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Of Mice and Men Again: New Genomic Study Helps Explain why Mouse Models of Acute Inflammation do not Work in Men

Of Mice and Men Again: New Genomic Study Helps Explain why Mouse Models of Acute Inflammation do not Work in Men | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A recent paper published in PNAS [1] caused quite a stir both inside and outside the scientific community. The study challenges the validity of using mouse models to test what works as a treatment ...
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Fragments of Science
The history, present and future and nature of science and their relationship
Curated by Mariaschnee
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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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Sun Sizzles in High-Energy X-Rays

Sun Sizzles in High-Energy X-Rays | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing images of our sun.
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World History Maps & Timelines | GeaCron

World History Maps & Timelines | GeaCron | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
World History Maps & Timelines. America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania. Kingdoms, battles, expeditions. Political, Military, Art, Science, Literature, Religion, Philosophy.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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Trina's curator insight, December 27, 12:43 AM

Great Geography and History resource

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Viking women travelled too, genetic study reveals

Viking women travelled too, genetic study reveals | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
With ever-improving tools for geneticists, we can now look further into the genetic subtleties of the past. This study used skeletons excavated in the days before DNA sequencing was an option. Until recently, such specimens have been un-sequenceable due to DNA contamination from the modern people who have handled them. Today’s techniques make it possible to differentiate modern from ancient DNA sequences, which opens up the prospect of returning to the many museum specimens in collections worldwide to see what further answers they might hold of the Vikings' many adventures.
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Life Under the Microscope: The Year's Best Biology Close-Ups | WIRED

Life Under the Microscope: The Year's Best Biology Close-Ups | WIRED | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Life is pretty interesting, and at the microscopic scale, it can also be beautiful, strange, intriguing, frightening and gross. The winning photos and videos from this year’s Olympus BioScapes competition span the whole range. From rat brains to butter daisies to weevils and barnacle appendages, these microscope photos will amaze. First prize this year went…
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Comets 'not source of Earth's water'

Comets 'not source of Earth's water' | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Results from the Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on comet 67P in November, shows the water on the icy mass is unlike that on our planet.

The results are published in the journal Science.

The authors conclude it is more likely that the water came from asteroids, but other scientists say more data is needed before comets can be ruled out.

Since August, the Rosetta probe has been orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and on 12 November its lander, Philae, made a historic touchdown on the comet's surface.

Although the robot's batteries ran out soon after setting down, it gathered a wealth of scientific data, and the Rosetta "mothership" continues to analyse the icy rock.

This unprecedented, close-up look at a comet is helping scientists to answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these icy space rocks brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

But the latest findings, gathered by the Rosina instrument, which consists of two mass spectrometers that "sniff" the gas that streams off the surface of comet 67P, suggests this may not be the case.
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The Long Road to Maxwell’s Equations - IEEE Spectrum

The Long Road to Maxwell’s Equations - IEEE Spectrum | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Maxwell had postulated that light was an electromagnetic wave. Hertz showed that there was likely an entire universe of invisible electromagnetic waves that behave just as visible light does and that move through space at the same speed. This revelation was enough, by inference, for many to accept that light itself is an electromagnetic wave.

Lodge’s disappointment at being scooped was more than compensated by the beauty and completeness of Hertz’s work. Lodge and FitzGerald worked to popularize Hertz’s findings, presenting them before the British Association. Almost immediately, Hertz’s work went on to inform the development of wireless telegraphy. The earliest incarnations of the technology employed transmitters much like the broadband spark-gap devices Hertz used.

Eventually scientists accepted that waves could travel through nothing at all. And the concept of a field, at first distasteful because it lacked any mechanical parts to make it work, became central to much of modern physics.

There was much more to come. But even before the close of the 19th century, thanks to the dogged efforts of a few dedicated enthusiasts, Maxwell’s legacy was secure.
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Alternative Medicine For Plants: Probiotics And Detox Instead Of GMOs

Alternative Medicine For Plants: Probiotics And Detox Instead Of GMOs | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Scientists have found that transplanting a microbe that occurs naturally in eastern cottonwood trees boosts the ability of willow and lawn grass to withstand the effects of the industrial pollutant phenanthrene.

Because the plants can then take up 25 to 40 percent more of the pollutant than untreated plants they could be useful in phytoremediation, the process of using plants to remove toxins from contaminated sites, without all the environmentalist political lobbying drama of using genetically modified plants to do the same thing.

