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Massive human head in Chinese well forces scientists to rethink evolution
'Dragon man' skull reveals new branch of family tree more closely related to modern humans than Neanderthals The discovery of a huge fossilised skull that was wrapped up and hidden in a Chinese well nearly 90 years ago has forced scientists to rewrite the story of human evolution. Analysis of the remains has revealed a new branch of the human family tree that points to a previously unknown sister
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Israel Sends Robots Armed with Machine Guns to Palestinian Border
Prison Guards Palestine's Gaza Strip, thanks to the influence of Israel's military, has functionally become an open-air prison where residents' movements are heavily restricted and controlled. And now, to up the ante, Israel is sending killer robots to guard the border. The border between Gaza and Israel is guarded by thick walls, a naval blockade, drones , machine gun turrets, and armed soldiers
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Welp, the Hubble Backup Computer Just Broke Too
Orbital Mystery For nearly two weeks now, NASA has been attempting to bring the Hubble Space Telescope back online after it mysteriously stopped working on June 13 . But fixing the 31-year-old telescope just got a lot more complicated. After a series of tests this week, researchers discovered that the Hubble's backup payload computer — the computer they planned to switch to in case their attempts
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No One Imagined Giant Lizard Nests Would Be This Weird
After many futile hours of shoveling dirt under the scorching Australian sun, Sean Doody began to think that he had made an embarrassing mistake and was—quite literally—digging himself into a hole. Doody is a herpetologist from the University of South Florida who has spent years studying Australia's yellow-spotted goanna—a predatory monitor lizard with long claws, a whiplike tail, and a sinuous,
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Cause of worst mass extinction ever found
A new paper claims to identify the cause of the Great Dying that occured nearly 252 million years ago. During the worst mass extinction event ever, most of Earth's life perished. The study suggests a volcanic eruption in Siberia spread aerosolized nickel particles that harmed organisms on the planet. Dinosaurs are the most infamous victims of a mass extinction event 66 million years ago. But an e
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Watch (and hear) how NASA's Perseverance rover took its first selfie
Ever wondered how Mars rovers take a selfie? Color video from NASA's Perseverance shows how the rover captured the historic April 6, 2021, image of itself beside the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. As a bonus, the rover's entry, descent, and landing microphone captured the sound of the arm's motors whirring during the process.
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They called it a conspiracy theory. But Alina Chan tweeted life into the idea that the virus came from a lab.
Alina Chan started asking questions in March 2020. She was chatting with friends on Facebook about the virus then spreading out of China. She thought it was strange that people were saying it had come out of a food market. If that was so, why hadn't anyone found any infected animals? She wondered why no one was admitting another possibility, which to her seemed very obvious: the outbreak might ha
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Antarctic lake suddenly disappears
A global team of scientists including several from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego discovered the sudden demise of a large, deep, ice-covered lake on the surface of an Antarctic ice shelf.
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Structural changes in the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta variants identified
New SARS-CoV-2 variants are spreading rapidly, and there are fears that current COVID-19 vaccines won't protect against them. The latest in a series of structural studies of the SARS-CoV-2 variants' "spike" protein, led by Bing Chen, Ph.D., at Boston Children's Hospital, reveals new properties of the Alpha (formerly U.K.) and Beta (formerly South Africa) variants. Of note, it suggests that current
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SARS-CoV-2 virus can find alternate route to infect cells
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists identified how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, gets inside cells to cause infection. All current COVID-19 vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics were designed to disrupt this route into cells, which requires a receptor called ACE2.
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Imaging the construction of capillary networks in the neonatal mouse brain [Neuroscience]
Capillary networks are essential for distribution of blood flow through the brain, and numerous other homeostatic functions, including neurovascular signal conduction and blood–brain barrier integrity. Accordingly, the impairment of capillary architecture and function lies at the root of many brain diseases. Visualizing how brain capillary networks develop in vivo can…
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'Dragon man' fossil may replace Neanderthals as our closest relative
A near-perfectly preserved ancient human fossil known as the Harbin cranium sits in the Geoscience Museum in Hebei GEO University. The largest of Homo skulls, scientists now say this skull represents a newly discovered human species named Homo longi or 'Dragon Man.' Their findings suggest that the Homo longi lineage may be our closest relatives — and may reshape our understanding of human evoluti
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The Pentagon Just Released Its UFO Report
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence just dropped its hotly-anticipated declassified report on "unidentified aerial phenomena," which are essentially a wordy rebranding of "unidentified flying objects" (UFOs). The major takeaway of the Friday evening release: disappointingly, very little. In the 9-page document , the Pentagon's best and brightest essentially threw up their hands an
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Physicist: The Universe Has Likely Been Expanding "Eternally"
Rewriting History In the beginning, there was a singularity. Then, in a flash, the Big Bang caused a rapid, still-accelerating expansion that led to the creation of everything in the universe. At least, that's how the common story goes, representing a general consensus among space scientists that the universe must have had a beginning point in time. But that idea is subject to increasing scrutiny
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Scientists Say Ancient Skull Belonged to "Dragon Man" Related to Modern Humans
Homo Longi Scientists revisited an ancient hominid skull called the Harbin cranium, first discovered in China in the 1930s, and made a shocking revelation: It seems to have come from an entirely new species within the Homo genus — and could even be the closest genetic relative to modern humans. The new species, which has been dubbed Homo longi or "Dragon Man," likely lived around 146,000 years ag
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China Releases Plans for Permanent Mars Base
Mars Base Alpha China's state-owned Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) has announced some ambitious plans to establish a permanent crewed base on the surface of Mars. In a speech at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2021), CALT head Wang Xiaojun elaborated on the country's three-step approach for future missions to the Red Planet, state-owned newspaper Global Times reports .
