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Fluorescence bioimaging
Scientists can monitor biomolecular processes in live tissue by noninvasive optical methods, such as fluorescence imaging. However, the fluorescent dyes used for that purpose are often rather unstable, and photobleaching, lack of specificity, and poor pharmacokinetics are recurrent issues. US scientists have developed a molecular shield that stabilizes near-infrared fluorescent dyes and enhances their functionality. Their synthesis and characterization are reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2020-06-04)

Saturable plasmonic metasurfaces for laser mode locking
Nonlinear plasmonics, an interdisciplinary subject combining nonlinear and sub-wavelength optics, is an emerging field in nanoscience and nanotechnology. However, practical applications remain limited to date. Here, scientists from France, China and Brazil have implemented plasmonic saturable metasurfaces into a fiber laser architecture to achieve soliton mode locking. This work opens new perspectives towards future applications where tunable nonlinear transfer functions are needed such as in ultrafast lasers or neuromorphic circuits. (2020-05-25)

Cell-culture based test systems for anticancer drug screening
As we know, a malignant tumor is a complex system of mutated cells which constantly interacts with and involves healthy cells in the body. This specificity of malignant neoplasms greatly complicates the process of therapy, since the tumor quickly becomes resistant to chemotherapy drugs. Thus, there is a growing demand not only for new drugs, but also for new in vitro test systems that take into account the maximum possible number of tumor characteristics. (2020-05-21)

Intent defined optical network for intelligent operation and maintenance
Traditionally, the operation and maintenance of optical networks rely on the experience of engineers to configure network parameters, involving command-line interface, middle-ware scripting, and troubleshooting. However, with the emerging of B5G/6G applications, the traditional configuration cannot meet the new requirement of real-time automatic configuration. Researchers propose an intent defined optical network (IDON) architecture toward artificial intelligence-based optical network automated operation and maintenance against service objective, by introducing a self-adapted generation and optimization (SAGO) policy. (2020-05-19)

A pioneering study into the description of the architecture of a new standard for telecommunications
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a United Nations Organization agency commissioned to regulate international telecommunications between different operating administrations and businesses. Pursuant to specific recommendations by this organization, on 1 July, standard Y.3172, an architecture for machine learning in future networks (5G and beyond), was approved for telecommunications networks. (2020-05-08)

Hierarchically porous TiO2/rGO with exposed (001) facets for lithium storage capacity
In this work, the (001) faceted nanosheet-constructed hierarchically porous TiO2/rGO hybrid architecture shows unprecedented and highly stable lithium storage performance. The DFT calculations evidence that the (001) faceted TiO2 nanosheets enable enhanced reaction kinetics and the reduced graphene oxide (rGO) largely improves the charge transport. Moreover, the formed Li2Ti2O4 nanodots facilitate the reversed Li+ insertion-extraction during the cycling process. (2020-04-28)

BIM & Lean Construction well-established in major firms but lacking within industry's SMEs
Construction's SMEs, who make up 80% of the industry often working as sub-contractors for larger firms, are in danger of missing out on cutting-edge techniques, according to new research. (2020-04-28)

Wiring the quantum computer of the future: A novel simple build with existing technology
Efficient quantum computing is expected to enable advancements that are impossible with classical computers. Scientists from Japan and Sydney have collaborated and proposed a novel two-dimensional design that can be constructed using existing integrated circuit technology. This design solves typical problems facing the current three-dimensional packaging for scaled-up quantum computers, bringing the future one step closer. (2020-04-23)

Reducing the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence
MIT system cuts the energy required for training and running neural networks. (2020-04-23)

APS tip sheet: Untangling neurons with scattered light
New analysis examines light scattering properties in brain tissue to better understand the three-dimensional structure of nerve fibers. (2020-03-30)

To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice. These neurons commonly expressed the gene that encodes the neuropeptide neurotensin. Activation of these neurons induced non-REM sleep. Moreover, direct administration of neurotensin into the ventricle induced NREM sleep-like brain activity. These findings contribute to our understanding of sleep promotion and sleep disorders, and could tell us more about the evolution of sleep architecture in mammals. (2020-03-23)

Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug development
A coronavirus is keeping the world in suspense. SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious and can cause severe pneumonia (COVID-19). A team from the University of Luebeck has now found a promising approach. Using the high-intensity X-ray light from the Berlin synchrotron source BESSY II, they have decoded the 3D architecture of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. This protein plays a central role in the reproduction of the virus. (2020-03-20)

