Research Workshop
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Research Workshop
Advances and breakthroughs in many scientific fields. Applying science to social policy. Understanding evidence. Academic sources and scientists.
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X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body

X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

By combining X-rays with nanoparticles, a team of researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) in Australia has found a way of combating cancer deep inside the body using a simple chemical....

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Study shows path to 'dial down' autoimmunity without compromising immune response

Study shows path to 'dial down' autoimmunity without compromising immune response | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows how dangerous autoimmune responses, seen in diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, might be "dialed down" without compromising the immune ...

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Monstrous high-velocity gas cloud boomerangs back to our galaxy

Monstrous high-velocity gas cloud boomerangs back to our galaxy | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
New Hubble telescope observations suggest that a high-velocity gas cloud was launched from the outer regions of our own galaxy around 70 million years ago. Now, the cloud is on a return collision course and is expected to plow into the Milky Way's disk in about 30 million years. Astronomers believe it will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation then.


Hubble Space Telescope astronomers are finding that the old adage "what goes up must come down" even applies to an immense cloud of hydrogen gas outside our Milky Way galaxy. The invisible cloud is plummeting toward our galaxy at nearly 700,000 miles per hour. Though hundreds of enormous, high-velocity gas clouds whiz around the outskirts of our galaxy, this so-called "Smith Cloud" is unique because its trajectory is well known. New Hubble observations suggest it was launched from the outer regions of the galactic disk, around 70 million years ago. The cloud was discovered in the early 1960s by doctoral astronomy student Gail Smith, who detected the radio waves emitted by its hydrogen.


The cloud is on a return collision course and is expected to plow into the Milky Way's disk in about 30 million years. When it does, astronomers believe it will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation, perhaps providing enough gas to make 2 million suns.


"The cloud is an example of how the galaxy is changing with time," explained team leader Andrew Fox of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "It's telling us that the Milky Way is a bubbling, very active place where gas can be thrown out of one part of the disk and then return back down into another."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Data Science: Selection of best articles from past weekly digests (2015)

Data Science: Selection of best articles from past weekly digests (2015) | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

The following is a selection of featured articles that were posted in our previous weekly digests, in short, the best of the best on DSC. Single-starred articles are written by external/guest bloggers. Older popular articles are being added regularly, so please check out this page once a week! There is an upcoming book on data science 2.0 (or data science automation or data science handbook or the little data science book, not sure yet about the title) that will be based on some of these (edited and revised) articles.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Here Comes 4-D Printing--and It's Pretty Mind-Blowing

Here Comes 4-D Printing--and It's Pretty Mind-Blowing | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
A team of scientists unveiled a crazy new way to create objects that change shape.

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Gust MEES's curator insight, February 7, 11:30 AM

A team of scientists unveiled a crazy new way to create objects that change shape.


Ricardo Garcia Teruel Palacio's curator insight, February 8, 11:04 AM

This group of scientists predict the way an object will change shape after activating its components, impressive technology that could bring useful applications, thinking about the future in medicine with this technology adopted and applied. 

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From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes

From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

Via Mariaschnee, CineversityTV
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Ancient shipwreck unlocks secrets of Maritime Silk Road | The Archaeology News Network

Ancient shipwreck unlocks secrets of Maritime Silk Road | The Archaeology News Network | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Groping in the frigid darkness in the South China Sea, underwater archaeologist Sun Jian suddenly touched something in 20-meter deep waters...


Via musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
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Largest rocky exoplanet found (half the size of Neptune)

Largest rocky exoplanet found (half the size of Neptune) | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
A planet roughly half the size of Neptune might be 100 percent rock, making it the largest known rocky world.


When it comes to big balls of rock, exoplanet BD+20594b might have all other known worlds beat. At roughly half the diameter of Neptune, BD+20594b is 100 percent rock, researchers suggest online January 28 at arXiv.org. The planet seems to defy recent calculations that indicate a planet this large should be gassy (SN: 8/22/15, p. 32).


BD+20594b sits about 500 light-years away in the constellation Aries. The planet is about 16 times as massive as Earth but just a little over twice as wide, making its density about 8 grams per cubic centimeter, Néstor Espinoza, an astrophysicist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, and colleagues report. Earth’s density, by comparison, is 5.5 grams per cubic centimeter. The new rocky planet was discovered in 2015 with the Kepler space telescope, which looks for the silhouettes of planets passing in front of their stars.


