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Virtual reality goes magnetic

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 04:04 PM PST

The success of Pokémon GO made many people familiar with the concept of 'augmented reality': computer-generated perception blends into the real and virtual worlds. So far, these apps largely used optical methods for motion detection. Physicists have now developed an ultrathin electronic magnetic sensor that can be worn on skin. Just by interacting with magnetic fields, the device enables a touchless manipulation of virtual and physical objects.

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 04:03 PM PST

Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that sense microbes or other stresses. Researchers now have created the first network map for 200 of these proteins. The map shows how a few key proteins act as master nodes critical for network integrity, and the map also reveals unknown interactions.

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 04:03 PM PST

A study examined the role of the physical structure of the nucleus in cell movement through different surfaces.

'Programmable droplets' could enable high-volume biology experiments

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 04:03 PM PST

Researchers have developed hardware that uses electric fields to move droplets of chemical or biological solutions around a surface, mixing them in ways that could be used to test thousands of reactions in parallel.

Cystic fibrosis bacterial burden begins during first years of life

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:12 AM PST

Cystic fibrosis shortens life by making the lungs prone to repeated bacterial infections and inflammation. Researchers have now shown for the first time that the lungs' bacterial population changes in the first few years of life as respiratory infections and inflammation set in. This research offers a way to predict the onset of lung disease in children with CF and suggests a larger role for preventive therapies, such as hypertonic saline.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:12 AM PST

Researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to advance public health measures.

Thanks for the memory: Taking a deep look at memristors

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:12 AM PST

Scientists have now unveiled the long-mysterious inner workings of these semiconductor elements, which can act like the short-term memory of nerve cells.

'Explosive evolution' of techniques to restore blood flow to the brain

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:12 AM PST

Recent decades have seen an 'explosive evolution' of techniques to restore blood flow to areas of the brain endangered by stroke or clogged arteries, according to a new report.

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 11:11 AM PST

More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested that the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a new study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites. Radioactivity at these sites is 650 times higher than at unaffected sites upstream. The contamination comes from conventional, or non-fracked, oil and gas wastewater, which, under current state regulations, can still be treated and discharged into streams.

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:58 AM PST

Researchers have identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for limiting muscle, is activated.

Piecework at the nano assembly line

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:58 AM PST

Scientists have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes used to date. This makes nanobots fast enough to do assembly line work in molecular factories.

City lights setting traps for migrating birds

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 09:58 AM PST

A new study has examined how light pollution lures birds into urban areas during fall migration, a trend that poses risk for the fowl that often fly into buildings and has increased with the addition of brighter LED lights. The researchers were interested in seeing what factors shape the birds' distributions and why they occur in certain areas.

Let's make a deal: Could AI compromise better than humans?

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:35 AM PST

Researchers developed an algorithm that teaches machines not just to win games, but to cooperate and compromise -- and sometimes do a little trash-talking too.

How metal scaffolds enhance the bone healing process

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:35 AM PST

Scientists have shown how mechanically optimized constructs known as titanium-mesh scaffolds help optimize bone regeneration.

Climate change linked to more flowery forests

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:35 AM PST

New research has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote tropical forest.

The Pentagon built with mineralized microbes predating dinosaurs

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:35 AM PST

A new study has found that some of the building blocks of the Pentagon and Empire State Building were made by microbes that lived up to 340 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs.

Factor that doubles the risk of death from breast cancer identified

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:34 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor within the same tumor as compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study shows that the higher risk of death is independent of other known tumor markers and also holds true for Luminal A breast cancer.

Increasing number of adolescents receive a psychiatric or neurodevelopmental diagnosis

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 08:34 AM PST

According to a national register study comparing Finnish birth cohorts from 1987 and 1997, an increasing number of adolescents receive a psychiatric or neurodevelopmental diagnosis. The number of diagnosed adolescents increased especially for girls in the younger cohort.

Free online access to millions of documents on chemical toxicity made possible through ToxicDocs

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 07:10 AM PST

Millions of pages of internal corporate and trade association documents relating to the introduction of new products and chemicals into the workplace and commerce have been compiled into a free searchable online database called ToxicDocs.

Caffeine’s sport performance advantage for infrequent tea and coffee drinkers

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 06:03 AM PST

Sports scientists have found that the performance enhancing benefits of caffeine are more apparent in athletes who do not drink caffeine-rich drinks such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks on a daily basis.

