Silicon anodes offer great capacity for next-generation batteries but suffer from volume expansion that degrades batteries. Here new research has found a clever method to allow for volume expansion and maintain their high potential capacity!... Read more »
Hassan FM, Batmaz R, Li J, Wang X, Xiao X, Yu A, & Chen Z. (2015) Evidence of covalent synergy in silicon-sulfur-graphene yielding highly efficient and long-life lithium-ion batteries. Nature communications, 8597. PMID: 26497228
Scientists have suggested that we have more diamonds than we think, and the process of formation of diamond is probably not as complicated as we think.
In a recent study from scientists of Johns Hopkins University, it has been suggested that diamonds in the Earth are not as rare as once thought. They are of opinion that diamonds are commonly produced deep inside the Earth.
“Diamond formation in the deep Earth,........ Read more »
Sverjensky, D., & Huang, F. (2015) Diamond formation due to a pH drop during fluid–rock interactions. Nature Communications, 8702. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9702
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a model that could be used to predict a drug’s side effects on different patients. The proof of concept study is aimed at determining how different individuals will respond to a drug treatment and could help assess whether a drug is suitable for a particular patient based on measurements taken from the patient’s blood.... Read more »
Bordbar, A., McCloskey, D., Zielinski, D., Sonnenschein, N., Jamshidi, N., & Palsson, B. (2015) Personalized Whole-Cell Kinetic Models of Metabolism for Discovery in Genomics and Pharmacodynamics. Cell Systems, 1(4), 283-292. DOI: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.10.003
From a new date for earliest life on earth to the potentially controversial findings that Antarctica is gaining more ice than it’s loosing, here are 5 of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »
Bell, E., Boehnke, P., Harrison, T., & Mao, W. (2015) Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201517557. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517557112
Zwally, H. Jay, Li, Jun, Robbins, John W, Saba, Jack L, Yi, Donghui, & Brenner, Anita C. (2015) Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses. Journal of Glaciology. DOI: 10.3189/2015JoG15J071
Kim TW, Ping Y, Galli GA, & Choi KS. (2015) Simultaneous enhancements in photon absorption and charge transport of bismuth vanadate photoanodes for solar water splitting. Nature communications, 8769. PMID: 26498984
Tyagi, N., Farnell, E., Fitzsimmons, C., Ryan, S., Tukahebwa, E., Maizels, R., Dunne, D., Thornton, J., & Furnham, N. (2015) Comparisons of Allergenic and Metazoan Parasite Proteins: Allergy the Price of Immunity. PLOS Computational Biology, 11(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004546
Barrett, S., Speth, R., Eastham, S., Dedoussi, I., Ashok, A., Malina, R., & Keith, D. (2015) Impact of the Volkswagen emissions control defeat device on US public health. Environmental Research Letters, 10(11), 114005. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/114005
Substantially smaller and longer-lasting batteries for everything from portable electronic devices to electric cars could become a reality thanks to an innovative technology developed by University of Waterloo researchers. Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, and a team of graduate students have created a low-cost battery using silicon that boosts the performance and life of lithium-ion batteries.... Read more »
Hassan, F., Batmaz, R., Li, J., Wang, X., Xiao, X., Yu, A., & Chen, Z. (2015) Evidence of covalent synergy in silicon–sulfur–graphene yielding highly efficient and long-life lithium-ion batteries. Nature Communications, 8597. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9597
In the spirit of Halloween we bring you the science fact and fiction behind the undead. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, (and girls) are everywhere. We are all familiar (if you are horror fans, or at least not living on an Amish compound) with the classic zombie. But did you know that we aren’t the only zombie lovers out there? It turns out that nature has its own special types of zombies, but this isn’t a science fiction movie, this is science fact!... Read more »
Lafferty KD. (2006) Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273(1602), 2749-55. PMID: 17015323
Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC, & Sapolsky RM. (2007) Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(15), 6442-7. PMID: 17404235
Passamonti L, Crockett MJ, Apergis-Schoute AM, Clark L, Rowe JB, Calder AJ, & Robbins TW. (2012) Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on prefrontal-amygdala connectivity while viewing facial signals of aggression. Biological psychiatry, 71(1), 36-43. PMID: 21920502
Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P., & Renaud, F. (2002) Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x
W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski. (2014) Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?. Journal of Zoology , 292(3), 151-155. info:/10.1111/jzo.12094
How do we make sea level rise due to global warming more personal? A new educational experiment has been designed to show the physics behind this phenomenon that can be done in the kitchen or the classroom.... Read more »
Hughes, S., & Pearce, D. (2015) Investigating sea level rise due to global warming in the teaching laboratory using Archimedes’ principle. European Journal of Physics, 36(6), 65033. DOI: 10.1088/0143-0807/36/6/065033
Chernobyl has an unhospitable reputation for wildlife. But new research suggests that animals are thriving in the wild near the old reactor site.... Read more »
Deryabina, T., Kuchmel, S., Nagorskaya, L., Hinton, T., Beasley, J., Lerebours, A., & Smith, J. (2015) Long-term census data reveal abundant wildlife populations at Chernobyl. Current Biology, 25(19). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.017
I like making lists about living things. Colour is a great starting point for such lists, whether they're about body parts infected by microbes or the origins of science words. For this post, I'm going to look at how bones and teeth can take on a bunch of strange colours...... Read more »
