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Apr 24, 2024

Supercomputer simulation reveals new mechanism for membrane fusion

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, supercomputing

An intricate simulation performed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers using one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers sheds new light on how proteins called SNAREs cause biological membranes to fuse.

Their findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest a new mechanism for this ubiquitous process and could eventually lead to new treatments for conditions in which is thought to go awry.

“Biology textbooks say that SNAREs bring membranes together to cause fusion, and many people were happy with that explanation. But not me, because membranes brought into contact normally do not fuse. Our simulation goes deeper to show how this important process takes place,” said study leader Jose Rizo-Rey (“Josep Rizo”), Ph.D., Professor of Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology at UT Southwestern.

Apr 24, 2024

You can now buy a flame-throwing robot dog for under $10,000

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Flamethrowers are not specifically regulated in 48 US states, although general product liability and criminal laws may still apply to their use and sale. They are not considered firearms by federal agencies. Specific restrictions exist in Maryland, where flamethrowers require a Federal Firearms License to own, and California, where the range of flamethrowers cannot exceed 10 feet.

Even so, to state the obvious, flamethrowers can easily burn both things and people, starting fires and wreaking havoc if not used safely. Accordingly, the Thermonator might be one Christmas present you should skip for little Johnny this year.

Apr 24, 2024

Scientists just grew super realistic, miniature colons in the lab and gave them cancer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The tiny colons were grown from mouse stem cells, but human versions could one day be used to test new drugs for colorectal cancer, scientists say.

Apr 24, 2024

Job titles of the future: AI prompt engineer

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

A new–and increasingly common–role helps guide generative AI.

Apr 24, 2024

Some people don’t experience stress. Are they happier?

Posted by in category: health

Research shows that some types of stressors—and the way we react to them—can actually be beneficial to our overall health and well-being. Here’s how.

Apr 24, 2024

New SpaceX Starship Lunar Cargo Lander Design Unveiled by NASA

Posted by in category: space travel

What modifications will be made to SpaceX’s Starship for the Artemis missions?

— The cargo version of SpaceX’s Starship will be adapted from the human Landing systems for Artemis missions, with modifications focused on payload interfaces and deployment mechanisms, excluding human life support systems, and featuring a payload door, elevator system, and potential adaptations for larger payloads such as Rovers.

Apr 24, 2024

Time Stops at the Speed of Light. What Does that Mean?

Posted by in category: physics

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You might have heard that according to Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity time doesn’t pass for light, or that time actually stops for light. Can this possibly be correct? In this video, I will look at what the maths says and discuss what it means.

Continue reading “Time Stops at the Speed of Light. What Does that Mean?” »

Apr 24, 2024

Scientists Solve Decades-Old Microscopy Problem

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Studying tissues, cells, and proteins under a microscope is essential for disease prevention and treatment. This research requires accurately measuring the dimensions of these biological structures. However, when viewed through a light microscope, these samples can sometimes appear more flattened than their true form.

Researchers at Delft University of Technology have now demonstrated for the first time that this distortion is not constant, contrary to what many scientists have assumed for decades. The breakthrough, published in Optica, confirms a prediction by Nobel laureate Stefan Hell from the 90s. With an online calculation tool and software, every researcher can now determine the correct depth of a biological sample.

Apr 24, 2024

Ghost Particles: Neutrinos Challenge Everything We Know About Physics

Posted by in category: particle physics

The discovery and ongoing research into neutrinos have significantly altered the foundational concepts of particle physics, highlighting the particles’ mass and challenging the accuracy of the standard model.

In the 1930s, it turned out that neither the energy nor the momentum balance is correct in the radioactive beta decay of an atomic nucleus. This led to the postulate of “ghost particles” that “secretly” carry away energy and momentum. In 1956, experimental proof of such neutrinos was finally obtained.

The challenge: neutrinos only interact with other particles of matter via the weak interaction that is also underlying the beta decay of an atomic nucleus. For this reason, hundreds of trillions of neutrinos from the cosmos, especially the sun, can pass through our bodies every second without causing any damage. Extremely rare neutrino collisions with other particles of matter can only be detected with huge detectors.

Apr 24, 2024

Inside the Race to Revolutionize Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

AI is the technology trend of the moment—but what’s 10 years down the road? Some experts say quantum computing will be the next game changer. WSJ visited IBM’s quantum computing lab to learn why.

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