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Anthropocene: Human-Made Materials Now Weigh as Much as All Living Biomass, Say Scientists
Our deficiencies have always driven us, even among our distant ancestors, back in the last Ice Age. Having neither the speed and strength to hunt large prey, nor sharp teeth and claws to tear flesh, we improvised spears, flint knives, scrapers. Lacking a thick pelt, we took the fur of other animals. As the ice receded, we devised more means of survival and comfort—stone dwellings, ploughs, wheele
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Molecular crystal structures pack it in
Whether organic chemists are working on developing new molecular energetics or creating new blockbuster drugs in the pharmaceutical industry, each is searching how to optimize the chemical structure of a molecule to attain desired target properties.
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Protein tells developing cells to stick together
Tohoku University scientists have, for the first time, provided experimental evidence that cell stickiness helps them stay sorted within correct compartments during development. How tightly cells clump together, known as cell adhesion, appears to be enabled by a protein better known for its role in the immune system. The findings were detailed in the journal Nature Communications.
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Protein tells developing cells to stick together
Tohoku University scientists have, for the first time, provided experimental evidence that cell stickiness helps them stay sorted within correct compartments during development. How tightly cells clump together, known as cell adhesion, appears to be enabled by a protein better known for its role in the immune system. The findings were detailed in the journal Nature Communications.
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Researchers reveal the first cryo-EM structures of NSD2 and NSD3 in complex with nucleosome
The nuclear receptor–binding SET Domain (NSD) family protein is closely connected with many cancers. However, their molecular mechanism remains unknown.
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A-68A iceberg thinning at 2.5 cm per day
Latest images reveal that the A-68A iceberg has shattered into multiple pieces, with two large fragments of ice breaking off from the main berg and floating away in the open ocean. Scientists using satellite data have not only been monitoring the iceberg's journey across the South Atlantic Ocean, but have been studying the iceberg's ever-changing shape.
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Researchers reconstruct the precise bite of an early mammal
Paleontologists at the University of Bonn (Germany) have succeeded in reconstructing the chewing motion of an early mammal that lived almost 150 million years ago. This showed that its teeth worked extremely precisely and surprisingly efficiently. Yet it is possible that this very aspect turned out to be a disadvantage in the course of evolution. The study is published in the journal Scientific Re
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Researchers reveal the first cryo-EM structures of NSD2 and NSD3 in complex with nucleosome
The nuclear receptor–binding SET Domain (NSD) family protein is closely connected with many cancers. However, their molecular mechanism remains unknown.
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Breaking bad: How shattered chromosomes make cancer cells drug-resistant
Scientists describe how a phenomenon known as 'chromothripsis' breaks up chromosomes, which then reassemble in ways that ultimately promote cancer cell growth.
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International research team calls for 'glocal' approach to help mitigate flooding damage
Scientists suggest large-scale global forecasting and on-the-ground observations need to meld into one system to better predict and prevent wide-spread flooding disasters
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Novel method reveals small microplastics throughout Japan's subtropical ocean
Samples taken from the ocean surrounding the subtropical island of Okinawa have revealed the presence of microplastics in all six areas surveyed, finds new study.
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Eavesdropping on the pH levels inside the brain
Researchers at Tohoku University have developed the first all-in-one miniature pH probe for real-time investigations of intrinsic extracellular pH dynamics in the deep brain structures.
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COVID-19 severity affected by proportion of antibodies targeting crucial viral protein
COVID-19 antibodies preferentially target a different part of the virus in mild cases of COVID-19 than they do in severe cases, and wane significantly within several months of infection, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford Medicine.
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Could COVID-19 have wiped out the Neandertals?
Everybody loves Neandertals, those big-brained brutes we supposedly outcompeted and ultimately replaced using our sharp tongues and quick, delicate minds. But did we really, though? Is it mathematically possible that we could yet be them, and they us?
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Could COVID-19 have wiped out the Neandertals?
Everybody loves Neandertals, those big-brained brutes we supposedly outcompeted and ultimately replaced using our sharp tongues and quick, delicate minds. But did we really, though? Is it mathematically possible that we could yet be them, and they us?
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Theory describes quantum phenomenon in nanomaterials
Theoretical physicists have developed mathematical formulas that describe a physical phenomenon happening within quantum dots and other nanosized materials. The formulas could be applied to further theoretical research about the physics of quantum dots, ultra-cold atomic gasses, and quarks.
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Researchers develop new way to break reciprocity law
The breakthrough makes a significant step forward in photonics and microwave technology by eliminating the need for bulky magnets.
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Plastic is blowing in the wind
The discovery of microplastics in the air above the ocean reveals the spread of this hazardous pollution.
