Latest News

Diverse Viruses Show Signs of Common Ancestry

The viruses that cause diseases as varied as AIDS, hepatitis and West Nile Virus may actually have more in common than was previously thought, new research reveals. According to a study that will appear in the March issue of the journal Molecular Cell, three major groups of viruses use similar mechanisms to replicate their genetic information after they have infiltrated the cells of a host.

There are six broad classes of viruses, each thought to represent a major evolutionary lineage. M

Mouse Study Suggests Anxiety Disorders Take Root in Infancy

The absence of a key signaling protein in the brain during infancy could lead to anxiety disorders later in life, scientists say. According to findings published today in the journal Nature, mice lacking the receptor protein for the chemical messenger serotonin just after birth exhibit abnormal anxiety as adults.

Researchers have known for some time that mice genetically engineered to lack the receptor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter, show anxiety-like behavior. But the new results go one

Preservation of fresh-cut vegetables; a producer’s and consumer’s sake

In recent years, new food packaging concepts have been developed to respond on consumption trends towards mildly preserved, fresh convenient food products. Fresh-cut vegetables are an example of fresh-like, healthy convenience foods, developed in the ‘80s in the UK. Their market is yearly increasing with 25% in West Europe.

Packaging fresh-cut vegetables under an Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere (EMA) is one of the new applied food packaging technologies offering a prolonged shelf-life of re

Humans dwelt in Ice-Age Tibet

Footprints and a fire found from 20,000 years ago.

Handprints and footprints 20,000 years old reveal that people lived on the Tibetan plateau at the height of the Ice Age – 16,000 years earlier than scientists had thought. The newly found signs of life cast doubt on the idea that a glacier a kilometre thick covered the plateau at that time.

David Zhang and S. H. Li of the University of Hong Kong found the marks of at least six individuals, including two children, in marble-l

Bacteria dye jeans

Biotech bugs turn indigo blue in a green way.

Jeans dyed blue by bacteria may soon be swaggering down the streets. Researchers have genetically modified bugs to churn out the indigo pigment used to stain denim. The process could be a greener rival to chemical indigo production.

Originally extracted from plants, indigo dye is now made from coal or oil, with potentially toxic by-products. Bacteria have previously been adapted as alternative indigo manufacturers, but a trace by-

Movie of a galaxy far, far away

Astronomers shoot first film of the stars, dust and gas at the centre of a galaxy.

Astronomers have made their first movie of the roiling mass of stars, dust and gas at the centre of a galaxy.

The movie zooms into the disk of saucer-shaped galaxy NGC 1068 and through its super-bright core. It reveals an energetic region of space created by material flying out of the suspected black hole at the centre and crashing back into the disk. This region appears as a pale blue cloud

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Physics and Astronomy

Could space dust help protect the earth from climate change?

On a cold winter day, the warmth of the sun is welcome. Yet as humanity emits more greenhouse gases, the Earth’s atmosphere traps more and more of the sun’s energy,…

Universalities at the glass transition

In a recently published article in the leading physics journal “Nature Physics”, a team of researchers with the participation of the University of Augsburg reports about unexpectedly universal correlations between…

‘Engine’ of luminous merging galaxies pinpointed for the first time

Roughly 500 million light-years away, near the constellation Delphinus, two galaxies are colliding. Known as merging galaxy IIZw096, this luminous phenomenon is obscured by cosmic dust, but researchers first identified…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Antarctica’s ocean brightens clouds

Gases from phytoplankton in the ocean help form dense clouds that reflect sunlight. The teeming life in the Southern Ocean, which encircles Antarctica, contributes to brightening the clouds that form…

Penguin physics…

… understanding the mechanisms of underwater turning maneuvers in penguins. Penguins constitute a fascinating family of flightless birds that, although somewhat clumsy on land, are extremely talented swimmers. Their incredible…

New horizons for organoboron and organosilicon chemistry

…with triple elementalization. In recent years, organic chemicals containing boron (B) and silicon (Si) have found applications in various fields, including optoelectronics and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, they can also serve as…

Materials Sciences

Bioresorbable membrane for healing internal and external wounds

Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in using the bioresorbable silica gel Renacer® to produce an electrospun membrane that is neither cytotoxic to cells nor genotoxic. This model mimics fibrous structures found…

How to make hydrogels more injectable

A new computational framework could help researchers design granular hydrogels to repair or replace diseased tissues. Gel-like materials that can be injected into the body hold great potential to heal…

Powering wearable technology with MXene textile supercapacitor ‘patch’

Drexel researchers create 6V textile supercapacitor to power wearable technology. Researchers at Drexel University are one step closer to making wearable textile technology a reality. Recently published in the Royal…

Information Technology

Toward practical quantum optics: multiphoton qubits from LNOI

New research demonstrates feasibility of photon-number doubling with a lithium-niobate-on-insulator (LNOI) platform. Can quantum optics be used for practical applications? A lot depends on whether a large number of photons…

Solving a machine-learning mystery

A new study shows how large language models like GPT-3 can learn a new task from just a few examples, without the need for any new training data. Large language…

Quantum-safe identities for a digital future

The security of digital identities is threatened by future quantum technologies. In the hands of attackers, quantum computers will be able to break classical encryption methods. To fend off such…