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An automated flight control system for drone swarms has been developed

An automated flight control system for drone swarms has been developed
2021-07-19
"The project's main objective is to integrate a certain degree of automation, so that an operator can control a small fleet of up to 10 drones from a single ground station," says Luis E. Moreno, LABYRINTH's coordinator and researcher at the UC3M's Robotics Lab. "The idea is that the operator indicates the mission to be undertaken (for example, monitoring traffic in a particular area) and the system automatically converts this mission into a set of routes that each drone has to follow, automatically calculating alternative routes when necessary," he explains. In addition ...

Unsustainable Arctic shipping risks accelerating damage to the Arctic environment

2021-07-19
The economic and environmental pros and cons of melting Arctic ice creating shorter shipping routes through the polar region are weighed up in ground-breaking research from UCL experts in energy and transport. They conclude that policy makers must properly assess the environmental trade-offs and costs in addition to the commercial benefits and opportunities in Arctic shipping. The authors also want to see more incentives to drive technological developments that will accelerate the uptake of green fuels and technologies. The Arctic is the fastest-warming region on the planet. Shorter Arctic shipping routes, which mean less fuel used are already used by a handful of ships, when areas of the Arctic ice melt ...

No stone unturned: An extensive search for cation substitution in lithium-ion batteries

No stone unturned: An extensive search for cation substitution in lithium-ion batteries
2021-07-19
Ishikawa, Japan - Powering everything from smartphones to electric cars, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have evolved markedly with advances in technology and revolutionized our world. The next step in the progress of technology is developing even better batteries to power electronic devices for longer durations. One promising technique for increasing battery performance involves the atomic substitution of positively charged ions or "cations" in the cathode material. However, doing so systematically for different substituent cations to determine the ideal ones experimentally is complex and expensive, leaving us with simulations as the only viable option for narrowing down the choices. Several studies have reported an improved battery life and ...

uOttawa study first to investigate newly introduced butterfly which could become widespread in Canada

uOttawa study first to investigate newly introduced butterfly which could become widespread in Canada
2021-07-19
This summer, if you see a butterfly with wings that are blue on top with orange spots underneath, you may have crossed paths with a male European Common Blue (or Polyommatus icarus), a newly introduced species in Canada. Could it be a fluke? Probably not, according to a group of researchers from the University of Ottawa who have taken a close look at this captivating blue creature. They are in fact the first to study its ecology. "The results of our study suggest that the Polyommatus icarus (P. icarus) could become widespread in the future since it prefers urban areas," said uOttawa PhD student Stephanie Rivest, who is the first ...

Cosmic rays help supernovae explosions pack a bigger punch

Cosmic rays help supernovae explosions pack a bigger punch
2021-07-19
The final stage of cataclysmic explosions of dying massive stars, called supernovae, could pack an up to six times bigger punch on the surrounding interstellar gas with the help of cosmic rays, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Oxford. The work will be presented by PhD student Francisco Rodríguez Montero today (19 July) at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021). When supernovae explode, they emit light and billions of particles into space. While the light can freely reach us, particles become trapped in spiral loops by magnetic shockwaves generated during the explosions. Crossing back and forth through shock fronts, these particles are accelerated almost to the speed of light and, on escaping the supernovae, are thought ...

To die or not to die in response to stress, a decision regulated by MK2 protein levels

To die or not to die in response to stress, a decision regulated by MK2 protein levels
2021-07-19
Living organisms are often exposed to stress stimuli generated either by external or internal factors, and they need to respond accordingly. At a cellular level, stress usually triggers the activation of survival pathways that contribute to the recovery of cell homeostasis. However, when stress is too high, a process of cell death is initiated that eliminates the damaged cell. Scientists led by ICREA researcher Dr. Angel Nebreda, head of the Signalling and Cell Cycle laboratory at IRB Barcelona, have identified an important role of the p38-MK2 pathway in determining cell fate in response to stress. "Our ...

