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Increasing the sensitivity of next-generation gravitational wave detectors
Nearly one year ago today, the LIGO Collaboration announced the detection of gravitational waves, once again confirming Einstein's theory of General Relativity. This important discovery by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (aLIGO) has spurred great interest in impro...
Brain–Computer Interface Allows Speediest Typing to Date
A new interface system allowed three paralyzed individuals to type words up to four times faster than the speed that had been demonstrated in earlier studies.

The promise of brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) for restoring function to people with disabilities has driven researchers for decades, y...
Kea parrot shows cooperation and smarts like chimps, elephants and children
Cooperation between individuals is one of the defining features of our species. While other animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, coral trout and rooks also exhibit cooperative behaviors, it is not clear if they think about cooperation in the same way as humans do. In this study scientists pre...
Lonesome George could be resurrected after cells are frozen by scientists
Lonesome George, the last of a now extinct type of giant tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, could be cloned after scientists have preserved some of his cells by cryogenically freezing them. As the last of his kind, his life was a lonely one and his death brought the extinction of a lineage of a...
'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a material that could reduce signal losses in photonic devices. The advance has the potential to boost the efficiency of various light-based technologies including fiber optic communication systems, lasers and photovoltaics.

The...
Finally, an explanation for KIC 8462852 (aka. Tabby's Star)?
Back in October of 2015, astronomers shook the world when they reported how the Kepler mission had noticed a strange and sudden drop in brightness coming from KIC 8462852 (aka. Tabby's Star). This was followed by additional studies that showed how the star appeared to be consistently dimming over...
Ceramic Pottery Reveals an Ancient Geomagnetic Field Spike
The Earth's geomagnetic field increased in intensity around the Levant during the late eighth century B.C. before rapidly weakening.
The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that arises from the motion of iron in the liquid outer core. Direct observation of the field has been possible for onl...
Six-Legged Robots Faster Than Nature-Inspired Gait
Researchers at EPFL and UNIL have discovered a faster and more efficient gait, never observed in nature, for six-legged robots walking on flat ground. Bio-inspired gaits – less efficient for robots – are used by real insects since they have adhesive pads to walk in three dimensions. The results p...
European Neandertals were cannibals
Our close cousins definitely ate each other, but no one knows why.

Neandertals ate each other—at least once in a while—according to a new analysis of bones unearthed in a Belgian cave. The remains were excavated near Goyet beginning in the 19th century and now sit in museums in Brussels. The ou...
Even tiny bumblebee brains can solve complex problems and teach others
Lars Chittka didn’t expect much when he decided to see if bumblebees could learn to pull a string for a reward. While animals from birds to apes can solve this puzzle, it seemed unlikely that bees could solve it too because they have such tiny brains. “I asked what may have seemed an entirely mad...
Naica's crystal caves hold long-dormant life
Long-dormant microbes are found inside giant crystals of the Naica mountain caves - and revived.
Scientists have extracted long-dormant microbes from inside the famous giant crystals of the Naica mountain caves in Mexico - and revived them. The organisms were likely to have been encased in the s...
International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate
Even those who follow science may be surprised by how quickly international collaboration in scientific studies is growing, according to new research.
The number of multiple-author scientific papers with collaborators from more than one country more than doubled from 1990 to 2015, from 10 to 25 ...
United Arab Emirates aims to put human settlement on Mars by 2117
Leaders in the United Arab Emirates aim to build a human settlement on Mars by 2117, a research project the government promises will bring benefits to generations of people.

