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Some of the most advanced communication systems now under development rely on the properties of quantum science to store and transport information. However, researchers designing quantum communication systems that rely on light, rather than electric current, to transmit information face a quandary: The optical components that store and process quantum information typically require visible-light photons
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Unraveling the mystery of superconductivity at high temperatures, specifically in copper oxide materials, remains one of the most puzzling challenges in modern solid-state physics. But an international research team of engineers and scientists may have taken one step closer to understanding. Superconductors are materials that gain unique physical properties when cooled to extremely low temperatures.
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Neanderthals are often depicted as having straight spines and poor posture. However, these prehistoric humans were more similar to us than many assume. University of Zurich researchers have shown that Neanderthals walked upright just like modern humans — thanks to a virtual reconstruction of the pelvis and spine of a very well-preserved Neanderthal skeleton found
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Carabid beetles produce caustic chemicals they spray to defend themselves against predators, and the compound that protects their bodies from these toxic substances shows promise for use in bioengineering or biomedical applications, according to Penn State researchers. The family Carabidae represents an extremely diverse line of insects, with almost 40,000 species. One of the traits
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Researchers have radically simplified the method for cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS), a technique that could become fundamental to medical research. Synthesizing proteins is essential for multiple types of pharmaceutical and genetic research. For years, proteins could only be synthesized within live cells. CFPS provides the novel ability to biosynthesize proteins in a test tube in
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What’s an s-shaped animal with scales and no legs? What has big ears, a trunk and tusks? What goes ‘woof’ and chases cats? The brain’s ability to reconstruct facts — ‘a snake’, ‘an elephant’ and ‘a dog’ — from clues has been observed using brain scanning by researchers at Aalto university. Their study was published
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The good thing about the short Antarctic summer is it’s a lot like a Midwest winter. But for wingless flies, that’s also the bad thing about Antarctic summers. The flies and their eggs must contend with an unpredictable pattern of alternating mild and bitterly cold days. University of Cincinnati biologist Joshua Benoit traveled to this
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North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging materials or next-generation textiles. “A good way of explaining the material is to think of rubber bands and metal wires,” says
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With average precipitation of 35 inches per four-month season over an area encompassing most of the Indian subcontinent, the South Asia summer monsoon is intense, only partly understood, and notoriously difficult to predict. Until now, according to findings by Nir Y. Krakauer, a City College of New York civil engineer. Because of the monsoon’s enormous
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Taking their name from an intricate Japanese basket pattern, kagome magnets are thought to have electronic properties that could be valuable for future quantum devices and applications. Theories predict that some electrons in these materials have exotic, so-called topological behaviors and others behave somewhat like graphene, another material prized for its potential for new types
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When dog-parents spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take their dogs out for long walks and games of fetch, or even when they feel constant frustration over their dogs’ naughty chewing habits, they are gradually shaping their dogs’ personalities. Dogs, like people, have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain
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An international team of scientists and conservationists has announced the finding of what many consider to be the ‘holy grail’ of bee discoveries — Wallace’s giant bee. The bee (Megachile pluto) is the world’s largest, with a wingspan more than six centimetres (2.5 inches). Despite its conspicuous size, the bee has been lost to science
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The viceroy butterfly is a mimic, modeling its orange-and-black colors after the queen butterfly, a bug that tastes so disgusting predators have learned not to eat it or anything that looks like it, including viceroys. The apparent dependence of mimics on their models made biologists wonder if the fates of the two species are forever
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Diabetes mellitus is associated with various health problems including decline in skeletal muscle mass. A research group led by Professor Wataru Ogawa at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine revealed that elevation of blood sugar levels leads to muscle atrophy and that two proteins, WWP1 and KLF15, play key roles in this phenomenon. These
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The discovery of superconductivity and its experimental realization have surely been two of the most important advancements in physics and engineering of the past century. Nevertheless, their statistical and dynamical characteristics have yet to be fully revealed and understood. A team of researchers at the Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems, within the Institute
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Deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (DUV-LEDs) made from aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) efficiently transfer electrical energy to optical energy due to the growth of one of its bottom layers in a step-like fashion. This finding, published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, can lead to the development of even more efficient LEDs. AlGaN-based DUV-LEDs are receiving
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Consumption of sugary drinks in Berkeley’s diverse and low-income neighborhoods dropped precipitously in 2015, just months after the city levied the nation’s first soda tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Three years later, residents in these neighborhoods reported drinking 52 percent fewer servings of sugary drinks than they did before the tax was passed in November 2014,
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Scientists have long sought to develop drug therapies that can more precisely diagnose, target and effectively treat life-threatening illness such as cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. One promising approach is the design of morphable nanomaterials that can circulate through the body and provide diagnostic information or release precisely targeted drugs in response to disease-marker enzymes.