Novel techniques extract more accurate data from images degraded by environmental factors

Novel techniques extract more accurate data from images degraded by environmental factors
2021-07-19
Computer vision technology is increasingly used in areas such as automatic surveillance systems, self-driving cars, facial recognition, healthcare and social distancing tools. Users require accurate and reliable visual information to fully harness the benefits of video analytics applications but the quality of the video data is often affected by environmental factors such as rain, night-time conditions or crowds (where there are multiple images of people overlapping with each other in a scene). Using computer vision and deep learning, a team of researchers led by Yale-NUS College Associate Professor of Science (Computer Science) Robby Tan, who is also from the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Engineering, ...

A simple compound to control complex gut microbes

A simple compound to control complex gut microbes
2021-07-19
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) have discovered that acetate, a major metabolite produced by some intestinal bacteria, is involved in regulating other intestinal bacteria. Specifically, experiments showed that acetate could trigger an immune response against potentially harmful bacteria. The findings, published in the scientific journal Nature, will lead to the development of new ways to regulate the balance of intestinal bacteria. You may be surprised to know that 40 trillion important bacteria live in our intestines. They help keep us healthy by producing essential nutrients and eliminating foreign pathogens. On the other ...

High respiratory efforts in COVID-19 patients could result in self-inflicted lung injury

2021-07-19
Some COVID-19 patients who experience acute respiratory failure respond by significantly increasing their respiratory effort - breathing faster and more deeply There is concern among some doctors that this level of respiratory effort can lead to further damage to these patients' lungs. Working with an international team of leading intensive care clinicians, engineering researchers at the University of Warwick have used computational modelling to provide new evidence that high respiratory efforts in COVID-19 patients can produce pressures and strains inside the lung that can result in injury. The impact of high breathing efforts on the lungs of patients suffering with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 ...

At last: Separated and freshly bound

2021-07-19
The carbon-hydrogen bonds in alkanes--particularly those at the ends of the molecules, where each carbon has three hydrogen atoms bound to it--are very hard to "crack" if you want to replace the hydrogen atoms with other atoms. Methane (CH(4)) and ethane (CH(3)CH(3)) are made up, exclusively, of such tightly bound hydrogen atoms. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a team of researchers has now described how they break these bonds while forming new carbon-nitrogen bonds (amidation). If it were possible to easily break the C-H bonds in hydrocarbons, it would be possible to synthesize complex organic ...

Kids' sleep: check in before you switch off

Kids sleep: check in before you switch off
2021-07-19
The struggle to get your child to go to sleep and stay asleep is something most parents can relate to. Once the bedtime battle is over and the kids have finally nodded off, many parents tune out as well. But University of South Australia researcher Professor Kurt Lushington is calling for parents to check on their small snoozers before switching off. He says knowing the quality of a child's sleep is important, as it could be an indicator of sleep-disordered breathing - an under-reported medical condition that can affect a child's health and wellbeing. "During sleep, the muscles keeping the upper airway stiff relax, and as a consequence, the airway narrows, which ...

Scientists adopt deep learning for multi-object tracking

Scientists adopt deep learning for multi-object tracking
2021-07-19
Computer vision has progressed much over the past decade and made its way into all sorts of relevant applications, both in academia and in our daily lives. There are, however, some tasks in this field that are still extremely difficult for computers to perform with acceptable accuracy and speed. One example is object tracking, which involves recognizing persistent objects in video footage and tracking their movements. While computers can simultaneously track more objects than humans, they usually fail to discriminate the appearance of different objects. This, in turn, can lead to the algorithm to mix up objects in a scene and ultimately produce incorrect tracking results. At the Gwangju Institute of Science ...