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin...
Scientists isolate new antibodies to fight human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important cause of acute lower respiratory tract infection in very young children. Disease caused by RSV is very contagious and almost everyone is infected with RSV by the age of two years. Infections also reoccur throughout life. In the very young (f...
Astronomers Reveal Catalog of Nearby Stars, Detect 114 Potential Exoplanets
Astronomers today released the largest-ever compilation of exoplanet-detecting observations made with a technique called radial velocity. They also demonstrated how these observations can be used to hunt for exoplanets by detecting 114 potential exoplanets, including one orbiting a star 8.1 light...
The Extinction of Primates: 60 percent of the 500 known primate species are on the verge of extin...
A new research study has found that around 60 percent of the 500 known primate species are on the verge of extinction. With around 75 percent of all species declining in numbers, this new discovery sparked an uproar in the scientific community who are now calling to raise global awareness of the ...
It's more than just climate change...
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations. A recent study presents extensive evidence of t...
Three Puzzles Inspired by the Master of Infinity, Ramanujan
Insights from the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan give us a number of ways to explore the infinite.
The work that Ramanujan did in his brief professional life a century ago has spawned whole new areas of mathematical investigation, kept top mathematicians busy for their whole professiona...
Major Malaria Vaccine Breakthrough
Researchers achieve 100% protection in small clinical study.

The findings from two new studies have just been released describing the efficacy of a malaria vaccine, provided by the biotech company Sanaria. In the small, controlled clinical trials, the vaccine proved to be extremely efficacious ...
Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Design: Smart Free CAD For The Web
The design of 2D or 3D geometries is involved in one way or another in most of science, art and engineering activities. Modern design tools are powerful and boost the productivity of designers, but they require a lot of training, effort and time to achieve a good understanding and an efficient ex...
Cancer statistics, 2017
Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. Incidence data were collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and...
How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder
Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.

Living organisms seem rather like Maxwell’s demon. Whereas a beaker full of reacting c...
The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet — It’s the End of the Middle Class
The world's top AI researchers met to consider the threats posed by their research. The global economy could be the first casualty.
In the US, the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 and has steadily decreased ever since. At the same time, manufacturing has steadily increased, with the U...
Watch how the measles outbreak spreads when kids get vaccinated – and when they don't
If you take 10 communities and run a simulation, it’s easy to see why we need as many members of the ‘herd’ as possible to get vaccines – before it’s too late.

Measles are back in the US – and spreading. More than 100 cases across 14 states and Washington DC have been confirmed by US health off...
Consensus statement: Virus taxonomy in the age of metagenomics
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that probably infect all cellular lifeforms. Although virologists have traditionally focused on viruses that cause disease in humans, domestic animals and crops, the recent advances in metagenomic sequencing, in particular high-throughput sequencing of...
Brain Computer Interfaces – 10 Startups to Watch
It's only a matter of time before we're able to control things with our minds using brain computer interfaces, even communicate to each other just using our minds. Think telepathy is just fiction? It's not.

It was when we tried virtual reality (VR) for the first time that we realized our method...
Making single-cell RNA sequencing widely available
Sequencing messenger RNA molecules from individual cells offers a glimpse into the lives of those cells, revealing what they’re doing at a particular time. However, the equipment required to do this kind of analysis is cumbersome and not widely available.

MIT researchers have now developed a po...
Led By Light, Microscopic Bots Could Swim through the Bloodstream to Deliver Drugs
Microscopic machines that swim through the bloodstream to deliver drugs or perform minor surgeries have been a dream of scientists for decades. In the past 15 years researchers have created micro-engine variants that rely on chemical reactions, magnetism or vibration for thrust—but they often mot...
Rising Back To Life: Cell Death Might Be Reversible
A mysterious cell process named "anastasis" (Greek for "rising to life") challenges our idea of life being a linear march towards death, and suggests that cell death can actually be reversed under certain conditions—essentially allowing cells to un-die.

Even as the cell is shrivelling up in res...
Earth's deepest ocean trenches among the planet's most polluted places
Deep ocean trenches — considered the most remote places in the world — have levels of toxic, industrial chemicals 50 times higher than a highly polluted river system in China, an analysis of tiny deep-sea animals has found.

