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Using the physics of airflows to locate gaseous leaks more quickly in complex scenarios

This robot can out the source of an ethanol leak in a clever way. Rather than just following the strongest scent, the robot plugs measurements of concentration and airflow into a complex partial differential equation and then decides where the most useful position to take another measurement is. By repeating this process, it can find…

Scientists advance creation of ‘artificial lymph node’ to fight cancer, other diseases

T-cells interacting with the transparent gel. Credit: Hawley Pruitt In a proof-of-principle study in mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report the creation of a specialized gel that acts like a lymph node to successfully activate and multiply cancer-fighting immune system T-cells. The work puts scientists a step closer, they say, to injecting such artificial…

Tiny fragment of a comet found inside a meteorite

The arrow in this view of the LaPaz meteorite points to where the scientists found the carbon-rich cometary fragment. The colors are produced polarized light shining through a thin slice of the meteorite; the grid lines are spaced one millimeter apart. Credit: Carles Moyano-Cambero, Institute of Space Sciences, Barcelona A tiny piece of the building…

Bioengineers program cells as digital signal processors

Synthetic biologists designed a system for engineering cells that respond digitally to analog signals. Cells are pre-programmed to produce transcriptional protein components (top left) in proportion to the strength of an incoming signal. Upon reaching a critical concentration, components self-assemble (top right) into a protein complex that initiates transcription of a pre-programmed target gene. The…

Researchers use 3D printer to print glass

Researchers demonstrated 3D printing of chalcogenide glass, which can be used to make optical components that operate at mid-infrared wavelengths. This 3D printed glass sample is 14 millimeters long. Credit: Steeve Morency, Université Laval For the first time, researchers have successfully 3D printed chalcogenide glass, a unique material used to make optical components that operate…

Hubble celebrates its 29th birthday with unrivaled view of the Southern Crab Nebula

This is the Southern Crab Nebula -- Hubble's 29th anniversary image. Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI This incredible image of the hourglass-shaped Southern Crab Nebula was taken to mark the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's 29th anniversary in space. The nebula, created by a binary star system, is one of the many objects that Hubble has…

New immune pathway involved in resistance to parasite worms found in undercooked pork

These are infective Trichinela spiralis larvae. Credit: John Worthington Scientists from Lancaster University in the UK have discovered that immune responses originally found to prevent fungal infections are also important in eliminating Trichinella spiralis, a round worm and the causative agent of Trichinosis. People acquire trichinellosis by consuming raw or undercooked meat infected with the…

Infamous ‘death roll’ almost universal among crocodile species

Paleosuchus palpebrosus, also known as Cuvier's dwarf caiman. Credit: Kent Vliet/University of Florida. The iconic "death roll" of alligators and crocodiles may be more common among species than previously believed, according to a new study published in Ethology, Ecology & Evolution and coauthored by a researcher at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Contrary to popular…

Novel antibody may suppress HIV for up to four months

Microscopic image of an HIV-infected T cell. Credit: NIAID Regular infusions of an antibody that blocks the HIV binding site on human immune cells may have suppressed levels of HIV for up to four months in people undergoing a short-term pause in their antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens, according to a report published online today in…

Antimicrobial paints have a blind spot

This is a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image ofBacillus timonensis. Credit: Jinglin Hu/Northwestern University Antimicrobial paints offer the promise of extra protection against bacteria. But Northwestern University researchers caution that these paints might be doing more harm than good. In a new study, the researchers tested bacteria commonly found inside homes on samples of drywall…

Amazonian soils mapped using indicator species

Different fern species require different kinds of soil to grow, so their presence can be used to deduce site conditions. Credit: Gabriela Zuquim Understanding the ecology and distributions of species in Amazonia is hampered by lack of information about environmental conditions, such as soils. Plant occurrence data are typically more abundant than soil samples in…

New deep-learning approach predicts protein structure from amino acid sequence

Proteins function by folding into myriad, precise 3D structures. Credit: Mohammed AlQuraishi Nearly every fundamental biological process necessary for life is carried out by proteins. They create and maintain the shapes of cells and tissues; constitute the enzymes that catalyze life-sustaining chemical reactions; act as molecular factories, transporters and motors; serve as both signal and…

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath

Hearts with with the computer optimized patch (second column from the left) remodeled less that those with no patch at all (far left column) and hearts patched with suboptimal properties (right columns). Credit: Brown/Fudan/Soochow Universities Researchers have designed a new type of adhesive patch that can be placed directly on the heart and may one…

The Cerrado once connected the Andes with the Atlantic Rainforest

Bird species Syndactyla rufosuperciliata. A genetic and computational analysis of birds suggests that the Andean and Atlantic tropical forests, which are now almost a thousand kilometers apart, were connected via the Cerrado in the distant past. Credit: Gustavo Cabanne The tropical forests of the Andes and Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest biome are separated by almost 1,000…

Solar evaporator offers a fresh route to fresh water

A self-cleaning device made of wood aims to make small-scale desalination more practical. Credit: John T. Consoli/University of Maryland About a billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. Desalinating salty water into drinkable water can help to fill this dangerous gap. But traditional desalination systems are far too expensive to install…

New study shows people used natural dyes to color their clothing thousands of years...

With the help their new method the researchers were able to reconstruct the distribution of the dyes. Credit: Annemarie Kramell Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes. Chemists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have created new analytical methods to examine textiles from China and…

How to defend the Earth from asteroids

The NEOWISE space telescope spotted Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina speeding by Earth on August 28, 2015. This comet swung in from the Oort Cloud, the shell of cold, frozen material that surrounds the Sun in the most distant part of the solar system far beyond the orbit of Neptune. NEOWISE captured the comet as it…

Mercury has a solid inner core: New evidence

An illustration of Mercury's interior based on new research that shows the planet has a solid inner core. Credit: Antonio Genova Scientists have long known that Earth and Mercury have metallic cores. Like Earth, Mercury's outer core is composed of liquid metal, but there have only been hints that Mercury's innermost core is solid. Now,…

Biosensor ‘bandage’ collects and analyzes sweat

Biosensor bandage before (left) and after (right) sweat secretion. Credit: American Chemical Society Like other biofluids, sweat contains a wealth of information about what's going on inside the body. However, collecting the fluid for analysis, usually by dripping or absorbing it from the skin's surface, can be time-consuming and messy. Now, researchers have developed a…

Giving robots a better feel for object manipulation

A new “particle simulator” developed by MIT researchers improves robots’ abilities to mold materials into simulated target shapes and interact with solid objects and liquids. This could give robots a refined touch for industrial applications or for personal robotics— such as shaping clay or rolling sticky sushi rice. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers A new…

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