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295 posts · 184,458 views

Phased presents science journalism written for a lay audience, intending to cover technical subjects in an accessible manner. It covers science directly from the technical literature, and a wide range of subject areas.

Michael Long
295 posts

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  • February 2, 2010
  • 03:00 AM
  • 675 views

What Enables Termites to Fly in Rain?

by Michael Long in Phased

Gregory Watson (James Cook University, Australia) and coworkers have discovered small-scale architecture on termite wings that imparts remarkable water-repelling properties, while adding only minimal weight to the wings, enabling a species of weak fliers to readily fly in rain. This news feature was written on February 2, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 31, 2010
  • 03:59 PM
  • 531 views

Nondestructive Chemical Analysis of 19th Century Ferrotype Photographs

by Michael Long in Phased

Luigi Dei (University of Florence, Italy) and coworkers have investigated the chemical rationale underlying the degradation of some nineteenth century photographs, relevant towards preserving historically valuable photographs for future generations. This news feature was written on January 31, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 08:25 PM
  • 488 views

Highly Successful Mosquito Attraction with a Synthetic Scent

by Michael Long in Phased

Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania) and coworkers have developed a cheap "synthetic scent" that mosquitoes find to be even more attractive than human scent, which will enable realistic, effective mosquito control in resource-limited nations. This news feature was written on January 29, 2010.... Read more »

Okumu, F. O., Killeen, G. F., Ogoma, S., Biswaro, L., Smallegange, R. C., Mbeyela, E., Titus, E., Munk, C., Ngonyani, H., Takken, W.... (2010) Development and Field Evaluation of a Synthetic Mosquito Lure That Is More Attractive than Humans. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008951  

  • January 27, 2010
  • 09:30 PM
  • 738 views

Rapidly Diagnosing Lethal Blood-Based Fungal Infections

by Michael Long in Phased

Dominique Mazier (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris, France) and coworkers have used mass spectrometry to rapidly and unambiguously diagnose a blood-based fungal infection, faster than is possible through conventional diagnostics. This news feature was written on January 27, 2010.... Read more »

Marinach-Patrice, C., Fekkar, A., Atanasova, R., Gomes, J., Djamdjian, L., Brossas, J.-Y., Meyer, I., Buffet, P., Snounou, G., Datry, A.... (2010) Rapid Species Diagnosis for Invasive Candidiasis Using Mass Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008862  

  • January 23, 2010
  • 04:10 PM
  • 578 views

The Response of Butterflies to Habitat Loss and Climate Change

by Michael Long in Phased

Matthew Forister (University of Nevada, Reno) and coworkers have unambiguously investigated the differential effects of climate change and habitat loss on butterfly populations in northern California. This news feature was written on January 23, 2010.... Read more »

Forister, M. L., McCall, A. C., Sanders, N. J., Fordyce, J. A., Thorne, J. H., O'Brien, J., Waetjen, D. P., & Shapiro, A. M. (2010) Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909686107  

  • January 21, 2010
  • 06:17 PM
  • 533 views

Searching for Rugged Enzymes Adapted to Switchgrass Processing

by Michael Long in Phased

Philip Hugenholtz (Joint Bioenergy Institute and Joint Genome Institute, California) and coworkers have discovered a rugged enzyme that will be useful towards an industrial-scale breakdown of switchgrass into synthetically-useful molecules, rendering switchgrass into a practical, renewable carbon source. This news feature was written on January 21, 2010.... Read more »

Allgaier, M., Reddy, A., Park, J. I., Ivanova, N., D'haeseleer, P., Lowry, S., Sapra, R., Hazen, T. C., Simmons, B. A., VanderGheynst, J. S.... (2010) Targeted Discovery of Glycoside Hydrolases from a Switchgrass-Adapted Compost Community. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008812  

  • January 17, 2010
  • 12:45 PM
  • 581 views

A Possible Physical Mechanism of Cancer Metastasis

by Michael Long in Phased

Ralf Kemkemer (Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Germany) and coworkers have shown that a bioactive lipid can enable pancreatic cancer cells to dramatically alter their shape, possibly enabling them to penetrate organs and spread throughout the body. This news feature was written on January 17, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 14, 2010
  • 01:45 PM
  • 524 views

Inhibiting and Reversing Muscle Cell Differentiation

by Michael Long in Phased

Young-Tae Chang (National University of Singapore) and coworkers have synthesized a molecule which will be very useful for probing mitochondrial dysfunction, implicated as a factor in neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions. This news feature was written on January 14, 2010.... Read more »

Kim, Y. K., Ha, H.-H., Lee, J.-S., Bi, X., Ahn, Y.-H., Hajar, S., Lee, J.-J., & Chang, Y.-T. (2010) Control of Muscle Differentiation by a Mitochondria-Targeted Fluorophore. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132(2), 576-579. DOI: 10.1021/ja906862g  

  • January 14, 2010
  • 11:35 AM
  • 480 views

A Previously Unknown Toxin in Treated Water

by Michael Long in Phased

Xing-Fang Li (University of Alberta, Canada) and coworkers have added to concerns that unknown carcinogens may be lurking in treated water. This news feature was written on January 14, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 13, 2010
  • 01:30 PM
  • 475 views