The discovery, published in today's Nature Ecology and Evolution journa...
Ebolaviruses need very few mutations to cause disease in new host species
Kent researchers have identified how few mutations it can take for Ebolaviruses to adapt to affect previously resistant species.
Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases, though rodent species such as guinea pigs, rats and mice are not normally susceptible to it. However, through repeat...
Earth Has a New Continent Called 'Zealandia', Study Reveals
Kids are frequently taught that seven continents exist: Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Geologists, who look at the rocks (and tend to ignore the humans), group Europe and Asia into its own supercontinent - Eurasia - making for a total of six geologi...
Genome surgery with CRISPR-Cas9 to prevent blindness
IBS study proves that CRISPR-Cas9 can be delivered directly into the eye of living animals to treat age-related macular degeneration efficiently and safely.
It is estimated that almost one in every ten people over 65 has some signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and its prevalence is...
Diabetes in your DNA? Scientists zero in on the genetic signature of risk
Why do some people get Type 2 diabetes, while others who live the same lifestyle never do?

For decades, scientists have tried to solve this mystery – and have found more than 80 tiny DNA differences that seem to raise the risk of the disease in some people, or protect others from the damagingly...
New machine-learning algorithms may revolutionize drug discovery — and our understanding of life
A new set of machine-learning algorithms developed by researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough can generate 3D structures of nanoscale protein molecules that could not be achieved in the past. The algorithms may revolutionize the development of new drug therapies for a range of diseas...
Scientists calculate signal of gravitational wave sources
Scientists have calculated the ancient signals that emerged just after the Big Bang. These signals come from a long-lost cosmological phenomena known as ‘oscillons,’ the gravitational wave sources from just fractions of a second after the birth of the universe. While oscillons have since disappea...
Baby ‘Sea Monster’ Found Inside Fossil Mother
The long-necked pair offer rare evidence that an ancient group that included dinosaurs and birds was capable of live birth. Finding a creature curled inside the belly of an ancient sea beast might not seem surprising at first. After all, the huge fossil belonged to a water reptile with a ridiculo...
Terahertz wireless could lead to fiber-optics speed in-flight and mobile metropolitan internet
Hiroshima University researchers and associates have developed a terahertz* (THz) transmitter capable of transmitting digital data over a single channel at a speed of 105 gigabits per second (Gbps), and demonstrated the technology at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2017 ...
How to build your own bio-bot | KurzweilAI
For the past several years, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have reverse-engineered native biological tissues and organs — creating tiny walking “bio-bots” powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical and optical pulses.

Now, in an open-access cover paper...
Chinese drone maker EHang to provide Dubai with world's first self-flying taxis in 2017
An autonomous drone that can transport humans will start ferrying passengers around Dubai this summer. The head of Dubai's transportation agency said that self-flying taxis would start taking people across the city starting from July.

The city will use the Ehang 184 for the airborne service. T...
Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers
Research published today in Nature from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah shows how epithelial cells naturally turn over, maintaining constant numbers between cell division and cell death.

Epithelial cells comprise the skin and skin-like linings that coat ...
Extinct tortoise species with mostly intact DNA from a water-filled limestone sinkhole
An extinct tortoise species that accidentally tumbled into a water-filled limestone sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 years ago has finally made its way out, with much of its DNA intact.
As the first sample of ancient DNA retrieved from an extinct tropical species, this genetic material could h...
Antarctica’s Sea Ice Shrinks to New Record Low
Sea ice in Antarctica has hit a worrisome milestone, reaching its lowest recorded extent this week, according to data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. The daily ice area recorded on Tuesday represents an all-time low: 2.25 million square kilometers (872,204 square miles).

While ...
Molecular patterns of complex diseases
The Helmholtz Zentrum München has published results of the largest genome-wide association study on proteomics to date. An international team of scientists reports 539 associations between protein levels and genetic variants in ‘Nature Communications’. These associations overlap with risk genes f...
New theory explains how Earth’s inner core remains solid despite extreme heat
Even though it is hotter than the surface of the Sun, the crystallized iron core of the Earth remains solid. A new study from KTH Royal Institute of Technology may finally settle a longstanding debate over how that’s possible, as well as why seismic waves travel at higher speeds between the plane...
Experimental Therapy May Slow Type 1 Diabetes
It may be possible to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes, according to a new pilot study that used an experimental therapy that centers on the immune system.

