news 2020

Life Sciences - Aug 14
Scientists at EPFL have demonstrated the mechanism that allows cells to fight off viral DNA without triggering an immune response against their own genetic material. Viruses multiply by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Once it enters the intracellular fluid, this foreign material triggers a defense mechanism known as the cGAS-STING pathway.
Health - Aug 13
Health

Since the late 1990s, immunotherapy has been the frontline treatment against lymphomas where synthetic antibodies are used to stop the proliferation of cancerous white blood cells.

Health - Aug 13

FINDINGS Drawing from a large number of national datasets , UCLA researchers found that counties across the U.S. have 2.8% more COVID-19 cases and 2.9% more COVID-19-related deaths for every 1 .0 percentage point increase in the population of Black residents.

Environment - Aug 13
Environment

Actively restored forests recover above ground biomass faster than areas left to regenerate naturally after being logged, according to a long-term study on Borneo lowland rainforest led by the University of Dundee, Aberdeen and ETH Zurich. 

Environment - Aug 13

Researchers have identified the optimal dish positions to help "nudge" diners into picking more planet-friendly meals in cafeterias. More research is needed on how to set up our society so that the self-interested default decision is the best one for the climate Emma Garnett Meat-heavy diets not only risk our health but that of the planet, as livestock farming on a massive scale destroys habitats and generates greenhouse gases.


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Life Sciences - Health - 14.08.2020
How a protein stops cells from attacking their own DNA
Scientists at EPFL have demonstrated the mechanism that allows cells to fight off viral DNA without triggering an immune response against their own genetic material. Viruses multiply by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Once it enters the intracellular fluid, this foreign material triggers a defense mechanism known as the cGAS-STING pathway.

Health - Chemistry - 13.08.2020
The behaviour of therapeutic antibodies in immunotherapy
The behaviour of therapeutic antibodies in immunotherapy
Since the late 1990s, immunotherapy has been the frontline treatment against lymphomas where synthetic antibodies are used to stop the proliferation of cancerous white blood cells. However, in the more than 20 years since their use began, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this therapy are still little understood.

Environment - 13.08.2020
Restoration helps forests recover faster
Restoration helps forests recover faster
Actively restored forests recover above ground biomass faster than areas left to regenerate naturally after being logged, according to a long-term study on Borneo lowland rainforest led by the University of Dundee, Aberdeen and ETH Zurich.  The rainforests of Southeast Asia are among the fastest declining tropical ecosystems worldwide.

Health - 13.08.2020
Counties with higher proportion of Black residents have more COVID-19 cases, deaths
FINDINGS Drawing from a large number of national datasets , UCLA researchers found that counties across the U.S. have 2.8% more COVID-19 cases and 2.9% more COVID-19-related deaths for every 1 .0 percentage point increase in the population of Black residents. BACKGROUND By the end of May 2020, there were more than 1.5 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.

Environment - 13.08.2020
Adding a metre between meals boosts vegetarian appeal - study
Researchers have identified the optimal dish positions to help "nudge" diners into picking more planet-friendly meals in cafeterias. More research is needed on how to set up our society so that the self-interested default decision is the best one for the climate Emma Garnett Meat-heavy diets not only risk our health but that of the planet, as livestock farming on a massive scale destroys habitats and generates greenhouse gases.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.08.2020
Uranium reveals its true nature
Uranium reveals its true nature
Scientists have made a significant discovery in how nanoscale minerals form naturally, including the way in which they transition from a soluble to a solid state. Their findings could be used to inform radioactive waste management. Most people are familiar with uranium as a fuel for nuclear power plants.

Social Sciences - Environment - 13.08.2020
Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities
An aerial view showing the differences in tree cover in two neighboring cities. The more affluent city of University Place, Washington (left) has more tree cover, while a neighborhood in the city of Tacoma, Washington (right) has fewer trees. The neighborhoods are about 4.5 miles apart. Photo illustration by Megan Kitagawa/UW Tacoma Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities.

Environment - 13.08.2020
Researchers identify human influence as key agent of ocean warming patterns in the future
The oceans play an important role in regulating our climate and its change by absorbing heat and carbon. Scientists from the Department of Physics at Oxford University have discovered that the influence of circulation changes on shaping ocean warming will diminish in the future. This is despite having been identified and modelled as a key factor over the past 60 years.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 13.08.2020
Scientists Suggest Stellar "Sneeze" as Reason for Betelgeuse’s Massive Dimming in Early 2020 and Say It May Be Dimming Again, Roughly 400 Days Early
Scientists Suggest Stellar "Sneeze" as Reason for Betelgeuse's Massive Dimming in Early 2020 and Say It May Be Dimming Again, Roughly 400 Days Early Recent observations of Betelgeuse have revealed that the star's unexpected and significant dimming periods in late 2019 and early 2020 were most likely caused by the ejection and cooling of dense hot gases, and that the star may be going through another dimming period more than a year early.