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Carlo Rovelli: 'My work in physics is endlessly creative'
The scientist, 65, talks about quantum gravity, LSD, free love, escaping a bear and his lifetime in radical politics Verona was a beautiful place to grow up, but the town was close-minded and provincial. Dad, a gentle and hard-working man, ran a business. Mum was intelligent and bored – a lethal combination. They encouraged my independence from a young age, which I took too far. At 14, I ran away
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The Oxford vaccine: the trials and tribulations of a world-saving jab
Amid bemusement from scientists at the deluge of often undeserved criticism, the Guardian pieces together the story behind the vaccine's successes and failures Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage In January 2020, when most of the world slept soundly in ignorance of the pandemic coming its way, a group of scientists at Oxford University got to work on a vaccine to save th
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Scientists Just Discovered Something Horrifying About Artificial Sweeteners
According to a new study, some of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners could potentially cause serious health issues by making the bacteria in our gut invade our intestinal walls. The study underlines that there's still a lot we don't understand about the sweeteners being added to many diet products — and demonstrates that further research is needed. "There is a lot of concern about the c
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Expert: Bitcoin Is Gonna Crash Below $15,000
Bitcoin Bear After losing more than half of its value since hitting record highs this spring, Bitcoin is in for yet another rude awakening, according to Guggenheim's chief investment officer (CIO) and noted Bitcoin bear Scott Minerd. Minerd told CNBC this morning that he expects Bitcoin to sink as low as $15,000, less than half of what it's currently selling for — but continuing a substantial sli
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Google Algorithm Accuses Random Guy of Being a Serial Killer
Deep Mind Killer Switzerland-based engineer Hristo Georgiev made an eyebrow-raising discovery when googling his own name: the search engine misidentified his likeness as belonging to a serial killer who happens to have the same name. "Seems like Google falsely associated a photo of mine with a Wikipedia article of a serial killer," Georgiev wrote in a tweet with a screenshot of the search engine
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Matt Hancock's breach could erode UK's adherence to Covid rules, scientists say
Health secretary admitted he broke social distancing guidelines after picture was published showing him in a 'clinch' with an adviser Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Behavioural scientists advising the government have warned that the breaking of social distancing rules by Matt Hancock could make others less likely to adhere to Covid restrictions. The health secretary
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Before The Horrific Florida Condo Collapse, the Building Owners Were Warned
"Major Structural Damage" The owners of the Florida condos that collapsed on Thursday night were warned of "major structural damage" to the building by engineers three years before the disaster. Consultants reported damage that included cracks in support columns and walls to the building's managers in 2018, according to The New York Times . The report influenced a major multimillion-dollar repair
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FDA Adds Heart Inflammation Warning to Moderna, Pfizer Vaccines
The US Food and Drug Administration added a warning about the potential risk for heart inflammation to the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday. The respective vaccines' fact sheets now say that they carry a slight risk for myocarditis and pericarditis amongst vaccine recipients, according to CNN . The addition of the warnings come on the heels of a CDC announcement that it received arou
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Elon Musk Criticizes NASA, Says Spaceships Should Fly Between Space Stations
Big Bad Wolf Amendment Elon Musk took to Twitter (surprise!) to criticize NASA for signaling it would continue prohibiting direct cooperation between the agency and China indefinitely. During testimony to a congressional committee on Wednesday, NASA head Bill Nelson said that he supported making the Wolf Amendment — a 2011 law that prohibits cooperation between NASA and the Chinese government — p
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What the U.S. Loses When Americans Save Too Much
For two generations, economists and other custodians of financial propriety have chastised Americans for not saving enough. Getting the public to pay attention took a pandemic. Facing a real possibility that COVID-19 and the resulting economic havoc might leave them unable to pay their mortgages and feed their families, moderate- and middle-income Americans began saving as much as they could —and
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NSW Covid outbreaks: Gladys Berejiklian locks down Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong
New South Wales premier says lockdown will last two weeks and new restrictions will be in place for rest of state Australia Covid live updates: NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian flags more restrictions after coronavirus cases surge Australian woman in Sydney quarantine told to charter flight to see dying father in Melbourne Sydneysiders divided by Covid lockdown, united in confusion Sydney Covid loc
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Military Report Says Space Force Must Prepare for Moon Warfare
Moon Warfare When former reality TV star and US president Donald Trump formed a new branch of the military called the Space Force, it wasn't exactly clear what it would accomplish or how its existence would impact existing peace treaties that prevent military activity in space. For better or worse, we now seem to be approaching some answers — and according to a new report by the Air Force Researc
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Why Africa's newest super-bridge is in the continent's weirdest border zone
The Kazungula Bridge has turned a cartographic near-miss into a geopolitical marvel. It's where maps show the world's only quadripoint, and the bridge is built across the world's second-shortest border. The bridge has the potential to completely revamp Africa's economy and transportation situation, from Cape to Cairo. The arrow points to the only place on any world map where four countries meet —
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Ancestors by Alice Roberts review – a story of movement and migration
A brilliant scientific storyteller reads stone, pottery and bones to bring us the latest moving updates about our prehistoric ancestors In 2002, not far from Amesbury in southern Wiltshire and a mile or so from Stonehenge, archaeologists were investigating the site of a new school when they discovered something remarkable. It was the grave of a man, aged between 35 and 45, who died more than 4,00
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Pangolins are being trafficked to extinction in black market
Pangolins are one of the most interesting and endearing species but are being hunted and trafficked to near extinction. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia is a huge book of authorized Chinese medicine and serves as a recipe book for "Traditional Chinese medicine." Pangolins, leopards, and bears all feature in the book. The false idea that these animals have medicinal value is driving a multi-billion-dolla
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We're Not Ready for Another Pandemic
O minous pathogens seem to arrive every few years: SARS in 2003, swine flu in 2009, Ebola in 2014 , Zika in 2016 , COVID-19 in 2019 . The World Health Organization calls these viral threats " Disease X ," both to encourage policy makers to think broadly about what the next pandemic might be, and because it could be anything. At this rate, 2025 is not looking good. After an inept coronavirus respo
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Summer Is Hot, but This Is Abnormal
Summer is hot. This is among the most basic weather concepts that we learn as children and accept without question. Heat and even heat waves have always been a reliable hallmark of the season between the June solstice and the September equinox. And yet recent weather has far outstripped that norm. For most of last week, the daily high temperature in Phoenix reached or exceeded 115 degrees , break
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Elon Musk: First SpaceX Starship Booster Prototype "Almost Done"
Almost Done According to a recent tweet by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the space company's first flightworthy prototype of its Starship booster Super Heavy is "almost done." The massive rocket booster is meant to carry a prototype of SpaceX's Mars-bound Starship spacecraft into orbit as soon as this summer — if, that is, all goes according to plan. "We're almost done with first prototype booster," Musk
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Mars colonists are going to wish they had an atmosphere above them
There will be all sorts of risks for any future colonists on Mars, such as extreme weather and temperatures, radiation, and the human physiological problems associated with living in with decreased gravity. But another issue is that colonists on Mars will have to be on a constant lookout above their heads.
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The Long-Awaited UFO Report Was Honestly Kind of Disappointing
Welp, that was underwhelming. After keeping the public waiting for months, the Pentagon finally released its hotly anticipated declassified report on "unidentified aerial phenomena" (government speak for UFOs) on Friday. You might think the public learned the truth about UFOs, aliens, what they're keeping at Area 51, and who really built the pyramids . In reality, what the Pentagon released was a
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Pushing through nanopores: Genetic sequencing with MXene
It took 13 years and one billion dollars to sequence the human genome, an enormous scientific undertaking that launched a new era of medicine. With today's advances in sequencing technology, that same task would have only taken about a day at a fraction of the cost. Tomorrow's tech could whittle that down to mere seconds.