Bats in Tel Aviv enjoy the rich variety and abundance of food the city has to offer

Bats in Tel Aviv enjoy the rich variety and abundance of food the city has to offer
2021-07-19
A new Tel Aviv University study found that, like humans, bats living in Tel Aviv enjoy the wide variety and abundance of food that the city has to offer, in contrast to rural bats living in Beit Guvrin, who are content eating only one type of food. The study was led by research student Katya Egert-Berg, under the guidance of Prof. Yossi Yovel, head of Tel Aviv University's Sagol School of Neuroscience and a faculty member of the School of Zoology in the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, as well as a recipient of the 2021 Kadar Family Award for Outstanding ...

July issues of American Psychiatric Association journals

2021-07-19
The July issues of two of the American Psychiatric Association journals, The American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Services are available online. The American Journal of Psychiatry is the most widely read psychiatric journal in the world. Its July issue offers a collection of articles discussing the impacts of structural racism, socioeconomic deprivation and stigmatization on mental health. This includes the article From Womb to Neighborhood: A Racial Analysis of Social Determinants of Psychosis in the United States, which was featured at the APA Annual Meeting in May. Among other highlights: Dismantling Structural Racism in Psychiatry: A Path to Mental Health Equity Modification of Heritability for Educational Attainment and Fluid Intelligence by Socioeconomic ...

Researcher's work with flies could be birth control boon

2021-07-19
When it comes to making eggs, female flies and female humans are surprisingly similar. And that could be a boon for women seeking better birth control methods, a UConn researcher reports in the July 5 issue of PNAS. There are about 61 million women of reproductive age in the US, and about 43 million of them are sexually active but don't want a pregnancy right now, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And while there are a dozen or so different methods of birth control available, most have undesirable side effects for some of the women who try them. Despite the need, ...

Remote sensing techniques help treat and manage hollow forests

Remote sensing techniques help treat and manage hollow forests
2021-07-19
Using advanced remote sensing techniques can help the early detection of oak tree decline and control many other forest diseases worldwide, says new research from Swansea University. The research published in Remote Sensing of Environment examined holm oak decline, which in its early stages causes changes to the tree's physiological condition that is not readily visible. It is only later, when the tree is more advanced in its decline, that outward changes to its leaf pigment and canopy structure become apparent. The researchers used an integrated approach of hyperspectral and thermal imaging, a 3-D radiative transfer ...

CHOP researchers establish novel approach for developing new antibiotics

CHOP researchers establish novel approach for developing new antibiotics
2021-07-19
Philadelphia, July 19, 2021--Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed a novel method for producing new antibiotics to combat resistant bacteria. Through an approach that would target bacteria with an antibiotic that is masked by a prodrug, which the bacteria would themselves remove, the researchers identified a method that would allow for development of new, effective antibiotics that could overcome issues of resistance. The findings were published today in eLife. "We've created a sort of 'Trojan Horse' that would allow antibiotics to reach desired tissues undisturbed, ...

Firefighters found to have persistent lung damage from Fort McMurray wildfire

Firefighters found to have persistent lung damage from Fort McMurray wildfire
2021-07-19
(Edmonton, AB) Firefighters at the centre of the battle against the massive Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 have persistent lung damage, according to new findings published by a University of Alberta occupational health research team. "Those who were dealing with burning organic matter were exposed to a barrage of small particles in the smoke, and the ones with the highest exposure have long-term consequences," said principal investigator Nicola Cherry, an occupational epidemiologist, professor of medicine and Tripartite Chair of Occupational Health in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. The firefighters had more ...

A small molecule induces readthrough of cystic fibrosis CFTR nonsense mutations

A small molecule induces readthrough of cystic fibrosis CFTR nonsense mutations
2021-07-19
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An experimental drug reported in Nature Communications suggests that a "path is clearly achievable" to treat currently untreatable cases of cystic fibrosis disease caused by nonsense mutations. This includes about 11 percent of cystic fibrosis patients, as well as patients with other genetic diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, β-thalassemia and numerous types of cancers, that are also caused by nonsense mutations. The drug is a small molecule with a novel mechanism of action, say David Bedwell, Ph.D., and Steven Rowe, M.D., MSPH, co-senior authors. Bedwell is professor and chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Biochemistry and Molecular ...

