Spotlight Science News. 26 November 2018.
Accessed on 26 November 2018, 1537 UTC.
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Comment: Here are today’s top science news stories from https://phys.org. Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
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Engineers developing a HAL 9000-type AI system for monitoring planetary base stations
A team of engineers at TRACLabs Inc. in the U.S. is making inroads toward the creation of a planetary base station monitoring system similar in some respects to Hal 9000—the infamous AI system in the movie 2001: A Space …
41 minutes ago in Robotics Machine Learning & AI weblog
Scientists unveil promising new HIV vaccine strategy
A new candidate HIV vaccine from Scripps Research surmounts technical hurdles that stymied previous vaccine efforts, and stimulates a powerful anti-HIV antibody response in animal tests.
7 minutes ago in HIV & AIDS
Paving the way: An accelerator on a microchip
Electrical engineers in the accelerator physics group at TU Darmstadt have developed a design for a laser-driven electron accelerator so small it could be produced on a silicon chip. It would be inexpensive and with multiple …
51 minutes ago in General Physics Optics & Photonics
Whether herbivores increase or decrease plant diversity depends on what’s on the menu
Cows eat grass. It seems simple enough. But just which kind of grass cows and their vegetarian comrades munch on can influence the entire ecosystem.
5 minutes ago in Ecology
Clarifying effects of negative mass
A FLEET study led by University of Queensland’s David Colas clarifies recent studies of negative mass, investigating the strange phenomenon of self-interference.
21 minutes ago in General Physics Quantum Physics
A large volcanic eruption shook Deception Island 3,980 years ago
A large volcanic eruption shook Deception Island in Antarctica 3,980 years ago, and not 8,300, as it was previously thought, according to an international study published in Scientific Reports, in which researchers from the …
43 minutes ago in Environment
Home blood pressure assessments are more accurate than office checks
Doctors could improve the care of high blood pressure by relying more on home blood pressure (BP) checks and not so much on the less-accurate office BP assessments, wrote health care quality experts from The University of …
38 minutes ago in Cardiology
Researchers advance role of circulating tumor DNA to detect early melanoma growth
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have added to evidence that measuring and monitoring tumor DNA that naturally circulates in the blood of melanoma patients can not only reliably help reveal the …
8 minutes ago in Cancer
Using photoplethysmography signal for mathematical modeling of arterial blood pressure
A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas Southwestern have recently developed a new method to estimate systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), and mean (MBP) blood pressure waveforms …
1 hour ago in Engineering feature
The hippocampus is crucial for forming non-hippocampal long-term memory during sleep
A longstanding division exists between hippocampus-dependent and non-hippocampus dependent memory since only the latter can be acquired and retrieved in the absence of normal hippocampal functions. In agreement with the familiar …
1 hour ago in Neuroscience feature
Astronomers investigate unusually bright single pulses from a millisecond pulsar
Molecular motors: Chemical carousel rotates in the cold
Molecular motors, which rotate unidirectionally in response to an external energy input, constitute an important class of components for future applications in the field of nanotechnology. Molecules whose structure and spatial …
1 hour ago in Materials Science
Can personality be measured?
An international team of researchers has developed a new method to assess the intelligence and personality by analyzing neurophysiological data of the human brain. Researchers with Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are among …
1 hour ago in Psychology & Psychiatry Neuroscience
Breakthrough as molecules shown to ‘air-kiss’ when brain neurons attract each other
All brain cells ‘air-kiss’ before they come together to form a final synaptic relationship, new research by University scientists has revealed.
1 hour ago in Neuroscience
Research group suggests it might be time to build a universal genetic database
A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University is suggesting in a Policy Forum piece published in the journal Science that it might be time to start building a universal genetic database. They suggest doing so would help …
1 hour ago in Biotechnology report
Gip1 structure places G proteins in lockdown
Heterotrimeric G proteins are important in G protein-coupled receptor signaling, which plays many roles in the detection of various environmental stimuli, including hormones, neurotransmitters, light, smells, and chemical …
1 hour ago in Cell & Microbiology
TIC236 protein found to link outer and inner membranes of chloroplast envelope
A team of researchers with the Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, has discovered a protein called TIC236 that serves as a link between the outer and inner membranes of the chloroplast envelope in …
1 hour ago in Molecular & Computational Biology weblog
Sperm count 50% lower in sons of fathers who smoke
Anxiety abounds at NASA as Mars landing day arrives
A NASA spacecraft’s six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains.
7 hours ago in Space Exploration
First gene-edited babies claimed in China
A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies—twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.
7 hours ago in Genetics
Transparent fruit flies
The nervous system of an animal can be studied by cutting it up into thin layers—however this inevitably leads to the destruction of the cellular structures in the tissue. Analyzing complex nerve connections is then hardly …
2 hours ago in Plants & Animals Biotechnology
Researchers apply 2-D spectroscopy to isolated molecular systems for the first time
A research team headed by Prof. Dr. Frank Stienkemeier and Dr. Lukas Bruder of the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Physics has applied 2-D spectroscopy to isolated molecular systems for the first time, and thus in tracing …
2 hours ago in Analytical Chemistry
Researchers uncover camouflage strategy of multi-resistant bacteria
Researchers at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have achieved a breakthrough in the decoding of multi-resistant pathogens. The team led by Professor Andreas Peschel and Professor …
2 hours ago in Cell & Microbiology
New insight into ocean-atmosphere interaction and subsequent cloud formation
Organic compounds undergo drastic variations in their chemical composition as they transfer from the ocean’s surface to atmospheric aerosols which act as nuclei to form clouds.
3 hours ago in Earth Sciences
New tricks of TALEs: Discovery of a new principle of gene regulation by molecular displacement
Transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins can be designed to bind to almost any selected DNA. Researchers now report that a TALE can displace another TALE protein from DNA in a highly polarized way – it can …
3 hours ago in Cell & Microbiology Biotechnology Molecular & Computational Biology
Plant root hairs form outward due to shank hardening
A group of international researchers has discovered how plant root hair grows straight and long. Many studies of root hair growth have been performed, but the molecular mechanism for the suppression of growth on the sides …
3 hours ago in Plants & Animals Cell & Microbiology
Weight likely cause for one-fourth of asthma cases in kids with obesity
A study including health data for more than 500,000 children in the U.S. suggests obesity might be to blame for about a quarter (23 to 27 percent) of asthma in children who are obese.
7 hours ago in Immunology Pediatrics
How many kids have autism? US government measures three ways
How many American children have autism? The U.S. government answers that question at least three different ways and says the latest estimate—1 in 40 kids—doesn’t necessarily mean the numbers are rising.
6 hours ago in Autism spectrum disorders