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The 20 Most Underrated Movies of the Past 20 Years
You might've missed them when they came out. Here's what you should catch up on—and how to stream them.
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Sorry, Facebook. iOS Changes Aren't Bad for Small Businesses
The social media giant would have you believe that Apple's privacy update will hurt the little guys. But Facebook's motives aren't so altruistic.
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No, You Don't Need a New TV for the PS5 and Xbox Series X
This round of next-gen gaming consoles comes with features that make the most of 4K and HDR. But you'll still get some benefits without shelling out.
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Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains
Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections — the ones that are repeatedly introduced, such as how to avoid danger — are nurtured and reinforced, while connections deemed unnecessary are pruned away. Adult brains undergo similar pruning, but it was unclear how or why synapses in the adult brain get eliminated. Now
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New discovery opens novel pathway for high-titer production of drop-in biofuels
Using an unusual, light-dependent enzyme and a newly discovered enzymatic mechanism, researchers have enabled the biological synthesis of high-yield industry relevant production of climate neutral drop-in fuels from biowaste.
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Portugal outrage after Spanish hunters massacre 500 wild animals
Officials seek a criminal probe after photos of 540 deer and boar corpses are shared on social media.
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A Pandemic Pregnancy Is a More Dangerous Pregnancy
So much is still unknown about pregnancy and COVID-19. We do know that contracting the disease comes with increased risk of severe illness, and a higher risk of preterm birth. But how an infection affects a person at different stages of pregnancy? Or a developing fetus? No one knows for sure. Would vaccination help mitigate these risks? The vaccines were never tested on pregnant people. Unlike el
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The Real Problem With the 'Naughty List'
The Elf on the Shelf has taken some flak in recent years for packaging omnipresent surveillance as cute holiday fun for kids. Yet maybe the problem with Christmas is not the little guy on the shelf, but the big guy in the sleigh. After all, he's the one who's keeping the list . So perhaps it's time to take a hard look at what Santa is teaching our kids. On the upside, Santa encourages good behavi
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How You Can Help Stop Invasive Spotted Lanternflies
Scientists are collecting photographs of the insects' eggs to train an algorithm and curtail their rapid spread — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The Biggest Video Game Surprise Hits of 2020
Despite some big-name disappointments, this was a great year for gaming. And more than a few came out of nowhere to steal our hearts.
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The Latest Nokia Phone Is a Big, Clumsy Mess
It's also a contender for the worst product name of 2020.
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'Misconduct on a grand and terrible scale': Dental scientist up to 26 retractions
A dentistry researcher in Spain with a history of reusing and manipulating images has notched two more retractions, giving him 26. The new retractions move Jose´ Luis Calvo-Guirado, of Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, into a tie for 24th place on the Retraction Watch leaderboard. Calvo-Guirado has in the past disputed the retractions of … Continue reading
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How You Can Help Stop Invasive Spotted Lanternflies
Scientists are collecting photographs of the insects' eggs to train an algorithm and curtail their rapid spread — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Why skipping holiday rituals sparks such outrage
Simply telling people not to gather for holiday rituals to avoid spreading COVID-19 won't work, say researchers who cite the psychology of rituals. Health officials may have to do more than just tell people not to gather in order to be effective, they say. "People don't want to have to pit one sacred value against another." That's because coming together to exchange gifts on Christmas isn't just
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The U.K. Coronavirus Mutation Is Worrying but Not Terrifying
There is evidence the new variant could be more transmissible, yet vaccines work very well against it — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The U.K. Coronavirus Mutation Is Worrying but Not Terrifying
There is evidence the new variant could be more transmissible, yet vaccines work very well against it — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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What Drives Writers to Drink?
A portrait of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953) sitting in an unidentified bar in the early 1950s. (Weegee / International Center of Photography / Getty) The drunk guy. What are you going to do with the drunk guy? He's holding forth, he's sucking up air, he's rhetorically inflated, he's ruining everything, and no possible appeal to decency or art can stop him. A bucket of cold water might a
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The Last Days of Loneliness
I expected Mary Ellen Scott to sound sad. This year—Scott's 18th as a resident of the Montrose Health Center in southeastern Iowa—has been especially hard on people in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Nationwide, nearly 40 percent of all coronavirus-related deaths have happened in long-term-care facilities; my grandmother died of COVID-19 in April after contracting the virus in her M
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The Year of Driving Less—but More Dangerously
Total traffic deaths fell during pandemic lockdowns. But fatalities per mile traveled rose, due to faster driving, fewer cops, and more drug use.
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A Bold Plan to Save the Last Whitebark Pines
The high-altitude tree is vital to its ecosystem, but it's being decimated by a fungus. Its admirers are fusing old and new methods to bring it back.
