Fragments of Science
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Micro-algae is new energy source

Micro-algae is new energy source | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
science - In the Ennesys Lab in Nanterre, France, researchers are working on a project to produce energy from waste water by cultivating micro-algae in order to heat water and provide…
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Fragments of Science
The history, present and future and nature of science and their relationship
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Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A team of scientists from Russia and China has developed a model explaining the nature of high-energy cosmic rays (CRs) in our galaxy. These CRs have energies exceeding those produced by supernova explosions by one or two orders of magnitude. The model focuses mainly on the recent discovery of giant structures called Fermi bubbles.

One of the key problems in the theory of the origin of cosmic rays, which consist of high-energy protons and atomic nuclei, is their acceleration mechanism. The issue was addressed by Vitaly Ginzburg and Sergei Syrovatsky in the 1960s when they suggested that CRs are generated during supernova (SN) explosions in the galaxy. A specific mechanism of charged particle acceleration by SN shock waves was proposed by Germogen Krymsky and others in 1977. Due to the limited lifetime of the shocks, it is estimated that the maximum energy of the accelerated particles cannot exceed 1014-1015 eV.

Explaining the nature of particles with energies above 1015 eV is key. A major breakthrough in researching the acceleration processes of such particles came when the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope detected two gigantic structures emitting radiation in the gamma-ray band in the central area of the galaxy in November 2010. The structures are elongated and symmetrically located in the galactic plane perpendicular to its center, extending 50,000 light-years, or roughly half of the diameter of the Milky Way disk. These structures became known as Fermi bubbles. Later, the Planck telescope team discovered their emission in the microwave band.
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Art of Science winners focus on the beauty of the human body

Art of Science winners focus on the beauty of the human body | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A beautiful image that unearths the mysteries of embryonic lung development is one of the the winners the Art of Science competition, which focuses on the human body in microscopic detail.
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New evidence of early life on Earth date back 3.7 billion years

New evidence of early life on Earth date back 3.7 billion years | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Nobody knows with certainty when or where life first began on Earth, but it is so long ago that you might think all traces of early life had long since vanished.
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The implications of cosmic silence

The implications of cosmic silence | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The universe is incomprehensibly vast, with billions of other planets circling billions of other stars. The potential for intelligent life to exist somewhere out there should be enormous.
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How your mind protects you against hallucinations

How your mind protects you against hallucinations | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
More than 300 years ago, the philosopher René Descartes asked a disturbing question: If our senses can’t always be trusted, how can we separate illusion from reality? We’re able to do so, a new study suggests, because our brain keeps tabs on reality by constantly questioning its own past expectations and beliefs. Hallucinations occur when this internal fact-checking fails, a finding that could point toward better treatments for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.
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New version of DNA editing system corrects underlying defects in RNA-based diseases

New version of DNA editing system corrects underlying defects in RNA-based diseases | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Until recently, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing could only be used to manipulate DNA. In 2016, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers repurposed the technique to track RNA in live cells in a method called RNA-targeting Cas9. In a study published Aug. 10 in Cell, the team took RCas9 a step further: they corrected molecular mistakes that lead to microsatellite repeat expansion diseases, which include a type of ALS and Huntington's disease.
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Moon's magnetic field lasted far longer than once believed

Moon's magnetic field lasted far longer than once believed | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The moon's magnetic field lasted 1 billion to 2.5 billion years longer than once thought -- a finding with important implications for habitability on other moons and planets throughout the universe, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor says.
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Scientists Just Revealed a Hidden Secret About The Sun's Inner Core

Scientists Just Revealed a Hidden Secret About The Sun's Inner Core | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The innermost region of the Sun is hidden from our eyes, and it looks like this stealth has enabled the core to conceal a massive secret.

For the first time, scientists have been able to accurately measure the rotation of the solar core, revealing that it doesn't turn at the same speed as the surface – but rotates nearly four times faster.

While researchers had considered the possibility that the Sun's core rotation might not keep pace with its outer face, up until now there was no way of knowing for sure – and many assumed the whole Sun turned as one, like an integrated merry-go-round.

