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Swarm of autonomous tiny drones can localize gas leaks

Swarm of autonomous tiny drones can localize gas leaks
2021-07-14
When there is a gas leak in a large building or at an industrial site, human firefighters currently need to go in with gas sensing instruments. Finding the gas leak may take considerable time, while they are risking their lives. Researchers from TU Delft (the Netherlands), University of Barcelona, and Harvard University have now developed the first swarm of tiny - and hence very safe - drones that can autonomously detect and localize gas sources in cluttered indoor environments. The main challenge the researchers needed to solve was to design the Artificial Intelligence for this complex task that would fit in the tight computational and memory constraints of the tiny drones. They solved this challenge by means of bio-inspired navigation and search strategies. The scientific ...

Study highlights need to replace 'ancestry' in forensics with something more accurate

Study highlights need to replace ancestry in forensics with something more accurate
2021-07-14
A new study finds forensics researchers use terms related to ancestry and race in inconsistent ways, and calls for the discipline to adopt a new approach to better account for both the fluidity of populations and how historical events have shaped our skeletal characteristics. "Forensic anthropology is a science, and we need to use terms consistently," says Ann Ross, corresponding author of the study and a professor of biological sciences at North Carolina State University. "Our study both highlights our discipline's challenges in discussing issues ...

Sweet spot for membrane thickness offers sustainable separations

2021-07-14
Super-thin carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes may not be best for separating industrially important chemical mixtures. However, ensuring the CMS film thickness is just right could enable more energy-efficient purification of chemical products, KAUST researchers have shown. CMS membranes, as their name suggests, can purify mixtures of liquids or gases by permitting only certain molecules to pass through their subnanometer-sized pores. Currently, the chemical industry mainly uses heat-based processes such as distillation to separate product mixtures, but these processes consume about 10 percent of global energy output. "This situation is highly unsustainable," says Wojciech Ogieglo, a research scientist at KAUST. "We believe that a good ...

How does exhaled heated tobacco aerosol behave in the air?

How does exhaled heated tobacco aerosol behave in the air?
2021-07-14
The premise of heated tobacco (HT) is simple: tobacco leaf is heated, never burnt, so avoiding many harmful by-products of combustion for the user. The exhaled 'mist' is correctly termed an aerosol, which is almost invisible and far less dense and pungent than the exhaled smoke from combustible cigarettes. Another advantage of HT is that there are no 'side-stream' emissions to impact air quality (or disturb bystanders - these emissions form part of the ambient smoke that's often known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or 'second-hand' smoke), because unlike a combustible cigarette there is no constantly burning tip. Our previous research suggests that, unlike cigarettes, using our Pulze heated tobacco device causes no negative impact on indoor air quality ...

New evidence of an anomalous phase of matter brings energy-efficient technologies closer

2021-07-14
Researchers have found evidence for an anomalous phase of matter that was predicted to exist in the 1960s. Harnessing its properties could pave the way to new technologies able to share information without energy losses. These results are reported in the journal Science Advances. While investigating a quantum material, the researchers from the University of Cambridge who led the study observed the presence of unexpectedly fast waves of energy rippling through the material when they exposed it to short and intense laser pulses. They were able to make these observations by using a microscopic speed camera that can track small and very fast movement on a scale that is challenging with many other techniques. This technique probes the material with two light pulses: the first one disturbs it ...

Metal-based molecules show promise against the build-up of Alzheimer's peptides

Metal-based molecules show promise against the build-up of Alzheimers peptides
2021-07-14
In lab tests, Imperial researchers have created a metal-based molecule that inhibits the build-up of a peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease. A peptide is a fragment of a protein, and one of the key hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the build-up of a specific peptide known as amyloid-β. The team demonstrated that with the aid of ultrasound, their molecule can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice, targeting the part of the brain where the damaging peptide most often accumulates. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide. There is a pressing need to develop drugs ...

Personalised 3D printed knee implant could help thousands of arthritis sufferers

Personalised 3D printed knee implant could help thousands of arthritis sufferers
2021-07-14
Pioneering 'printed metal' procedure to create bespoke treatment for early knee osteoarthritis set to be trialled in the UK following MHRA approval. World's first 3D printed high tibial osteotomy (HTO) device and procedure developed at University of Bath given approval for UK trials Bespoke titanium alloy HTO implants that fit perfectly are designed to reduce discomfort for knee osteoarthritis patients Sophisticated 3D scanning aims to make surgery quicker and safer New TOKA process could make earlier intervention possible - saving patients decades of pain before surgery becomes viable Intro A ...

Opening the gate to the next generation of information processing

Opening the gate to the next generation of information processing
2021-07-14
Many of us swing through gates every day -- points of entry and exit to a space like a garden, park or subway. Electronics have gates too. These control the flow of information from one place to another by means of an electrical signal. Unlike a garden gate, these gates require control of their opening and closing many times faster than the blink of an eye. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering have devised a unique means of achieving effective gate operation with a form of information processing called electromagnonics. Their pivotal discovery allows real-time control of information transfer between microwave photons and magnons. And it could result in a new generation ...

