181 articles from THURSDAY 2.9.2021

Astronomers create 3D-printed stellar nurseries

Astronomers can't touch the stars they study, but an astrophysicist is using 3-dimensional models that fit in the palm of her hand to unravel the structural complexities of stellar nurseries, the vast clouds of gas and dust where star formation occurs. Astronomers created the models using data from simulations of star-forming clouds and a sophisticated 3D printing process in which the fine-scale...

New food freezing concept improves quality, increases safety and cuts energy use

Shifting to a new food freezing method could make for safer and better quality frozen foods while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions, according to a new study. A complete change over to this new method of food freezing worldwide could cut energy use by as much as 6.5 billion kilowatt-hours each year while reducing the carbon emissions that go along with generating that power by 4.6...

Sudden cardiac episodes could be caused by 'deadly cocktail'

It has been a mystery why some people live a perfectly normal life until experiencing a potentially deadly cardiac episode. Now, researchers present a possible explanation in a microscopic modification of a protein, which causes a mutation to turn harmful. The knowledge could help future diagnosis and drug regimens.

Prior exposure to common cold coronaviruses enhances immune response to SARS-CoV-2

Researchers have shown that certain immune cells, which are found in people previously exposed to common cold coronaviruses, enhance the body's immune response to SARS-CoV-2, both during natural infection and following vaccination. The researchers also report that this 'cross-reactive immunity' decreases with age. This phenomenon may help to explain why older people are more susceptible to severe...

New research advances clean energy solutions

Researchers describe the use of ring-shaped molecules known as porphyrins. Such molecules, among the most abundant pigments in nature, are noted for their ability to speed up or catalyze chemical reactions, including important reactions occurring in living systems.

Many with food allergies don’t know about oral immunotherapy treatment option

A study of a geographically, clinically, and socioeconomically diverse, nationally-representative sample of US households -- including both adult patients and caregivers of children with food allergy -- found that 72 percent did not know what oral immunotherapy (OIT) was prior to the survey. Researchers also discovered that current OIT awareness is disproportionately elevated among wealthier, more...

Testing 1-2: New laser-based microphone calibration measures up

Researchers have conducted the first demonstration of a faster and more accurate way to calibrate certain kinds of microphones. The technique, which uses lasers to measure the velocity at which a microphone's diaphragm vibrates, performs well enough to overtake one of the main calibration methods used.

Mountaintop mining causes 40% loss of aquatic biodiversity

Using environmental DNA scans of Appalachian streams, researchers found that the effects of mountaintop coal mining in West Virginia are even more widespread than previously reported: Streams from heavily mined watersheds harbor 40% fewer species than streams with cleaner water.

Why are only some cells ‘competent’ to form cancer?

Medical researchers report that melanoma formation depends on something called 'oncogenic competence,' which is the result of a collaboration between the DNA mutations in a cell and the particular set of genes that are turned on in that cell. Cells that are competent to form melanoma are able to access a set of genes that normally are closed off to mature melanocytes (the cells that make melanin...

Surprise result for solid state physicists hints at unusual electron behavior

While studying the behavior of electrons in iron-based superconducting materials, researchers observed a strange signal relating to the way electrons are arranged. The signal implies a new arrangement of electrons the researchers call a nematicity wave, and they hope to collaborate with theoretical physicists to better understand it. The nematicity wave could help researchers understand the way...

Stellar collision triggers supernova explosion

The Very Large Array Sky Survey gave astronomers the first clue that ultimately revealed a dramatic story -- the remnant of a star that exploded long ago had plunged into the core of its companion star causing it, too, to explode as a supernova.