But the latest data, sourced by the ESA and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), provides the first evidence of a kind of low-frequency gravity wave (g-wave, not the same thing as gravitational waves) reverberating through the Sun, which turned out to be the key to capturing the core's rotation.
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Single molecular layer and thin silicon beam enable nanolaser operation at room temperature

Single molecular layer and thin silicon beam enable nanolaser operation at room temperature | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, researchers have built a nanolaser that uses only a single molecular layer, placed on a thin silicon beam, which operates at room temperature. The new device, developed by a team of researchers from Arizona State University and Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, could potentially be used to send information between different points on a single computer chip. The lasers also may be useful for other sensing applications in a compact, integrated format.

"This is the first demonstration of room-temperature operation of a nanolaser made of the single-layer material," said Cun-Zheng Ning, an ASU electrical engineering professor who led the research team. Details of the new laser are published in the July online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

In addition to Ning, key authors of the article, "Room-temperature Continuous-wave Lasing from Monolayer Molybdenum Ditelluride Integrated with a Silicon Nanobeam Cavity," include Yongzhuo Li, Jianxing Zhang, Dandan Huang from Tsinghua University.
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Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Researchers have found a surprisingly versatile workaround to create chemical compounds that could prove useful for medical imaging and drug development.
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Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A new electrochemical energy harvesting device developed at Vanderbilt University can generate electrical current from the full range of human motions and is thin enough to embed in clothing.
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New model for the origin of grid cells

New model for the origin of grid cells | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich neurobiologists present a new theory for the origin of the grid cells required for spatial orientation in the mammalian brain, which assigns a vital role to the timing of trains of signals they receive from neurons called place cells.

Nerve cells in the brain known as place cells and grid cells, respectively, play a crucial role in spatial navigation in mammals. Individual place cells in the hippocampus respond to only a few spatial locations. The grid cells in the entorhinal complex, on the other hand, fire at multiple positions in the environment, such that specific sets are consecutively activated as an animal traverses its habitat. These activation patterns give rise to a virtual map, made up of a hexagonal arrangement of grid cells that reflect the relative distances between particular landmarks in the real world. The brain is therefore capable of constructing a virtual map which encodes its own position in space.

The Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology 2015 went to the discoverers of this system, which has been referred to as the brain's GPS. However, the developmental relationship between place cells and grid cells, as well as the mechanism of origin of grid cells and their disposition in hexagonal lattices remain unclear. Now LMU neurobiologists Professor Christian Leibold and his coworker Mauro Miguel Monsalve Mercado have proposed a new theoretical model, which for the first time provides a plausible model based on known biological processes. The model implies that the development of grid cells and their response fields depend on synaptic input from place cells. The new findings are described in the journal Physical Review Letters.
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Wireless magnetic fields and actuator 'muscles' allow folding robots to move without batteries

Wireless magnetic fields and actuator 'muscles' allow folding robots to move without batteries | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The traditional Japanese art of origami transforms a simple sheet of paper into complex, three-dimensional shapes through a very specific pattern of folds, creases, and crimps. Folding robots based on that principle have emerged as an exciting new frontier of robotic design, but generally require onboard batteries or a wired connection to a power source, making them bulkier and clunkier than their paper inspiration and limiting their functionality. A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field.

"Like origami, one of the main points of our design is simplicity," says co-author Je-sung Koh, Ph.D., who conducted the research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute and SEAS and is now an Assistant Professor at Ajou University in South Korea. "This system requires only basic, passive electronic components on the robot to deliver an electric current - the structure of the robot itself takes care of the rest."
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Lego-Like Brain Balls Could Build a Living Replica of Your Noggin

Lego-Like Brain Balls Could Build a Living Replica of Your Noggin | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
To create a good living replica of the human brain, your best hope may be to let “organoid” components assemble it for you.
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Making the building blocks for artificial life

Making the building blocks for artificial life | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Irep Gözen has an obsession: she’s fascinated by making non-living materials that behave as if they were alive. Call it a kind of artificial life.
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Massive particles test standard quantum theory

Massive particles test standard quantum theory | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
In quantum mechanics particles can behave as waves and take many paths through an experiment. It requires only combinations of pairs of paths, rather than three or more, to determine the probability for a particle to arrive somewhere. Researchers at the universities of Vienna and Tel Aviv have addressed this question for the first time explicitly using the wave interference of large molecules behind various combinations of single, double, and triple slits.

