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Archive 2011-2013



  • Breaking down cancer’s defence mechanisms

Researchers have identified how the ‘wall’ around cancer tumours functions and how to break it down, enabling the body’s own defences to reach and kill the cancer cells within.
Continue reading through The University of Cambridge PDF Breaking down cancer’s defence mechanisms _ University of Cambridge

  • Unraveling the Basics of HIV/AIDS Biology

Gladstone’s discovery of precise molecular mechanisms in the human body leads to a new potential therapy for our era’s deadliest epidemic…Continue through Gladstone Institutes PDF gladstone-science-nature-121913

  • Batteries as they are meant to be seen

Researchers have developed a way to microscopically view battery electrodes while they are bathed in wet electrolytes, mimicking realistic conditions inside actual batteries. While life sciences researchers regularly use transmission electron microscopy to study wet environments, this time scientists have applied it successfully to rechargeable battery research…
Continue reading through PNNL PDF PNNL: News – Batteries as they are meant to be seen

  • A new species of horse, 4.4 million years old

Two teams of researchers, including a scientist from Case Western Reserve University, have announced the discovery of a new species of fossil horse from 4.4 million-year-old fossil-rich deposits in Ethiopia.

About the size of a small zebra, Eurygnathohippus woldegabrieli—named for geologist Giday WoldeGabriel, who earned his PhD at Case Western Reserve in 1987—had three-toed hooves and grazed the grasslands and shrubby woods in the Afar Region, the scientists say … Continue reading through EurekAlert PDF A new species of horse, 4.4 million years old_Eurekalert

  • Turning unwanted carbon dioxide into electricity

Researchers are developing a new kind of geothermal power plant that will lock away unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) underground and use it as a tool to boost electric power generation by at least 10 times compared to conventional geothermal power Continue reading through Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory PDF Turning unwanted carbon dioxide into electricity_LLNL

  • Swirls in remnants of Big Bang may hold clues to universe’s infancy

South Pole Telescope scientists have detected for the first time a subtle distortion in the oldest light in the universe, which may help reveal secrets about the earliest moments in the universe’s formation.

The scientists observed twisting patterns in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background—light that last interacted with matter very early in the history of the universe, less than 400,000 years after the Big Bang. These patterns, known as “B modes,” are caused by gravitational lensing, a phenomenon that occurs when the trajectory of light is bent by massive objects, much like a lens focuses light. Continue reading through UChicago News PDF Swirls in Remnants of Big Bang May Hold Clues to Universe’s Infancy_The Kavli Foundation

  • How Bacteria Evade the Immune System

Bacteria exposed to antibiotics rapidly acquire mutations that allow them to develop resistance to the drugs, and this process is fairly well understood. Scientists have now looked at the evolution of bacterial resistance toward live agents: cells of the immune system…Continue reading through The Scientist Magazine PDF How Bacteria Evade the Immune System | The Scientist Magazine®

  • Morphing material has mighty potential

Composite invented at Rice may find use in bioscaffolds, optics, drugs 

HOUSTON – (Dec. 9, 2013) – Heating a sheet of plastic may not bring it to life – but it sure looks like it does in new experiments at Rice University.

The materials created by Rice polymer scientist Rafael Verduzco and his colleagues start as flat slabs, but they morph into shapes that can be controlled by patterns written into their layers [...] continue reading through RICE University PDF Morphing material has mighty potential_RICE

  • You can’t get entangled without a wormhole

MIT physicist finds the creation of entanglement simultaneously gives rise to a wormhole.Read through MIT News Office PDF You can’t get entangled without a wormhole_MIT News Office
  • Researchers unlock a new means of growing intestinal stem cells

Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.

Read through MIT News Office PDF Researchers unlock a new means of growing intestinal stem cells_MIT News Office

  • Researchers Discover New State of Liquid Crystals

New collaborative research, carried out by Dr. Vitaly P. Panov, Research Fellow, and Jagdish K Vij, Honorary Professor of Electronic Materials of Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering, Department of Electronic Engineering, has found the twist bend nematic phase of liquid crystals (LCs).  

The findings, are published in the leading scientific journal Nature Communications. A series of papers published by the group of Professor Vij in Physical Review Letters and Applied Physics Letters with Dr. Panov as first author formed the basis of this fascinating discovery.

The discovery was made possible by international collaboration with two groups of chemists from the United Kingdom – those of Professor Georg Mehl (Hull) and Professor Corrie Imrie (Aberdeen) – and by the groups of Professor Oleg D. Lavrentovich and Professor Antal Jakli at the Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Ohio, USA.

The work revealed a novel type of liquid crystalline ‘nematic phase’ called the ‘Twist-bend nematic’. Nematic phases are characterised by molecules that have no positional order but which tend to point in the same direction. In the new phase, the molecules start to self-assemble at a nano-level with a pitch, or spacing, of 8 nm, which is thousands of times smaller than the thickness of human hair. These form unusual periodic domains at the macroscopic level when confined in between two specially treated glass plates.  The major advantage with this new discovery is that self-assembly into periodic structures is spontaneous, without application of an external electric or magnetic field [ continue reading through Trinity College Dublin ] PDF Researchers Discover New State of Liquid Crystal_Trinity College Dublin

  • Research to shed light on mystery of wild wine ferments

Winemakers will gain new insight into the micro-organisms in their ferments thanks to a new research partnership between the Australian Wine Research Institute and UNSW’s Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics.

