Latest News

No link between asthma inhalers and hyperactivity in preschool children

The widely held parental belief that asthma inhalers cause hyperactivity in children is not confirmed by research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The researchers studied 19 asthmatic children between the ages of 2 and 5, all of whom were treated with fast acting reliever inhalers/nebulisers containing salbutamol. The children were being seen at the children’s respiratory clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

Before being tested, the children’s hyperacti

European project opens way for better understanding of human diseases

In the edition of Nature dated Thursday 21 February 2002, an international team of scientists report their analysis of the genome of fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). The project, largely funded through a €6.9 million from the European Commission, is likely to have major implications for the future of cancer and other bio-medical research. Fifty of the yeast genes were found to have significant similarity with genes involved in human diseases, including cystic fibrosis, hereditary deafness a

Fission statement

Alternative yeast joins genome party.

First there was budding yeast ( Saccharomyces cerevisiae ). Partly responsible for scientists’ survival by fermenting their staples beer and bread, they polished off its DNA sequence back in 1997.

Now the minority fungus of lab culture – fission yeast ( Schizosaccharomyces pombe ) – is fighting back. This week S. pombe enters the experimental big leagues, with the announcement of its completed genome 1

Link between climate and malaria broken

Africa’s malaria resurgence isn’t down to global warming

Climate change cannot explain the growth of malaria in the highlands of East Africa, say researchers. Drawing simplistic links between global warming and local disease patterns could lead to mistaken policy decisions, they warn.

Drug resistance, or the failure of the health-care system to keep pace with population growth, are more likely culprits for malaria’s rise, say Simon Hay, of the University of Oxf

Rat makes a partial recovery following a spinal cord lesion

Scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research have developed an experimental therapy which enables rats with a spinal cord lesion to partially recover from their paralysis. Up until now not even the slightest degree of recovery was possible. PhD student Bas Blits was part of this team.

The method uses a combination of transplantation and gene therapy. For the transplantation, the researchers implanted nerve cells cultured in vitro. The cells originated from the nerves between th

Predicting the species diversity of large herbivores in nature reserves

The number of species of large herbivores that can live in a nature reserve can be easily calculated using just rainfall and soil fertility data. The Wageningen ecologist Dr Han Olff can use this to indicate on a worldwide basis where nature reserves that protect large mammals are needed.

On a map of the world, the researcher from Wageningen University has marked the areas in which the greatest diversity of large game can live. For species-rich nature reserves in East Africa and on the Argen

New superconducting transformer is light and compact

Researchers from the Technology Foundation STW and the University of Twente, in cooperation with Smit Transformatoren and Smit Draad, have developed a prototype coil for a superconducting transformer which is not only light and compact but also energy-efficient. A keen interest has already been expressed by several companies.

The coil is made from superconducting wires, insulated using a newly patented method. Furthermore, together with Smit Transformatoren the researchers have developed a m

Refined Petrol Stations

There are always oil spots near the petrol stations. Rainwater washes them away, polluting the environment. Researchers from Perm have developed a refining unit for cleaning rainwater sewage from petrol stations. It was successfully tested in Moscow and Perm.

The unit base is a new filter – “Kombi” – made of fibrous carbon sorbent, which is produced by coagulation of chemical cellulose fibres in a special way. The filtering process consists of three stages – settling, refinement through the

Eddies Warm Up The Ocean

Eddies appear in the ocean like in the atmosphere. Atmospheric eddies are short-lived, extremely speedy, and often very hazardous. Oceanic eddies are slower and can be observed only with the use of special equipment, but these eddies gently mixing ocean waters affect the climate in general.

For more than ten years specialists from the Pacific Institute of Oceanology in Vladivostok have observed the oceanic eddies formed at the confluence of two largest undercurrents in the west of the Pacif

Modus operandi: how satellites track a mass killer

A global mass killer could be tamed with the aid of satellite technology. Scientists are using data from Meteosat to help model and predict outbreaks of malaria. “Satellite sensor data hold out hope for the development of early-warning systems for diseases such as malaria, which kills between 1 and 2 million people each year,” says David Rogers, of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology.

Rogers is part of a team based in Oxford, Nairobi and at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Marylan

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Physics and Astronomy

Unmasking the magic of superconductivity in twisted graphene

Princeton-led study links magic-angle graphene and high-temperature superconductivity. The discovery in 2018 of superconductivity in two single-atom-thick layers of graphene stacked at a precise angle of 1.1 degrees (called ‘magic’-angle…

On the hunt for hypernuclei

The WASA detector at GSI/FAIR… With the WASA detector, a very special instrument is currently being set up at GSI/FAIR. Together with the fragment separator FRS, it will be used…

Frequency translating add/drop filters designed for on-chip light manipulation

New filters could benefit data communication, quantum information processing and optical neural networks. Researchers report the development of frequency translating add/drop filters based on electro-optically modulated photonic molecules. The new…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Under arrest: Using nanofibers to stop brain tumor cells from spreading

Researchers from Japan develop a platform based on nanofibers to trap brain cancer cells as a therapeutic strategy. Our body heals its injuries by essentially replacing damaged cells with new…

How staphylococci protect themselves against antibiotics

The skin bacterium Staphylococcus aureus often develops antibiotic resistance. It can then cause infections that are difficult to treat. Researchers at the University of Bonn have uncovered an ingenious way…

Brain cells work remotely

Neurons use local protein synthesis as dominant source of protein production To form and modify synaptic connections and store information, such as memories, neurons continuously remodel their essential cellular resources,…

Agricultural and Forestry Science

Aptasensors helpful in detection of mycotoxins

A publication saw light in Chemosensors. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi that contaminate agriculture products. Their release in the environment can cause severe damage to human health. Aptasensors are…

New model tracks carbon in agroecosystems

Solution Sets the Bar for Quantifying Carbon Budget and Credit. Carbon is everywhere. It’s in the atmosphere, in the oceans, in the soil, in our food, in our bodies. As…

Tracking future forest fires with AI

As temperatures rise, the risk of devastating forest fires is increasing. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using artificial intelligence to estimate the long-term impact that an…

Information Technology

New photonic chip for isolating light may be key to miniaturizing quantum devices

Light offers an irreplaceable way to interact with our universe. It can travel across galactic distances and collide with our atmosphere, creating a shower of particles that tell a story…

A traffic light for light-on-a-chip

Integrated photonics allow us to build compact, portable, low-power chip-scale optical systems used in commercial products, revolutionizing today’s optical datacenters and communications. But integrating on-chip optical gain elements to build…

Artificial intelligence spots anomalies in medical images

Scientists from Skoltech, Philips Research, and Goethe University Frankfurt have trained a neural network to detect anomalies in medical images to assist physicians in sifting through countless scans in search of pathologies….