Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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Forgive Me, Scientists, for I Have Sinned

Forgive Me, Scientists, for I Have Sinned | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
"There are some things I need to confess. This isn’t easy to say, but after working as a real scientist with a Ph.D. for 6 years, I feel it’s finally time to come clean: Sometimes I don’t feel like a real scientist. Besides the fact that I do science every day, I don’t conform to the image—my image—of what a scientist is and how we should think and behave. Here’s what I mean:" (article introduction)
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A Case of Aneurism of the Carotid Artery

A Case of Aneurism of the Carotid Artery | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Neuroskeptic ‏@Neuro_Skeptic 
A paper from 1809, indexed on PubMed today. Fascinating to see how medical writing conventions have changed! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2128800/
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5 key growth areas in nanomedicine

5 key growth areas in nanomedicine | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Traditionally, medicines are small molecules that target one or more biological pathways. Futuristic nanomedicines, however, are combinations of drugs and materials (natural or synthetic), at the size range of 100-1000 nm – a thousand of them lined up in a row are roughly the diameter of a human hair. These materials, usually synthetic or natural polymers and lipids, are often used to package hydrophobic drugs and make them more soluble. These tiny “packets” of drug-filled nanoparticles travel in the bloodstream and unload the drugs at sites of disease. Among the many inspiring innovations taking place in nanomedicine, here are five areas that we believe will experience significant growth in the years to come.

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Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called 'Jahn-Teller metals'

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called 'Jahn-Teller metals' | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

An international team of scientists has announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one, saying that it could lead to the development of more effective high-temperature superconductors.


Why is this so exciting? Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) - "high" as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.


As Michael Byrne explains, when we talk about states of matter, it’s not just solids, liquids, gases, and maybe plasmas that we have to think about. We also have to consider the more obscure states that don’t occur in nature, but are rather created in the lab - Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, and quark-gluon plasma, for example. 


By introducing rubidium into carbon-60 molecules - more commonly known as 'buckyballs' - a team led by chemist Kosmas Prassides from Tokohu University in Japan was able to change the distance between them, which forced them into a new, crystalline structure. When put through an array of tests, this structure displayed a combination of insulating, superconducting, metallic, and magnetic phases, including a brand new one, which the researchers have named 'Jahn-Teller metals'. 


Named after the Jahn-Teller effect, which is used in chemistry to describe how at low pressures, the geometric arrangement of molecules and ions in an electronic state can become distorted, this new state of matter allows scientists to transform an insulator - which can’t conduct electricity - into a conductor by simply applying pressure.


There’s a whole lot of lab-work to be done before this discovery will mean anything for practical energy production in the real world, but that’s science for you. And it’s got people excited already, as chemist Elisabeth Nicol from the University of Guelph in Canada told Hamish Johnston at PhysicsWorld: "Understanding the mechanisms at play and how they can be manipulated to change the Tc surely will inspire the development of new superconducting materials".


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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For Sale: “Your Name Here” in a Prestigious Science Journal

For Sale: “Your Name Here” in a Prestigious Science Journal | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
An investigation into some scientific papers finds worrying irregularities
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Madagascar's bark spider (Caerostris darwini) makes up to 82 feet large orb nets, 10 x stronger than Kevlar

Madagascar's bark spider (Caerostris darwini) makes up to 82 feet large orb nets, 10 x stronger than Kevlar | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The web of the Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini), can span some square feet (2.8 square meters) and is attached to each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 82 feet (25 meters).

 

Scientists have found the toughest material made by life yet — the silk of a spider whose giant webs span rivers, streams and even lakes. Spider silks were already the toughest known biomaterials, able to absorb massive amounts of energy before breaking. However, researchers have now revealed the Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini) has the toughest silk ever seen — more than twice as tough as any previously described silk, and more than 10 times stronger than Kevlar.

