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Dec 4, 2023

KiDS in the sky: New Stellar system discovered by the Kilo-Degree Survey

Posted by in categories: mapping, space

Astronomers have discovered a new stellar system in the outskirts of the Milky Way as part of the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS). The newfound system, named Sextans II, is most likely an ultra-faint dwarf galaxy. The finding is reported in a paper published November 10 on the pre-print server arXiv.

KiDS is an extensive multi-band photometric survey utilizing the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Since 2011, the survey has been mapping 1,350 square degrees of the night sky in four broad-band filters (u, g, r, i). Although KiDS is focused on the assembly of large-scale structures in the universe, it may also detect low-surface brightness extragalactic stellar systems.

That is why a team of astronomers led by Massimiliano Gatto of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte in Naples, Italy, decided to conduct a large-scale search for unknown faint stellar systems with KiDS. For this purpose, they looked for low-luminosity stellar overdensities in the KiDS latest data release (DR4), which brought promising results.

Dec 4, 2023

High-Power Fiber Lasers emerge as a Pioneering Technology

Posted by in categories: drones, energy

Optical scientists have found a new way to significantly increase the power of fibre lasers while maintaining their beam quality, making them a future key defence technology against low-cost drones and for use in other applications such as remote sensing.

Researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA), the University of Adelaide (UoA) and Yale University have demonstrated the potential use of multimode optical fibre to scale up power in fibre lasers by three-to-nine times but without deteriorating the beam quality so that it can focus on distant targets.

The breakthrough is published in Nature Communications.

Dec 4, 2023

Mice Eating Less of Specific Amino Acid — overrepresented in diet of obese people — Live Longer, Healthier

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

A new study in mice, published recently in the journal Cell Metabolism, shows that cutting down the amount of a single amino acid called isoleucine can, among other benefits, extend their lifespan, make them leaner and less frail as they age and reduce cancer and prostate problems, all while the mice ate more calories.

There’s a popular saying in some circles that “a calorie is a calorie,” but science shows that it may not be true. In fact, it may be possible to eat more of some kinds of calories while also improving your health.

“We like to say a calorie is not just a calorie,” says Dudley Lamming, a professor and metabolism researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Different components of your diet have value and impact beyond their function as a calorie, and we’ve been digging in on one component that many people may be eating too much of.”

Dec 4, 2023

Why Do We Need Two Copies of Each Chromosome?

Posted by in category: futurism

A new study has shed light on why having two copies of each chromosome is crucial, identifying a mechanism that maintains biallelic gene dosage.

Dec 4, 2023

Suite of Genes Influence Head Shape in Humans

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers have identified a suite of genes that influence head shape in humans, helping to explain head shape diversity and potentially conditions affecting the skull.

Dec 4, 2023

‘Alexa, Titrate My Insulin’: AI App Boosts Glycemic Control in Randomized Trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Beyond glycemic benefits, users of the app also reported significantly less-related emotional distress than standard care (−1.9 vs 1.7 points in composite survey scores, P =0.03).

“We are currently working on making technology like this accessible to patients outside of research settings because we think it can really help patients in underserved areas who need high-touch care to get their under control,” Nayak said.

The researchers developed their custom voice-based AI app and had it powered by Alexa (Amazon wasn’t involved with the study). The software was equipped with titration algorithms by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology and included emergency protocols to handle hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Dec 4, 2023

Stress Neuropeptide Increased in Heavy Alcohol Drinking

Posted by in category: futurism

A key stress neurotransmitter is increased during heavy alcohol drinking, and may play a role in alcohol withdrawal symptoms, reports a new study in mice.

Dec 4, 2023

Scientists Uncover Unexpected Behavior in Active Particles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

The field of research focusing on self-propelled particles, known as active particles, is rapidly expanding. In most theoretical models, these particles are assumed to maintain a constant swimming speed. However, this assumption does not hold true for many experimentally produced particles, like those propelled by ultrasound for medical applications. Their propulsion speed varies with orientation.

A team of physicists, led by Prof. Raphael Wittkowski from the University of Münster and including Prof. Michael Cates from the University of Cambridge, conducted a collaborative study to explore how this orientation-dependent speed influences the behavior of particle systems, particularly in cluster formation.

They combined computer simulations with theoretical analysis to uncover new effects in systems of active particles with orientation-dependent speeds. Their findings were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Dec 4, 2023

The Data Storage of Tomorrow — Scientists Make Supramolecular Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: information science, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

In the era of big data and advanced artificial intelligence, traditional data storage methods are becoming inadequate. To address the need for high-capacity and energy-efficient storage solutions, the development of next-generation technologies is crucial.

Among these is resistive random-access memory (RRAM), which relies on altering resistance levels to store data. A recent study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie details the work of a research team who have pioneered a method for creating supramolecular memristors, one of the key components in the construction of nano-RRAM.

Dec 4, 2023

Improving Therapeutic Vaccination against Hepatitis B—Insights from Preclinical Models of Immune Therapy against Persistent Hepatitis B Virus Infection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Chronic hepatitis B affects more than 250 million individuals worldwide, putting them at risk of developing liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. While antiviral immune responses are key to eliminating hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, insufficient antiviral immunity characterized by failure to eliminate HBV-infected hepatocytes is associated with chronic hepatitis B. Prophylactic vaccination against hepatitis B successfully established protective immunity against infection with the hepatitis B virus and has been instrumental in controlling hepatitis B. However, prophylactic vaccination schemes have not been successful in mounting protective immunity to eliminate HBV infections in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

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