Grapes are transformed into wine by an entire ecosystem of yeasts and bacteria, whose composition has a huge impact on the quality of the final product. In many cases these microbes are ‘wild’, coming from the local environment and appearing naturally in the fermentation once the grapes are crushed. However, like any wild organism, their appearance and behaviour can be erratic, and their overall role in defining regional character of wine largely remains a mystery.

To delve into this mystery, a technique known as metagenomics will be applied to analyse wild wine ferments from around Australia, allowing the identity of all the yeast and bacteria present in the fermentations to be mapped using their unique genomic signatures [ continue reading through UNSW ] PDF Research to shed light on mystery of wild wine ferments _ UNSW Newsroom

  • Neuronal Activity and Dendrite Development

How does the developing brain establish the correct connections?Matsui et al. (p. 1114, published online 31 October) discovered an activity-dependent transcription mechanism during mouse and ferret visual cortex development that controls the direction of dendrite orientation, allowing dendrites to steer toward active axons and away from inactive axons. This mechanism enables the construction of polarized neuronal shapes for integration into neural circuits with the required finescale architecture to process subtle activity patterns, a property underlying complex behavior [ continue reading through Science ]

  • Scientists identify protein responsible for controlling communication between brain cells

Scientists are a step closer to understanding how some of the brain’s 100 billion nerve cells co-ordinate their communication. The study is published in the journal Cell Reports.

The University of Bristol research team investigated some of the chemical processes that underpin how brain cells co-ordinate their communication. Defects in this communication are associated with disorders such as epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia, and therefore these findings could lead to the development of novel neurological therapies [ continue reading through the University of Bristol ] PDF Scientists identify protein_Bristol University

  • The Return of the Seals

There was once a bounty on gray seals in New England; hunters in Massachusetts and Maine got $5 if they turned in a nose or skin. From the 1890s until the 1960s, an estimated 135,000 seals were killed, and seals disappeared from Cape Cod.

Then the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 outlawed seal killing. Gradually the seal population recovered and is now thriving. A 1994 survey spotted 2,035 seals in Cape Cod waters; by 2011, the National Marine Fisheries Service counted more than 15,700, with hundreds regularly seen congregating on beaches, or “hauling out,” on the Cape shoreline [continue reading through Oceanus Magazine] PDF The Return of the Seals _ Oceanus Magazine

  • Comb Jellyfish Recognize Their Enemies

This comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is only 1.5 cm in size and was photographed in Kiel Fjord. Photo: Javidpour Jamileh, GEOMAR

This comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is only 1.5 cm in size and was photographed in Kiel Fjord. Photo: Javidpour Jamileh, GEOMAR

The American comb jelly, an only recent immigrant species into the Baltic, is biologically a very simple organism. It is therefore surprising that the immune system of the jellyfish is capable of learning and recognizing their enemies. This is the result of a study that was recently published by scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology at the University of Kiel in the international journal Biology Letters [Continue reading through GEOMAR] PDF Rippenquallen erkennen ihre Feinde wieder_GEOMAR

  • MicroRNA Research Takes Aim at Cholesterol

Caption: Illustration of artery partially blocked by a cholesterol plaque.

Caption: Illustration of artery partially blocked by a cholesterol plaque.

[...The correlation of higher HDL levels with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease is firmly established—and so multiple therapeutic strategies have explored raising HDL.  But correlation is not causation, and the appealing simplicity of this hypothesis is now encountering some challenges...]

November 26, 2013 | by  | Original online publication NIH Director’s Blog | PDF MicroRNA Research Takes Aim at Cholesterol _ NIH Director’s Blog



Everyone knows that Tyrannosaurus rex was the biggest and baddest thing around during the age of the dinosaurs.  But what else was out there?  What was the biggest thing before the T. rex?   Scientists at The Field Museum and collaborators have uncovered the bones of another large predator in the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah – one that would have filled the role as top predator of its time and kept T. rex’s ancestors in check! [...]

November 22, 2013 | Original online publication The Field Museum | PDF Dino Discovery _ The Field Museum

  • Oldest Body of Seawater Found in Giant Crater

Hundred-million-old water was trapped after ancient impact, study says.

Scientists drilling the United States’ biggest crater have tapped into the oldest body of seawater ever found.

They weren’t expecting to find the ancient water, estimated to be 100 to 145 million years old, while boring a hole 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometers) deep into the massive crater, located under the Chesapeake Bay.

The crater was formed about 35 million years ago when a large rock or chunk of ice slammed into what’s now the mouth of the bay, off Cape Charles, Virginia, hollowing out a 56-mile-wide (90-kilometer-wide) hole in the floor of the North Atlantic Ocean [...]