Gene variants may increase susceptibility to accumulate Alzheimer's protein tau
The toxic protein tau is a key biological feature in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Yet the factors that make people susceptible or resistant to tau accumulation are not well-understood. A preliminary Mayo Clinic study shows that inherited DNA variants may be associated with developing tau deposits in older adults. The research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 25-May 1. (2020-03-03)

GPS for chromosomes: Reorganization of the genome during development
The spatial arrangement of genetic material within the cell nucleus plays an important role in the development of an organism. A research team from the University of Basel, in collaboration with scientists from Harvard University, has developed a method to trace the chromosomes in individual cells. Using this method, they have now been able to demonstrate that chromosomes reorganize during embryonic development. The study has recently been published in ''Molecular Cell''. (2020-02-28)

STATICA: A novel processor that solves a notoriously complex mathematical problem
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have designed a novel processor architecture that can solve combinatorial optimization problems much faster than existing ones. Combinatorial optimization are complex problems that show up across many different fields of science and engineering and are difficult for conventional computers to handle, making specialized processor architectures very important. (2020-02-26)

Longstanding flaw in sensor readings could lead to heating and cooling design errors
Standard comfort measurements used to design heating and cooling systems share a common flaw, according to new research. The researchers said the error was caused by the standard instrument used to measure thermal effects of radiant heating and cooling. The instrument and associated formulas used to calculate comfort based on the sensor's readings do not properly account for air flow called free convection. The failure led to temperature errors of over two degrees Celsius. (2020-02-14)

Peeking at the plumbing of one of the Aleutian's most-active volcanoes
A new approach to analyzing seismic data reveals deep vertical zones of low seismic velocity in the plumbing system underlying Alaska's Cleveland volcano, one of the most-active of the more than 70 Aleutian volcanoes. Unlike typical seismic imaging experiments that deploy dozens of seismometers, this study used only eight. (2020-02-04)

Ancient Greek tholos-like architecture composed of archaeal proteins
Collaborative research groups discovered a unique supramolecular structure composed of hyperthermophilic archaeal proteins. Their integrative biophysical data show that the two functionally unannotated archaeal proteins are co-assembled into an ancient Greek tholos-like architecture having a central cavity, which can potentially accommodate other proteins. Their findings not only provide insight into the molecular evolution between archaeal and eukaryotic proteins but also offer a new framework for designing functional protein cages that are stable in high temperatures. (2020-02-03)

If cancer were easy, every cell would do it
A new paper puts an evolutionary twist on a classic question. Instead of asking why we get cancer, researchers at Osnabrück University and the Santa Fe Institute use signaling theory to explore how our bodies have evolved to keep us from getting more cancer. (2020-02-03)

Can wood construction transform cities from carbon source to carbon vault?
A new study by researchers and architects at Yale and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicts that a transition to timber-based wood products in the construction of new housing, buildings, and infrastructure would not only offset enormous amounts of carbon emissions related to concrete and steel production -- it could turn the world's cities into a vast carbon sink. (2020-01-30)

A new method of artificial intelligence inspired by the functioning of the human brain
Researchers at the University of Liège (ULiège) have developed a new algorithm based on a biological mechanism called neuromodulation. This algorithm makes it possible to create intelligent agents capable of performing tasks not encountered during training. This result is presented this week in the magazine PLOS ONE. (2020-01-29)

Not all of nature's layered structures are tough as animal shells and antlers, study finds
Engineers looking to nature for inspiration have long assumed that layered structures like those found in mollusk shells enhance a material's toughness, but a study shows that's not always the case. The findings may help engineers avoid 'naive biomimicry, the researchers say. (2020-01-17)

POSTECH developed self-assembled artificial microtubule like LEGO building blocks
Professor Kimoon Kim and his research team identified a new hierarchical self-assembly mechanism (2020-01-16)

In mice, alcohol dependence results in brain-wide remodeling of functional architecture
Using novel imaging technologies, researchers produce first whole-brain atlas at single-cell resolution, revealing how alcohol addiction and abstinence remodel neural physiology and function in mice. (2020-01-14)

Cell growth: Intricate network of potential new regulatory mechanisms has been decoded
Whether a cell grows, divides or dies is controlled among other things by receptors that messenger substances bind to externally. A research team from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) worked together with partners from the University of Bonn to study the important EGF receptor in more detail. They succeeded in uncovering more information about an interface about which so far very little was known. (2020-01-13)

