Lab News

Fire ants build towers with three simple rules

Science News - 21 July 2017 - 8:54pm
Fire ants use the same set of simple rules to produce static rafts and perpetually moving towers.
Categories: Life Science News

Your stinky feet can reveal who you're living with

Popular Science - 21 July 2017 - 7:19pm
Couple in bed Science

Sharing a life means sharing your microbes.

The story of love is also the story of slowing sharing more and more of your microbiome with another human being. This is truly the stuff of romance novels.
Categories: Life Science News

Three Ways Product Design Can Reduce Poverty Overseas

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 3:37pm
One day, your smartphone will probably be recycled by a teenager on a rubbish tip; perhaps in Ghana or Nigeria. Months before that, it will likely have been repaired and sold on by an entrepreneur in the same country. The health and livelihoods of these women and men depend on the way we design our products in the EU - the toxic chemicals we permit and the ease of repair that we require. Most of the electronic goods we dispose of eventually end up in developing countries (for computers, the figure is 90%). Most of this equipment is repaired and sold on; creating jobs and allowing access to cheap IT for those who would otherwise not benefit from it. In Accra, Ghana, for example, the refurb sector provides more than 30,000 jobs, and 80% of devices are either secondhand, repaired or refurbished. 2017-07-19-1500489319-3959984-reportcover3.jpg However, there is also a dark side to this story. Your mobile phone contains arsenic, lead and a host of other toxic materials that pose a threat to life when it is no longer (re)useable. If the phone is sent to landfill, these chemicals can leach into soil and groundwater. Under appropriate conditions, recycling is safe. But if the recycling is conducted by a child with no safety gear on a Ghanian rubbish tip, the consequences can be brutal. Unfortunately, the latter is common. The biggest e-waste dump in the world is just outside Accra. This newly released Tearfund paper examines how product design standards (and in particular the EU's Ecodesign legislation) could be used to enhance the livelihoods of those engaged in repair and recycling in poor nations, rather than endangering them. This perspective is entirely absent from the debate about these standards at present. The paper represents our first investigation of this important issue, but we can already draw three conclusions: 1. Ambitious, open design standards could improve the livelihoods of repair and remanufacturing entrepreneurs in the Global South. 2. Restrictive standards that allow manufacturers to exert a monopoly over repair and upgrade could damage these livelihoods. 3. Restricting the use of hazardous chemicals (like those on the list of 'Substances of Very High Concern') could improve the health of huge numbers of children and adults currently involved in the informal recycling of electronics. At present, design standards such as the EU's Ecodesign measures are intended to improve the resource efficiency of products sold in Europe, which is a worthy aim. With a bit more thought, they could also be used to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. This blog also appeared on Tearfund's JustPolicy platform.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

Increase Your iPhone Battery Life: Stop Force Closing Apps

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 3:13pm
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);

Your Apple iPhone’s battery life could be taking a beating because of a single piece of advice that has been doing the rounds for years.

Force closing apps by swiping them away might initially appear to be a logical way of reducing your phone’s power consumption but actually what you’re doing is the complete opposite.

That’s the advice from technology expert and blogger John Gruber who has written a full explainer debunking the myth that has been plaguing Apple since the iPhone first came out.

While he’s not the first person to highlight this problem (Apple’s very own Craig Federighi said as much in an email), Gruber is one of the most well-respected in his field and so the hope is that coming from him it should have some impact.

“An awful lot of very hard work went into making iOS work like this.” explains Gruber. “It’s a huge technical advantage that iOS holds over Android. And every iPhone user in the world who habitually force quits background apps manually is wasting all of the effort that went into this while simultaneously wasting their own device’s battery life and making everything slower for themselves.”

So why does swiping away apps hurt your iPhone’s battery life? Well put simply, Apple designed iOS to be spectacularly efficient at using power.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=59358e94e4b0cfcda91666fe,5935b63de4b0cfcda916bd53,57e90305e4b004d4d8635828

That means that when you swap to another app and don’t swipe it away your iPhone effectively freezes it. This standby state allows the phone to drastically reduce the amount of power it requires yet means you can instantly go back into it at any point.

By force closing the app you’re not only completely shutting it down, but then in turn forcing the app to start back up again from scratch the next time.

Apple’s software is so good at managing apps in a frozen state that you’ll actually end up using more battery force closing it than you would leaving it in standby.

So there you have it. If you’ve spent the last few years habitually swiping your apps away then consider yourselves officially saved.

