188 articles from FRIDAY 29.1.2021

Citizen Scientists Help Create 3D Map of Cosmic Neighborhood

Is our solar system located in a typical Milky Way neighborhood? Scientists have gotten closer to answering this question, thanks to the NASA-funded Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, a “citizen science” collaboration between professional scientists and members of the public. Scientists tapped into the worldwide network of 150,000 volunteers using Backyard Worlds:...

Specific bacteria in the gut prompt mother mice to neglect their pups

As scientists learn more about the microorganisms that colonize the body—collectively called the microbiota—one area of intense interest is the effect that these microbes can have on the brain. A new study led by Salk Institute scientists has identified a strain of E. coli bacteria that, when living in the guts of female mice, causes them to neglect their offspring.

Dewdrops on a spiderweb reveal the physics behind cell structures

As any cook knows, some liquids mix well with each other, but others do not. For example, when a tablespoon of vinegar is poured into water, a brief stir suffices to thoroughly combine the two liquids. However, a tablespoon of oil poured into water will coalesce into droplets that no amount of stirring can dissolve. The physics that governs the mixing of liquids is not limited to mixing bowls; it...

‘Immunological unicorn’: the Australian lab growing coronavirus – and its startling discovery

Researchers walk through three negative-pressure chambers before entering the submarine-like structureIn a high security laboratory in Sydney, where a select group of researchers go to extreme lengths to work with samples of blood and swabs containing Covid-19, virologist Stuart Turville found a unicorn.“A beautiful, immunological unicorn,” Turville, an associate professor with the Kirby...

Accurate drug dosages with proton traps

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a proton trap that makes organic electronic ion pumps more precise when delivering drugs. The new technique may reduce drug side effects, and in the long term, ion pumps may help patients with symptoms of neurological diseases for which effective treatments are not available. The results have been published in Science Advances.

Genes that dance to the circadian rhythm

Scientists at EPFL have made breakthrough discoveries on the circadian clock and how it affects gene expression. Some of the findings suggest a biological underpinning for different behaviors in people, such as morning people, nappers, evening people, night owls etc.

Lewis Wolpert obituary

Developmental biologist and science communicator with an enduring fascination for the beginnings of lifeHow does a single fertilised egg divide and morph into an embryo with head, tail, limbs and organs? That question was an inexhaustible source of fascination to the biologist Lewis Wolpert, who has died aged 91. With a twinkle in his eye, he told audiences it was not birth, marriage or death, but...

Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine given full approval by EU regulator

European Medicines Agency approves jab for use in all age groups above 18, despite German doubtsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe European Medicines Agency has authorised the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for use in all adult age groups after days of doubt.A month after it received approval in the UK, the EU’s regulator declared the vaccine safe for general...

Startup develops yeast-based COVID-19 diagnostic test

Incubated at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and supported by São Paulo Research Foundation- FAPESP's Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE), BIOinFOOD is a startup that is developing a rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test based on a patent application filed by students at UNICAMP's Genomics and Bioenergy Laboratory.

UK vaccine strategy 'paying off' as latest trials boost stockpiles

Pre-ordering of Janssen and Novavax means Britain has procured 247m successfully trialled jabsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain has cemented its status as one of the world’s leading buyers of effective Covid vaccines after two more pharmaceutical companies reported positive trial results – potentially growing the UK stockpile by 90m doses.The US drugmaker...

How is human behavior impacting wildlife movement?

For species to survive in the wild, maintaining connectivity between populations is critical. Without 'wildlife corridors,' groups of animals are isolated, unable to breed and may die out. In assessing wildlife connectivity, many aspects of the landscape are measured, but the impact of human behavior has largely been overlooked. Now, an international team led by the University of Göttingen and...

Coiling them up: Synthesizing organic molecules with a long helical structure

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) produced and extensively characterized novel organic molecules with a long helical structure. Unlike previous helical molecules, these longer compounds exhibit special interactions between coils that could give rise to interesting optical and chemical properties with applications in light polarization, catalysis, and molecular springs.