuracy of the human visual cortex. Now, Haizhou Li and Huajin Tang at the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research and co-workers in Singapore propose using a spiking neural network (SNN) to solve real-world pattern recognition problems. Artificial neural networks capable of such pattern recognition could have broad applications in biometrics, data mining and image analysis. … Read more
  • Improving tumour radiation therapy: When basic ions break DNA down
    A new study relevant for cancer radiation therapy shows that DNA building blocks are susceptible to fragmentation on contact with the full range of ions from alkaline element species Scientists now have a better understanding of how short DNA strands decompose in microseconds. A European team found new fragmentation pathways that occur universally when DNA strands are exposed to metal ions from a family of alkaline and alkaline earth elements. These ions tend to replace protons in the DNA backbone and at the same time induce a reactive conformation leading more readily to fragmentation. … Read more
  • Squid skin protein could improve biomedical technologies, study shows
    Matt WoodworthA protein in squid skin called reflectin can conduct positive electrical charges, making it a useful in helping medical devices communicate with the human system. Download image The common pencil squid (Loliginidae) may hold the key to a new generation of medical technologies that could communicate more directly with the human body. UC Irvine materials science researchers have discovered that reflectin, a protein in the tentacled creature’s skin, can conduct positive electrical charges, or protons, making it a promising material for building biologically inspired devices. … Read more
  • Researchers find red fluorescence in fish is for vision not UV protection
    The red-eye wrasse produces deep red biofluorescence to communicate and defend his territory. Credit: Nico Michiels, University of Tübingen A team of researchers with members from Germany and Egypt has found that red fluorescence as found in many species of fish appears to be for visual purposes, rather than as a UV protection mechanism. In their paper published inProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how they captured and tested several species of fish with red fluorescence and found that those that lived in deeper water had more fluorescence, not less, than those that lived in more shallow water. We humans see things as the color they appear to us because the material they are made of absorbs some of the light spectrum and bounces back other parts. With fluorescence, things are a little different, instead of bouncing back some wavelengths, light is absorbed and then the organism emits another longer wavelength. In the case of many fish, that wavelength is seen by us humans as red, which really stands out as sunlight is filtered by seawater—blues and greens travel deeper than reds and other colors. Thus, without fluorescence, red fish would not appear red in deep … Read more
  • Tooth plaque provides unique insights into our prehistoric ancestors’ diet
    An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture. Excavation of one of 90 pre-Mesolithic graves at Al Khiday 2. They are over 9,000 years old and all the skeletons are buried elongated and face down, which is unique, worldwide. Credit: Donatella Usai/Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani (CSSeS) By extracting chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient teeth, the researchers were able to provide an entirely new perspective on our ancestors’ diets. Their research suggests that purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus) – today regarded as a nuisance weed – formed an important part of the prehistoric diet. … Read more
  • Niacin too dangerous for routine cholesterol therapy
    After 50 years of being a mainstay cholesterol therapy, niacin should no longer be prescribed for most patients due to potential increased risk of death, dangerous side effects and no benefit in reducing heart attacks and strokes, writes Northwestern Medicine® preventive cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., in aNew England Journal of Medicine editorial. … Read more
  • Cell membrane proteins give up their secrets
    Rice University scientists have succeeded in analyzing transmembrane protein folding in the same way they study the proteins’ free-floating, globular cousins. Rice theoretical biologist Peter Wolynes and his team at the university’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) have applied his energy landscape theory to proteins that are hard to view because they live and work primarily inside cell membranes. … Read more
  • Comet ISON’s dramatic final hours
    A new analysis of data from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft has revealed that comet 2012/S1 (ISON) stopped producing dust and gas shortly before it raced past the Sun and disintegrated.   SOHO/LASCO view of Comet ISON, 27-30 November 2013. (Further details and other formats available here.) Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA) When comet ISON was discovered in the autumn of 2012, astronomers hoped that it would eventually light up the night sky to become a “comet of the century”. Orbital analysis showed that the sungrazing intruder from the outer reaches of the Solar System would pass only 1.2 million kilometres above the Sun’s visible surface on 28 November 2013. … Read more
  • Walking on all fours is not backward evolution, study shows
    Comparison of footfall sequence in primate (baboon, above) and nonprimate (cat, below). Footfall sequence is depicted numerically, beginning with the right hind limb in each animal. The primate is walking in diagonal sequence (RH-LF-LH-RF), and the nonprimate is walking in lateral sequence (RH-RF-LH-LF). Image from Muybridge E (1887) . Animal Locomotion: An Electro-photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements, 1872-1885: 112 Plates. Published under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Contradicting earlier claims, “The Family That Walks on All Fours,” a group of quadrupedal humans made famous by a 2006 BBC documentary, have simply adapted to their inability to walk upright and do not represent an example of backward evolution, according to new research by Liza Shapiro, an anthropologist at The University of Texas at Austin. … Read more