Not only will your apps start loading faster but you should start noticing an increase in your phone’s battery life as well.

The Best Gadgets Of 2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

Earth might once have resembled a hot, steamy doughnut

Science News - 21 July 2017 - 3:00pm
Newly proposed space objects called synestias are large, spinning hunks of mostly vaporized rock. They look like a jelly-filled doughnut.
Categories: Life Science News

Micro- and nanotechnologies for quantitative biology and medicine

Life Science News - 21 July 2017 - 2:47pm
Ten new reviews and original research reports that illustrate how the progression of research assays from qualitative outputs toward increasingly sensitive quantitative outputs is transforming life sciences and biomedical research and diagnostics by improving the ability of researchers and clinicians to detect and quantify increasingly complex assays.
Categories: Life Science News

Boy Accidentally Discovers 1 Million Year Old Skull He Thought It Was A 'Rotten' Cow

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 1:15pm

A ten-year-old boy has accidentally unearthed the skull of an ancient creature that has been buried in the desert for over one million years.

Jude Sparks was hiking with his family in the Las Cruces desert, New Mexico, when he tripped over part of the stegomastodon tusk that was protruding from the ground.

Sparks said: “My face landed next to the bottom jaw. I looked farther up and there was another tusk.”

The family reported the exciting find to Professor Peter Houde at the the New Mexico State University, after previously having watched him discuss a similar Mesquite quarry find on YouTube.

Houde was able to reveal to the family that the bones were in fact the one-tonne head of a stegomastodon, who walked on earth nearly 1.2 million years ago.

“A stegomastodon would look to any of us like an elephant...for the several types of elephants that we have in the area, this is probably one of the more common of them. But they’re still very rare. This may be only the second complete skull found in New Mexico,” said Houde.

Despite being largely intact, the team were cautious to warn other members of the public about how difficult it is to preserve these fossils once they are out of the ground.

“The upper part of the skull is deceiving. It’s mostly hollow and the surface of the skull is eggshell thin...you can imagine an extremely large skull would be very heavy for the animal if it didn’t have air inside it to lighten it up just like our own sinuses.

In fact, without a special chemical hardeners being applied, that act like plastic, the bones would have crumbled within a few days of being left in the sun.

“In fact when the sediments are removed from the sides of them, they start to fall apart immediately and literally fall into tiny, tiny bits. It has to be done carefully by somebody who knows how to go about doing it. It is a very deliberate process that takes a little bit of time,” said Houde. 

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=57595434e4b014b4f2534bd3,590af509e4b0bb2d08756ed9,587dfe04e4b0f6f279fd5169

The landowner was also keen to keep the discovery site a secret from the public, so this made the process even more lengthy.

Despite these obstacles, Houde told other families that digging up the fossils themselves is dangerous because they are often radioactive.

“As you can imagine, when people find out about these things, they might be tempted to go out there and see what they might find themselves and tear up the land or they might hurt themselves. To be quite honest, all these fossils from this area are radioactive and especially for children, not something you would want in your home,” he said.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

Baby-led weaning won’t necessarily ward off extra weight

Science News - 21 July 2017 - 1:00pm
Babies allowed to feed themselves gained similar amounts of weight as babies spoon-fed by caretakers.
Categories: Life Science News