Christine Dell’Amore | Original online publication National Geographic | NOVEMBER 20, 2013 | PDF Mind-Blowing Discovery: Oldest Body of Seawater Found in Giant Crater

  • An unconventional car: no engine, no transmission, no differential

Researcher and his team are developing a safe and reliable control system for in-city driving
This car has no engine, no transmission and no differential. It weighs half as much as a conventional car. Each of its four wheels has its own built-in electric battery-powered motor, meaning the car has the ability to make sharp turns and change direction very quickly [...]

An experimental four wheel independently actuated, lightweight electric vehicle. Credit: Junmin Wang, Ohio State University

An experimental four wheel independently actuated, lightweight electric vehicle.
Credit: Junmin Wang, Ohio State University

November 15, 2013Marlene Cimons | Original online publication National Science Foundation | PDF An unconventional car_NSF

  • SeaQuest seeks the secrets of the proton

Late last week, the SeaQuest experiment began exploring the structure of protons and the behavior of the particles of which they’re made.

Sarah WitmanNovember 12, 2013 | Original online publication Symmetry Magazine | PDF SeaQuest seeks the secrets of the proton_Symmetry Magazine

  • Single-Cell Genome Sequencing Gets Better

Researchers led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have generated the most complete genome sequences from single E. coli cells and individual neurons from the human brain. The breakthrough comes from a new single-cell genome sequencing technique that confines genome amplification to fluid-filled wells with a volume of just 12 nanoliters.

The study is published in the journal Nature Biotechnology on November 10, 2013. An animated video describing the new approach, which is called the Microwell Displacement Amplification System or MIDAS, is available at here.

November 12, 2013 | By Daniel Kane | Original online publication UC San Diego | PDF Single-Cell Genome Sequencing Gets Better_UC San Diego

  • Taking a New Look at Carbon Nanotubes

Despite their almost incomprehensibly small size – a diameter about one ten-thousandth the thickness of a human hair – single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different “species,” each with its own structure and unique combination of electronic and optical properties. Characterizing the structure and properties of an individual carbon nanotube has involved a lot of guesswork – until now.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have developed a technique that can be used to identify the structure of an individual carbon nanotube and characterize its electronic and optical properties in a functional device.

NOVEMBER 12, 2013 | Original online publication Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | PDF Berkeley Lab News Center » Taking a New Look at Carbon Nanotubes

  • Structure of bacterial nanowire protein hints at secrets of conduction

RICHLAND, Wash. – Tiny electrical wires protrude from some bacteria and contribute to rock and dirt formation. Researchers studying the protein that makes up one such wire have determined the protein’s structure. The finding is important to such diverse fields as producing energy, recycling Earth’s carbon and miniaturizing computers.

“This is the first atomic resolution structure of this protein from an electrically conductive bacterial species, and it sets the foundation for understanding how these nanowires work,” said structural biologist Patrick Reardon of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Reardon is the 2012 William R. Wiley Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at EMSL, the DOE’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL.

November 12, 2013 | Original online publication Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | PDF PNNL_ News – Structure of bacterial nanowire protein hints at secrets of conduction

  • Evidence of 3.5 billion-year-old bacterial ecosystems found in Australia

Washington, D.C.— Reconstructing the rise of life during the period of Earth’s history when it first evolved is challenging. Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks are not only rare, but also almost always altered by hydrothermal and tectonic activity. A new study from a team including Carnegie’s Nora Noffke, a visiting investigator, and Robert Hazen revealed the well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence in Australia. Their work is published in Astrobiology.

NOVEMBER 12, 2013
| Original online publication Carnegie Institution of Washington | PDF Evidence of 3.5 billion-year-old bacterial ecosystems found in Australia_Carnegie Institution of Science

  • Scientists Study Fishy Behavior to Solve Locomotion Mystery

Robotic fish developed at Northwestern used to uncover principle of animal agility

November 4, 2013 | Original online publication The Northwestern University | PDF Scientists Study Fishy Behavior to Solve Locomotion Mystery_ Northwestern University News

  • Carnegie Science

Fall 2013

The Newsletter of the Carnegie Institution

  • Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant Clean Rooms

A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America. 

November 06, 2013Guy Webster | Original online publication Jet Propulsion Laboratory | PDF Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant Clean Rooms – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Researchers gain new insights into brain neuronal networks

A paper published in a special edition of the journal Science proposes a novel understanding of brain architecture using a network representation of connections within the primate cortex.

Gene Stowe and Marissa GebhardNovember 01, 2013 | Original online publication University of Notre Dame | PDF Researchers gain new insights into brain neuronal networks : News : Notre Dame News : University

  • Death of a spruce tree

Study of Black Spruce forest means trees might store more carbon than thought

October 02, 2013Mary Beckman | Original online publication Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | PDF PNNL: News – Death of a spruce tree

  • Cosmos seeded with heavy elements during youth

Traces of iron distributed smoothly throughout a massive galaxy cluster tell a 10-billion-year-old story of cosmic evolution.

October 31, 2013Lori Ann White | Original online publication Symmetry Magazine | PDF Cosmos seeded with heavy elements during youth

  • Chaos Theory

October 31, 2013 | By STEPHANIE DUTCHEN | Original online publication Harvard Medical School | PDF Chaos Theory | HMS

Patterns in cancer’s chaos illuminate tumor evolution ( continue reading )

  • Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

24 October 2013Andrew Bissette | Original online publication The Conversation | PDF Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

How life came about from inanimate sets of chemicals is still a mystery. While we may never be certain which chemicals existed on prebiotic Earth, we can study the biomolecules we have today to give us clues about what happened three billion years ago.

