Menu

Blog

Page 7628

Apr 24, 2019

Dark matter detector observes rarest event ever recorded

Posted by in categories: alien life, particle physics

How do you observe a process that takes more than one trillion times longer than the age of the universe? The XENON Collaboration research team did it with an instrument built to find the most elusive particle in the universe—dark matter. In a paper to be published tomorrow in the journal Nature, researchers announce that they have observed the radioactive decay of xenon-124, which has a half-life of 1.8 × 1022 years.

“We actually saw this decay happen. It’s the longest, slowest process that has ever been directly observed, and our was sensitive enough to measure it,” said Ethan Brown, an assistant professor of physics at Rensselaer, and co-author of the study. “It’s an amazing to have witnessed this process, and it says that our detector can measure the rarest thing ever recorded.”

The XENON Collaboration runs XENON1T, a 1,300-kilogram vat of super-pure liquid xenon shielded from cosmic rays in a cryostat submerged in water deep 1,500 meters beneath the Gran Sasso mountains of Italy. The researchers search for (which is five times more abundant than ordinary matter, but seldom interacts with ordinary matter) by recording tiny flashes of light created when particles interact with xenon inside the detector. And while XENON1T was built to capture the interaction between a dark matter particle and the nucleus of a xenon atom, the detector actually picks up signals from any interactions with the xenon.

Continue reading “Dark matter detector observes rarest event ever recorded” »

Apr 24, 2019

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

Posted by in categories: health, materials

A new and greatly improved version of an electronic tag, called Marine Skin, used for monitoring marine animals could revolutionize our ability to study sea life and its natural environment, say KAUST researchers.

Marine Skin is a thin, flexible, lightweight polymer-based material with integrated electronics which can track an animal’s movement and diving behavior and the health of the surrounding . Early versions of the sensors, reported previously, proved their worth when glued onto the swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus.

The latest and much more robust version can operate at unprecedented depths and can also be attached to an animal using a noninvasive bracelet or jacket. This can, when necessary, avoid the need for any glues that might harm an animal’s sensitive skin.

Continue reading “Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring” »

Apr 24, 2019

A faster method for multiplying very big numbers

Posted by in categories: computing, education, information science, mathematics

The multiplication of integers is a problem that has kept mathematicians busy since Antiquity. The “Babylonian” method we learn at school requires us to multiply each digit of the first number by each digit of the second one. But when both numbers have a billion digits each, that means a billion times a billion or 1018 operations.

At a rate of a billion operations per second, it would take a computer a little over 30 years to finish the job. In 1971, the mathematicians Schönhage and Strassen discovered a quicker way, cutting calculation time down to about 30 seconds on a modern laptop. In their article, they also predicted that another algorithm—yet to be found—could do an even faster job. Joris van der Hoeven, a CNRS researcher from the École Polytechnique Computer Science Laboratory LIX, and David Harvey from the University of New South Wales (Australia) have found that algorithm.

They present their work in a new article that is available to the through the online HAL archive. But one problem raised by Schönhage et Strassen remains to be solved: proving that no quicker method exists. This poses a new challenge for theoretical science.

Continue reading “A faster method for multiplying very big numbers” »

Apr 24, 2019

Treatment turns tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body.

The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a study published in Nature Medicine in April.

The treatment consists of administering a series of immune stimulants directly into one tumor site. The first stimulant recruits important immune cells called dendritic cells that act like generals of the immune army. The second stimulant activates the dendritic cells, which then instruct T cells, the immune system’s soldiers, to kill cancer cells and spare non-cancer cells. This immune army learns to recognize features of the tumor cells so it can seek them out and destroy them throughout the body, essentially turning the tumor into a cancer vaccine factory.

Read more

Apr 24, 2019

Injecting CRISPR into fetal brain may correct autism mutations

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

Researchers are edging closer to a therapy for Angelman syndrome that involves injecting molecules that can edit genes into the fetal brain. They have already succeeded in mice and say the approach could eventually treat people with the syndrome.

The work is of high interest because a similar strategy could also work for other genetic conditions linked to autism.

But the prospect of injecting molecules into fetal brains poses ethical questions, experts caution.

Continue reading “Injecting CRISPR into fetal brain may correct autism mutations” »

Apr 24, 2019

Genome engineers made more than 13,000 CRISPR edits in a single cell

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A team at George Church’s Harvard lab wants to redesign species with large-scale DNA changes.

Read more

Apr 24, 2019

Researchers Identify Potential Diagnostic Test for Kawasaki Disease

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Imperial College London, with international collaborators, have determined that Kawasaki disease (KD) can be accurately diagnosed on the basis of the pattern of host gene expression in whole blood. The finding could lead to a diagnostic blood test to distinguish KD from other infectious and inflammatory conditions.

Results of the international study published on August 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Kawasaki disease is the most common acquired heart disease in children. Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with KD develop coronary artery aneurysms — balloon-like bulges of heart vessels — that may ultimately result in heart attacks, congestive heart failure or sudden death.

Continue reading “Researchers Identify Potential Diagnostic Test for Kawasaki Disease” »

Apr 24, 2019

Gene engineers make super-size plants that are 40% larger

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers hope to create a new “green revolution” by improving photosynthesis.

Read more

Apr 24, 2019

A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, quantum physics

Quantum computers can’t selectively forget information. A new algorithm for multiplication shows a way around that problem.

Read more

Apr 24, 2019

Transparent mice and human organs created by scientists

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Transparent mice and human organs have been created by scientists using a new technique which reveals the underlying structure of tissue.

Scientists led by Dr Ali Erturk at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich developed a process which uses organic solvents to strip away fats and pigments but preserves the structure of the cells beneath.

The new technology allows body parts to be scanned by lasers under a microscope to capture the entire structure including all the intricate blood vessels and every single cell in its specific location.

Continue reading “Transparent mice and human organs created by scientists” »