People over the millennia have reported having deeply moving religious experiences either spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, and a portion of those experiences have been encounters with what the person regards as “God” or “ultimate reality.” In a survey of thousands of
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While many scientists are focused on the decline of honey bees, relatively few study bumble bees. The good news is that a new study provides an estimate on bumble bee population and distributions across Michigan in the past century. The bad news is that these results are dramatically low, and they mirror what’s happening across
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The advance of science is something like the wandering of an explorer through an uncharted jungle. Often, the dense undergrowth can seem impenetrable, but at certain privileged moments, a clearing opens, and an entirely new landscape emerges. Something like this is occurring in the field of biology with the recent discovery of powerful techniques for
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An MIT research team that has already conquered the problem of getting ketchup out of its bottle has now tackled a new category of consumer and manufacturing woe: how to get much thicker materials to slide without sticking or deforming. The slippery coatings the team has developed, called liquid-impregnated surfaces, could have numerous advantages, including
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April 22, 2019 | The Bio-IT World Conference and Expo took over the Boston Seaport area last week, as more than 3,000 researchers, bioinformaticians, and experts converged for conversations around AI, FAIR data, informatics, edge computing, and much more. We are combing through our notebooks, gathering background, and processing all the good information we learned,
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Initially described in 1978, geomagnetic jerks are unpredictable events that abruptly accelerate the evolution of the Earth’s magnetic field, and skew predictions of its behaviour on a multi-year scale. Our magnetic field affects numerous human activities, ranging from establishing the direction in smartphones to the flight of low-altitude satellites. It is therefore essential to accurately
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The grand challenge to improve energy storage and increase battery life, while ensuring safe operation, is becoming evermore critical as we become increasingly reliant on this energy source for everything from portable devices to electric vehicles. A Columbia Engineering team led by Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, announced today that they
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A team of scientists including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has studied a catalyst that decomposes nerve agents, eliminating their harmful and lethal effects. The research was published Friday, April 19, in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. “Our work is part of an ongoing, multiagency effort to protect
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Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are far safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers Friday reported developing an organic cathode that dramatically improves both stability and energy density. The improved performance, reported in the journal Joule, is related
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Lithium-ion batteries are expected to have a global market value of $47 billion by 2023. They are used in numerous applications, because they offer relatively high energy density (storage capacity), high operating voltage, long shelf life and little “memory effect” — a reduction in a rechargeable battery’s maximum capacity due to incomplete discharges in previous
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Researchers in France and Japan have demonstrated a theoretical type of unconventional superconductivity in a uranium-based material, according to a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters. By using very high pressure and a magnetic field, the team demonstrated that the uranium-based material UBe13 exhibits ‘triplet superconductivity.’ This is a phenomenon in which electrons
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RNA sequencing is a technique used to analyze entire genomes by looking at the expression of their genes. Today, such genome-wide expression analyses are a standard tool for genomic studies because they rely on high-throughput technologies, which themselves have become widely available. Nonetheless, RNA sequencing is still expensive and time-consuming, because it first requires the
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More than a quarter of children with autism spectrum disorder are also diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders. For the first time, Yale researchers have identified a possible biological cause: a key mechanism that regulates emotion functions differently in the brains of the children who exhibit disruptive behavior. The study appears in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience
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Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100% for farmers. The disease, caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum,’ has been economically damaging commercial crops, including potato, tomato, and pepper, in
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A powerful computational study of southern California seismic records has revealed detailed information about a plethora of previously undetected small earthquakes, giving a more precise picture about stress in the earth’s crust. A new publicly available catalog of these findings will help seismologists better understand the stresses triggering the larger earthquakes that occasionally rock the
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Fish warn each other about danger by releasing chemicals into the water as a signal, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found. The USask researchers discovered that wild fish release chemicals called ‘disturbance cues’ to signal to other fish about nearby dangers, such as predators. The findings may have implications for fish conservation
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Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Dutch Royal Academy’s Humanities Cluster evaluated four state-of-the-art tools for recognising names in text, to assess and improve their performance on popular fiction. They find solutions to boost the tools’ capability to recognise names in one novel from an accuracy of 7% to 90%. Natural language processing
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April 18, 2019 | BOSTON—Bio-IT World has announced the winners of the 2019 Innovative Practices Awards. The winners were announced live at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. Entries from Abbvie, Novo Nordisk, and Sentieon were honored. Since 2003, Bio-IT World has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic
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Microscopic image of an HIV-infected T cell. Credit: NIAID Microscopic image of an HIV-infected T cell. Credit: NIAID Close Regular infusions of an antibody that blocks the HIV binding site on human immune cells may have suppressed levels of HIV for up to four months in people undergoing a short-term pause in their antiretroviral therapy
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A new learning system developed by MIT researchers improves robots’ abilities to mold materials into target shapes and make predictions about interacting with solid objects and liquids. The system, known as a learning-based particle simulator, could give industrial robots a more refined touch — and it may have fun applications in personal robotics, such as
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Engineering bacteria to intelligently sense and respond to disease states, from infections to cancer, has become a promising focus of synthetic biology. Rapid advances in genetic engineering tools have enabled researchers to “program” cells to perform various sophisticated tasks. For example, a network of genes can be wired together to form a genetic circuit in
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A small clinical trial has shown that gene therapy can safely correct the immune systems of infants newly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening inherited disorder in which infection-fighting immune cells do not develop or function normally. Eight infants with the disorder, called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), received an experimental gene therapy co-developed by National
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The transition from hunting and gathering to farming and herding is considered a crucial turning point in the history of humanity. Scholars think the intensive food production that came along with the Neolithic Revolution, starting around 10,000 B.C., allowed cities to grow, led to technological innovation and, eventually, enabled life as we know it today.
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Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes. Chemists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have created new analytical methods to examine textiles from China and Peru that are several thousand years old. In the scientific journal Scientific Reports they describe their new method that is
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By Bio-IT World Staff April 17, 2019 | Genomenon announced a partnership with Google to make the company’s genomic mutation data available on Google Cloud Platform. Genomenon’s Cited Variants Reference (CVR) data will be a public dataset available in BigQuery, Google Cloud’s big data and machine learning data warehouse, for use in genomic applications. The Cited
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