The mechanics of puncture finally explained
(Press-News.org) The feeling of a needle piercing skin is familiar to most people, especially recently as COVID-19 vaccinations gain momentum. But what exactly happens when a needle punctures skin? The answer is revealed in a new paper published recently in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids.
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Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests
Even in the absence of bark beetle outbreaks and wildfire, trees in Colorado subalpine forests are dying at increasing rates from warmer and drier summer conditions, found recent University of Colorado Boulder research. The study, published in the May print issue of the Journal of Ecology, also found that this trend is increasing. In fact, tree mortality in subalpine Colorado forests not affected by fire or bark beetle outbreaks in the last decade has more than tripled since the 1980s. "We have bark beetle outbreaks and wildfires that cause very obvious mortality of trees in Colorado. But we're showing that even in the areas that people go hiking in and where the forest looks healthy, mortality is increasing ...
New study sheds light on function of sex chromosomes in turtles
AMES, Iowa - A new study led by an Iowa State University scientist sheds light on how organisms have evolved to address imbalances in sex chromosomes. The study looks at a species of softshell turtle, but the results could help to illuminate an important evolutionary process in many species, said Nicole Valenzuela, professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology and lead author of the study. Many organisms determine their sex by a pair of specialized chromosomes that appear in virtually every cell of an organism's body. A matched pair of chromosomes results in one sex, while a mismatched pair results in another sex. For instance, in humans and many other species, sex chromosomes are referred to as X and Y. Typically, two X chromosomes ...
Tweezers of sound can pick objects up without physical contact
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new technology which allows non-contact manipulation of small objects using sound waves. They used a hemispherical array of ultrasound transducers to generate a 3D acoustic fields which stably trapped and lifted a small polystyrene ball from a reflective surface. Although their technique employs a method similar to laser trapping in biology, adaptable to a wider range of particle sizes and materials. The ability to move objects without touching them might sound like magic, but in the world of ...
Early antiviral response in the nose may determine the course of COVID-19
At a glance: Researchers studied cells collected by nasal swabs at the moment of diagnosis for both mild and severe COVID-19 patients Cells taken from patients who went on to develop severe disease had a muted antiviral response compared to those who went on to develop mild disease This suggests that it may be possible to develop early interventions that prevent severe COVID-19 from developing The team also identified infected host cells and pathways associated with protection against infection that may enable new therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections CAMBRIDGE, MA (July 23, 2021) -- Over the past 18 ...
Comprehensive clinical sequencing opens door to the promise of precision medicine
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have demonstrated that comprehensive genomic sequencing of all pediatric cancer patients is feasible and essential to capitalize on the lifesaving potential of precision medicine. Results from the St. Jude Genomes for Kids study appear online today in the journal Cancer Discovery. Whole genome and whole exome sequencing of germline DNA was offered to all 309 patients who enrolled in the study. Whole genome, whole exome and RNA sequencing of tumor DNA was carried out for the 253 patients for whom adequate tumor samples were available. Overall, 86% of patients had at least one ...
Sharks, lies, and videotape: Scientists document problems with shark week
MEADVILLE, PA - July 22, 2021 - Shark Week is many things. First and foremost, it's a week of shark-themed documentary programming on the Discovery Channel. Now in its 33rd year, it's the longest-running cable event in history. It's the biggest audience that marine biologists and ocean conservationists get, attracting millions of viewers who might otherwise not ever think about sharks at all. It's a stage that has launched careers of shark scientists and inspired many others to pursue jobs as ocean scientists. However, a new analysis shows that Shark Week is also deeply flawed in ways that undermine its goals, potentially harming both sharks and shark scientists. To document just how pervasive ...
Making negative opinions agreeable: Study finds social sharing happens in terms of support
Toronto -- People post 500 million tweets and 4 billion pieces of content on Facebook a day. What makes them do it? An urge to share and connect with others seems obvious. But, despite how toxic the social media sandbox can get, people more often share attitudes that are framed in terms of support instead of opposition, according to new research. That happens regardless of whether the opinion itself is positive or negative. Take gun control. The research found that people were likelier to express themselves on that issue in terms of, "I support allowing guns," or, "I support banning guns," versus, "I oppose banning guns," or, "I oppose allowing guns." "There are a lot of controversial issues where both sides talk about what they support - pro-life and pro-choice on abortion, for example," ...
Dalian Coherent Light Source reveals strong isotope effects in photodissociation of water isotopolog
Recently, a research group led by Prof. YUAN Kaijun and Prof. YANG Xueming from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed strong isotope effects in photodissociation of the water isotopologue (HOD) using the Dalian Coherent Light Source. Their findings were published in Science Advances on July 23. "Our experimental results illustrate dramatically different quantum state population distributions of OH and OD fragments from HOD photodissociation. The branching ratios of the H+OD and D+OH channels display large wavelength-dependent isotopic fractionation," said Prof. YUAN. Because ...
New understanding of cell stability with potential to improve immune cell therapies
Research in mice, published today in Science Immunology by researchers at the Babraham Institute, UK and VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium, provides two solutions with potential to overcome a key clinical limitation of immune cell therapies. Regulatory T cells have potential in treating autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases yet they can switch from a protective to damaging function. By identifying the unstable regulatory T cells, and understanding how they can be purged from a cell population, the authors highlight a path forward for regulatory T cell transfer therapy. Cell therapy is based on purifying cells from a patient, growing them up in cell culture to improve their properties, and then reinfusing them into the patient. Professor Adrian ...
New organ-on-a-chip finds crucial interaction between blood, ovarian cancer tumors
In the evolving field of cancer biology and treatment, innovations in organ-on-a-chip microdevices allow researchers to discover more about the disease outside the human body. These organs-on-chips serve as a model of the state an actual cancer patient is in, thus allowing an opportunity to finding the correct treatment before administering it to the patient. At Texas A&M University, researchers are pushing these devices to new levels that could change the way clinicians approach cancer treatment, particularly ovarian cancer. The team has recently submitted a patent disclosure with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. "We claim several novelties in technological ...