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Preview: PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories



Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.



 



Pheasant project has potential to advance land management research

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:40:01 EST

A new web-based application from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will allow the state's wildlife managers to examine how virtually manipulating land cover in a region could affect pheasant populations—and how much such efforts might cost.



Solving the problem of surgical stainless steel

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:35:32 EST

Stainless steel is widely used in surgical medicine: for medical devices such coronary stents, hip-implant stems and spinal-disc replacements, and for a variety of surgical tools such as scalpels and forceps, as well as operating tables.



Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:34:51 EST

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how important bioinorganic electron transfer systems operate. Using a combination of very different, time-resolved measurement methods at DESY's X-ray source PETRA III and other facilities, the scientists were able to show that so-called pre-distorted states can speed up photochemical reactions or make them possible in the first place. The group headed by Sonja Herres-Pawlis from the RWTH Aachen University Michael Rübhausen from the University of Hamburg and Wolfgang Zinth from Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University, is presenting its findings in the journal Nature Chemistry.



Trust in ethnically diverse areas is improving, but there is more work to be done

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:30:02 EST

In modern Australia, trust sometimes seems to be a short supply. But our research shows there may be some cause for optimism.



Neutrons reveal hidden secrets of the hepatitis C virus

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:25:39 EST

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood born virus that causes liver disease and cancer, with more than 300,000 people dying each year and 71 million people living with a chronic infection worldwide . While antiviral medicines are currently used, there is no vaccination currently available and side effects can results in a wrong diagnosis.



Balancing work and tertiary study is harder now than in 2012, says study

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:21:28 EST

Students know completing a university degree gives them a better chance of landing a high-paying job, often after surviving financial hardship while studying. But striking a balance between life, work and study appears to be getting tougher.



How massive can neutron stars be?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:11:44 EST

Astrophysicists at Goethe University Frankfurt set a new limit for the maximum mass of neutron stars: They cannot exceed 2.16 solar masses.



Material surface mimics natural antimicrobial surfaces by binding and breaking bacterial cells open

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:10:01 EST

A powerful solution to the global spread of antimicrobial resistance could soon become available, thanks to A*STAR researchers, who have come up with a physical and green alternative to biochemically active antibacterial agents.



Guru-turned-entrepreneur targets India's online market

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:00:02 EST

Baba Ramdev, the popular yoga guru-turned-entrepreneur behind one of India's biggest brands, said Tuesday he was tying up with Amazon to target the country's $1 billion online market for consumer goods.



Multifaceted design of the mantis shrimp club is inspiring advanced composite materials for airplanes, football helmets

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:00:01 EST

Smart boxers bind their hands with strips of cloth to avoid injury when they pack a punch. Millions of years ago, the "smasher" mantis shrimp, one of nature's feistiest predators, figured out a similar way to protect the hammer-like club it uses to pulverize prey with incredible speed and force.



Clever simulation scheme helps identify the most promising compositions of two-dimensional materials

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:50:01 EST

A high-throughput scan of possible compositions for a new class of materials known as MXenes gives researchers invaluable direction for picking the best candidate from the millions of possible material recipes. The simulation study by researchers from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing is a significant advancement in the field of MXenes, which have exciting potential in next-generation energy storage applications.



Skeleton teeth and historical photography are retelling the story of the plague

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:40:02 EST

New portraits of the evolution of some of history's deadliest pandemics have been created through analysis of thousands of skeletons and new collections of historical photographs—and the results could indicate how similar diseases may evolve in the future.



Habitat fragmentation a bigger threat to Chile's güiña wildcat than persecution by humans

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:30:01 EST

Research by conservationists at the University of Kent has found that habitat fragmentation, and the subdivision of large farms into smaller ones, are the biggest threats facing the güiña wildcat in Chile.



New study debunks the theory of 'war-like' business competition in financial markets

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:20:01 EST

The perception of competition in business is often negatively skewed, with images of Wolf of Wall Street types running greedy firms who are out to win at any cost. In this world, competition is seen as war and retaliation, and financial markets are battlegrounds.



Communication methods do not work equally across diverse teams

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:10:06 EST

More recent thought on how to reach consensus among members of diverse teams for the best outcome has been to use text rather than face-to-face communication, but new research from the University of Michigan shows it's not that simple.



What's a mind without a body? New research adds physiology to computer models

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:10:03 EST

Though computers are becoming better programmed to process information like our brains do, the power of the human mind is unmatched. But what's the mind without a body?



Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:09:44 EST

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. Temperatures of up to eight degrees were registered north of Svalbard. Temperatures this high have not been recorded in the winter half of the year since the beginning of systematic measurements at the end of the 1970s. As a result of this unusual warmth, the sea ice began to melt.



