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Jan 10, 2019

Scientists Could Soon Develop ‘Mosquito Birth Control’ to Prevent Diseases

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Mosquitoes are some of the deadliest creatures on Earth. Now, scientists have taken a major step toward developing a “mosquito birth control” drug that can help prevent diseases responsible for several million human deaths annually around the world.

Researchers at the University of Arizona (UA) discovered a protein in mosquitoes that is critical to the insects’ process of producing viable eggs. When researchers selectively blocked the activity of the protein in female mosquitoes, the mosquitoes laid eggs with defective egg shells, leading to the death of the embryos inside.

In a report published in the open access journal PLoS Biology on Tuesday, the researchers said the protein — which they named Eggshell Organizing Factor 1, or EOF-1 — exists only in mosquitoes, so any drug developed to control mosquito populations would not affect other organisms, such as beneficial honey bees.

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Jan 10, 2019

2-D materials may enable electric vehicles to get 500 miles on a single charge

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, transportation

Lithium-air batteries are poised to become the next revolutionary replacement for currently used lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, cell phones and computers.

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Jan 10, 2019

This AI food truck could bring fresh produce directly to you

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

Check out the SPACe_C eMart, the ice cream truck-style food delivery service of the future that offers fresh food and educates consumers on farm-to-table eating.

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Jan 10, 2019

Hungry Black Hole Shines Light on Astronomical Phenomenon

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers have been watching a very hungry black hole devour the gases of a nearby star for almost a year.

A specialized instrument aboard the International Space Station in March detected an enormous explosion of X-ray light nearly 10,000 light years from Earth.

The source: a black hole called MAXI J1820+070, caught in an outburst, spewing surges of X-ray energy as it devours inhales celestial dust and gas.

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Jan 10, 2019

There’s a glitch at the edge of the universe that could remake physics

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, particle physics

One mysterious number determines how physics, chemistry and biology work. But controversial experimental hints suggest it’s not one number at all.

By Michael Brooks

IT IS a well-kept secret, but we know the answer to life, the universe and everything. It’s not 42 – it’s 1/137.

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Jan 10, 2019

Steam-Powered Asteroid Hoppers Developed through UCF Collaboration

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

Using steam to propel a spacecraft from asteroid to asteroid is now possible, thanks to a collaboration between a private space company and the University of Central Florida.

UCF planetary research scientist Phil Metzger worked with Honeybee Robotics of Pasadena, California, which developed the World Is Not Enough spacecraft prototype that extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam and propel itself to its next mining target.

UCF provided the simulated asteroid material and Metzger did the computer modeling and simulation necessary before Honeybee created the prototype and tried out the idea in its facility Dec. 31. The team also partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to develop initial prototypes of steam-based rocket thrusters.

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Jan 10, 2019

Peter Boghossian: Professor faces sack over hoax that fooled academic journals

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The leading academics Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker have defended a hoaxer who sought to expose politically correct “nonsense” in social sciences.

Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy, faces losing his job at Portland State University in Oregon after he helped create spoof academic papers. These lampooned scholarship in various fields, including the studies of gender, homosexuality and obesity.

He and two collaborators dashed off 20 papers, each deliberately ridiculous and spiked with what the authors later described as “a little bit of lunacy”. Seven were accepted by peer-reviewed journals. One, titled “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity feminism as an intersectional reply to neoliberal and choice feminism”, was a rewrite of chapter 12 of Hitler’s Mein Kampf with feminist “buzzwords switched in”.

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Jan 10, 2019

This Filipino-Made App Is a Finalist for NASA’s Global Challenge

Posted by in category: space

It’s the first time a Filipino-made app made it to the cut! #SpaceApps #SpaceAppsPH

It was chosen among 2,729 apps made by people all over the world.

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Jan 10, 2019

Gene governing body’s biological clock acts differently in males versus females

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, sex

Research suggests that a gene that governs the body’s biological (circadian) clock acts differently in males versus females and may protect females from heart disease. The study is the first to analyze circadian blood pressure rhythms in female mice. The research, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for January.

The body’s circadian clock—the biological clock that organizes bodily activities over a 24-hour period— contributes to normal variations in blood pressure and heart function over the course of the day. In most healthy humans, blood pressure dips at night. People who do not experience this temporary drop, called “non-dippers,” are more likely to develop heart disease. The circadian clock is made up of four main proteins (encoded by “clock genes”) that regulate close to half of all genes in the body, including those important for blood pressure regulation.

These results suggest that the lack of PER1 acts differently in males and females. The findings are consistent with research showing that premenopausal women are less likely to be non-dippers than men of the same age. “This study represents an important step in understanding sex differences in the regulation of cardiovascular function by the circadian clock,” the researchers wrote.

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Jan 10, 2019

Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation.

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