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Environment - Life Sciences - 30.12.2019
Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus
Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus
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.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 30.12.2019
Materials ’remember’ past stresses as they age
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.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.12.2019
7 times Imperial made you double-take in 2019
7 times Imperial made you double-take in 2019
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.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.12.2019
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
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.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 26.12.2019
Mindfulness video game changes areas of the brain associated with attention
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.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 26.12.2019
Biomarker predicts which patients with heart failure have a higher risk of dying within 1 to 3 years
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.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 25.12.2019
Imperial’s food for thought in 2019
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.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 24.12.2019
Large scale feasts at ancient capital of Ulster drew crowds from across Iron Age Ireland, new evidence reveals
Large scale feasts at ancient capital of Ulster drew crowds from across Iron Age Ireland, new evidence reveals
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.

Life Sciences - 20.12.2019
Identifications of neurons responsible for rapid eye movements (REM) during sleep
Identifications of neurons responsible for rapid eye movements (REM) during sleep
Why do we move our eyes fast in the paradoxical sleep - in that sleep phase, in which most dreams take place? The secret is not yet fully aired, but we are on his track: A team of researchers has identified the nerve cells behind this curious phenomenon. REM - Rapid Eye Movement - is not only the name of a successful American rock band, but also and not least a characteristic eye movement in paradoxical sleep, so in the stage with high dream activity.

Life Sciences - 20.12.2019
Protein Signposts Guide Formation of Neural Connections
The brain's complex tangle of interconnected nerve cells processes visual images, recalls memories, controls motor function, and coordinates countless other functions. A major goal of neuroscience is understanding how the brain is "wired"-in other words, how do all of its neurons know how they should connect to each other to achieve optimum function?

Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2019
Bark Beetles Control Pathogenic Fungi
Bark Beetles Control Pathogenic Fungi
Pathogens can drive the evolution of social behaviour in insects. This is shown by researchers from Bern and Würzburg for ambrosia beetles. Ants and honeybees share nests of hundreds or thousands of individuals in a very small space. Hence the risk is high that infectious diseases may spread rapidly.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 20.12.2019
SHAPEIT4: an algorithm for large-scale genomic analysis
SHAPEIT4: an algorithm for large-scale genomic analysis
Researchers from UNIL, UNIGE and SIB provide the researchers' community with an extremely powerful computer tool to facilitate the interpretation of the genome's Big Data Haplotypes are a set of genetic variations that, located side by side on the same chromosome, are transmitted in a single group to the next generation.

Life Sciences - 20.12.2019
Revealing the structure of axons
Revealing the structure of axons
Axons, the threadlike part of a nerve cell that conducts impulses, are both flexible and strong, which makes them a mystery in the eyes of biologists. Recent studies have shown that under the axonal membrane, rings composed of actin filaments give the structure its flexibility. But those studies had not been able to define the precise architecture of these rings.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.12.2019
From rocket builders to tree planters
From rocket builders to tree planters
The year 2019 has certainly been a busy one at ETH. A new president took office and the second Sci-Tech Oscar was awarded, along with other major prizes, but there were also plenty of inventions and topics for discussion. The new year also ushered in a new era at ETH. The former director of PSI, Joël Mesot, took over the reins of the Executive Board as the new President of ETH Zurich with a sense of "great elation, drive and enthusiasm for this venerable institution".

Life Sciences - Health - 20.12.2019
Study identifies new role of major genetic risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease
Channels McGill University News and Events For years, physicians have been aware that patients carrying the apolipoprotein '4 (APOE ?4 ) gene are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. New research from McGill University has now found the gene plays an even greater role in dementia.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.12.2019
Scientists uncover world's oldest forest
Scientists uncover world’s oldest forest
Scientists have discovered remnants of the world's oldest fossil forest in a sandstone quarry in Cairo, New York. It is believed the extensive network of trees, which would have spread from New York all the way into Pennsylvania and beyond, is around 386 million years old. This makes the Cairo forest around 2 or 3 million years older than what was thought to be the world's oldest forest at Gilboa, also in New York State and around 40 km away from the Cairo site.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 19.12.2019
Mimicking enzymes, chemists produce large, useful carbon rings
Drawing inspiration from nature, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemists have discovered an efficient way to wrangle long, snaking molecules to form large rings - rings that form the backbone of many pharmaceuticals but are difficult to produce in the lab. The work may represent preliminary progress toward deciphering just how enzymes, honed by evolution, so efficiently produce natural compounds.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.12.2019
Genetic variation could help some species adapt to climate change
As climate change accelerates, the oceans are rapidly acidifying. An innovative new study by University of Chicago biologists shows that mussels raised in an acidic experimental environment grew smaller shells than those grown at normal levels, but the overall survival rate of mussels grown under both conditions was the same.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.12.2019
Mealworms provide plastic solution
Mealworms are not only able to eat various forms of plastic, as previous research has shown, they can consume potentially toxic plastic additives in Styrofoam with no ill effects, a new study shows. The worms can then be used as a safe, protein-rich feed supplement. Tiny mealworms may hold part of the solution to our giant plastics problem.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 18.12.2019
Grant will allow U-M researchers to study how poverty affects the brain
Grant will allow U-M researchers to study how poverty affects the brain
Researchers know that adversity-especially poverty-related adversity-increases the risk for anxiety and depression. Now, University of Michigan researchers have won a $6.7 million grant to study how poverty-related adversity might affect the development of threat and reward systems in the brain, and how that developmental process might increase the risk for people to develop anxiety and depression.
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