Now scientists have used a set of these biomolecules to show one way in which life might have started. They found that these molecular machines, which exist in living cells today, don’t do much on their own. But as soon as they add fatty chemicals, which form a primitive version of a cell membrane, it got the chemicals close enough to react in a highly specific manner ( continue reading )

  • New Eye Treatment Effective in Laboratory Tests

October 28, 2013 | Original online publication The Scripps Research Institute | PDF New Eye Treatment Effective in Laboratory Tests

A promising technique for treating human eye disease has proven effective in preclinical studies and may lead to new treatments to prevent blindness, according to experiments conducted at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California ( continue reading )


17 October 2013 | Original online publication University of Twente | PDF A mega to giga year storage medium can outlive the human race

Mankind has been storing information for thousands of years. From carvings on marble to today’s magnetic data storage. Although the amount of data that can be stored has increased immensely during the past few decades, it is still difficult to actually store data for a long period. The key to successful information storage is to ensure that the information does not get lost. If we want to store information that will exist longer than mankind itself, then different requirements apply than those for a medium for daily information storage. Researcher Jeroen de Vries from the University of Twente MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology demonstrates that it is possible to store data for extremely long periods. He will be awarded his doctorate on 17 October ( continue reading )

  • Michigan Tech Scientists Verify Nanodiamond Discovery

October 22, 2013 | By Marcia Goodrich | Original online publication Michigan Tech News | PDF Michigan Tech Scientists Verify Nanodiamond Discovery

Diamonds, usually forged in overwhelming heat and pressure miles deep in the Earth’s mantle, have now been made at atmospheric pressure and 100 degrees Celcius—the boiling point of water ( continue reading )

  • Hair Regeneration Method is First to Induce New Human Hair Growth

October 21, 2013 | Original online publication Columbia University Medical Center | PDF Hair Regeneration Method is First to Induce New Human Hair Growth _ Columbia University Medical Center

NEW YORK, NY (October, 21, 2013) — Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have devised a hair restoration method that can generate new human hair growth, rather than simply redistribute hair from one part of the scalp to another. The approach could significantly expand the use of hair transplantation to women with hair loss, who tend to have insufficient donor hair, as well as to men in early stages of baldness. The study was published today in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) ( continue reading )

  • Mixing Nanoparticles to Make Multifunctional Materials

October 20, 2013 | Original online publication Brookhaven National Laboratory | PDF BNL Newsroom _ Mixing Nanoparticles to Make Multifunctional Materials

UPTON, NY—Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a general approach for combining different types of nanoparticles to produce large-scale composite materials. The technique, described in a paper published online by Nature Nanotechnology on October 20, 2013, opens many opportunities for mixing and matching particles with different magnetic, optical, or chemical properties to form new, multifunctional materials or materials with enhanced performance for a wide range of potential applications ( continue reading )

  • Penetrating cancer’s shield

Lab Land Blog | Oct. 17, 2013 | Original online publication Emory University | PDF Penetrating cancer’s shield _ Emory University _ Atlanta, GA

Gina Kolata has a section front story in Tuesday’s New York Times exploring the potential of a relatively new class of anticancer drugs. The drugs break through “shields” built by cancers to ward off the threat posed by the patient’s immune system. Many are based on blocking PD-1, an immune regulatory molecule whose importance in chronic infections was first defined by Emory’s Rafi Ahmed ( continue reading )

  • Basic Science Finds New Clue to Bipolar Disorder

October 29, 2013 |by Dr. Francis Collins | Original online publication National Institutes of Health | PDF Basic Science Finds New Clue to Bipolar Disorder _ NIH Director’s Blog

We know that heredity, along with environment, plays an important role in many mental illnesses. For example, studies have revealed that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder, the chance of the other being affected is about 60%. There are similar observations for autism, schizophrenia, and major depression. But finding the genes that predispose to these conditions has proven very tricky ( continue reading )

  • UA team part of breakthrough research on Parkinson’s disease

October 25, 2013 | By Ed Enoch | Original online publication The Tuscaloosa News PDF UA team part of breakthrough research on Parkinson’s disease

A team of scientists including researchers at the University of Alabama has identified a chemical compound that helps enhance a brain cell’s ability to combat the effects of blocks formed by a protein linked to Parkinson’s Disease.

The collaborative research was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology biology professor Susan Lindquist, along with researchers at UA, Harvard University, Purdue University and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( continue reading )

In time for Halloween, this video explains what fear is, chemically. It’s a series of responses in the brain and body–including an increase in heart and respiratory rates, blood pressure, and perspiration–after release into the bloodstream of two hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, that ready the body for “fight or flight” action.
Credit: NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division Research Highlights

Cutting Greenhouse Gases to Curb Climate Change also Saves Lives

Global analysis shows the air pollution benefit of climate policy

World map of areas around the world where fine particulate matter in air pollution causes the most deaths. Dark brown represents higher numbers of premature deaths than light brown. Areas in blue are where air quality has improved. The information compares data from the 1850s to 2000, with average number of deaths per 1,000 square kilometers. Enlarge Image for Global Map. Graphic courtesy of NASA.

