301 articles from TUESDAY 7.7.2020

Our animal inheritance: Humans perk up their ears, too, when they hear interesting sounds

Many animals move their ears to better focus their attention on a novel sound. That humans also have this capability was not known until now. A research team now has demonstrated that we make minute, unconscious movements of our ears that are directed towards the sound want to focus our attention on. The team discovered this ability by measuring electrical signals in the muscles of the vestigial...

Portable system boosts laser precision, at room temperature

Physicists at MIT have designed a quantum "light squeezer" that reduces quantum noise in an incoming laser beam by 15 percent. It is the first system of its kind to work at room temperature, making it amenable to a compact, portable setup that may be added to high-precision experiments to improve laser measurements where quantum noise is a limiting factor.

Princeton chemists resolve origin of perovskite instability

Researchers in the Cava Group at the Princeton University Department of Chemistry have demystified the reasons for instability in an inorganic perovskite. The source of thermodynamic instability in the halide perovskite cesium lead iodide (CsPbI3) is the inorganic cesium atom and its "rattling" behavior within the crystal structure.

Protein linked to cancer acts as a viscous glue in cell division

The protein PRC1, a telltale sign in many cancer types including prostate, ovarian, and breast cancer, act as a "viscous glue" during cell division, precisely controlling the speed at which two sets of DNA are separated as a single cell divides. The finding could explain why too much or too little PRC1 disrupts that process and causes genome errors linked to cancer.

Quantum classifiers with tailored quantum kernel?

Quantum information scientists have introduced a new method for machine learning classifications in quantum computing. The non-linear quantum kernels in a quantum binary classifier provide new insights for improving the accuracy of quantum machine learning, deemed able to outperform the current AI technology.

Remdesivir can save more lives where ICUs are overwhelmed: BU study

Amid news that the United States has bought up virtually the entire global supply of remdesivir, a new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study outlines how the drug could save lives in countries with less hospital capacity, such as South Africa, where COVID-19 is beginning to overwhelm intensive care units (ICUs).

Repurposing public health systems to decode COVID-19

Research published in the journal Microbial Genomics describes how national surveillance systems can be linked with the UK Biobank. This pooled data could then be used to understand how genetics and other epidemiological factors impact risk of developing severe infection.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients under treatment with methotrexate

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often suffer from what is referred to as interstitial lung disease (ILD). For years, standard medication with Methotrexate (MTX) has been suspected of either increasing the risk of, or worsening, this aspect of rheumatoid arthritis. This suspicion is now refuted by two current studies. The results have been presented at the annual conference of the European...

RNA key in helping stem cells know what to become

If every cell has the same genetic blueprint, why does an eye cell look and act so differently than a brain cell or skin cell? In a new study published this week, researchers come one step closer to solving this mystery, showing RNA plays a critical role.

Scientists offer roadmap for studying link between climate and armed conflict

Climate change--from rising temperatures and more severe heavy rain, to drought--is increasing risks for economies, human security, and conflict globally. Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are leading an effort to better assess the climate-conflict link to help societies manage the complex risks of increased violence from a changing...

Strange bedfellows

Advanced X-ray MicroCT technology offers unparalleled insights into the functional morphology of specialized organs that mediate interactions between butterfly caterpillars and their ant hosts.