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Dec 3, 2023

Pathogens use force to bypass the immune system, new research says

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers have found that some pathogens can use physical force to enter and survive inside cells, bypassing the immune system. This could lead to new ways of fighting intracellular infections.


Toxoplasma as intracellular pathogen.

Continue reading “Pathogens use force to bypass the immune system, new research says” »

Dec 3, 2023

Study illuminates formation of US east coast during break up of supercontinent Pangea

Posted by in category: climatology

A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth sheds new light on the formation of the East Coast of the United States—a “passive margin,” in geologic terms—during the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean around 230 million years ago.

In geology, passive margins are “quiet” areas, locations with minimal faulting or magmatism, where land meets the . Understanding their formation is crucial for many reasons, including that they are stable regions where hydrocarbon resources are extracted and that their sedimentary archive preserves our planet’s climate history as far back as millions of years.

The study, co-authored by scientists from the University of New Mexico, SMU seismologist Maria Beatrice Magnani, and scientists from Northern Arizona University and USC, explores the structure of rocks and the amount of magma-derived rocks along the East Coast and how they change along the margin, which may be tied to how the continent was pulled apart when Pangea fragmented. This event may have also influenced the structure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a vast underwater mountain system running down the center of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dec 3, 2023

A new possible explanation for the Hubble tension

Posted by in category: space

The universe is expanding. How fast it does so is described by the so-called Hubble-Lemaitre constant. But there is a dispute about how big this constant actually is: Different measurement methods provide contradictory values.

This so-called “Hubble tension” poses a puzzle for cosmologists. Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and St. Andrews are now proposing a new solution: Using an alternative theory of gravity, the discrepancy in the measured values can be easily explained—the Hubble tension disappears. The study has now been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

The causes the galaxies to move away from each other. The speed at which they do this is proportional to the distance between them. For instance, if galaxy A is twice as far away from Earth as galaxy B, its distance from us also grows twice as fast. The US astronomer Edwin Hubble was one of the first to recognize this connection.

Dec 3, 2023

Meteorites likely source of nitrogen for early Earth, Ryugu samples study finds

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Micrometeorites originating from icy celestial bodies in the outer solar system may be responsible for transporting nitrogen to the near-Earth region in the early days of our solar system. That discovery was published in Nature Astronomy by an international team of researchers, including University of Hawai’i at Mānoa scientists, led by Kyoto University.

Nitrogen compounds, such as ammonium salts, are abundant in material born in regions far from the sun, but evidence of their transport to Earth’s orbital region had been poorly understood.

“Our recent findings suggest the possibility that a greater amount of than previously recognized was transported near Earth, potentially serving as for life on our planet,” says Hope Ishii, study co-author and affiliate faculty at the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

Dec 3, 2023

An anomalous relativistic emission arising from the intense interaction of lasers with plasma mirrors

Posted by in category: physics

Interactions between intense laser pulses and plasma mirrors have been the focus of several recent physics studies due to the interesting effects they produce. Experiments have revealed that these interactions can generate a non-linear physical process known as high-order harmonics, characterized by the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and brief flashes of laser light (i.e., attosecond pulses).

Researchers at The Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC in Czechia and Osaka University in Japan recently uncovered a surprising transition that takes place during interactions between intense pulses and plasma mirrors. This transition, marked by an anomalous emission of coherent XUV radiation, was outlined in a paper published in Physical Review Letters.

“Relativistic oscillating mirrors are a fascinating concept with great potential for intense attosecond and bright XUV generation,” Marcel Lamač, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told

Dec 3, 2023

Prototype for DUNE detector will test new technology that can handle more neutrinos

Posted by in category: particle physics

Long before the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment takes its first measurements in an effort to expand our understanding of the universe, a prototype for one of the experiment’s detectors is blazing new trails in neutrino detection technology.

DUNE, currently under construction, will be a massive experiment that spans more than 800 miles. A beam of neutrinos originating at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will pass through a located on the Fermilab site, then travel through the ground to a huge detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

The near detector consists of a set of particle detection systems. One of them, known as the ND-LAr, will feature a liquid-argon time projection chamber to record particle tracks; it will be placed inside a container full of liquid argon. When a neutrino collides with one of the particles that make up argon atoms, the collision generates more particles. As each particle created in the collision travels out of the nucleus, it interacts with nearby atoms, stripping off some of their electrons, leading to the production of detectable signals in the form of light and charge.

Dec 3, 2023

Google is reportedly pushing the launch of its Gemini AI to 2024

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Supposedly only til next month, Jan. 2024. But, it is why we absolutely must keep heat on full acceleration of AI. There is a clear camp wants to stop it, turn it off and walk it a decade backwards. And that is unacceptable.

A new report by The Information says Google has pushed back the launch of its next-gen AI, Gemini. The company was reportedly planning to introduce the new foundational model in events scheduled for next week, but has quietly delayed it until January after finding it needed to work on its responses to non-English queries.

Dec 3, 2023

AI-powered digital colleagues are here. Some ‘safe’ jobs could be vulnerable

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Humans already work alongside robots in industries such as manufacturing. Now, for knowledge workers, the threat of AI replacement is coming faster than they imagined.

Dec 3, 2023

Brainstorming nanomaterials with a domain-specific chatbot

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, robotics/AI

A researcher has just finished writing a scientific paper. She knows her work could benefit from another perspective. Did she overlook something? Or perhaps there’s an application of her research she hadn’t thought of. A second set of eyes would be great, but even the friendliest of collaborators might not be able to spare the time to read all the required background publications to catch up.

Kevin Yager—leader of the electronic nanomaterials group at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory—has imagined how recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could aid scientific brainstorming and ideation. To accomplish this, he has developed a chatbot with knowledge in the kinds of science he’s been engaged in.

Rapid advances in AI and ML have given way to programs that can generate creative text and useful software code. These general-purpose chatbots have recently captured the public imagination. Existing chatbots—based on large, diverse language models—lack detailed knowledge of scientific sub-domains. By leveraging a document-retrieval method, Yager’s bot is knowledgeable in areas of nanomaterial science that other bots are not.

Dec 3, 2023

Bottlenose dolphins can sense electric fields, study shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A small team of bio-scientists from the University of Rostock’s Institute for Biosciences and Nuremberg Zoo’s Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Lab, both in Germany, has found evidence that bottlenose dolphins can sense electric fields. In their study, reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the group tested the ability of two captive bottlenose dolphins to sense a small electric field.

Many creatures in the are able to sense an electric field—some sharks and the platypus, for example—but only one type of marine mammal has been found to have the ability: the Guiana dolphin. In this new effort, the research team wondered if other types of dolphins have the ability.

They chose to study for two reasons: a pair of were available for testing at the nearby Nuremberg Zoo, and prior research suggested that neural cells in the vibrissal crypts situated along the dolphins’ snouts strongly resembled the electric-field detectors observed in sharks.

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