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Life Sciences - 02.04.2020
Stress disrupts our ability to plan ahead
Pairing brain scans with virtual-navigation tasks, researchers found that people make less efficient and effective plans when stressed. New research from Stanford University has found that stress can hinder our ability to develop informed plans by preventing us from being able to make decisions based on memory.

Health - Computer Science - 02.04.2020
Software to enable secure data-sharing for hospitals
Software to enable secure data-sharing for hospitals
The MedCo system aims to facilitate medical research on pathologies - such as cancer and infectious diseases - by enabling secure computations on decentralized data. The unique software has recently been deployed at three Swiss hospitals. MedCo was first released in 2019 as the first operational system to protect sensitive patient data so that it can be used collectively for medical research.

Environment - 02.04.2020
'Tequila' powered biofuels more efficient than corn or sugar
’Tequila’ powered biofuels more efficient than corn or sugar
The plant better known for making tequila requires no irrigation and produces comparable or better yields of ethanol than sugar or corn. Economic analysis shows a first-generation crop will need government support to kickstart an industry, researchers say. The agave plant used to make tequila could be established in semi-arid Australia as an environmentally friendly solution to Australia's transport fuel shortage, a team of researchers at the University of Sydney, University of Exeter and University of Adelaide has found.

Life Sciences - 02.04.2020
Natural sunscreen gene influences how we make vitamin D
Genetic variations in the skin can create a natural sunscreen, according to University of Queensland researchers investigating the genes linked with vitamin D. Professor John McGrath from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute said this was one of a number of ways vitamin D affected the body identified in a collaborative study that looked at the genomes of more than half a million people from the United Kingdom.

Environment - Life Sciences - 02.04.2020
Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life
Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life
It's not too late to rescue global marine life, according to a study outlining the steps needed for marine ecosystems to recover from damage by 2050. University of Queensland scientist Professor Catherine Lovelock said the study found many components of marine ecosystems could be rebuilt if we try harder to address the causes of their decline.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.04.2020
Researchers help show it's possible to reuse N95 masks
Researchers help show it’s possible to reuse N95 masks
Researchers from Stanford and other universities scoured the scientific literature to create N95decon.org, a web portal that medical professionals can access for trustworthy information on how to decontaminate used N95 masks. As health workers and first responders in the United States try to stem a pandemic without adequate protective gear, health officials are forced to consider a stopgap - decontaminating and reusing N95 masks to shield those whose jobs expose them to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Physics - 01.04.2020
Shortage of certain products explained by quantum physics
Shortage of certain products explained by quantum physics
All the media talk about the lack of certain products in the stores in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.04.2020
New blood test can detect wide range of cancers
New blood test can detect wide range of cancers
A new blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer with high accuracy has been developed by an international team of researchers co-led by UCL. It is expected that the study , published in Annals of Oncology , will play a key role in early detection of cancer, which can often be critical to successful treatment. The test, developed by GRAIL, looks for tell-tale chemical changes to bits of genetic code - cell-free DNA - that leak from tumours into the bloodstream.

Environment - Palaeontology - 01.04.2020
Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time. A team from the UK and Germany discovered forest soil from the Cretaceous period within 900 km of the South Pole. Their analysis of the preserved roots, pollen and spores shows that the world at that time was a lot warmer than previously thought.

Physics - Materials Science - 01.04.2020
New Superconducting Film Resists a Magnet’s Power to Thwart It
To Joseph Falson , who recently joined Caltech as assistant professor of materials science, electrons are like exotic supercars because they possess amazing capabilities. Consider the phenomenon of superconductivity, in which paired electrons fly unimpeded, resulting in materials that display zero electrical resistance.

Environment - 01.04.2020
Natural light flicker can help prevent detection
Natural light flicker can help prevent detection
Movement breaks camouflage, making it risky for anything trying to hide. New research, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B today [1 April] has shown that dynamic features common in many natural habitats, such as moving light patterns, can reduce being located when moving. Dynamic illumination is particularly common in coral reefs, where patterns known as 'water caustics' play chaotically in the shallows.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.04.2020
New sensors could offer early detection of lung tumors
New sensors could offer early detection of lung tumors
People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false positives, as it also picks up benign nodules in the lungs. Researchers at MIT have now developed a new approach to early diagnosis of lung cancer: a urine test that can detect the presence of proteins linked to the disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.04.2020
Suspect cells' 'neighbor' implicated in colorectal cancer
Suspect cells’ ’neighbor’ implicated in colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer kills more than 50,000 people a year in the United States alone, but scientists have struggled to find the exact mechanisms that trigger the growth of tumors in the intestine. Cancer researchers have zeroed in on a tightly sequestered group of stem cells within the intestine as suspects in the development of colon cancer but have been unable to explain exactly how genetic mutations within those stem cells can cause tumors of the digestive track.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.04.2020
UK genome analysis has important implications for COVID-19 clinical trials
Researchers from Bristol's School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine have been growing the live human SARS-CoV-2 virus in a controlled lab to investigate what the virus is doing inside monkey and human cells. Using state-of-the-art scientific techniques, the team isolated parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to find out how the virus instructs the cell to make virus proteins, which can either be used to form virus particles or slow our immune response.

Life Sciences - Environment - 01.04.2020
About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet
About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet
Large open-water fish predators such as tunas or sharks hunt for prey more intensively in the temperate zone than near the equator. With this result, a study headed by Marius Roesti of the University of Bern is challenging a long-standing explanation for the distribution of biodiversity on our planet.

Chemistry - Physics - 01.04.2020
A map of reactions helps control molecular properties
A map of reactions helps control molecular properties
Chemical reactions are used to produce all kinds of important molecules such as drugs, agrochemicals and materials. To create a drug with specific properties-polar enough to dissolve in the aqueous environment of the stomach and blood, but greasy enough to pass through cells or cross the blood-brain barrier-chemists usually swap out the starting materials.

Life Sciences - Physics - 01.04.2020
How dopamine drives brain activity
How dopamine drives brain activity
A specialized MRI sensor reveals the neurotransmitter's influence on neural activity throughout the brain. Using a specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sensor, MIT neuroscientists have discovered how dopamine released deep within the brain influences both nearby and distant brain regions. Dopamine plays many roles in the brain, most notably related to movement, motivation, and reinforcement of behavior.

Environment - 01.04.2020
Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems
Uncertain Climate Future Could Disrupt Energy Systems
Extreme weather events - such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves - have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts. Now an international team of scientists has published a new study proposing an optimization methodology for designing climate-resilient energy systems and to help ensure that communities will be able to meet future energy needs given weather and climate variability.

Health - Innovation - 01.04.2020
Scientists working to improve facemasks used by COVID-19 frontline NHS staff
Scientists at the Healthcare Technologies Institute, University of Birmingham and King's College London are working on a solution to improve the seal and fit of facemasks used in hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the onset of the crisis the subject of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a key discussion point.

Life Sciences - 01.04.2020
University of Innsbruck develops novel corona test method
University of Innsbruck develops novel corona test method
Michael Traugott and the spin-off company Sinsoma GmbH, together with the Departments of Zoology and Microbiology at the University of Innsbruck, are developing a new PCR system for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This new PCR method works with different analytical materials that are easier to obtain and allow high-throughput testing.

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