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Jun 9, 2023

Study reveals first genetic locus for voice pitch

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health

In a paper published in Science Advances, an international team led by deCODE genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen, reveals the discovery of sequence variants in the gene ABCC9 that influence the pitch of voices.

Speaking is one of the most characteristic human behaviors, and yet the genetic underpinnings of voice and are largely unknown. In the first study of its kind, the scientists combined speech recordings from almost 13,000 Icelanders with data, in the sequence of the genome, to search for common variants in ABCC9 that are associated with a higher-pitched voice.

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Jun 9, 2023

A potential milestone in cancer therapy: Team discovers weak spot in prostate cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men worldwide. According to international estimates about one in six men will get prostate cancer during their lifetime and worldwide, over 375,000 patients will die from it each year. Tumor resistance to current therapies plays an essential role in this and new approaches are therefore urgently needed.

Now an international research team from the University of Bern, Inselspital Bern and the University of Connecticut has identified a previously unknown weak spot in . This weak spot is possibly also present in other . The study was led by Mark Rubin from the Department for Biomedical Research (DBMR) and Center for Precision Medicine (BCPM) at the University of Bern and Inselspital Bern, and Rahul Kanadia from the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology and the Institute for Systems Genomics at the University of Connecticut. The research results have been published in the journal Molecular Cell.

“We took a closer look at a certain molecular machine called the ,” explains Anke Augspach, lead author of the study and researcher from the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR). “It plays an important role in the translation of genes into proteins. In this process, the spliceosome separates parts of the gene that are not needed for the production of the protein and fuses the other parts.”

Jun 9, 2023

No A/C? No problem, if buildings copy networked tunnels of termite mounds

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

The mounds that certain species of termites build above their nests have long been considered to be a kind of built-in natural climate control—an approach that has intrigued architects and engineers keen to design greener, more energy-efficient buildings mimicking those principles. There have been decades of research devoted to modeling just how these mounds function. A new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Materials offers new evidence favoring an integrated-system model in which the mound, the nest, and its tunnels function together much like a lung.

Perhaps the most famous example of the influence of termite mounds in architecture is the Eastgate Building in Harare, Zimbabwe. It is the country’s largest commercial and shopping complex, and yet it uses less than 10 percent of the energy consumed by a conventional building of its size because there is no central air conditioning and only a minimal heating system. Architect Mick Pearce famously based his design in the 1990s on the cooling and heating principles used in the region’s termite mounds, which serve as fungus farms for the termites. Fungus is their primary food source.

Conditions have to be just right for the fungus to flourish. So the termites must maintain a constant temperature of 87° F in an environment where the outdoor temperatures range from 35° F at night to 104° F during the day. Biologists have long suggested that they do this by constructing a series of heating and cooling vents throughout their mounds, which can be opened and closed during the day to keep the temperature inside constant. The Eastgate Building relies on a similar system of well-placed vents and solar panels.

Jun 9, 2023

Parker Solar Probe Unlocks Solar Wind Secrets for Better Space Weather Forecasts

Posted by in category: space

UNITED STATES: In a remarkable scientific achievement, the Parker Solar Probe (PSP), a NASA spacecraft launched in 2018, has successfully examined the outer corona of the Sun, providing crucial insights into the fine structure of solar winds.

These groundbreaking observations hold the ability to revolutionise our ability to predict and mitigate the impact of solar flares on electronic equipment and vital systems.

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Jun 9, 2023

Zuckerberg’s Apple Vision Pro hot take just gave him a Ballmer iPhone moment

Posted by in category: mobile phones

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg chimed in with his thoughts about the Apple Vision Pro, and they’re oddly reminiscent of how Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer slammed the iPhone for being useless and of no value to customers.

On the one hand, it’s good for the head of a rival company not to seem all that worried about an incoming competitive product. On the other hand, executives that have dismissed something of Apple’s for the last 20 years has historically ended very poorly.

Just ask Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer.

Jun 9, 2023

Los Angeles Affordable Housing Challenge

Posted by in categories: habitats, sustainability

The Los Angeles Affordable Housing Challenge, the 16th installment of Buildner’s affordable housing competition series, welcomes architects and design enthusiasts from around the globe to submit inventive solutions to tackle Los Angeles’ housing crisis. As the city grapples with skyrocketing rents, gentrification, and expensive starter homes, affordable housing for lower-income households has become increasingly scarce.

This competition seeks to generate imaginative and pragmatic solutions to address the diverse housing needs of Los Angeles residents, including families, single professionals, and couples. Participants are encouraged to think beyond conventional housing models and explore innovative designs that offer flexibility, affordability, sustainability, and a sense of community.

Jun 9, 2023

Lynn Conway and The Chip Design Revolution

Posted by in category: computing

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Jun 9, 2023

Deadly heart condition reversed in 3 patients for the first time

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers have observed spontaneous reversal of the devastating heart condition transthyretin cardiac amyloidopathy for the first time, edging closer to a cure.

Jun 9, 2023

Scientists propose quantum proof-of-work consensus for blockchain

Posted by in categories: blockchains, computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Boson sampling was once considered a problem looking for a solution. Now, it might be the bridge that brings quantum computing to the blockchain.

Jun 9, 2023

Quantum materials: Electron spin measured for the first time

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics

An international research team has succeeded for the first time in measuring the electron spin in matter—i.e., the curvature of space in which electrons live and move—within “kagome materials,” a new class of quantum materials.

The results obtained—published in Nature Physics —could revolutionize the way quantum materials are studied in the future, opening the door to new developments in quantum technologies, with in a variety of technological fields, from to biomedicine, from electronics to quantum computers.

Success was achieved by an international collaboration of scientists, in which Domenico Di Sante, professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy “Augusto Righi,” participated for the University of Bologna as part of his Marie Curie BITMAP research project. He was joined by colleagues from CNR-IOM Trieste, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, University of Milan, University of Würzburg (Germany), University of St. Andrews (UK), Boston College and University of Santa Barbara (U.S.).

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