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Academic learning is about gaining new knowledge and skill, but only recently has it been possible to see new knowledge appear in a human brain. A new study from Carnegie Mellon University researchers using multiple imaging modalities shows that learning scientific information results in changes in the actual structure of memory-related areas of the brain,
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North Carolina State University researchers have uncovered how a complex network of transcription factors switch wood formation genes on and off. Understanding this transcriptional regulatory network has applications for modifying wood properties for timber, paper and biofuels, as well as making forest trees more disease- and pest-resistant. “We’re building a complete story, so to speak,
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Scientists have developed a method to boost the efficiency of CRISPR gene editing in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), according to a study that could have implications for optimizing gene therapies for other diseases. The finding stemmed from research at UT Southwestern in which a single-cut gene-editing technique was used on mice and human cells to
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With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable — but frustratingly untapped — bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous plastics. Researchers, like those at the University of Wisconsin-Madison-based, Department of Energy-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, hoping to
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In the blink of an eye, the squid’s “smart skin” switches color and pattern for the purpose of camouflage or sexual signaling, a virtuosic display that has long fascinated scientists. Now, collaborators from Northeastern University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) report a paradigm-shifting discovery in how specialized organs in squid skin, called chromatophores, contribute
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A diet containing compounds found in green tea and carrots reversed Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in mice genetically programmed to develop the disease, USC researchers say. Researchers emphasize that the study, recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was in mice, and many mouse discoveries never translate into human treatments. Nevertheless, the findings lend credence to
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Some wetlands perform better under pressure. A new study revealed that when faced with sea-level rise, coastal wetlands respond by burying even more carbon in their soils. Coastal wetlands, which include marshes, mangroves and seagrasses, already store carbon more efficiently than any other natural ecosystem, including forests. The latest study, published March 7 in the
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Physicists have used a seven-qubit quantum computer to simulate the scrambling of information inside a black hole, heralding a future in which entangled quantum bits might be used to probe the mysterious interiors of these bizarre objects. Scrambling is what happens when matter disappears inside a black hole. The information attached to that matter —
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Viruses depend on host cells for replication, but how does a virus induce its host to transcribe its own genetic information alongside that of the virus, thus producing daughter viruses? For decades, researchers have been studying a type of bacteriophage known as ‘lambda’ to try and find an answer to this question. Using high-resolution cryo-electron
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A new study published in Global Change Biology and coauthored by researchers from UT, explores how climate, evolution, plants, and soils are linked. The research is the first to show how climate-driven evolution in tree populations alters the way trees directly interact with their immediate soil environment. By surveying 17 naturally occurring populations of narrowleaf
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“They eat and sleep while they are airborne. This is something that researchers have believed since the 1950s, and now we can show that it’s true,” says Anders Hedenström, professor at the Department of Biology at Lund University. Three years ago, the same research team at Lund University observed that within the species common swift,
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Scientists are puzzling out how to address the declining numbers of northern spotted owls (NSO) in their Pacific Northwest forest habitat. A new study in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Applications explores the reasons why spotted owls are losing a foothold in their habitat, forecasts future habitat conditions and species interactions, and suggests
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In a recent study, University of Montana researchers explored the ways forest succession and climate variability interacted and influenced fires in Alaska’s boreal forests over the past four centuries — from 1550 to 2015. “We reconstructed fire activity over the last 450 years using lake-sediment records,” said Tyler Hoecker, the study’s lead author. As part
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A new tungsten-based alloy developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory can withstand unprecedented amounts of radiation without damage. Essential for extreme irradiation environments such as the interiors of magnetic fusion reactors, previously explored materials have thus far been hobbled by weakness against fracture, but this new alloy seems to defeat that problem. “This material showed
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Last August, Abdelrhman Mohamed found himself hiking deep into the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. Unlike thousands of tourists who trek to admire the park’s iconic geysers and hot springs every year, the WSU graduate student was traveling with a team of scientists to hunt for life within them. After a strenuous seven mile walk
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New research published today in Scientific Reports has devised a way to track tiny message-carriers in the brain that could prove useful in diagnosing and treating injuries, infections or diseases. The study, from assistant professor David Feliciano’s lab in Clemson’s College of Science, uses a glowing mouse — appropriately dubbed the “TIGER mouse” — to
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Very small steps make a big difference to researchers who want to create large wafers of two-dimensional material. Atom-sized steps in a substrate provide the means for 2D crystals growing in a chemical vapor furnace to come together in perfect rank. Scientists have recently observed this phenomenon, and now a Rice University group has an
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Stay overnight on an Antarctic ice shelf, and you may feel the shaking from thousands of tiny quakes as the ice re-forms after melting during the day. In a recent study, UChicago scientists placed seismometers on the McMurdo Ice Shelf and recorded hundreds of thousands of tiny “ice quakes” that appear to be caused by
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A recently discovered Weyl semimetal delivers the largest intrinsic conversion of light to electricity of any material, an international team lead by a group of Boston College researchers reports today in the journal Nature Materials. The discovery is based on a unique aspect of the material where electrons can be separated by their chirality, or
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Researchers have proposed a new idea that may explain why some Antarctic icebergs are tinged emerald green rather than the normal blue, potentially solving a decades-long scientific mystery. Pure ice is blue because ice absorbs more red light than blue light. Most icebergs appear white or blue when floating in seawater, but since the early
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For almost a decade, astronomers have tried to explain why so many pairs of planets outside our solar system have an odd configuration — their orbits seem to have been pushed apart by a powerful unknown mechanism. Yale researchers say they’ve found a possible answer, and it implies that the planets’ poles are majorly tilted.
