Science and Technology

Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
The way companies announce new products or build up hype can often influence their success once those new products hit the market, according to new research. Whether it's an upcoming blockbuster movie or a new rollout from major companies like Coca-Cola or Apple, the new research shows how companies might use this type of pre-announcement marketing to their advantage.

Panama Canal expansion rewrites history of world's most ecologically diverse bats

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
In a new study, paleontologists describe the oldest-known leaf-nosed bat fossils, which were found along the banks of the Panama Canal. They're also the oldest bat fossils from Central America, preserved 20-million years ago when Panama and the rest of North America were separated from southern landmass by a seaway at least 120 miles wide.

New non-toxic method for producing high-quality graphene oxide

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers have found a new way to synthesize graphene oxide which has significantly fewer defects compared to materials produced by most common method. Similarly good graphene oxide could be synthesized previously only using rather dangerous method involving extremely toxic fuming nitric acid.

Artificial reefs help preserve coral reefs by shifting divers away from the natural ones, according to new long-term study of one in Eilat

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Divers are essentially tourists who love coral reefs and invest a lot of time and effort to watch them. Unfortunately, divers also cause damage to corals, often unintentionally, through disturbing and resuspending sand, touching them, hitting them with their equipment, and scaring fish away. Artificial reefs have been proposed as a means of diverting diving pressure from the natural reef to alternative sites, thus preserving both dive tourism and the coral reef.

Study reveals molecular mechanisms behind hibernation in mammals

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers have characterized changes in the structure of motor proteins, called myosins, and energy consumption that occur during hibernation, highlighting key differences in large and small hibernators.

Could ultra-processed foods be the new 'silent' killer?

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Hundreds of novel ingredients never encountered by human physiology are now found in nearly 60 percent of the average adult's diet and nearly 70 percent of children's diets in the U.S. An emerging health hazard is the unprecedented consumption of these ultra-processed foods in the standard American diet. This may be the new 'silent' killer, as was unrecognized high blood pressure in previous decades. Physicians provide important insights in a battle where the entertainment industry, the food industry and public policy do not align with their patients' needs.

Nature's checkup: Surveying biodiversity with environmental DNA sequencing

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
A thousand kilometers south of Tokyo, far into the largest ocean on Earth, lies a chain of small, volcanic islands -- the Ogasawara Islands. Nature has been able to develop on its own terms here, far from both humans and the warm Kuroshio current, which acts like a shuttle, moving marine species from Taiwan, over the Ryukyu Islands, and up the Pacific coast of mainland Japan. With upwards of 70 % of trees and many animal species being endemic to the archipelago, the islands have been dubbed 'the Galapagos of the East', as they are valuable as both a biodiversity hotspot and a cradle of scientific discovery.

Spy-satellite images offer insights into historical ecosystem changes

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
New study advocates the use of more than one million declassified images for ecology and conservation. The images can offer better insights into the historical changes of ecosystems, species populations or changes in human influences on the environment dating back to the 1960s. Collaboration between ecologists, conservationists, and remote sensing experts is necessary to explore the full potential of the data.

Scientists develop novel radiotracer for earlier detection of disease

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Scientists have developed a new radiotracer (called [18F]4-FDF) that can map how cells use fructose for energy.

Tapping into the 300 GHz band with an innovative CMOS transmitter

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
New phased-array transmitter design overcomes common problems of CMOS technology in the 300 GHz band. Thanks to its remarkable area efficiency, low power consumption, and high data rate, the proposed transmitter could pave the way to many technological applications in the 300 GHz band, including body and cell monitoring, radar, 6G wireless communications, and terahertz sensors.

Wildfires linked to surge in mental health-related emergency department visits

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
An Emory University study published Feb. 15 in Nature Mental Health shows wildfires lead to an increase of anxiety-related emergency department visits in the western United States, amplifying the concerning parallel trajectory of two escalating public health crises -- mental health and climate change.

Annual breast cancer screening beginning at 40 saves lives

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Annual breast cancer screening beginning at age 40 and continuing to at least age 79 results in the highest reduction in mortality with minimal risks.

Study finds students, designers have different perceptions of masculine, feminine traits of classrooms

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers conducted a study in which they showed four classrooms to students and asked about their perceptions of masculine traits versus feminine traits of the rooms. They also showed the same images to employees at design firms that work on such spaces. Results showed that the two groups' perceptions of such gendered traits differed widely, which can have broader effects on students' sense of belonging in higher education and within disciplines, the authors argue.

Physically impaired primates find ways to modify their behaviors to compensate for their disabilities

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Primates show a remarkable ability to modify their behaviours to accommodate their physical disabilities and impairments, according to a new literature review. Whether the disabilities are the result of congenital malformations or injuries, many primate species exhibited behavioral flexibility and innovation to compensate for their disabilities. They also benefited from flexible and innovative behavior by their mothers early in life and from their peers within their population group as they aged.

Scientists may have cracked the 'aging process' in species

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Research shows the relationship between a species' age and its risk of going extinct could be accurately predicted by an ecological model called the 'neutral theory of biodiversity.'

Decline in microbial genetic richness in the western Arctic Ocean

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers analyzed archival samples of bacteria and archaea populations taken from the Beaufort Sea, bordering northwest Canada and Alaska. The samples were collected between 2004 and 2012, a period that included two years -- 2007 and 2012 -- in which the sea ice coverage was historically low. The researchers looked at samples taken from three levels of water: the summer mixed layer, the upper Arctic water below it and the Pacific-origin water at the deepest level. The study examined the microbes' genetic composition using bioinformatics and statistical analysis across the nine-year time span. Using this data, the researchers were able to see how changing environmental conditions were influencing the organisms' structure and function.

275 million new genetic variants identified in NIH precision medicine data

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers have discovered more than 275 million previously unreported genetic variants, identified from data shared by nearly 250,000 participants of the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program. Half of the genomic data are from participants of non-European genetic ancestry. The unexplored cache of variants provides researchers new pathways to better understand the genetic influences on health and disease, especially in communities who have been left out of research in the past.

Blocking key protein may halt progression of Alzheimer's disease

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
Researchers have found that inhibiting a key protein can stop the destruction of synapses and dendritic spines commonly seen in Alzheimer's disease.

Oocytes outsmart toxic proteins to preserve long-term female fertility

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
The accumulation of misfolded or damaged proteins in long-lived, non-dividing cells like neurons are linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. A study now finds that the build-up of these toxic proteins also influences oocyte quality and female fertility. The researchers discovered that mouse oocytes have specialized structures which roam the cytoplasm and act like a clean-up crew which capture and hold onto protein aggregates, rendering them harmless. Failure to degrade the toxic proteins led to the formation of defective eggs. 3 in 5 (60%) of mouse embryos that inherited the toxic proteins failed to complete the very earlies stages of development. The study presents a new frontier to explore the underlying mechanisms of poor oocyte quality, which is the leading cause of female infertility.

Astronomers report oscillation of our giant, gaseous neighbor

Science Daily - 21/02/2024
A few years ago, astronomers uncovered one of the Milky Way's greatest secrets: an enormous, wave-shaped chain of gaseous clouds in our sun's backyard, giving birth to clusters of stars along the spiral arm of the galaxy we call home. Naming this astonishing new structure the Radcliffe Wave, the team now reports that the Radcliffe Wave not only looks like a wave, but also moves like one -- oscillating through space-time much like 'the wave' moving through a stadium full of fans.

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