  • Genome study indicates peacock eyespots likely developed to impress females
    A Peafowl flaring his feathers. Credit: Wikipedia. A team of researchers with members from several universities in the U.S. and one in China has found evidence that suggests that ocelli (areas on feathers that look like eyes) on male peafowl are likely a result of a preference by female birds. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes the genome study they undertook and what they found as a result. … Read more
  • Climate-cooling arctic lakes soak up greenhouse gases, study finds
    Thermokarst lakes like these, which are found in ice-rich regions of northern Siberia and Alaska, began cooling instead of warming the atmosphere roughly 5,000 years ago, researchers have discovered. UAF photo courtesy of Katey Walter Anthony New University of Alaska Fairbanks research indicates that arctic thermokarst lakes stabilize climate change by storing more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere. Countering a widely held view that thawing permafrost accelerates atmospheric warming, a study published this week in the scientific journal Nature suggests arctic thermokarst lakes are “net climate coolers” when observed over longer, millennial, time scales. “Until now, we’ve only thought of thermokarst lakes as positive contributors to climate warming,” says lead researcher Katey Walter Anthony, associate research professor at the UAF Institute of Northern Engineering. “It is true that they do warm climate by strong methane emissions when they first form, but on a longer-term scale, they switch to become climate coolers because they ultimately soak up more carbon from the atmosphere than they ever release.” Found in the Arctic and cold mountain regions, thermokarst lakes occur as permafrost thaws and creates surface depressions that fill with melted fresh water, converting what was previously frozen land into lakes. Researchers observed that … Read more
  • The ‘obesity paradox’: Cardiovascular mortality lowest among overweight patients
    High body mass index (BMI) is associated with multiple cardiovascular diseases. However, emerging data suggest that there is an “obesity paradox,” that being overweight may actually protect patients from cardiovascular mortality. Investigators have now confirmed that the risk of total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and myocardial infarction is highest among underweight patients, while cardiovascular mortality is lowest among overweight patients, according to two reports published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. … Read more
  • Next-generation dark matter experiments get the green light
    Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation announced support for a suite of upcoming experiments to search for dark matter that will be many times more sensitive than those currently deployed. These so-called Generation 2 Dark Matter Experiments include the LUX-Zeplin (LZ) experiment, an international collaboration formed in 2012, managed by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) and to be located at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota. With the announcement, the DOE and NSF officially endorsed LZ and two other dark matter experiments. … Read more
  • Compressed diamond sheds light on mega-planets
    The night sky over the river Havel in Guelpe, northeastern Germany, on February 23, 2014 Physicists in the United States on Wednesday reported they had compressed diamond to a density greater than that of lead, a technical feat that yields insights into the secrets of giant planets. Diamond is the hardest, strongest form of carbon on Earth and the least compressible material known. … Read more
  • Physicists propose molecular clock to expose new physics
    Credit: S. Schiller et al., Phys. Rev. Lett (2014) A trio of researchers from Germany, Bulgaria and Russia has proposed the idea of using a molecular clock to determine if the electron-proton mass ratio changes over time. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, Stephan Schiller, Dimitre Bakalov, and Vladimir Korobov describe a theoretical method for building such a clock and why if one were built, it might lead to new physics. … Read more
  • New system could reduce data-transmission delays across server farms by 99.6 percent
    Big websites usually maintain their own “data centers,” banks of tens or even hundreds of thousands of servers, all passing data back and forth to field users’ requests. Like any big, decentralized network, data centers are prone to congestion: Packets of data arriving at the same router at the same time are put in a queue, and if the queues get too long, packets can be delayed. … Read more
  • Fair cake cutting gets its own algorithm
    The next time your children quibble about who gets to eat which part of a cake, call in some experts on the art of sharing. Mathematician Julius Barbanel of Union College, and political scientist Steven Brams of New York University, both in the US, published an algorithm in Springer’s The Mathematical Intelligencer by which they show how to optimally share cake between two people efficiently, in equal pieces and in such a way that no one feels robbed. … Read more
  • Brain of world’s first known predators discovered
    Scientists have found the fossilized remains of the brain of the world’s earliest known predators, from a time when life teemed in the oceans but had not yet colonized the land. Artist’s impression of Lyararapax, one of the species of the world’s first predators, the anomalocaridids, chasing its possible prey, primitive fishes that also existed in the Lower Cambrian. (Illustration by Nicholas Strausfeld/University of Arizona)   An international team of paleontologists has identified the exquisitely preserved brain in the fossil of one of the world’s first known predators that lived in the Lower Cambrian, about 520 million years ago. The discovery revealed a brain that is surprisingly simple and less complex than those known from fossils of some of the animal’s prey. … Read more