New Argonne study puts charge into drive for sustainable lithium production

New Argonne study puts charge into drive for sustainable lithium production
2021-07-14
An important new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has yielded critical fresh insights into the lithium production process and how it relates to long-term environmental sustainability, particularly in the area of transportation with batteries and electric vehicles. The paper, "Energy, Greenhouse Gas, and Water Life Cycle Analysis of Lithium Carbonate and Lithium Hydroxide Monohydrate from Brine and Ore Resources and Their Use in Lithium Ion Battery Cathodes and Lithium Ion Batteries," in the journal ...

Researchers build the fastest real-time quantum random number generator

2021-07-14
Prof. PAN Jianwei and Prof. ZHANG Jun from University of Science of Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, collaborating with Prof. CHU Tao's group from Zhejiang University, realized the fastest and miniaturized real-time quantum random number generator (QRNG) with the record-breaking output rate of 18.8 Gbps by combing a state-of-the-art photonic integrated chip with the optimized real-time post processing. The study was published in Applied Physics Letters on June 29. Random number exists in many fields such as information security and cryptology industries. Different from other random number generators, QRNG, as the key part in quantum communication system, embraces the characteristics ...

Researchers improve lab constraint on exotic spin interaction

2021-07-14
Prof. DU Jiangfeng, Prof. RONG Xing, and their colleagues from the Key Laboratory of Micromagnetic Resonance, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), set the most stringent laboratory constraint on the exotic spin- and velocity-dependent interaction at the micrometer scale. This study was published in Physical Review Letters. The search for dark matter, dark energy, and extra forces is important for the understanding of the existence of the matter that accounts for about a quarter of the universe, but little progress has been made. It is necessary to theoretically and experimentally find particles outside the Standard Model, a tradition ...

NTU Singapore converts tamarind shells into an energy source for vehicles

NTU Singapore converts tamarind shells into an energy source for vehicles
2021-07-14
Shells of tamarind, a tropical fruit consumed worldwide, are discarded during food production. As they are bulky, tamarind shells take up a considerable amount of space in landfills where they are disposed as agricultural waste. However, a team of international scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found a way to deal with the problem. By processing the tamarind shells which are rich in carbon, the scientists converted the waste material into carbon nanosheets, which are a key component of supercapacitors - energy storage devices that are used in automobiles, buses, electric vehicles, trains, and elevators. The study reflects ...

Putting a load on: Load stimulates bone formation via expression of osteocrin

2021-07-14
Osaka, Japan - When things get too much, we're often advised to "take a load off," but when it comes to bone maintenance, doing the opposite can be a good thing. Researchers from Japan have discovered some key mechanisms of how physical load stimulates bone growth. In a study published July 13, 2021 at 11 a.m. ET in Cell Reports, researchers from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute have revealed that the expression of the peptide osteocrin (OSTN) is influenced by load - decreasing when load is reduced, and increasing when it is added. Bones and skeletal muscles are strengthened by the load associated with exercise, preventing bone and muscle atrophy, and maintaining bone and muscle strength is important for maintaining physical activity. ...

Compound derived from turmeric essential oil has neuroprotective properties

Compound derived from turmeric essential oil has neuroprotective properties
2021-07-14
Researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan have found that a component derived from turmeric essential oil, aromatic turmerone (ar-turmerone), and its derivatives act directly on dopaminergic nerves to create a neuroprotective effect on tissue cultures of a Parkinson's disease model. This appears to be due to enhanced cellular antioxidant potency from the activation of Nrf2. The researchers believe that the ar-turmerone derivatives identified in this study can be used as new therapeutic agents for Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the ...

Study shows Cannabis terpenes provide pain relief, contribute to 'entourage effect'

Study shows Cannabis terpenes provide pain relief, contribute to entourage effect
2021-07-14
When it comes to the medicinal and therapeutic properties of Cannabis sativa, an unsolved mystery is whether there exists an "entourage effect," whereby the pain-relieving effects of the plant as a whole are greater than any of its individual parts. New research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences has found evidence that favors the entourage effect theory and positions Cannabis terpenes, the part of the plant that provides flavor and aroma, as a promising new target for pain therapies that would require lower doses and produce fewer side effects. "A lot of people are taking cannabis and cannabinoids for pain," said lead researcher John Streicher, PhD, a member ...

College of Business researcher provides framework for businesses using avatars

College of Business researcher provides framework for businesses using avatars
2021-07-14
An associate professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Arlington says digital avatars can replace a sales force and customer service employees at a fraction of the cost. In this context, avatars are typically computer-generated representations of people. UTA Associate Professor Fred Miao says they can fill the void in interactive assistance that a majority of shoppers says they want. "An Accenture survey of online shoppers shows that 62% never completed their purchases because there was no real-time customer service or support. That Accenture survey also shows that 90% of those shoppers wanted some sort of interactive assistance during the shopping process," said Miao, faculty fellow of the John Merrill Endowed Professorship ...

