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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'Optical fibre' made out of thin air

'Optical fibre' made out of thin air | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Scientists say they have turned thin air into an 'optical fibre' that can transmit and amplify light signals without the need for any cables.
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Quantum bounce could make black holes explode

Quantum bounce could make black holes explode | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
If space-time is granular, it could reverse gravitational collapse and turn it into expansion.
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The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

"In the earliest days of microbiology, scientists were stumped about how to isolate bacteria. That is, until the family cook—a woman named Angelina—changed everything by bringing her culinary insight into the lab. Before Angelina, the work of classifying different bacteria seemed hopelessly complex. Unable to differentiate them, Linnaeus classified all bacteria in the order Chaos in 1763. (Today, Chaos is a genus of giant amoebae.) In the 1800s, scientists studying the spots of fungus growing on moldy bread and meat began to realize that each spot was an individual species of microorganism, which could be transferred to a fresh piece of food and grown in isolation. Inspired by these early food-based studies, Robert Koch used thin slices of potatoes as naturally occurring "Petri dishes" when he began his studies of bacterial pathogens."

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New screen technology paves way for digital contact lenses

New screen technology paves way for digital contact lenses | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A new display technology promises to provide thinner, lighter screens, with higher resolution and lower power consumption than current options such as LCD and organic LED.
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A hotspot for powerful cosmic rays: Physicists a step closer to finding mysterious sources

A hotspot for powerful cosmic rays: Physicists a step closer to finding mysterious sources | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
An observatory run by the University of Utah found a 'hotspot' beneath the Big Dipper emitting a disproportionate number of the highest-energy cosmic rays. The discovery moves physics another step toward identifying the mysterious sources of the most energetic particles in the universe.
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Evolution of life's operating system revealed in detail

Evolution of life's operating system revealed in detail | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study.
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Quantum state may be a real thing

Quantum state may be a real thing | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Physicists summon up their courage and go after the nature of reality.
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The Story of H.M.: The Amnesiac Who Profoundly Changed the Way We Think About Memory

The Story of H.M.: The Amnesiac Who Profoundly Changed the Way We Think About Memory | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

In our minds, we more or less equate our identities with our memories; our very selves seem the sum total of all we’ve done and felt and seen. That’s why we cling to our memories so hard, even to our detriment sometimes—they seem the only bulwark we have against the erosion of the self. That’s also why disorders that rob us of our memories seem so cruel.

In the excerpt below, I explore one of the most profound cases of amnesia in medical history, H.M., who taught us several important things about how memory works. Perhaps most important, he taught us that different types of memories exist in the brain, and that each type is controlled by different structures. In fact, H.M. so profoundly changed our ideas about memory that it’s hard to remember what things were like before him.

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A Sunken Kingdom Re-emerges

A Sunken Kingdom Re-emerges | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The floods and storms that battered Britain earlier this year radically changed the way archaeologists interpret the landscape.
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Eel genome unlocks mysteries of electric fish

Eel genome unlocks mysteries of electric fish | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Electric fish can unleash a wicked jolt, now scientists have used genetic studies to unravel how this remarkable ability evolved six times in the history of life.
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Why Anesthesia Is One of the Greatest Medical Mysteries of Our Time

Why Anesthesia Is One of the Greatest Medical Mysteries of Our Time | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Anesthesia was a major medical breakthrough, allowing us to lose consciousness during surgery and other painful procedures. Trouble is, we're not entirely sure how it works. But now we're getting closer to solving its mystery -- and with it, the mystery of consciousness itself.
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Ancient skulls trace Neanderthal evolution

Ancient skulls trace Neanderthal evolution | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
An analysis of skulls found in a Spanish cave reveals the oldest-known humans to have Neanderthal-like features lived about 430,000 years ago.
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Human brain's ultimate barrier to open for first time

Human brain's ultimate barrier to open for first time | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

"It's neuroscience's final frontier. Tiny bubbles will open the blood-brain barrier to sneak drugs into tumours – and we might treat Alzheimer's the same way."