 

Although scientists have investigated silks from 20-to-30 species of spiders before, most of these were chosen haphazardly — for instance, from researchers' backyards. There are over 40,000 species of spiders and each spider can produce up to seven different kinds of silk. Thus, more than 99.99 percent of spider silks are yet to be explored.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A Computer Has Finally Proven the Answer to a 400-Year-Old Math Problem

A Computer Has Finally Proven the Answer to a 400-Year-Old Math Problem | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Way back in 1611, Johannes Kepler suggested that the most efficient way to stack spheres--like arranging oranges for sale--was in a pyramid formation.

Via F. Thunus
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Media Availability: Vaccine Made from Complex of Two Malaria Proteins Protects Mice From Lethal Infection

An experimental vaccine designed to spur production of antibodies against a key malaria parasite protein, AMA1, was developed more than decade ago by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. It showed promise in test-tube and animal experiments and in early-stage clinical trials, but returned disappointing results in recent human trials conducted in malaria-endemic countries.


Now, the NIAID scientists have improved on their original vaccine with a new candidate that delivers AMA1 protein together with part of a second parasite protein called RON2. In a natural infection, malaria parasites use the AMA1-RON2 complex to attach to and invade red blood cells. When injected into mice as a complex, the AMA1-RON2 vaccine prompted robust antibody production and protected the animals from a lethal form of mouse malaria. Moreover, when antibodies produced in response to AMA1-RON2 vaccine were administered to other, non-vaccinated mice, those animals received some protection from infection as well. Further analysis showed that the improved antibody response following AMA1-RON2 vaccination was due to an increased proportion of antibodies aimed directly at the AMA1-RON2 junction, which made them better at inhibiting parasite invasion.
The researchers note that this strategy of vaccination with the functional protein AMA1-RON2 complex could be tested in the next generation of human malaria vaccines. Such vaccines, which would contain multiple AMA1 sequences in complex with RON2, might induce antibodies targeted to a range of genetically diverse malaria parasites.

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Phys.Org Mobile: A counterintuitive phenomenon discovered: The coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation

Phys.Org Mobile: A counterintuitive phenomenon discovered: The coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

For his doctoral dissertation in the Goldman Superconductivity Research Group at the University of Minnesota, Yu Chen, now a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara, developed a novel way to fabricate superconducting nanocircuitry. However, the extremely small zinc nanowires he designed did some unexpected—and sort of funky—things.

 


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Absurd Creature of the Week: The Ferocious Bug That Sucks Prey Dry and Wears Their Corpses

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Ferocious Bug That Sucks Prey Dry and Wears Their Corpses | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
If one thing is true about human beings, from the Mayans to the Chinese to the Celts, it’s that we just can’t help decapitating our enemies and putting their disembodied heads to “good” use.

Via F. Thunus
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Robotic Innovation - Artificial Intelligence Documentary

This documentary as well as the rest of these documentaries shown here relate to important times and figures in history, historic places and people, archaeology, science, conspiracy theories,...
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Epigenetics Helps Explain Early Humans' Appearances - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com

Epigenetics Helps Explain Early Humans' Appearances - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Reconstructed epigenetics maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans reveal why their appearance and disease risk differ from ours.

Scientists have increasingly realized that DNA is only part of what makes us us — perhaps equally important is how our genes’ activity is modified by a process called epigenetics. Recently this cutting-edge field has turned its attention to some very old DNA: Researchers today announced they have reconstructed methylation maps for our extinct relatives. The findings might explain certain differences in appearances between Neanderthals, Denisovans, and us, as well as the prevalence of disease.

Epigenetics is a branch of science that explores how the expression of our DNA can be influenced by external factors without the DNA itself changing. Research in the field has focused on DNA methylation. This is when a chemical compound called a methyl group attaches to DNA. This can regulate an individual’s genetic expression and even be passed down through generations. DNA methylation has been linked to disease and also to an individual’s appearance and behavior. This is the first time, however, that an archaic pattern of methylation has been reconstructed for early humans.