Fragments of Science
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Giant magnetized outflows from our Galactic Center

Giant magnetized outflows from our Galactic Center | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

Two years ago, CfA astronomers reported the discovery of giant, twin lobes of gamma-ray emission protruding about 50,000 light-years above and below the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, and centered on the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's core. The scientists argued then that the bubbles were produced either by an eruption from the black hole sometime in the past, or else by a burst of star formation in that vicinity. It now appears that these giant bubbles of hot gas can be seen at radio wavelengths as well.

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Fragments of Science
The history, present and future and nature of science and their relationship
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The race to map the human body — one cell at a time

The race to map the human body — one cell at a time | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A host of detailed cell atlases could revolutionize understanding of cancer and other diseases.
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Russian scientists slowed down aging

Russian scientists slowed down aging | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The major goal of the study was to investigate the role of intracellular powerstations -- mitochondria -- in the process of ageing of organism. Importantly, scientists made an attempt to slow down ageing using a novel compound: artificial antioxidant SkQ1 precisely targeted into mitochondria. This compound was developed in the Moscow State University by the most cited Russian biologist professor Vladimir Skulachev.
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The Telescopes of the Future, and What We Will See Through Them

The Telescopes of the Future, and What We Will See Through Them | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
James Webb is only the beginning.
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The incredible shrinking computer chip

The incredible shrinking computer chip | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Leibniz Institute have built a computer chip that receives, processes and transmits data at record speeds.
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Minor planet named Bernard

Minor planet named Bernard | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A minor planet in the Solar System will officially be known as Bernardbowen from today after Australian citizen science project theSkyNet won a competition to name the celestial body.
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Soon, Earth's Magnetic Poles Could Flip

Throughout Earth's history, the magnetic poles have consistently and gradually flipped. Our next flip could create unique problems for humankind.
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Discovery in the Bay of Aarhus can solve the puzzle of our primordial origin

Discovery in the Bay of Aarhus can solve the puzzle of our primordial origin | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Two meters down, among the dark sediments at the bottom of the Bay of Aarhus in Denmark, scientists have discovered a crucial piece in the puzzle of our deepest history: the origin of life.
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Evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling found to play a role in great die-off 250 million years ago

Evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling found to play a role in great die-off 250 million years ago | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in China and the U.S. has found evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling before, during and after the great die-off 250 million years ago and suggest it could be the cause of so many species going extinct. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes evidence they found in rocks in Canada and Japan that suggests at least part of the great die-off was due to excess toxic sulphides permeating the world's oceans.

Approximately 252 million years ago, the Earth experienced the largest die-off in its history, with approximately 90 percent of all life on the planet going extinct. Scientists have put forth a number of theories regarding the cause, but to date, a consensus has not been reached. In this new effort, the research team suggests that a type of shoaling began to occur for unknown reasons, which stirred up sulphides resting on the seafloor causing them to mix with seawater and making it impossible for most life in the ocean to survive.
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Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers

Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Research published today in Nature from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah shows how epithelial cells naturally turn over, maintaining constant numbers between cell division and cell death.

Epithelial cells comprise the skin and skin-like linings that coat internal organs, giving organs a protective barrier so they can function properly. Cells turn over very quickly in epithelia. To maintain healthy cell densities, an equal number of cells must divide and die. If that balance gets thrown off, inflammatory diseases or cancers can arise.

The study leader, Jody Rosenblatt, PhD, investigator at HCI and associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah, says, "If too many epithelial cells die, you can lose the organ barrier function and inflammatory diseases like asthma and colitis can result. On the other hand, if too many cells divide compared to the number dying, this can cause an overabundance of cells, which can lead to tumor formation. So imbalance on either side is problematic."
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Measuring Entropy

Measuring Entropy | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

"Chemical reactions, especially in biological systems, oftentimes involve macromolecules changing their shape - their "configuration" - for instance, by rotation or translational movements. To study what drives or impedes molecular mobility in more detail chemists and physicists turn to simplified model systems such as individual molecules adhering to a surface. These can then be investigated at temperatures just a few degrees above absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) using, for instance, a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), which can probe numerous physical properties of surfaces at the atomic level.


A well-known molecule for this kind of studies is dibutyl-sulfide (DBS), a lengthy hydrocarbon with a central Sulphur atom, through which the molecule can be absorbed (attached) to a gold surface. Depending on the temperature the two "arms" rotate more or less easily about the central Sulphur "axis". There are two physical parameters that are typically used to describe how free to move a molecule on a surface is: the energy barrier it has to overcome to carry out the movement in question - for chemical reactions this barrier is called activation energy -, and the attempt rate, which one can picture as the number of attempts made by the molecule to initiate the movement. And the higher the temperature, the more the two DBS arms rotate (because, at higher temperatures, they are more likely to overcome the energy barrier)."

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Ancient jars found in Judea reveal earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

Ancient jars found in Judea reveal earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

Surprising new evidence derived from ancient ceramics proves that the Earth's geomagnetic force fluctuates -- not diminishes -- over time, Tel Aviv University researchers say.


The Earth's geomagnetic field has been undulating for thousands of years. Data obtained from the analysis of well-dated Judean jar handles provide information on changes in the strength of the geomagnetic field between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, indicating a fluctuating field that peaked during the 8th century BCE.


