Science and Technology

Rats prefer to help their own kind; humans may be similarly wired

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
A decade after scientists discovered that lab rats will rescue a fellow rat in distress, but not a rat they consider an outsider, new research pinpoints the brain regions that drive rats to prioritize their nearest and dearest in times of crisis. It also suggests humans may share the same neural bias.

'Long COVID': More than a quarter of COVID-19 patients still symptomatic after 6 months

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
In a new study of adults from the general population who were infected with COVID-19 in 2020, more than a quarter report not having fully recovered after six to eight months.

Galactic gamma ray bursts predicted last year show up right on schedule

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Astronomers see many periodic emissions from space, typically caused by rotation of stars and often very regular. Astrophysicists noticed a unique periodicity in the soft gamma ray emissions from a magnetar located in our galaxy. The soft gamma repeater SGR1935+2154 appears to emit bursts only within regularly spaced windows, and is inactive in between. Based on their analysis, they predicted a resumption of bursts last month; so far, a dozen have been detected.

Long-term memory setup requires a reliable delivery crew

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Neural plasticity depends on a reliable delivery team of Kinesin protein KIF5C to carry goods like RNA from cell body to synapse, a new study finds.

Species of gut bacteria linked to enhanced cognition and language skills in infant boys

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Infant boys with a higher composition of a particular gut microbiota show enhanced neurodevelopment, according to a new study.

Air pollution exposure linked to poor academics in childhood

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Children exposed to elevated levels of air pollution may be more likely to have poor inhibitory control during late childhood and poor academic skills in early adolescence, including spelling, reading comprehension, and math skills. Difficulty with inhibition in late childhood was found to be a precursor to later air pollution-related academic problems. Interventions that target inhibitory control might improve outcomes.

5D imaging of ultrafast phenomena

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
An international team of researchers recently developed and experimentally demonstrated a spectral-volumetric (SV) CUP system that can simultaneously capture 5D information with a single snapshot measurement.

Preventing lung cancer's unwelcome return

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Approximately 15% of lung cancer tumors are caused by a mutation in a growth receptor called EGFR. An effective drug can kill most of the cancer cells, but the tumor eventually grows back. Researchers investigated the molecular mechanisms behind this relapse. They discovered that some of the cells were resistant to the EGFR treatment; they survived using a parallel pathway.

What you say in the first minute after a vaccine can be key in reducing a child's distress

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
New pain research finds what you say in the first minute after a vaccine can be key in reducing a child's distress.

Are silver nanoparticles a silver bullet against microbes?

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Antimicrobials are used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. They are essential to preventing and treating infections, but they also pose a global threat to public health when microorganisms develop antimicrobial resistance. A lab studied the mechanisms behind bacterial resistance to silver nanoparticles to determine if their ubiquitous use is a solution to this challenge or if it is perhaps fueling the fire.

Mosquito-resistant clothing prevents bites in trials

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Researchers have created insecticide-free, mosquito-resistant clothing using textile materials they confirmed to be bite-proof in experiments with live mosquitoes.

COVID-causing coronavirus following predictable mutational footsteps

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
New research has shown that the mutations arising in the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus seem to run in the family -- or at least the genus of coronaviruses most dangerous to humans. After comparing the early evolution of SARS-CoV-2 against that of its closest relatives, the betacoronaviruses, researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 mutations are occurring in essentially the same locations, both genetically and structurally.

The two-thousand-year-old mystery of the havoc-wreaking worm

Science Daily - 14/07/2021
Humans have known for over two thousand years that shipworms, a worm-like mollusk, are responsible for damage to wooden boats, docks, dikes and piers. Yet new research reveals that we still don't know the most basic thing about them: how they eat.

This device harvests power from your sweaty fingertips while you sleep

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
Researchers have developed a new device that harvests energy from the sweat on -- of all places -- your fingertips. To date, the device is believed to be the most efficient on-body energy harvester ever invented, producing 300 millijoules (mJ) of energy per square centimeter without any mechanical energy input during a 10-hour sleep and an additional 30 mJ of energy with a single press of a finger.

Electric signals between individual cardiac cells regulate heartbeat

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
Researchers provide an update on how electrical impulses in the heart travel from cell to cell. The connections between cells forming the low resistance pathway and facilitating the current flow are called gap junctions. Each consists of many channels, which are formed when specific proteins from one cell dock and fuse to the proteins from another cell. The scientists delve into the properties of gap junctions and their constituent proteins.

Supercomputer predicts cell-membrane permeability of cyclic peptides

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
Scientists have developed a computational method based on large-scale molecular dynamics simulations to predict the cell-membrane permeability of cyclic peptides using a supercomputer. Their protocol has exhibited promising accuracy and may become a useful tool for the design and discovery of cyclic peptide drugs, which could help us reach new therapeutic targets inside cells beyond the capabilities of conventional small-molecule drugs or antibody-based drugs.

Synthesis of one of the most abundant organic lipids elucidates its structure

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
Crenarchaeol is a large, closed-loop lipid that is present in the membranes of ammonium-oxidizing archaea. In comparison to other archaeal membrane lipids, crenarchaeol is very complex and, so far, attempts to confirm its structure by synthesizing the entire molecule have been unsuccessful. Organic chemists have now taken up this challenge and discovered that the proposed structure for the molecule was largely, but not entirely, correct.

Poor and minority communities suffer more from extreme heat in US cities

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
Low-income neighborhoods and communities with higher Black, Hispanic and Asian populations experience significantly more urban heat than wealthier and predominantly white neighborhoods within a vast majority of populous US counties, according new research.

Preventing oxygen release leads to safer high-energy-density batteries

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
As rechargeable batteries get more powerful, the chance of batteries overheating -- thermal runaway -- increases. Seeking a way to make batteries safer, researchers have investigated one of thermal runaway's main triggers: oxygen release.

Recent study identifies 11 candidate genetic variants for Alzheimer's disease

Science Daily - 13/07/2021
A recently published study identifies 11 rare candidate variants for Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found 19 different families in Utah that suffered from Alzheimer's disease more frequently than what is considered normal.

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