Sci/tech

Math Can Predict How Cancer Cells Evolve
January 16, 2018 09:12 AM - University of Waterloo

Applied mathematics can be a powerful tool in helping predict the genesis and evolution of different types of cancers, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

Discovery of a new source of world's deadliest toxin
January 15, 2018 11:04 AM - Quadram Institute

Researchers from the Quadram Institute have identified genes encoding a previously undiscovered version of the botulinum neurotoxin in bacteria from a cow’s gut.

This is the first time that an intact cluster of genes for making botulinum neurotoxin have been found outside of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum or its close relatives, and only the second report of a new botulinum toxin in the past 40 years.

UCLA scientists make cells that enable the sense of touch
January 15, 2018 10:32 AM - University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have, for the first time, coaxed human stem cells to become sensory interneurons — the cells that give us our sense of touch. The new protocol could be a step toward stem cell–based therapies to restore sensation in paralyzed people who have lost feeling in parts of their body.

Jet Stream Changes Since 1960s Linked to More Extreme Weather
January 15, 2018 10:26 AM - University of Arizona

Increased fluctuations in the path of the North Atlantic jet stream since the 1960s coincide with more extreme weather events in Europe such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding, reports a University of Arizona-led team.

The research is the first reconstruction of historical changes in the North Atlantic jet stream prior to the 20th century. By studying tree rings from trees in the British Isles and the northeastern Mediterranean, the team teased out those regions' late-summer weather going back almost 300 years — to 1725.

Making driverless farm equipment even smarter
January 15, 2018 08:36 AM - University of Regina

Driverless farm equipment is becoming more and more attractive to today’s farmers as they battle short growing seasons and rising fuel and equipment costs.

Dr. Mehran Mehrandezh has his eye on improving crop yields through the use of automation and algorithms, focussing his efforts on making the entire tillage process more precise.

Citizen scientists discover five tightly packed exoplanets
January 15, 2018 08:36 AM - MIT

Five new planets have been discovered outside our solar system, all orbiting a sun-like star located within the constellation Aquarius, nearly 620 light years from Earth. The alien worlds are considered super-Earths, sizing in at two to three times larger than our own blue planet.

All five exoplanets are likely scorchingly hot: Each planet comes incredibly close to its star, streaking around in just 13 days at most — a whirlwind of an orbit compared with Earth’s 365-day year.

Surprising Discovery Could Lead to Better Batteries
January 12, 2018 02:30 PM - DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

A collaboration led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has observed an unexpected phenomenon in lithium-ion batteries—the most common type of battery used to power cell phones and electric cars. As a model battery generated electric current, the scientists witnessed the concentration of lithium inside individual nanoparticles reverse at a certain point, instead of constantly increasing. This discovery, which was published on January 12 in the journal Science Advances, is a major step toward improving the battery life of consumer electronics.

Tropical Cyclone Joyce Makes Landfall on Australia's Pilbara Coast
January 12, 2018 01:06 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NOAA's JPSS-1 satellite provided a visible image of the tropical storm after it made landfall along the Pilbara Coast in the northwestern part of Western Australia.

New Study From the University of Halle: How Climate Change Alters Plant Growth
January 12, 2018 11:58 AM - Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)

Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity - it even alters the way plants grow. A team of researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) joined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) to discover which molecular processes are involved in plant growth. In the current edition of the internationally renowned journal "Current Biology", the group presents its latest findings on the mechanism controlling growth at high temperatures. In the future this could help breed plants that are adapted to global warming.

How Far to the Nearest City? Global Map of Travel Time to Cities Published
January 12, 2018 11:47 AM - European Commission Joint Research Centre

While people live within one hour of a city in over 90% of cases in high-income countries - concentrated in Europe and North America - for low-income countries concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, the figure is 50.9%.

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