Science & Technology
The Daily Wire
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:26 UTC
For the first time, researchers from Northwestern University have now demonstrated that when a human sperm first meets an egg a bright zinc spark can be seen, not only a "remarkable" phenomenon but also one that might be a game-changer for in vitro fertilization.
"It was remarkable," said the study's co-author Professor Teresa Woodruff. "We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking. All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human."
The researchers say that the size of the flash of light provides valuable information about the health of the eggs. The brighter the flash, the more viable the egg, and thus the better option for in vitro fertilization, which has a high failure rate (around 50%) and often involves clinicians using imprecise means of testing or simply choosing whichever eggs they think appear to be most viable.
"This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization," explained Woodruff. "It's a way of sorting egg quality in a way we've never been able to assess before."
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:03 UTC
"It's called an entanglement area law," says Adrian Del Maestro, a physicist at the University of Vermont who co-led the research. That this law appears at both the vast scale of outer space and at the tiny scale of atoms, "is weird," Del Maestro says, "and it points to a deeper understanding of reality."
The new study was published March 13 in the journal Nature Physics—and it may be a step toward a long-sought quantum theory of gravity and new advances in quantum computing.
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:19 UTC
"It's not just a gradual sinking. This is boom — it would drop. It's very rapid sinking," Robert Leeper, lead author of a new study published in Nature, carried out with the help of the US Geological Survey, told the LA Times.
Leeper's team took 55 samples at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge in southern Los Angeles, by submerging 20-feet pipes that collected samples of the sediment, initially looking for evidence for a prehistoric tsunami.
Instead, the team from Cal State Fullerton found an identical pattern, of living vegetation suddenly dropping and being buried underneath the ground. "We identified three of these buried layers composed of vegetation or sediment that used to be at the surface," said Leeper.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:09 UTC
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, or S. 442, provides funding for fiscal year 2018, which begins October 1. It specifically appropriates money for NASA's deep space exploration, including the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft, as well as for the ongoing medical monitoring and treatment of astronauts. It builds on the current public-private partnership for space, with commercial companies transporting American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and NASA focusing on deep space and the mission to Mars.
"For almost six decades, NASA's work has inspired millions and millions of Americans to imagine distant worlds and a better future right here on Earth. I'm delighted to sign this bill," Trump said. "With this legislation, we support NASA's scientists, engineers, astronauts and their pursuit of discovery. We support jobs. It's about jobs, also."
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:34 UTC
But maybe not for long. In a series of experiments published March 20 in Nature, Stanford researchers show that neurons within the cerebellum respond to and learn to anticipate rewards, a first step toward a much more exciting future for the cerebrum's largely overlooked little brother and one that could open up new avenues of research for neuroscientists interested in the roots of cognition.
Engineers develop inexpensive bio-friendly material that generates electricity through thermoelectric process involving heat and cold air
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00 UTC
The team, led by University of Utah materials science and engineering professor Ashutosh Tiwari, has found that a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt and terbium can create an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material that can generate electricity through a thermoelectric process involving heat and cold air.
Their findings were published in a new paper March 20 in the latest issue of Scientific Reports. The first author on the paper is University of Utah materials science and engineering postdoctoral researcher, Shrikant Saini.
A Lunar Impact Flash - a flash of light when something hits the Moon's surface - was recorded on the southern hemisphere of the Moon and probably caused by a small meteorite the size of a golf ball.
Lasting less that one tenth of a second, the image was caught on New Year's Day 2017 on a remotely operated telescope at Aberystwyth University.
Lunar Impact Flashes are notoriously difficult to record. The meteorite would be travelling at anywhere between 10 to 70 km per second as it hit the surface of the Moon. That is the equivalent of travelling from Aberystwyth to Cardiff in just a few seconds, and the resulting impact would be over in a fraction of a second.Scientists estimate the Moon is hit by similar sized meteorites as often as once every 10 to 20 hours.
A similar meteorite hitting the Earth's atmosphere would produce a beautiful shooting star, but as the Moon has no atmosphere it slams into the surface, causing a crater the size of very large pot hole. Just under 1% of the meteorite's energy is converted into a flash of light, which we were able to record here in Aberystwyth.
- Dr Tony Cook, Aberystwyth University
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:30 UTC
The hunter twisted through the air to avoid trees, homed in on its target, fired a Kevlar net to capture it, and then carried the rogue drone back to its base like a bald eagle with a kill.
Airspace is among some 70 companies working on counter-drone systems as small consumer and commercial drones proliferate. But unlike others, it aims to catch drones instead of disabling them or shooting them down.
A demonstration at Airspace headquarters in San Leandro, California, showed a compact aircraft just a few feet wide, yet capable of sophisticated, autonomous navigation and accurate targeting of a drone in motion.
It is still early days in the drone-defense business. Security professionals both public and private worry about dangerous drones at military sites, airports, data centers, and public venues like baseball stadiums. But counter-measures carry risk, too.
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:49 UTC
The prevailing view attributes the Earth's anomalous iron composition to the formation of the planet's core, but this new study suggests that the peculiar iron's isotopic signature developed later in Earth's history, possibly created by a collision between Earth and another planetary body that vaporized the lighter iron isotopes, or the churning of Earth's mantle, drawing a disproportionate amount of heavy iron isotopes to Earth's crust from its mantle.
Iron is one of the most abundant elements in the solar system, and understanding it is key to figuring out how Earth and other celestial bodies formed. The researchers compared the ratio of the heavier iron isotope Fe-56 to the lighter Fe-54 for Earth and extraterrestrial rocks, including those from the moon, Mars and ancient meteorites. They found that the ratio is significantly higher for Earth rocks than for extraterrestrial rocks, all of which have an identical ratio. Their research attempts to explain how that happened.
"The Earth's core formation was probably the biggest event affecting the Earth's history," said Jung-Fu Lin, professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the paper. "In this study, we say that there must be other origins than the Earth's formation for this iron isotopic anomaly."
Co-author Nicolas Dauphas, the Louis Block Professor of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, called the research groundbreaking "because of the synthesis of the materials analyzed, the technique to take the measurements and the data treatment."
"I can confirm today that the HFEA has approved the first application by Newcastle Fertility at Life for the use of mitochondrial donation to treat patients," HFEA Chair Sally Cheshire told CNN. "Patients will now be able to apply individually to the HFEA to undergo mitochondrial donation treatment at Newcastle, which will be life-changing for them, as they seek to avoid passing on serious genetic diseases to future generations."
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