Spotlight Stories News Feeds

  • Blue Origin will fly first crew to space in July
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin will send its first crew to space on July 20 and is offering one of the seats to the winner of an online auction, the company said Wednesday.

  • Researchers propose repurposing tabletop sensors to search for dark matter
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Scientists are certain that dark matter exists. Yet, after more than 50 years of searching, they still have no direct evidence for the mysterious substance.

  • Rapid rovers, speedy sands: Fast-tracking terrain interaction modeling
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Granular materials, such as sand and gravel, are an interesting class of materials. They can display solid, liquid, and gas-like properties, depending on the scenario. But things can get complicated in cases of high-speed vehicle locomotion, which cause these materials to enter a “triple-phase” nature, acting like all three fundamental phases of matter at the same time.

  • Magnetic material breaks super-fast switching record
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Researchers at CRANN (The Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices), and the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin, today announced that a magnetic material developed at the Centre demonstrates the fastest magnetic switching ever recorded.

  • Research confirms trawl ban substantially increases the abundance of marine organisms
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Biodiversity is of crucial importance to the marine ecosystem. The prohibition of trawling activities in the Hong Kong marine environment for two and a half years has significantly improved biodiversity, an inter-university study led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has found. Research results showed that the trawl ban could restore and conserve biodiversity in tropical coastal waters.

  • Searching for the supersymmetric bottom quark (and its friends)
    on May 5, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    When it comes to quarks, those of the third generation (the top and bottom) are certainly the most fascinating and intriguing. Metaphorically, we would classify their social life as quite secluded, as they do not mix much with their relatives of the first and second generation. However, as the proper aristocrats of the particle physics world, they enjoy privileged and intense interactions with the Higgs field; it is the intensity of this interaction that eventually determines things like the quantum stability of our universe. Their social life may also have a dark side, as they could be involved in interactions with dark matter.

  • Study offers earliest evidence of humans changing ecosystems with fire
    on May 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Mastery of fire has given humans dominance over the natural world. A Yale-led study provides the earliest evidence to date of ancient humans significantly altering entire ecosystems with flames.

  • Strange isotopes: Scientists explain a methane isotope paradox of the seafloor
    on May 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Methane, a chemical compound with the molecular formula CH4, is not only a powerful greenhouse gas, but also an important energy source. It heats our homes, and even seafloor microbes make a living of it. The microbes use a process called anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), which happens commonly in the seafloor in so-called sulfate-methane transition zones—layers in the seafloor where sulfate from the seawater meets methane from the deeper sediment. Here, specialized microorganisms, the ANaerobically MEthane-oxidizing (ANME) archaea, consume the methane. They live in close association with bacteria, which use electrons released during methane oxidation for sulfate reduction. For this purpose, these organisms form characteristic consortia.

  • Greater access to birth control leads to higher graduation rates
    on May 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    When access to free and low-cost birth control goes up, the percentage of young women who leave high school before graduating goes down by double-digits, according to a new CU Boulder-led study published May 5 in the journal Science Advances.

  • Adolescents who are relatively older than their classmates are more popular
    on May 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    A survey study of adolescents in Europe suggests that students who are older relative to their peers are more likely to be popular in their school class. Danelien van Aalst of the University of Groningen and Frank van Tubergen of Utrecht University present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 5, 2021.

  • MIT turns ‘magic’ material into versatile electronic devices
    on May 5, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    In a feat worthy of a laboratory conceived by J.K. Rowling, MIT researchers and colleagues have turned a “magic” material composed of atomically thin layers of carbon into three useful electronic devices. Normally, such devices, all key to the quantum electronics industry, are created using a variety of materials that require multiple fabrication steps. The MIT approach automatically solves a variety of problems associated with those more complicated processes.

  • From yeast to hypha: How Candida albicans makes the switch
    on May 5, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    You might call Candida albicans a shape-shifter: As this fungus grows, it can multiply as single, oval-shaped cells called yeast or propagate in an elongated form called hypha, consisting of thread-like filaments.

  • Researchers create leather-like material from silk proteins
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Leather is an ever growing multi-billion dollar industry requiring more than 3.8 billion bovine animals—equal to one for every two people on earth—to sustain production each year. And while the products—clothing, shoes, furniture and more—can be quite elegant and durable, the environmental impact of leather production has been severe, leading to deforestation, water and land overuse, environmental pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Stabilization of the borafluorene anion with carbenes
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    The incorporation of boron into polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon systems leads to interesting chromophoric and fluorescing materials for optoelectronics, including organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDS) and field-effect transistors, as well as polymer-based sensors. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a research team has now introduced a new anionic organoborane compound. Synthesis of the borafluorene succeeded through the use of carbenes.