Results: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow the rate of climate change is not the news. Quantifying the benefit in terms of air quality and human lives is. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was part of a multi-institutional research team that found reductions in air pollution levels might justify cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which often go hand-in-hand with harmful air pollutants. Known as a “co-benefit,” using state of the art modes for human and natural systems, along with climate projections from the international community, the team was able for the first time to put a value on the global air pollution benefits of cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the 21st century. They showed that reducing greenhouse gases not only slows climate change, it prevents millions of premature deaths. The research appeared September 25 in online versions of the prestigious journal Nature Climate Change.

October 2013 | Original online publication Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | PDF PNNL_ Research Highlights_ Cutting Greenhouse Gases to Curb Climate Change also Saves Lives

  • Observing brain activity during learning errors

A major goal in neuroscience is to be able to use magnetic resonance images of brain activity to identify how a person learns. Researchers from ETH and the University of Zurich have taken an important step forward by showing that mistakes made during a learning process activate certain areas of the brain.

17.10.13Angelika Jacobs | Original online publication ETH Life | PDF Observing brain activity during learning errors

  • Method of recording brain activity could lead to ‘mind-reading’ devices, scientists say

A brain region activated when people are asked to perform mathematical calculations in an experimental setting is similarly activated when they use numbers — or even imprecise quantitative terms, such as “more than”— in everyday conversation, according to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists.

Using a novel method, the researchers collected the first solid evidence that the pattern of brain activity seen in someone performing a mathematical exercise under experimentally controlled conditions is very similar to that observed when the person engages in quantitative thought in the course of daily life.

OCT. 15, 2013 | BY BRUCE GOLDMAN | Original online publication Stanford University School of Medicine | PDF Method of recording brain activity could lead to mind-reading devices, scientists say – Office of Communications & Public Affairs – Stanford University School of Medicine

  • Physicist’s Camera Captures Day-Old Supernova

With the help of a special spectroscopic camera developed by a Texas Tech University physicist, researchers at Caltech and Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network captured rare images of a star in another galaxy going supernova within a day of the star’s explosion.

This is the first time scientists have pinpointed a star that eventually exploded as a stripped-envelope supernova, called a type Ib, said David Sand, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics who developed the camera.

The global team of astrophysicists, led by Yi Cao of Caltech, found the supernova on June 16. Their research was published online Aug. 30 in the peer-reviewed journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

October 16, 2013 | by John Davis | Original online publication Texas Tech University | PDF Physicist’s Camera Captures Day-Old Supernova __ Texas Tech Today

  • Genetic errors identified in 12 major cancer types

Examining 12 major types of cancer, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that appear to drive the development and progression of a range of tumors in the body. The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments. 

October 16, 2013 | By Caroline Arbanas | Original online publication Washington University in St. Louis | PDF Genetic errors identified in 12 major cancer types _ Newsroom _ Washington University in St

  • ESF Scientist Reports New Species of Giant Amazonian Fish

Discovery highlights hazards of relocating animals among habitats

A new species of the giant fish arapaima has been discovered from the central Amazon in Brazil, raising questions about what other species remain to be discovered and highlighting the potential for ecological problems when animals are relocated from their native habitats.

10/14/2013| Original online publication State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry | PDF ESF Scientist Reports New Species of Giant Amazonian Fish

  • Rings, Dark Side of Saturn Glow in New Cassini Image

Story Highlights: 
• The Cassini spacecraft scanned across Saturn and its rings when the sun was behind the planet and faint rings were easier to detect.
• This latest infrared image shows a strip about 340,000 miles (540,000 kilometers) across that includes the planet and its rings out to Saturn’s second most distant ring.

October 17, 2013Jia-Rui Cook|Original online publication Jet Propulsion Laboratory | PDF Rings, Dark Side of Saturn Glow in New Cassini Image – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Fish Evolve Stabbier Genitals When Predators Are Near

Like sock garters and homburg hats, the equipment used by our great-grandparents doesn’t always cut it for later generations. Certain male fish have evolved differently shaped genitals depending on what other fish share their caves. Attracting females, though, doesn’t seem to be as important not getting eaten. Most fish reproduce simply by scattering a lot of of eggs and sperm around their environment. But a few types of fish are “livebearers”: their eggs are fertilized and hatched inside the female’s body, then come swimming out as fully formed miniature fish. Many sharks bear live young. So does Gambusia hubbsi, the Bahamas mosquitofish.

By Elizabeth Preston on Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Original online publication Inkfish PDF Inkfish_ Fish Evolve Stabbier Genitals When Predators Are Near

  • ALMA Probes Mysteries of Jets from Giant Black Holes

Two international teams of astronomers have used the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to focus on jets from the huge black holes at the centres of galaxies and observe how they affect their surroundings. They have respectively obtained the best view yet of the molecular gas around a nearby, quiet black hole and caught an unexpected glimpse of the base of a powerful jet close to a distant black hole.