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Here's a Plan to Stop the Coronavirus From Mutating
Prioritize people who are immunocompromised for early vaccination.
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All the Gear We Fell In Love With During 2020
From turntables to smart water bottles, here are the things that brought the WIRED gear team irrational delight in this most atypical year.
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For immunologists, 2020 has been a terrifying, incredible year | Zania Stamtaki
Science has shown how powerful it can be in the face of a formidable challenge like a pandemic You may think of immunologists as biologists, but we are also in the defence business. This aspect of our role really comes into its own when a new, devastating disease rears its head. We estimate that the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 first made the leap to humans last December. Over one and a half millio
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Controlling the magnetic properties of complex oxide systems
The study of complex oxides of iron to create new functional materials is one of the most intensely developing fields of investigation for SUSU scientists. The physical properties of complex iron oxide systems can be varied by changing the chemical composition. This makes it possible to trace the fundamental effects that arise when ions are replaced. In a new study, researchers chose to investigat
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What's Your Risk of Catching COVID? These Tools Help You Find Out
A look at apps that predict the chance of infection and illness, depending on what you're doing and where you are — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Atomic-scale nanowires can now be produced at scale
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered a way to make self-assembled nanowires of transition metal chalcogenides at scale using chemical vapor deposition. By changing the substrate where the wires form, they can tune how these wires are arranged, from aligned configurations of atomically thin sheets to random networks of bundles. This paves the way to industrial deployment i
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Scientists create polymers to detect banned substances in wastewater
Molecularly imprinted polymers, which have been created with the participation of a SUSU scientist, have become a base for a unique sensor that detects banned substances in wastewater. Police forces in European countries, where the problem of drug production is particularly acute, have shown interest in this development. The results of the research on creating these polymers have been published in
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Thousands queue for rapid coronavirus tests in Liverpool
Sites in city turn away people due to 'incredible demand' for quick-turnaround tests See all of our coronavirus coverage Thousands of people have waited hours for a rapid-turnaround coronavirus test in Liverpool before spending Christmas Day with loved ones. Long queues formed outside testing centres across the city on Christmas Eve, a day after some sites had to turn people away due to "incredib
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The Pandemic Is Delaying Cancer Screenings and Detection
The missed checkups could result in later, more severe diagnoses down the line — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The Pandemic Is Delaying Cancer Screenings and Detection
The missed checkups could result in later, more severe diagnoses down the line — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The year deepfakes went mainstream
In 2018, Sam Cole, a reporter at Motherboard, discovered a new and disturbing corner of the internet. A Reddit user by the name of "deepfakes" was posting nonconsensual fake porn videos using an AI algorithm to swap celebrities' faces into real porn. Cole sounded the alarm on the phenomenon, right as the technology was about to explode. A year later, deepfake porn had spread far beyond Reddit, wi
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The 15 Best Books of 2020
This year has highlighted the particularities of that thing called reading. Some found books impossible to pick up; sustained attention to text on a page is hard when the world is in so much pain. Others turned to literature anew, rediscovering the ways it can refresh and inspire. Below are the titles we were most drawn to in 2020: a wide-ranging list that includes new spins on epic poems, storie
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Charlie Brown's Inside Job
"Lights, please." For half a century, it's been one of the most significant phrases in American Christianity. A prelude to something sacred in an unlikely place: the Gospel of Luke, King James translation, as recited by Linus van Pelt in A Charlie Brown Christmas . My parents were atheists; I knew almost nothing about Christianity as a child, although I got the lay of the land when I was sent to
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First detection of bat-borne Issyk-Kul virus in Europe
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79468-8
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Molar occlusion and jaw roll in early crown mammals
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79159-4
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Mesoscopic theory of defect ordering–disordering transitions in thin oxide films
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79482-w
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Grip-force modulation in human-to-human object handovers: effects of sensory and kinematic manipulations
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79129-w
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Blocking PDGF-CC signaling ameliorates multiple sclerosis-like neuroinflammation by inhibiting disruption of the blood–brain barrier
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79598-z
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Identification of single motor units in skeletal muscle under low force isometric voluntary contractions using ultrafast ultrasound
Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79863-1
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Her er årets læserhits på ing.dk
Corona har fyldt meget på Ingeniørens hjemmeside i år. 11 ud af de 20 mest læste artikler i 2020 handler om pandemien. Men skovbrande i Australien, kritik af Lomborgs klimabog og 'mystiske GPS-signaler' trak også mange læsere til.
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Five good-news health stories from this past year
2020 has not been an easy-going year, but we still have major health breakthroughs to be proud of and thankful for. (Pexels/) The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upheaval to 2020. But amidst all that, some really great health news unfolded. Here are a few examples of genuine great news to end your year on that we guarantee is good for your health. We developed a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine—
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The Trump Administration's Lasting Impact on Indian Country
From environmental rollbacks to an ineffective Covid-19 response, Native American communities say the Trump administration has repeatedly pushed them aside. The administration's actions have not slowed in its final months, as its agencies continue to fast-track politically fraught projects.
