Latest News

Receptor Plays Key Role In Stem Cells’ Pluripotency

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a receptor that plays a key role in restricting embryonic stem cells’ pluripotency, their ability to develop into virtually any of an adult animal’s cell types.
The work is the first demonstration of a mechanism by which pluripotency is lost in mammalian embryos, one that operates with nearly the precision of an on/off switch in mouse embryos.

With further study, the receptor, dubbed GCNF, could open the door to new ways of c

Lessons in landscape

Keeping parks pretty means tailoring the trees to their source of water.

Irrigation water recycled from sewage can damage many plant species, new research has found 1 . The results show that landscape architects should tailor their choice of plants to the type of water they will receive.

Dale Devitt of the University of Nevada at Reno and colleagues began studying the effects of different water sources on plants after reports that ’reuse’ water had damaged tr

New Data Kicks Up ’Snowball Earth’ Fight

In 1998, Paul F. Hoffman and Daniel P. Schrag at Harvard University put forth a chilling description of earth’s climate some 650 million years ago. Their theory, dubbed snowball earth, held that between 750 million and 580 million years ago, ice repeatedly enveloped our planet, coating the seas from pole to pole and killing off early life almost completely. During the past few years, the idea has stirred up a great deal of debate. And new data published in the December issue of Geology only furt

The littlest lizard

World’s smallest reptile is discovered in the Caribbean forest.

At just 16 mm from nose to tail, the Jaragua lizard is the world’s smallest. In fact, it’s the smallest vertebrate that can reproduce on dry land 1 .

The newly discovered lizard lives on Isla Beata, a small, forest-covered island in the Caribbean off the Dominican Republic. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, together with Richard Thomas of the

Quantum computers spread the risk

A balanced portfolio of programs could mean a faster quantum computer.

Strategies from the world of finance could help get the best out of quantum computers, say US researchers 1 . The right portfolio of programs could solve a problem many times faster than a single strategem.

Quantum computers – purely hypothetical as yet – would be fast, but you could never be sure whether a program was going to work or not. You would have to keep running the program until

Radiation zaps bystanders

Radon may pose a greater cancer threat than has been thought.

Radon damage from irradiated cells spreads to their neighbours, a new study finds 1 . The result suggests that small amounts of this radioactive gas could cause widespread harm.

The study “is a reason for concern but not panic”, says Gerhard Randers-Pehrson of Columbia University, New York, a member of the team that performed the study. “We’re talking about the acceptable level of radon changing pe

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Physics and Astronomy

Compact QKD system

… paves the way to cost-effective satellite-based quantum networks. Researchers demonstrate successful quantum key distribution between space lab and four ground stations. Researchers report an experimental demonstration of a space-to-ground…

Exploring quantum electron highways with laser light

Spiraling laser light reveals how topological insulators lose their ability to conduct electric current on their surfaces. Topological insulators, or TIs, have two faces: Electrons flow freely along their surface…

Building blocks of the future for photovoltaics

Research team led by Göttingen University observes formation of “dark” moiré interlayer excitons for the first time. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has, for the…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

First image of antigen-bound T-cell receptor at atomic resolution

Immune system: Antigen binding does not trigger any structural changes in T-cell receptors – Signal transduction probably occurs after receptor enrichment. The immune system of vertebrates is a powerful weapon…

Touch and sight are linked before birth

In embryonic stages, tactile stimuli simultaneously activate tactile and visual neural pathways. Shortly after birth, both pathways reorganize to allow separate processing of touch and vision. In embryonic stages, tactile…

How environmental changes affect the shapes of RNA in living cells

The impact of environmental conditions on the dynamic structures of RNAs in living cells has been revealed by innovative technology developed by researchers at the John Innes Centre. The research,…

Materials Sciences

Real-time evaluation of residual strain improves 3D printed metal parts

Neutron scattering monitors structures during post-production heat treatment to validate production models. The Science Researchers are optimizing industrial designs to produce more efficient parts using additive manufacturing (AM). AM involves…

Breakthrough in magnetic materials research

… could lead to novel ways to manipulate electron flow with much less energy loss. Newly discovered magnetic interactions in the Kagome layered topological magnet TbMn6Sn6 could be the key…

Capturing high pressures in diamond capsules

Preservation of the high-pressure states of materials at ambient conditions is a long-sought-after goal for fundamental research and practical applications. A team of scientists led by Drs. Zhidan (Denise) Zeng,…

Information Technology

Compact QKD system

… paves the way to cost-effective satellite-based quantum networks. Researchers demonstrate successful quantum key distribution between space lab and four ground stations. Researchers report an experimental demonstration of a space-to-ground…

A new neuromorphic chip for AI on the edge

… at a small fraction of the energy and size of today’s compute platforms. The NeuRRAM chip is the first compute-in-memory chip to demonstrate a wide range of AI applications…

Quantum annealing can beat classical computing in limited cases

Under most conditions, according to a new proof, algorithms on a quantum annealing computer don’t offer quantum speed-up. Recent research proves that under certain conditions, quantum annealing computers can run…