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Toronto grads invent world’s most energy-efficient light bulb | Toronto Star

Toronto grads invent world’s most energy-efficient light bulb | Toronto Star | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The NanoLight, invented by three U of T graduates, uses only 12 watts of electricity yet generates the equivalent output of a 100-watt incandescent bulb.
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Fragments of Science
The history, present and future and nature of science and their relationship
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A better understanding of cell to cell communication

A better understanding of cell to cell communication | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
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.
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A Scientist Deploys Light And Sound To Reveal The Brain

A Scientist Deploys Light And Sound To Reveal The Brain | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Try to look inside the brain, and you're not going to get very far. But photoacoustic imaging may be a solution for the shortcomings of conventional imaging. It uses lasers to make the brain sing.
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New study shows how nanoparticles can clean up environmental pollutants

New study shows how nanoparticles can clean up environmental pollutants | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Nanomaterials and UV light can “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water.
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New Nazca geoglyphs in Peru could be older than famous Unesco site

New Nazca geoglyphs in Peru could be older than famous Unesco site | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Japanese team believes new images are older than the famous monkey, spider and hummingbird at the Unesco World Heritage site
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An Alternative Approach to Nuclear Fusion: Think Smaller

An Alternative Approach to Nuclear Fusion: Think Smaller | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A UK group is trying to use new superconducting tech to make a smaller fusion reactor.
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Neurones involved in everyday memories identified

Neurones involved in everyday memories identified | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Scientists have identified individual neurones involved in the formation of memories of everyday events.
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Blue energy: How mixing water can create electricity

Blue energy: How mixing water can create electricity | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The intriguing chemistry that occurs where rivers meet the sea could power our homes and much more, says Phillip Ball.
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Water: the strangest chemical in the universe – video

Water: the strangest chemical in the universe – video | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
You think you know water, but you don't. And if it wasn't so odd, you wouldn't be here.
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Yeast can live with human genes

Yeast can live with human genes | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

“It’s quite amazing,” says evolutionary biologist Matthew Hahn of Indiana University, Bloomington, who wasn’t connected to the study. “It means that the same genes can carry out the same functions after 1 billion years of divergence.”

Scientists have known for years that humans share molecular similarities with the microorganisms that help make our bread and beer. Our genome contains counterparts to one-third of yeast genes. And on average, the amino acid sequences of comparable yeast and human proteins overlap by 32%.

One example of shared genes piqued the interest of systems biologist Edward Marcotte of the University of Texas, Austin, and colleagues. Yeasts are single-celled and bloodless, yet they carry genes that orchestrate the growth of new blood vessels in vertebrates. In yeast, these genes help cells respond to stress. “That got us questioning the extent to which the yeast and human genes are doing the same thing,” Marcotte says.

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Cytotoxic T-cells destroying cancer cells captured on film

Cytotoxic T-cells destroying cancer cells captured on film | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

A dramatic video has captured the behavior of cytotoxic T cells – the body’s ‘serial killers’ – as they hunt down and eliminate cancer cells before moving on to their next target.

 

In a study published today in the journal Immunity, a collaboration of researchers from the UK and the USA, led by Professor Gillian Griffiths at the University of Cambridge, describe how specialised members of our white blood cells known as cytotoxic T cells destroy tumour cells and virally-infected cells. Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, the research team, with funding from the Wellcome Trust, has captured the process on film.

“Inside all of us lurks an army of serial killers whose primary function is to kill again and again,” explains Professor Griffiths, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. “These cells patrol our bodies, identifying and destroying virally infected and cancer cells and they do so with remarkable precision and efficiency.”

There are billions of T cells within our blood – one teaspoon full of blood alone is believed to have around 5 million T cells, each measuring around 10 micrometres in length, about a tenth the width of a human hair. Each cell is engaged in the ferocious and unrelenting battle to keep us healthy. The cells, seen in the video as orange or green amorphous ‘blobs’ move around rapidly, investigating their environment as they travel.

When a cytotoxic T cell finds an infected cell or, in the case of the film, a cancer cell (blue), membrane protrusions rapidly explore the surface of the cell, checking for tell-tale signs that this is an uninvited guest. The T cell binds to the cancer cell and injects poisonous proteins known as cytotoxins (red) down special pathways called microtubules to the interface between the T cell and the cancer cell, before puncturing the surface of the cancer cell and delivering its deadly cargo.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, May 23, 8:10 PM

This is a Fascinating very short film!

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Human ancestors made stone tools 3.3 million years ago

Human ancestors made stone tools 3.3 million years ago | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Anthropologists say the discovery of ancient stone tools found in Kenya challenges the mainstream story of mankind.
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The Particle That Broke a Cosmic Speed Limit | Quanta Magazine

The Particle That Broke a Cosmic Speed Limit |  Quanta Magazine | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Physicists are beginning to unravel the mysteries of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, particles accelerated by the most powerful forces in the universe.
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Beauty blow for supersymmetry

Beauty blow for supersymmetry | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
In a new blow for the "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, scientists have detected new evidence of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.
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Oil droplets turn cells into tiny lasers

Oil droplets turn cells into tiny lasers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Injecting single cells with spheres of fluorescent dye could open new research and treatment avenues using light.
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Scientists announce discovery of new 'pentaquark' particle

Scientists announce discovery of new 'pentaquark' particle | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider announce the discovery of a new kind of particle called the pentaquark.
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How You Consist of Trillions of Tiny Machines by Tim Flannery

