Welcome to today’s edition of “Hawaii Science Digest”–a Hawaii Island blog focusing on science, technology, medicine, health, the environment, cyber security, and artificial intelligence (AI). Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents. Today’s articles are taken from the current issue of “Spotlight Science News”, published by https://phys.org (the Science X Network). Here are the details:
Accessed on 04 January 2019, 0648 UTC.
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Spotlight Science News
Forest soundscapes monitor conservation efforts inexpensively, effectively
Recordings of the sounds in tropical forests could unlock secrets about biodiversity and aid conservation efforts around the world, according to a perspective paper published in Science.
New nanosatellite system captures better imagery at lower cost
Ben-Gurion University researchers have developed a new satellite imaging system that could revolutionize the economics and imagery available from space-based cameras and even earth-based telescopes.
Catastrophic galactic collision could send Solar System flying into space
New research led by astrophysicists at Durham University, UK, predicts that the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) could hit the Milky Way in two billion years’ time.
A ‘bran’ new way to preserve healthy food with natural ingredients
A natural antioxidant found in grain bran could preserve food longer and replace synthetic antioxidants currently used by the food industry, according to researchers at Penn State.
Adolescents who self-harm more likely to commit violent crime
Young people who self-harm are three times more likely to commit violent crime than those who do not, according to new research from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.
Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent
Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically …
Glassy carbon microneedles: A new transdermal drug delivery device
Microneedles are designed to infuse medications transdermally (through the skin) and relatively painlessly during clinical applications. In a recent study, Richa Mishra and her colleagues developed a new technique to convert …
Dark matter on the move
Scientists have found evidence that dark matter can be heated up and moved around, as a result of star formation in galaxies. The findings provide the first observational evidence for the effect known as ‘dark matter heating’, …
Researchers suggest missing crust layer can be blamed on ‘Snowball Earth’
An international team of researchers has found evidence supporting a theory that suggests a missing crust layer can be blamed on “Snowball Earth.” In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, …
Next up: Ultracold simulators of super-dense stars
Rice University physicists have created the world’s first laser-cooled neutral plasma, completing a 20-year quest that sets the stage for simulators that re-create exotic states of matter found inside Jupiter and white dwarf …
Study of zircon crystals casts doubt on evidence for early development of magnetic field
A combined team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of California has found evidence that casts doubt on the use of zircon crystals as evidence of early development of the Earth’s magnetic field. …
Computer program can translate a free-form 2-D drawing into a DNA structure
Researchers at MIT and Arizona State University have designed a computer program that allows users to translate any free-form drawing into a two-dimensional, nanoscale structure made of DNA.
Nanoscavenger found to protect rodents against nerve agent attacks
A team of researchers from the University of Washington, the Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense and Texas A&M University has developed a nanoscavenger that is capable of protecting mice against nerve agent …
Luminous gamma-ray flare detected from the blazar DA 193
Physicists uncover new competing state of matter in superconducting material
A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, …
Melting ice sheets release tons of methane into the atmosphere, study finds
The Greenland Ice Sheet emits tons of methane according to a new study, showing that subglacial biological activity impacts the atmosphere far more than previously thought.
DeepWiTraffic: A Wi-Fi based traffic monitoring system using deep learning
A team of researchers at the University of Memphis has recently developed a low-cost and portable traffic monitoring system (TMS) called DeepWiTraffic. This new system, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, combines …
China lunar probe sheds light on the ‘dark’ side of the moon
China’s burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone on Thursday: landing a probe on the mysterious and misnamed “dark” side of the moon.
Surprise discovery reveals second visual system in mouse cerebral cortex
The visual system is probably the best understood part of the brain. Over the past 75 years, neuroscientists have assembled a detailed account of how light waves entering your eyes allow you to recognize your grandmother’s …
Researchers design a more durable MEMS switch
Researchers from Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a way to make cell phones and power lines more durable.
Slime proves valuable in developing method for counting salmon in Alaska
Scientists have published a novel method for counting Pacific salmon—analyzing DNA from the slime the fish leave behind in their spawning streams.
Obese mice lose anxiety when ‘zombie cells’ exit their brain
Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have shown in mice that obesity increases the level of “zombie” or senescent cells in the brain, and that those cells, in turn, are linked to anxiety. When senolytic drugs are used …
Discovery in cell development changes understanding of how genes shape early embryos
Our bodies hold roughly 14 trillion cells, each containing a nucleus with DNA measuring two meters long by 20 atoms wide. To fit inside each nucleus, DNA coils around specialized proteins. These spools of wrapped DNA inhibit …
Project Soli’s hands, not touchscreens, give new meaning to digital future
Google has been given some key green lights by the US Government for its radar-based motion sensor. The nods now place Project Soli in a stronger light. The FCC’s waiver for Project Soli has kicked the project up a notch, …
Bulldogs’ screw tails linked to human genetic disease
With their small size, stubby faces and wide-set eyes, bulldogs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers are among the most popular of domestic dog breeds. Now researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary …
Archeological discovery yields clues to how our ancestors may have adapted to their environment
During the Stone Age ancestral humans lived with a variety of animal species along what was an area of wetlands in the middle of the Jordanian desert. The site, in the town of Azraq Basin, has been excavated and has revealed …
Researchers define a small protein’s central role in tumor mechanics
A jagged little protein appears to be key to how cancer stem cells differentiate and enable metastasis, according to researchers at Rice University and the Duke University School of Medicine.
Gut immune cells cut inflammation in multiple sclerosis
Researchers at the University of Toronto and UC San Francisco have discovered that the intestine is the source of immune cells that reduce brain inflammation in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and that increasing the …
Experimental treatment shows promise against triple-negative breast cancer
By simultaneously tackling two mechanisms for cancer’s growth, an experimental therapy reduced the spread of triple-negative breast cancer in a study conducted in mice.
Newborn genomic sequencing detects unanticipated disease risk factors
As genomic sequencing becomes increasingly commonplace in the clinic, questions remain about its use and role among newborns. Can sequencing provide actionable insights? How common is it to find something important to a child’s …