16 October 2013 | Original online publication ESO | PDF ALMA Probes Mysteries of Jets from Giant Black Holes _ ESO

  • The Role of “Master Regulators” in Gene Mutations and Disease

Researchers identify key proteins that help establish cell function

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new way to parse and understand how special proteins called “master regulators” read the genome, and consequently turn genes on and off. 

Writing in the October 13, 2013 Advance Online Publication of Nature, the scientists say their approach could make it quicker and easier to identify specific gene mutations associated with increased disease risk – an essential step toward developing future targeted treatments, preventions and cures for conditions ranging from diabetes to neurodegenerative disease.

October 14, 2013 | By Scott LaFee | Original online publication UC San Diego | PDF The Role of “Master Regulators” in Gene Mutations and Disease
Reference paper Nature | Link doi:10.1038/nature12615
Effect of natural genetic variation on enhancer selection and function

  • Rare mosquito fossil shows female’s blood-filled belly

A unique 46-million-year-old mosquito fossil with a belly full of dried blood has been found in a Montana riverbed, US researchers said Monday.

“It is an extremely rare fossil, the only one of its kind in the world,” said Dale Greenwalt, lead author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

by Staff WritersOct 14, 2013 | Original online publication Terradaily
Article PDF Rare mosquito fossil shows female’s blood-filled belly
Hemoglobin-derived porphyrins preserved in a Middle Eocene blood-engorged mosquito

Link doi: 10.1073/pnas.1310885110 PNAS October 14, 2013
Blood-filled mosquito is a fossil first
Link Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13946
PDF Blood-filled mosquito is a fossil first _ Nature News & Comment

  • King Arthur, Arthurian legend and the Sarmatians

In  AD  175  ,  the  Roman  emperor  Marcus  Aurelius  settled  thousands  of  Sarmatian  cavalry  mercenaries  in  Britain.  Two  centuries  later,  the  Western  Roman  Empire  withdrew  her  troops  from  the  island.  It  seems  that  the  independent ”British  kingdom”  preserved  its  unity  and  coherence  but  soon  after  it  was  struck  by  the  ruthless  Anglo-Saxon  invasion.  The  Sarmatians  were  now  merged  with  the  Celtic  and  Romano-Briton  population,  taking  the  lead  in  checking  the  barbarians.  This  Sarmatian  presence  in  Britain  consists  probably  the  historical  background  of  the  legend  of  king  Arthur  and  his  Knights  of  the  Round  Table. 

11/10/2013 | Original online publication periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com

Links  Part I, Part II

  • A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence

Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel,” suggests they have a deeper understanding of the world around them

October 8, 2013 | By Justin Gregg | Original online publication Scientific American | PDF A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence_ Scientific American
Reference papers
Evolutionary Psychology
PDF Animals Represent the Past and the Future
Nature 445, 919-921 (22 February 2007)
Link doi:10.1038/nature05575
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci.
doi:  10.1098/rstb.2008.0301
PDF Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind
Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Link doi:10.1016/j.tics.2013.01.011
PDF Mental time travel_continuities and discontinuities
Cell Press NEURON
Link DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.01.034
PDF Hippocampal Replay Is Not a Simple Function of Experience

  • Birth Regulates the Initiation of Sensory Map Formation through Serotonin Signaling

Developmental Cell, Volume 27, Issue 1, 32-46, 14 October 2013

10.1016/j.devcel.2013.09.002 | PDF Birth Regulates the Initiation of Sensory Map Formation through Serotonin Siignaling

Although the mechanisms underlying the spatial pattern formation of sensory maps have been extensively investigated, those triggering sensory map formation during development are largely unknown. Here we show that the birth of pups instructively and selectively regulates the initiation of barrel formation in the somatosensory cortex by reducing serotonin concentration. We found that preterm birth accelerated barrel formation, whereas it did not affect either barreloid formation or barrel structural plasticity. We also found thatserotonin was selectively reduced soon after birth and that the reduction of serotonin was triggered by birth. The reduction of serotoninwas necessary and sufficient for the effect of birth on barrel formation. Interestingly, the regulatory mechanisms described here were also found to regulate eye-specific segregation in the visual system, suggesting that they are utilized in various brain regions. Our results shed light on roles of birth and serotonin in sensory map formation.

  • The secret to Einstein’s genius ?

Brain study notes unusually well-connected hemispheres.
We now know that Albert Einstein, one of history’s greatest physicists, had an unusually well-connected brain. The new insight was gleaned from a recently discovered set of 14 photographs of Einstein’s brain taken just after his autopsy

Jason Dorrier10/13/13 | Original online publication Singularity University, Singularity Hub | Article PDF The Secret To Einstein’s Genius_ Brain Study Notes Unusually Well-Connected Hemispheres _ Singularity Hub Reference Paper The corpus callosum of Albert Einstein‘s brain: another clue to his high intelligence? | Brain (2013) doi: 10.1093/brain/awt252 First published online: September 24, 2013

Common catalyst cerium oxide opens door to nanochemistry for medicine.
Scientists at Rice University are enhancing the natural antioxidant properties of an element found in a car’s catalytic converter to make it useful for medical applications.