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Skåret ud i pap: Derfor kan julemad gøre dig forstoppet
Fed mad og få fibre kan få tarmene til at gå i stå.
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Early mammal with remarkably precise bite
Paleontologists have succeeded in reconstructing the chewing motion of an early mammal that lived almost 150 million years ago. This showed that its teeth worked extremely precisely and surprisingly efficiently.
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How Much Herd Immunity Is Enough?
Scientists initially estimated that 60 to 70 percent of the population needed to acquire resistance to the coronavirus to banish it. Now Dr. Anthony Fauci and others are quietly shifting that number upward.
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Watch Octopuses Punch Fish Like Eight-Armed Bullies of the Sea: Full Video
The solitary cephalopods occasionally join a hunting party with fish, then lash out for reasons that scientists are studying.
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How Did Mistletoe Get Into the Treetops?
Before someone hung it up in your home, some animal had to get it into the canopies where it thrives to this day.
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'Trusted Messengers, Trusted Messages': How To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy
As the first COVID-19 vaccines begin to be rolled out across the U.S., community leaders in diverse groups already are working hard to dispel misinformation and reach skeptics with truth. (Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Videnskabens Top-5: Globalisering ensretter naturen – på godt og ondt
PLUS. Indførte dyr og planter gør økosystemerne verden over mere og mere ens, men de kan også være med til at rette op på artsnedgang.
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Olive-stuffing and in-theatre piano: the brain surgeon breaking new ground
Italian Roberto Trignani is known for 'awake surgery' and other unorthodox methods Playing the violin, watching cartoons and doing crosswords: these are just some of the activities patients have performed while having brain surgery under Roberto Trignani. Trignani, the head of neurosurgery at Riuniti hospital in Ancona, Italy, was already known for his "awake surgery" techniques, which he has use
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Fruity energy, spidery lenses: Nature-inspired solutions in 2020
Climate change and biodiversity loss are laying bare our dependence on the natural world for everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe.
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Fruity energy, spidery lenses: Nature-inspired solutions in 2020
Climate change and biodiversity loss are laying bare our dependence on the natural world for everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe.
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Når mor går over tid: Antallet af dødfødte børn i Danmark er fordoblet siden 2015
For få hænder og færre igangsættelser er en mulig forklaring.
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Atomic-scale nanowires can now be produced at scale
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered a way to make self-assembled nanowires of transition metal chalcogenides at scale using chemical vapor deposition. By changing the substrate where the wires form, they can tune how these wires are arranged, from aligned configurations of atomically thin sheets to random networks of bundles. This paves the way to industrial deployment i
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Covid-19 vaccines: anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theories
As Covid-19 spread around the world, conspiracy theories about its origin, severity and prevention followed closely behind. Now attention has turned to vaccines. False claims circulated among anti-vaxxer groups include the theory that Covid vaccines are being used to implant microchips in people and that they will alter a person's DNA. In the second of a two-part exploration into Covid vaccine sce
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Covid-19 vaccines: anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theories – podcast
As Covid-19 spread around the world, conspiracy theories about its origin, severity and prevention followed closely behind. Now attention has turned to vaccines. False claims circulated among anti-vaxxer groups include the theory that Covid vaccines are being used to implant microchips in people and that they will alter a person's DNA. In the second of a two-part exploration into Covid vaccine sc
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Vind med Ingeniørens julekalender: 24. december
Endelig! Glædelig jul 🙂
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'Brand-new disease, no treatment, no cure': how Anthony Fauci's fight against Aids prepared him to tackle Covid-19
As he turns 80, the medical expert's decades of work on HIV will stand as his lasting contribution, whatever happens with Covid On the morning of 9 November, as the world awoke to the game-changing news that Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective, Anthony Fauci sat for a triumphant 9am press conference. But he was not there to discuss Covid-19. Continue reading…
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UK vaccine lottery 'overlooks' vulnerable minorities
Emphasis on over-80s leads to concerns about fairness and efficiency of programme
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Ny konverter-teknologi kan barbere 2 procent af prisen på havvind
PLUS. To af verdens største havvindmølleproducenter er gået sammen med Aalborg Universitet i et nyt forskningsprojekt, der vil øge spændingen i møllernes indre elektronik og barbere vigtige procenter af prisen på havvind.
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Coronavirus Variant Is Indeed More Transmissible, New Study Suggests
Researchers warn that the British variant is so contagious that new control measures, including closing down schools and universities, may be necessary.