How You Consist of Trillions of Tiny Machines by Tim Flannery | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Today, driven by ongoing technological innovations, the exploration of the “nanoverse,” as the realm of the minuscule is often termed, continues to gather pace. One of the field’s greatest pioneers is Paul Falkowski, a biological oceanographer who has spent much of his scientific career working at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and biology. His book Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable focuses on one of the most astonishing discoveries of the twentieth century—that our cells are comprised of a series of highly sophisticated “little engines” or nanomachines that carry out life’s vital functions. It is a work full of surprises, arguing for example that all of life’s most important innovations were in existence by around 3.5 billion years ago—less than a billion years after Earth formed, and a period at which our planet was largely hostile to living things. How such mind-bending complexity could have evolved at such an early stage, and in such a hostile environment, has forced a fundamental reconsideration of the origins of life itself.

At a personal level, Falkowski’s work is also challenging. We are used to thinking of ourselves as composed of billions of cells, but Falkowski points out that we also consist of trillions of electrochemical machines that somehow coordinate their intricate activities in ways that allow our bodies and minds to function with the required reliability and precision. As we contemplate the evolution and maintenance of this complexity, wonder grows to near incredulity.
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How do you solve a puzzle like neutrinos?

How do you solve a puzzle like neutrinos? | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
When it comes to studying particles that zip through matter as though it weren’t even there, you use every method you can think of.
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Plants make big decisions with microscopic cellular competition

Plants make big decisions with microscopic cellular competition | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Like other multicellular creatures, plants must coordinate activity among many different types of cells and tissues. Messages, demands, warnings and alerts shuttle among cells near and far. These messages determine what jobs cells take on and how they work together to build and maintain tissues and organs. A team of researchers has identified a mechanism that some plant cells use to receive complex and contradictory messages from their neighbors.
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Christian Allié's curator insight, July 14, 4:18 AM

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'The cell has these competing signals that it has to interpret, and it uses the same surface protein for both,' said Torii. This type of signal delivery system -- where two opposing messages compete directly for access to the same proteins -- exists in animals. But this type of antagonistic signaling has never been seen in plants, she added.

This is a particularly surprising finding because Stomagen and EPF2 look very similar to one another. They differ in only a few key qualities. Yet those small differences amount to big differences in the messages they deliver to cells.

The discovery sheds light on the mechanisms that cells employ to detect and process messages -- including conflicting signals -- from the outside world. In the future, Torii would like to understand how the pro-stomata and anti-stomata messages act once they're inside plant cells.

'This paper is just the beginning,' she said.

 

Lee, who conducted this research as a postdoctoral fellow in Torii's lab, is now an assistant professor of biology at Concordia University in Montreal. Other co-authors are Marketa Hnilova with the UW's Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Biology researchers Michal Maes, Ya-Chen Lisa Lin, Aarthi Putarjunan, Soon-Ki Han and Julian Avila.

 

This research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF3035).

 

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Washington. The original item was written by James Urton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System

Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

“Instead of asking, ‘How do we study the immune response of the brain?,’ ‘Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?,’ now we can approach this mechanistically – because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor in U.Va.’s Department of Neuroscience and director of U.Va.’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. “It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions."

He added, “We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role. [It’s] hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a [neurological] disease with an immune component.”
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Large Plasma Tubes Confirmed to Exist Above The Earth's Atmosphere

Large Plasma Tubes Confirmed to Exist Above The Earth's Atmosphere | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For over six decades, scientists have speculated about the existence of plasma structures that reside in the magnetosphere’s inner layers. Researchers in Australia have now created 3D images of these tubes for the very first time, proving they’re quite real.
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What Are Extrasolar Planets?

What Are Extrasolar Planets? | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For generations, humans have looked out at the night sky and wondered if they were alone in the universe. With the discovery of other planets in our Solar System, the true extent of the Milky Way galaxy, and other galaxies beyond our own, this question has only deepened and become more profound.
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The new shape of fusion

The new shape of fusion | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
After decades of slow progress with doughnut-shaped reactors, magnetic fusion labs are gambling on a redesign
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Two sides of supernova origin revealed

Two sides of supernova origin revealed | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

The findings, published in separate papers in this week's Nature, resolve a long-standing debate about the origins of these stellar explosions, and how they are used to measure cosmic distances across the universe.

"Thermonuclear supernovae explosions appear to be uniform, and we can use that uniformity as measuring sticks to figure out the size of the universe," says Dr Brad Tucker of the Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory, an author on one of the two papers reporting on the phenomena.

Thermonuclear supernovae -- sometimes referred to as type 1a supernovae -- involve the explosive destruction of a white dwarf in a close binary orbit with another star.

"However, we've kind of had this dirty little secret going on, in that we really don't know what the companion star is," says Tucker.

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Feature: Cuban science comes in from the cold

Feature: Cuban science comes in from the cold | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
After keeping science alive during decades of scarcity, Cuba's "guerrilla scientists" are ready to rejoin the world
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Epigenetics – how the environment influences our genes

Epigenetics – how the environment influences our genes | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The science behind a rapid paradigm shift When the first human genome was decoded, popular thinking went: "If we know the genes, we know the person." Today, barely 15 years later, science is in the middle of an exciting new area of research, which...

Via Dimitris Tsantaris
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Julianna Bonola's curator insight, May 12, 1:23 AM

The latest and greatest find in the search for how traits are passed down from generation to generation.  Read on ...