Predicting the Time and Place of Violent Crime

by Michael Long in Phased

Michael Cusimano (University of Toronto) and coworkers' study of the spatial and temporal distribution of violent assaults in Toronto will be useful for public officials who need to prepare in advance for such emergencies. This news feature was written on January 13, 2010.... Read more »

Cusimano, M., Marshall, S., Rinner, C., Jiang, D., & Chipman, M. (2010) Patterns of Urban Violent Injury: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008669  

  • January 12, 2010
  • 04:00 PM
  • 618 views

Contribution of Atmospheric Amino Acid Particles to Cloud Seeding

by Michael Long in Phased

Adam Kristensson (Lund University, Sweden) and coworkers have begun to unravel the chemical basis of cloud seeding by small amino acid particles, helping to understand the possible contribution of a natural aerosol to global climate. This news feature was written on January 12, 2010.... Read more »

Kristensson, A., Rosenørn, T., & Bilde, M. (2010) Cloud Droplet Activation of Amino Acid Aerosol Particles. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 114(1), 379-386. DOI: 10.1021/jp9055329  

  • January 12, 2010
  • 01:05 PM
  • 502 views

Cheap Biomedical Devices Based on Nitrocellulose and Wax

by Michael Long in Phased

Jianhua Qin, Bingcheng Lin (Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, China), and coworkers have fabricated a cheap biomedical device that will find much use in resource-limited and emergency situations. This news feature was written on January 12, 2010.... Read more »

  • January 10, 2010
  • 12:05 PM
  • 734 views

Treating Cocaine Addiction with Deep Brain Stimulation

by Michael Long in Phased

Christelle Baunez (Aix-Marseille Universite, France) and coworkers have demonstrated the efficacy of deep brain stimulation towards reducing cocaine addiction in rats, without hindering the natural motivation system. This news feature was written on January 10, 2010.... Read more »

Rouaud, T., Lardeux, S., Panayotis, N., Paleressompoulle, D., Cador, M., & Baunez, C. (2009) Reducing the desire for cocaine with subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908189107  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 850 views

Mechanistic Insights into Supported Lipid Bilayer Formation

by Michael Long in Phased

Kuchnir Fygenson (University of California, Santa Barbara) and coworkers have gained physical insights relevant towards rendering planar lipid bilayers more useful for practical biological and engineering applications. This news feature was written on January 8, 2010.... Read more »

Weirich, K. L., Israelachvili, J. N., & Fygenson, D. K. (2010) Bilayer Edges Catalyze Supported Lipid Bilayer Formation. Biophysical Journal, 98(1), 85-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.09.050  

  • January 8, 2010
  • 05:20 PM
  • 599 views

Direct Observation of a Chemical Reaction on a Metal Surface

by Michael Long in Phased

Shao-Chun Li and Ulrike Diebold (Tulane University, Louisiana) have shown that the titanium dioxide (cheap) support in gold nanoparticle (expensive) catalysts can itself be a source of catalytic activity. This news feature was written on January 8, 2010.... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 08:25 PM
  • 686 views

Towards Rugged Protein-Based Drugs

by Michael Long in Phased

Jinbo Hu (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry) and coworkers have synthesized the Z isomer of monofluoroalkenes in high yield, which will be useful towards designing protein-based drugs that resist degradation within the body. This news feature was written on December 30, 2009.... Read more »

  • December 30, 2009
  • 01:50 PM
  • 699 views

Black Soot is Accelerating Tibetan Glacier Melting

by Michael Long in Phased

James Hansen (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York) and coworkers have determined why glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau are quickly melting, and offer possible solutions for preserving this essential water source for future generations. This news feature was written on December 30, 2009.... Read more »

Xu, B., Cao, J., Hansen, J., Yao, T., Joswia, D. R., Wang, N., Wu, G., Wang, M., Zhao, H., Yang, W.... (2009) Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(52), 22114-22118. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910444106  

  • December 25, 2009
  • 01:00 PM
  • 620 views

DNA Hybridization Kinetics in Living Cells

by Michael Long in Phased

Dieter Braun (Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Germany) and coworkers have probed the kinetics of DNA hybridization in living cells, and have found behavior which is more complex than what is observed in typical experiments performed in test tubes. This news feature was written on December 25, 2009.... Read more »

Schoen, I., Krammer, H., & Braun, D. (2009) Hybridization kinetics is different inside cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(51), 21649-21654. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901313106  

  • December 23, 2009
  • 01:10 PM
  • 501 views

Towards Geometrically Inhibiting Bacterial Biofilm Assembly

by Michael Long in Phased

Berenike Maier (Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat, Germany) and coworkers have found that micrometer-scale patterns can control whether the number or density of bacteria is the critical determinant of bacterial clustering. This news feature was written on December 23, 2009.... Read more »

Holz, C., Opitz, D., Mehlich, J., Ravoo, B. J., & Maier, B. (2009) Bacterial Motility and Clustering Guided by Microcontact Printing. Nano Letters, 9(12), 4553-4557. DOI: 10.1021/nl903153c  

  • December 23, 2009
  • 10:23 AM
  • 780 views

Cheap, Safe, and Sustainable Synthesis of Amines

by Michael Long in Phased

Yong Cao (Fudan University, China) and coworkers have improved a very useful synthetic protocol by rendering it cheap, safe, and environmentally-friendly. This news feature was written on December 23, 2009.... Read more »

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