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Rapid population and economic growth are destroying biological diversity — especially in the tropics. This was reported by a research team led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in Nature Ecology & Evolution. A constantly growing demand for agricultural products requires ever new cultivated areas.
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Indiana University researchers are advancing knowledge about how bacteria build their cell walls that could contribute to the search for new antibacterial drugs. They have created a new tool to observe living cells in real time under a microscope. “If you look at the history, no one’s really discovered a fundamentally new class of antibiotic
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Spider silk, already known as one of the strongest materials for its weight, turns out to have another unusual property that might lead to new kinds of artificial muscles or robotic actuators, researchers have found. The resilient fibers, the team discovered, respond very strongly to changes in humidity. Above a certain level of relative humidity
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Materials that have a disordered structure with no regular repeating pattern are described as amorphous. Such materials can be found in nature and also have a variety of applications in technology. However, the disordered nature of these materials makes them more challenging to characterize than crystalline structures. Now, researchers at The University of Tokyo Institute
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Research shedding light on the internal “plumbing” of volcanoes may help scientists better understand volcanic eruptions and unrest. The University of Queensland-led study analysed crystals in Italy’s famous Mount Etna to reveal how quickly magma moves to the surface. Dr Teresa Ubide, from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the research would provide
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New research confirms that drastic changes in ocean salinity from, for example, severe freshwater flooding, as recently experienced off the coast of north-east Queensland from abnormal monsoonal conditions, provoke a similar stress response in corals as extreme heating, resulting in “freshwater bleaching” and if unabated, coral death. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for
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Astronomers have detected a stealthy black hole from its effects on an interstellar gas cloud. This intermediate mass black hole is one of over 100 million quiet black holes expected to be lurking in our Galaxy. These results provide a new method to search for other hidden black holes and help us understand the growth
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Washington State University archaeologists have discovered the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America. With a handle of skunkbush and a cactus-spine business end, the tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah. Andrew Gillreath-Brown, an anthropology PhD candidate, chanced
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Young Brisbane twins, a boy and a girl, have been identified as only the second set of semi-identical, or sesquizygotic, twins in the world — and the first to be identified by doctors during pregnancy. “It is likely the mother’s egg was fertilised simultaneously by two of the father’s sperm before dividing,” said Professor Fisk,
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A study out of the University of Minnesota investigated the practices and challenges of turfgrass breeders and distributors. Chengyan Yue led a team of researchers that unveiled important insight regarding breeding and distribution practices and management in the turfgrass industry. Their discoveries are outlined in the article “Investigating the Practices and Challenges for Turfgrass Breeders
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Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a recycling process that transforms single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and carpet made from the common polyester material polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into more valuable products with a longer lifespan. Their research, published February 27 in the journal Joule, could help protect oceans
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The subcortical areas of the brain, situated in its deepest reaches, remain a mystery. Scientists are aware of the critical role they play in motor, emotional and associative activity but do not know precisely how they work. A number of serious diseases are directly linked to these areas, including Parkinson’s, Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorders
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The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who developed the method that forever changed protein engineering: directed evolution. Mimicking natural evolution, directed evolution guides the synthesis of proteins with improved or new functions. First, the original protein is mutated to create a collection of mutant protein variants. The protein variants that show
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Hiding an object from heat-sensing cameras could be useful for military and technology applications as well as for research. Efforts to develop such a method have been underway for decades with varying degrees of success. Now, researchers report in ACS Nano that they have fabricated an inexpensive, easy-to-produce film that makes objects completely invisible to
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Quantum computers will process significantly more information at once compared to today’s computers. But the building blocks that contain this information — quantum bits, or “qubits” — are way too sensitive to their surroundings to work well enough right now to build a practical quantum computer. Long story short, qubits need a better immune system
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Researchers in the Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science have developed a material — a new kind of shape memory polymer (SMP) — that could have major implications for health care. SMPs are soft, rubbery, “smart” materials that can change shape in response to external stimuli like temperature changes or exposure to light.
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Pumping carbon dioxide into the ground to remove it from the atmosphere is one way to lower greenhouse gases, but keeping track of where that gas is, has been a difficult chore. Now, a team of researchers from Penn State and Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory are using previously ignored seismic waves to pinpoint and track
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New University of Sydney research has revealed the ancient Cambodian city of Angkor underwent a gradual decline in occupation rather than an abrupt collapse. Researchers have long debated the causes of Angkor’s demise in the 15th century. Historical explanations have emphasised the role of aggressive neighbouring states, and the abandonment of Angkor in 1431 A.D.
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