  • One injection stops type 2 diabetes in its tracks in mice without side effects
    In mice with diet-induced diabetes—the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans—a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days. The discovery by Salk scientists, published today in the journal Nature, could lead to a new generation of safer, more effective diabetes drugs. … Read more
  • Test of equivalence principle searches for effects of spin-gravity coupling
    Experimental configuration to test the equivalence principle, in which two strontium isotopes are laser-cooled and trapped in a vertical optical lattice. Credit: Tarallo, et al. ©2014 American Physical Society Einstein’s equivalence principle states that an object in gravitational free fall is physically equivalent to an object that is accelerating with the same amount of force in the absence of gravity. This principle lies at the heart of general relativity and has been experimentally tested many times. Now in a new paper, scientists have experimentally demonstrated a conceptually new way to test the equivalence principle that could detect the effects of a relatively new concept called spin-gravity coupling. The study, by M. G. Tarallo, et al., is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. “Testing the equivalence principle, or the equivalence of inertial mass and gravitational mass, means testing the validity of one of the fundamental principles of general relativity,” coauthor Guglielmo Tino, Professor at the University of Florence, INFN, told Phys.org. “In our experiment, we use a quantum sensor to investigate gravitational interaction; this allowed us to search for new effects.” Read more at: Phys.org … Read more
  • Of catalysts and chirality: Highly-selective growth of structure-specific single-walled carbon nanotubes
    Content of (12,6) SWNTs in sample measured with Raman spectroscopy. Credit: Yan Li Carbon – the chemical basis of all known life and an element known as far back as the 8th century BC – exists in a range of forms, or allotropes, with remarkably diverse properties. (Diamond, for example, is transparent and extremely hard tetrahedral lattice that conducts electricity poorly but is an excellent thermal conductor. Graphite, on the other hand – a moderate electrical conductor – is a soft, black, flaky solid formed from sheets of flat hexagonal lattices known as graphene.) Among carbon’s allotropes, carbon nanotubes are cylindrical graphene-based nanostructures with properties central to many fields of materials science and technology. In particular, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are carbon nanotubes whose properties change with their chirality – that is, the arrangements of the carbon atoms, which is based on tube diameter and wrapping angle as specified by what is known as their (n,m) value. These variants behave either as electrical conductors or semiconductors with different bandgaps (the energy range in a solid where no electron states can exist), making them extremely desirable for nanoelectronics applications. While this characteristic depends on the SWVTs all being in chiral form or the other, it has historically been very … Read more
  • HomeMedical researchJuly 17, 2014 Mechanism of action of thalidomide elucidated
    Crystal structure of thalidomide (yellow calotte model) bound to CRBN (green, blue and cyan) and DDB1 (yellow, grey, red and purple). Scientists led by Nicolas Thomä at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have clarified the workings of thalidomide at the molecular level. Their analysis of various structures, published in Nature, indicates that the drug can interfere with cellular processes in two different ways—once preventing and once promoting protein degradation—thus explaining its diverse clinical effects.   … Read more
  • New view of Rainier’s volcanic plumbing
     By measuring how fast Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, a University of Utah researcher and colleagues made a detailed picture of Mount Rainier’s deep volcanic plumbing and partly molten rock that will erupt again someday. “This is the most direct image yet capturing the melting process that feeds magma into a crustal reservoir that eventually is tapped for eruptions,” says geophysicist Phil Wannamaker, of the university’s Energy & Geoscience Institute and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “But it does not provide any information on the timing of future eruptions from Mount Rainier or other Cascade Range volcanoes.” … Read more
  • Supercomputers reveal strange, stress-induced transformations in world’s thinnest materials
    Columbia researchers used Brookhaven Lab supercomputer simulations to map and compare the transformations and breaking points of graphene and other promising monolayers. Interested in an ultra-fast, unbreakable, and flexible smart phone that recharges in a matter of seconds? Monolayer materials may make it possible. These atom-thin sheets—including the famed super material graphene—feature exceptional and untapped mechanical and electronic properties. But to fully exploit these atomically tailored wonder materials, scientists must pry free the secrets of how and why they bend and break under stress. … Read more
  • Magnetically controlled nanoparticles enhance stroke treatment