Dooley A, & Moncrief N. (2012) Fluorescence provides evidence of congenital erythropoietic porphyria in 7000-year-old specimens of the eastern fox squirrel from the Devil's Den. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(2), 495-497. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2012.639422
Ferrand J, Rossano S, Rollet P, Allard T, Cordier P, Catillon G, Auxiette G, Farges F, & Pont S. (2014) On the origin of the green colour of archaeological bone artefacts of the Gallo-Roman Period. Archaeometry, 56(6), 1024-1040. DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12042
Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop “exercise pills” that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body. But a review of current development efforts ponders whether such pills will........ Read more »
Laher, & et al. (2015) Exercise Pills: At the Starting Line?. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2015.08.014
A new mechanism of trapping carbon in the ocean has been proposed by researchers studying the migration of zooplankton!... Read more »
Jónasdóttir SH, Visser AW, Richardson K, & Heath MR. (2015) Seasonal copepod lipid pump promotes carbon sequestration in the deep North Atlantic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26338976
Kirigami, the ancient art of paper cutting, has inspired a new type of solar cell that can track the sun without lots of expensive materials!... Read more »
Lamoureux, A., Lee, K., Shlian, M., Forrest, S., & Shtein, M. (2015) Dynamic kirigami structures for integrated solar tracking. Nature Communications, 8092. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9092
UAB researchers determine how M. tb kills immune cells with an enzyme toxin... Read more »
Sun, J., Siroy, A., Lokareddy, R., Speer, A., Doornbos, K., Cingolani, G., & Niederweis, M. (2015) The tuberculosis necrotizing toxin kills macrophages by hydrolyzing NAD. Nature Structural , 22(9), 672-678. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3064
Imagine creating artificial plants that make gasoline and natural gas using only sunlight. And imagine using those fuels to heat our homes or run our cars without adding any greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. By combining nanoscience and biology, researchers led by scientists at University of California, Berkeley, have taken a big step in that direction.... Read more »
Liu, C., Gallagher, J., Sakimoto, K., Nichols, E., Chang, C., Chang, M., & Yang, P. (2015) Nanowire–Bacteria Hybrids for Unassisted Solar Carbon Dioxide Fixation to Value-Added Chemicals. Nano Letters, 15(5), 3634-3639. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b01254
A commonly prescribed antidepressant may alter brain structures in depressed and non-depressed individuals in very different ways, according to new research. The study – conducted in nonhuman primates with brain structures and functions similar to those of humans – found that the antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas........ Read more »
Willard, S., Uberseder, B., Clark, A., Daunais, J., Johnston, W., Neely, D., Massey, A., Williamson, J., Kraft, R., Bourland, J.... (2015) Long term sertraline effects on neural structures in depressed and nondepressed adult female nonhuman primates. Neuropharmacology, 369-378. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.06.011
Mary Poppins taught us that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. A bumblebee's favorite sugary drink may already be laced with medicine. And bees seem to dose themselves with medicinal nectar when they're suffering from a gut full of parasites.
Plants manufacture many chemical compounds to defend against attackers. Some of these are familiar to humans—like capsaicin, the potent weapon made by chili pepper plants. But not every animal enjoys painful food experiences like we do........ Read more »
Richardson, L., Bowers, M., & Irwin, R. (2015) Nectar chemistry mediates the behavior of parasitized bees: consequences for plant fitness. Ecology, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/15-0263.1
In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.... Read more »
Xiong, S., Patrushev, N., Forouzandeh, F., Hilenski, L., & Alexander, R. (2015) PGC-1α Modulates Telomere Function and DNA Damage in Protecting against Aging-Related Chronic Diseases. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.07.047
Old writings spanning the last four hundred years have been discovered in China that detail eras of drought. Using these as a starting point, researchers have connected the time periods with changes in rainfall to predict future droughts in the region.... Read more »
Tan, L., Cai, Y., An, Z., Cheng, H., Shen, C., Breitenbach, S., Gao, Y., Edwards, R., Zhang, H., & Du, Y. (2015) A Chinese cave links climate change, social impacts, and human adaptation over the last 500 years. Scientific Reports, 12284. DOI: 10.1038/srep12284
A Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 patients found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated. The study also found that men who were treated but did not attain normal levels did not see the same benefits as those whose levels did reach normal.... Read more »
Sharma, R., Oni, O., Gupta, K., Chen, G., Sharma, M., Dawn, B., Sharma, R., Parashara, D., Savin, V., Ambrose, J.... (2015) Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men. European Heart Journal. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv346
Many patients with bipolar disorder, a debilitating mental condition that can take a person from the sluggishness of severe depression to super-human energy levels, are often misdiagnosed as having major depressive disorder, or MDD. But now as an alternative to reliance on patient interviews, scientists are closing in on an objective test that could help clinicians distinguish between the two — and provide better treatment.... Read more »
Chen, J., Zhou, C., Liu, Z., Fu, Y., Zheng, P., Yang, D., Li, Q., Mu, J., Wei, Y., Zhou, J.... (2015) Divergent Urinary Metabolic Phenotypes between Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Identified by a Combined GC–MS and NMR Spectroscopic Metabonomic Approach. Journal of Proteome Research, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00434
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