Top Stories

Holographic Imaging Could Be Used to Detect Signs of Life in Space
July 21, 2017 09:17 AM - California Institute of Technology

We may be capable of finding microbes in space—but if we did, could we tell what they were, and that they were alive?

Native leech preys on invasive slug?
July 21, 2017 09:15 AM - Hokkaido University

The giant slug Limax maximus is native to Europe and Asia Minor but has spread widely, being found in North America, South America, North Africa, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other regions. The slug is recognized as a notorious pest because it eats agricultural and garden crops.

Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers
July 21, 2017 09:03 AM - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study also suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists — why Arctic and sub-Arctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall.

Study predicts heart cells' response to dwindling oxygen
July 21, 2017 08:55 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Time is of the essence when treating a patient undergoing a heart attack. Cardiac surgeons attempt to quickly stabilize the heart by applying reperfusion, a technique that restores oxygen to the heart by opening up blocked vessels with balloons and stents. While reperfusion can restore cardiac function, such sudden infusions of oxygen can also further injure severely depleted regions of the heart.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” says Anthony McDougal, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “The rapid return of oxygen is necessary for the heart to survive, but it could also overwhelm the heart.”

Power shift: University of Toronto researcher applies AI to monitor city's electrical grid
July 21, 2017 08:12 AM - University of Toronto

From indoor lighting to outdoor street lamps, our world is made brighter by artificial light. But the light that we perceive to be constant, actually fluctuates.

A University of Toronto computer scientist and researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are studying electrical grids for cities, creating a camera that records the city's lights at a slower speed to get more accurate readings of changing voltages at particular locations.

Monsoon Storms Fewer but More Extreme
July 21, 2017 08:11 AM - University of Arizona

Monsoon season now brings more extreme wind and rain to central and southwestern Arizona than in the past, according to new research led by the University of Arizona.

Although there are now fewer storms, the largest monsoon thunderstorms bring heavier rain and stronger winds than did the monsoon storms of 60 years ago, the scientists report.

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
July 20, 2017 03:41 PM - Stanford University

Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.

3D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement
July 20, 2017 03:35 PM - École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton – a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion. The research has been published in Science.

Stanford researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins
July 20, 2017 03:20 PM - Stanford University

Cutting through the ocean like a jet through the sky, giant bluefin tuna are built for performance, endurance and speed. Just as the fastest planes have carefully positioned wings and tail flaps to ensure precision maneuverability and fuel economy, bluefin tuna need the utmost control over their propulsive and stabilizing structures as they speed through the ocean. The outstanding maneuverability and precision locomotion of these powerful fish are supported by a vascular specialization that is unique among vertebrates, according to new research from Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium: pressurized hydraulic fin control.

Ancient Italian Fossils Reveal Risk of Parasitic Infections Due to Climate Change
July 20, 2017 03:15 PM - University of Missouri

In 2014, a team of researchers led by a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri found that clams from the Holocene Epoch (that began 11,700 years ago) contained clues about how sea level rise due to climate change could foreshadow a rise in parasitic trematodes, or flatworms. The team cautioned that the rise could lead to outbreaks in human infections if left unchecked. Now, an international team from Mizzou and the Universities of Bologna and Florida has found that rising seas could be detrimental to human health on a much shorter time scale. Findings from their study in northern Italy suggest that parasitic infections could increase in the next century, if history repeats itself.

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