The microbe from the cottonwood was encouraged to colonize the roots of willows simply by dipping rooted and trimmed cuttings in solutions with the microbe. Grasses were treated with microbes in solution as seeds sprouted in soil. Once integrated into the plants, the microbe supplemented their own microbial defenses.
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Single-cell phytoplankton in the ocean are responsible for roughly half of global oxygen production

Single-cell phytoplankton in the ocean are responsible for roughly half of global oxygen production | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

In a paper published in PNAS on Monday November 24, scientists laid out a robust new framework based on in situ observations that will allow scientists to describe and understand how phytoplankton assimilate limited concentrations of phosphorus, a key nutrient, in the ocean in ways that better reflect what is actually occurring in the marine environment. This is an important advance because nutrient uptake is a central property of ocean biogeochemistry, and in many regions controls carbon dioxide fixation, which ultimately can play a role in mitigating climate change.


"Until now, our understanding of how phytoplankton assimilate nutrients in an extremely nutrient-limited environment was based on lab cultures that poorly represented what happens in natural populations," explained Michael Lomas of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, who co-led the study with Adam Martiny of University of California - Irvine, and Simon Levin and Juan Bonachela of Princeton University. "Now we can quantify how phytoplankton are taking up nutrients in the real world, which provides much more meaningful data that will ultimately improve our understanding of their role in global ocean function and climate regulation."


To address the knowledge gap about the globally-relevant ecosystem process of nutrient uptake, researchers worked to identify how different levels of microbial biodiversity influenced in situ phosphorus uptake in the Western Subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, they focused on how different phytoplankton taxa assimilated phosphorus in the same region, and how phosphorus uptake by those individual taxa varied across regions with different phosphorus concentrations. They found that phytoplankton were much more efficient at assimilating vanishingly low phosphorus concentrations than would have been predicted from culture research. Moreover, individual phytoplankton continually optimized their ability to assimilate phosphorus as environmental phosphorus concentrations increased. This finding runs counter to the commonly held, and widely used, view that their ability to assimilate phosphorus saturates as concentrations increase.


"Prior climate models didn't take into account how natural phytoplankton populations vary in their ability to take up key nutrients, "said Martiny. "We were able to fill in this gap through fieldwork and advanced analytical techniques. The outcome is the first comprehensive in situ quantification of nutrient uptake capabilities among dominant phytoplankton groups in the North Atlantic Ocean that takes into account microbial biodiversity."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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LHC's 'heart' starts pumping protons before restart

LHC's 'heart' starts pumping protons before restart | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Another milestone has been reached at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the long road to restarting the world's most powerful particle collider.
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Men and women adapt differently to spaceflight

Men and women adapt differently to spaceflight | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A study looks at differences in the ways that men and women's bodies react to time spent in space.
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Revolutionary ALMA Image Reveals Planetary Genesis

Revolutionary ALMA Image Reveals Planetary Genesis | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
"These features are almost certainly the result of young planet-like bodies that are being formed in the disc. This is surprising since such young stars are not expected to have large planetary bodies capable of producing the structures we see in this image," said Stuartt Corder, ALMA Deputy Director.

"When we first saw this image we were astounded at the spectacular level of detail. HL Tauri is no more than a million years old, yet already its disc appears to be full of forming planets. This one image alone will revolutionize theories of planet formation," explained Catherine Vlahakis, ALMA Deputy Program Scientist and Lead Program Scientist for the ALMA Long Baseline Campaign.
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Creating “Hawking radiation” in a tabletop black hole

Creating “Hawking radiation” in a tabletop black hole | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
By setting up two event horizons, one black and one white hole, Steinhauer hoped to reinforce the Hawking radiation produced, making it strong enough to be observed.

That’s because the Hawking radiation particle that gets pulled inside the black hole, while its partner escapes, falls down within the black hole to the surface of the inner horizon, the white hole. But it can’t enter the white hole, and so it bounces, back up toward the black hole’s horizon. When it reaches the horizon, it bounces back down—but not before generating another particle outside the horizon, which is able to escape.

This process repeats, and the overall net effect is an exponential amplification of the Hawking radiation, an effect that is very similar to the process taking place inside a laser. In Steinhauer’s experiment, he observed an exponential ramping up of the simulated Hawking radiation.
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Belize's Famous 'Blue Hole' Reveals Clues to the Maya's Demise

Belize's Famous 'Blue Hole' Reveals Clues to the Maya's Demise | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Sediments drawn from one of the world's most mysterious underwater sinkholes suggest that Mayan civilization collapsed due to drought.
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More Wondrous Images from the 2014 Bioscapes Competition [Slide Show]

More Wondrous Images from the 2014 Bioscapes Competition [Slide Show] | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Microscopes find beauty in strange places--from a fossil fern to fruit fly sperm
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Beautifully-Animated Infographics Designed by Eleanor Lutz

Beautifully-Animated Infographics Designed by Eleanor Lutz | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

Eleanor Lutz is a designer whose knowledge of molecular biology and love of science is translated into beautifully-designed infographics. Her colorful and educational images contain interesting bits of information about how the human body works and birds fly, but with a novel twist - they’re animated GIFs.
Lutz’s addition of movement makes these images more engaging, and we get a better sense of how things actually work.