History / Archeology - Health - 13.08.2020
Syphilis May Have Spread through Europe before Columbus
Syphilis May Have Spread through Europe before Columbus
Columbus brought syphilis to Europe - or did he? A recent study conducted at the University of Zurich now indicates that Europeans could already have been infected with this sexually transmitted disease before the 15th century. In addition, researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown pathogen causing a related disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.08.2020
The (neuro)science of getting and staying motivated
Neuroscientists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh have discovered that the degree of motivation and the stamina to keep it up depends on the ratio between the neurotransmitters glutamine and glutamate in the nucleus accumbens of the brain. There is no question that motivation is one of the hardest and yet important factors in life.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.08.2020
Flipping a Metabolic Switch to Slow Tumor Growth
The enzyme serine palmitoyl-transferase can be used as a metabolically responsive â¤oeswitch⤝ that decreases tumor growth, according to a new study by a team of San Diego scientists, who published their findings Aug. 12 in the journal Nature . By restricting the dietary amino acids serine and glycine, or pharmacologically targeting the serine synthesis enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, the team induced tumor cells to produce a toxic lipid that slows cancer progression in mice.

Materials Science - Physics - 12.08.2020
Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Using an alcohol mixture, researchers modified how ink droplets dry, enabling cheap industrial-scale printing of electronic devices at unprecedented scales. The natural form of ink droplets is spherical - however, because of their composition, our ink droplets behave like pancakes Tawfique Hasan Have you ever spilled your coffee on your desk? You may then have observed one of the most puzzling phenomena of fluid mechanics - the coffee ring effect.

Agronomy / Food Science - 12.08.2020
Shows nutrition labelling is improving nation's diet
Shows nutrition labelling is improving nation’s diet
Households eat more healthily when retailers display clear nutritional information on own-brand food products, say researchers. Nutritional information displayed prominently on food products which give consumers information on salt, sugar and calorie content play a significant role in nudging people towards better dietary choices, according to new research.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 12.08.2020
Step change in our ability to unlock secrets of the past with radiocarbon dates
Step change in our ability to unlock secrets of the past with radiocarbon dates
Radiocarbon dating, a technique widely used in archaeology and geoscience, is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists have shared much-anticipated new calibration curves based on data from ancient trees, lake and ocean sediments, cave deposits and more.

Environment - History / Archeology - 12.08.2020
Researchers unlock secrets of the past with new carbon dating standard
Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects. The team of researchers at the Universities of Belfast, Sheffield, Bristol, Glasgow, Oxford, St Andrews and Historic England, plus international colleagues, used measurements from almost 15,000 samples from objects dating back as far as 60,000 years ago, as part of a seven-year project.

Pharmacology - Health - 12.08.2020
Lack of females in drug dose trials leads to overmedicated women
New study links sex biases in drug dosage trials to the overmedication of women (Photo by iStockphoto) Women are more likely than men to suffer adverse side effects of medications because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men, suggests new research from UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago.

Health - Social Sciences - 12.08.2020
Vaping linked to COVID-19 risk in teens and young adults
Data collected in May shows that teenagers and young adults who vape face a much higher risk of COVID-19 than their peers who do not vape, Stanford researchers found. Vaping is linked to a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults, according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.08.2020
Reveals immune-system deviations in severe COVID-19 cases
A Stanford study shows that in severely ill COVID-19 patients, "first-responder" immune cells, which should react immediately to signs of viruses or bacteria in the body, instead respond sluggishly. Some people get really sick from COVID-19, and others don't. Nobody knows why.  Now, a study by investigators at the  Stanford University School of Medicine  and other institutions has turned up immunological deviations and lapses that appear to spell the difference between severe and mild cases of COVID-19.

Chemistry - 12.08.2020
New nitrogen products are in the air
New nitrogen products are in the air
A nifty move with nitrogen has brought the world one step closer to creating a range of useful products - from dyes to pharmaceuticals - out of thin air. The discovery comes from a team of Yale chemists who found a way to combine atmospheric nitrogen with benzene to make a chemical compound called aniline, which is a precursor to materials used to make an assortment of synthetic products.
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