Latest News

Climate and pollution: a week link?

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is lower at the weekend.

The climate-monitoring station on Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii, 3,400 metres above sea level, could hardly be farther away from it all. Yet even here there is no escaping the weekly rhythm of modern life. The observatory records lower concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the weekend than during the week.

Because there is no known natural cause of such a seven-day cycle, Randall Cerveny of Arizona State Univer

New anti-malaria drug

Monkey tests hint compound could paralyse malaria parasite in humans.

A new-found chemical can root out malaria parasites hiding in red blood cells and stop them reproducing. It may become a much-needed new weapon in the war against one of the world’s biggest killers.

The compound clears monkeys of infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum at doses far lower than existing antimalarial drugs. But testing in humans is a few years away at least, say

Bio-Rad Develops Fully Automated Testing System For BSE

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research products and clinical diagnostics, has announced the creation of a complete solution for automated BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) testing. This highly scalable platform is the first testing system of its kind, providing both screening and confirmation testing capabilities all in one package, and will enable laboratories to reduce staffing costs and increase the speed and security

Stainless steel corrosion mystery solved by UK researchers

From cutlery and cooking pans to the inside of a Formula 1 car engine or a huge chemical process plant, stainless steel is all around us. It’s not meant to corrode, but it can, and when it does the results can be disastrous, whether it’s a hole in your dishwasher or a failed industrial plant.

Unlike rusting, stainless steel corrosion is highly localised and apparently random. Tiny holes called pits can drill through a substantial thickness of steel in a relatively short time. The pits can ca

First view of a newborn millisecond pulsar?

Combining Hubble Space Telescope images with radio observations has revealed a highly unusual system consisting of a fast spinning pulsar and a bloated red companion star. The existence of the system is something of a mystery – the best explanation so far is that we have our first view of a millisecond pulsar just after it has been `spun up` by its red companion star.

Although more than 90 specimens of the exotic species of fast-spinning `millisecond pulsars` are known today, no observation

Breast cancer patients talk about their experiences on website

Patients who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer now have access to the experiences of other people living with the disease via the multi-media website DIPEx (Database of Individual Patient Experiences), a resource of patient interviews in written form, audio and video clips. From today [13 Feburary 2002] the DIPEx website includes a new module on breast cancer, in addition to hypertension and prostate cancer.
The aim of the new module is to prepare those diagnosed with breast cancer fo

Chameleons walk on water

Reptile history reveals daring escape from Madagascar

Land-lubber chameleons navigated the oceans to spread around the world. Stowed away on tree rafts, the animals were ferried to distant shores, new research suggests 1 .

Chameleons aren’t good swimmers: their mitten-like feet are made to grasp twigs and trees. Yet the intrepid animals charted the seas several times in the past 26 million years, say Chris Raxworthy of the American Museum of Natural History i

Cassava mealybug control : parasitoid wasps hold the kairomone key

The mealybug Phenacoccus herreni feeds on cassava plant sap, inducing shrivelling. It causes extensive damage in cassava growing areas in South America. However, it can be parasitized by two wasps, Acerophagus coccois and Aenasius vexans which act out a ritual to recognize and select the individuals they are going to parasitize. A wasp moves from one side to the other of a potential victim, investigating it by palpation with their antennae. Once this “drumming and turning” procedure completed, the wa

Study refines breast cancer risks

Large scale study spells out links with pregnancy and miscarriage.

Childless women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, confirms one of the largest studies on reproductive factors and the disease, but those who suffer miscarriages are not. Researchers are pinning down key risk factors in the hope of working out exactly how they increase susceptibility.

How pregnancy and abortion alter women’s chance of developing breast cancer has been the subject of conflictin

<i>Goldfinger</i> held grain of truth

Our skin takes its oxygen straight from the air.

The James Bond movie Goldfinger spawned the urban myth that a person can suffocate if air cannot reach their skin. But the plot contains a grain of truth, new research reveals – our skin gets its oxygen from the atmosphere, not the blood.

Air supplies the top 0.25-0.4 mm of the skin with oxygen, dermatologist Markus Stücker of the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany, and his colleagues have found. This is almost 10 times

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Physics and Astronomy

Arase satellite uncovers coupling between plasma waves and charged particles in Geospace

Scientists unravel a bit more of the mystery underlying how wave-particle interactions generate other plasma waves in Geospace. In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from Japan…

Amplified signal and extreme sensitivity: on the trail of light dark matter particles

New nuclear magnetic resonance technique is five orders of magnitude more sensitive. An international team of researchers with participation of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz…

New research may help scientists unravel the physics of the solar wind

Understanding the solar wind can help scientists predict how it will affect Earth’s satellites and astronauts in space. A new study led by University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers, using…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Scientists uncover ‘resistance gene’ in deadly E. coli

Scientists have pinpointed a gene that helps deadly E. coli bacteria evade antibiotics, potentially leading to better treatments for millions of people worldwide. The University of Queensland-led study found a…

Alternative to animal models

Advances in medicine through human-relevant disease models. Worldwide, there is growing belief that biomedical sciences can advance with less animal testing by replacing in-vivo experiments with in-vitro models based on…

Hostile takeover in the cell

Pathogens hijack host mitochondria. Mitochondria are known as energy suppliers for our cells, but they also play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They can initiate immune responses,…

Materials Sciences

Low-temperature DeNOx catalyst for reducing ultrafine particle emission

7 times increased durability compared to conventional commercial catalysts. Empirical research conducted at an industrial field to check commercialization (Kumho Petrochemical – Cogeneration Power Plant). Recently, there has been growing…

Bone growth inspired “microrobots” that can create their own bone

Inspired by the growth of bones in the skeleton, researchers at the universities of Linköping in Sweden and Okayama in Japan have developed a combination of materials that can morph…

New photonic effect could speed drug development

Twisted semiconductor nanostructures convert red light into the twisted blue light in tiny volumes, which may help develop chiral drugs. Twisted nanoscale semiconductors manipulate light in a new way, researchers…

Information Technology

New qubits bring us one step closer to quantum networks

Chromium defects in silicon carbide may provide a new platform for quantum information. The Science Quantum computers may be able to solve science problems that are impossible for today’s fastest conventional…

Form follows function

University of Göttingen computational neuroscientist receives ERC starting grant of 1.5 million euros. The computational neuroscientist Professor Alexander Ecker from the University of Göttingen and the Max Planck Institute for…

Light–matter interactions simulated on the world’s fastest supercomputer

Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba present an improved way to model interactions between matter and light at the atomic scale. Light–matter interactions form the basis of many important…