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US corn and soybean maladapted to climate variations, study shows

US corn and soybean maladapted to climate variations, study shows
2021-07-16
URBANA, Ill. - U.S. corn and soybean varieties have become increasingly heat and drought resistant as agricultural production adapts to a changing climate. But the focus on developing crops for extreme conditions has negatively affected performance under normal weather patterns, a University of Illinois study shows. "Since the 1950s, advances in breeding and management practices have made corn and soybean more resilient to extreme heat and drought. However, there is a cost for it. Crop productivity with respect to the normal temperature and precipitation is getting lower," says Chengzheng Yu, doctoral student in the Department ...

Autism can be detected during toddlerhood using a brief questionnaire

2021-07-16
New research led by the University of Cambridge suggests that autism can be detected at 18-30 months using the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Q-CHAT), but it is not possible to identify every child at a young age who will later be diagnosed as autistic. The results are published today in The BMJ Paediatrics Open. The team at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge conducted a prospective population screening study of nearly 4,000 toddlers using a parent-report instrument they developed, called the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Q-CHAT). Toddlers were screened at 18 months and followed up at 4 years. The ...

First 3D simulation of rat's complete whisker system acts as a tactile 'camera'

2021-07-16
Northwestern University engineers have developed the first full, three-dimensional (3D), dynamic simulation of a rat's complete whisker system, offering rare, realistic insight into how rats obtain tactile information. Called WHISKiT, the new model incorporates 60 individual whiskers, which are each anatomically, spatially and geometrically correct. The technology could help researchers predict how whiskers activate different sensory cells to influence which signals are sent to the brain as well as provide new insights into the mysterious nature of human touch. The research was published last week in the Proceedings ...

Bats are kings of small talk in the air

Bats are kings of small talk in the air
2021-07-16
Bat conversations might be light on substance, according to researchers from the University of Cincinnati. Echoes from bats are so simple that a sound file of their calls can be compressed 90% without losing much information, according to a study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. The study demonstrates how bats have evolved to rely on redundancy in their navigational "language" to help them stay oriented in their complex three-dimensional world. "If you can make decisions with little information, everything becomes simpler. That's nice because you don't need a lot of complex neural machinery to process and store that information," study co-author Dieter Vanderelst ...

Organic electronics possibly soon to enter the GHz-regime

Organic electronics possibly soon to enter the GHz-regime
2021-07-16
Physicists of the Technische Universität Dresden introduce the first implementation of a complementary vertical organic transistor technology, which is able to operate at low voltage, with adjustable inverter properties, and a fall and rise time demonstrated in inverter and ring-oscillator circuits of less than 10 nanoseconds, respectively. With this new technology they are just a stone's throw away from the commercialization of efficient, flexible and printable electronics of the future. Their groundbreaking findings are published in the renowned journal "Nature Electronics". Poor performance is still impeding the commercialization ...

Study identifies monoclonal antibodies that may neutralize many norovirus variants

Study identifies monoclonal antibodies that may neutralize many norovirus variants
2021-07-16
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have taken a big step toward developing targeted treatments and vaccines against a family of viruses that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. Each year in the United States circulating strains of the human norovirus are responsible for approximately 20 million cases of acute gastroenteritis. Hallmark symptoms include severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting. Several vaccine candidates are in clinical trials, but it is unclear how effective they will be, given the periodic emergence of novel norovirus variants. Developing ...

New Sinai Health research finds common denominator linking all cancers

New Sinai Health research finds common denominator linking all cancers
2021-07-16
All cancers fall into just two categories, according to new research from scientists at Sinai Health, in findings that could provide a new strategy for treating the most aggressive and untreatable forms of the disease. In new research out this month in Cancer Cell, scientists at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI), part of Sinai Health, divide all cancers into two groups, based on the presence or absence of a protein called the Yes-associated protein, or YAP. Rod Bremner, senior scientist at the LTRI, said they have determined that all cancers ...

NIH-funded study finds gene therapy may restore missing enzyme in rare disease

2021-07-16
WHAT: A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that gene therapy delivered into the brain may be safe and effective in treating aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency. AADC deficiency is a rare neurological disorder that develops in infancy and leads to near absent levels of certain brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine, that are critical for movement, behavior, and sleep. Children with the disorder have severe developmental, mood dysfunction including irritability, and motor disabilities including problems with talking ...

Emergent magnetic monopoles isolated using quantum-annealing computer

Emergent magnetic monopoles isolated using quantum-annealing computer
2021-07-16
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 15, 2021-- Using a D-Wave quantum-annealing computer as a testbed, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have shown that it is possible to isolate so-called emergent magnetic monopoles, a class of quasiparticles, creating a new approach to developing "materials by design." "We wanted to study emergent magnetic monopoles by exploiting the collective dynamics of qubits," said Cristiano Nisoli, a lead Los Alamos author of the study. "Magnetic monopoles, as elementary particles with only one magnetic pole, have been hypothesized by many, and famously by Dirac, but have proved elusive so far." They realized an artificial spin ice by using the superconducting qubits of the quantum machine as a magnetic building block. Generating magnetic materials ...

