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A better view with new mid-infrared nanoscopy

17/04/2024
A team has constructed an improved mid-infrared microscope, enabling them to see the structures inside living bacteria at the nanometer scale. Mid-infrared microscopy is typically limited by its low resolution, especially when compared to other microscopy techniques. This latest development produced images at 120 nanometers, which the researchers say is a thirtyfold improvement on the resolution of typical mid-infrared microscopes. Being able to view samples more clearly at this smaller scale can aid multiple fields of research, including into infectious diseases, and opens the way for developing even more accurate mid-infrared-based imaging in the future.

Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human -- defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates

17/04/2024
Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins -- and produced a 'bizarre' evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage -- according to a new study that revises the start and end dates for many of our early ancestors.

AI speeds up drug design for Parkinson's by ten-fold

17/04/2024
Researchers have used artificial intelligence techniques to massively accelerate the search for Parkinson's disease treatments. The researchers designed and used an AI-based strategy to identify compounds that block the clumping, or aggregation, of alpha-synuclein, the protein that characterises Parkinson's.

E-tongue can detect white wine spoilage before humans can

17/04/2024
While the electronic tongue bears little physical resemblance to its namesake, the strand-like sensory probes of the 'e-tongue' still outperformed human senses when detecting contaminated wine in a recent study. In a recent experiment, the e-tongue identified signs of microorganisms in white wine within a week after contamination -- four weeks before a human panel noticed the change in aroma. This was also before those microbes could be grown from the wine in a petri-dish. Winemakers traditionally rely on these two methods, sniffing the wine and petri-dish testing, to identify potential wine 'faults' or spoilage.

Unique field study shows how climate change affects fire-impacted forests

17/04/2024
During the unusually dry year of 2018, Sweden was hit by numerous forest fires. A research team has investigated how climate change affects recently burnt boreal forests and their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Paradox of extreme cold events in a warming world

17/04/2024
The Warm Arctic-Cold Continent (WACC) phenomenon is the puzzling combination of Arctic warming and extreme coldness in specific mid-latitude regions. However, the progression of WACC events remains unclear amidst global warming. Scientists have now predicted a sharp decline in the WACC phenomenon post-2030s, affecting extreme weather events. These findings offer critical insights for communities, scientists, and policymakers to refine climate models and strategies and battle climate change.

Study finds iron-rich enamel protects, but doesn't color, rodents' orange-brown incisors

17/04/2024
Chattering squirrels, charming coypus, and tail-slapping beavers -- along with some other rodents -- have orange-brown front teeth. Researchers have produced high-resolution images of rodent incisors, providing an atomic-level view of the teeth's ingenious enamel and its coating. They discovered tiny pockets of iron-rich materials in the enamel that form a protective shield for the teeth but, importantly, don't contribute to the orange-brown hue -- new insights that could improve human dentistry.

Copper beads in pig feed reshape swine gut microbiome

17/04/2024
Copper is a natural antimicrobial material that, when added to pig feed, may promote the growth and health of the animals. Since pigs can tolerate high levels of the metal, researchers recently investigated whether copper might be used to promote their gut health and reduce the shedding of microbes to the environment.

Tracking a protein's fleeting shape changes

17/04/2024
Researchers have developed a powerful, new technique to generate 'movies' of changing protein structures and speeds of up to 50 frames per second.

Research explores how a father's diet could shape the health of his offspring

17/04/2024
A mice study suggests a father's diet may shape the anxiety of his sons and the metabolic health of his daughters before they are even conceived.

Novel robotic training program reduces physician errors placing central lines

17/04/2024
More than five million central lines are placed in patients who need prolonged drug delivery, such as those undergoing cancer treatments, in the United States every year, yet the common procedure can lead to a bevy of complications in almost a million of those cases. Researchers developed a robotic simulation training program to provide trainee physicians with more practice on the procedure. A year after deploying the program the team found that all complication types -- mechanical issues, infections and blood clots -- were significantly lower.

Two-dimensional nanomaterial sets record for expert-defying, counter-intuitive expansion

17/04/2024
Engineers have developed a record-setting nanomaterial which when stretched in one direction, expands perpendicular to the applied force.

Making crops colorful for easier weeding

17/04/2024
To make weeding easier, scientists suggest bioengineering crops to be colorful or to have differently shaped leaves so that they can be more easily distinguished from their wild and weedy counterparts. This could involve altering the crops' genomes so that they express pigments that are already produced by many plants, for example, anthocyanins, which make blueberries blue, or carotenoids, which make carrots orange. Then, they say, weeding robots could be trained to remove only the weeds using machine learning.

Storks fly with a little help from their friends

17/04/2024
All storks choose to migrate with conspecifics, but young storks rely more on social influences than adults do.

Researchers uncover human DNA repair by nuclear metamorphosis

17/04/2024
Researchers have discovered a DNA repair mechanism that advances understanding of how human cells stay healthy, and which could lead to new treatments for cancer and premature aging.

Coral reef microbes point to new way to assess ecosystem health

17/04/2024
A new study shows that ocean acidification is changing the mix of microbes in coral reef systems, which can be used to assess ecosystem health.

Researchers discover urine-based test to detect head and neck cancer

17/04/2024
Researchers have created a urine-based test that detects pieces of DNA fragments released by head and neck tumors. The test could potentially facilitate early detection of this cancer type, which currently does not have a reliable screening method.

Reproductive success improves after a single generation in the wild for descendants of some hatchery-origin Chinook salmon

17/04/2024
Researchers who created 'family trees' for nearly 10,000 fish found that first-generation, wild-born descendants of hatchery-origin Chinook salmon in an Oregon river show improved fitness.

Researchers shine light on rapid changes in Arctic and boreal ecosystems

17/04/2024
Arctic and boreal latitudes are warming faster than any other region on Earth.

'Nanostitches' enable lighter and tougher composite materials

17/04/2024
In an approach they call 'nanostitching,' engineers used carbon nanotubes to prevent cracking in multilayered composites. The advance could lead to next-generation airplanes and spacecraft.

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