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Biosciencia News
Everyday news through scientist eyes.
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How graphene and friends could harness the Sun's energy

How graphene and friends could harness the Sun's energy | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Combining wonder material graphene with other stunning one-atom thick materials could create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices, scientists have revealed.
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University of Manchester and National University of Singapore researchers have shown how building multi-layered heterostructures in a three-dimensional stack can produce an exciting physical phenomenon exploring new electronic devices.

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The World’s Smallest Movie, A Boy And His Atom

The World’s Smallest Movie, A Boy And His Atom | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it

You’re about to see the movie that holds the Guinness World Records™ record for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film…

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NASA Probe Spies Giant Hurricane on Saturn

NASA Probe Spies Giant Hurricane on Saturn | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it

A monster-sized hurricane raging around Saturn's north pole has come into focus, thanks to NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and researchers hope it will help shape our understanding of similar storms on Earth.

 

"Morphologically, this giant storm resembles that of hurricanes and typhoons on Earth—with an eye at its center and spiraling clouds outside—but this Saturnian hurricane is on a titanic scale," said Kunio Sayanagi, a Cassini imaging team member at Hampton University in Virginia.

 

Just the eye of the storm is estimated to stretch 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across—more than 20 times larger than hurricanes that swirl on Earth. Scientists aren't sure when the hurricane formed, but speculate that it could be a permanent weather feature, said fellow Cassini imaging team scientist Andrew Ingersoll at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

 

When Cassini first arrived at the gas giant in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere was deep in winter, with its north pole tilted away from the sun and shrouded in darkness. But the orbiter's two infrared cameras—which act like night-vision goggles—were able to pierce through the polar night and capture the first hints of the massive storm's existence.

With the eye of the storm being an actual hole in the clouds, the deeper, warmer layers of Saturn's atmosphere were exposed, showing up on the cameras as a telltale thermal emission, said Sayanagi.

 

"These cameras don't have very high resolution, but still saw a [infrared] hotspot at the pole earlier in the mission, which we found interesting," he explained.

 

Springtime for Saturn's northern hemisphere arrived in 2009, but Cassini researchers weren't able to get the spacecraft into the proper orbit to take pictures of the hurricane with optical cameras until November 2012.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A high-resolution picture of a large hurricane over Saturn's North Pole, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

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Astronomers discover new previously hidden neighbor galaxy to the Milky Way

Astronomers discover new previously hidden neighbor galaxy to the Milky Way | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Tiny, faint Leo P may point to additional galaxies hidden in our corner of the cosmos.

 

In recent years astronomers have extended their view almost to the very edge of the observable universe. With the venerable Hubble Space Telescope researchers have spotted a handful of galaxies so faraway that we see them as they appeared just 400 million years or so after the Big Bang.

 

But even as astronomers peer ever deeper into the Universe to explore the cosmic frontier, others are finding new realms to explore in our own backyard. Such is the case with Leo P, a dwarf galaxy that astronomers have just discovered in the Milky Way’s vicinity. At a distance of some five million or six million light-years from the Milky Way, Leo P is not quite a next-door neighbor, but on the vast scales of the Universe it counts as a neighbor nonetheless.

 

Intriguingly, Leo P seems to have kept to itself, rarely if ever interacting with other galaxies. So the discovery, detailed in a series of studies inThe Astronomical Journal1, offers astronomers a rare glimpse at a cosmic object unsullied by disruptive galactic encounters. It also suggests the presence of other small galaxies that await discovery in our corner of the cosmos.

 

Leo P is one of just a few dozen local galaxies that does not swarm around the Milky Way or its massive sibling Andromeda, each of which has been extensively scanned for companion galaxies in recent years. “There has been a massive increase in the number of these nearby galaxies” around the Milky Way and Andromeda, says astronomer Alan McConnachie of the National Research Council Canada’s Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, who did not contribute to the new research. “There have really been very, very few discoveries of dwarfs that are sort of sitting out in the middle of nowhere.” Those lonely dwarf galaxies, such as Leo P, are hard to spot because they are faint, distant, and could be found anywhere on the sky.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The newfound galaxy Leo P lies some five million light-years from the Milky Way

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World's largest optical telescope gets construction approval

World's largest optical telescope gets construction approval | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
The world’s largest optical telescope got the go ahead for construction at Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
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The next-generation telescope, which uses a 30-meter (98 ft) segmented mirror promises to capture images from the near-ultraviolet to the mid-infrared wavelengths with unprecedented clarity.