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LilyGiraud's comment, December 19, 5:22 AM
Fascinating, Thank you!. And thanks to self inspired creative people like Lutz , kids will be able to learn about everything with a great sensorial experience!!
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Superconductivity record breaks under pressure

Superconductivity record breaks under pressure | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Everyday compound reported to conduct electricity without resistance at a record-high temperature, outstripping more exotic materials.
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Moon's magnetic heart still a mystery

Moon's magnetic heart still a mystery | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Billions of years ago the Moon had a magnetic field much stronger than the Earth does now, according to a new review of scientific data.
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Toxic Tau Of Alzheimer's May Offer A Path To Treatment - NPR (blog)

Toxic Tau Of Alzheimer's May Offer A Path To Treatment - NPR (blog) | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Faulty forms of the brain protein tau trigger tangles inside and outside brain cells of Alzheimer's patients. Scientists say figuring out how to stop bad tau's spread from cell to cell might be key.
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Making fuel out of thin air

Making fuel out of thin air | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
In a discovery that experts say could revolutionise fuel cell technology, scientists have found that graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it.
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Over 16,000 pages of Darwin's research on evolution released online

Over 16,000 pages of Darwin's research on evolution released online | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
On the 155th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's iconic work, On the Origin of the Species, 16,000 high-resolution images of his research on evolution have been released online to the public. This week, 155 years ago, Charles Darwin...

Via TheNaturalist
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Christian Allié's curator insight, November 29, 5:03 AM

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Robbie Gonzalez at io9 has already rifled through the treasures on offer to find drawings by Darwin’s children, the first use of the term ‘natural selection’ in scientific literature, and a draft title page for Origin of Species (as it was originally called).

 

Something that's clear in the notes that have been released is how ready to improve on and correct himself Darwin was. As Becky Ferreira writes at Motherboard, "He clearly thrived on chucking out old ideas and hedging his bets with new ones, leaving plenty of breathing space for future generations to expand on his accumulated evidence. As he wrote to A. Stephen Wilson in 1879, 'to kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing a new truth or fact'."

 

The rest of the 30,000 manuscripts will be digitised and released by June next year, which includes his extensive experimental research manuscripts written between 1835 and 1882.You can access all the digitised manuscripts now at the Darwin Manuscripts Project site.

 

Think you've got the concept of evolution all figured out? Watch this TED-ed video below about common myths and misconceptions about evolution to see if you've mastered the finer details of Darwin's great theory:

Christian Allié's comment, November 29, 5:07 AM
Sources: io9, The Darwin Manuscripts Project, Motherboard :
http://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blogs/news-posts/project-to-digitize-darwin-s-writings-on-evolution-nearly-halfway-complete
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Researchers craft molecule that works as flash storage

Researchers craft molecule that works as flash storage | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
In the new work, an international team of researchers tried an alternative approach: rather than a stack of single molecules, they stored charges in a single layer of a complex molecular cage. The cage was formed by a metal oxide having the formula metal18O54—for this work, the metal of choice was tungsten. This molecule forms a cage-like structure approximately a single nanometer on a side. Inside, they placed two molecules of selenium trioxide, which normally carries extra electrons, giving it a charge of negative four.

When two electrons are removed, the selenium trioxide molecules form a bond between them, creating a single molecule of Se2O6. Further charges can be exchanged with the metal oxide cage. Collectively, this behavior allows electrons to be stored within these caged molecules. And, as the authors note, the molecule is stable up to temperatures of 600 degrees Celsius, meaning it can be used with a variety of processing methods.
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The search for quantum gravity

The search for quantum gravity | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The most exciting discovery in physics could come about thanks to telecoms satellites. Is a single theory of reality in sight?
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Plasma-surfing machine brings mini-accelerators closer

Plasma-surfing machine brings mini-accelerators closer | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Surfing 'wakefield' waves boosts electron energies over short distances.
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How lasers revealed a lost city in the jungle

How lasers revealed a lost city in the jungle | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets - including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.
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