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ScienceBlog.com: 8 Stories That Matter

Dewdrops on a spider web reveal the physics behind cell structures.

Views expressed in this science and technology update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 01 February 2021, 1300 UTC, Post 102.

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ScienceBlog.com: 8 Stories That Matter

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Dewdrops on a spiderweb reveal the physics behind cell structures

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:50 AM PST

As any cook knows, some liquids mix well with each other, but others do not. For example, when a tablespoon of vinegar is poured into water, a brief stir suffices to thoroughly combine the two liquids. However, a tablespoon of oil poured into water will coalesce into droplets that no amount of stirring can dissolve. […]

“Nuclear Physics”: Imaging into the Heart of a Cell

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:48 AM PST

Nestled deep in the nucleus of each of your cells is what seems like a magic trick: Six feet of DNA is packaged into a tiny space 50 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Like a long, thin string of genetic spaghetti, this DNA blueprint for your whole body is folded and […]

Clear as Mud: How Tiny Plants Changed the Planet, 488 Million Years Ago

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:47 AM PST

Nearly 500 million years ago, Earth’s lowland landscapes were dominated by vast sandy, gritty plains. They then underwent a major, irreversible change, after which these landscapes became dominated by thick layers of mud. Now, new research from Caltech explains that this drastic landscape change was instigated by the evolution of early tiny plants, like mosses […]

Scientists identify locations of early prion protein deposition in retina

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:46 AM PST

The earliest eye damage from prion disease takes place in the cone photoreceptor cells, specifically in the cilia and the ribbon synapses, according to a new study of prion protein accumulation in the eye by National Institutes of Health scientists. Prion diseases originate when normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters […]

X-Ray Tomography Lets Researchers Watch Solid-State Batteries Charge, Discharge

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:43 AM PST

Using X-ray tomography, a research team has observed the internal evolution of the materials inside solid-state lithium batteries as they were charged and discharged. Detailed three-dimensional information from the research could help improve the reliability and performance of the batteries, which use solid materials to replace the flammable liquid electrolytes in existing lithium-ion batteries. The operando synchrotron […]

Supercomputers Advance Longer-Lasting, Faster-Charging Batteries

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:41 AM PST

In an effort to curb the rise in overall carbon vehicle emissions, the state of California recently announced a plan to ban new sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in less than 15 years – if the current governor’s order holds strong. Now, thanks to supercomputers funded by the National Science Foundation such as Comet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center […]

Our gut-brain connection

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:40 AM PST

“Organs-on-a-chip” system sheds light on how bacteria in the human digestive tract may influence neurological diseases. In many ways, our brain and our digestive tract are deeply connected. Feeling nervous may lead to physical pain in the stomach, while hunger signals from the gut make us feel irritable. Recent studies have even suggested that the […]

Robust artificial intelligence tools to predict future cancer

Posted: 31 Jan 2021 06:38 AM PST

Researchers created a risk-assessment algorithm that shows consistent performance across datasets from US, Europe, and Asia. To catch cancer earlier, we need to predict who is going to get it in the future. The complex nature of forecasting risk has been bolstered by artificial intelligence (AI) tools, but the adoption of AI in medicine has […]

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