Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The larger the synapse, the stronger the signal it transmits. These findings will enable a better understanding of how the brain functions and how neurological disorders arise.
A health impact study has for the first time estimated the mortality burden attributable to air pollution in more than 1,000 European cities. The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, includes a ranking of the European cities with the highest rates of mortality attributable to each of the two air pollutants studied: fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The research project was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in collaboration with Swiss TPH and Utrecht University.
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Antwerp and Ghent scientists discover new drug for deadly disease. Antwerp and Ghent scientists have discovered a new drug against African 'sleeping sickness'. "This disease seems to be on its way out, but it is still very useful to have a new drug to fall back on, because we can't rule out another sudden upswing ", says Prof. Guy Caljon (UAntwerp).
As the decade comes to an end, we reflect on the stories that spiked your interest and topped the 'most read articles' chart this year. Ranked by page views, here are your favourite stories of 2019: 10. Mystery arthritis-linked knee bone three times more common than 100 years ago Imperial News Is it time to adjust the official number of bones in the human body? In April, researchers found that the small fabella bone, once thought to be a relic of the past, has made a comeback over the last century.
Life as we know it requires phosphorus. It's one of the six main chemical elements of life, it forms the backbone of DNA and RNA molecules, acts as the main currency for energy in all cells and anchors the lipids that separate cells from their surrounding environment. But how did a lifeless environment on the early Earth supply this key ingredient? "For 50 years, what's called 'the phosphate problem,' has plagued studies on the origin of life,” said first author Jonathan Toner , a University of Washington research assistant professor of Earth and space sciences.
A new study by University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania scientists shows that as materials age, they 'remember' prior stresses and external forces, which researchers can then use to create new materials with unique properties. The study, published Dec. 20 in Science Advances , found that certain types of materials have a "memory" of how they were processed, stored, and manipulated.
Some surprise headlines need a second look, but quirky studies can often have a significant impact. From singing fish to anti-malarial soup, we take a look back at the stories which made readers do a double-take in 2019. Grandma's miracle soup In November, schoolchildren from London found their traditional family soups had antimalarial properties.
Plant seeds may strike the casual observer as unspectacular - but they have properties that are nothing short of superpowers. In a dry state they can store their energy for years and then suddenly release it for germination when environmental conditions are favourable. One striking example is the “super bloom? in the Death Valley National Park, when seeds that have endured the dry and hot desert for decades suddenly germinate at rainfall followed by a rare and spectacular desert bloom several months later.
New research from the University of Sussex shows that people who take part in Dry January - living alcohol-free for a month - are still drinking less six months later. In the most robust research on the subject to date, the study, led by University of Sussex psychologist Dr Richard de Visser , compared the experiences of participants in the Dry January 2019 challenge with adult drinkers who did not take part.
This year, researchers traveled across the country and around the world, producing work that adds to our understanding of life on Earth and informs potential solutions for improving our health and the health of our planet. From mining tunnels under South Dakota to the peatlands of Brunei, Stanford University researchers travel to destinations near and far, high and low, wet and dry to collect samples, observe subjects and collaborate across cultures and countries.
With an estimated 97 percent of adolescents playing video games in their free time, there is growing potential to design games as tools for attention-building instead of attention-busting. A research team at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Irvine, designed a video game to improve mindfulness in middle schoolers and found that when young people played the game, they showed changes in areas of their brains that underlie attention.
FINDINGS A UCLA-led study revealed a new way to predict which patients with “stable? heart failure — those who have heart injury but do not require hospitalization — have a higher risk of dying within one to three years. Although people with stable heart failure have similar characteristics, some have rapid disease progression while others remain stable.
A puddle freezing on the sidewalk, your humidifier pumping out water vapor, salt trucks melting icy streets-wintertime in Chicago is full of examples of a physics phenomenon called a "phase transition," in which a material changes state. Physicists are fascinated by this phenomenon, which is useful in technology from the basic steam turbine all the way to MRIs. In a paper published Dec.
What better accompaniment to festive feasting and your impending food coma than a roundup of tasty stories from 2019? Sit back as Imperial serves up some festive food for thought, featuring unusual stuffing, strange pudding, dried cricket snacks, and food sensors. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly and enjoy all the treats Christmas has to offer! Grub's up In the 1800s, lobsters were considered the food of slaves and prisoners; a poor person's food.
People transported animals over huge distances for mass gatherings at one of Ireland's most iconic archaeological sites, research concludes. Dr Richard Madgwick of Cardiff University led the study, which analysed the bones of 35 animals excavated from Navan Fort, the legendary capital of Ulster. Researchers from Queen's University Belfast, Memorial University Newfoundland and the British Geological Survey were also involved in the research.
The development of technologies which can process information based on the laws of quantum physics are predicted to have profound impacts on modern society. For example, quantum computers may hold the key to solving problems that are too complex for today's most powerful supercomputers, and a quantum internet could ultimately protect the worlds information from malicious attacks.
Atomic clocks are used around the world to precisely tell time. Each "tick" of the clock depends on atomic vibrations and their effects on surrounding electromagnetic fields. Standard atomic clocks in use today, based on the atom cesium, tell time by "counting" radio frequencies. These clocks can measure time to a precision of one second per every hundreds of millions of years.
Researchers at EPFL have patented a new concept that could cut trucks' CO2 emissions by almost 90%. It involves capturing CO2 within the exhaust system, converting it into a liquid and storing it on the vehicle. The liquid CO2 would then be delivered to a service station and where it will be turned back into fuel using renewable energy.
Breakthrough from Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering lets scientists tailor blue phase crystals Liquid crystals have enabled new technologies, like LCD screens, through their ability to reflect certain color wavelengths.
Adult teeth can last a lifetime, withstanding enormous chewing pressures applied hundreds of times each day for decades. In a recent study published , researchers discovered a natural toughening mechanism: small misorientations among the nanocrystal building blocks of human tooth enamel. Enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, a biomineral that forms long and thin 50-nanometer wide nanocrystals, bundled into rods like uncooked spaghetti in tubes.
Peptoid library developed at Berkeley Lab could accelerate the design of new materials for a number of applications A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has developed a library of artificial proteins or "peptoids" that effectively "chelate" or bind to lanthanides and actinides, heavy metals that make up the so-called f-block elements at the bottom of the periodic table.
An investigational cancer drug that targets tumors caused by mutations in the KRAS gene will be evaluated in phase 2 clinical trials, following promising safety and efficacy results in preliminary human studies and excellent results in animal studies. The drug, developed by Amgen and currently referred to as AMG 510, is the first therapy to reach clinical trials that inhibits a mutant KRAS protein.