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The Triumph of Kleptocracy
Paul Manafort came of age in New Britain, Connecticut. His father, the garrulous mayor of that decaying factory town, taught him how to cobble together an electoral coalition, passing down the tricks of the trade that became the basis for the son's lucrative career as a political consultant. But as the local hardware manufacturers fled to foreign shores, the Mafia moved into town. To hear the loc
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MuZero: Mastering Go, chess, shogi and Atari without rules
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Boulder County to shift some government departments to a four-day work week
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In pandemic America's tent cities, a grim future grows darker
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Creating water out of thin air in the Navajo Nation
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2020 in Neuroscience, Longevity, and AI—and What's to Come
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Magnetic coating gives life to millirobots – Physics World
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58 per cent of Australians support a universal basic income
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Oxford scientists turn carbon dioxide into jet fuel
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Private basic income experiment in Japan publishes first results
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Outwitting the Grim Reaper – Issue 94: Evolving
Some evolutionary biologists say that after we pass reproductive age, nature, like a cat who's been fed, is done with us. The bodily systems that thrived and repaired themselves to ensure that we pass on healthy genes cease to function well and leave us to slink to the finish line the best we can. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin , author of this year's Successful Aging , says "that's not an unreaso
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Reading, That Strange and Uniquely Human Thing – Issue 94: Evolving
The Chinese artist Xu Bing has long experimented to stunning effect with the limits of the written form. Last year I visited the Centre del Carme in Valencia, Spain, to see a retrospective of his work. One installation, Book from the Sky , featured scrolls of paper looping down from the ceiling and lying along the floor of a large room, printed Chinese characters emerging into view as I moved clo
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Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree – Issue 94: Evolving
I remember my grandfather commenting—wry amusement tinged with grim resignation—that what made him finally feel old was seeing his children reach middle age. I was a child then. Now I see my own children, not quite middle aged, starting to have children of their own. Becoming a grandparent is quite lovely, an affirmation of continuity and a front-row-seat to watch (and even, on occasion, particip
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Quantum wave in helium dimer filmed for the first time
For the first time, an international team of scientists has succeeded in filming quantum physical effects on a helium dimer as it breaks apart. The film shows the superposition of matter waves from two simultaneous events that occur with different probability: The survival and the disintegration of the helium dimer. This method might in future make it possible to track experimentally the formation
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Scientists develop new gene therapy for deafness
A new study presents an innovative treatment for deafness, based on the delivery of genetic material into the cells of the inner ear. The genetic material 'replaces' the genetic defect and enables the cells to continue functioning normally. They maintain that this novel therapy could lead to a breakthrough in treating children born with various mutations that eventually cause deafness.
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Quantum wave in helium dimer filmed for the first time
For the first time, an international team of scientists has succeeded in filming quantum physical effects on a helium dimer as it breaks apart. The film shows the superposition of matter waves from two simultaneous events that occur with different probability: The survival and the disintegration of the helium dimer. This method might in future make it possible to track experimentally the formation
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The Atlantic Daily: Trump's Pardons Follow a Pattern
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox . With under a month left in office, President Donald Trump is flexing his power, issuing a slew of pardons and a veto. His actions may stun, but not necessarily surprise. In the past 24 hours, the
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Trump's Pardon of Manafort Is the Realization of the Founders' Fears
Nostradamus had nothing on George Mason. The French seer earned a reputation for prophecy that was grounded, for the most part, in vague and ambiguous predictions of future events whose malleability allowed supporters to claim he was prescient. As with the Delphic oracle who came before him, Nostradamus's reputation for foresight was unearned. George Mason, however, deserves his reputation for th
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Even light smokers could be addicted
Many light smokers, those who smoke one to four cigarettes per day or fewer, meet the criteria for nicotine addiction and should be considered for treatment, researchers report. "In the past, some considered that only patients who smoke around 10 cigarettes per day or more were addicted, and I still hear that sometimes," says Jonathan Foulds, professor of public health sciences and psychiatry and
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December Is Now the Deadliest Month of the Pandemic
Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here . December is now the deadliest month of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Since the spring, month by month, the country had held the death toll below the terrible peak of the early pandemic, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic . April began with
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Astronomers made a poor bot count 100,000 moon craters
The moon's surface is a chaotic mess of craters of all sizes. Now algorithms are smart enough and kind enough to sort through that mess for us. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University/) If the robot uprising ever comes, the machines might cite a new entry in their list of grievances. An international team of researchers has developed a machine learning algorithm to do a task that no planetary scienti
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How a Christmas Tradition has Helped Track Billions of Vanishing Birds
In 1900, Audubon conservationists started a Christmas tradition of counting, rather than hunting, birds. Today, more than 80,000 people participate.
