Latest News

Study Elucidates Relationship Between "Parkinsonian Personality" and Dopamine

Scientists have long noted that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease commonly exhibit a specific personality type characterized by, among other things, a lower-than-average tendency to seek out new experiences. In explanation, investigators suggested that this trait was rooted in an inability to reap the pleasurable rewards of increased dopamine levels normally brought about by new stimuli because the disease destroys the neurotransmitter. Previous studies of personality and dopamine activi

Dark glasses go green

New light-sensitive glass can be recycled cleanly.

Researchers in Japan have developed recyclable light-sensitive glass. The new ’ecoglass’ does not contain the environmentally damaging halogen elements chlorine, bromine or iodine. These elements are essential to the photochromic glass that is currently used for car windscreens, sunglasses and visual display units.

Like photographic film, today’s photochromic glasses darken because they contain compounds of silver and halog

When is an ant like a bicycle?

Army ants team little with large to lift heavy loads.

If you can’t see the point of the miniature back wheel on a penny-farthing bicycle, try riding a unicycle or watch an ant colony. Ants have realized that, to carry a heavy load, two supports are better than one – even if they seem comically mismatched.

When army ants partner up to carry a lump of food too big for a single ant to transport, an unusually large worker ant takes the front, and an unusually small one, the back

Storms lower ozone levels

Ozone miniholes over the North Atlantic follow the unsteady pulse of climate fluctuations.

Recurring fluctuations in the North Atlantic climate are punching miniholes in the ozone layer, exposing Scandinavia and northern Europe to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation than normal, say two climatologists.

Seesawing air pressure over Greenland and the subtropical north Atlantic Ocean stirs the atmosphere and wafts ozone-depleted air towards populated high-latitude regions in

Warm favourite

The smart money is on global warming.

An Alaskan sweepstake has become a record of global warming. The competition to predict when ice will melt reveals that, on average, the thaw comes more than five days earlier now than it did 84 years ago 1 .

In the winter of 1917, railway engineers working in Nenana, Alaska whiled away the long winter nights by erecting a wooden tripod on the frozen Tenana River and placing bets on the exact moment in spring when it would

Puffer fish raw and rich

Draft Fugu genome will help find human genes.

A draft sequence of the puffer-fish genome is complete. The fish’s compact genetics should accelerate the discovery of human genes and their key controlling sequences.

Gene-prediction programs struggle to find genes in the 3 billion letters of the human sequence, which includes swathes of junk DNA and defunct pseudogenes.

The bony fish Fugu rubripes shares our gene repertoire but has a genome one-eighth of the size.

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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

Big data analysis powers the fight against Alzheimer’s

New research helps explain the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and predicts its severit. Alzheimer’s disease has always had its puzzles and contradictions. For Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researcher Vladislav…

New potential mechanism for vision loss discovered

Thanks to laboratory produced human mini-retinas, researchers were able to observe complex changes in the retina as they occur in macular degeneration. This enabled them to discover the so-called cell…

New analysis of cellular ‘vehicles’

… drives a deeper understanding of ALS, Alzheimer’s. Oregon State University scientists have taken a key step toward better understanding neurodegenerative diseases by using a suite of biophysical techniques to…

Materials Sciences

New monochromator optics for tender X-rays

Until now, it has been extremely tedious to perform measurements with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution using X-ray light in the tender energy range of 1.5 – 5.0 keV….

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…

Information Technology

Symmetry-protected Majorana edge modes produced on Google’s quantum computer

Researchers at Google Quantum AI have produced quantum states that are resilient to decoherence that typically plagues quantum computers. Physicists at Google Quantum AI have used their quantum computer to…

High-speed Internet through light

EU project ELIoT presents LiFi solutions for the mass market. The project ELIoT (Enhance Lighting for the Internet of Things), part of the EU Horizon 2020 initiative, has been successfully…

(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…