UTA researcher publishes study showing economic impacts of combating sea-level rise

UTA researcher publishes study showing economic impacts of combating sea-level rise
2021-07-14
Sea-level rise threatens to produce more frequent and severe flooding in coastal regions and is expected to cause trillions of dollars in damages globally if no action is taken to mitigate the issue. However, communities trying to fight sea-level rise could inadvertently make flooding worse for their neighbors, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington and the Stanford Natural Capital Project published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Michelle Hummel, an assistant professor of civil engineering at UTA, was lead author of the report, which shows how seawalls constructed along the San Francisco Bay shoreline ...

Study reveals new aspects of gingivitis and body's response

Study reveals new aspects of gingivitis and bodys response
2021-07-14
UW researchers reveal new aspects of gum disease and body's protective response SEATTLE - A team led by University of Washington researchers has, for the first time, identified and classified how different people respond to the accumulation of dental plaque, the sticky biofilm that gathers on teeth. Their work, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), sheds important new light on why some people may be more prone to serious conditions that lead to tooth loss and other problems. Left unchecked, plaque buildup can induce gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Gingivitis, ...

Oregon State researchers begin to unravel the mysteries of kombucha fermentation

Oregon State researchers begin to unravel the mysteries of kombucha fermentation
2021-07-14
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University scientists are beginning to unravel the key microorganisms that contribute to the fermentation of kombucha, research that is already aiding large-scale kombucha producers in the fast-growing industry. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been homebrewed around the world for centuries, but in recent years has become widely popular with a global market size expected to grow from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $8.1 billion by 2027, according to an industry report. Several large producers, including Humm and Brew Dr., are based in Oregon. Kombucha is produced by fermenting sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, commonly referred to as SCOBY, and adding flavorings to enhance the taste. But ...

Vaccine hesitancy in young adults may hamper herd immunity

2021-07-14
Vaccine skepticism among young adults may stall efforts to achieve herd immunity - a threshold in which approximately 80 percent of a population is vaccinated against the coronavirus. A study by UC San Francisco researchers found that about one in four unvaccinated people aged 18 to 25 said that they "probably will not" or "definitely will not" get the COVID-19 vaccination, despite the fact that this demographic has been found to be more likely than other age-groups to transmit coronavirus, jeopardizing the health of older unvaccinated adults and facilitating ...

Liquid metal sensors and AI could help prosthetic hands to 'feel'

Liquid metal sensors and AI could help prosthetic hands to feel
2021-07-14
Each fingertip has more than 3,000 touch receptors, which largely respond to pressure. Humans rely heavily on sensation in their fingertips when manipulating an object. The lack of this sensation presents a unique challenge for individuals with upper limb amputations. While there are several high-tech, dexterous prosthetics available today - they all lack the sensation of "touch." The absence of this sensory feedback results in objects inadvertently being dropped or crushed by a prosthetic hand. To enable a more natural feeling prosthetic hand interface, researchers from Florida Atlantic University's ...

New system for tracking macaws emphasizes species' conservation needs

2021-07-14
New data on macaw movements gathered by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences' (CVMBS) The Macaw Society has the potential to greatly improve conservation strategies for the scarlet macaw, as well as similar species of large parrots. While the overall conservation status of the scarlet macaw is listed as "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the species is declining across much of Central America and in other parts of its range in South America. The species also shares its habitat with numerous endangered species and influences the ecosystems in which ...

How to make biomedical research data able to interact?

2021-07-14
The concept of interoperability describes the ability of different systems to communicate. This is a major challenge in biomedical research, and in particular, in the field of personalised medicine, which is largely based on the compilation and analysis of numerous datasets. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that even when the technical, legal and ethical constraints are lifted, the data remain difficult to analyse because of semantic ambiguities. Under the auspices of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) and in close collaboration with representatives from all five Swiss university ...

New mechanism of superconductivity discovered in graphene

New mechanism of superconductivity discovered in graphene
2021-07-14
Superconductivity is a physical phenomenon where the electrical resistance of a material drops to zero under a certain critical temperature. Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory is a well-established explanation that describes superconductivity in most materials. It states that Cooper pairs of electrons are formed in the lattice under sufficiently low temperature and that BCS superconductivity arises from their condensation. While graphene itself is an excellent conductor of electricity, it does not exhibit BCS superconductivity due to the suppression of electron-phonon interactions. This is also the reason that most 'good' conductors such as gold and copper are 'bad' ...

Obstacles on the racetrack of life

Obstacles on the racetrack of life
2021-07-14
The corona pandemic has ensured that the term "mRNA" is now also known to a large public beyond laboratories and lecture halls. However, the molecule is much more than an important component of a successful vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. "mRNAs are a central component of all living things on our planet. Without them life as we know it would not function," says Elmar Wolf. Wolf is a professor for tumour system biology at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Würzburg. With his research team, he has now deciphered new details about the formation of mRNA which provide novel insights into how a fundamental process inside cells works: the transcription. The team ...
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