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A new astronomical spectrograph built by a Penn State-led team of scientists provides the highest precision measurements to date of infrared signals from nearby stars, allowing astronomers to detect planets capable of having liquid water on their surfaces that orbit cool stars outside our Solar System. The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) allows precise measurement
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Using telemetry units in hospitals to monitor patient health is standard practice. Now, a similar approach is proving to be invaluable for dolphins, too. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and collaborators have conducted the most extensive radio-tracking effort of bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) using
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Researchers in Japan think they have found an answer to the fundamental biological question of how individual cells know which way to position themselves within a complex, multicellular body. Depending on a cell’s purpose in the larger structure, contact or diffuse chemical signals direct it to its final destination. The journey from egg and sperm
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A team of biologists, physicists and mathematical modellers in Cambridge have studied the genetic activity of over 100,000 embryonic cells to establish the molecular blueprint of mouse early embryo development. This new research provides fundamentally important information on how mammalian embryos develop during gastrulation, a key stage of development, and paves the way for new
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A careful re-analysis of data taken at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. The data have led to the extraction of a universal function that describes the EMC Effect, the once-shocking discovery that quarks inside
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Scientists have discovered tadpole-shaped jets coming out of regions with intense magnetic fields on the Sun. Unlike those living on Earth, these “tadpoles” — formally called pseudo-shocks — are made entirely of plasma, the electrically conducting material made of charged particles that account for an estimated 99 percent of the observable universe. The discovery adds
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Long before Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and even MySpace, early Mississippian Mound cultures in America’s southern Appalachian Mountains shared artistic trends and technologies across regional networks that functioned in similar ways as modern social media, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis. “Just as we have our own networks of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on
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In the quest to design more efficient solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a team of engineers has analyzed different types of defects in the semiconductor material that enables such devices to determine if and how they affect performance. Rohan Mishra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science in the McKelvey School of Engineering
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A new type of light-emitting diode lightbulb could one day light homes and reduce power bills, according to Penn State researchers who suggest that LEDs made with firefly-mimicking structures could improve efficiency. “LED lightbulbs play a key role in clean energy,” said Stuart (Shizhuo) Yin, professor of electrical engineering. “Overall commercial LED efficiency is currently
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Excavations at two quarries in Wales, known to be the source of the Stonehenge ‘bluestones’, provide new evidence of megalith quarrying 5,000 years ago, according to a new UCL-led study. Geologists have long known that 42 of Stonehenge’s smaller stones, known as ‘bluestones’, came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. Now a new
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The great white shark is one of the most recognized marine creatures on Earth, generating widespread public fascination and media attention, including spawning one of the most successful movies in Hollywood history. This shark possesses notable characteristics, including its massive size (up to 20 feet and 7,000 pounds) and diving to nearly 4,000 foot depths.
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Climate change is shifting the energy in the atmosphere that fuels summertime weather, which may lead to stronger thunderstorms and more stagnant conditions for midlatitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia, a new MIT study finds. Scientists report that rising global temperatures, particularly in the Arctic, are redistributing the energy
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From fathers to children, the delivery of hereditary information requires the careful packing of DNA in sperm. But just how nature packages this DNA to prepare offspring isn’t clear. Using new technology to reveal the 3D organization of DNA in maturing male reproductive cells, scientists revealed a crucial period in development that helps explain how
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While the polyester leisure suit was a 1970s mistake, polyester and other synthetic fibers like nylon are still around and are a major contributor to the microplastics load in the environment, according to a Penn State materials scientist, who suggests switching to biosynthetic fibers to solve this problem. “These materials, during production, processing and after
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Despite widespread infection, some frog populations are surviving a deadly disease that is the equivalent of humankind’s Ebola virus. The reason — genetic diversity. That’s the finding of a new study published this week in the journal Immunogenetics. Anna Savage, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Central Florida, is the lead author
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