MIKE WILLIAMS | OCTOBER 14, 2013 | Original online publication Rice University | Article PDF Rice scientists create a super antioxidant | Reference Paper Link-Open Access Antioxidant Properties of Cerium Oxide Nanocrystals as a Function of Nanocrystal Diameter and Surface Coating
  • Happiness lowers blood pressure

A synthetic gene module controlled by the happiness hormone dopamine produces an agent that lowers blood pressure. This opens up new avenues for therapies that are remote-controlled via the subsconscious.

14.10.13Peter Rüegg | ETH Life | PDF Happiness lowers blood pressure | Reference paper PNAS Reward-based hypertension control by a synthetic brain–dopamine interface

  • New research refutes claim that mummified head belonged to King Henry IV of France

New research led by KU Leuven professor Jean-Jacques Cassiman exposes erroneous conclusions in forensic studies by Spanish and French researchers. They incorrectly ascribed a mummified head to Henry IV and blood on a handkerchief to Louis XVI.

9 October 2013 | KU Leuven | PDF New research refutes claim that mummified head belonged to King Henry IV of France – KU Leuven

  • Evidence for a new nuclear ‘magic number’

Researchers have come one step closer to understanding unstable atomic nuclei.  A team of researchers from RIKEN, the University of Tokyo and other institutions in Japan and Italy has provided evidence for a new nuclear magic number in the unstable, radioactive calcium isotope 54Ca. In a study published today in the journal Nature, they show that 54Ca is the first known nucleus with 34 neutrons (N) where N = 34 is a magic number.

October 10, 2013 | RIKEN | PDF Evidence for a new nuclear ‘magic number’ | RIKEN | Reference paper Nature Letter Evidence for a new nuclear :`magic number:’ from the level structure of 54Ca : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

A 2,700-year-old portico was discovered this summer on the site of the ancient city of Argilos in northern Greece, following an archaeological excavation led by Jacques Perreault, Professor at the University of Montreal’s Centre of Classical Studies and Zisis Bonias, an archaeologist with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.


Small cubes with no exterior moving parts can propel themselves forward, jump on top of each other, and snap together to form arbitrary shapes.
Larry Hardesty | Original online publication : MIT News OfficeOctober 4, 2013 | pdfSurprisingly simple scheme for self-assembling robots


The vitamin niacin has a life-prolonging effect, as Michael Ristow has demonstrated in roundworms. From his study, the ETH-Zurich professor also concludes that so-called reactive oxygen species are healthy, not only disagreeing with the general consensus, but also many of his peers.

Fabio Bergamin30.09.13 | Original online publication : ETH Life | pdfNiacin, the fountain of youth


ScienceShot: Tracking the World’s Everlasting Dead

Science AAAS


How old memories fade away

MIT News Office


Archeologists in Brazil find imperial objects (Update)



For Diguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes

Inkfish | By Elizabeth Preston | September 12, 2013 | Original online publication : Link | pdf : Inkfish_ For Diguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes

Probing methane’s secrets: From diamonds to Neptune

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | Original online publication : Carnegie Institution for Science | pdf : Probing methane’s secrets_ From diamonds to Neptune _ Carnegie Institution for Science

Hubble Uncovers Largest Known Group of Star Clusters, Clues to Dark Matter

Sept 12, 2013 | Original online publication : NASA | pdf : Hubble Uncovers Largest Known Group of Star Clusters, Clues to Dark Matter _ NASA


Spacecraft measures changes in direction of solar system’s interstellar winds

UChicagoNews | By Maria Martinez | SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 | Link | pdf : Spacecraft measures changes in direction of solar system’s interstellar winds


Evolution Heresy? Epigenetics Underlies Heritable Plant Traits

Science 6 September 2013 | Vol. 341 no. 6150 p. 1055  | Link DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6150.1055 | pdf : Evolution Heresy? Epigenetics Underlies Heritable Plant Traits


The Unruly Neutrino

Science 6 September 2013 | Vol. 341 no. 6150 p. 1058  | Link DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6150.1058 | pdf : The Unruly Neutrino


Team Finds ‘Weakest Link’ in the Aging Proteome

The Scripps Research Institute | Link | pdf : Team Finds ‘Weakest Link’ in the Aging Proteome

Research paper | CellIdentification of Long-Lived Proteins Reveals Exceptional Stability of Essential Cellular Structures | pdf : Identification of Long-Lived Proteins Reveals Exceptional Stability of Essential Cellular Structures


Fire salamanders under threat from deadly skin-eating fungus

Imperial College of London | by Sam Wong | 02 September 2013 | Link | pdf : Salamanders under threat from deadly skin-eating fungus


Writing the history of the ‘Cosmic Dark Ages’

Arizona State University | Link | pdf : Writing the history of the ‘Cosmic Dark Ages’ | ASU News


Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Star, Planet Lines

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Link | Pdf : Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Star, Planet Lines – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines between Stars and Planets

Press Release No.: 2013-23F | September 05, 2013 | Link | pdf : Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines between Stars and Planets