How plants see light

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 06:03 AM PST

The proteins PCH1 and PCHL help plants adapt to their surroundings. Plants react sensitively to changes in their surroundings and possess the ability to adapt to them. They use the photoreceptor protein phytochrome B to see light and then regulate processes such as seed germination, seedling development, longitudinal growth and flower formation.

Successful promotion of giftedness as early as elementary school age

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Experts have argued that the specific needs of gifted children are often neglected, resulting in a shriveling of their abilities and potential. Consequently, they call for the implementation of programs that specifically aim to promote gifted children.

How treating eczema could also alleviate asthma

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

Scientists have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma. The findings are an important next step in understanding the relationship between the two inflammatory diseases and to developing effective therapies.

Animal carnivores could be our powerful allies

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 05:59 AM PST

Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies. Researchers have revealed that predators and scavengers ranging from bats to leopards and vultures are valuable to human health and well-being.

Structure of herpes virus linked to Kaposi's sarcoma

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 05:59 AM PST

Scientists have shown in the laboratory that an inhibitor can be developed to break down the herpes virus. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus, or KSHV, is one of two viruses known to cause cancer in humans.

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 05:59 AM PST

The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Researchers studied whether the use of steroids as an additional treatment to septic shock -- a severe life threatening infection -- would improve survival.

Challenging existing models of black holes

Posted: 19 Jan 2018 05:59 AM PST

A new study expands the scientific community's understanding of black holes in our galaxy and the magnetic fields that surround them.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 02:53 PM PST

A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute. The women who took the supplement also saw improvements in distance covered in 25 minutes on a stationary bike and a third test in which they stepped on and off a bench, according to new research.

Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 01:24 PM PST

In a scientific first, researchers have turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process.

How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 01:24 PM PST

In what is being described as 'The Teddy Roosevelt effect,' a deadly fungus in the Pacific Northwest may have arrived from Brazil via the Panama Canal, according to a new study. Cryptococcus gattii -- which until a 1999 outbreak in British Columbia's Vancouver Island was considered primarily a tropical fungus -- can cause deadly lung and brain infections in both people and animals.

Key to willpower lies in believing you have it in abundance

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 01:24 PM PST

Americans believe they have less stamina for strenuous mental activity than their European counterparts -- an indication that people in the US perceive their willpower or self-control as being in limited supply, suggests a new study.

New input for quantum simulations

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:29 AM PST

Researchers have devised new methods to create interesting input states for quantum computations and simulations. The new methods can be used to simulate certain electronic systems to arbitrarily high accuracy.

Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, shows a new study.

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research, certain mutations in the genome of influenza A may help counteract the weakening effects of other mutations.

New instrument lets doctors view the entire eye with unprecedented level of detail

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

Researchers have developed the first instrument that can provide a detailed image of the entire eye that can produce higher quality images than currently available.

Packing a genome, step-by-step

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

For the first time, scientists can see in minute-time resolution how cells package chromosomes into highly condensed structures prior to cell division.

New method to stop cells dividing could help fight cancer

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

Researchers have used a new strategy to shut down specific enzymes to stop cells from dividing. The method can be used as a strategy to fight cancer.

Fox Creek earthquakes linked to completion volume and location of hydraulic fracturing

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

The volume of hydraulic fracturing fluid and the location of well pads control the frequency and occurrence of measurable earthquakes, new research has found.

Network model of the musculoskeletal system predicts compensatory injuries

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

A new study is the first to convert the entire human body's network of bones and muscles into a comprehensive mathematical model.

A new, dynamic view of chromatin movements

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:27 AM PST

In cells, proteins tightly package the long thread of DNA into pearl necklace-like complexes known as chromatin. Scientists now show for the first time how chromatin moves, answering longstanding questions about how its structure helps regulate gene expression.

Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:26 AM PST

Bean plants that suppress secondary root growth in favor of boosting primary root growth forage greater soil volume to acquire phosphorus, according to researchers, who say their recent findings have implications for plant breeders and improving crop productivity in nutrient-poor soils.

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:26 AM PST

A new study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer. The findings reveal how mice can actually mimic human breast cancer tissue and its genes, even more so than previously thought, as well as other cancers including lung, oral and esophagus.

Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:26 AM PST

Artificial biology is working toward creating a genuinely new organism. Researchers are designing and building proteins that can fold and mimic the chemical processes that sustain life. Now they have confirmed that at least one of their new proteins can catalyze biological reactions in E. coli, meaning that a protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme.

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 11:26 AM PST

Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to new research.