Watching the ultrafast dance moves of a laser plasma

2021-07-16
Great leaps in science and technology have been propelled by recent advances in seeing fast evolving physical phenomena, as they happen. Femtosecond lasers from the infrared to the X-ray region have enabled us to 'watch', in real time, atoms dance in molecules and solids on femtosecond and picosecond timescales. Watching such fascinating motions not just in real time but at the spatial locations where they happen, is a bigger challenge. It is precisely this advance that has been made by a team of researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, York University and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, UK [1]. They exploded a solid surface with an ultrahigh ...

How micro-circuits in the brain regulate fear

How micro-circuits in the brain regulate fear
2021-07-16
Fear is an important reaction that warns and protects us from danger. But when fear responses are out of control, this can lead to persistent fears and anxiety disorders. In Europe, about 15 percent of the population is affected by anxiety disorders. Existing therapies remain largely unspecific or are not generally effective, because the detailed neurobiological understanding of these disorders is lacking. What was known so far is that distinct nerve cells interact together to regulate fear responses by promoting or suppressing them. Different circuits of nerve cells are involved in this process. A kind of "tug-of-war" takes place, with one brain circuit ...

The paradox of a free-electron laser without the laser

2021-07-16
A new way of producing coherent light in the ultra-violet spectral region, which points the way to developing brilliant table-top x-ray sources, has been produced in research led at the University of Strathclyde. The scientists have developed a type of ultra-short wavelength coherent light source that does not require laser action to produce coherence. Common electron-beam based light sources, known as fourth-generation light sources, are based on the free-electron laser (FEL), which uses an undulator to convert electron beam energy into X-rays. Coherent light sources are powerful tools that enable research in many areas of medicine, biology, material sciences, chemistry and physics. This new way of producing coherent radiation could revolutionise light sources, as it would ...

New optimisation method for computational design of industrial applications

New optimisation method for computational design of industrial applications
2021-07-16
In the field of industrial engineering, using simulations to model, predict and even optimise the response of a system or device is widespread, as it is less expensive and less complex -and, sometimes, less dangerous- than fabricating and testing several prototypes. This type of simulation studies uses numerical methods that, depending on the problem to be addressed -for example, reducing the aerodynamic forces of an aircraft by changing its shape or using the minimum possible amount of material on elements under loading without breaking- require the simulation of a wide variety of possible combinational cases, which entails high computational costs. The researchers from the School of Industrial Engineering of the University of Malaga Francisco Javier Granados Ortiz ...

Neuro-evolutionary robotics: A gap between simulation and reality

2021-07-16
Neuro-evolutionary robotics is an attractive approach to realize collective behaviors for swarms of robots. Despite the large number of studies that have been devoted to it and although many methods and ideas have been proposed, empirical evaluations and comparative analyses are rare. A publication in the journal Nature Communications, led by Mauro Birattari and his team at the research center IRIDIA, École Polytechnique de Bruxelles, Université Libre de Bruxelles, compares some of the most popular and advanced neuro-evolutionary methods for offline design of robot swarms. "Concretely, these ...

RUDN University biologists prove the anticancer potential of macrophages

RUDN University biologists prove the anticancer potential of macrophages
2021-07-16
RUDN University biologists discovered the way how macrophages (the cells of the "first line" immune response) respond to inflammation and identified how the immune response depends on their origin. It turned out that when exposed to an inflammatory stimulus, two opposing mechanisms are activated in macrophages simultaneously -- inducing and inhibiting inflammation. These data can potentially be useful in the treatment of cancer, as targeted activation of macrophages will strengthen the immune response of the organism in the fight against a tumor. The results were published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. Macrophages are the cells responsible for phagocytosis -- they capture bacteria, the dead cells remains ...

New discoveries and insights into the glass transition

New discoveries and insights into the glass transition
2021-07-16
A collaborative group from Tohoku University and Johns Hopkins University have provided valuable insights into the glass transition. When a liquid is cooled rapidly, it gains viscosity and eventually becomes a rigid solid glass. The point at which it does so is known as the glass transition. But the exact physics behind the glass transition, and the nature of glass in general, still pose many questions for scientists. Metallic Glasses (MGs) are highly sought after since they combine the flexibility of plastic with the strength of steel. They are amorphous materials with a disordered atomic structure and exhibit unique and divergent thermodynamic ...

Non-genetic photoacoustic stimulation of single neurons by a tapered fiber optoacoustic emitter

Non-genetic photoacoustic stimulation of single neurons by a tapered fiber optoacoustic emitter
2021-07-16
Neuromodulation at high spatial resolution has been an invaluable approach for treating neurological diseases and advancing fundamental knowledge in the field of neuroscience, as firing of a small population or even single neurons can specifically alter animal behavior or brain state. Optogenetics is a powerful method capable of modulating population neural activity in rodents, yet its requirement for viral transfection limits its applications in nonhuman primates and humans. As a rapidly growing modality, focused ultrasound has been harnessed in a myriad of brain neuromodulation applications. However, conventional piezo-based transducers offer a spatial resolution of several millimeters. It is also challenging ...

