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Drug-like inhibitor shows promise in preventing flu

Currently available flu medications only target the virus after it has already established an infection, but what if a drug could prevent infection in the first place? Now, scientists have designed drug-like molecules to do just that, by thwarting the first stage of influenza infection.
Tue, 21 May 2024 13:23:02 EDT

Cosmic rays illuminate the past

Researchers have for the first time been able to pin down a prehistoric settlement of early farmers in northern Greece dating back more than 7,000 years to the year. For this they combined annual growth ring measurements on wooden building elements with the sudden spike of cosmogenic radiocarbon in 5259 BC. This provides a reliable chronological reference point for many other archaeological sites in Southeast Europe.
Tue, 21 May 2024 12:47:20 EDT

Complete Stellar Collapse: Unusual star system proves that stars can die quietly

University of Copenhagen astrophysicists help explain a mysterious phenomenon, whereby stars suddenly vanish from the night sky. Their study of an unusual binary star system has resulted in convincing evidence that massive stars can completely collapse and become black holes without a supernova explosion.
Tue, 21 May 2024 12:47:00 EDT

Researchers discover hidden step in dinosaur feather evolution

Scientists discover 'zoned development' in dinosaur skin, with zones of reptile-style scales and zones of bird-like skin with feathers. A new dinosaur skin fossil has been found to be composed of silica -- the same as glass.
Tue, 21 May 2024 12:43:09 EDT

Warming climate intensifies flash droughts worldwide

Sudden, severe dry spells known as flash droughts are rising in intensity around the world, with a notable exception in mountainous Central Asia, where flash drought extent is shrinking, according to new research. Heat and changes to precipitation patterns caused by a warming climate are driving these trends, the study found.
Tue, 21 May 2024 12:42:49 EDT

'Vigorous melting' at Antarctica's Thwaites 'Doomsday' Glacier

Glaciologists show evidence of warm ocean water intruding kilometers beneath grounded ice at Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The findings suggest that existing climate models are underestimating the impact of ocean and ice interactions in future sea level rise projections.
Mon, 20 May 2024 15:55:41 EDT

Webb Telescope offers first glimpse of an exoplanet's interior

A surprisingly low amount of methane and a super-sized core hide within the cotton candy -- like planet WASP-107 b.
Mon, 20 May 2024 12:28:40 EDT

Blueprints of self-assembly

Scientists have taken a step closer to replicating nature's processes of self-assembly. The study describes the synthetic construction of a tiny, self-assembled crystal known as a 'pyrochlore,' which bears unique optical properties. The advance provides a steppingstone to the eventual construction of sophisticated, self-assembling devices at the nanoscale -- roughly the size of a single virus.
Mon, 20 May 2024 12:28:35 EDT

Meerkat chit-chat

Researchers unravel the vocal interactions of meerkat groups and show they use two different types of interactions to stay in touch.
Mon, 20 May 2024 12:28:25 EDT

Record low Antarctic sea ice 'extremely unlikely' without climate change

Scientists have found that the record-low levels of sea ice around Antarctica in 2023 were extremely unlikely to happen without the influence of climate change. This low was a one-in-a-2000-year event without climate change and four times more likely under its effects.
Mon, 20 May 2024 12:27:18 EDT

Brain 'assembloids' mimic human blood-brain barrier

Major advance promises to accelerate the understanding and improved treatment of a wide range of brain disorders, including stroke, cerebral vascular disorders, brain cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Mon, 20 May 2024 12:27:11 EDT

Global life expectancy to increase by nearly 5 years by 2050 despite geopolitical, metabolic, and environmental threats

The latest findings forecast that global life expectancy will increase by 4.9 years in males and 4.2 years in females between 2022 and 2050. Increases are expected to be largest in countries where life expectancy is lower, contributing to a convergence of increased life expectancy across geographies. The trend is largely driven by public health measures that have prevented and improved survival rates from cardiovascular diseases, COVID-19, and a range of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (CMNNs).
Fri, 17 May 2024 16:41:49 EDT