New sunspot catalogue to improve space weather predictions

New sunspot catalogue to improve space weather predictions
2021-07-19
Scientists from the University of Graz, Kanzelhöhe Observatory, Skoltech, and the World Data Center SILSO at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, have presented the Catalogue of Hemispheric Sunspot Numbers. It will enable more accurate predictions of the solar cycle and space weather, which can affect human-made infrastructure both on Earth and in orbit. The study came out in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal, and the catalogue is available from SILSO -- the World Data Center for the production, preservation, and dissemination of the international sunspot number. Our Sun is a big boiling ball of gas, most of which is so hot that electrons are ripped off from atoms, creating a circulating mix of charged particles, called plasma. These moving charges ...

Repairing hearts with deadly spider venom

Repairing hearts with deadly spider venom
2021-07-19
A potentially life-saving treatment for heart attack victims has been discovered from a very unlikely source - the venom of one of the world's deadliest spiders. A drug candidate developed from a molecule found in the venom of the Fraser Island (K'gari) funnel web spider can prevent damage caused by a heart attack and extend the life of donor hearts used for organ transplants. The discovery was made by a team led by END ...

Researchers reveal pathogenesis and therapeutic strategy of pre-engraftment syndrome

Researchers reveal pathogenesis and therapeutic strategy of pre-engraftment syndrome
2021-07-19
The research team led by Prof. WEI Haiming and Prof. TIAN Zhigang from Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), collaborating with the research group led by Prof. SUN Zimin from the First Affiliated Hospital of USTC revealed the pathological mechanism of severe pre-engraftment syndrome (PES) after umbilical cord blood transplantation, not only providing a treatment strategy for patients with PES, but significantly guiding for further improvement in the curative effect of unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT). This study was published in Nature Communications. UCBT is an important means to cure hematological ...

Deconstructing the infectious machinery of SARS-CoV-2

Deconstructing the infectious machinery of SARS-CoV-2
2021-07-19
In February 2020, a trio of bio-imaging experts were sitting amiably around a dinner table at a scientific conference in Washington, D.C., when the conversation shifted to what was then a worrying viral epidemic in China. Without foreseeing the global disaster to come, they wondered aloud how they might contribute. Nearly a year and a half later, those three scientists and their many collaborators across three national laboratories have published a comprehensive study in Biophysical Journal that - alongside other recent, complementary studies of coronavirus proteins ...

Chemists found an effective remedy for "aged" brain diseases

Chemists found an effective remedy for aged brain diseases
2021-07-19
Russian scientists have synthesized chemical compounds that can stop the degeneration of neurons in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other severe brain pathologies. These substances can provide a breakthrough in the treatment of neurodegenerative pathologies. New molecules of pyrrolyl- and indolylazine classes activate intracellular mechanisms to combat one of the main causes of "aged" brain diseases - an excess of so-called amyloid structures that accumulate in the human brain with age. The essence of the study was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Experts from the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian ...

The mathematics of repulsion for new graphene catalysts

The mathematics of repulsion for new graphene catalysts
2021-07-19
A new mathematical model helps predict the tiny changes in carbon-based materials that could yield interesting properties. Scientists at Tohoku University and colleagues in Japan have developed a mathematical model that abstracts the key effects of changes to the geometries of carbon material and predicts its unique properties. The details were published in the journal Carbon. Scientists generally use mathematical models to predict the properties that might emerge when a material is changed in certain ways. Changing the geometry of three-dimensional (3D) graphene, which is made of networks of carbon atoms, by adding chemicals or introducing topological defects, can improve its catalytic properties, for example. But it has been difficult for scientists to understand why this happens exactly. The ...
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