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Global trial reveals life saving drug for acute myeloid leukemia
Results from a global trial across 148 sites in 23 countries, showing a 30 per cent improvement in survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), significantly improving survival in older patients, over the age of 55, with the disease. AML is the most acute blood cancer in adults and its incidence increases with age, with a poor prognosis.
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FAA Issues Santa Claus Commercial License for Launch to Space Station
Special Air-Cargo-Delivery The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Santa Claus and his sleigh special commercial flight permissions to visit the International Space Station. Father Christmas can now enjoy "special operating authority to engage in interstate air-cargo-delivery services directly to rooftops throughout the United States on Christmas Eve," the FAA's statement reads. The
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New electron microscopy technique offers first look at previously hidden processes
Researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of 'smart' materials being formed at the nanoscale.
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Even after long-term exposure, bionic touch does not remap the brain
A new study by neuroscientists demonstrates that the brain does not remap itself even with long-term bionic limb use, posing challenges for the development of realistic prosthetic limbs.
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New imaging method views soil carbon at near-atomic scales
The Earth's soils contain more than three times the amount of carbon than is found in the atmosphere, but the processes that bind carbon in the soil are still not well understood.
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Controlling cardiac waves with light to better understand abnormally rapid heart rhythms
Over 300,000 people die each year in the US due to sudden cardiac death. In many cases, sudden cardiac death is caused by abnormally rapid heart rhythms called tachycardias, which means the heart cannot pump adequate blood to the body. In Chaos, researchers use mice to study tachycardias and find there are intrinsic mechanisms that exist in heart tissue that they hypothesize lead to the self-termi
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Simple and cost-effective extraction of rare metals from industrial waste
Researchers developed a protocol to efficiently purify palladium and silver ions from industrial waste, and convert the ions into pure metallic elements. This will help increase global stock of valuable elements that are widely needed yet in scarce supply.
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Scientists simulate a large-scale virus, M13
Scientists have developed a procedure that combines various resolution levels in a computer simulation of a biological virus. Their procedure maps a large-scale model that includes features, such as a virus structure, nanoparticles, etc, to its corresponding coarse-grained molecular model. This approach opens the prospects to a whole-length virus simulation at the molecular level.
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There's Yet Another COVID Strain Spreading
Yet another new strain of the coronavirus, called 501.V2, has surfaced in South Africa, Reuters reports — prompting several countries to implement travel restrictions. The news comes after a separate strain of the virus spread quicker than expected in the United Kingdom, causing similar travel restrictions earlier this week. "This new variant [from South Arica] is highly concerning, because it is
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Triple chemotherapy combination improves metastatic colorectal cancer outcomes
Researchers from SWOG Cancer Research Network, a cancer clinical trials group funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have shown that a triple drug combination — of irinotecan, cetuximab, and vemurafenib — is a more powerful tumor fighter and keeps people with metastatic colon cancer disease free for a significantly longer period of time compared
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People in rural areas less likely to receive specialty care for neurologic conditions
A new study has found that while the prevalence of neurologic conditions like dementia, stroke, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis (MS) is consistent across the U.S., the distribution of neurologists is not, and people in more rural areas may be less likely to receive specialty care for certain neurologic conditions. The study, funded by the American Academy of Neurology, is published in t
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Neurology patients faced with rising out-of-pocket costs for tests, office visits
Just like with drug costs, the amount of money people pay out-of-pocket for diagnostic tests and office visits for neurologic conditions has risen over 15 years, according to a new study published in the December 23, 2020, online issue of issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
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Why some countries suspended, replaced, or relaunched their covid apps
This spring, while the US government was spinning its wheels on an official covid-19 response, countries around the world were rolling out national contact tracing apps. Beginning with Singapore in mid-March, more than 40 countries have launched digital exposure notification systems, to varying degrees of success. Our Covid Tracing Tracker logs each country's app and the technologies used, noting
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Winter storm in Dakotas, Minnesota make travel frightful
A storm that began with snow, strong winds and bitter cold into the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota early Wednesday and began moving east was making travel treacherous and grounded flights on one of the most anticipated air travel days since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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This Health Intelligence Test Examines Your Health on a Cellular Level
When it comes to looking after your own health , there are two basic approaches you can take. You can either sit around and wait for things to happen, or you can get ahead of the fight and take steps to make yourself as healthy as possible. In other words, you can either be reactive, or you can be proactive . Unfortunately, for a long time being proactive about your health involved a lot of guess
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Hibernating Lizards Are Blocking Tesla's Plans for a Berlin Gigafactory
Coexist Tesla has run into yet another snag while it tries to construct its Gigafactory near Berlin, Germany. On Friday, a German court rule that Tesla cannot raze as much of the nearby forest as it'd planned to, according to Business Insider . The reason? The forest is home to a protected species of sand lizard that's already hunkered down for its winter hibernation. In the face of yet another e
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AI-designed serotonin sensor may help scientists study sleep and mental health
Researchers have described how they used advanced genetic engineering techniques to transform a bacterial protein into a new research tool that may help monitor serotonin transmission with greater fidelity than current methods. Preclinical experiments, primarily in mice, showed that the sensor could detect subtle, real-time changes in brain serotonin levels during sleep, fear, and social interacti
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Sarcomeres regulate murine cardiomyocyte maturation through MRTF-SRF signaling [Developmental Biology]
The paucity of knowledge about cardiomyocyte maturation is a major bottleneck in cardiac regenerative medicine. In development, cardiomyocyte maturation is characterized by orchestrated structural, transcriptional, and functional specializations that occur mainly at the perinatal stage. Sarcomeres are the key cytoskeletal structures that regulate the ultrastructural maturation of other organelles,
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Forward-looking serial intervals correctly link epidemic growth to reproduction numbers [Population Biology]
The reproduction number R and the growth rate r are critical epidemiological quantities. They are linked by generation intervals, the time between infection and onward transmission. Because generation intervals are difficult to observe, epidemiologists often substitute serial intervals, the time between symptom onset in successive links in a transmission chain….