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Elon Musk Is in Bitcoin Talks With the CEO of Twitter
The B Word Tesla CEO Elon Musk agreed to have a chat with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at a Bitcoin event on July 21, according to a recent — and somewhat confusing — Twitter exchange. "Let's you and I have a conversation at the event," Dorsey told Musk in a tweet . "You can share all your curiosities…" "Let's have THE talk," Dorsey continued in a follow-up tweet . "For the Bitcurious? Very well then,
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Air pollution linked to violent crime in Chicago
A new report suggests air pollution from highways increased violent crime in Chicago by two percent. The effect was consistent across different parts of the city and independent of other factors. The research suggests that a tax simultaneously could lower air pollution and crime. Air pollution doesn't only harm the lungs. An increasing number of studies suggest that it is also associated with low
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A massive protocluster of merging galaxies in the early universe
Submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) are a class of the most luminous, distant, and rapidly star-forming galaxies known and can shine brighter than a trillion Suns (about one hundred times more luminous in total than the Milky Way). They are generally hard to detect in the visible, however, because most of their ultraviloet and optical light is absorbed by dust which in turn is heated and radiates at sub
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UK Covid travel rules could change at short notice, warns minister
As some travel restrictions are eased, Grant Shapps refuses to say he would book foreign holiday now UK eases Covid travel rules for tourist spots despite cabinet rift Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK transport secretary has refused to say he would book a foreign holiday for himself and his family yet, even as travel restrictions are eased for several destinati
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Covid event pilots compromised by low uptake of PCR tests, experts say
Study found 'no substantial outbreaks' but scientists warn lateral flow tests are not as effective as PCR Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A pilot scheme exploring the impact of large-scale events on Covid-19 transmission that found "no substantial outbreaks" in tens of thousands of participants was compromised by the low uptake of gold-standard PCR testing before and
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The Lab Leak Theory Is a Tragic Hall of Mirrors That'll Probably Never Have a Satisfying Answer
Amid all of the calls for investigations and probes into how the coronavirus began remains a crucial, thorny question: What, exactly, would it take to decisively prove that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, first jumped from an animal to a human — or, as a growing number of experts and elected officials suggest as a possibility, that it somehow escaped from a research lab at the W
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Sylvia Earle: My Wish? To Protect Our Oceans
Legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle has been exploring and working to protect our oceans for more than half a century. Her message has stayed the same: we're taking our oceans for granted. (Image credit: Asa Mathat/TED / Asa Mathat)
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The UFO Trap
UFOs can be fun. See: the official sign on the road near Area 51, which dubs it the Extraterrestrial Highway . UFOs can be weird. See: E.T. phoning home with a MacGyvered communication device. But UFOs are also a national-security story, a government-contracting story, a conspiracy-culture story, and a technoscientific story. They are a human story. This month, the director of national intelligen
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Method uses radio signals to image hidden and speeding objects
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Wavsens LLC have developed a method for using radio signals to create real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects, which could help firefighters find escape routes or victims inside buildings filled with fire and smoke. The technique could also help track hypersonic objects such as missiles and space debris.
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Experts: Infectious Disease Labs Have Shockingly Terrible Security
Over the last year, you've probably heard a lot about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a research laboratory that's implicated in some theories about how the coronavirus pandemic began. While the origins of the pandemic remain mysterious, it turns out that a lab leak, or the accidental release of a dangerous pathogen from a research facility, is disturbingly likely, according to an essay in
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Liftoff? US allows Virgin Galactic to take paying passengers into space
Billionaire space race gathers pace as Sir Richard Branson's company gets FAA blessing for full commercial launch Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has made another small leap in the billionaire space race after US authorities gave it permission to take paying customers to space. Its licence was enhanced on Friday by the US Federal Aviation Administration to allow a full commercial launch, af
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Brazil's most vulnerable are struggling to survive the stress of covid
When oxygen supplies ran out in several municipalities across the Brazilian state of Amazonas in January, 61 premature babies grabbed the headlines. The tiny infants didn't have covid-19, but the Amazonas State Secretariat of Health (SES-AM) was worried that the strain the pandemic was putting on the health-care system had left them in danger. Things were already precarious: according to the loca
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A major addition to chemists' toolkit for building new molecules
Chemists at Scripps Research have solved a long-standing problem in their field by developing a method for making a highly useful and previously very challenging type of modification to organic molecules. The breakthrough eases the process of modifying a variety of existing molecules for valuable applications, such as improving the potency and duration of drugs.
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Elephants solve problems with personality
Just as humans have their own individual personalities, new research in the Journal of Comparative Psychology shows that elephants have personalities, too. Moreover, an elephant's personality may play an important role in how well that elephant can solve novel problems.
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Covid infection rates have risen steeply in Scotland, ONS data reveals
Experts say next few weeks will be crucial in monitoring impact of Delta variant across Britain Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Covid infection levels have risen steeply in Scotland, data has revealed, as experts warn the next few weeks will be crucial in monitoring the impact of the Delta variant. According to the latest survey data from the Office for National Stat
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Book Review: Lifting the Curtain on a Long-Neglected Disease
In "The Kissing Bug," Daisy Hernández blends memoir and science in describing the deadly toll of a parasitic disease that plagues Hispanic immigrants. Fascinating and tragic in equal parts, Hernández reminds us that the cold hard facts of medical science are never separate from humanity.
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This Week's Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 26)
CRYPTOCURRENCY Andreessen Horowitz Goes Ham on Crypto With a New $2.2B Fund Arielle Pardes | Wired "The $2.2 billion Crypto Fund III will be among the largest capital commitments to the crypto ecosystem in history, and about four times the size of the firm's second cryptocurrency fund a year ago. …With its massive new fund, Andreessen Horowitz plans to do more than just meet those challenges ahea
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New kind of molten salt reactor to be built at retiring coal plant
This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink. A nuclear power startup founded by Bill Gates has announced plans to build a new kind of molten salt reactor at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming. This reactor will be the first real-world demonstration of the startup's technology, which could help power the world — without warming the climate. Nuclear power: Splitting atoms (kno
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Optical tweezer technology tweaked to overcome dangers of heat
Three years ago, Arthur Ashkin won the Nobel Prize for inventing optical tweezers, which use light in the form of a high-powered laser beam to capture and manipulate particles. Despite being created decades ago, optical tweezers still lead to major breakthroughs and are widely used today to study biological systems.
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This Non Alcoholic 'Euphoric Beverage' Might Just Be Better Than Booze
If you've already heard of euphoric beverages , you probably already know that they're an exciting alternative to alcohol, with none of the unwanted side effects that alcohol drinkers have to deal with. And in the world of non alcoholic euphorics, Kin is a brand that stands above all the rest. Their newest product, Kin Lightwave is more than worth checking out whether you've decided to quit alcoh
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Continuous activity of small earthquakes makes mountains grow
From a human perspective, earthquakes are natural disasters—in the past hundred years, they have caused more than 200,000 deaths and enormous economic damage. Mega-earthquakes with a magnitude of nine or higher on the Richter scale are considered a particular threat. Yet the inconceivable energy released in these events doesn't seem to affect the uplift of mountains, according to a new study by ge
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How the Afghanistan Withdrawal Costs the U.S. With China
Announcing the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan two months ago, President Joe Biden invoked the need to focus on Washington's No. 1 foreign-policy priority: China. Ending the war would, the president argued, permit America to redirect its energies toward new, more pressing challenges, foremost among them "extreme" competition with an assertive Beijing. As a rising authoritarian supe
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Study shows second-language learning can happen quickly
In a finding that runs contrary to one of the most-cited studies in the field, a new research paper from University of Kansas linguists shows that even as beginners, adults can quickly begin mentally processing sentence structures in a second language like a native speaker.
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Optical superoscillation without side waves
Optical superoscillation refers to a wave packet that can oscillate locally in a frequency exceeding its highest Fourier component. This intriguing phenomenon enables production of extremely localized waves that can break the optical diffraction barrier. Indeed, superoscillation has proven to be an effective technique for overcoming the diffraction barrier in optical superresolution imaging. The t
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How 1 Friend Can Change the Course of Your Life
Each installment of " The Friendship Files " features a conversation between The Atlantic 's Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship. This week she talks with two men whose friendship of convenience—Mitchell served as an unofficial guide when Judo moved to his hometown, and vice versa—grew more intimate as they became embedded in each other
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Cryonics During the Pandemic
The business of cryopreservation — storing bodies at deep freeze until well into the future — got a whole lot more complicated during the pandemic.