Sensing The Dead Is Perfectly Normal - And Often Helpful

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 12:59pm
Céline Dion recently revealed that she still senses the presence of her husband, even though he died from cancer in January 2016. What's more, the Canadian singer said she still talks to René Angélil, who she was married to for 22 years, and can still hear him at times. While her remarks prompted ridicule in some quarters, seeing, hearing or sensing the presence of a deceased loved one is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it is a perfectly normal and often helpful way of dealing with grief. Sensing a deceased spouse is remarkably common. Between 30 and 60% of elderly widowed people experience so-called bereavement hallucinations. In his book, Hallucinations, the late neurologist Oliver Sacks gives the following example. Marion, who had lost her husband, Paul, came home from work one day: "Usually at that hour Paul would have been at his electronic chessboard ... His table was out of sight ... but he greeted me in his familiar way "Hello! You're back! Hi!" His voice was clear and strong and true ... the speech was live and real." This is not rare. A study of elderly widows and widowers in Wales found that 13% had heard their dead loved one's voice, 14% had seen them and 3% had felt their touch. By far the greatest number, 39%, said they continued to feel the presence of loved ones. Such experiences can encourage people to talk to their lost loved one, which the study found 12% did. This talking can be accompanied by a feeling that the dead spouse is listening. Intriguingly, it has been found that those who talk to their dead spouse are more likely to be coping with widowhood than those who don't. It doesn't have to be a partner or spouse who dies. For example, a study of bereavement hallucinations in people of a range of ages described the experiences of Samuel, who had lost his grandmother. One day, when trying to work out where the problem was with a waste disposal unit, he heard her say, "It's at the back. It's at the back." And so it was. fixing kitchen "It's at the back" Grateful for the dead Multiple studies have found that more than two thirds of the widowed find their hallucinations pleasant or helpful. The experiences can provide spiritual and emotional strength and comfort, reduce feelings of isolation and give people encouragement during difficult tasks. Take the experience of Aggie, which she recounted to researchers as part of a study of bereavement hallucinations. Her boyfriend knew he was dying but hid it, ending their relationship to try to spare her pain. After he died, Aggie heard his voice apologising for pushing her away at the end. She had partly blamed herself for his death and felt guilty. Hearing his voice helped Aggie to forgive herself. Such experiences will typically fade over time. The dark side Of course, bereavement hallucinations can be problematic. When they first happen, some people will get very upset when they realise that the deceased person has not actually returned. The hallucination can also be traumatising. A woman who lost her daughter to a heroin overdose reported hearing her voice crying out, "Mamma, Mamma! ... It's so cold." In the widowed, they can prevent new relationships developing. Also, death does not become everyone. After her mother died, Julie started hearing her voice. It called her a slag, slut and whore. It told her she wasn't fit to live and encouraged her to overdose on pills. Julie's relationship with her mother had been problematic, but she'd never said such things things while alive. Thankfully, negative experiences are rare. One study reported that only 6% of people found bereavement hallucinations unpleasant. These experiences hardly ever require psychiatric treatment. Indeed, if people find the first hallucination pleasant, they typically want it to happen again. How they happen Many scientists think that normal perception starts with the brain creating a prediction of what is "out there". This prediction is then revised using feedback from the world, and forms the basis of what we perceive. Perception is edited hallucination. So one way to understand hallucinations is as uncorrected predictions (my recent book explains this in more detail). If someone has been a consistent, valued presence in your life, the brain is so used to predicting them that it may continue to do so, overruling the world. A new day has come, but the brain still bets on yesterday. Don't judge Why don't we hear more about these experiences? The obvious answer is that hallucinations are often stigmatised. In countries such as the UK and US, people are typically taught that they are a sign of madness. So it is perhaps unsurprising that a study in the UK found that only 28% of people with bereavement hallucinations had told someone else about them. Not one had told their doctor. Although most could give no reason for why they had not told anyone, those who did most often cited a fear of ridicule. This problem is not apparent in all countries. For example, a study in Japan found that 90% of widows felt the presence of their dead spouse, yet none worried about their sanity. Ancestor worship may help Japanese people mourn. As a result of all this, people should think twice about judging these experiences harshly. One study of widowed people found bereavement hallucinations only occurred in those whose marriages had been happy; we should perhaps simply be marvelling at the power of love. Written by: Simon McCarthy-Jones - Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Trinity College Dublin

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

11 Proofs That The Apollo Moon Landings Were NOT Fake

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 12:53pm
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);

Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon on 21 July 1969. So did Buzz Aldrin. So did 10 other people after that.

Humans have been to the Moon.

Despite this fact, there remain a hardcore of people who are convinced that the Apollo 11 Moon landings were somehow faked for the purposes of both irritating Russia and testing the loyalty of the tens of thousands of people involved in covering up the biggest news story in human history.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=56fe93a1e4b0c5bd919b2ef7,59525dbae4b0da2c731e8539,5926b8fce4b062f96a344422

Even now these people clog up YouTube with their various proofs and theories that either (a) humanity did not walk on the Moon or (b) they have lost all touch with reality.

Well, we have walked on the Moon. We just have. Here are 11 proofs that we have. Now shut up about it once and for all. and let’s all stop arguing and go to Mars like we’re supposed to have been doing since 1984.

Article originally written by Michael Rundle

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

A Cow's 'Mind Blowing' Ability To Fight HIV Could Lead To A Human Vaccine

The Huffington Post UK - 21 July 2017 - 12:44pm
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);

Cows could be the answer to finally helping scientists develop an AIDS vaccine after a “surprising set of results” in studying cattle antibodies.

