Menu

Blog

Page 9801

Jun 13, 2016

Watching ‘jumping genes’ in action

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, physics

Jumping genes — not jumping beans.


“Jumping genes” are ubiquitous. Every domain of life hosts these sequences of DNA that can “jump” from one position to another along a chromosome; in fact, nearly half the human genome is made up of jumping genes. Depending on their specific excision and insertion points, jumping genes can interrupt or trigger gene expression, driving genetic mutation and contributing to cell diversification. Since their discovery in the 1940s, researchers have been able to study the behavior of these jumping genes, generally known as transposons or transposable elements (TE), primarily through indirect methods that infer individual activity from bulk results. However, such techniques are not sensitive enough to determine precisely how or why the transposons jump, and what factors trigger their activity.

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have observed jumping gene activity in real time within living . The study is the collaborative effort of physics professors Thomas Kuhlman and Nigel Goldenfeld, at the Center for the Physics of Living Cells, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontiers Center.

Continue reading “Watching ‘jumping genes’ in action” »

Jun 13, 2016

Neuroscientists discover how the brain processes upper and lower visual stimuli differently

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Visual information from near and far space are processed with differing degrees of acuity.

Neuroscientists from Tübingen have discovered how our brain processes visual stimuli above and below the horizon differently. The researchers led by Dr. Ziad Hafed of the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen investigated non-human primates, ascertaining that different parts of the visual field are represented asymmetrically in the superior colliculus, a brain structure central to visual perception and behavior. More neural tissue is assigned to the upper visual field than to the lower. As a result, visual stimuli above the horizon are processed sharper, stronger, and faster: our brain is wearing bifocals, so to speak.

Seeing — arguably our most important way of perceiving the world — mostly happens without conscious intent. We see much better in the center of our visual field (along the visual axis) than in the periphery. So when our brain detects an object of interest in the periphery of our visual field, it immediately initiates an eye movement so our visual axis intersects with those objects. Once an object is in our direct line of sight, we can perceive it in far more depth and detail.

Continue reading “Neuroscientists discover how the brain processes upper and lower visual stimuli differently” »

Jun 13, 2016

US Presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan: ‘We must merge with machine to survive AI’

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, robotics/AI

THE only way for humanity to survive the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is for us to merge with the machines ourselves, according to US Presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan.

Read more

Jun 13, 2016

Microsoft’s LinkedIn buy escalates cloud wars

Posted by in categories: business, computing, information science

“With the LinkedIn acquisition, Microsoft snares two prizes: the massive amounts of data contained in LinkedIn’s 433 million member profiles that are kept scrupulously up to date by business professionals and to which competitors have no access and the brainy computer algorithms that crunch that data.” the writeup.


Buying the Facebook of professional networks is perhaps the best illustration yet that the cloud wars are heating up.

Read more

Jun 13, 2016

Neutrons reveal unexpected magnetism in rare-earth alloy

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials

More news on ORNL’s efforts around magnetic excitations in the metallic compound ytterbium-platinum-lead (Yb2Pt2Pb).


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their collaborators used neutron scattering to uncover magnetic excitations in the metallic compound ytterbium-platinum-lead (Yb2Pt2Pb). Surprisingly, this three-dimensional material exhibits magnetic properties that one would conventionally expect if the connectivity between magnetic ions was only one-dimensional. Their research is discussed in a paper published in the journal Science.

An electron can theoretically be understood as a bound state of three quasiparticles, which collectively carry its identity: spin, charge and orbit. It has been known that the spinon, the entity that carries information about electron spin, can “separate” itself from the others under certain conditions in one-dimensional chains of magnetic ions such as copper (Cu2+) in an insulating host. Now, the new study reveals that spinons are also present in metallic Yb2Pt2Pb.

Continue reading “Neutrons reveal unexpected magnetism in rare-earth alloy” »

Jun 13, 2016

Researchers gear up galaxy-seeking robots for a test run — By Glenn Roberts Jr. | Phys.org

Posted by in categories: cosmology, robotics/AI, science, space

7-researchersg

“A prototype system, designed as a test for a planned array of 5,000 galaxy-seeking robots, is taking shape at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).”

Read more

Jun 13, 2016

The cure for cancer could be as simple as a vaccine

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

How cool would it be to stop cancer dead in its tracks using a vaccine that would work regardless of cancer type? It turns out that humanity is already thinking along those lines, and it’s looking to introduce a type of “universal cancer vaccine” that would be able to trigger the human’s body built-in defenses to kill cancerous cells.

Specifically, researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, have initiated a limited safety human trial, after experiments on mice showed impressive results.

Don’t miss: This might be the most exciting and unexpected Apple announcement at WWDC 2016.

Continue reading “The cure for cancer could be as simple as a vaccine” »

Jun 13, 2016

Is Particle Physics About to Crack Wide Open?

Posted by in category: particle physics

Hints of an unexpected new particle could be confirmed within days—and if it is, the Standard Model could be going down.

Read more

Jun 13, 2016

IKEA Indoor Gardens Produce Food Year-Round for Homes & Restaurants

Posted by in categories: food, habitats

IKEA recently launched a hydroponic gardening system to allow people to grow fresh produce at home (without soil or sunlight) and has just unveiled a similar system under development that is aimed at helping restaurants raise ingredients in-house.

ikea home grown

The KRYDDA/VÄXER hydroponic garden lets sprout seeds without soil using absorbent foam plugs that keep plants moist (without over-watering, thanks to a built-in sensor). Germinated seeds can then be transferred to pots fitted into a growing tray featuring a solar lamp. The system is designed to be easy to use for even inexpert gardeners.

Continue reading “IKEA Indoor Gardens Produce Food Year-Round for Homes & Restaurants” »

Jun 13, 2016

Quantum dots may hold key to superior 3D printing materials

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, chemistry, engineering, quantum physics

New research demonstrates that quantum dots solve a key issue with current 3D printing materials. I spoke with Keroles Riad, PhD student at Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, Canada, about his thesis on the photostability of materials used for stereolithography 3D printing. The research was supervised by Prof. Paula Wood-Adams, Prof. Rolf Wuthrich of the Mechanical and industrial engineering department at Concordia and Prof. Jerome Claverie of the Chemistry department at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

While quantum dots have been shown to cure acrylics, Riad says this work is the first demonstration of the process in epoxy resin.

3D printing is often richly rewarding because it spans multiple disciplines. Here we look at a new thesis that advances the critical area of materials. The approach taken uses engineering, chemistry and physics to overcome the issue of stability present in current stereolithography processes. The results could form the basis of superior materials and wider use of 3D printing in many areas.

Continue reading “Quantum dots may hold key to superior 3D printing materials” »