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Building a global storm database
A new global database built by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) captures characteristics and rainfall data of strong thunderstorms from the past 20 years. Including storms in both midlatitude and tropical zones is key to capturing how contrasting storm behavior and corresponding precipitation could affect populated regions of the globe.
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A New Mystery Human Species Has Been Discovered in Israel
An international group of archaeologists has discovered a missing piece in the story of human evolution. Excavations at the Israeli site of Nesher Ramla have recovered a skull that may represent a late-surviving example of a distinct Homo population, which lived in and around modern-day Israel from about 420,000 to 120,000 years ago. As researchers Israel Hershkovitz, Yossi Zaidner, and colleague
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The Books Briefing: What Literary Letters Reveal
"Mr. Higginson," an unpublished, reclusive 31-year-old poet wrote to an Atlantic contributor—a man she had never met—in 1862. "Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive? The mind is so near itself it cannot see distinctly, and I have none to ask." The letter, with its quaint phrases and handwriting that looked almost like bird tracks , was unsigned, and accompanied by a card nestled
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The Soft Radicalism of Erotic Fiction
Pleasure, in the novels of Jackie Collins, tends to be abundant but hard-earned—imagine Pandora, having opened the box containing every sin plaguing humanity, retiring to a beach house in Malibu with two Weimaraners and a finely muscled masseur. The titles of her later books nod to desire and its cost: Lethal Seduction , Deadly Embrace , Dangerous Kiss . And in life, the British-born author emana
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Fast. Furious. Funny?
Every Fast and Furious movie strains credulity, but F9 shatters it so completely, even the production's own characters have noticed. In the ninth main installment of one of Universal's most durable film franchises , Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) and his trusty band of drag-racing ex-cons are so indestructible that they ride out bullets, land mines, and the void of outer space. (I repeat:
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The Atlantic Daily: Pride Is Expanding Exactly as It Should
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. Lucy Jones The first Pride marches were intended to be a radical reclaiming of personhood and power by a community that society had shunned. More than 50 years later, when airlines sponsor parade
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How toxic is the water's surface on Florida's Indian River lagoon?
Over the last 30 years, urbanization has increased along the Indian River Lagoon, which stretches about 250 kilometers on Florida's east coast. As a result, water quality has deteriorated and there is widespread loss of seagrasses and persistent harmful algal blooms, which threaten ecological, human and marine animal health, such as manatees.
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What termites and cells have in common
Nature is full of fascinating patterns. Plants show beautiful spiral growth, regularly arranged leaves and petals, animals impress us with their striped and dotted furs and social insects build complex nest structures. These almost perfectly arranged patterns seem to arise without a blue print, like the emergence of cellular shapes during embryonic development called morphogenesis. A team of inter
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The next 20 years of humanity will redefine the rules of society as we know it
it's always been universally known that stealing is wrong in every single culture around the world, throughout all of human history. But over the past Century, the shift of wealth from the working class to the wealthy has resulted in this rule somehow being Rewritten. Now, it acceptable for the rich to steal by not having to pay taxes, by not being legally obligated to pay Healthcare, or respect
3h
Unbroken: New soft electronics don't break, even when punctured
A team of researchers has created a new type of soft electronics, paving the way for devices that are self-healing, reconfigurable, and recyclable. These skin-like circuits are soft and stretchy, sustain numerous damage events under load without losing electrical conductivity, and can be recycled to generate new circuits at the end of a product's life.
11h
One 'ring' to rule them all: Curious interlocked molecules show dual response
Scientists design polymers infused with a stress-sensitive molecular unit that respond to external forces by switching on their fluorescence. The researchers demonstrate the fluorescence to be dependent on the magnitude of force and show that it is possible to detect both, reversible and irreversible polymer deformations, opening the door to the exploration of new force regimes in polymers.
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The renegade WW2 pilots who tried to end war as we know it | Malcolm Gladwell
Much has been written about World War II in the seven and a half decades since it ended in 1945. But as writer Malcolm Gladwell shows with his new book "The Bomber Mafia," some incredible stories and perspectives have been largely forgotten. A group of pilots, led by Brigadier General Haywood Hansell, earned the derogatory nickname Bomber Mafia because of a not-widely-shared dream that they could
12h
People across the world favor paid parental leave, study finds
Although the United States is the only wealthy nation that doesn't guarantee paid leave to mothers or fathers after the arrival of a new child, Americans endorse providing paid time off for parents nearly as much as people from other countries. About 82% of Americans support paid maternity leave, just slightly less than the 86% who support it in 26 wealthy nations, a new study shows.
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Using radio signals to image hidden and speeding objects
Researchers have developed a method for using radio signals to create real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects, which could help firefighters find escape routes or victims inside buildings filled with fire and smoke. The technique could also help track hypersonic objects such as missiles and space debris.
14h
AI used to predict unknown links between viruses and mammals
A new study could help scientists mitigate the future spread of zoonotic and livestock diseases caused by existing viruses. Researchers have used a form or artificial intelligence (AI) called machine-learning to predict more than 20,000 unknown associations between known viruses and susceptible mammalian species.
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Scientists develop CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive in plants
Researchers have created a CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drive designed for plants. The new technology, which allows scientists to cut and copy key genetic elements, helps scientists breed plants that defend against crop diseases and withstand the impacts of climate change.
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Alaska infrastructure at risk of earlier failure
Roads, bridges, pipelines and other types of infrastructure in Alaska and elsewhere in the Arctic will deteriorate faster than expected due to a failure by planners to account for the structures' impact on adjacent permafrost, according to new research.
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How immune cells can be trained to fight infections
The body's immune cells fight off microbes and other invaders, and can also be reprogrammed or 'trained' to respond even more aggressively to such threats, report scientists who have discovered the fundamental rule underlying this process in a particular class of cells. Their findings could help pave the way for targeted strategies to enhance the immune system.
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Ugens debat: Opdatering af Tesla førte til en nedgradering
Danske Tesla-ejere kan nu deltage i et gruppesøgsmål mod Tesla, som kritiseres for med en opdatering at have forlænget ladetiden og forringet rækkevidden for ældre Model S-biler. Debatten under artiklen på ing.dk handlede ikke kun om biler – også om andre produkter, der forringes med software-'op…
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This Desk Toy Uses The Power Of Magnets To Achieve Awesome Effects
The cutting edge of physics can seem more like fiction than reality, as scientists argue over whether information is a form of matter and if you can find dark matter at the bottom of a lake . Yet, even the established laws of physics can pull out some surprises, which is where the Skill Flux stands out. Typically $99, the Skill Flux Scientific Desk Toy + Magnet Shield Bundle is on sale for only $
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Rewarding people for Real World Information…Are Blockchain projects like Everipedia, an Encyclopedia like Wiki built on Blockchain the way of the future?
