340 articles from THURSDAY 16.7.2020

Researchers solve a long-standing problem in organic chemistry

Chemists have for a long time been interested in efficiently constructing polyenes - not least in order to be able to use them for future biomedical applications. However, such designs are currently neither simple nor inexpensive. Scientists have now found a bio-inspired solution to the problem.

Syncing NASA laser, ESA radar for a new look at sea ice

With a small nudge to a satellite's orbit, scientists will soon have simultaneous laser and radar measurements of ice, providing new insights into Earth's frozen regions. On July 16, the European Space Agency (ESA) begins a series of precise maneuvers that will push the orbit of its radar-carrying CryoSat-2 satellite about half a mile higher—putting it in sync with NASA's laser-carrying Ice,...

Chemists develop bioinspired strategy for the controlled synthesis of polyenes

They occur in nature, are reactive and play a role in many biological processes: polyenes. It is no wonder that chemists have for a long time been interested in efficiently constructing these compounds—not least in order to be able to use them for future biomedical applications. However, such designs are currently neither simple nor inexpensive and present organic chemists with major challenges....

Pioneering method reveals dynamic structure in HIV

Viruses are scary. They invade our cells like invisible armies, and each type brings its own strategy of attack. While viruses devastate communities of humans and animals, scientists scramble to fight back. Many utilize electron microscopy, a tool that can "see" what individual molecules in the virus are doing. Yet even the most sophisticated technology requires that the sample be frozen and...

Principles to enhance research integrity and avoid 'publish or perish' in academia

Amid growing criticism of the traditional "publish or perish" system for rewarding academic research, an international team has developed five principles that institutions can follow to measure and reward research integrity. Publishing on July 16, 2020 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, the team believes that applying these principles in academic hiring and promotion will enhance scientific...

Membrane technology could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining

New membrane technology developed by a team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, and ExxonMobil could help reduce carbon emissions and energy intensity associated with refining crude oil. Laboratory testing suggests that this polymer membrane technology could replace some conventional heat-based distillation processes in the future.

'Proofreading' proteins stop and reel in DNA to correct replication errors

On the DNA assembly line, two proofreading proteins work together as an emergency stop button to prevent replication errors. New research from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows how these proteins—MutL and MutS—prevent DNA replication errors by creating an immobile structure that calls more proteins to the site to repair the error. This...

New study sheds light on how nutrient-starved cells recycle internal components

The idea of the cell as a city is a common introduction to biology, conjuring depictions of the cell's organelles as power plants, factories, roads, libraries, warehouses and more. Like a city, these structures require a great deal of resources to build and operate, and when resources are scarce, internal components must be recycled to provide essential building blocks, particularly amino acids,...

A population of asteroids of interstellar origin inhabits the Solar System

A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University's Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences (IGCE-UNESP) in Rio Claro, Brazil, has identified 19 asteroids of interstellar origin classified as Centaurs, outer Solar System objects that revolve around the Sun in the region between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune.

About 94 per cent of wild bee and native plant species networks lost

Climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94 per cent loss of plant-pollinator networks, researchers found. The researchers looked at plant-pollinator networks from 125 years ago through present day.