Science and Technology

Immersive VR goggles for mice unlock new potential for brain science

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
New miniature virtual reality (VR) goggles provide more immersive experiences for mice living in laboratory settings. By more faithfully simulating natural environments, the researchers can more accurately and precisely study the neural circuitry that underlies behavior. Compared to current state-of-the-art systems, which simply surround mice with computer or projection screens, the new goggles provide a leap in advancement.

Suburban backyard home to more than 1,000 species

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
A challenge among three housemates to identify species around their inner-Brisbane home has resulted in an academic research paper, showcasing the rich biodiversity in urban landscapes.  

Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, is also used by the body to regulate our genes

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Formaldehyde's toxicity was presumed to derive from its ability to crosslink DNA, but that happens only at huge doses. Recent discoveries that formaldehyde is found in the body in small amounts led a team to investigate its natural role. They found that formaldehyde regulates epigenetic modification of DNA, interfering with an enzyme that carries methyl groups used to modify DNA. Too much formaldehyde could suppress methylation, potentially leading to cancer.

Climate change will increase wildfire risk and lengthen fire seasons

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Wildfires are some of the most destructive natural disasters in the country, threatening lives, destroying homes and infrastructure, and creating air pollution. In order to properly forecast and manage wildfires, managers need to understand wildfire risk and allocate resources accordingly.

Mothers need more 'exclusive breastfeeding' support

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is proven to protect both mother and child health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 2015 and 2021, 48% of mothers exclusively breastfed, meaning that their babies were not given any other food or liquids. However, this figure is based on data collected from surveys which report what a child was given in the previous 24 hours. A research team has found that this '24-hour recall' method overestimates exclusive breastfeeding by about six times compared to a 'since-birth recall' method.

Coral reefs in peril from record-breaking ocean heat

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Record breaking marine heatwaves will cause devastating mass coral bleaching worldwide in the next few years, according to a coral reef scientist.

Hybrid device significantly improves existing, ubiquitous laser technology

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Researchers have developed a chip-scale laser source that enhances the performance of semiconductor lasers while enabling the generation of shorter wavelengths. This pioneering work represents a significant advance in the field of photonics, with implications for telecommunications, metrology, and other high-precision applications.

Structure of a central component of the human immune system revealed

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
An international team of researchers has visualized the structure of the so-called ASC speck.

How immune cells recognize their enemies

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
In order for immune cells to do their job, they need to know against whom they should direct their attack. Research teams a have identified new details in this process.

Scholars say it's time to declare a new epoch on the moon, the 'lunar Anthropocene'

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
According to anthropologists and geologists, it's time to acknowledge humans have become the dominant force shaping the moon's environment by declaring a new geological epoch for the moon: the Lunar Anthropocene. They argue the new epoch may have dawned in 1959 when the USSR's unmanned spacecraft Luna 2 alighted on the lunar surface.

Engineers design a robotic replica of the heart's right chamber

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Engineers developed a robotic replica of the heart's right ventricle, which mimics the beating and blood-pumping action of live hearts. The device could be used for studying right ventricle disorders and testing devices and therapies aimed at treating those disorders.

Adapting to hypoxia: Zooplankton influence the efficiency of the biological carbon pump in the Humboldt Current off Peru

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Marine organisms play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. Phytoplankton absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in organic matter that sinks to the deep ocean where it can be stored for long periods of time. Until now, this process -- the biological carbon pump -- was thought to be particularly efficient in oxygen-poor areas. A new study suggests that the influence of certain zooplankton species on the biological carbon pump has been underestimated.

New cause of diabetes discovered, offering potential target for new classes of drugs to treat the disease

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
Researchers have identified an enzyme that blocks insulin produced in the body -- a discovery that could provide a new target to treat diabetes. The study focuses on nitric oxide, a compound that dilates blood vessels, improves memory, fights infection and stimulates the release of hormones, among other functions. How nitric oxide performs these activities had long been a mystery.

New genes can arise from nothing

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
The complexity of living organisms is encoded within their genes, but where do these genes come from? Researchers resolved outstanding questions regarding the origin of small regulatory genes, and described a mechanism that creates their DNA palindromes. Under suitable circumstances, these palindromes evolve into microRNA genes.

New insights into Zebra mussel attachment fibers offer potential solutions to combat invasive species, develop sustainable materials

Science Daily - 09/12/2023
A recent study has revealed that an unlikely event, occurring over 12 million years ago played an important role in shaping one of Canada's most damaging invasive species. Zebra and quagga mussels, belonging to the Dreissenid family, are widespread freshwater invasive species throughout North America that present a significant danger to native ecosystems by competing for resources. Using a fibrous anchor called a byssus, Dreissenid mussels contribute to biofouling on surfaces and obstruct intake structures in power stations and water treatment plants.

A fork in the 'rhod': Researchers unveil comprehensive collection of rhodamine-based fluorescent dyes

Science Daily - 08/12/2023
After more than a decade of developing fluorescent probes, a research team has now released the culmination of their years of work: A comprehensive collection of rhodamine-based dyes, the novel chemistry they developed to synthesize them and insights that provide a roadmap for designing future probes.

Controversial claims about extinct humans are stirring up evolution research

The Hindu:Science - 08/12/2023
Some scientists have argued the small-brained H. naledi buried their dead in Rising Star Cave in South Africa more than 240,000 years ago, and may also have decorated the cave walls with engravings. But not all are convinced

Payload onboard Aditya-L1 captures full-disk images of the Sun

The Hindu:Science - 08/12/2023
It added that the SUIT observations will help scientists study the dynamic coupling of the magnetized solar atmosphere and assist them in placing tight constraints on the effects of solar radiation on Earth’s climate

Massive planet too big for its own sun pushes astronomers to rethink exoplanet formation

The Hindu:Science - 08/12/2023
The smaller star, called an M star, is not only smaller than the Sun in Earth’s solar system, but it’s 100 times less luminous


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