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Science AMA Series: We are Professor Tim Lenton and Dr Damien Mansell from the University of Exeter, here to answer your questions on Solutions to Climate Change. AMA!
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Science AMA Series: I’m Albert Lau and I use supercomputers to simulate molecular machines in action, such as those in the brain. My research can help scientists understand how small molecules like neurotransmitters locate their targets. AMA!
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People with more wealth tend to report being happier with life, according to a new psychological study of more than 4,000 millionaires. The study also found evidence that millionaires who earned their wealth were happier than those who inherited it.
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Infection outbreaks at hospitals could be reduced by copper-coated uniforms - Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals could soon be wearing uniforms brushed with tiny copper nanoparticles to reduce the spread of bacterial infections and viruses at hospitals.
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New blood test can detect autism in children. Researchers at the University of Warwick discover link between autism and damage to proteins in blood plasma.
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AAAS AMA: Hi, we’re researchers from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook who study Artificial Intelligence. Ask us anything!
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A new study finds that farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere. The fast-reacting silicate rocks capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.
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Teens work very hard to create a favorable online image through careful selection of which photos, activities and links to post on Facebook and Instagram, according to a recent study. Content that makes them appear interesting, well-liked and attractive to their friends and peers is a primary goal.
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Archeologists find mutilated 8,000-year-old skulls, some possibly mounted on stakes. While plenty of cultures throughout the world have placed skulls on stakes, either as trophies or a “back off” signal to enemies, this would be the earliest known example found in Europe.
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Our knowledge of dinosaur evolution has completely changed in the last 10 years, and likely will in the next 10 again too.
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Did humans domesticate themselves? Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers found out new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process.
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Study dispels notion that social media displaces human contact - A new study shows no evidence for the proposition that social media crowds out face-to-face communication with those who ought to matter most, our close friends and family members, debunking the social displacement hypothesis.
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Franzmeier et al. show that greater left frontal hub connectivity within the fronto-parietal control network is associated with greater resilience of cognitive performance during early stages of autosomal dominant & sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.
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Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future
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Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans Between 1999 and 2015
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Air Pollution from New and Shutdown Industries, a Big Danger to Public Health
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Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life. Across multiple studies, researchers found that reactions were significantly more positive than negative, and more reward vs. risk oriented.
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AAAS AMA: Hi, we're scientists from NOAA and research universities who analyze the sources of pollution and recently published a study in Science Magazine. Ask us anything!
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Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
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CRISPR hack transform?s cells into data recorders
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A team of international researches finds that Oganesson doesn't behave like other noble gasses.
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Making gene editing more precise
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Learning Plants (Pavlov for Peas)
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New studies zero in on roots of depression and why ketamine reverses it
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New research on English Football suggests darker skin toned soccer players occupy positions thought to require athleticism whereas lighter skin toned players occupy positions requiring creativity and organizational skills
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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Based Vaccines Elicit Anti-tumor Responses In Vivo
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Peanut oral immunotherapy strongly desensitizes children and young adults to peanut allergy in a randomized, phase 2 trial. Results from a phase 3 trial are expected imminently.
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Raw chicken link to dog paralysis: Investigation of the Role of Campylobacter Infection in Suspected Acute Polyradiculoneuritis in Dogs
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Rescue of Fragile X Syndrome Neurons by DNA Methylation Editing of the FMR1 Gene
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Glacigenic sedimentation pulses triggered post-glacial gas hydrate dissociation
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Hi, we’re scientists who are scouring the night sky for exoplanets, and then trying to determine if any might reside in the “habitable zones” of their stars. Ask us anything!
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Like the horse of Troy, scientists have developed a way to sneak synthetic cells right into tumor tissue, where they then begin producing cancer-fighting proteins from the inside. The technique was tested in both cell cultures and in mice, and found to be an effective treatment in both cases.
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Researchers have developed a printing technique using cells and molecules normally found in natural tissues to create constructs that resemble biological structures, embedded in an ink similar to their native environment, that mimic body parts for tissue engineering or regenerative medicine.
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A strip of paper can now indicate presence of pathogens, tumor DNA or any genetic signature of interest. 100-fold greater sensitivity, the ability to detect multiple targets at once, and other new features further enhance SHERLOCK's power for detecting genetic signatures- Broad institute, Harvard
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"Our models indicate that between 1999 and 2015, half of the orangutan population (~100,000) was affected by logging, deforestation, or industrialized plantations. Although land clearance caused the most dramatic rates of decline, it accounted for only a small proportion of the total loss."