A trial HIV vaccine triggered elusive and essential antibodies in humans

An HIV vaccine candidate triggered low levels of an elusive type of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies among a small group of people enrolled in a 2019 clinical trial.
Fri, 17 May 2024 11:14:57 EDT

A powerful tool speeds success in achieving highly efficient thermoelectric materials

Thermoelectric materials could play an important role in the clean energy transition, as they can produce electricity from sources of heat that would otherwise go to waste. Researchers report a new approach to efficiently predict when thermoelectric materials will have improved performance in converting heat into electricity.
Thu, 16 May 2024 20:51:55 EDT

Scientists use generative AI to answer complex questions in physics

Researchers used generative AI to develop a physics-informed technique to classify phase transitions in materials or physical systems that is much more efficient than existing machine-learning approaches.
Thu, 16 May 2024 16:05:30 EDT

Otters, especially females, use tools to survive a changing world

Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools to access their food, and a new study has found that individual sea otters that use tools -- most of whom are female -- are able to eat larger prey and reduce tooth damage when their preferred prey becomes depleted.
Thu, 16 May 2024 16:05:11 EDT

New gene delivery vehicle shows promise for human brain gene therapy

In an important step toward more effective gene therapies for brain diseases, researchers have engineered a gene-delivery vehicle that uses a human protein to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver a disease-relevant gene to the brain in mice expressing the human protein. Because the vehicle binds to a well-studied protein in the blood-brain barrier, the scientists say it has a good chance at working in patients.
Thu, 16 May 2024 16:05:01 EDT

How neighboring whale families learn each other's vocal style

Researchers have developed a method to investigate sperm whale communication by determining their vocal style, finding that groups living in close proximity can develop similar styles to each other.
Thu, 16 May 2024 16:01:59 EDT

How did sabre-toothed tigers acquire their long upper canine teeth?

In a groundbreaking study an international team of scientists has investigated the evolutionary patterns behind the development of sabre teeth, with some unexpected results along the way.
Thu, 16 May 2024 12:26:44 EDT

Why do we overindulge?

If you tend to do other things or get distracted while eating dinner, you may be running the risk of over-consuming everyday pleasures later, possibly because the distraction caused you to enjoy yourself less, according to new research.
Thu, 16 May 2024 12:25:39 EDT

When saying 'please' is more strategic than magic

By kindergarten age, most children have been taught that 'please' is a magic word. 'Please' is an expression of politeness that shows courtesy and respect, turning a potential demand into a request that will -- poof! -- magically be granted. But a new study on the ways people make requests of one another suggests that 'please' might not be an all-purpose marker of politeness, but rather a more focused, strategic tool to manage frictions or obstacles among family members, friends and even coworkers. The study shows that people say 'please' much less often than expected, and mostly when they expect a 'no' response is forthcoming.
Wed, 15 May 2024 22:51:04 EDT

Jet-propelled sea creatures could improve ocean robotics

Scientists have discovered that colonies of gelatinous sea animals swim through the ocean in giant corkscrew shapes using coordinated jet propulsion, an unusual kind of locomotion that could inspire new designs for efficient underwater vehicles.
Wed, 15 May 2024 22:51:01 EDT

Robotic 'SuperLimbs' could help moonwalkers recover from falls

SuperLimbs, a system of wearable robotic limbs, can physically support an astronaut and lift them back on their feet after a fall, helping them conserve energy for other essential tasks.
Wed, 15 May 2024 16:43:12 EDT

Wavefunction matching for solving quantum many-body problems

Strongly interacting systems play an important role in quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Stochastic methods such as Monte Carlo simulations are a proven method for investigating such systems. However, these methods reach their limits when so-called sign oscillations occur. This problem has now been solved using the new method of wavefunction matching.
Wed, 15 May 2024 16:42:52 EDT