BD+20594b is comparable to Kepler 10c, a rocky “mega Earth” reported in 2014 (SN: 7/12/14, p. 10) to be 2.4 times as wide as Earth with a hefty mass (equal to about 17 Earths). Recent measurements indicate, however, that Kepler 10c isn’t quite as “mega” or as rocky as thought — only 14 times as massive as Earth — which means that the planet is probably encased in shell of gas or water. 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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P-values: misunderstood and misused

P-values are widely used in both the social and natural sciences to quantify the statistical significance of observed results. The recent surge of big data research has made p-value an even more popular tool to test the significance of a study. However, substantial literature has been produced critiquing how p-values are used and understood. In this paper we review this recent critical literature, much of which is routed in the life sciences, and consider its implications for social scientific research. We provide a coherent picture of what the main criticisms are, and draw together and disambiguate common themes. In particular, we explain how the False Discovery Rate is calculated, and how this differs from a p-value. We also make explicit the Bayesian nature of many recent criticisms, a dimension that is often underplayed or ignored. We also identify practical steps to help remediate some of the concerns identified, and argue that p-values need to be contextualised within (i) the specific study, and (ii) the broader field of inquiry.


P-values: misunderstood and misused
Bertie Vidgen, Taha Yasseri

http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.06805


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The "Walking trees" of Central and South America move a few centimeters every day

The "Walking trees" of Central and South America move a few centimeters every day | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
In tropical forests in Central and South America, Walking Palm or Cashapona trees slowly migrate across the wilderness as new roots replace the old.

Via TheNaturalist
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Scientists Create 'Nano-Reactor' for the Production of Hydrogen Biofuel

Scientists Create 'Nano-Reactor' for the Production of Hydrogen Biofuel | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
Water is one of the most abundant elements in the world, and now, we may have a new way to use it as a fuel. 

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Top 10 Exciting Medical Technologies of 2016 - The Medical Futurist

Every year, I publish my predictions for the coming year. As a medical futurist, I’m expected to come up with bright visions and I’m happy to rise to the challenge. Now it’s time to list the 10 major breakthroughs and trends will dominate healthcare / medicine in 2016.


Via Miloš Bajčetić
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Bacteria or virus? Diagnostic tool could curb antibiotic overuse

Bacteria or virus? Diagnostic tool could curb antibiotic overuse | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

As many as half of the antibiotics prescribed to outpatients in the United States are unnecessary. And many of those scripts come from doctors who aren’t sure whether a patient is infected with bacteria — and needs antibiotics — or whether the illness is caused by a virus.


Via Integrated DNA Technologies
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Using the physics of your perfect pancake to help save sight

Using the physics of your perfect pancake to help save sight | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes is helping UCL scientists improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

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Innovative imaging systems on the Wendelstein 7-X bring steady-state fusion energy closer to reality

Innovative imaging systems on the Wendelstein 7-X bring steady-state fusion energy closer to reality | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Since the world's largest superconducting magnetic fusion experiment, the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, went online in December, innovative new imaging systems designed at Los Alamos National Laboratory are helping physicists ...

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David Deutsch: Chemical scum that dream of distant quasars

Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10


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Ces thérapies et recherches contre le cancer sont vraiment porteuses d'espoir

Ces thérapies et recherches contre le cancer sont vraiment porteuses d'espoir | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
C'EST DEMAIN - Guérir du cancer. Peut-on imaginer un monde dans lequel cela sera possible à coup sûr? En 2012, on pouvait estimer le nombre de cas de cancer en France à 355.

Via Krishan Maggon
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Promising Peptide Compounds Against a Cancer Target

Promising Peptide Compounds Against a Cancer Target | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Advances in new treatments for diseases, including cancer, come about from innovative research with therapeutic potential.


Via Philippe Smelty
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Parallel Universes: Half Underwater Photos Reveal a World Beneath the Waves ⋆

Parallel Universes: Half Underwater Photos Reveal a World Beneath the Waves ⋆ | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
Visionary photographer Matty Smith travels the world with a brilliant eye for the unseen and his camera capturing the most captivating and unusual views of wildlife- particularly the fascinating scenes taking place below the scenes in gorgeous marine ecosystems. Smith released a jaw-dropping series

Via Mariaschnee, Christian Allié
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Archaeologists working to save Jordanian buildings | The Archaeology News Network

Archaeologists working to save Jordanian buildings | The Archaeology News Network | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

In the Jordanian desert, carved into the sandstone cliffs is the spectacular ancient city of Petra...


Via musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
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Carlos Silva's curator insight, February 6, 11:55 AM

añada su visión ...

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How ecosystems change

How ecosystems change | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Human impacts on the planet, including anthropogenic climate change, are reshaping ecosystems in unprecedented ways. To meet the challenge of conserving biodiversity in this rapidly changing world, we must understand how ecological assemblages respond to novel conditions (1). However, species in ecosystems are not fixed entities, even without human-induced change. All ecosystems experience natural turnover in species presence and abundance. Taking account of this baseline turnover in conservation planning could play an important role in protecting biodiversity.