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Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
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Scientists Create a New Form of Light by Linking Photons. Photons typically don’t interact, but physicists bound three together in the lab. This new form of light could someday be used to build light crystals that could lead to intriguing new ways of communicating and computing
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Study shows hormone ghrelin affects exercise endurance, food intake post-workout
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System draws power from daily temperature swings - Technology developed at MIT can harness temperature fluctuations of many kinds to produce electricity, as reported in Nature Communications.
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Babies can spot language, even when it’s not spoken
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A free ride with Lyft didn't reduce the number of skipped doctor's appointments among Philly's Medicaid population, according to a study from UPenn. Further, just 85 of 288 people who answered reminder phone calls accepted the rides in the first place.
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73% of fish in northwest Atlantic have microplastics in their gut
4669 remphos Good old fungi! I knew you guys could do it! I wonder if we can isolate the genes responsible for these enzymes and maybe put them into other fungi, if that wouldn't cause other problems somehow.
471 mvea Journal reference: Khan, S., et al., Biodegradation of polyester polyurethane by Aspergillus tubingensis, Environmental Pollution (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2017.03.012 Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749117300295?via%3Dihub Highlights • Aspergillus tubingensis was isolated, identified, and found to degrade polyurethane (PU). • The SEM and ATR-FTIR results clearly showed the degradation on the surface of PU. • Esterase and lipase activities were determined in the presence of different supplements to medium. • This is the first report showing A. tubingensis capable of degrading PU. Abstract > The xenobiotic nature and lack of degradability of polymeric materials has resulted in vast levels of environmental pollution and numerous health hazards. Different strategies have been developed and still more research is being in progress to reduce the impact of these polymeric materials. This work aimed to isolate and characterize polyester polyurethane (PU) degrading fungi from the soil of a general city waste disposal site in Islamabad, Pakistan. A novel PU degrading fungus was isolated from soil and identified as Aspergillus tubingensis on the basis of colony morphology, macro- and micro-morphology, molecular and phylogenetic analyses. The PU degrading ability of the fungus was tested in three different ways in the presence of 2% glucose: (a) on SDA agar plate, (b) in liquid MSM, and (c) after burial in soil. Our results indicated that this strain of A. tubingensis was capable of degrading PU. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), we were able to visually confirm that the mycelium of A. tubingensis colonized the PU material, causing surface degradation and scarring. The formation or breakage of chemical bonds during the biodegradation process of PU was confirmed using Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. The biodegradation of PU was higher when plate culture method was employed, followed by the liquid culture method and soil burial technique. Notably, after two months in liquid medium, the PU film was totally degraded into smaller pieces. Based on a comprehensive literature search, it can be stated that this is the first report showing A. tubingensis capable of degrading PU. This work provides insight into the role of A. tubingensis towards solving the dilemma of PU wastes through biodegradation.
671 BRMC888 Can the fungus be bred and used on a mass scale to break down plastics or is this not feasible? Also is the broken down plastic perfectly safe or does it still present problems?
259 7LeagueBoots Every few years another species of bacteria or fungus is found that breaks down plastics. Bacteria: - *Ideonella sakainesis* eats PET plastics 2016 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6278/1154 - *Flavobacterium* has been known to degrade nylon since 1975 1975 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb1961/39/6/39_6_1219/_article 2007 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512009 - unspecified marine microbes 2011 http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110328/full/news.2011.191.html - *Enterobacter asburiae* and a *Bacillus sp.* taken from waxworm guts break down polyethylene 2014 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es504038a - unspecified soil bacteria from the Frasier river area break down phthalates which are used in making some plastics - Ted talk 2012 https://www.ted.com/talks/two_young_scientists_break_down_plastics_with_bacteria/transcript?language=en - *Pseudomonas spp* break down LDPE - paper from 2012, but known from at least 2008 2012 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3460136/ - *Phanerochaete chrysosporium*, *Pseudomonas putida*, and *Sphingomonas macrogoltabidus* degrade HDPE 2013 http://jes2s.com/Broshkevitch_et_al.html Fungus: - *Pestalotiopsis microspora* and *Schizophyllum commune* break down PUR plastics and are edible 2011 http://aem.asm.org/content/77/17/6076.full - *Pleurotus ostreatus* breaks down oxo-biodegradable (D2W) plastic *without* pre-treatment 2014 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069386 There are a bunch more cases, but I think those references are enough to make the point that this is not a unique discovery. I very much hope some of these wind up being able to be used to break down plastics in an industrial capacity, but so far that has eluded us.
317 TheAtomicOption if you have enough of a substrate laying around, eventually something's going to evolve a way to eat it.
666 Sciencetist Do these scientists keep losing it, or something? They seem to "find" this stuff again once every 6 months
40 itsfiguratively It's a shame this stuff also devastates beehives. Solving one problem by creating another.