Ludwig Cancer Research study reveals even transient chromosomal errors can initiate cancer

2021-07-16
JULY 15, 2021, NEW YORK - A Ludwig Cancer Research study has found that inducing random chromosome instability (CIN) events in mice for as little as one week is enough to trigger harmful chromosomal patterns in cells that spur the formation of tumors. "We show that you don't need chronic, lifelong chromosomal mistakes to produce tumorigenesis at a quite respectable frequency," said Don Cleveland, Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego, who led the study with Floris Foijer of the University of Groningen, in The Netherlands. "A very transient exposure would likely be sufficient to drive a very substantial increase in tumorigenesis." The finding, detailed this week in the journal END ...

Evaluation of India's 'Mission Indradhanush' finds improvements in vaccination outcomes

2021-07-16
Washington, DC / New Delhi, India - Researchers at CDDEP recently published 'Improving vaccination coverage and timeliness through periodic intensification of routine immunization: evidence from Mission Indradhanush' where they evaluated the performance of India's Mission Indradhanush (MI) child vaccination campaign -- a periodic intensification of the routine immunization program. Each year, 1.2 million Indian children die, accounting for a fifth of global under-5 deaths. Over 400,000 of these deaths are from vaccine-preventable diseases. An estimated 38% of Indian children under the age of two years were not-fully-immunized in 2016. Additionally, vaccinated children received 23%-35% of the doses of polio, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus ...

Psychiatric patients at increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality

2021-07-16
Main points Strong evidence that patients with pre-existent mental disorders are twice as likely to die or be hospitalised after SARS-CoV-2 infection Psychotic and mood disorders are linked with COVID-19-associated mortality, as are exposure to antipsychotic and anxiolytic treatments. Patients with substance use disorders are at increased risk of hospitalisation. In the largest systematic review and meta-analysis to date on COVID-19 outcomes in individuals with psychiatric disorders, the odds of dying or being hospitalized following COVID-19 ...

Scientists get to the bottom of deep Pacific ventilation

2021-07-16
The team's findings, with important implications for ocean biogeochemistry and climate science, have been published by Nature Communications in a paper by Associate Professor Mark Holzer from UNSW Science's School of Mathematics & Statistics, with co-authors Tim DeVries (UCSB) and Casimir de Lavergne (LOCEAN). "The deep North Pacific is a vast reservoir of remineralized nutrients and respired carbon that have accumulated over centuries," says A/Prof. Holzer. "When these deep waters are returned to the surface, their nutrients support biological production and their dissolved CO2 can be released into the atmosphere. As such, the deep Pacific plays a key ...

Noninvasive, label-free optical method visualizes deep, cellular brain disease in vivo

Noninvasive, label-free optical method visualizes deep, cellular brain disease in vivo
2021-07-16
Central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) manifest early at the microscopic (i.e. cellular) level, deep in the brain. Yet, optical microscopes that can see cells in the living brain are superficial or invasive. Whole brain imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging are deep and non-invasive, but lack cellular resolution. In a new paper published in Light Science & Application, a team of scientists, led by Professor Vivek J. Srinivasan from the Departments of Ophthalmology and Radiology and Tech4Health Institute, ...

Complexity yields simplicity: The shifting dynamics of temperate marine ecosystems

Complexity yields simplicity: The shifting dynamics of temperate marine ecosystems
2021-07-16
Shizuoka, Japan - At Shikine Island, Japan, kelp forests and abalone fisheries were once common, but over the last twenty years they have disappeared. Now, researchers from Japan have discovered that these temperate coastal marine ecosystems are becoming more "simple", losing biodiversity, complexity and their aesthetic values. In a study published this month, researchers from the University of Tsukuba and international collaborators explored how the combined effects of ocean warming and acidification are changing temperate coastal marine ecosystems. Tropical coastal seas are synonymous with coral reefs. As ocean temperatures cool toward the poles, corals give way to kelp as the main habitat-forming species. The shift from coral to kelp can clearly be seen along the 2000 km ...

Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronics

Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronics
2021-07-16
The laws of quantum physics rule the microcosm. They determine, for example, how easily electrons move through a crystal and thus whether the material is a metal, a semiconductor or an insulator. Quantum physics may lead to exotic properties in certain materials: In so-called topological insulators, only the electrons that can occupy some specific quantum states are free to move like massless particles on the surface, while this mobility is completely absent for electrons in the bulk. What's more, the conduction electrons in the "skin" of the material are necessarily spin polarized, and form robust, metallic surface states that could be utilized as channels in which to drive pure spin currents on femtosecond ...

Researchers reveal cause of Jupiter's x-ray aurorae

Researchers reveal cause of Jupiters x-ray aurorae
2021-07-16
An international research team led by YAO Zhonghua from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS) has explained the cause of Jupiter's X-ray aurorae, a mystery that has puzzled scientists for 40 years. The findings were published in Science Advances on July 9. It is the first time planetary researchers have described the entire causality chain for Jupiter's X-ray auroral flares. The mechanism in producing X-ray auroral flares at Jupiter may have potential applications in X-ray astronomy. The X-ray auroral spectra tell us these aurorae are produced by heavy ions with energies in the ...
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