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New study reveals previously unseen star formation in milky way

2021-07-22
Astronomers using two of the world's most powerful radio telescopes have made a detailed and sensitive survey of a large segment of our home galaxy -- the Milky Way -- detecting previously unseen tracers of massive star formation, a process that dominates galactic ecosystems. The scientists combined the capabilities of the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the 100-meter Effelsberg Telescope in Germany to produce high-quality data that will serve researchers for years to come. Stars with more than about ten times the mass of our Sun are important components of the Galaxy ...

New insight on the reproductive evolution of land plants

New insight on the reproductive evolution of land plants
2021-07-22
Around 470 million years ago, plants began to conquer the terrestrial surfaces. The first examples had a small axis terminated by a structure capable of forming spores, almost like current mosses. The appearance of plant organs mediated the explosive radiation of land plants, which shaped the surface of our planet and allowed the establishment of terrestrial animal life. However, evolving such a diversity of organs, such as roots, leaves, or immobile gametes, requires coordinated genetic changes: rise of new genes, repurpose of genetic material, and development of new regulatory programs. In a study published in Nature Plants, a consortium ...

Unlocking genetic clues behind aortic aneurysm

2021-07-22
A new study increases knowledge of the genetics behind aortic aneurysm, a disease that can spark life-threatening events like aortic dissections and ruptures. University of Michigan Health-led researchers compared blood samples from more than 1,300 people who had a thoracic aortic aneurysm with more than 18,000 control samples, in partnership with U-M's Cardiovascular Health Improvement Project and its Michigan Genomics Initiative. "After examining nearly the entire human genome for genetic changes that increase risk of aneurysm, we discovered a new change in the genetic code of a transcription factor, ...

Survival after cardiac arrest - Freiburg cardiovascular surgeons develop new technique

2021-07-22
Around 50,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest in Germany every year. When occurring outside a hospital, the chances of survival are only ten percent. Survivors often suffer from severe permanent neurological damage. On July 21st, 2021, researchers from the Faculty of Medicine - University of Freiburg, Germany, published together with German and US colleagues a review article in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience. They describe the most important therapeutic factors for successful resuscitation. The scientists name the therapy concept based on these factors ...

Surgeons endorse efforts to improve firearm safety and reduce firearm-related injuries

2021-07-22
Key Takeaways A survey of American College of Surgeons members found almost two-thirds treat firearm injuries and more than 85 percent support the organization advocating for policies to reduce firearm-related injuries. Forty-two percent of ACS members keep firearms in their homes and nearly one-third (32 percent) of surgeon firearm owners store firearms unlocked and loaded. Survey findings will enable the ACS to identify ways to engage all members, including gun owners, and advocate for initiatives that prevent firearm-related injuries. CHICAGO (July 22, 2021): In what may be the largest survey of physician attitudes about firearms and how firearm-owning surgeons store guns in their homes, U.S. members of the American College of Surgeons ...

Scientists reverse age-related memory loss in mice

2021-07-22
Scientists at Cambridge and Leeds have successfully reversed age-related memory loss in mice and say their discovery could lead to the development of treatments to prevent memory loss in people as they age. In a study published today in Molecular Psychiatry, the team show that changes in the extracellular matrix of the brain - 'scaffolding' around nerve cells - lead to loss of memory with ageing, but that it is possible to reverse these using genetic treatments. Recent evidence has emerged of the role of perineuronal nets (PNNs) in neuroplasticity - the ability of the brain to learn and adapt - and to make memories. ...

Antimatter from laser pincers

Antimatter from laser pincers
2021-07-22
In the depths of space, there are celestial bodies where extreme conditions prevail: Rapidly rotating neutron stars generate super-strong magnetic fields. And black holes, with their enormous gravitational pull, can cause huge, energetic jets of matter to shoot out into space. An international physics team with the participation of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has now proposed a new concept that could allow some of these extreme processes to be studied in the laboratory in the future: A special setup of two high-intensity laser beams could create conditions similar to those found near neutron stars. In ...

Parkinson's disease: How lysosomes become a hub for the propagation of the pathology

2021-07-22
Over the last few decades, neurodegenerative diseases became one of the top 10 global causes of death. Researchers worldwide are making a strong effort to understand neurodegenerative diseases pathogenesis, which is essential to develop efficient treatments against these incurable diseases. However, our knowledge about the basic molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is still lacking. A team of researchers found out the implication of lysosomes in the spread of Parkinson's disease. The accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates in affected brain regions is a common hallmark shared by several neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). Mounting evidence in cellular and in animal models highlights the capability ...