Ariane 5 rocket puts European GPS satellites into orbit

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:04:19 EST

An Ariane 5 rocket put four GPS satellites into orbit on Tuesday for Europe's Galileo navigation project, Arianespace said.



Physicists celebrate as vital component of global neutrino experiment arrives at CERN

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:03:37 EST

Liverpool physicists are celebrating after a vital component of the global neutrino experiment – the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) – which they have helped construct has been delivered to CERN for testing.



Scholars develop new technology to decode gene transcription facilitating discovery of targeted therapy drugs

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:51 EST

A research team from the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has developed the world's first model framework and "LogicTRN" algorithm to accurately establish a gene regulatory route to analyse the genetic function and understand the biological processes that are responsible for the development of organs, progression of diseases and other complex biological events such as aging. Such a new mechanism could help efficiently locate the key regulatory route for complicated diseases, thereby facilitating the research and development of targeted therapy drugs. The research team has successfully applied the new integrative approach to analyse breast cancer and characterise the logical relations among transcription factors (TFs) in regulating biological processes. The work was recently published in the prestigious academic journal Nature Communications.



X-rays reveal chirality in swirling electric vortices

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:01:32 EST

Scientists used spiraling X-rays at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to observe, for the first time, a property that gives handedness to swirling electric patterns – dubbed polar vortices – in a synthetically layered material.



The impact of relatedness on grandmothers' desire to care for their grandchildren

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:00:07 EST

Historically, the help provided by grandmothers has increased grandchild survival during times of high child mortality. However, there have been signs that in many populations, the impact of maternal grandmothers and paternal grandmothers on their grandchildren has been different. A recent study conducted at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that X-chromosome relatedness between grandmothers and their grandchildren did not affect grandchild survival in 18th- and 19th-century Finland.



Slow 'hot electrons' could improve solar cell efficiency

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:56:56 EST

Photons with energy higher than the band gap of the semiconductor absorbing them give rise to what are known as hot electrons. The extra energy in respect to the band gap is lost very fast, as it is converted into heat and does not contribute to the voltage. University of Groningen Photophysics and Optoelectronics Professor Maria Antonietta Loi has now found a material in which these hot electrons retain their high energy levels for much longer. This might make it possible to use more of their energy to obtain a higher voltage. Her results were published on 16 January in Nature Communications.



Quan­tum physics turned into tan­gi­ble re­al­ity

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:56:21 EST

ETH physicists have developed a silicon wafer that behaves like a topological insulator when stimulated using ultrasound. They have thereby succeeded in turning an abstract theoretical concept into a macroscopic product.



School climate and diversity may affect students' delinquent behaviors

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:54:48 EST

In a Journal of School Health study, race, sex, perceived peer inclusion, and teacher discrimination were predictors of students' delinquent behaviors.



Researchers use 3-D microtube platform to study lumen formation

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:53:26 EST

A team of scientists from Singapore and France, led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Principal Investigator at the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, has described a novel 'microtube'-based platform to study how tubular organs, such as the heart and the kidneys, form under the various topographical restrictions commonly experienced inside the body. This study was published online in Nature Communications on 15 November 2017.



Researcher refutes theory regarding the dispersal of humans in Europe

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:52:57 EST

In a newly published study in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, Senckenberg scientist Professor Dr. Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke, in conjunction with an international team of renowned Stone Age experts, refutes a recent publication regarding the dispersal of humans in Europe. This publication postulates that the first humans occurred in Northern and Central Europe as early as about one million years ago – more than 200,000 years earlier than previously documented. Moreover, the team of scientists around the Ice Age researcher from Weimar was able to show that the specimens of the archeological study were presumably stolen from the research excavation in Untermassfeld.



Scientists use vibrations within cells to identify their mechanical properties

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:51:51 EST

Scientists at Université de Montréal have developed a unique technique to map, on a scale of milliseconds, the elasticity of the components inside a cell.



Scientists home in on a potential Anthropocene 'golden spike'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:49:57 EST

The international working group, which includes geologists Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams and Colin Waters, from the University of Leicester's School of Geography, Geology and the Environment and archaeologist Matt Edgeworth has, since 2009, been analysing the case for formalisation of the Anthropocene, a potential new epoch of geological time dominated by overwhelming human impact on the Earth.



Research team determines how electron spins interact with crystal lattice in nickel oxide

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:48:29 EST

Researchers at UC Riverside used an unconventional approach to determine the strength of the electron spin interactions with the optical phonons in antiferromagnetic nickel oxide (NiO) crystals.