I've just started to explore many exciting projects that blockchain is bringing to the world, especially when there is the opportunities to bring Real World Information and knowledge to the people. I'd like to see more people who work within the Crypto communities, support and contribute to projects such as Everipedia, that are built to provide genuine and reliable information and reward the comm
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Toxicity of protein involved in Alzheimer's triggered by a chemical 'switch'
Tokyo, Japan – Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that a specific chemical feature of a key protein known as tau may cause it to accumulate in the brain and trigger illnesses like Alzheimer's. They found that disulfide bonds on certain amino acids act to stabilize tau and cause it to accumulate, an effect that got worse with increased oxidative stress . The identificati
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Environmental impact of hydrofracking vs. conventional gas/oil drilling: Research shows the differences may be minimal
Researchers have developed a new machine learning technique to holistically assess water quality data in order to detect groundwater samples likely impacted by recent methane leakage during oil and gas production. Using that model, the team concluded that unconventional drilling methods like hydraulic fracturing do not necessarily incur more environmental problems than conventional oil and gas dri
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Edible Cholera vaccine made of powdered rice proves safe in phase 1 human trials
Vaccine manufacturing made enormous strides in 2020, but the complexity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has highlighted the value of inoculations that can be made cheaply and transported and stored without refrigeration. A new needle-free cholera vaccine has been made by grinding up genetically modified grains of rice and can be stored long-term at room temperature. This made-in-Japan innovation has shown
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A Pioneering Food Physicist Embraces a New Public Identity
Culture amalate Fri, 06/25/2021 – 18:33 Image Media credits Portrait photo courtesy of Megan Povey. Background from Shutterstock . Inside Science chats with Megan Povey about her research and what she has learned from transitioning genders later in life. Thursday, June 24, 2021 Nala Rogers, Staff Writer https://www.insidescience.org/news/pioneering-food-physicist-embraces-new-publi…
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New CRISPR 3.0 system for highly efficient gene activation in plants
Biologists have introduced a new and improved CRISPR 3.0 system in plants, focusing on gene activation. This third generation system focuses on multiplexed gene activation that can boost the function of multiple genes simultaneously. This system boasts four to six times the activation capacity of current state-of-the-art CRISPR technology, demonstrating high accuracy and efficiency in up to seven
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NUST MISIS scientists create unique alloy for air, rail transports
Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology "MISiS" (NUST MISIS) in cooperation with their colleagues from the Siberian Federal University and the Research and Production Centre of Magnetic Hydrodynamics (Krasnoyarsk) have developed a technology for producing a unique heat-resistant aluminium alloy with improved durability.According to the researchers, this new alloy could re
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Stat3 loss in mesenchymal progenitors causes Job syndrome-like skeletal defects by reducing Wnt/{beta}-catenin signaling [Developmental Biology]
Job syndrome is a rare genetic disorder caused by STAT3 mutations and primarily characterized by immune dysfunction along with comorbid skeleton developmental abnormalities including osteopenia, recurrent fracture of long bones, and scoliosis. So far, there is no definitive cure for the skeletal defects in Job syndrome, and treatments are limited…
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Piperacillin triggers virulence factor biosynthesis via the oxidative stress response in Burkholderia thailandensis [Chemistry]
Natural products have been an important source of therapeutic agents and chemical tools. The recent realization that many natural product biosynthetic genes are silent or sparingly expressed during standard laboratory growth has prompted efforts to investigate their regulation and develop methods to induce their expression. Because it is difficult to…
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Molecular design of the {gamma}{delta}T cell receptor ectodomain encodes biologically fit ligand recognition in the absence of mechanosensing [Immunology and Inflammation]
High-acuity αβT cell receptor (TCR) recognition of peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHCs) requires mechanosensing, a process whereby piconewton (pN) bioforces exert physical load on αβTCR–pMHC bonds to dynamically alter their lifetimes and foster digital sensitivity cellular signaling. While mechanotransduction is operative for both αβTCRs and pre-TCRs within…
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Estimating seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Ohio: A Bayesian multilevel poststratification approach with multiple diagnostic tests [Statistics]
Globally, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than 59 million people and killed more than 1.39 million. Designing and monitoring interventions to slow and stop the spread of the virus require knowledge of how many people have been and are currently infected, where they live, and…
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Ion-dependent protein-surface interactions from intrinsic solvent response [Computer Sciences]
The phyllosilicate mineral muscovite mica is widely used as a surface template for the patterning of macromolecules, yet a molecular understanding of its surface chemistry under varying solution conditions, required to predict and control the self-assembly of adsorbed species, is lacking. We utilize all-atom molecular dynamics simulations in conjunction with…
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Antitumor efficacy and reduced toxicity using an anti-CD137 Probody therapeutic [Immunology and Inflammation]
Costimulation via CD137 (4-1BB) enhances antitumor immunity mediated by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Anti-CD137 agonist antibodies elicit mild liver inflammation in mice, and the maximum tolerated dose of Urelumab, an anti-human CD137 agonist monoclonal antibody, in the clinic was defined by liver inflammation–related side effects. A protease-activated prodrug form of the…
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Structural differences in the FAD-binding pockets and lid loops of mammalian CRY1 and CRY2 for isoform-selective regulation [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The circadian clock is a biological timekeeper that operates through transcription–translation feedback loops in mammals. Cryptochrome 1 (CRY1) and Cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) are highly conserved core clock components having redundant and distinct functions. We recently identified the CRY1- and CRY2-selective compounds KL101 and TH301, respectively, which provide useful tools for…
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Serial sarcomere number is substantially decreased within the paretic biceps brachii in individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke [Applied Biological Sciences]
A muscle's structure, or architecture, is indicative of its function and is plastic; changes in input to or use of the muscle alter its architecture. Stroke-induced neural deficits substantially alter both input to and usage of individual muscles. We combined in vivo imaging methods (second-harmonic generation microendoscopy, extended field-of-view ultrasound,…
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Mechanistic basis for receptor-mediated pathological {alpha}-synuclein fibril cell-to-cell transmission in Parkinson's disease [Biochemistry]
The spread of pathological α-synuclein (α-syn) is a crucial event in the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Cell surface receptors such as lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG3) and amyloid precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1) can preferentially bind α-syn in the amyloid over monomeric state to initiate cell-to-cell transmission. However, the molecular…
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APPs{alpha} rescues impaired Ca2+ homeostasis in APP- and APLP2-deficient hippocampal neurons [Neuroscience]
Alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis have been reported in several in vitro and in vivo studies using mice expressing the Alzheimer's disease–associated transgenes, presenilin and the amyloid precursor protein (APP). While intense research focused on amyloid-β–mediated functions on neuronal Ca2+ handling, the physiological role of APP and its close homolog APLP2…
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The landscape of innovation in bacteria, battleships, and beyond [Biological Sciences]