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DeepTracer for fast de novo cryo-EM protein structure modeling and special studies on CoV-related complexes [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Information about macromolecular structure of protein complexes and related cellular and molecular mechanisms can assist the search for vaccines and drug development processes. To obtain such structural information, we present DeepTracer, a fully automated deep learning-based method for fast de novo multichain protein complex structure determination from high-resolution cryoelectron microscopy…
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Structure of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8, a rapidly evolving immune evasion protein [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The molecular basis for the severity and rapid spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely unknown. ORF8 is a rapidly evolving accessory protein that has been proposed to interfere with immune responses. The crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 was determined at…
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Knockout of the HMG domain of the porcine SRY gene causes sex reversal in gene-edited pigs [Genetics]
The sex-determining region on the Y chromosome (SRY) is thought to be the central genetic element of male sex development in mammals. Pathogenic modifications within the SRY gene are associated with a male-to-female sex reversal syndrome in humans and other mammalian species, including rabbits and mice. However, the underlying mechanisms…
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Cerebellar Purkinje cells can differentially modulate coherence between sensory and motor cortex depending on region and behavior [Neuroscience]
Activity of sensory and motor cortices is essential for sensorimotor integration. In particular, coherence between these areas may indicate binding of critical functions like perception, motor planning, action, or sleep. Evidence is accumulating that cerebellar output modulates cortical activity and coherence, but how, when, and where it does so is…
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Sound-induced motion in chimpanzees does not imply shared ancestry for music or dance [Social Sciences]
Hattori and Tomonaga (1) report that seven captive chimpanzees moved in response to piano sounds, more so than in silence. On this basis, they argue, "some biological foundation for dancing existed in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees ∼6 million years ago." Music's universality suggests it has deep phylogenetic…
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Additional observations regarding glyphosate-based herbicides and developmental toxicity [Biological Sciences]
Pu et al. (1) report that a soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitor mitigated the effects of maternal stress on F1 mice that exhibited atypical neurological symptoms. Research into the role of sEH in disease is valuable, and our comments do not cast doubt on the importance of sEH as a…
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Reply to Reeves and Dunn: Risk for autism in offspring after maternal glyphosate exposure [Biological Sciences]
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Environmental factors, including exposures to synthetic chemicals (i.e., the herbicide glyphosate) during pregnancy, might increase the risk for ASD (1). A population-based case-control study in California showed that the risk of ASD was associated with the use…
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Reply to Bertolo et al.: Rhythmic swaying in chimpanzees has implications for understanding the biological roots of music and dance [Social Sciences]
Bertolo et al. claim that reported rhythmic swaying in chimpanzees (1) is caused by a nonmusical mechanism (2). However, the swaying reported in ref. 1 differs from distress responses to aversive stimuli, and may elucidate the biological roots of human music and dance. First, Bertolo et al.'s (2) concern about…
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R-spondin substitutes for neuronal input for taste cell regeneration in adult mice [Neuroscience]
Taste bud cells regenerate throughout life. Taste bud maintenance depends on continuous replacement of senescent taste cells with new ones generated by adult taste stem cells. More than a century ago it was shown that taste buds degenerate after their innervating nerves are transected and that they are not restored…
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Control of septum thickness by the curvature of SepF polymers [Microbiology]
Gram-positive bacteria divide by forming a thick cross wall. How the thickness of this septal wall is controlled is unknown. In this type of bacteria, the key cell division protein FtsZ is anchored to the cell membrane by two proteins, FtsA and/or SepF. We have isolated SepF homologs from different…
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A rate threshold mechanism regulates MAPK stress signaling and survival [Systems Biology]
Cells are exposed to changes in extracellular stimulus concentration that vary as a function of rate. However, how cells integrate information conveyed from stimulation rate along with concentration remains poorly understood. Here, we examined how varying the rate of stress application alters budding yeast mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and…