"The field strength of the 8th century BCE corroborates previous observations of our group, first published in 2009, of an unusually strong field in the early Iron Age. We call it the 'Iron Age Spike,' and it is the strongest field recorded in the last 100,000 years," says Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU's Institute of Archaeology, the study's lead investigator. "This new finding puts the recent decline in the field's strength into context. Apparently, this is not a unique phenomenon — the field has often weakened and recovered over the last millennia."


http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2017/02/07/1615797114.DCSupplemental/pnas.1615797114.sapp.pdf

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Earth's deepest ocean trenches among the planet's most polluted places

Earth's deepest ocean trenches among the planet's most polluted places | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Deep ocean trenches — considered the most remote places in the world — have levels of toxic, industrial chemicals 50 times higher than a highly polluted river system in China, an analysis of tiny deep-sea animals has found.
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New metalloid oxide reducing bacteria found in manitoba's nopiming gold mine tailings

New metalloid oxide reducing bacteria found in manitoba's nopiming gold mine tailings | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology has identified new toxic metalloid-reducing bacteria in highly polluted abandoned gold mine tailings in Manitoba's Nopiming Provincial Park.
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More hints emerge that dwarf planet Ceres contains potential for life

More hints emerge that dwarf planet Ceres contains potential for life | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Simple organic molecules have been detected on the dwarf planet Ceres, adding to evidence it contains key ingredients essential for life.
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Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink'

Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink' | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Northwestern University biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce. The tool enables researchers to study individual biomolecules (DNA, chromatin, proteins) as well as important global patterns of gene expression, which could yield insights into cancer. Vadim Backman will discuss the technology and its applications -- including the new concept of macrogenomics, a technology aiming to regulate the global patterns of gene expression without gene editing -- at the 2017 AAAS annual meeting.
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International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate

International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Even those who follow science may be surprised by how quickly international collaboration in scientific studies is growing, according to new research.
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Digital fabrication in architecture

Digital fabrication in architecture | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Society faces enormous challenges in constructing high-quality, future-oriented built environments. Construction sites today look much like the building sites did at the beginning of the 20th century. Current research on digital fabrication in architecture indicates that the development and integration of innovative digital technologies within architectural and construction processes could transform the building industry -- on the verge of a building industry 4.0. Digital technologies in architecture and construction could increase productivity creating new jobs.
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Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers

Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient. Scientists are placing great hope in a new type of biomarker, so-called microRNAs. These short ribonucleic acid molecules are notable for their very high level of stability. Researchers at Saarland University, the University of Luxembourg and the Eurac Research center in Bozen have now established that such microRNAs can remain stable even after 5,300 years.
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For the First Time Ever, We Can See Inside Living Cells Without Damaging Them

Researchers have developed a new ultrasound technique that allows them to see inside living cells at a scale that was previously unachievable without damaging the cells. Because the examined cells remain undamaged, they can be put back into the body, potentially leading to new treatment options for diseases or even defenses against aging.
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Four-stroke engine cycle produces hydrogen from methane and captures CO2

Four-stroke engine cycle produces hydrogen from methane and captures CO2 | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
When is an internal combustion engine not an internal combustion engine? When it's been transformed into a modular reforming reactor that could make hydrogen available to power fuel cells wherever there's a natural gas supply available.

By adding a catalyst, a hydrogen separating membrane and carbon dioxide sorbent to the century-old four-stroke engine cycle, researchers have demonstrated a laboratory-scale hydrogen reforming system that produces the green fuel at relatively low temperature in a process that can be scaled up or down to meet specific needs. The process could provide hydrogen at the point of use for residential fuel cells or neighborhood power plants, electricity and power production in natural-gas powered vehicles, fueling of municipal buses or other hydrogen-based vehicles, and supplementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.
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Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified

Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Oxygen is an essential necessity of life on land. The same applies for almost all organisms in the ocean. However, the oxygen supply in the oceans is threatened by global warming in two ways: Warmer surface waters take up less oxygen than colder waters. In addition, warmer water stabilizes the stratification of the ocean. This weakens the circulation connecting the surface with the deep ocean and less oxygen is transported into the deep sea. Therefore, many models predict a decrease in global oceanic oxygen inventory of the oceans due to global warming. The first global evaluation of millions of oxygen measurements seems to confirm this trend and points to first impacts of global change.

In the renowned scientific journal Nature the oceanographers Dr. Sunke Schmidtko, Dr. Lothar Stramma and Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel just published the most comprehensive study on global oxygen content in the world's oceans so far. It demonstrates that the ocean's oxygen content has decreased by more than two percent over the last 50 years. "Since large fishes in particular avoid or do not survive in areas with low oxygen content, these changes can have far-reaching biological consequences," says Dr. Schmidtko, the lead-author of the study.
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Spinning Electrons Closeup

Spinning Electrons Closeup | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Modern computer technology is based on the transport of electric charge in semiconductors. But this technology's potential will be reaching its limits in the near future, since the components deployed cannot be miniaturized further. But, there is another option: using an electron's spin, instead of its charge, to transmit information. A team of scientists from Munich and Kyoto is now demonstrating how this works.
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Your brain's got rhythm

Your brain's got rhythm | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Salk scientists create synthetic brain systems called 'circuitoids' to better understand dysfunctional movements in Parkinson's, ALS and other diseases.
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Scientists reveal how the brain maintains useful memories

Scientists reveal how the brain maintains useful memories | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, have discovered a reason why we often struggle to remember the smaller details of past experiences.
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Cell Death Might Be Reversible, and Scientists Are Trying to Find Out Why

Cell Death Might Be Reversible, and Scientists Are Trying to Find Out Why | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

"A mysterious cell process named anastasis (Greek for "rising to life") challenges our idea of life being a linear march towards death, and suggests that cell death can actually be reversed under certain conditions—essentially allowing cells to un-die.


Even as the cell is shrivelling up in response to radiation, toxins, or other stresses, it can in some cases undo the dying process and repair itself if the stress is taken away before the cell is completely gone, said cell biologist Denise Montell of the University of California, Santa Barbara.


"In the field of people studying apoptosis—this programmed cell suicide mechanism—it has been a tenet in that field that once cells trigger this death process, it's irreversible,"

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