Quantum mechanics describes how matter behaves on the smallest mass and length scales. However, the absence of quantum phenomena in our daily lives has triggered a search for minimal modifications of quantum mechanics, which might only be noticeable for massive particles. One candidate is to search for so-called higher-order interference. In standard quantum mechanics, the interference pattern resulting from an arbitrary number of non-interacting open paths can always be described by all combinations of pairs of paths. Any remaining pattern would be due to higher-order interference and be a possible indicator for new physics.
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New ultrathin semiconductor materials exceed some of silicon’s ‘secret’ powers | Stanford News

New ultrathin semiconductor materials exceed some of silicon’s ‘secret’ powers | Stanford News | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Two new ultrathin materials outdo silicon in ways that make them promising materials for electronics of the future.
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Blind quantum computing for everyone

Blind quantum computing for everyone | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, physicists have demonstrated that clients who possess only classical computers—and no quantum devices—can outsource computing tasks to quantum servers that perform blind quantum computing. "Blind" means the quantum servers do not have full information about the tasks they are computing, which ensures that the clients' computing tasks are kept secure. Until now, all blind quantum computing demonstrations have required that clients have their own quantum devices in order to delegate tasks for blind quantum computing.

The team of physicists, led by Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu at the University of Science and Technology of China, have published a paper on the demonstration of blind quantum computing for classical clients in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.
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Circular RNA linked to brain function

Circular RNA linked to brain function | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information -- like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3D

Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3D | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

A pioneering new study is set to help surgeons repair hearts without damaging precious tissue.

 

A team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), The University of Manchester, Aarhus University and Newcastle University, have developed a way of producing 3D data to show the cardiac conduction system -- the special cells that enable our hearts to beat -- in unprecedented detail. The findings were published in Scientific Reports.

 

The new data in this study gives them a much more accurate framework than previously available for computer models of the heartbeat and should improve our ability to make sense of troublesome heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation that affects 1.4 million people in the UK. The data reveals exactly where the cardiac conduction system is in a normal heart. For example, it shows just how close it runs to the aortic valve.

 

Professor Jonathan Jarvis who is based at the LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences explained: "The 3D data makes it much easier to understand the complex relationships between the cardiac conduction system and the rest of the heart. We also use the data to make 3D printed models that are really useful in our discussions with heart doctors, other researchers and patients with heart problems.

 

"New strategies to repair or replace the aortic valve must therefore make sure that they do not damage or compress this precious tissue. In future work we will be able to see where the cardiac conduction system runs in hearts that have not formed properly. This will help the surgeons who repair such hearts to design operations that have the least risk of damaging the cardiac conduction system."

 

Co-author Dr Halina Dobrzynski, who is based in The University of Manchester's Cardiovascular Division, has been working on the anatomy of the cardiac conduction system for 20 years. She says: "This is just the beginning. The British Heart Foundation is supporting my group to visualize this system in 3D from aged and failing hearts. With my research assistant Andrew Atkinson and working with Professor Jonathan Jarvis, Robert Stephenson and others, we will produce families of data from aged and failing hearts in 3D."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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View Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebooks Online and Go Inside the Mind of a Genius

View Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebooks Online and Go Inside the Mind of a Genius | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Now you can look inside the mind of a genius thanks to the British Library's digitization of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebook, "The Codex Arundel."
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Astrophysicists map out the light energy contained within the Milky Way

Astrophysicists map out the light energy contained within the Milky Way | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, a team of scientists have calculated the distribution of all light energy contained within the Milky Way, which will provide new insight into the make-up of our galaxy and how stars in spiral galaxies such as ours form. The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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NASA finds moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'

NASA finds moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes' | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.
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Shooting the Achilles heel of nervous system cancers

Shooting the Achilles heel of nervous system cancers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center devised a strategy to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells by capitalizing on vulnerabilities that are exposed only in tumor cells. These vulnerabilities are known as the 'Achilles heel' of cancer cells. Although much is known about the mutations that cause a cell to become malignant, little is known about these vulnerabilities. The team has published new findings on this topic.
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Holograms taken to new dimension

Holograms taken to new dimension | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Using sophisticated algorithms and a new fabrication method, a University of Utah team of electrical and computer engineers has discovered a way to create inexpensive full-color 2-D and 3-D holograms that are far more realistic, brighter and can be viewed at wider angles than current holograms. The applications for this technology could be wide-ranging, from currency and identification badges to amusement rides, 3-D movies and pictures on a larger scale, and advertisements.
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