In the new study, researchers in Sweden tested a new method to train the immune system to stop attacking the body's own insulin-prod...
Deep-Sea Mining: Undersea Robot to Hunt for Strange Life in the Depth of the Pacific
The research ship Okeanos Explorer is sending an ROV into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, seeking out exotic sea animals and other curiosities. And, you can watch it live online.
Armchair oceanographers, take note: This week, the research ship Okeanos Explorer will send a remotely operated vehi...
Blood vessel 'spaghetti' makes mini-brain more real
In vitro three-dimensional neural spheroid models have an in vivo-like cell density, and have the potential to reduce animal usage and increase experimental throughput. The aim of a recent study is to establish a spheroid model to study the formation of capillary-like networks in a three-dimensio...
First-of-its-kind study accurately predicts autism in infants
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent of those infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two years of age. The study, published Feb. 15 2017 in Nature, is the first...
“Field patterns” as a new mathematical object
University of Utah mathematicians propose a theoretical framework to understand how waves and other disturbances move through materials in conditions that vary in both space and time. The theory, called “field patterns,” published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Field patterns are ...
Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate
A large research synthesis, published in one of the world’s most influential scientific journals, has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world — a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine organisms if it continue...
Researchers create camera the size of a salt grain that can ‘see’ like an eagle
Ever wonder what it’s like to have an “eagle eye?” Surgeons and spies alike may soon find out, thanks to a new camera lens that works the same way eagle­—and human—eyes do, despite being no bigger than a grain of salt. With spy gadgets in mind, scientists started working on the microlens a few ye...
Scientists make huge dataset of nearby stars available to public
Members of the public can search a newly released database of 1,600 stars to find signs of undiscovered exoplanets. The dataset, taken over two decades by the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, comes with an open-source software package and an online tutorial.
The search for planets beyond our sol...
Key Applications of the Smart IoT to Transform Transportation
The applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) have been growing dramatically in recent a few years. According to IDC, the transportation sector will be among the first to see a significant growth from the IoT, and the global IoT market in the transportation sector is expected to reach $195 bil...
Cocktail of bacteria-killing viruses prevents cholera infection in animal models
Oral administration of a cocktail of three viruses, all of which specifically kill cholera bacteria, prevents infection and cholera-like symptoms in animal model experiments, report scientists from Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences a...
Far beyond crime-ridden depravity, darknets are key strongholds of freedom of expression online
The internet is much more than just the publicly available, Google-able web services most online users frequent – and that's good for free expression. Companies frequently create private networks to enable employees to use secure corporate servers, for example. And free software allows individual...
Tuberculosis-resistant cow developed for the first time using CRISPR-CAS9 technology
The researchers, from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi, China, used a modified version of the CRISPR gene-editing technology to insert a new gene into the cow genome with no detected off target effects on the animals genetics (a common problem when creating ...
Google tests AI vs AI to see if AI becomes 'aggressive' or cooperates
Google's artificial intelligence subsidiary DeepMind is pitting AI agents against one another to test how they interact with each other and how they would react in various "social dilemmas". In a new study, researchers said they used two video games – Wolfpack and Gathering – to examine how AI ag...
NASA Puts Forward a Plan to Hunt for Alien Life On Jupiter's Moon Europa
Nasa is considering launching a mission to search for aliens on Europa. Jupiter's icy moon is currently considered one of the most likely objects in the solar system to harbour life, and Nasa has set out a report detailing the potential scientific value of sending a lander there in the near futur...
Virtual reality journey through a tumor
Cambridge scientists have received two of the biggest funding grants ever awarded by Cancer Research UK, with the charity set to invest £40 million over the next five years in two ground-breaking research projects in the city. This is an enormous challenge. I liken it to the idea of putting a man...
Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer
A research team of physicists from Harvard University has developed new hand-held spectrometers capable of the same performance as large, benchtop instruments. The researchers' innovation explained this week in APL Photonics ("Ultra-compact visible chiral spectrometer with meta-lenses"), derives ...
"ON delayed" myopia cell discovered in retina
Scientists have discovered a cell in the retina that may cause myopia when it dysfunctions. The dysfunction may be linked to the amount of time a child spends indoors and away from natural light.