Animal brain inspired AI game changer for autonomous robots

A team of researchers has developed a drone that flies autonomously using neuromorphic image processing and control based on the workings of animal brains. Animal brains use less data and energy compared to current deep neural networks running on GPUs (graphic chips). Neuromorphic processors are therefore very suitable for small drones because they don't need heavy and large hardware and batteries. The results are extraordinary: during flight the drone's deep neural network processes data up to 64 times faster and consumes three times less energy than when running on a GPU. Further developments of this technology may enable the leap for drones to become as small, agile, and smart as flying insects or birds.
Wed, 15 May 2024 16:42:07 EDT

The crystallization of memory: Study reveals how practice forms new memory pathways in the brain

A new study has shown that repetitive practice not only is helpful in improving skills but also leads to profound changes in the brain's memory pathways.
Wed, 15 May 2024 16:41:58 EDT

Detection of an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting the ultracool dwarf star SPECULOOS-3

Astronomers have just discovered a new Earth-sized exoplanet around SPECULOOS-3, an 'ultracool dwarf' star as small as Jupiter, twice as cold as our Sun, and located 55 light-years from Earth. After the famous TRAPPIST-1, SPECULOOS 3 is the second planetary system discovered around this type of star.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:28:31 EDT

Robots' and prosthetic hands' sense of touch could be as fast as humans

Research could pave the way for a prosthetic hand and robot to be able to feel touch like a human hand. The technology could also be used to help restore lost functionality to patients after a stroke.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:40 EDT

Highly pathogenic avian flu detected in New York City wild birds

A small number of New York City wild birds carry highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, according to a recent study.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:31 EDT

An astrocytic pH regulator that can repair the blood-brain barrier and reverse brain damage caused by ischemic stroke

A recent study has found that an ion transporter protein that regulates the pH of specific brain cells can repair the blood-brain barrier and restore normal brain function after ischemic stroke. The study has revealed novel and specific therapeutic targets for ischemic stroke and related brain conditions for which no targeted treatments exist currently.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:17 EDT

A simple quantum internet with significant possibilities

It's one thing to dream up a quantum internet that could send hacker-proof information around the world via photons superimposed in different quantum states. It's quite another to physically show it's possible. That's exactly what physicists have done, using existing Boston-area telecommunication fiber, in a demonstration of the world's longest fiber distance between two quantum memory nodes to date.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:12 EDT

Iconic baobabs: The origin and long-distance travels of upside down trees

The research cracks the code on the iconic baobab tree's origin story, revealing their surprising origins in Madagascar and incredible long-distance dispersals to Africa and Australia. The study unveils how baobabs developed unique pollination mechanisms -- some attracting hawkmoths, others lemurs, and even bats -- showcasing remarkable evolutionary adaptations. The research sheds light on how climate change has shaped the baobab's distribution and diversification over millions of years, offering valuable insights for understanding plant responses to future environmental shifts.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:04 EDT

Some mice may owe their monogamy to a newly evolved type of cell

What makes the oldfield mouse steadfastly monogamous throughout its life while its closest rodent relatives are promiscuous? The answer may be a previously unknown hormone-generating cell. Scientists discover the cells and hormones that inspire mice to nurture their young; the same hormones are also present in humans.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:27:02 EDT

First 'warm-blooded' dinosaurs may have emerged 180 million years ago

The ability to regulate body temperature, a trait all mammals and birds have today, may have evolved among some dinosaurs early in the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago. The new study looked at the spread of dinosaurs across different climates on Earth throughout the Mesozoic Era (the dinosaur era lasting from 230 to 66 million years ago), drawing on 1,000 fossils, climate models and the geography of the period, and dinosaurs' evolutionary trees.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:26:59 EDT

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air

Semiconductors are the foundation of all modern electronics. Now, researchers have developed a new method where organic semiconductors can become more conductive with the help of air as a dopant. The study is a significant step towards future cheap and sustainable organic semiconductors.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:26:54 EDT

Scientists generate heat over 1,000 degrees Celsius with solar power instead of fossil fuel

Instead of burning fossil fuels to smelt steel and cook cement, researchers in Switzerland want to use heat from the sun. The proof-of-concept study uses synthetic quartz to trap solar energy at temperatures over 1,000 C (1,832 F), demonstrating the method's potential role in providing clean energy for carbon-intensive industries.
Wed, 15 May 2024 12:20:39 EDT

