Latest News

After a 40-year search, a hormone controlling iron metabolism in mammals is finally identified

Iron is vital for cells, because it catalyzes key enzyme reactions; it is also crucial for respiration, fixing atmospheric oxygen to hemoglobin in red blood cells. Iron deficiency can lead to severe anemia, with inadequate tissue oxygenation. An excess of iron is also toxic, as it facilitates the generation of free radicals that can attack the liver, heart and pancreas. This is the case in hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder which, in 80% of cases, is linked to a point mutation in the Hfe-

Osmium is Stiffer than Diamond, Scientists Discover

Whether it will compete for the title of a girl’s best friend remains to be seen but the element osmium can already challenge diamond in at least one respect: stiffness. According to a report published in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, osmium can withstand compression better than any known material. The results provide a potentially new lead in the search for superhard materials.
Diamond’s ability to resist scratches, dents and chipping–in short, its hardness–makes

Largemouth Bass Virus Infecting Fish In 17 States

Officials of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources went fishing last August to collect samples. They caught largemouth bass at four lakes and two fish hatcheries, but shared no smiles. The bass in all six locations, says a University of Illinois scientist, were infected with a virus they were seeking but didn’t expect to find. The virus — now confirmed in 17 states — is called the largemouth bass virus (LMBV) because only this species is dying from it. That no fish kills

Cigarette Smoke Changes Lung’s Arterial Walls: Study

It is well known that tobacco consumption causes a respiratory disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterized by formation of emphysema and progressive destruction of the lung. When pulmonary vessels are altered in this disease, life expectancy of the patients worsens. It has not been possible to establish the cause, but it has been attributed to low oxygen concentration in the blood. However, changes in the pulmonary vessels have also been found in COPD

Public Expects The Impossible From Science

A new public opinion poll from MORI shows that over 60% of British adults expect the impossible from science.

The MORI poll, commissioned to mark the opening of the new Science Media Centre, shows that 71% of the public look to scientists to give an ‘agreed view’ about science issues and 61% expect science to provide 100% guarantees about the safety of medicines. Yet most scientists insist that science cannot and should not deliver either.

Dr Mark Peplow, Science Information Officer

Study supports triple combination therapy for HIV

New evidence in this week’s BMJ supports the use of up to three antiviral drugs (triple therapy) to treat people with HIV.

Researchers in Birmingham reviewed 54 trials involving over 20,000 patients with HIV infection who had not already received antiviral therapy.

Combinations of up to three drugs were consistently and significantly more effective, but there was inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of quadruple or higher combinations. There was also marked variation, mainly acc

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Physics and Astronomy

Obscure heat transfer behaviors

Discovery shows heat movement slowing down under extreme pressure instead of speeding up. UCLA researchers and their colleagues have discovered a new physics principle governing how heat transfers through materials,…

Astronomers observe intra-group light

– the elusive glow between distant galaxies. An international team of astronomers have turned a new technique onto a group of galaxies and the faint light between them – known…

An exoplanet atmosphere as never seen before

The JWST just scored another first: a detailed molecular and chemical portrait of a distant world’s skies. The telescope’s array of highly sensitive instruments was trained on the atmosphere of…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

How lymph nodes are supplied with blood

When our immune system runs it sets in motion antibodies, white blood cells and phagocytes. But how this works is not yet understood in all details – specifically, in the…

Nanoswitches for tumor targeting

SPRIND to finance spin-off Plectonic. Plectonic Biotech, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed a nanoswitch that binds immune cells to tumor cells. The goal is…

Rogue immune cells linked to leukemia

… are a key driver of autoimmune diseases. Rogue immune cells are a major contributor to autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and aplastic anaemia. Gene variants associated with leukaemia can…

Materials Sciences

Soft touch sensitivity

A soft and flexible electronic “e-skin,” so sensitive it can detect the minute temperature difference between an inhaled and an exhaled breath, could form the basis of a new form…

A life-inspired system dynamically adjusts to its environment

The system regulates its own temperature in response to environmental disturbances. Researchers have developed a synthetic system that responds to environmental changes in the same way as living organisms, using…

Silicone sponge captures unknown bacteria

KIT researchers develop a chip that captures microbial dark matter in air, water, and soil – new tool for biotechnology and medicine. From human intestines to the bottom of the…

Information Technology

(Quantum) Whispers above the rooftops of Jena

Test link for quantum communication explores highly secure communication. As the crow flies, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF is 1.7 kilometers away from the Stadtwerke…

Achieving a quantum fiber

Invented in 1970 by Corning Incorporated, low-loss optical fiber became the best means to efficiently transport information from one place to another over long distances without loss of information. The…

New software NNCodec for compressing neural networks

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) has developed NNCodec, a new software that allows compressing neural networks to a fraction of their size without loss of accuracy. For non-commercial use…