Spotlight on Science News. 21 November 2018.
Accessed on 21 November 2018, 1540 UTC.
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Comment: Here are today’s top science stories from https://phys.org. Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
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Researchers develop quick and precise method for detecting chemical warfare agents
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a stamp-sized sensor that can detect trace amounts of certain chemical warfare agents, such as sarin, within minutes. The research is published …
8 minutes ago in Analytical Chemistry
Scientists revolutionize cybersecurity through quantum research
Scientists at the RDECOM Research Laboratory, the Army’s corporate research laboratory (ARL) have found a novel way to safeguard quantum information during transmission, opening the door for more secure and reliable communication …
3 minutes ago in Quantum Physics
Putting a face on a cell surface
On the cell surface, anchored in the cell membrane, a wide array of proteins perform functions, which are vital for the cell. These proteins, collectively known as the surfaceome, are a cell’s antennae to the outside world, …
11 minutes ago in Cell & Microbiology
Pacific Ocean typhoons could be intensifying more than previously projected
Changes to the uppermost layer of Earth’s oceans due to rising temperatures are likely causing an increase in intense Pacific Ocean typhoons, suggesting strong typhoons may occur more frequently than scientists project in …
37 minutes ago in Earth Sciences
Researchers create new ‘smart’ material with potential biomedical, environmental uses
Brown University researchers have shown a way to use graphene oxide (GO) to add some backbone to hydrogel materials made from alginate, a natural material derived from seaweed that’s currently used in a variety of biomedical …
2 minutes ago in Nanomaterials
Three ancient skeletons, ancestors of giant dinosaurs, unearthed in Brazil
A trio of researchers, two with Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, the other Universidade de São Paulo, have unearthed the remains of three early ancestors of the giant dinosaurs that would later roam the Earth. In their …
40 minutes ago in Archaeology & Fossils report
Humpback whales found to compose new communal song every few years
A team of researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of St. Andrews has found that humpback whales abandon community songs every few years and pick up new ones. In their paper published in Proceedings …
49 minutes ago in Plants & Animals report
New technique improves efficiency and accuracy of single cell RNA sequencing
In the era of personalized medicine, scientists are using new genetic and genomic insights to help them determine the best treatment for a given patient. In the case of cancer, the first step toward these treatments is an …
1 minute ago in Biotechnology
How do flying bees make perfect turns?
If you’ve ever lost your balance standing on a bus that takes a sharp turn at speed or felt your car skid when you drive around a corner too fast, you’ve experienced the effects of centrifugal force. Turning while simultaneously …
22 minutes ago in Plants & Animals
Earth’s cobalt deposits formed much later than previously believed
Cobalt deposits in one of Earth’s largest cobalt-mining regions are 150 million years younger than previously thought, according to a new study by University of Alberta geologists.
52 minutes ago in Earth Sciences
Study reveals one of universe’s secret ingredients for life
A new study led by ANU has investigated the nature of a cosmic phenomenon that slows down star formation, which helps to ensure the universe is a place where life can emerge.
43 minutes ago in Astronomy
Discovery of a new gene could shed light on chemical exposure effects in humans
The discovery of a new gene in zebrafish could lead to a better understanding of how exposure to chemicals leads to disease in humans, according to a new Oregon State University study.
9 minutes ago in Environment
Professors use whale earwax to reconstruct whale stress levels spanning 150 years
In a follow-up to their groundbreaking study, Baylor researchers were able to reconstruct baleen whales’ lifetime stress response to whaling and other manmade and environmental factors spanning nearly 150 years.
5 minutes ago in Ecology
‘Warm’ ice in world’s highest glacier
Ice temperatures inside the world’s highest glacier on the slopes of Mount Everest are warmer than expected and especially vulnerable to future climate change, warn glaciologists.