    Yiping Zhao is a professor of physics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Researchers at the University of Georgia and their collaborators have developed a new technique to enhance stroke treatment that uses magnetically controlled nanomotors to rapidly transport a clot-busting drug to potentially life-threatening blockages in blood vessels. The only drug currently approved for the treatment of acute stroke—recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA—is administered intravenously to patients after the first symptoms of ischemic stroke appear. The protein in the drug dissolves blood clots that cause strokes and other cardiovascular problems, like pulmonary embolisms and heart attacks. “Our technology uses magnetic nanorods that, when injected into the bloodstream and activated with rotating magnets, act like stirring bars to drive t-PA to the site of the clot,” said Yiping Zhao, co-author of a paper describing the results in ACS Nano and professor of physics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “Our preliminary results show that the breakdown of clots can be enhanced up to twofold compared to treatment with t-PA alone.” By collaborating with their medical partners, the researchers tested their approach in mice that mimic blood clots in humans. Once a clot was formed, they injected … Read more
  • Improving the cost and efficiency of renewable energy storage
    A major challenge in renewable energy is storage. A common approach is a reaction that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen, and uses the hydrogen as a fuel to store energy. The efficiency of ‘water splitting’ depends heavily on a solid substance called a catalyst. However, only the surface of the catalyst acts on the reaction, while its bulk is inactive. This restricts how much catalyst can be used, and limits the efficiency of water splitting in energy systems. Publishing in Nature Communications, EPFL scientists have developed a new method for maximizing the catalyst’s contribution by chemically ‘peeling off’ only its active surface and excluding its bulk from the reaction. Their data, which show 2.6- to 4.5-fold increase in water-splitting efficiency, pave the way for cheaper and more efficient renewable energy storage. … Read more
  • Ancient packrat nests reveal how plants coped with past climate change
    Scientists are greatly concerned about the effects that rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature will have on organisms in the future. Fortunately, scientists can gain a sense for how organisms may respond to future climate change by determining how they responded to climate change events in the past. … Read more
  • Google Search warns whether website will work on your device
    Google search can now notify you if a web page will not work on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Those websites with more Adobe Flash contents, which is not supported on iOS devices or on Android versions 4.1 and higher, Google will notify you as shown below. This doesn’t mean Google will remove these sites from its search listings, it will indicate to users that detected pages may not work on their devices. Google recommends webmasters to use HTML5 web language which is globally supported by all modern devices. To create websites supported by all the devices Google has announced two resources:   Web Fundamentals: a curated source for modern best practices. Web Starter Kit: a starter framework supporting the Web Fundamentals best practices out of the box. Google also states that, not to block crawling of any Googlebot of the page assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images) using robots.txt or otherwise. These resources if accessible helps Google’s algorithms detect your site’s responsive web design configuration and treat it appropriately. Source: Google Blog   … Read more
  • A drone that finds survivors through their phones
    Summer series – student research (1): During his semester project in Computer Science, Jonathan Cheseaux developed a system for locating a person via his or her mobile phone with a drone. This device could be used to find victims in natural disasters. © Alain Herzog … Read more
  • For bees and flowers, tongue size matters
    For bees and the flowers they pollinate, a compatible tongue length is essential to a successful relationship. Some bees and plants are very closely matched, with bee tongue sized to the flower depth. Other bee species are generalists, flitting among flower species to drink nectar and collect pollen from a diverse variety of plants. Data on tongue lengths can help ecologists understand and predict the behavior, resilience and invasiveness of bee populations. … Read more
  • Game theory model reveals vulnerable moments for cancer cells’ energy production
    Cancer’s no game, but researchers at Johns Hopkins are borrowing ideas from evolutionary game theory to learn how cells cooperate within a tumor to gather energy. Their experiments, they say, could identify the ideal time to disrupt metastatic cancer cell cooperation and make a tumor more vulnerable to anti-cancer drugs. … Read more
  • Directly visualizing hydrogen bonds
    Using a newly developed, ultrafast femtosecond infrared light source, chemists at the University of Chicago have been able to directly visualize the coordinated vibrations between hydrogen-bonded molecules — the first time this sort of chemical interaction, which is found in nature everywhere at the molecular level, has been directly visualized. They describe their experimental techniques and observations in The Journal of Chemical Physics, from AIP Publishing. … Read more
  • Dodos and spotted green pigeons are descendants of an island hopping bird
    The mysterious spotted green pigeon (Caloenas maculata) was a relative of the dodo, according to scientists who have examined its genetic make-up. The authors say their results, published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, support a theory that both birds are descended from ‘island hopping’ ancestors. … Read more
  • New materials for future green tech devices
    From your hot car to your warm laptop, every machine and device in your life wastes a lot of energy through the loss of heat. But thermoelectric devices, which convert heat to electricity and vice versa, can harness that wasted heat, and possibly provide the green tech energy efficiency that’s needed for a sustainable future. … Read more


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