  • How mitochondria make the cut: When and where the powerhouse of the cell divides
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Mitochondria either split in half to multiply within the cell, or cut off their ends to get rid of damaged material. That’s the take-away message from EPFL biophysicists in their latest research investigating mitochondrial fission. It’s a major departure from the classical textbook explanation of the life cycle of this well-known organelle, the powerhouse of the cell. The results are published today in Nature.

  • Pea plants make smart investment decisions that could help inform sustainable agriculture
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Researchers at the University of Oxford have shown that pea plants are able to make smart investment decisions when it comes to interactions with their symbiotic bacterial partners. Better understanding of how plants manage these interactions could help with the move towards sustainable agriculture.

  • Scientists model Saturn’s interior
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    New Johns Hopkins University simulations offer an intriguing look into Saturn’s interior, suggesting that a thick layer of helium rain influences the planet’s magnetic field.

  • A new window to see hidden side of magnetized universe
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    New observations and simulations show that jets of high-energy particles emitted from the central massive black hole in the brightest galaxy in galaxy clusters can be used to map the structure of invisible inter-cluster magnetic fields. These findings provide astronomers with a new tool for investigating previously unexplored aspects of clusters of galaxies.

  • Fast changing smells can teach mice about space
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL (University College London) have found that mice can sense extremely fast and subtle changes in the structure of odors and use this to guide their behavior. The findings, published in Nature today, alter the current view on how odors are detected and processed in the mammalian brain.

  • New bonobo genome fine tunes great ape evolution studies
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Chimpanzees and bonobos diverged comparatively recently in great ape evolutionary history. They split into different species about 1.7 million years ago. Some of the distinctions between chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus) lineages have been made clearer by a recent achievement in hominid genomics.

  • 3D bioprinting technique controls cell orientation
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    3D bioprinting can create engineered scaffolds that mimic natural tissue. Controlling the cellular organization within those engineered scaffolds for regenerative applications is a complex and challenging process.

  • Superconductivity, high critical temperature found in 2D semimetal tungsten nitride
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Superconductivity in two-dimensional (2D) systems has attracted much attention in recent years, both because of its relevance to our understanding of fundamental physics and because of potential technological applications in nanoscale devices such as quantum interferometers, superconducting transistors and superconducting qubits.

  • Release of drugs from a supramolecular cage
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    How can a highly effective drug be transported to the precise location in the body where it is needed? In the journal Angewandte Chemie, chemists at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) together with colleagues in Aachen present a solution using a molecular cage that opens through ultrasonification.

  • Fundamental regulation mechanism of proteins discovered
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Proteins perform a vast array of functions in the cell of every living organism with critical roles in almost every biological process. Not only do they run our metabolism, manage cellular signaling and are in charge of energy production, as antibodies they are also the frontline workers of our immune system fighting human pathogens like the coronavirus.

  • Scientists discover how antibiotics target bacterial RNAP to inhibit its gene transcription
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    A group of researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has uncovered the mechanism of how DNA is being melted to start bacterial gene transcription and how one class of antibiotics inhibits this process—an important way in killing bacteria. This discovery provides useful insight on the development of new antibiotics for bacteria that is antimicrobial resistance.

  • Ancient DNA reveals origin of first Bronze Age civilizations in Europe
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    The first civilizations to build monumental palaces and urban centers in Europe are more genetically homogenous than expected, according to the first study to sequence whole genomes gathered from ancient archaeological sites around the Aegean Sea. The study has been published in the journal Cell.

  • New species of pelomedusoid turtle found in Madagascar
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    A team of researchers from Universität Freiburg, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Université d’Antananarivo and Stony Brook University has discovered a new species of pelomedusoid turtle in Madagascar. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes the features of the turtle and why they believe it represents the convergent evolution of specialized suction feeders among pleurodire.

  • First detailed look at how charge transfer distorts a molecule’s structure
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    When light hits certain molecules, it dislodges electrons that then move from one location to another, creating areas of positive and negative charge. This “charge transfer” is highly important in many areas of chemistry, in biological processes like photosynthesis and in technologies like semiconductor devices and solar cells.

  • Thin, large-area device converts infrared light into images
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Seeing through smog and fog. Mapping out a person’s blood vessels while monitoring heart rate at the same time—without touching the person’s skin. Seeing through silicon wafers to inspect the quality and composition of electronic boards. These are just some of the capabilities of a new infrared imager developed by a team of researchers led by electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego.

  • Legendary Sargasso sea may be sea turtles’ destination during mysterious ‘lost years’
    on May 5, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    New research indicates that the legendary Sargasso Sea, which includes part of the Bermuda Triangle and has long featured in fiction as a place where ships go derelict, may actually be an important nursery habitat for young sea turtles.