news 2020

Life Sciences - Aug 13
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 - Aug 12

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.

Agronomy - Aug 12
Agronomy

Households eat more healthily when retailers display clear nutritional information on own-brand food products, say researchers.

Materials Science - Aug 12
Materials Science

Using an alcohol mixture, researchers modified how ink droplets dry, enabling cheap industrial-scale printing of electronic devices at unprecedented scales.

History - Aug 12
History

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.


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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.

Physics - 12.08.2020
Yale quantum researchers create an error-correcting cat
Yale quantum researchers create an error-correcting cat
Yale physicists have developed an error-correcting cat - a new device that combines the Schrödinger's cat concept of superposition (a physical system existing in two states at once) with the ability to fix some of the trickiest errors in a quantum computation. It is Yale's latest breakthrough in the effort to master and manipulate the physics necessary for a useful quantum computer: correcting the stream of errors that crop up among fragile bits of quantum information, called qubits, while performing a task.

Health - 12.08.2020
Over 25% of CT nursing home residents surveyed test positive for COVID-19
The first case of COVID-19 in Connecticut was reported in a nursing home on March 15; from there the number of infections skyrocketed. A point prevalence survey (which involves testing groups of individuals at a single time) led by the Yale School of Public Health found that 601 people (28.3% of the 2,117 people tested in 33 nursing homes) were infected with the virus.

Life Sciences - 12.08.2020
TV-watching snackers beware: you won't notice you're full if your attention is elsewhere
TV-watching snackers beware: you won’t notice you’re full if your attention is elsewhere
Eating while doing something perceptually-demanding makes it more difficult to notice when you feel full, shows new research from the University of Sussex. Professor Martin Yeomans , Dr Sophie Forster and colleagues found that when your senses are taken up by an engaging task, you are less likely to be able to adjust how much extra food or drink you consume.

Health - Transport - 12.08.2020
Car passengers can reduce pollution risk by closing windows and changing route
Drivers and passengers can inhale significantly lower levels of air pollution by setting their vehicle's ventilation systems more effectively and taking a ‘cleaner' route to their destination, a new study reveals. Road transport emissions are major source of urban air pollution - nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) coming from vehicle exhausts, plus non-exhaust emissions such as brake dust, tyre wear and road dust in the case of PM.

Psychology - Health - 12.08.2020
Trustful Collaboration Critical for Outcome of Therapy
Trustful Collaboration Critical for Outcome of Therapy
A trusting therapeutic relationship and outcome-oriented collaboration between therapist and patient are critical for the successful treatment of mental illness. And it pays to start early in therapy, a series of meta-studies by a task force of the American Psychological Association (APA) led by UZH psychology professor Christoph Flückiger shows.

Health - Social Sciences - 12.08.2020
COVID-19, and the pressure to emulate
A surprising finding emerges from observing how different countries, confronted with different conditions and different epidemiological circumstances, have acted against the spread of COVID-19: the same restrictive policies, instead of spreading gradually across the various countries, have been adopted more or less at the same time.

Physics - Life Sciences - 12.08.2020
The quantum brain: What a laser can tell us about the relationship between entangled photons and neurons
The quantum brain: What a laser can tell us about the relationship between entangled photons and neurons
Anesthetics have been used for patients undergoing medical procedures for about 175 years, but doctors and scientists have never known exactly how these drugs disrupt consciousness in the brain. University of Michigan professors Theodore Goodson III and George Mashour are investigating new approaches toward understanding this process.

Innovation - Life Sciences - 12.08.2020
New device delivers single cells in just one click
EPFL spin-off SEED Biosciences has developed a pipetting robot that can dispense individual cells one by one. Their innovation allows for enhanced reliability and traceability, and can save life-science researchers time and money. The engineers at SEED Biosciences, an EPFL spin-off, have come up with a unique pipetting robot that can isolate single cells with the push of a button - without damaging the cells.

Health - Pharmacology - 12.08.2020
Meditation-relaxation therapy may offer escape from the terror of sleep paralysis
Meditation-relaxation therapy may offer escape from the terror of sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis - a condition thought to explain a number of mysterious experiences including alleged cases of alien abduction and demonic night-time visits - could be treated using a technique of meditation-relaxation, suggests a pilot study published today. I know first-hand how terrifying sleep paralysis can be, having experienced it many times myself.

Social Sciences - History / Archeology - 12.08.2020
Indigenous banana cultivation dates back over 2,000 years
Indigenous banana cultivation dates back over 2,000 years
ANU Archaeologists have found the earliest evidence of Indigenous communities cultivating bananas in Australia. The evidence of cultivation and plant management dates back 2,145 years and was found at Wagadagam on the tiny island of Mabuyag in the western Torres Strait. The site comprised a series of retaining walls associated with gardening activities along with a network of stone arrangements, shell arrangements, rock art and a mound of dugong bones.
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