The study was carried out by researchers at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and the Scripps Research Institute.

Medical experts have long struggled with creating a antibody-based jab that could be broadly effective against the huge diversity in HIV viruses, but the successful animal model marks an important step forward.

Scientists have known for some time that people living with chronic HIV infection produce broadly neutralising antibodies (bnAbs), some of which are capable of reaching areas that are commonly concealed on the HIV virus.

The virus uses fences of sugars on its surface to protect vulnerable sites, and only antibodies with long ‘arm-like loops’ are able to circumvent this barrier and get in.

And to create these powerful HIV-blocking antibodies with long-arm structures usually takes years in humans, and only happen in 5-15% of people who are HIV positive.

Not only that, but HIV produces irrelevant proteins to distract the human immune system and waste its time producing antibodies against these red herring proteins.

But studies have shown that antibodies in cattle also feature these extra-long hoops, so scientists wondered if they could help fight HIV.

Professor Dennis Burton, said: “Since we know that some human bnAbs have longer-than-average loops, would immunizing animals with similar antibody structure result in the elicitation of bnAbs against HIV?”

Of course cows cannot be infected with HIV, but the results of the study did confirm the team’s speculation that the long-arm loops are key.

As all four cows immunised in the study (100% of the sample), were able to start producing broadly neutralising antibodies within 35-53 days, rather than the years it takes humans.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=583c22f1e4b0207d19189727,59142f89e4b00b643ebb5d6d,583fed19e4b0bd623ad9ba95

Devin Sok, at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said: “This experiment demonstrates that not only is it possible to produce these antibodies in animals, but we can do so reliably, quickly, and using a relatively simple immunization strategy when given in the right setting.”

“The response blew our minds,” Sok told BBC News. 

These findings illuminate a new goal for HIV vaccine researchers: by increasing the number of human antibodies with long loops, we might have an easier chance of eliciting protective bnAbs by vaccination.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible);

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post UK, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Life Science News

3D Imaging of Surface Chemistry in Confinement

Bio Imaging - 21 July 2017 - 8:34am
EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton – a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion. The research has been published in Science.
Categories: Life Science News

Sniffing insulin might help people eat less

Popular Science - 20 July 2017 - 11:31pm
Ice cream sky Science

No junk food is safe.

What if a nasal spray could make food look less appetizing? According to a new study, an insulin spray has that effect on some people. Read on.
Categories: Life Science News

Resistance to CRISPR gene drives may arise easily

Science News - 20 July 2017 - 10:35pm
New tools for pest and disease control could become useless without improvements.
Categories: Life Science News

Majorana fermion detected in a quantum layer cake

Science News - 20 July 2017 - 9:58pm
Scientists found evidence of a particle that is its own antiparticle.
Categories: Life Science News

You have a lot to teach your grandkids, and that might explain menopause

Popular Science - 20 July 2017 - 9:26pm
Science

It's about brains, not brawn.

A new computational study shows investing mental resources in offspring might have played a role in the evolution of menopause. Read on.
Categories: Life Science News

Cows produce powerful HIV antibodies

Science News - 20 July 2017 - 8:46pm
For the first time in any animal, researchers elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV. Cows’ antibodies could help with drug development.
Categories: Life Science News

How CRISPR proteins find their target

Life Science News - 20 July 2017 - 8:23pm
In addition to the Cas9 protein that bacteria use to bind and snip DNA, bacteria have other Cas proteins that know where to insert that viral DNA into the CRISPR region to remember which viruses have attacked and mount a defense. A research team has discovered how these proteins -- Cas1 and Cas2 -- locate and insert the viral DNA, and it relies on the flexibility of these enzymes and the shape of the DNA.
Categories: Life Science News

Gene drives likely to be foiled by rapid rise of resistance

Life Science News - 20 July 2017 - 8:22pm
A study in fruit flies suggests that existing approaches to gene drives using CRISPR/Cas9, which aim to spread new genes within a natural population, will be derailed by the development of mutations that give resistance to the drive.
Categories: Life Science News

The first humans in Australia arrived early enough to cause some trouble

Popular Science - 20 July 2017 - 6:32pm
Australian dig site Science

Megafauna could have died out because of human activity.

If you think Australian animals are terrifying now, just imagine roaming the outback and encountering a sheep-sized echidna. Read on.
Categories: Life Science News

Pages

Subscribe to Nanolytik aggregator - Life Science News