How to imitate natural spring-loaded snapping movement without losing energy
NASA eyes typhoon Haishen's 10 mile-wide eye
Venus flytraps do it, trap-jaw ants do it, and now materials scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst can do it, too—they discovered a way of efficiently converting elastic energy in a spring to kinetic energy for high-acceleration, extreme velocity movements as nature does it.
Drone survey reveals large earthwork at ancestral Wichita site in Kansas
NASA's Terra satellite's visible image of Typhoon Haishen revealed a small "pinhole" eye surrounded by several hundred miles of thunderstorms spiraling around it as it continued moving north though the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.
To make a better sensor, just add noise
A Dartmouth-led study using multisensor drones has revealed a large circular earthwork at what may be Etzanoa, an archaeological site near Wichita, Kansas. Archaeologists speculate that the site was visited by a Spanish expedition, led by Juan de Oñate, a controversial conquistador, in 1601. The earthwork may be the remains of a so-called "council circle," as it is similar to several other...
Wool-like material can remember and change shape
Adding noise to enhance a weak signal is a sensing phenomenon common in the animal world but unusual in manmade sensors. Now Penn State researchers have added a small amount of background noise to enhance very weak signals in a light source too dim to sense.
NASA finds Maysak becoming extra-tropical
As anyone who has ever straightened their hair knows, water is the enemy. Hair painstakingly straightened by heat will bounce back into curls the minute it touches water. Why? Because hair has shape memory. Its material properties allow it to change shape in response to certain stimuli and return to its original shape in response to others.
In butterfly battle of sexes, males deploy 'chastity belts' but females fight back
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of former Typhoon Maysak, now an extra-tropical storm. Wind shear continued pushing the bulk of the storm's clouds to the northwest.
Hearing loss in naked mole-rats is an advantage, not a hardship
Some male butterflies go to extreme lengths to ensure their paternity—sealing their mate's genitalia with a waxy "chastity belt" to prevent future liaisons. But female butterflies can fight back by evolving larger or more complex organs that are tougher to plug. Males, in turn, counterattack by fastening on even more fantastic structures with winglike projections, slippery scales or pointy...
Megafire does not deter Yosemite's spotted owls
If naked mole-rats were human, they would be prescribed hearing aids. With six mutations in genes associated with hearing, naked mole-rats can barely hear the constant squeaking they use to communicate with one another. This hearing loss, which is strange for such social, vocal animals, is an adaptive, beneficial trait, according to new findings published in the journal Current Biology.
A 400-year-old chamois will serve as a model for research on ice mummies
In 2013 the Rim Fire—the largest fire on record in the Sierra Nevada—burned one third of the potential California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) habitat in Yosemite National Park. The park provides prime habitat for this Spotted Owl subspecies, which is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and concern grew regarding the fire's...
New observations show planet-forming disc torn apart by its three central stars
Discovered in Val Aurina and now in the laboratory of Eurac Research's mummy experts, the remains will be studied in order to improve the conservation techniques of mummies around the world.
Start here to make a protein: Structure of mRNA initiation complex could give insight into cancer and other diseases
A team of astronomers have identified the first direct evidence that groups of stars can tear apart their planet-forming disc, leaving it warped and with tilted rings. This new research suggests exotic planets, not unlike Tatooine in Star Wars, may form in inclined rings in bent discs around multiple stars. The results were made possible thanks to observations with the European Southern...
A spicy silver lining
Researchers at the University of California, Davis and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K. have solved the the structure of the complex formed when mRNA is being scanned to find the starting point for translating RNA into a protein. The discovery, published Sept. 4 in Science, provides new understanding of this fundamental process.
The wilds of one Lake Ontario bay reveal how coastal habitats suffer from changing climate, human choices
Distinctive thermal and electrical characteristics make silver nanoparticles perfect for optics and biosensing applications. One increasingly popular application for the nanoparticles is as an antibacterial coating. Silver nanoparticle coatings are used in fabrics, footwear, computer keyboards, and orthopedic and other biomedical devices.
Wildfires produce minerals that freeze clouds
Lake Ontario is more swamp than mighty Great Lake at the edge of Braddock Bay, where 15-foot cattails rustle in the breeze.
Excitable cells: Tracking the evolution of electrical signalling in plants
Certain particles in the atmosphere have the unique ability to change the properties of clouds by causing water droplets to freeze at higher temperatures than they would on their own. With this ability, these so-called ice nucleating particles can greatly affect the evolution of clouds, precipitation, and climate. Previous research has pointed to the burning of biomass such as in wildfires as a...
Near-optimal chip-based photon source developed for quantum computing
A study led by researchers from Tasmania, Chile and Germany has furthered our understanding of plant evolution by tracking the origins of electrical signaling components that plants developed to communicate and adapt to life on land.
Crunchy, complex: Three new apples released
Researchers have developed a new CMOS-compatible silicon photonics photon source that satisfies all the requirements necessary for large-scale photonic quantum computing. The research represents a significant step toward mass-manufacturable ideal single photon sources.
NASA-NOAA satellite catches Hurricane Nana making landfall under cover of night
This fall, apple lovers can look forward to three new varieties from the oldest apple breeding program in the U.S.—located at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
High levels of toxic flame retardant chemicals found in dust inside college classrooms
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a nighttime look at Hurricane Nana just after it began making landfall in Belize.
Editing immune response could make gene therapy more effective
There are good reasons to be worried about indoor air quality right now, in light of COVID-19. In addition to transmitting infectious agents, indoor spaces can also be a source of harmful chemicals in consumer products. A new analysis of indoor spaces on college campuses finds dust in classrooms and lecture halls harbors high levels of toxic flame retardants used in furniture raising health...
Better customer care on Twitter leads to nearly 20% increase in customer satisfaction
Gene therapy generally relies on viruses, such as adeno-associated virus (AAV), to deliver genes into a cell. In the case of CRISPR-based gene therapies, molecular scissors can then snip out a defective gene, add in a missing sequence or enact a temporary change in its expression, but the body's immune response to AAV can thwart the whole endeavor.
Tear gas should be banned, researchers find; here's why
Social media has forever changed our society and how people do business. A 2013 report by J.D. Power found nearly two-thirds of customers have used a company's social media site to connect with customer service. New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research finds businesses that use Twitter as a social care channel are seeing a 19% increase in customer satisfaction.
Tiny biological package gets drug right to the 'heart' of transplant rejection
The use of tear gas—particularly CS gas—as a riot control agent, cannot be reconciled with respect for fundamental human rights and should therefore be banned entirely in international law, the University of Toronto's International Human Rights Program (IHRP) says in a report released today. Lawmakers at all levels of government should act to put forward legislation that bans use of the...
An unusual superconductor
For patients who receive a heart transplant in the near future, the old adage, "Good things come in small packages," may become words to live by. In a recent study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) demonstrated in mice that they can easily deliver a promising anti-rejection drug directly to the area surrounding a grafted heart by packaging it within a...
Professor Wang Jian at Peking University and collaborators investigated the superconducting properties of two-dimensional crystalline superconducting PdTe2 films grown by molecular beam epitaxy. They observed the experimental evidence of anomalous metallic state and detected type-II Ising superconductivity existing in centrosymmetric systems. Moreover, the superconductivity of PdTe2 films remains...