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Proba-3's laser-precise positioning

An infrared view of a laser-based test campaign—taking place at Redwire Space in Kruibeke, Belgium—which represents crucial preparation for ESA's precision formation flying mission, Proba-3.

Adhesives from feathers

Adhesives are almost always based on fossil raw materials such as petroleum. Researchers at Fraunhofer have recently developed a process that allows to utilize keratin for this purpose. This highly versatile protein compound can be found, for instance, in chicken feathers. Not only can it be used to manufacture a host of different adhesives for a variety of applications, but the processes and end...

Hubble captures dense globular cluster NGC 1841

This densely populated group of stars is the globular cluster NGC 1841, which is part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way galaxy that lies about 162,000 light-years away. Satellite galaxies are bound by gravity in orbits around a more massive host galaxy.

Sky This Month: March 2024

The evening sky of springtime hosts Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus. It’s a good last chance to catch the richness of the jovian atmosphere, plus a few interesting events involving the Galilean moons. Venus dominates the morning sky, visible in brightening twilight, while Mars and Saturn progressively come into view late in the month. And ifContinue reading "Sky This Month: March 2024" The post Sky...

Canine teeth reveal new keys to sex estimation in human populations

The Dental Anthropology Group at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) has published a paper in the American Journal of Biological Anthropology on the morphological differences between the canines of men and women, underlining their importance in the creation of biological profiles.

These are the ways our world will end

The universe is a terrifying place, filled with existential threats. Earth may seem quite solid beneath our feet, but the continued existence of the thin layers of rock, water, and air that sustain us is in no way guaranteed. Errant asteroids, soaring superflares, and exploding supernovae are just a few of the calamities that mightContinue reading "These are the ways our world will end" The post...

How signaling proteins get to the mitochondrial surface

Mitochondria are organelles that are known for providing the energy currency that fuels chemical reactions within cells, but they are also involved in other important processes vital for cell health including the innate immune response to pathogens like viruses, programmed cell death, and communication with the rest of the cell—processes that all play a role in health and disease. The signaling...

Lianas, trees show varied stem xylem structure-function link

The xylem of the plant stem performs several important functions. Elucidating the coordination or trade-offs between xylem functions is critical for understanding plant ecological strategy and adaptation to different environments. However, how xylem cell tissues influence their functions among different growth forms remains unresolved.

Unraveling the structural dynamics of photosystem II with femtosecond X-ray crystallography

Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of photosynthesis can enable significant progress in the fields of biotechnology and renewable energy. Photosystem II (PSII), a protein complex, plays a central role in this process by catalyzing the oxidation of water and producing dioxygen using sunlight, a fundamental step in oxygenic photosynthesis. Despite extensive research,...

Study shows glacier shrinkage is causing a 'green transition'

Glacier-fed streams are undergoing a process of profound change, according to EPFL and Charles University scientists in a paper appearing in Nature Geoscience today. This conclusion is based on the expeditions to the world's major mountain ranges by members of the Vanishing Glaciers project.

Producing quantum materials with precision, with the help of AI

A team of NUS researchers led by Associate Professor Lu Jiong from the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials, together with their international collaborators, have developed a novel concept of a chemist-intuited atomic robotic probe (CARP).

AI technique promotes green hydrogen production using more abundant chemical elements

A NIMS research team has developed an AI technique capable of expediting the identification of materials with desirable characteristics. Using this technique, the team was able to discover high-performance water electrolyzer electrode materials free of platinum-group elements—substances previously thought to be indispensable in water electrolysis. These materials may be used to reduce the cost...

Gay, lesbian and intersex whales: our queer sea has much to teach us

The first documented sex between two male humpback whales is just the latest challenge to our presumptions about sexualityWhales are extraordinarily sensuous creatures. Those blubbery bodies are highly sensitive, and sensitised. At social meetings, pods of sperm, humpback and right whales will roll around one another’s bodies for hours at a time. I’ve seen a group of right whales engaged in...

New study unveils unique roles of yeast protein complexes in cellular lifespan

Assistant Professor Takahiro Kosugi from the Institute for Molecular Science, assistant Professor Yoshiaki Kamada at the National Institute for Basic Biology, and colleagues have developed an advanced molecular cell biology approach by integrating computational redesigning of protein complexes based on the predicted three-dimensional structure in yeast genetics.

How cell structure can lead to health issues

Human bodies make 2 million red blood cells per second. They each live for 120 days and spend that time zooming completely around the body every 20 seconds, carrying oxygen from the lungs to other tissues and bringing back carbon dioxide that is exhaled.

Researchers use GPS-tracked icebergs in novel study to improve climate models

Over the last four decades, warming climate and ocean temperatures have rapidly altered the Greenland Ice Sheet, creating concern for marine ecosystems and weather patterns worldwide. The environment has challenged scientists in their attempts to measure how water moves around and melts the ice sheet because equipment can be destroyed by icebergs floating near the glaciers.

The role of history in how efficient color names evolve

Suppose two speakers of the same language are playing a guessing game where each has the same color swatches, and Player 1 tries to get Player 2 to guess a hue by naming the color. If the second player consistently guesses correctly as often as possible, that indicates their language has an efficient color naming system.

Start with flattery, maintain eye contact and never lie: how to win people over

The secrets of highly persuasive people, from a hostage negotiator to a TV producerSome people are just charmers. They can sweet-talk an otherwise immovable doorman, cajole a small child into picking up their toys without protest, and smile their way to a freebie. But being a blagger isn’t the preserve of a select few loudmouths and self-aggrandising entrepreneurs; highly...

How some bacteria are cleaning up our messy water supply

This article first appeared in The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly biotech newsletter. To receive it in your inbox every Thursday, and read articles like this first, sign up here. The diabetes medication metformin has been touted as a miracle drug. Not only does it keep diabetes in check, but it can reduce inflammation, curb cancer, stave off the worst effects of covid, and...

It's not only opposites that attract: New study shows like-charged particles can come together

"Opposites charges attract; like charges repel" is a fundamental principle of basic physics. But a new study from Oxford University, published today in Nature Nanotechnology, has demonstrated that similarly charged particles in solution can in fact attract each other over long distances. Just as surprisingly, the team found that the effect is different for positively and negatively charged...

Tech bros need to realise deepfake porn ruins lives – and the law has to catch up

Taylor Swift is just one of countless victims of deepfake videos. Firms feeding off this abuse should pay for the harm they causeImagine finding that someone has taken a picture of you from the internet and superimposed it on a sexually explicit image available online. Or that a video appears showing you having sex with someone you have never met.Imagine worrying that your children, partner,...