Neuroscience: Map the other brain

pdf : Neuroscience: Map the other brain : Nature News & Comment

Underwater volcano is Earth’s biggest

How Emperor Penguins stay underwater for 27 minutes

pdf : Bristol University | News from the University | Penguin research


Plankton Bloom in Lake Ontario

September 2, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory | pdf : Whiting Event, Lake Ontario : Natural Hazards


Electric fish may hold answers to better understanding of sensory abilities and movement

NSF | Pdf : nsf.gov – National Science Foundation (NSF) Discoveries – Electric fish may hold answers to better understanding of sensory abilities and movement – US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Cassini Sees Saturn Storm’s Explosive Power

pdfCassini Sees Saturn Storm’s Explosive Power – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


A fly’s hearing

BY:  GARY GALLUZZO | 2013.09.02  | PdfA fly’s hearing | Iowa Now – The University of Iowa

Researchers uncover brain molecule regulating human emotion, mood


ScienceShot: The Secret of the Frozen Frogs

Original online publication : Science AAASKELLY SERVICK | 2013-08-21 

Explosion Illuminates Invisible Galaxy in the Dark Ages

Astronauts Wax Poetic About Seeing Earth from Space

Universe Today

Sprites 2013: Update #5

Tiny Collisions Power Sandstorms

A War of Knowledge to Save Sharks

Making connections in the eye

MIT News Office

Deal done over HeLa cell line

Nature News

If We Landed on Europa, What Would We Want to Know?

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Caltech


The Odd Couple


Portrait of a Jupiter twin

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA’s Cassini Sees Forces Controlling Enceladus Jets

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Gravity Waves and Sunglint, Lake Superior

NASA Johnson Space Center

TED Education


John Searle: Our shared condition — consciousness

Philosopher John Searle lays out the case for studying human consciousness — and systematically shoots down some of the common objections to taking it seriously. As we learn more about the brain processes that cause awareness, accepting that consciousness is a biological phenomenon is an important first step. And no, he says, consciousness is not a massive computer simulation. (Filmed at TEDxCERN.)

John Searle has made countless contributions to contemporary thinking about consciousness, language, artificial intelligence and rationality itself. Full bio »


TED Education

Exploring other dimensions – Alex Rosenthal and George Zaidan

Imagine a two-dimensional world — you, your friends, everything is 2D. In his 1884 novella, Edwin Abbott invented this world and called it Flatland. Alex Rosenthal and George Zaidan take the premise of Flatland one dimension further, imploring us to consider how we would see dimensions different from our own and why the exploration just may be worth it.


Bernie Krause: The voice of the natural world

FILMED JUN 2013 • POSTED JUL 2013 • TEDGlobal 2013

Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes — the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae — for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe. A surprising look at what we can learn through nature’s symphonies, from the grunting of a sea anemone to the sad calls of a beaver in mourning.

Lawrence M. Krauss || A Universe from Nothing || Radcliffe Institute

Volcanoes ‘Scream’ At Ever-Increasing Pitches Until They Erupt, Research Finds


Phytoplankton Bloom in the Norwegian Sea


Blue Blood Pigment In Octopuses Is What Allows Them to Live In Freezing Temperatures, Research Finds


Science Team Outlines Goals for NASA’s 2020 Mars Rover

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


ESA Mars Images


Crowd Control

The Scientist magazine


A look inside children’s minds

University of Iowa


Incredible Technology: How to Engineer the Climate



Chemists Work to Desalt the Ocean for Drinking Water, One Nanoliter at a Time

The University of Texas at Austin


Precision medicine: The future of medicine?


Watch Video


A Stepping-Stone for Oxygen on Earth



Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano Unleashed Strongest Eruption of the Year

Nature World News


A revolutionary new 3D digital brain atlas

McGill University


UA Archaeologists Unearth Tuscaloosa’s Early History

The University of Alabama

The Spectacular Orion Nebula Cloud

The Daily Galaxy


Past Brain Activation Revealed in Scans

Weizmann Institute 


FILM: DNA – the blueprint for life

University of Liverpool


DNA constructs antenna for solar energy

Chalmers University of Technology


How do we know Dark Matter exists?

Quantum Diaries


NIST Announces New Scaffold Reference Material for Tissue Engineering Research

NIST Tech Beat

Astronomers detect three planets in habitable zone of nearby star

UC Santa Cruz



Is there a center of the universe?




How big is the ocean? – Scott Gass

Reading DNA, backward and forward

MIT News Office


Seeing the human pulse

MIT News Office


Jet stream changes cause climatically exceptional Greenland Ice Sheet melt

University of Sheffield


Wormhole entanglement solves black hole paradox

New Scientist





SDSC’s Gordon Supercomputer: Parsing Genes, Proteins, and Big Bio Data

UC San Diego


Marks on Martian Dunes May Reveal Tracks of Dry-Ice Sleds

The University of Arizona


Viewpoint: New Particle Hints at Four-Quark Matter

APS Physics




Transforming bone marrow stem cells into brain cells

The Scripps Research Institute 


Hubble Uncovers Evidence for Extrasolar Planet Under Construction



Printing artificial bone

MIT News Office


NASA | IRIS: The Science of NASA’s Newest Solar Explorer

watch video


Quantum clusters

watch video


Daily News Feed Reports_Jan 2013_Oct 2013 

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