“This discovery could lead to a new therapeutic target to control myopia,” said Greg Schwartz, le...
Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice, down to a whisper
Improved delivery vector better penetrates the inner ear, also restores balance in a mouse model of Usher syndrome.

In the summer of 2015, a team at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School reported restoring rudimentary hearing in genetically deaf mice using gene therapy. Now the ...
Stanford scientists develop ‘lab on a chip’ that costs 1 cent to make
Microfluidics, electronics and inkjet technology underlie a newly developed all-in-one biochip from Stanford that can analyze cells for research and clinical applications.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a way to produce a cheap and reusable diagnostic "l...
Self-assembly of fully addressable DNA nanostructures from double crossover tiles
Two recently developed approaches in DNA self-assembly, DNA origami (1–11) and single-stranded tile (SST) (12–15), are capable of producing finite-size mega-Dalton structures by encoding programmable DNA complementarity. In DNA origami approach, a long scaffold (e.g. M13 viral genome) is folded, ...
Augmented reality guides surgeons during surgery
The system, which combines camera images of the outside of the patient with three-dimensional X-rays of the inside of the body, is designed to create a detailed path for the spinal surgeon to follow. This could help to improve surgical tool navigation and implant accuracy, as well as reducing pro...
Silent Communication: RNA Interference Between Different Plant Species
Plants and fungi can use conserved RNA interference machinery to regulate each other’s gene expression—and scientists think they can make use of this phenomenon to create a new generation of pesticides.
Plants, silent as they are to our ears, are in constant conversation with their environment. ...
Physicists Make the Case That Our Brains' Learning Is Controlled by Entropy
The way our brains learn new information has puzzled scientists for decades - we come across so much new information daily, how do our brains store what's important, and forget the rest more efficiently than any computer we've built?

It turns out that this could be controlled by the same laws t...
In 2022 two stars will merge and explode into a red fury
In 2022, there will be a spectacular sky show. Two stars will merge into one, pushing out excess gas into an explosion known as a red nova. At magnitude 2, it will be as bright as Polaris in the sky, and just behind Sirius and Vega in brightness. The collision in the constellation of Cygnus will ...
The Power of a Star: Sandia National Laboratories' Z Machine
Sandia's Z machine uses electricity to create radiation and high magnetic pressure, which are both applied to a variety of scientific purposes ranging from weapons research to the pursuit of fusion energy.

The process starts with wall-current electricity, which Z uses to charge large capacitors...
Study: Induced pluripotent stem cells don't increase genetic mutations
It's been more than 10 years since Japanese researchers Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., and his graduate student Kazutoshi Takahashi, Ph.D., developed the breakthrough technique to return any adult cell to its earliest stage of development (a pluripotent stem cell) and change it into different type...
New genetic engineering method indispensable biotechnological tool 
Research by Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Huimin Zhao and graduate student Behnam Enghiad is pioneering a new method of genetic engineering for basic and applied biological research and medicine. Their work, reported in ACS Synthetic Biology on February 6 [DOI:10.1021/acssynb...
Optogenetic Toolbox to Specifically Alter Methylation Pattern of Specific Sites
Enzymes involved in epigenetic processes such as methyltransferases or demethylases are becoming highly utilized for their persistent DNA or histone modifying efficacy. Scientists now have developed an optogenetic toolbox fused to the catalytic domain (CD) of DNA-methyltransferase3A (DNMT3A-CD) o...
Super-resolution microscopy reveals mechanics of tiny ‘DNA walkers’ 
Researchers have introduced a new type of “super-resolution” microscopy and used it to discover the precise walking mechanism behind tiny structures made of DNA that could find biomedical and industrial applications.

The researchers also demonstrated how the “DNA walker” is able to release an a...