Science and Technology

Global cancer risk from burning organic matter comes from unregulated chemicals

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Scientists have found that benzo(a)pyrene, traditionally measured to gauge risk of developing cancer from exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), is a poor proxy for this type of cancer risk.

Blowing up medieval gunpowder recipes

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
First used for battle in China in about 900 A.D., gunpowder spread throughout Eurasia by the end of the 13th century, eventually revolutionizing warfare as a propellant in firearms and artillery. Meanwhile, master gunners tinkered with gunpowder formulas, trying to find the ideal concoction. Now, researchers have recreated medieval gunpowder recipes and analyzed the energies released during combustion, revealing that the evolution of the perfect powder was a slow, trial-and-error process.

Intermittent fasting can help manage metabolic disease

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Eating your daily calories within a consistent window of 8-10 hours is a powerful strategy to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to a new article.

Gigantic cavity in space sheds new light on how stars form

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Astronomers have discovered an enormous cavity in space while mapping interstellar dust. The sphere-shaped phenomenon may explain how supernovae lead to star formation.

Children’s dislike of cauliflower, broccoli could be written in their microbiome

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Many children, as well as adults, dislike Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. In the mouth, enzymes from these vegetables and from bacteria in saliva can produce unpleasant, sulfurous odors. Now, researchers have found that levels of these volatile compounds are similar in parent-child pairs, suggesting shared oral microbiomes. They also found that high levels cause children to dislike the vegetables.

Color coding molecular mirror images

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Researchers report a new method for distinguishing between enantiomers, molecules that are mirror images of each other. The procedure, relevant for the pharmaceutical industry, involves the chemical reaction of target enantiomers with color indicator compounds consisting of one-handed helical polymers, leading to solutions showing different colors in specific solvents between the enantiomers.

Maritime rope could be adding billions of microplastics to the ocean every year

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
A new study has explored the potential for rope to become a source of microplastic pollution in the marine environment.

Sonic hedgehog protein pathway stimulation could help Parkinson's patients

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Levodopa, or L-dopa, is considered the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease today. After a few years of treatment, however, almost all patients develop a debilitating side-effect called L-dopa induced dyskinesia, or LID, which causes involuntary movements in the limbs, face, and torso. Deep brain stimulation can alleviate LID, but the procedure is highly invasive and not all patients are eligible.

Scientists ID sterol essential for oil accumulation in plants

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Scientists seeking to unravel the details of how plants produce and accumulate oil have identified a new essential component of the assembly line. They discovered a particular sterol -- a molecule related to cholesterol -- that plays a key role in the formation of oil droplets. The findings may suggest new ways to engineer the oil content of a variety of plant tissues for potential applications in bioenergy, chemical engineering, and nutrition.

Infants have more microplastics in their feces than adults

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Microplastics -- tiny plastic pieces less than 5 mm in size -- are everywhere, from indoor dust to food to bottled water. So it's not surprising that scientists have detected these particles in the feces of people and pets. Now, in a small pilot study, researchers have discovered that infants have higher amounts of one type of microplastic in their stool than adults. Health effects, if any, are uncertain.

Polish gene project moves to drop Chinese tech on data security concerns

The Hindu:Science - 22/09/2021
Chinese company BGI had reportedly developed and improved a prenatal screening test sold in at least 52 countries in collaboration with People's Liberation Army hospitals

Instagram says social media’s effect on people's mental health “mixed”

The Hindu:Science - 22/09/2021
WSJ’s report also prompted some U.S. lawmakers to launch a probe into Facebook’s lack of transparency around internal research.

Hoverflies navigate using sun and body clock

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Hoverflies use a combination of the sun and their body clock to navigate when they fly south for the winter, new research shows.

Predicting a riot: Social inequality leads to vandalism in experiments

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Social inequality can incite collective violence in an experimental setting, finds a new study.

How proteins help yeast adapt to changing conditions

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Proteins in the brain called prions are well known for their involvement in causing disease, but a new study suggests they may help yeast cope with rapidly changing environmental conditions.

River research reveals scale of macroplastic pollution

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Plastic pollution clogs river systems for considerably longer than previously thought, new research shows.

MIND diet linked to better cognitive performance

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Researchers have found that older adults may benefit from a specific diet called the MIND diet even when they develop these protein deposits, known as amyloid plaques and tangles.

New machine learning method to analyze complex scientific data of proteins

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Scientists have developed a method using machine learning to better analyze data from a powerful scientific tool: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). One way NMR data can be used is to understand proteins and chemical reactions in the human body. NMR is closely related to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for medical diagnosis.

Regulator proteins or symphonies of genes: Statistical modeling points way toward unified theory for DNA folding

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Researchers seek to point a way toward a unified theory for how DNA changes shape when expressing genes. The scientists use an approach called statistical mechanics to explore the phenomenon of so-called expression waves of gene regulation. The group hopes to reconcile a long-standing gulf between the two scientific fields most involved in the topic, using concepts common to biology and physics.

Which types of brain activity support conscious experiences?

Science Daily - 22/09/2021
Our subjective experience appears to us in a continuous stream of integrated information, and researchers now explore the question: Which characteristics should brain activity have to support this type of conscious experiences? The group searched for integrated structures that encompass most of the brain but change configuration from time to time. Their hypothesis was these structures should vanish during states of deep unconsciousness, such as deep sleep or while under general anesthetics.

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