Researchers of the ISREC Institute at the School of Life Sciences, EPFL, have deciphered the mechanism whereby some microRNAs are retained in the cell while others are secreted and delivered to neighboring cells.
ESO, European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere
The international team, led by Stephane Guilloteau at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, France, measured the temperature of large dust grains around the young star 2MASS J16281370-2431391 in the spectacular Rho Ophiuchi star formation region, about 400 light-years from Earth.
This star is surrounded by a disc of gas and dust -- such discs are called protoplanetary discs as they are the early stages in the creation of planetary systems. This particular disc is seen nearly edge-on, and its appearance in visible light pictures has led to its being nicknamed the Flying Saucer.
The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe the glow coming from carbon monoxide molecules in the 2MASS J16281370-2431391 disc. They were able to create very sharp images and found something strange -- in some cases they saw a negative signal! Normally a negative signal is physically impossible, but in this case there is an explanation, which leads to a surprising conclusion."
Researchers often analyze isolated biomolecules in test tubes, and it is doubtful if the results can be applied to densely-packed cells. A team from Bochum, Dortmund and Greifswald monitored the folding of an RNA structure in the living cell and compared the results with those of test tube analyses.
(Robert Dash's subjects are stomata — plant pores that take carbon dioxide in and push oxygen and water out. Though his subjects are barely a fraction of the size of a pinhead, they pack a world of wonder.
Dash uses a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to produce the micrographs. But first he must prepare the plant specimen — stems, leaves, and flowers that are no larger than a grain of rice — through an elaborate process that involves drying them out and coating them with a light mist of gold or palladium so that they conduct electricity. "Once in the SEM," Dash says, "it is not light but a beam of electrons which scans the sample and creates an image."
Dash admits he's drawn to the images that suggest eyes and mouths. "These symbolize an intelligence and cleverness of a significant life form that we interact with daily, but know so little about," he says. "I'm fascinated by the intelligence of plants."
Study suggests that plate tectonics—the dynamic processes that formed Earth’s mountains, volcanoes and continents—began about 3 billion years ago.
“Because the evolution of continental crust is linked to many major geological processes on Earth, this work may provide a basis for a variety of future studies of Earth history,” Tang said. “For example, weathering of this magnesium-rich crust may have affected the chemistry of the ancient ocean, where life on Earth evolved. As for the onset of plate tectonics, I don’t think this study will close the argument, but it certainly adds a compelling new dimension to the discussion.”
A new initiative gets us closer to understanding how our brain cells communicate
There are close to 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Researchers know a lot about how these individual cells behave, primarily through “electrophysiology,” which involves sticking fine electrodes into cells to record their electrical activity. We also know a fair amount about the gross organization of the brain into partially specialized anatomical regions, thanks to whole-brain imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measure how blood oxygen levels change as regions that work harder demand more oxygen to fuel metabolism. We know little, however, about how the brain is organized into distributed “circuits” that underlie faculties like, memory or perception. And we know even less about how, or even if, cells are arranged into “local processors” that might act as components in such networks.
We also lack knowledge regarding the “code” large numbers of cells use to communicate and interact. This is crucial, because mental phenomena likely emerge from the simultaneous activity of many thousands, or millions, of interacting neurons. In other words, neuroscientists have yet to decipher the “language” of the brain. “The first phase is learning what the brain's natural language is. If your resolution [in a hypothetical language detector] is too coarse, so you're averaging over paragraphs, or chapters, you can't hear individual words or discern letters,” says physicist Michael Roukes of the California Institute of Technology, one of the authors of the “Brain Activity Map” (BAM) paper published in 2012 in Neuron that inspired the BRAIN Initiative. “Once we have that, we could talk to the brain in complete sentences.”
A new simple, cost-effective approach that may open up an effective way to make other metallic/semiconducting nanomaterials.
A team of Korean researchers, affiliated with UNIST has recently pioneered in developing a new simple nanowire manufacturing technique that uses self-catalytic growth process assisted by thermal decomposition of natural gas. According to the research team, this method is simple, reproducible, size-controllable, and cost-effective in that lithium-ion batteries could also benefit from it.
In their approach, they discovered that germanium nanowires are grown by the reduction of germanium oxide particles and subsequent self-catalytic growth during the thermal decomposition of natural gas, and simultaneously, carbon sheath layers are uniformly coated on the nanowire surface.
