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Dec 12, 2019

Scientists Reverse Cognitive Deficits of Down Syndrome in Mice

Posted by in category: neuroscience

And they have reason to believe their treatment could translate to humans.

Dec 12, 2019

Dementia study reveals how proteins interact to stop brain signals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Fresh insights into damaging proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease could aid the quest for treatments.

A study in mice reveals how the two proteins work together to disrupt communication between brain cells.

Scientists observed how proteins—called amyloid beta and tau—team up to hamper key genes responsible for brain messaging. By changing how genes are expressed in the brain, the proteins can affect its normal function.

Dec 12, 2019

China shows off its newest satellite’s high-resolution 3D imagery

Posted by in categories: business, satellites

China launched the Gaofen-7 imaging satellite in November, and the country has just shared the first of its high-resolution, 3D shots. The satellite is sensitive enough to height that it should be able to spot a single person from 500 kilometers up.

Gaofen-7 is the latest in a planned series of 14 satellites intended to overhaul China’s orbital imaging capabilities. Companies like Planet are lofting hundreds of satellites to provide terrestrial businesses with up-to-date imagery, so it’s natural that China, among other countries, would want to have their own.

Already the Gaofen project has led to a huge reduction in reliance on foreign sources for this critical data, which as frictions in other areas of technology have shown, may not always be possible to rely on.

Dec 12, 2019

Space Heater: Scientists Find New Way to Transfer Energy Through a Vacuum

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, quantum physics, space

Nanoscale experiments reveal that quantum effects can transmit heat between objects separated by empty space.

Dec 12, 2019

The Top 10 Websites for Science in 2019

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

Millions of scientific papers are published each year, detailing new discoveries, reviewing the state of research, and opining on important matters. But most people don’t delve into daunting databases to learn the latest science news – who has time for that? Rather, they stay up to date with the help of various news outlets, which dig up and report on the stories that matter. At RealClearScience, we strive to steer you towards the best of these sources and castigate the worst. Near the end of the calendar year, we recognize what we perceive to be the leading websites for science content. Here are our picks for 2019:

Honorable Mentions:

For fantastic coverage of health and medicine, check out STAT.

Dec 12, 2019

AI-driven robots are making new materials, improving solar cells and other technologies

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Decision-making algorithms transform how automated systems evaluate and synthesize novel compounds.

Dec 12, 2019

Geoscientists Rethink The Calamity That Killed The Dinosaurs

Posted by in category: existential risks

Antarctic mollusk fossils shed new light on the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs.

Dec 12, 2019

Is there dark matter at the center of the Milky Way?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

MIT physicists are reigniting the possibility, which they previously had snuffed out, that a bright burst of gamma rays at the center of our galaxy may be the result of dark matter after all.

For years, physicists have known of a mysterious surplus of energy at the Milky Way’s center, in the form of gamma rays—the most energetic waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. These rays are typically produced by the hottest, most extreme objects in the universe, such as supernovae and pulsars.

Gamma rays are found across the disk of the Milky Way, and for the most part physicists understand their sources. But there is a glow of gamma rays at the Milky Way’s center, known as the galactic center excess, or GCE, with properties that are difficult for physicists to explain given what they know about the distribution of stars and gas in the galaxy.

Dec 12, 2019

Low-risk ultrasound procedure revolutionizes prostate cancer treatment

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new treatment shows promise for revolutionizing prostate cancer treatment, offering a minimally-invasive and relatively low-risk alternative to traditional surgeries and radiotherapies. Called TULSA, this method uses sound waves to eliminate the diseased tissue in the prostate, leaving the rest of the healthy tissues behind. According to the researchers, patients treated with this method experience ‘minimal side effects.’

Dec 12, 2019

Immunotherapy study shows how to stop cancer hiding from immune cells

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The immune system is already our best defense against cancer, but sometimes it needs help. After all, cancer has a knack for deceiving it and hiding from immune cells, giving itself time to grow and spread. Now, researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia have identified one way it does so, and found a method to counter it in mouse tests.

T and NK cells act like the foot soldiers of the immune system, searching the body for invading pathogens and attacking them. But their activity can be regulated by other immune cells, such as mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells), telling them when to attack and when to stand down.

During the new study, the QIMR researchers discovered that if MAIT cells were switched on, they would prevent T and NK cells from attacking tumors. The tumors seem to have figured this out too – the team found that cancer cells actively turn on MAIT cells by displaying molecules called MR1 on their surfaces.