Artificial intelligence models to analyze cancer images take shortcuts that introduce bias

2021-07-22
Artificial intelligence tools and deep learning models are a powerful tool in cancer treatment. They can be used to analyze digital images of tumor biopsy samples, helping physicians quickly classify the type of cancer, predict prognosis and guide a course of treatment for the patient. However, unless these algorithms are properly calibrated, they can sometimes make inaccurate or biased predictions. A new study led by researchers from the University of Chicago shows that deep learning models trained on large sets of cancer genetic and tissue histology data can easily identify the institution that submitted the images. The models, which use machine learning methods to "teach" themselves how to recognize certain cancer signatures, ...

Interaction identified between SARS-CoV-2 and unusual RNA structures in human cells

2021-07-22
Replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, depends on a series of interactions between viral proteins and different cellular partners such as nucleic acids (DNA or RNA). Characterizing these interactions is crucial to elucidate the process of viral replication and identify new drugs for treating COVID-19. An interdisciplinary consortium of scientists from the Institut Pasteur, the Ecole Polytechnique, the Institut Curie, Inserm, the CNRS and the universities of Paris, Paris-Saclay, Bordeaux and Toulouse have demonstrated a specific interaction between a domain of a SARS-CoV-2 protein (Nsp3) and ...

Characterized drugs show unexpected effects

Characterized drugs show unexpected effects
2021-07-22
When Alexander Flemming discovered a mould on a culture plate overgrown with bacteria in 1928, he did not expect to find one of the most widely used active substances: penicillin. Accidental discoveries and the identification of active ingredients from traditional remedies, such as the morphine of the opium poppy, have shaped the discovery of new medicines for a long time. Modern drug discovery - from chance to system Meanwhile, major developments in chemistry and molecular biology have been made that enable a systematic and targeted search for potential active substances in modern drug discovery. First, advances in the field of organic and ...

Rensselaer-designed platform could enable personalized immunotherapy

2021-07-22
TROY, N.Y. -- An innovative testing platform that more closely mimics what cancer encounters in the body may allow for more precise, personalized therapies by enabling the rapid study of multiple therapeutic combinations against tumor cells. The platform, which uses a three-dimensional environment to more closely mirror a tumor microenvironment, is demonstrated in research published in Communications Biology. "This whole platform really gives us a way to optimize personalized immunotherapy on a rapid, high throughput scale," said Jonathan Dordick, Institute Professor of chemical and biological engineering and member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, ...

Excess coffee: A bitter brew for brain health

2021-07-22
It's a favourite first-order for the day, but while a quick coffee may perk us up, new research from the University of South Australia shows that too much could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health. In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that high coffee consumption is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia. Conducted at UniSA's Australian Centre for Precision Health at SAHMRI and a team of international researchers*, the study assessed the effects of coffee on the brain among 17,702 UK Biobank participants (aged 37-73), finding that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a 53 per cent increased risk of dementia. Lead researcher and UniSA PhD candidate, ...

Silicon with a two-dimensional structure

Silicon with a two-dimensional structure
2021-07-22
Silicon, a semi-metal, bonds in its natural form with four other elements and its three-dimensional structure takes the form of a tetrahedron. For a long time, it seemed impossible to achieve the synthesis and characterisation of a two-dimensional equivalent - geometrically speaking, a square. Now scientists from the field of Inorganic Chemistry at Heidelberg University have succeeded in producing a crystalline complex with such a configuration. PD Dr Lutz Greb from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry underlines that it has surprising physical and chemical properties and, in the field of molecular chemistry, will open up new approaches to using the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust for catalysis and materials research. As a classical ...

Smartphone screens effective sensors for soil or water contamination

2021-07-22
The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated how a typical touchscreen could be used to identify common ionic contaminants in soil or drinking water by dropping liquid samples on the screen, the first time this has been achieved. The sensitivity of the touchscreen sensor is comparable to typical lab-based equipment, which would make it useful in low-resource settings. The researchers say their proof of concept could one day be expanded for a wide range of sensing applications, including for biosensing or medical diagnostics, right from the phone in your pocket. The results are reported ...

Infrared held in a pincer

2021-07-22
Many applications, from fiber-optic telecommunications to biomedical imaging processes require substances that emit light in the near-infrared range (NIR). A research team in Switzerland has now developed the first chromium complex that emits light in the coveted, longer wavelength NIR-II range. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the team has introduced the underlying concept: a drastic change in the electronic structure of the chromium caused by the specially tailored ligands that envelop it. Many materials that emit NIR light are based on expensive or rare metal complexes. Cheaper alternatives that emit in the NIR-I range between 700 and 950 nm have been developed but NIR-II-emitting complexes of non-precious metals remain extremely rare. Luminescence in the NIR-II range (1000 to 1700 ...

Alzheimer-linked enzyme complex 'buckles up' for safe trip through the cell

2021-07-22
A research team led by Wim Annaert (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovered the early assembly of gamma-secretase, a protein complex linked to numerous cellular processes including the development of Alzheimer's disease. In a first step, two dimeric subcomplexes are formed, which independently exit the ER and only afterwards assemble into a four-subunit complex. This 'buckle up' mechanism is thought to prevent premature assembly and activity. The new insights are very relevant, as gamma-secretase is an important potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer's and other ...