This study is a collaboration among scientists, including Prof. SooJin Park (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering) and Prof. Sang Kyu Kwak (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering), Dr. Sinho Choi (UNIST), Combined M.S./Ph.D. Student Dae Yeon Hwang (UNIST), and Researcher Jieun Kim (Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology).
Using new methods, astrophysicists from the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), Germany, simulate the common-envelope phase of binary stars, discovering dynamic irregularities that may help to explain how supernovae evolve. They used and adapted the AREPO code for hydrodynamic simulations . It solves the equations on a moving mesh that follows the mass flow, and thus enhances the accuracy of the model.
It is already hard work to determine the age of a star, and now it just got a bit harder. New research suggests that there is no apparent correlation between the speed at which a star rotates and it’s age--at least not for old stars.
A team from the Jet Propulsion Lab describe in Optical Engineering a new imaging spectrometer design that could enable improved images from NASA's Landsat, for better understanding of phenomena, and environments as diverse as coral reefs, urbanization, tropical deforestation, and glaciers. The journal is published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
A project at The Ohio State University is testing whether high-tech objects that look a bit like artificial trees can generate renewable power when they are shaken by the wind -- or by the sway of a tall building, traffic on a bridge or even seismic activity.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) afflict approximately half of HIV infected patients.
Nearly half of HIV infected patients suffer from impaired neurocognitive function. The HIV protein transactivator of transcription (Tat) is an important contributor to HIV neuropathogenesis because it is a potent neurotoxin that continues to be produced despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that Tat altered the activity of networked neurons and that the network adapted to the presence of the toxin. The research article entitled, "HIV-1 Tat-Induced Changes in Synaptically-Driven Network Activity Adapt During Prolonged Exposure" is featured in the journal 'Current HIV Research'.
Researchers working under Juerg Leuthold, Professor of Photonics and Communications, have created the world's smallest integrated optical switch. Applying a small voltage causes an atom to relocate, turning the switch on or off.
The quantity of data exchanged via communications networks around the globe is growing at a breathtaking rate. The volume of data for wired and mobile communications is currently increasing by 23% and 57% respectively every year. It is impossible to predict when this growth will end. This also means that all network components must constantly be made more efficient.
These components include so-called modulators, which convert the information that is originally available in electrical form into optical signals. Modulators are therefore nothing more than fast electrical switches that turn a laser signal on or off at the frequency of the incoming electrical signals. Modulators are installed in data centres in their thousands. However, they all have the disadvantage of being quite large. Measuring a few centimetres across, they take up a great deal of space when used in large numbers.
Scientists at the University of Maryland have a new recipe for batteries: Bake a leaf, and add sodium. They used a carbonized oak leaf, pumped full of sodium ...
The lower side of the maple leaf is studded with pores for the leaf to absorb water. In this new design, the pores absorb the sodium electrolyte. At the top, the layers of carbon that made the leaf tough become sheets of nanostructured carbon to absorb the sodium that carries the charge.
"The natural shape of a leaf already matches a battery's needs: a low surface area, which decreases defects; a lot of small structures packed closely together, which maximizes space; and internal structures of the right size and shape to be used with sodium electrolyte," said Fei Shen, a visiting student in the department of materials science and engineering and the other main author of the paper.
"We have tried other natural materials, such as wood fiber, to make a battery," said Liangbing Hu, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering. "A leaf is designed by nature to store energy for later use, and using leaves in this way could make large-scale storage environmentally friendly."
The next step, Hu said, is "to investigate different types of leaves to find the best thickness, structure and flexibility" for electrical energy storage. The researchers have no plans to commercialize at this time.
The iron Fe2+ atom embedded in a semiconductor exhibits a single non-degenerate ground state of zero magnetic moment. A team of scientists from the University of Warsaw has just shown that by using sufficiently large strain it is possible to tailor the energy spectrum of the iron atom to obtain doubly degenerate (magnetic) ground state. Such a state can be utilized for storage and processing of the quantum information.
A NASA team has been tapped to build a new type of communications modem that will employ an emerging, potentially revolutionary technology that could transform everything from telecommunications, medical imaging, advanced manufacturing to national defense.
The surface of the sun writhes and dances. Far from the still, whitish-yellow disk it appears to be from the ground, the sun sports twisting, towering loops and swirling cyclones that reach into the solar upper atmosphere, ...
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.