14 minutes ago in Earth Sciences
New method for studying gene expression could improve understanding of brain disease
It takes a lot of cells to make a human brain. The organ houses not only an enormous quantity of neurons (tens of billions), but also an impressive diversity of neuron types. In recent years, scientists have been developing …
59 minutes ago in Genetics Neuroscience
Screening for colorectal cancer spares male patients from intense treatments
While screening for colorectal cancer does not reduce mortality, it does reduce the need for chemotherapy and emergency surgeries among male patients, according to a recent Finnish study.
16 minutes ago in Surgery
Study bridges a divide in cell aging in neurodegenerative diseases
Research from the University of Toronto has shown that in some neurodegenerative diseases, two hallmarks of cell aging – protein aggregation and a type of DNA instability – are linked. They were previously thought to …
54 minutes ago in Medical research Genetics Neuroscience
As antibiotic resistance grows, researchers find new targets for fighting deadly staph infections
A new look at the inner-workings of bacterial cells could help researchers overcome deadly antibiotic resistance and save the lives of tens-of-thousands of people every year.
53 minutes ago in Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes
Cryogenic-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) structures of a human ABCG2 mutant transporter protein
The transporter protein ABCG2 belongs to the ATP-binding-cassette (ABC) family. The protein is expressed in the plasma membranes of cells within a variety of tissues and tissue barriers, including the blood-brain, blood-testes …
1 hour ago in Cell & Microbiology Molecular & Computational Biology feature
RoboTurk: A crowdsourcing platform for imitation learning in robotics
Imitation learning is a branch of machine learning that trains machines to mimic human behavior while completing particular tasks. These techniques show great promise in the field of robotics, as they tackle some of the shortcomings …
1 hour ago in Robotics Machine Learning & AI feature
Study brings new climate models of small star TRAPPIST 1’s seven intriguing worlds
Not all stars are like the sun, so not all planetary systems can be studied with the same expectations. New research from a University of Washington-led team of astronomers gives updated climate models for the seven planets …
1 hour ago in Astronomy
Researchers find evidence of independent evolution of female penis in cave insects
A team of researchers from Japan, Brazil and Switzerland has found evidence that suggests female penis-like appendages in two types of cave insects evolved independently. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, …
2 hours ago in Plants & Animals Evolution report
New device for symmetry-breaking-induced optical nonlinearity
Second-order nonlinear optical processes play a pivotal role in both classical and quantum applications, ranging from extension of the accessible frequencies to generation of quantum entangled photon pairs and squeezed states. …
1 hour ago in Optics & Photonics Quantum Physics
The Trojan horse of Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus causes different types of infections in humans, some of which are lethal. One of its most powerful weapons is α-toxin, which destroys host cells by forming pores in their membranes. Researchers at the …
1 hour ago in Cell & Microbiology
New mechanism controlling the master cancer regulator uncovered
Who regulates the key regulator? The Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences reports online in the journal Science about a newly discovered mechanism by which RAS proteins, central to cancer …
1 hour ago in Medical research Cancer
Chemists develop new method for selective binding of proteins
A new method of selectively binding proteins to nanoparticles has been described by a team of German and Chinese researchers headed by Prof. Bart Jan Ravoo, a chemist at the University of Münster (Germany). The nanoparticles …
1 hour ago in Biochemistry
Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water
Water contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a totally new way …
1 hour ago in Materials Science
AI matched, outperformed radiologists in screening X-rays for certain diseases
In a matter of seconds, a new algorithm read chest X-rays for 14 pathologies, performing as well as radiologists in most cases, a Stanford-led study says.
1 hour ago in Medical research Radiology & Imaging
What a sinking island can tell us about sea-level change and earthquakes
One of the most striking features of Santa Catalina Island, southwest of Los Angeles, is an absence. Unlike much of the California coast and its closest islands, Catalina lacks cliffs stepping up and back from the sea – …
1 hour ago in Earth Sciences
Tropical tree mortality—new study reveals why trees die
A study by scientists at UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, data61 and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has shown why some tropical tree species die and others survive, revealing new insights into the processes …
1 hour ago in Plants & Animals Ecology