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Real-time observation of Cas9 postcatalytic domain motions [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
CRISPR-Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes is an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, which has become the most popular genome editing tool. Coordinated domain motions of Cas9 prior to DNA cleavage have been extensively characterized but our understanding of Cas9 conformations postcatalysis is limited. Because Cas9 can remain stably bound to the cleaved DNA…
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Convective isolation of Hadean mantle reservoirs through Archean time [Environmental Sciences]
Although Earth has a convecting mantle, ancient mantle reservoirs that formed within the first 100 Ma of Earth's history (Hadean Eon) appear to have been preserved through geologic time. Evidence for this is based on small anomalies of isotopes such as 182W, 142Nd, and 129Xe that are decay products of…
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Efficient CRISPR-mediated base editing in Agrobacterium spp. [Applied Biological Sciences]
Agrobacterium spp. are important plant pathogens that are the causative agents of crown gall or hairy root disease. Their unique infection strategy depends on the delivery of part of their DNA to plant cells. Thanks to this capacity, these phytopathogens became a powerful and indispensable tool for plant genetic engineering…
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Reston virus causes severe respiratory disease in young domestic pigs [Medical Sciences]
Reston virus (RESTV), an ebolavirus, causes clinical disease in macaques but has yet only been associated with rare asymptomatic infections in humans. Its 2008 emergence in pigs in the Philippines raised concerns about food safety, pathogenicity, and zoonotic potential, questions that are still unanswered. Until today, the virulence of RESTV…
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Mechanisms and plasticity of chemogenically induced interneuronal suppression of principal cells [Neuroscience]
How do firing patterns in a cortical circuit change when inhibitory neurons are excited? We virally expressed an excitatory designer receptor exclusively activated by a designer drug (Gq-DREADD) in all inhibitory interneuron types of the CA1 region of the hippocampus in the rat. While clozapine N-oxide (CNO) activation of interneurons…
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Molecular mechanism of the repressive phase of the mammalian circadian clock [Biochemistry]
The mammalian circadian clock consists of a transcription–translation feedback loop (TTFL) composed of CLOCK–BMAL1 transcriptional activators and CRY–PER transcriptional repressors. Previous work showed that CRY inhibits CLOCK–BMAL1-activated transcription by a "blocking"-type mechanism and that CRY–PER inhibits CLOCK–BMAL1 by a "displacement"-type mechanism. While the mechanism of CRY-mediated re
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The Mink Pandemic Is No Joke
Since early this summer, Keith Poulsen, the director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, was worried about mink. Poulsen's lab is part of a national network of veterinary labs that work on animal diseases, and they had "been watching COVID-19 very carefully," Poulsen told me. In Europe, mink on fur farms were catching COVID-19. And they seemed to be able to pass it back to people.
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Ludwig Cancer Research study reveals how ecDNA forms and drives cancer drug resistance
Researchers led by Ludwig San Diego Member Don Cleveland and Peter Campbell of the Sanger Center have solved the mystery of how free-floating circular DNA fragments, which are almost exclusively found in cancer cells, drive gene amplification to generate drug resistance in cancer.
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Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio
The International Space Station cost more than $100 billion. A ham radio set can be had for a few hundred bucks.
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Astronomers Spot Potentially Artificial Radio Signal From Nearby Star
large satellite dishes in silhouette at sunset, panoramic frame. Credit: sharply_done/Getty Images (Credit: sharply_done/Getty Images) In 2015, Billionaire Yuri Milner launched the Breakthrough Listen project , an effort to scan the million closest stars for radio signals that could indicate intelligent life. Astronomers working on the project have announced the discovery of just such a signal fr
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New drug inhibits the growth of cancer cells
A newly developed compound starves cancer cells by attacking their "power plants" — the so-called mitochondria. The new compound prevents the genetic information within mitochondria from being read. Researchers report in their study that this compound could be used as a potential anti-tumor drug in the future; not only in mice but also in human patients.
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New class of antibiotics active against a wide range of bacteria
Scientists have discovered a new class of compounds that uniquely combine direct antibiotic killing of pan drug-resistant bacterial pathogens with a simultaneous rapid immune response for combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
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Tracing the many paths of vision
New study decodes the molecular diversity of neurons in the zebrafish retina.
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