We draw lessons from microbial experimental evolution and naval warfare to improve the understanding of innovation in financial markets. Major financial innovations often arise without explicit societal planning because novel approaches can be favored by markets, in a manner strikingly parallel to natural selection. We utilize the concept of an…
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Social finance as cultural evolution, transmission bias, and market dynamics [Social Sciences]
The thoughts and behaviors of financial market participants depend upon adopted cultural traits, including information signals, beliefs, strategies, and folk economic models. Financial traits compete to survive in the human population and are modified in the process of being transmitted from one agent to another. These cultural evolutionary processes shape…
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Test distinguishes SARS-CoV-2 from other coronaviruses with 100% accuracy
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a tablet-sized device that can reliably detect multiple COVID-19 antibodies and biomarkers simultaneously. Initial results show the test can distinguish between antibodies produced in response to SARS-CoV-2 and four other coronaviruses with 100% accuracy. The researchers are now working to see if the easy-to-use, energy-independent, point-o
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How green can Amazon hydropower be? Net carbon emission from the largest hydropower plant in Amazonia
The current resurgence of hydropower expansion toward tropical areas has been largely based on run-of-the-river (ROR) dams, which are claimed to have lower environmental impacts due to their smaller reservoirs. The Belo Monte dam was built in Eastern Amazonia and holds the largest installed capacity among ROR power plants worldwide. Here, we show that postdamming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in
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Strong links between Saharan dust fluxes, monsoon strength, and North Atlantic climate during the last 5000 years
Despite the multiple impacts of mineral aerosols on global and regional climate and the primary climatic control on atmospheric dust fluxes, dust-climate feedbacks remain poorly constrained, particularly at submillennial time scales, hampering regional and global climate models. We reconstruct Saharan dust fluxes over Western Europe for the last 5000 years, by means of speleothem strontium isotop
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Dual therapeutic targeting of intra-articular inflammation and intracellular bacteria enhances chondroprotection in septic arthritis
Bacterial infections involving joints and vital organs represent a challenging clinical problem because of the two concurrent therapeutic goals of bacterial eradication and tissue preservation. In the case of septic arthritis, permanent destruction of articular cartilage by intense host inflammation is commonly seen even after successful treatment of bacterial infection. Here, we provide scientif
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Glucagon regulates the stability of REV-ERB{alpha} to modulate hepatic glucose production in a model of lung cancer-associated cachexia
Lung adenocarcinoma is associated with cachexia, which manifests as an inflammatory response that causes wasting of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. We previously reported that lung tumor–bearing (TB) mice exhibit alterations in inflammatory and hormonal signaling that deregulate circadian pathways governing glucose and lipid metabolism in the liver. Here, we define the molecular mechanism of
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Sea level and deep-sea temperature reconstructions suggest quasi-stable states and critical transitions over the past 40 million years
Sea level and deep-sea temperature variations are key indicators of global climate changes. For continuous records over millions of years, deep-sea carbonate microfossil–based 18 O ( c ) records are indispensable because they reflect changes in both deep-sea temperature and seawater 18 O ( w ); the latter are related to ice volume and, thus, to sea level changes. Deep-sea temperature is usually r
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Engineered yeast tolerance enables efficient production from toxified lignocellulosic feedstocks
Lignocellulosic biomass remains unharnessed for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals due to challenges in deconstruction and the toxicity its hydrolysates pose to fermentation microorganisms. Here, we show in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that engineered aldehyde reduction and elevated extracellular potassium and pH are sufficient to enable near-parity production between inhibitor-laden and
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Tackling light trapping in organic light-emitting diodes by complete elimination of waveguide modes
Conventional waveguide mode decoupling methods for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are typically not scalable and increase fabrication complexity/cost. Indium-tin-oxide–free transparent anode technologies showed efficiency improvement without affecting other device properties. However, previous works lack rigorous analysis to understand the efficiency improvement. Here, we introduced an ult
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Nuclear dynamics of singlet exciton fission in pentacene single crystals
Singlet exciton fission (SEF) is a key process for developing efficient optoelectronic devices. An aspect rarely probed directly, yet with tremendous impact on SEF properties, is the nuclear structure and dynamics involved in this process. Here, we directly observe the nuclear dynamics accompanying the SEF process in single crystal pentacene using femtosecond electron diffraction. The data reveal
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Lysine methylation shields an intracellular pathogen from ubiquitylation and autophagy
Many intracellular pathogens avoid detection by their host cells. However, it remains unknown how they avoid being tagged by ubiquitin, an initial step leading to antimicrobial autophagy. Here, we show that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Rickettsia parkeri uses two protein-lysine methyltransferases (PKMTs) to modify outer membrane proteins (OMPs) and prevent their ubiquitylation. Mutants de
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Systemic regulation of mitochondria by germline proteostasis prevents protein aggregation in the soma of C. elegans
Protein aggregation causes intracellular changes in neurons, which elicit signals to modulate proteostasis in the periphery. Beyond the nervous system, a fundamental question is whether other organs also communicate their proteostasis status to distal tissues. Here, we examine whether proteostasis of the germ line influences somatic tissues. To this end, we induce aggregation of germline-specific
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Liquid film-induced critical heat flux enhancement on structured surfaces
Enhancing critical heat flux (CHF) during boiling with structured surfaces has received much attention because of its important implications for two-phase flow. The role of surface structures on bubble evolution and CHF enhancement remains unclear because of the lack of direct visualization of the liquid- and solid-vapor interfaces. Here, we use high-magnification in-liquid endoscopy to directly
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Multiplexed, quantitative serological profiling of COVID-19 from blood by a point-of-care test
Highly sensitive, specific, and point-of-care (POC) serological assays are an essential tool to manage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we report on a microfluidic POC test that can profile the antibody response against multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigens—spike S1 (S1), nucleocapsid (N), and the receptor binding domain (RBD)—simultaneously from
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Epigenetic clocks reveal a rejuvenation event during embryogenesis followed by aging
The notion that the germ line does not age goes back to the 19th-century ideas of August Weismann. However, being metabolically active, the germ line accumulates damage and other changes over time, i.e., it ages. For new life to begin in the same young state, the germ line must be rejuvenated in the offspring. Here, we developed a multi-tissue epigenetic clock and applied it, together with other
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Improved simulation of 19th- and 20th-century North Atlantic hurricane frequency after correcting historical sea surface temperatures
Confidence in dynamical and statistical hurricane prediction is rooted in the skillful reproduction of hurricane frequency using sea surface temperature (SST) patterns, but an ensemble of high-resolution atmospheric simulation extending to the 1880s indicates model-data disagreements that exceed those expected from documented uncertainties. We apply recently developed corrections for biases in hi
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Nonadiabatic reaction dynamics to silicon monosulfide (SiS): A key molecular building block to sulfur-rich interstellar grains