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Is A Handheld Spit Test For Diabetes On The Horizon?

Is A Handheld Spit Test For Diabetes On The Horizon? | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Engineers have come up with a way to use nanotechnology to measure sugar levels in saliva.
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Engeneers use nanotechnology to mesure sugar levels in saliva.

Over 300 millions individuals across the globe have type 2 diabetes.

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Zinc: The perfect material for bioabsorbable stents?

Zinc: The perfect material for bioabsorbable stents? | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —In 2012, more than 3 million people had stents inserted in their coronary arteries.
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Permanent stents are lifesavers, but they can also cause health problems when they are in the body for a long time. Michigan Tech researchers are investigating a new stent material, zinc, that would dissolve safely after the artery has healed.

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Genetic Sequencing Could Help Contain the Spread of Malaria in South-East Asia

Genetic Sequencing Could Help Contain the Spread of Malaria in South-East Asia | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Through genetic sequencing, a recent study identifies hereditary markers in new, resilient strains of malaria.
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Scientists have sequenced the genes of the plasmodium falciparum, a parasite known to cause malaria infections in humans, in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly disease.

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Measuring the Benefits of Technology - New York Times

Measuring the Benefits of Technology - New York Times | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Measuring the Benefits of Technology
New York Times
Yet if you were to rummage through American economic statistics you would find little evidence of journalism's technological leaps.
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T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children

T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Two children with an aggressive form of childhood leukemia had a complete remission of their disease—showing no evidence of cancer cells in their bodies—after treatment with a novel cell therapy that reprogrammed their immune cells to rapidly...
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New Leukemia therapy cure Emily Whitehead with her own cells...

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Very Large Array gives deep, detailed image of distant Universe

Very Large Array gives deep, detailed image of distant Universe | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Staring at a small patch of sky for more than 50 hours with the ultra-sensitive Karl G.
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About 2,000 discrete objects are identified in this VLA image of the distant Universe. This entire image constitutes only about one-millionth of the entire sky.

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The many faces of the bacterial defense system

The many faces of the bacterial defense system | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Even bacteria have a kind of "immune system" they use to defend themselves against unwanted intruders – in their case, viruses.
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The human immune system's main function is to protect us against invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. To perform its job, the system has evolved into a highly complex ensemble of cells, messengers, and antibody molecules.

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SpaceShipTwo goes supersonic on first powered flight

SpaceShipTwo goes supersonic on first powered flight | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
The Virgin Galactic space plane fired its rocket and soared above the Mojave Desert. Founder Richard Branson says they will reach space by year's end    
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For now the cost per seat is $200,000, but Branson hopes to see trips get more affordable as private space flight becomes routine.

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Science Finds Fountain of Youth Brain Region That Slows Down Aging

Science Finds Fountain of Youth Brain Region That Slows Down Aging | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Eternal or even elongated life is an idiotic thing to wish for. You don't want to get old, and then tack on 50 more years of wrinkles and Metamucil. But prolonged youth? Full body youth? More time being young and nubile and beautiful?

Via F. Thunus
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Scientists have for the first time found a region of the brain—a signaling pathway in the hypothalamus—that can slow down or speed up the aging process in mice.

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Printable “bionic” ear melds electronics and biology - R&D Magazine - R & D Magazine

Printable “bionic” ear melds electronics and biology - R&D Magazine - R & D Magazine | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
R & D Magazine Printable “bionic” ear melds electronics and biology - R&D Magazine R & D Magazine "In general, there are mechanical and thermal challenges with interfacing electronic materials with biological materials," said Michael McAlpine, an...
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Scientists used 3D printing to merge tissue and an antenna capable of receiving radio signals.

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Researchers Uncover Molecular Pathway to Grow New Arteries

Researchers Uncover Molecular Pathway to Grow New Arteries | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it

Scientists from Yale and UCL have identified a new mechanism that regulates VEGFR2 transport in vascular cells, opening new therapeutic opportunities for developing drugs to stimulate or inhibit blood vessel formation.

