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Jul 10, 2024

Laser Tests reveal New Insights into Key Mineral for Super-Earths

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Scientists have for the first time observed how atoms in magnesium oxide morph and melt under ultra-harsh conditions, providing new insights into this key mineral within Earth’s mantle that is known to influence planet formation.

High-energy laser experiments — which subjected tiny crystals of the mineral to the type of heat and pressure found deep inside a rocky planet’s mantle — suggest the compound could be the earliest mineral to solidify out of magma oceans in forming “super-Earth” exoplanets.

“Magnesium oxide could be the most important solid controlling the thermodynamics of young super-Earths,” said June Wicks, an assistant professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University who led the research. “If it has this very high melting temperature, it would be the first solid to crystallize when a hot, rocky planet starts to cool down and its interior separates into a core and a mantle.”

Jul 10, 2024

Putting the Brakes on Chronic Inflammation

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

Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine discovered a previously unknown link between two key pathways that regulate the immune system in mammals — a finding that impacts our understanding of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This family of disorders severely impacts the health and quality of life of more than 2 million people in the United States.

The immune system has many pathways to protect the body from infection, but sometimes an overactive immune response results in autoimmune diseases including IBD, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Interleukin-23 (IL-23) is one such immune factor that fights infections but is also implicated in many of these inflammatory diseases. However, it was unknown why IL-23 is sometimes beneficial, and other times becomes a driver of chronic disease.

In the study, published June 12 in Nature, the team found that IL-23 acts on group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s), a family of immune cells that are a first line of defense in mucosal tissues such as the intestines and lungs. In response, ILC3s increase activity of CTLA-4, a key regulatory factor that prevents the immune system from attacking the body and beneficial gut microbiota. This interaction critically balances the pro-inflammatory effects IL-23 to maintain gut health, but is impaired in IBD.

Jul 10, 2024

‘Set it and forget it’: automated lab uses AI and robotics to improve proteins

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

A self-driving lab system spent half a year engineering enzymes to work at higher temperatures.

Jul 10, 2024

Getting bacteria into line

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, physics

Researchers at Finland’s Aalto University have found a way to use magnets to line up bacteria as they swim. The approach offers more than just a way to nudge bacteria into order – it also provides a useful tool for a wide range of research, such as work on complex materials, phase transitions and condensed matter physics.

The findings have been reported in Communications Physics (“Magnetically controlled bacterial turbulence”).

Bacterial cells generally aren’t magnetic, so the magnets don’t directly interact with the bacteria. Instead, the bacteria are mixed into a liquid with millions of magnetic nanoparticles. This means the rod-shaped bacteria are effectively non-magnetic voids inside the magnetic fluid. When the magnets are switched on, creating a magnetic field, the bacteria are nudged to line up with the magnetic field because any other arrangement takes more energy – it’s harder to keep the rod-shaped holes at an angle to the magnetic field.

Jul 10, 2024

Moving from the visible to the infrared: Developing high quality nanocrystals

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, quantum physics

Awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, quantum dots have a wide variety of applications ranging from displays and LED lights to chemical reaction catalysis and bioimaging. These semiconductor nanocrystals are so small – on the order of nanometers – that their properties, such as color, are size dependent, and they start to exhibit quantum properties. This technology has been really well developed, but only in the visible spectrum, leaving untapped opportunities for technologies in both the ultraviolet and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In new research published in Nature Synthesis (“Interdiffusion-enhanced cation exchange for HgSe and HgCdSe nanocrystals with infrared bandgaps”), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bioengineering professor Andrew Smith and postdoctoral researcher Wonseok Lee have developed mercury selenide (HgSe) and mercury cadmium selenide (HgCdSe) nanocrystals that absorb and emit in the infrared, made from already well-developed, visible spectrum cadmium selenide (CdSe) precursors. The new nanocrystal products retained the desired properties of the parent CdSe nanocrystals, including size, shape and uniformity.

“This is the first example of infrared quantum dots that are at the same level of quality as the ones that are in the visible spectrum,” Smith says.

Jul 10, 2024

Flexible nanoimprint lithography enables efficient fabrication of biomimetic microstructures

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, computing, nanotechnology, sustainability, virtual reality

Gallium nitride (GaN)-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have transformed the lighting industry by replacing conventional lighting technologies with superior energy efficiency, longer operating life and greater environmental sustainability.

In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the trend toward miniaturization of LEDs, driven by display devices, augmented reality, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies. Due to the lack of cost-effective native substrates, the presence of high threading dislocation density in heteroepitaxial films grown on sapphire substrate is a major limiting factor for device performance.

In addition, Fresnel reflections at the interface between epitaxy and substrate caused by abrupt changes in the refractive indices of the material reduce the light energy utilization.

Jul 10, 2024

Micromachines steered by microorganisms

Posted by in categories: engineering, transportation

Researchers have created tiny, vehiclelike structures which can be maneuvered by microscopic algae. The algae are caught in baskets attached to the micromachines, which have been carefully designed to allow them enough room to continue swimming. Two types of vehicles were created: the “rotator,” which spins like a wheel, and the “scooter,” which was intended to move in a forward direction but in tests moved more surprisingly.

The research has been published in Small (“Harnessing the Propulsive Force of Microalgae with Microtrap to Drive Micromachines”).

The team is planning to try different and more complex designs for their next vehicles. In the future, these mini algae teams could be applied to assist with micro-level environmental engineering and research.

Jul 10, 2024

Petr Sramek presents at the Rejuvenation Startup Summit 2024

Posted by in category: life extension

Petr Sramek, Co-founder of the Healthy Longevity Clinic, and Managing Partner of the LongevityTech.fund, presents at the Rejuvenation Startup Summit 2024.

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Jul 10, 2024

South Korea’s First Robot Suicide. What Happened? | Vantage with Palki Sharma

Posted by in categories: media & arts, robotics/AI

Even robots are overworked.

Jul 10, 2024

Dr. Jeffrey DellaVolpe, MD — Saving Lives With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Technology

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

Is Medical Director of the Adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program at Methodist Hospital, San Antonio, Texas. He is also the Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Healthcare System and the Texas IPS Critical Care Service Line (https://texasips.com/jeffrey-dellavol…). He also serves as chair of the Joint Society of Critical Care Medicine/Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Task Force and has created a platform for ECMO training and ECMO transport (https://ecmotransports.com/about/).

ECMO is a form of extracorporeal life support, providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of oxygen, gas exchange or blood supply (perfusion) to sustain life.

Continue reading “Dr. Jeffrey DellaVolpe, MD — Saving Lives With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Technology” »

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