Sulfur- and silicon-containing molecules are omnipresent in interstellar and circumstellar environments, but their elementary formation mechanisms have been obscure. These routes are of vital significance in starting a chain of chemical reactions ultimately forming (organo) sulfur molecules—among them precursors to sulfur-bearing amino acids and grains. Here, we expose via laboratory experiments,
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Enhancing the phase stability of ceramics under radiation via multilayer engineering
In metallic systems, increasing the density of interfaces has been shown to be a promising strategy for annealing defects introduced during irradiation. The role of interfaces during irradiation of ceramics is more unclear because of the complex defect energy landscape that exists in these materials. Here, we report the effects of interfaces on radiation-induced phase transformation and chemical
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Electronics with shape actuation for minimally invasive spinal cord stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation is one of the oldest and most established neuromodulation therapies. However, today, clinicians need to choose between bulky paddle-type devices, requiring invasive surgery under general anesthetic, and percutaneous lead–type devices, which can be implanted via simple needle puncture under local anesthetic but offer clinical drawbacks when compared with paddle devices. By
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Structure of the mycobacterial ESX-5 type VII secretion system pore complex
The ESX-5 type VII secretion system is a membrane-spanning protein complex key to the virulence of mycobacterial pathogens. However, the overall architecture of the fully assembled translocation machinery and the composition of the central secretion pore have remained unknown. Here, we present the high-resolution structure of the 2.1-megadalton ESX-5 core complex. Our structure captured a dynamic
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Opto-refrigerative tweezers
Optical tweezers offer revolutionary opportunities for both fundamental and applied research in materials science, biology, and medical engineering. However, the requirement of a strongly focused and high-intensity laser beam results in potential photon-induced and thermal damages to target objects, including nanoparticles, cells, and biomolecules. Here, we report a new type of light-based tweeze
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Performance-enhancing substance use: A link to criminal offending
Despite research showing associations between anabolic steroid use and criminal offending, the possibility of a similar association between legal performance-enhancing substance use, such as creatine, and criminal offending remained unknown. A new study published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence now shows that both forms of performance-enhancing substance use is longitudinally ass
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Just mix it up: New synthetic method for making amphiphilic molecules without additives
Amphiphilic molecules, which aggregate and encapsulate molecules in water, find use in several fields of chemistry. The simple, additive-free connection of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules would be an efficient method for amphiphilic molecule synthesis. However, such connections, or bonds, are often fragile in water. Now, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed an easy way
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One "Ring" to rule them all: curious interlocked molecules show dual response
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology design polymers infused with a stress-sensitive molecular unit that respond to external forces by switching on their fluorescence. The researchers demonstrate the fluorescence to be dependent on the magnitude of force and show that it is possible to detect both, reversible and irreversible polymer deformations, opening the door to the exploration of new
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Smart transfer rules can strengthen EU climate policy
"Fit for 55": under this heading, the EU Commission will specify the implementation of the European Green Deal on 14 July. This refers to the more ambitious climate policy announced, with 55 instead of 40 percent emission reduction by 2030 (relative to 1990), and net-zero emissions in 2050. Coordination between the 27 EU states is expected to be difficult since unanimity is usually required here f
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Why Uruguay lost control of COVID
Nature, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01714-4 Complacency and a coronavirus variant help to explain why the country, once a pandemic success story, couldn't withstand the surge now rocking South America.
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Drug Repurposing for Coronaviruses: Be Careful
Here's a new paper (open access) from a large multi-center team of authors urging caution on many of the reports of small-molecule repurposing screens against coronavirus activity. The list of drugs that has shown activity in vitro is long, and the list of potential targets is as well. But when you look at those targets, it's hard to untangle things – for example, many compounds that are nanomola
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Report: Positive trends in aging, but not for everyone
More older Americans are able to meet their daily care needs without assistance, a report shows, but concerning gaps remained for older Black and Hispanic people. According to the report, over the past 10 years, older adults have experienced improvements in physical functioning, vision, and hearing, and, through 2019, lower rates of dementia. As a result, fewer are living in nursing homes and ass
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What to do when climate change feels unstoppable | Clover Hogan
Today's youth have inherited a big, unprecedented climate problem to solve — and the eco-anxiety to go with it. Gen-Zer and activist Clover Hogan knows the struggle firsthand, but she also understands the path to climate action starts with the one thing you can control: your mindset. She explains why challenging the stories that keep you feeling powerless can help you take the first step to prote
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Scientists discover key player in brain development, cell communication
For the first, time UNC School of Medicine scientist Katie Baldwin, Ph.D., and colleagues revealed a central role of the glial protein hepaCAM in building the brain and affecting brain function early in life.The findings, published in Neuron, have implications for better understanding disorders, such as autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia, and potentially for creating therapeutics for conditions s
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TPU scientists synthetize unique molecule of verdazyl-nitronyl nitroxide triradical
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with their colleagues have synthetized a unique molecule of verdazyl-nitronyl nitroxide triradical. Only several research teams in the world were able to obtain molecules with similar properties. The molecule is stable. It is able to withstand high temperatures and obtains promising magnetic properties. It is a continuation of scientists' work on
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Africa Braces for a Third Wave of Covid-19
On Sunday, the WHO's Regional Office for Africa released data showing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths on the continent. In some hot spots, the latest wave of infections has swamped health care facilities, with patients being turned away in Kenya and others facing oxygen shortages in Somalia and Uganda.
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Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B Volume 11, Issue 6 publishes
In 2021 Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The journal was founded with the goal of creating a global high-level forum centred around drug discovery and pharmaceutical research/application. APSB was included by Chemical Abstracts in 2011, accepted by PubMed Central in 2015, indexed by Science Citation Index in 2017 and has evolved to become one of the most impo
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Babies can see things that adults cannot
Babies are generally poorer at seeing and recognizing objects than adults because of their immature visual abilities. However, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on June 23, 2021 reported that, in some circumstances, infants younger than 7 months old can perceive objects that older infants and adults cannot. This surprising result demonstrates t
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Studies reveal key process needed for cells to recover from stress
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists are studying the processes that enable cells to respond and adapt to environmental stress, many of which are also associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In complementary papers in Science, researchers revealed an unexpected role for the process that cells use to get rid of unneeded or unwanted proteins.