Virtual reality becomes more engaging when designers use cinematic tools

Cinematography techniques can significantly increase user engagement with virtual environments and, in particular, the aesthetic appeal of what users see in virtual reality.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:15:01 EDT

Artificial intelligence tool detects male-female-related differences in brain structure

Artificial intelligence (AI) computer programs that process MRI results show differences in how the brains of men and women are organized at a cellular level, a new study shows. These variations were spotted in white matter, tissue primarily located in the human brain's innermost layer, which fosters communication between regions.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:14:13 EDT

WASP-193b, a giant planet with a density similar to that of cotton candy

Astronomers have just discovered WASP-193b, an extraordinarily low-density giant planet orbiting a distant Sun-like star.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:14:03 EDT

Young whale's journey highlights threats facing ocean animals

A young whale's journey across the Mediterranean highlights the many threats facing ocean animals, researchers say.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:13:54 EDT

People without an inner voice have poorer verbal memory

The vast majority of people have an ongoing conversation with themselves, an inner voice, that plays an important role in their daily lives. But between 5-10 per cent of the population do not have the same experience of an inner voice, and they find it more difficult to perform certain verbal memory tasks, new research shows.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:13:17 EDT

Researchers discover the universe's oldest stars in our own galactic backyard

Astronomers discovered three of the oldest stars in the universe, and they live in our own galactic neighborhood. The stars are in the Milky Way's 'halo' -- the cloud of stars that envelopes the entire main galactic disk -- and they appear to have formed between 12 and 13 billion years ago, when the very first galaxies were taking shape.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:13:00 EDT

2023 was the hottest summer in two thousand years

Researchers have found that 2023 was the hottest summer in the Northern Hemisphere in the past two thousand years, almost four degrees warmer than the coldest summer during the same period.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:12:49 EDT

Mixed public opinion on polygenic embryo screening for IVF

Survey reveals nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults support using emerging technology to screen embryos during IVF for risk of developing certain health conditions or traits that arise from more than one gene. Only about one-third of respondents approved of using the technology to predict traits unrelated to disease. Nearly all expressed concerns about potential negative outcomes for individuals or society. Findings underscore need for public education about benefits, limitations, ethical hazards of polygenic risk scores for embryos.
Tue, 14 May 2024 14:12:44 EDT

First case of highly pathogenic avian influenza transmitted from cow to human confirmed

in March a farm worker who reported no contact with sick or dead birds, but who was in contact with dairy cattle, began showing symptoms in the eye and samples were collected by the regional health department to test for potential influenza A. Experts have now confirmed the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza transmission from a mammal (dairy cow) to a human.
Mon, 13 May 2024 19:30:46 EDT

Today's world: Fastest rate of carbon dioxide rise over the last 50,000 years

Today's rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase is 10 times faster than at any other point in the past 50,000 years, researchers have found through a detailed chemical analysis of ancient Antarctic ice.
Mon, 13 May 2024 15:05:12 EDT

Like dad and like mum...all in one plant

Scientists have established a system to generate clonal sex cells in tomato plants and used them to design the genomes of offspring. The fertilization of a clonal egg from one parent by a clonal sperm from another parent led to plants containing the complete genetic information of both parents.
Mon, 13 May 2024 15:04:37 EDT

What makes a memory? It may be related to how hard your brain had to work

The human brain filters through a flood of experiences to create specific memories. Why do some of the experiences in this deluge of sensory information become 'memorable,' while most are discarded by the brain? A computational model and behavioral study developed by Yale scientists suggests a new clue to this age-old question, they report in the journal Nature Human Behavior.
Mon, 13 May 2024 10:52:02 EDT

Nature's 3D printer: Bristle worms form bristles piece by piece

Molecular biologists provide exciting insights into the bristles of the marine annelid worm Platynereis dumerilii. Specialized cells, so-called chaetoblasts, control the formation of the bristles. Their mode of operation is astonishingly similar to that of a technical 3D printer.
Mon, 13 May 2024 10:51:56 EDT

