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243,007 articles from PhysOrg

Researchers use AI to detect new family of genes in gut bacteria

Using artificial intelligence, UT Southwestern researchers have discovered a new family of sensing genes in enteric bacteria that are linked by structure and probably function, but not genetic sequence. The findings, published in PNAS, offer a new way of identifying the role of genes in unrelated species and could lead to new ways to fight intestinal bacterial infections.

Satellite-tracking of whale sharks offered insight into their migratory and feeding behavior

The largest fish in the ocean is a globe-trotter that can occasionally be found basking in the coastal waters of the Panamanian Pacific. However, little more is known about the habits of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the region. By satellite-tracking the whereabouts of 30 of them, scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life...


FRIDAY 1. JULY 2022


Keeping the energy in the room

It may seem like technology advances year after year, as if by magic. But behind every incremental improvement and breakthrough revolution is a team of scientists and engineers hard at work.

Study: How placentas evolved in mammals

The fossil record tells us about ancient life through the preserved remains of body parts like bones, teeth and turtle shells. But how to study the history of soft tissues and organs, which can decay quickly, leaving little evidence behind?

New method boosts the study of regulation of gene activity

One way cells can control the activities of their genes is by adding small chemical modifications to the DNA that determine which genes are turned on or off. Methyl groups are one of these chemical modifications or tags. Researchers have found that in bacteria DNA methylation plays a role in regulating virulence, reproduction and gene expression. In other organisms, including humans, DNA...

Hidden in genetics: The evolutionary relationships of two groups of ancient invertebrates revealed

Kamptozoa and Bryozoa are two phyla of small aquatic invertebrates. They are related to snails and clams (collectively called mollusks), bristleworms, earthworms, and leeches (collectively called annelids), and ribbon worms (nemertea). But their precise position on the tree of life, and how closely related they are to these other animals, has always puzzled evolutionary biologists. Previous...

'Soft' CRISPR may offer a new fix for genetic defects

Curing debilitating genetic diseases is one of the great challenges of modern medicine. During the past decade, development of CRISPR technologies and advancements in genetics research brought new hope for patients and their families, although the safety of these new methods is still of significant concern.

Dinosaurs took over amid ice, not warmth, says a new study of ancient mass extinction

Many of us know the conventional theory of how the dinosaurs died 66 million years ago: in Earth's fiery collision with a meteorite, and a following global winter as dust and debris choked the atmosphere. But there was a previous extinction, far more mysterious and less discussed: the one 202 million years ago, which killed off the big reptiles who up until then ruled the planet, and apparently...

Advocating a new paradigm for electron simulations

Although most fundamental mathematical equations that describe electronic structures are long known, they are too complex to be solved in practice. This has hampered progress in physics, chemistry and the material sciences. Thanks to modern high-performance computing clusters and the establishment of the simulation method density functional theory (DFT), researchers were able to change this...

Exploring how adding UV treatment to water chlorination can actually increase toxic trihalomethane production

Halobenzoquinones (HBQs), as new emerging disinfection by-products (DBPs), are frequently detected in potable and swimming pool waters. In fact, HBQs are also precursors of other DBPs such as currently regulated trihalomethanes (THMs), which pose a high risk to the public health and the environment. When UV is applied during the chlorination process, the DBPs formation may be quite different from...

Highly-sensitive SERS probes developed to detect the PD-L1 biomarker

Recently, a team led by Prof. Huang Qing at the Institute of Intelligent Machines, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has reported the fabrication of ultrasensitive biosensors based on Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) to detect the cancer metastasis related programmed death ligand (PD-L1) biomarker.

The case is building that colliding neutron stars create magnetars

Magnetars are some of the most fascinating astronomical objects. One teaspoon of the stuff they are made out of would weigh almost one billion tons, and they have magnetic fields that are hundreds of millions of times more powerful than any magnetic field that exists today on Earth. But we don't know much about how they form. A new paper points to one possible source—mergers of neutron stars.

Study reveals an unprecedented change in Europe's fire regime

A study reveals an unprecedented change in the fire regime in Europe which is related to climate change. The affected areas are in Southern, Central and Northern Europe but this historical change in Europe's fire regime is more intense in the Mediterranean area. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, is led by Jofre Carnicer, lecturer of Ecology at the Faculty of Biology, and...

Triply eclipsing stellar systems

Stars with the mass of the sun or larger are typically accompanied by one or more orbiting companion stars. The system forms when gravity contracts the gas and dust of an interstellar cloud until clumps develop that are dense enough to coalesce into stars. Multiple stellar systems develop, according to one model, when the cloud has a slight spin. That generates a disk that then fragments to...

A step on the way to better therapies against viruses

Most cells can defend themselves against viruses after they have been activated by the body's own messenger substances (interferons). This happens with the help of proteins that recognize invading virus components and interfere with virus replication. One of these proteins is the myxovirus resistance protein B (MxB). It can inhibit many viruses, for example HIV and herpes viruses. But until now it...

Scientists investigate temperature effect on semiconductor optical amplifiers

The effect of temperature on the performance of the semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) is an important research point. Amer Kotb and his colleagues from the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have for the first time investigated the effect of high temperatures on the performance of various SOAs, including conventional SOAs, carrier...

Tidal heating could make exomoons much more habitable (and detectable)

Within the solar system, most of our astrobiological research is aimed at Mars, which is considered to be the next-most habitable body beyond Earth. However, future efforts are aimed at exploring icy satellites in the outer solar system that could also be habitable (like Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and more). This dichotomy between terrestrial (rocky) planets that orbit within their a system's...

What the end of Roe v. Wade means for reproductive rights and privacy

On June 24, the Supreme Court released a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, upholding the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court also ruled 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that protects pregnant people's right to privacy without excessive government restriction.

Historical irrigation leaves long-lasting legacies on the prairie

A hallmark of environmental science is understanding how ecosystems respond to global change. Much of this research focuses on short-term ecosystem responses, such as how an ecosystem responds to a sudden onset of drought. But previous conditions can modify that response. In the same way a formative childhood experience might change how an adult responds to stress, legacy effects can change the...

It takes three: The genetic mutations that made rice cultivation possible

Rice has a long history as a staple food in Japan and other parts of Asia. The results of a new study by an international research collaboration suggest that the emergence of cultivated rice from wild rice plants is the result of three gene mutations that make the seeds (i.e. the grains of rice) fall from the plant less easily.

A new method for predicting the 11-year solar cycle strength

Scientists from Skoltech and their colleagues from the University of Graz & the Kanzelhöhe Observatory (Austria), Hvar Observatory (Croatia), and the Belgian Solar-Terrestrial Center of Excellence—SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium presented a new method to predict the strength of the 11-year solar cycle. The results are important for anticipating and mitigating space weather effects on...

How managers of social media platforms could slow the spread of misinformation

A team of researchers at the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public has found social media platform managers could dramatically reduce the spread of misinformation on their sites by combining just a few simple measures. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group used Twitter data associated with the 2020 presidential election to create a model...

Universal optothermal micro/nanoscale rotors

The fundamental rotation of micro and nano-objects is crucial for the functionality of micro and nanorobotics, as well as three-dimensional imaging and lab-on-a-chip systems. These optical rotation methods can function fuel-free and remotely, and are therefore better suited for experiments, while current methods require laser beams with designed intensity profiles or objects with sophisticated...

Scientists decipher, catalog the diverse origins of Earth's minerals

A 15-year study led by the Carnegie Institution for Science details the origins and diversity of every known mineral on Earth, a landmark body of work that will help reconstruct the history of life on Earth, guide the search for new minerals and ore deposits, predict possible characteristics of future life, and aid the search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.