sing images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered never-before-seen structures within a dusty disc surrounding a nearby star. The fast-moving wave-like features in the disc of the star AU Microscopii are unlike anything ever observed, or even predicted, before now. The origin and nature of these features present a new mystery for astronomers to explore. The results are published in the journal Nature on 8 October 2015.
AU Microscopii, or AU Mic for short, is a young, nearby star surrounded by a large disc of dust . Studies of such debris discs can provide valuable clues about how planets, which form from these discs, are created.
Astronomers have been searching AU Mic's disc for any signs of clumpy or warped features, as such signs might give away the location of possible planets. And in 2014 they used the powerful high-contrast imaging capabilities of ESO's newly installed SPHERE instrument, mounted on the Very Large Telescope for their search -- and discovered something very unusual.
"Our observations have shown something unexpected," explains Anthony Boccaletti of the Observatoire de Paris, France, lead author on the paper. "The images from SPHERE show a set of unexplained features in the disc which have an arch-like, or wave-like, structure, unlike anything that has ever been observed before."
Five wave-like arches at different distances from the star show up in the new images, reminiscent of ripples in water. After spotting the features in the SPHERE data the team turned to earlier images of the disc taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 2010 and 2011 to see whether the features were also visible in these . They were not only able to identify the features on the earlier Hubble images -- but they also discovered that they had changed over time. It turns out that these ripples are moving -- and very fast!
"We reprocessed images from the Hubble data and ended up with enough information to track the movement of these strange features over a four-year period," explains team member Christian Thalmann (ETH Zürich, Switzerland). "By doing this, we found that the arches are racing away from the star at speeds of up to about 40,000 kilometers/hour!"
(Bruce Frantzis Demonstrating Dragon and Tiger Qigong) Bruce Frantzis Demonstrating Dragon and Tiger QigongQigong (alternatively spelled chi gung or chi kung) is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness
Age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells, thanks to findings published today by Professor Gilbert Bernier of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. ARMD is a common eye problem caused by the loss of cones. Bernier's team has developed a highly effective in vitro technique for producing light sensitive retina cells from human embryonic stem cells. "Our method has the capacity to differentiate 80% of the stem cells into pure cones," Professor Gilbert explained. "Within 45 days, the cones that we allowed to grow towards confluence spontaneously formed organised retinal tissue that was 150 microns thick. This has never been achieved before."
In order to verify the technique, Bernier injected clusters of retinal cells into the eyes of healthy mice. The transplanted photoreceptors migrated naturally within the retina of their host. "Cone transplant represents a therapeutic solution for retinal pathologies caused by the degeneration of photoreceptor cells," Bernier explained. "To date, it has been difficult to obtain great quantities of human cones." His discovery offers a way to overcome this problem, offering hope that treatments may be developed for currently non-curable degenerative diseases, like Stargardt disease and ARMD. "Researchers have been trying to achieve this kind of trial for years," he said. "Thanks to our simple and effective approach, any laboratory in the world will now be able to create masses of photoreceptors. Even if there's a long way to go before launching clinical trials, this means, in theory, that will be eventually be able to treat countless patients."
In den vergangenen Jahren ist die Zahl der Schadstoffe, mit denen wir täglich konfrontiert sind, erheblich gestiegen. Das gefährdet die Fortpflanzungsfähigkeit, warnt die Internationale Föderation für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe.
Forscher haben eine Prothese für das Gedächtnis entwickelt, die Sinneseindrücke im Gehirn zu Erinnerungen verarbeitet und abspeichert. Das elektronische Implantat kann so etwa Alzheimer-Patienten beschädigtes Erinnerungsvermögen zurückgeben.
The folks at CloudyLabs used their cloud chamber to track the alpha particles being emitted from a chunk of uranium-rich pitchblende. Per their description:
“most of the vapour condenses on the glass surface creating a mist, but a small fraction of it stays in vapour form above the cold condenser. This creates a layer of unstable saturated vapour which can condense at any moment. When a charged particle crosses this vapour, it can knock electrons off the molecules forming ions. It causes the unstable alcohol vapour to condense around ions left behind by the travelling ionizing particle: the path of the particle in the matter is then revealed by a track composed of thousands droplets of alcohol.”
The full video is 50 minutes (and in French with subtitles), and after the first 40 there’s hardly any alcohol left in the chamber to detect the particle tracks. But it’s worth taking at least five to 10 minutes to marvel at the wonders of the subatomic world made visible by a late 19th century apparatus.
A team of engineers has built a quantum logic gate in silicon for the first time, making calculations between two qubits of information possible -- and thereby clearing the final hurdle to making silicon quantum computers a reality.
The first of three prestigious science prizes on the first day of Nobel week are revealed: William Campbell and Satoshi Omura for their work on a therapy against roundworm, shared with Youyou Tu, for a therapy against malaria...
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Scientists warn that similar event to collapse of volcano on Cape Verdean island of Fogo 73,000 years ago poses major threat to nearby islands The sudden collapse of a volcano caused a tsunami that created waves up to 240 metres (800ft) high 73,000...
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