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Researchers develop powerful single-cell epigenetic methylation mapping to study environmental effects on DNA

Researchers develop powerful single-cell epigenetic methylation mapping to study environmental effects on DNA | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Centre, have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents. The technique can be used to map all of the ‘epigenetic marks’ on the DNA within a single cell.  This single-cell approach will boost understanding of embryonic development, could enhance clinical applications like cancer therapy and fertility treatments, and has the potential to reduce the number of mice currently needed for this research.

 

‘Epigenetic marks’ are chemical tags or proteins that mark DNA and act as a kind of cellular memory. They do not change the DNA sequence but record a cell’s experiences onto the DNA, which allows cells to remember an experience long after it has faded. Placing these tags is part of normal development; they tell genes whether to be switched on or off and so can determine how the cell develops. Different sets of active genes make a skin cell different from a brain cell, for example. However, environmental cues such as diet can also alter where epigenetic tags are laid down on DNA and influence an organism’s long-term health.

 

Dr Gavin Kelsey, from the Babraham Institute, said: “The ability to capture the full map of these epigenetic marks from individual cells will be critical for a full understanding of early embryonic development, cancer progression and aid the development of stem cell therapies.

 

“Epigenetics research has mostly been reliant on using the mouse as a model organism to study early development. Our new single-cell method gives us an unprecedented ability to study epigenetic processes in human early embryonic development, which has been restricted by the very limited amount of tissue available for analysis.”

 

The new research, published in Nature Methods, offers a new single-cell technique capable of analysing DNA methylation – one of the key epigenetic marks – across the whole genome. The method treats the cellular DNA with a chemical called bisulphite. Treated DNA is then amplified and read on high-throughput sequencing machines to show up the location of methylation marks and the genes being affected.

 

These analyses will help to define how epigenetic changes in individual cells during early development drive cell fate. Current methods observe epigenetic marks in multiple, pooled cells. This can obscure modifications taking place in individual cells at a time in development when each cell has the potential to form in a unique way. The new method has already revealed that many of the methylation marks that differ between individual cells are precisely located in sites that control gene activity.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Fossils show sea creature's half-billion-year-old brain

Fossils show sea creature's half-billion-year-old brain | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Spectacular fossils unearthed in China show detailed brain structures of a bizarre group of sea creatures that were the top predators more than half a billion years ago.
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CERN makes first precise measurements of antihydrogen

CERN makes first precise measurements of antihydrogen | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Physicists edges a step closer to understanding antimatter after making the first precise measurements of antihydrogen’s electric charge.
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Astrobiology - The hunt for life beyond Earth

Astrobiology - The hunt for life beyond Earth | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
One of the oldest questions may be answered in our lifetimes. Are we alone?
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Nucleoids and the structure of life

Nucleoids and the structure of life | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —In the brave new world of three-parent embryos several inherited mitochondrial diseases can potentially be solved. One slightly dubious argument used by its champions to assuage equally dubious traditional ethical objections is that a mitochondrial donor only supplies 16.6K base pairs ...
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Researchers find unfolded-protein-response can both activate and degrade cell death receptor 5 protein

Researchers find unfolded-protein-response can both activate and degrade cell death receptor 5 protein | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from several facilities in California and from one in Australia has found evidence that an unfolded-protein-response can both activate and degrade the death receptor 5 protein (DR5). As the team describes in their paper published in the journal Science, ...
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11,000 years old elk bones shrouded in mystery

11,000 years old elk bones shrouded in mystery | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Someone put elk bones in a bog several thousand years ago -- but archaeologists have no clue who it was.
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Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away

Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Astronomers discovered a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone of Gliese 832 (GJ 832), a red-dwarf star previously known to host a Jupiter-like planet.
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Supermassive black hole trio discovered

Supermassive black hole trio discovered | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A distant galaxy containing three supermassive black holes, each millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun, has been discovered 4 billion light-years away.
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Puffing Sun Gives Birth To Reluctant Eruption

Puffing Sun Gives Birth To Reluctant Eruption | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A suite of NASA's sun-gazing spacecraft have spotted an unusual series of solar eruptions.
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Fast-flowing gas curtails black hole growth

Fast-flowing gas curtails black hole growth | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Astronomers have discovered a powerful gas stream that limits how big a black hole can grow, preventing it from growing faster than the galaxy around it.
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New molecules around old stars

Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.
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