Revealing the structure of axons
Recent studies have shown that under the axonal membrane, rings composed of actin filaments give the structure its flexibility. But those studies had not been able to define the precise architecture of these rings. By combining two microscopy techniques, optical and electronic, French researchers have now managed to observe these rings at the molecular scale. They are formed of long braided actin filaments, braided like a Christmas wreath. (2019-12-20)

Multiple correlations between brain complexity and locomotion pattern in vertebrates
Researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, have uncovered multi-level relationships between locomotion - the ways animals move - and brain architecture, using high-definition 3D models of lizard and snake brains. (2019-12-05)

Scientists detail how chromosomes reorganize after cell division
Researchers have discovered key mechanisms and structural details of a fundamental biological process--how a cell nucleus and its chromosomal material reorganizes itself after cell division. The new findings in chromosomal architecture and function may offer important insights into human health and disease. (2019-12-04)

Living bridges
Dense, humid broadleaf forests, monsoon-swollen rivers and deep ravines -- in the Indian state of Meghalaya wooden bridges easily decay or are washed away in floodwaters. Bridges made from steel and concrete are pushed to their limits here as well. But bridges made of living tree roots can survive here for centuries. Prof. Ferdinand Ludwig of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has investigated these special structures and proposes integrating this extraordinary building technique in modern architecture. (2019-11-18)

Earthquake-like brain-wave bursts found to be essential for healthy sleep
New research in rats shows that cortical arousals and brief awakenings during sleep exhibit non-equilibrium dynamics and complex organization across time scales necessary for spontaneous sleep-stage transitions and for maintaining healthy sleep. Professor Plamen Ch. Ivanov of Boston University and colleagues present these findings in PLOS Computational Biology. (2019-11-14)

The effects of a mock shelter environment on sleep
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers conducted an experiment on the nature of sleep in an evacuation shelter environment. This experiment was performed by creating a mock shelter in the university's gymnasium with four of the emergency blankets as well as a standard futon set. The results showed that the low temperature (5°C) inside the gymnasium affected subjects' sleep and body temperature regulation, reducing sleep efficiency by 10% and increasing fatigue. (2019-11-13)

Concrete with improved impact endurance for defense structures developed at FEFU
Engineers from the Military Studies Center at Far Eastern Federal University (MSC FEFU) developed a brand-new concrete with improved impact endurance and up to 40% made of waste: rice husk cinder, limestone crushing waste, and siliceous sand. The new concrete is 6-9 times more crackle resistant than the types produced under GOST standards. The related article was published in Inorganic Materials: Applied Research. (2019-10-30)

Argonaute proteins help fine-tune gene expression
A protein, with a name reminiscent of legendary Greek sailors, has an unexpected role inside the human nucleus. (2019-10-28)

Revealing the nanostructure of wood could help raise height limits for wooden skyscrapers
Cambridge researchers have captured the visible nanostructure of living wood for the first time using an advanced low-temperature scanning electron microscope. (2019-10-23)

Driverless cars could lead to more traffic congestion
New research has predicted that driverless cars could worsen traffic congestion in the coming decades, partly because of drivers' attitudes to the emerging technology and a lack of willingness to share their rides. (2019-10-23)

Can the design of a building improve the creative output of its occupants?
A study published in Creativity Research Journal found creativity increased in an architecture and engineering firm's employees after moving into a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. They scored higher on Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking compared to scores four months earlier in their previous location. Verbal originality rose by 84%; figural originality, 48%; elaboration, 61%; and resistance to closure, 40%. There was less than a 1% possibility the result was due to chance. (2019-10-18)

Growing and moving
How interactions between neuronal migration and outgrowth shape network architecture. (2019-10-09)

Researcher develops method to change fundamental architecture of polymers
A Florida State University research team has developed methods to manipulate polymers in a way that changes their fundamental structure, paving the way for potential applications in cargo delivery and release, recyclable materials, shape-shifting soft robots, antimicrobials and more. (2019-10-02)

Curved nanochannels allow independent tuning of charge and spin currents
To increase the efficiency of microchips, 3D structures are now being investigated. However, spintronic components, which rely on electron spin rather than charge, are always flat. To investigate how to connect these to 3D electronics, University of Groningen physicist Dr. Kumar Sourav Das created curved spin transport channels. Together with his colleagues, he discovered that this new geometry makes it possible to independently tune charge and spin currents. (2019-09-30)

Why viruses like Herpes and Zika will need to be reclassified, and its biotech impact
New findings reveal many different structural models for viruses, which can eventually lead to developing more targeted antiviral vaccines, by improving our understanding of how viruses form, evolve and infect their hosts. (2019-09-27)

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