HKU scientists harness the naturally abundant CRISPR-Cas system to edit superbugs with the hope of treating infections caused by drug resistant pathogens

HKU scientists harness the naturally abundant CRISPR-Cas system to edit superbugs with the hope of treating infections caused by drug resistant pathogens
2021-07-22
A research team led by Dr Aixin YAN, Associate Professor from the Research Division for Molecular & Cell Biology, Faculty of Science, in collaboration with Honorary Clinical Professor Patrick CY WOO from the Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), reported the development of a transferrable and integrative type I CRISPR-based platform that can efficiently edit the diverse clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a superbug capable of infecting various tissues and organs and a major source of nosocomial infections. The ...

NTU Singapore scientists develop tougher, safer bicycle helmets using new plastic material

NTU Singapore scientists develop tougher, safer bicycle helmets using new plastic material
2021-07-22
As cities worldwide expand their networks of cycling paths and more cyclists take to the streets, the chances of cycling accidents and potential collisions increase as well, underscoring the need for proper cycling safety in dense urban areas. According to a World Health Organisation report in 2020, more than 60 per cent of the reported bicycle-related deaths and long-term disabilities are a result of accidents with head injuries. Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), in collaboration with French specialty materials leader Arkema, have developed a tougher, safer bicycle helmet using a combination of materials. The new helmet prototype has higher energy absorption, reducing the amount of energy ...

3D imaging reveals neural 'vicious cycle' in fatty liver disease

3D imaging reveals neural vicious cycle in fatty liver disease
2021-07-22
With the application of a novel three-dimensional imaging technology, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that one portion of the autonomic nervous system in the liver undergoes severe degeneration in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study, which is conducted in mice and human liver tissue, shows that the degeneration of nerves is correlated with the severity of liver pathology. The results are being published in the journal Science Advances. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common hepatic disorder, with prevalence around 25 percent globally. Approximately ...

Visualizing a city's energy use

Visualizing a citys energy use
2021-07-22
The building sector in the U.S. accounts for 39 percent of energy use, with commercial buildings responsible for about half of that. As cities grapple with climate change, making commercial buildings more efficient is a key part of the solution. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation used the City of Pittsburgh to create a model built upon the design, materials and purpose of commercial buildings to estimate their energy usage and emissions. While other models may ...

'Golden nail': Quarry near Salzgitter becomes global geological reference point

Golden nail: Quarry near Salzgitter becomes global geological reference point
2021-07-22
FRANKFURT/HANNOVER. The international team of geoscientists led by Prof. Silke Voigt from the Goethe University Frankfurt, Prof. Ireneusz Walaszczyk from the University of Warsaw and Dr André Bornemann from LBEG have thoroughly investigated 40 metres of the geological strata sequence in the former limestone quarry at Hasselberg. The researchers determined that this is only sequence in the transition between Turonian and Coniacian without gaps and it therefore represents a perfect rock sequence to serve geoscientists from all over the world as a reference for their research - a "Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP)" or, in the jargon of geosciences, a "golden nail". Certain group of bivalve mollusks of the family Inoceramidae, first appeared in the Coniacian, and ...

Disagreement may be a way to make online content spread faster, further

2021-07-22
ORLANDO, July 22, 2021 - Disagreement seems to spread online posts faster and further than agreement, according to a new study from the University of Central Florida. The finding comes from an examination of posts labeled controversial on social news aggregation site Reddit. To perform the study, the researchers analyzed more than 47,000 posts about cybersecurity in a Reddit dataset that was collected by the Computational Simulation of Online Social Behavior (SocialSim) program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Researchers found that these posts were seen by nearly twice the number of people and traveled nearly twice as fast when compared ...

New insights into uncontrolled inflammation in COVID-19 patients

2021-07-22
In a new study, published recently in the journal Circulation Research, scientists discover how the production of protective molecules known as specialised pro-resolving mediators (SPM) is altered in patients with COVID-19. The results suggest that treatments which increase SPM production, such as dexamethasone or SPM based drugs, could play a key role in limiting inflammation in these patients. Currently there is little understanding around the mechanisms that lead to uncontrolled inflammation in patients with COVID-19. The study found a link between decreased SPM blood levels and disrupted white blood cell responses in patients with a higher disease burden. The findings also revealed that dexamethasone, the first drug ...

Informing policy for long-term global food security

2021-07-22
More than 820 million people in the world don't have enough to eat, while climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further raising concerns about the future balance between food demand and supply. The results of a new IIASA-led study can be used to benchmark global food security projections and inform policy analysis and public debate on the future of food. Despite the fact that food supply has increased dramatically since the 1960s, the question of how to eradicate global hunger - one of the Sustainable Development Goals - and feed the growing world population in years to come, remains a major challenge. Climate change and increasing competition ...
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