 

Arteries form in utero and during development, but can also form in adults when organs become deprived of oxygen — for example, after a heart attack. The organs release a molecular signal called VEGF. Working with mice, the Yale-UCL team discovered that in order for VEGF-driven artery formation to occur, VEGF must bind with two molecules known as VEGFR2 and NRP1, and all three must work as a team.

 

The researchers examined mice that were lacking a particular part of the NRP1 molecule that transports VEGF and VEGFR2 to a signaling center inside blood vessel walls. They observed that the internal organs of these mice contained poorly constructed arterial branches. Further, the mice where unable to efficiently repair blood vessel blockage through the formation of new arteries.

 

“We have identified an important new mechanism that regulates VEGFR2 transport in vascular cells,” said corresponding author Michael Simons, professor of medicine and cell biology, and director of the cardiovascular research center at Yale School of Medicine. “This opens new therapeutic opportunities for developing drugs that would either stimulate or inhibit blood vessel formation — important goals in cardiovascular and anti-cancer therapies, respectively.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Michael Simons, professor of medicine and cell biology, and director of the cardiovascular research center at Yale School of Medicine said "We have identified an important new mechanism that regulates VEGFR2 transport in vascular cells”

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Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye

Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it

Scientists have built a digital camera inspired by the compound eyes of insects such as bees and flies.

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In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging systems, with a wide-angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and an infinite depth of field.

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Stem Cell Breakthrough: Artificial Trachea Implant Saves Toddler Hannah Warren's Life

Stem Cell Breakthrough: Artificial Trachea Implant Saves Toddler Hannah Warren's Life | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Hannah Warren, 2½, was born was without a trachea, but an artificial nanofiber implant seeded with her bone marrow cells promises full recovery.
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Hannah Warren, 2½, underwent a nine-hour surgery for her artificial trachea implant at the Children's Hospital of Illinois. She is expected to fully recover.

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World's Largest Infrared Space Telescope Shuts Down Forever

After nearly four years mapping the "hidden universe," the largest infrared telescope ever launched into space has reached the end of its life, European Space Agency officials say. [More]
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The European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory launched in 2009 and ended its mission in 2013.

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First falcons born in Paris since 19th century

First falcons born in Paris since 19th century | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
The first peregrine falcons to be born in Paris since the end of the 19th century have hatched at the top of a giant heating tower close to the Eiffel Tower, it was announced on Tuesday.
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A peregrine falcon is born in a wooden box on June 7, 2011 on a windowsill in Lille, northern France. The first peregrine falcons to be born in Paris since the end of the 19th century have hatched at the top of a giant heating tower close to the Eiffel Tower, it was announced on Tuesday.

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Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight - NBCNews.com (blog)

Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight - NBCNews.com (blog) | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
NBCNews.com (blog)
Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight
NBCNews.com (blog)
By Megan Gannon, LiveScience. The lost English church where the body of King Richard III was discovered may still yield more treasures, researchers say.
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The skeleton of Richard III is seen in a trench at the Grey Friars excavation site in Leicester, central England.

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Bird fossil sheds light on how swift and hummingbird flight came to be

Bird fossil sheds light on how swift and hummingbird flight came to be | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
A tiny bird fossil discovered in Wyoming offers clues to the precursors of swift and hummingbird wings.
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E. rowei was an evolutionary precursor to the group that includes today's swifts and hummingbirds.

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‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time

‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
A radical theory predicting the existence of “time crystals” — perpetual motion objects that break the symmetry of time — is being put to the test.
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The idea came to Frank Wilczek. “I was thinking about the classification of crystals, and then it just occurred to me that it’s natural to think about space and time together,” he said. “So if you think about crystals in space, it’s very natural also to think about the classification of crystalline behavior in time.”

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Solar eclipse to sweep across Australia, Pacific Islands

Solar eclipse to sweep across Australia, Pacific Islands | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
An annular eclipse of the Sun, when a ring of everyday Sun remains around the Moon's silhouette, will sweep across the Australian outback and into the Pacific Ocean on the morning of May 10, local time.
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Homo floresiensis Shared Common Ancestor with Humans, Brain Study Shows

Homo floresiensis Shared Common Ancestor with Humans, Brain Study Shows | Biosciencia News | Scoop.it
Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo and the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ibaraki have precisely measured the brain size of Homo floresiensis, a dwarfed human species that lived between 95,000 and 18,000 years ago on a...
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