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Disaster response and mitigation in an AI world
After the destructive California wildfires of 2019, the U.S. government put together a White House Executive forum to develop better ways of protecting the nation and key infrastructure, such as the power grid, from wildfires and other disasters. In 2020 alone, more than 10.3 million acres burned across the United States, a level three times higher than the 1990–2000 10-year average. Between fire
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Curious interlocked molecules show dual response
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology design polymers infused with a stress-sensitive molecular unit that respond to external forces by switching on their fluorescence. The researchers demonstrate the fluorescence to be dependent on the magnitude of force and show that it is possible to detect both, reversible and irreversible polymer deformations, opening the door to the exploration of new
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Using LAMP to reveal the mysteries of lysosomes
A cell is composed of numerous organelles, each with a unique role that helps contribute to its overall functionality. The lysosome is an organelle that contains digestive enzymes and functions as a molecular garbage disposal and recycling center. Since the role of lysosome is crucial to maintaining the cellular homeostasis, the lysosomal dysfunction causes neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases
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A new concept stent that suppresses adverse effects with cells
Medical materials that can be inserted into the human body have been used for decades in the field of regenerative medicine—for example, stents that can help dilate clogged blood vessels and implants that can replace teeth or bones. The prolonged use of these materials can result in serious adverse effects and loss of various functions—for example, inflammatory responses, generation of fibrous tis
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MeCP2: A binding protein that prevents DNA from being wrapped up in nucleosomes
A team of researchers working at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France, has found that the MeCP2 protein binds to DNA in a way that prevents it from being wrapped up in nucleosomes. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of different kinds of cytosines and adenosine repeats in DNA and how they discovered what coul
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Predators kill kererū, but it's lack of food that stops them bouncing back
Historically, kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) used to occur in massive flocks that numbered hundreds of birds. But over the past 200 years, numbers have declined rapidly due to habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals. To what extent are these factors still affecting kererū today? A team of researchers from Manaaki Whenua, led by Dr. Jo Carpenter, gathered and analyzed data from three d
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Making equal-size colloidal quantum dots
Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor particles only a few nanometers across that, thanks to their small size, exhibit peculiar optical and electronic properties due to quantum mechanics. With existing and foreseen applications in screens, lighting, lasers, and energy harvesting, research in quantum dots has been steadily progressing. In particular, colloidal QDs (CQDs) have been in the nanotechnol
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A direct look at OLED films leads to some pretty exciton findings
University of Tsukuba researchers used time-resolved photoelectron emission microscopy (TR-PEEM) to probe the exciton dynamics of thermally activated delayed fluorescence organic light-emitting diodes (TADF-OLEDs). TADF-OLEDs based on solid-state substrates have significant potential for use in display technology owing to their high efficiency; however, their electron dynamics are not well underst
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Pushing the boundaries of colloidal quantum dots by making their sizes equal
Perovskite colloidal quantum dots (Pe-CQDs) are highly promising nanocrystals for optoelectronic applications. However, the size of the crystals should ideally be equal to ensure a consistent energy landscape. In a recent study, scientists clarified the relationship between differences in particle size — polydispersity — and the optoelectronic characteristics of Pe-CQDs. They showed that using e
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Making house calls when everyone's staying home: COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo
Researchers from University of Tsukuba have found that the share of calls to after-hours house call medical services for fever or cold symptoms decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, but that the severity of symptoms in those patients was significantly increased. Use of such services could reduce the burden on hospitals and early detection could improve patient outcomes if hesitancy to s
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The future of art
What if in the next upcoming future companies create tablets that could give you the feel of paper or canvas, and the stylus become more art material oriented so as to paint or draw? Since painting and drawing apps are becoming more user friendly and realistic nowadays with sufficient tools etc. Also, will we be seeing artists and painters portraying their art forms through software representatio
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Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Aces Eighth Flight
Mars sat there for eons, a dusty sphere with no outward signs of life. Now, the planet is populated entirely by robots. There are only a few, but the population is increasing, and one of them can fly. NASA's Ingenuity helicopter is still going strong, tracking south along with the Perseverance rover. The agency has reported that Ingenuity just completed its eighth flight , and the problems from e
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A conversation on building safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community in the geosciences
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24020-z Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) scientists are an invisible minority that still faces harassment and discrimination. Fostering safe, designated LGBTQ+ environments is a way for the community to connect with each other and raise awareness. In honor of Pride Month (June 2021), Dr. Keisling (
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CRISPR-Act3.0
Bonus points for anyone who has managed to commit to memory what the CRISPR acronym stands for – Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. I still have to look it up each time to make sure I get it right, but I'm getting there. I first wrote about CRISPR in 2015 . It is a method of editing genes derived from bacteria. CRISPR itself is a means of targeting a specific sequence of D
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Time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy to probe electron dynamics of solid-state film OLEDs
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are widely used in display technology and are also being investigated for lighting applications. A comprehensive understanding of these devices is therefore important if their properties are to be harnessed to their full potential. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have directly observed the photoexcited electron dynamics in an organic film using time
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Build Your Family's Love of STEM With These Robotics And Science Kits
There are many ways to show your kids the joys of science, from walks in the woods to astronauts getting slimed in space . Fortunately, you don't need to buy a rocket ship to show your family why science is awesome. The STEM Starter Bundle gives you two kits perfect for showing your little ones the cool side of STEM. The STEM Starter Bundle: Robotic & Curiosity Kits is on sale for $79.99 (reg. $1
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Venice reinventing itself as sustainable tourism capital
Away from the once-maddening crowds of St. Mark's Square, tiny Certosa island could be a template for building a sustainable future in Venice as it tries to relaunch its tourism industry without boomeranging back to pre-pandemic day-tripping hordes.
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Meta: An expression of concern quotes Retraction Watch
Sometimes, we become part of the story: A play in several acts. On Jan. 27, 2021, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) issued a report about the work of Ye Zhang, a materials scientist on the faculty. The Institute, as we reported February 2, found that Zhang had committed plagiarism and had fabricated … Continue reading
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Catalytic asymmetric nucleophilic fluorination using BF3·Et2O as fluorine source and activating reagent
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24278-3 Catalytic asymmetric fluorination remains elusive, especially the longstanding stereochemical challenges which exist in BF3Et2O-based fluorinations. Here the authors show a catalytic asymmetric nucleophilic fluorination using BF3·Et2O as the fluorine reagent in the presence of chiral iodine catalyst.
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Temporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Kenya
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24062-3 The reported burden of SARS-CoV-2 has been relatively low in tropical Africa compared to Europe and the Americas, but estimating true infection rates is challenging. Here, the authors screen blood donors in Kenya for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and describe spatiotemporal seroprevalence dynamics.
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SMG5-SMG7 authorize nonsense-mediated mRNA decay by enabling SMG6 endonucleolytic activity
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24046-3 Degradation of nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) substrates is carried out by two seemingly independent pathways, SMG6-mediated endonucleolytic cleavage and/or SMG5-SMG7-induced accelerated deadenylation. Here the authors show that SMG5-SMG7 maintain NMD activity by permitting SMG6 activation.
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Conservation and divergence of vulnerability and responses to stressors between human and mouse astrocytes
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24232-3 Astrocytes are important players in brain development, homeostasis, and disease. Here, the authors compare the transcriptional profiles of human and mouse astrocytes. They report species-specific susceptibility to oxidative stress and response to hypoxic and inflammatory conditions.
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Molecular determinants of response to PD-L1 blockade across tumor types
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24112-w PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibition has been used for several tumour types. Here, the authors use immunohistochemistry, tumour mutation burden and RNA-seq data from 366 patients with different indications to identify molecular signatures of response to atezolizumab and reveal pathway heterogeneity and the involve
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Barrel cortex plasticity after photothrombotic stroke involves potentiating responses of pre-existing circuits but not functional remapping to new circuits
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24211-8 Definitive evidence for functional remapping after stroke remains lacking. Here, the authors performed in vivo intrinsic signal imaging and two-photon calcium imaging of sensory-evoked responses before and after photothrombotic stroke and found no evidence of remapping of lost functionalities to new circuits in
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Continuous-capture microwave imaging
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24219-0 The authors present a microwave imaging system that can operate in continuous transmit-receive mode. Using an array of transmitters, a single receiver and a reconstruction matrix that correlate random time patterns with the captured signal, they demonstrate real-time imaging and tracking through a wall.
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Tunable room-temperature ferromagnetism in Co-doped two-dimensional van der Waals ZnO
Nature Communications, Published online: 25 June 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24247-w Van der Waals magnetic materials (vdWs) have allowed for the exploration of the two dimensional limit of magnetism, however, most vdWs are only magnetic at low temperature. Herein, the authors overcome this limitation, observing room temperature magnetic ordering in Cobalt doped graphene-like Zinc-Oxide.
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NIST method uses radio signals to image hidden and speeding objects
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Wavsens LLC have developed a method for using radio signals to create real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects, which could help firefighters find escape routes or victims inside buildings filled with fire and smoke. The technique could also help track hypersonic objects such as missiles and space debris.
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