It is common that babies are born with fetal fat and develop red spots on their skin. Pediatricians have always explained this as a passing and normal skin reaction in newborn children. Now Giovanna Marchini at the Karolinska Hospital, Sweden, together with her research team, has discovered that this is a sign of a powerful immune defense system.
Fully 2000 years ago in Mesopotamia, an area roughly corresponding to today’s Iraq, doctors described spots on the skin of newborn babies as benign and passing. But not until now have doctors been able to explain what these spots result from.
It is now known that the spots are in all probability a sign of an immunological defense that develops as early as the fetal stage and is activated at delivery. This inborn defense consists of white blood corpuscles and functions at lightning speed, in the course of a few minutes. Even as a fetus the baby prepares itself to encounter the immediate and massive exposure to alien microbes that is part of its adjustment to life outside the womb.
Sabina Bossi | alfa
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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