Plant virus treatment shows promise in fighting metastatic cancers in mice

An experimental treatment made from a plant virus is effective at protecting against a broad range of metastatic cancers in mice, shows a new study. The treatment, composed of nanoparticles fashioned from the cowpea mosaic virus -- a virus that infects black-eyed pea plants -- showed remarkable success in improving survival rates and suppressing the growth of metastatic tumors across various cancer models, including colon, ovarian, melanoma and breast cancer.
Mon, 13 May 2024 10:51:28 EDT

Scientists unlock key to breeding 'carbon gobbling' plants with a major appetite

The discovery of how a critical enzyme 'hidden in nature's blueprint' works sheds new light on how cells control key processes in carbon fixation, a process fundamental for life on Earth. The discovery could help engineer climate resilient crops capable of sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more efficiently, helping to produce more food in the process.
Fri, 10 May 2024 14:22:34 EDT

AI systems are already skilled at deceiving and manipulating humans

Many artificial intelligence (AI) systems have already learned how to deceive humans, even systems that have been trained to be helpful and honest. Researchers describe the risks of deception by AI systems and call for governments to develop strong regulations to address this issue as soon as possible.
Fri, 10 May 2024 11:14:40 EDT

ONe novae stellar explosion may be source of our phosphorus

Astronomers have proposed a new theory to explain the origin of phosphorus, one of the elements important for life on Earth. The theory suggests a type of stellar explosion known as ONe novae as a major source of phosphorus.
Fri, 10 May 2024 11:14:31 EDT

How the brain is flexible enough for a complex world (without being thrown into chaos)

Many neurons exhibit 'mixed selectivity,' meaning they can integrate multiple inputs and participate in multiple computations. Mechanisms such as oscillations and neuromodulators recruit their participation and tune them to focus on the relevant information.
Fri, 10 May 2024 11:14:09 EDT

Squeezed by neighbors, planet glows with molten lava

Astrophysicists discovered that an exoplanet is covered with so many active volcanoes that seen from a distance it would take on a fiery, glowing-red hue.
Thu, 09 May 2024 15:55:28 EDT

A fragment of human brain, mapped in exquisite detail

Researchers have created the largest synaptic-resolution, 3D reconstruction of a piece of human brain to date, showing in vivid detail each cell and its web of neural connections in a piece of human temporal cortex about half the size of a rice grain.
Thu, 09 May 2024 15:55:03 EDT

A better way to control shape-shifting soft robots

A new machine-learning technique can train and control a reconfigurable soft robot that can dynamically change its shape to complete a task. The researchers also built a simulator that can evaluate control algorithms for shape-shifting soft robots.
Thu, 09 May 2024 12:47:16 EDT

New Rhizobia-diatom symbiosis solves long-standing marine mystery

Scientists have discovered a new partnership between a marine diatom and a bacterium that can account for a large share of nitrogen fixation in vast regions of the ocean. The newly-discovered bacterial symbiont is closely related to the nitrogen-fixing Rhizobia which live in partnership with many crop plants and may open up new avenues to engineer nitrogen-fixing plants.
Thu, 09 May 2024 12:47:08 EDT

Liberals and conservatives differ on climate change beliefs -- but are relatively united in taking action

The division between liberals and conservatives on both climate-change beliefs and related policy support is long-standing. However, the results of a newly released global experiment show that despite these differences, the two camps actually align when it comes to taking certain actions to combat climate change.
Thu, 09 May 2024 11:09:00 EDT

2D all-organic perovskites: potential use in 2D electronics

Perovskites are among the most researched topics in materials science. Recently, a research team has solved an age-old challenge to synthesize all-organic two-dimensional perovskites, extending the field into the exciting realm of 2D materials. This breakthrough opens up a new field of 2D all-organic perovskites, which holds promise for both fundamental science and potential applications.
Thu, 09 May 2024 11:08:57 EDT

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