How ecosystems change
Anne E. Magurran

Science  29 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 448-449
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aad6758


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Metamaterial Could Eliminate Overheating in Future Photonic Circuits

Metamaterial Could Eliminate Overheating in Future Photonic Circuits | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Combining metamaterials with plasmonic components could tip the scale in the future of photonic circuits


Via George Goodman, Sílvia Dias
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How Chromosome Extensions "Turn Back the Aging Clock"

How Chromosome Extensions "Turn Back the Aging Clock" | Research Workshop | Scoop.it
Researchers delivered a modified RNA that increases the length of telomeres. Here are the implications that this has in the study of age-related diseases.

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The telescope gets its first major upgrade in centuries (w/ video 4min)

The telescope gets its first major upgrade in centuries (w/ video 4min) | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Lockheed Martin is working on new technology that promises to drastically reduce the size of telescopes needed to see a long distance 


Like an eye, the telescope collects light, and that light is then reflected to form an image. If you want to use one to see a really long way - into the depths of space, say - you'll need a really big one. 


“We can only scale the size and weight of telescopes so much before it becomes impractical to launch them into orbit and beyond...” 


Lockheed Martin's new system SPIDER, (or 'Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance') does away with the large lenses or mirrors found in traditional  telescopes and replaces them with hundreds or thousands of tiny lenses. 


Dr Duncan says: "SPIDER could offer the ability to do things we simply can't do today. It could offer a lot of commercial, terrestrial and defence applications as well. Anywhere there's an optical imaging system there's the potential to take advantage of this technology."




Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, January 24, 2:20 PM

Space telescopes is the first application for this tech but there will be many special imaging applications that find their way out into the world...

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NIST simulates fast, accurate DNA sequencing through graphene nanopore

NIST simulates fast, accurate DNA sequencing through graphene nanopore | Research Workshop | Scoop.it

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have simulated a new concept for rapid, accurate gene sequencing by pulling a DNA molecule through a tiny chemically activated hole in graphene—an ultrathin sheet of carbon atoms—and detecting changes in electrical current.


The NIST simulation study suggests the method could identify about 66 million bases per second with 90 percent accuracy and no false positives. If demonstrated experimentally, the NIST method might ultimately be faster and cheaper than conventional DNA sequencing, meeting a critical need for applications such as forensics.


Conventional sequencing, developed in the 1970s, involves separating, copying, labeling and reassembling pieces of DNA to read the genetic information. The new NIST proposal is a twist on the more recent “nanopore sequencing” idea of pulling DNA through a hole in specific materials, originally a protein (see “First full genome of a living organism sequenced and assembled using smartphone-size device“).


This concept—pioneered 20 years ago at NIST—is based on the passage of electrically charged particles (ions) through the pore. The idea remains popular but poses challenges such as unwanted electrical noise, or interference, and inadequate selectivity.


By contrast, NIST’s new proposal is to create temporary chemical bonds and rely on graphene’s capability to convert the mechanical strains (rather than charged particles) from breaking those bonds into measurable blips in electrical current.


“This is essentially a tiny strain sensor,” says NIST theorist Alex Smolyanitsky, who came up with the idea and led the project. “We did not invent a complete technology. We outlined a new physical principle that can potentially be far superior to anything else out there.”


Graphene is popular in nanopore-sequencing proposals due to its electrical properties and miniaturized thin-film structure. In the new NIST method, a graphene nanoribbon (4.5 by 15.5 nanometers) has several copies of a base attached to the nanopore (2.5 nm wide). DNA’s genetic code is built from four kinds of bases, which bond in pairs as cytosine–guanine and thymine–adenine.


In simulations of how the sensor would perform at room temperature in water, cytosine is attached to the nanopore to detect guanine. A single-strand (unzipped) DNA molecule is pulled through the pore. When guanine passes by, hydrogen bonds form with the cytosine. As the DNA continues moving, the graphene is yanked and then slips back into position as the bonds break.


The NIST study focused on how this strain affects graphene’s electronic properties and found that temporary changes in electrical current indeed indicate that a target base has just passed by. To detect all four bases, four graphene ribbons, each with a different base inserted in the pore, could be stacked vertically to create an integrated DNA sensor.


The researchers combined simulated data with theory to estimate levels of measurable signal variations. Signal strength was in the milliampere range, stronger than in the earlier ion-current nanopore methods.


Based on the performance of 90 percent accuracy without any false positives (i.e., errors were due to missed bases rather than wrong ones), the researchers suggest that four independent measurements of the same DNA strand would produce 99.99 percent accuracy, as required for sequencing the human genome.


The study authors concluded that the proposed method shows “significant promise for realistic DNA sensing devices” without the need for advanced data processing, microscopes, or highly restricted operating conditions. Other than attaching bases to the nanopore, all sensor components have been demonstrated experimentally by other research groups. Theoretical analysis suggests that basic electronic filtering methods could isolate the useful electrical signals. The proposed method could also be used with other strain-sensitive membranes, such as molybdenum disulfide.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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