A bacterial toxin promoting tissue healing has been discovered. The compound, found in Staphylococcus aureus, does not just damage cells, but also stimulates tissue regeneration.
Normally they are among the many harmless organisms found in and on the human body: one in four people have millions of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on their skin and on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, without being aware of it. In some cases, however, the harmless bacteria can turn into pathogens, which can lead to skin inflammation and lung infections, or — in the worst cases — sepsis. “This happens especially when the bacteria multiply too fast, for example when a person’s immune system is weakened by an infection or injury,” says Prof. Oliver Werz of Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.
The Professor for Pharmaceutical Chemistry and his team have studied the molecular defence mechanisms of the human immune system in
You’re probably familiar with the famous survey where more than 80 percent of respondents said they were above-average drivers, even though that’s mathematically impossible. And even though all of the respondents had, at some point in their lives, been injured in car accidents. (In fact, another study found that less than 1 percent of respondents considered themselves “worse than average.”)
Findings like that are easy to laugh at… until you realize that most people think they’re above-average at almost everything. A meta-analysis of a number of studies shows that people rate themselves as above average in creativity, intelligence, dependability, athleticism, honesty, friendless… provide people with a survey about almost any trait and teh vast majority will rate themselves as above average.
Social psychologists call it the “better-than-average effect.” Ask me to rate myself — in anything — in terms of basically anything, and I’ll be convinced I’m above average. (Even
It was only five years ago that Epic Games’ Josh Adam and Bill Bramer were onstage at Apple’s WWDC demoing Fortnite and talking about how incredible the iOS platform is for developers. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know where this is going.
The legal and public relations battle that Epic launched against Apple for delisting its app from their stores demonstrates a clear rebellion against the power of the platform that it once headlined.
Epic Games isn’t David fighting Goliath. Sure, it’s fiscally insignificant compared to Apple: revenue of $4.2 billion in 2019 versus Apple’s $260.2 billion. But we’re still talking billions, and it will have an impact far beyond these two companies.
In the beginning, Epic looked like it was taking a stand against injustice and representing all gaming companies who suffer that 30% cut in revenue on all in-app transactions. But the longer this goes
A study conducted at the Politecnico di Torino, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, presents a solar desalination device capable of spontaneously removing accumulated salt. In the future, this discovery could lead to the development of sustainable desalination systems with stable efficiencies over time
The Achilles’ heel of water desalination technologies is the crystallization of salt particles within the various components of the device. This clogging phenomenon causes a reduction in performance over time, thus limiting the durability of these devices. Tackling this problem is important to ensure a constant production of freshwater over time. Recently, innovative nanostructured materials with anti-clogging properties have been proposed, with the potential of limiting salt accumulation. However, the high cost of these materials makes large-scale production of commercial prototypes difficult.
Dust blowing onto high mountains in the western Himalayas is a bigger factor than previously thought in hastening the melting of snow there, researchers show in a study published Oct. 5 in Nature Climate Change.
That’s because dust — lots of it in the Himalayas — absorbs sunlight, heating the snow that surrounds it.
“It turns out that dust blowing hundreds of miles from parts of Africa and Asia and landing at very high elevations has a broad impact on the snow cycle in a region that is home to one of the largest masses of snow and ice on Earth,” said Yun Qian, atmospheric scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Qian and Chandan Sarangi, formerly a postdoctoral associate at PNNL and now at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India, are corresponding authors of the study.
If you have ever hiked in the woods and been surrounded by the sight and smell of pine trees, you may have taken a closer look at pine needles and wondered how their shape, material properties, and surface wettability are all influenced by rainfall.
In Physics of Fluids, from AIP Publishing, researchers at the University of Central Florida are currently probing how well pine needles allay the impact of rain beneath the tree. Andrew K. Dickerson and Amy P. Lebanoff explored the impact of raindrops onto fixed, noncircular fibers of Pinus palustris, aka the longleaf pine, by using high-speed videography to capture the results.
“Drops impacting fixed fibers are greatly deformed and split apart,” said Dickerson. “As expected, the breakup of the drop and the force felt by the fiber is dependent on drop size and speed.”
Impact force and the shape of the resulting lobe of water also
In the months and years leading up to the COVID 19 pandemic, media outlets around the world projected the end of personal car ownership and the waning days of pizza delivery drivers. In the not so distant future, personal vehicles would be replaced by a fleet of self-driving cars, hailed by phone or virtual assistant. The consumer could sit in the back seat, working, sleeping, or otherwise entertaining themselves while the car drives down the freeway at breakneck speeds. Similarly, our goods and takeout would maneuver the city in autonomous delivery trucks with drones dropping of packages and dinner at our front door without a single human interaction. That future is still possible, but the timeline appears to continuously get longer and more uncertain as the AV technology space faces development roadblocks and a black swan event no one could have reasonably predicted. The COVID-19 pandemic
Time may be our worst enemy, and aging its most powerful weapon. Our hair turns grey, our strength wanes, and a slew of age-related diseases represent what is happening at the cellular and molecular levels. Aging affects all the cells in our body’s different tissues, and understanding its impact would be of great value in fighting this eternal enemy of all ephemeral life forms.
The key is to first observe and measure. In a paper published in Cell Reports, scientists led by Johan Auwerx at EPFL started by asking a simple question: how do the tissues of aging mice differ from those of mice that are mere adults?
To answer the question, the researchers used the multiple techniques to measure the expression of everyone one of the thousands of mouse’s genes, and to identify any underlying epigenetic differences. The researchers not only measured different layers of information, but they
Researchers in the group of Jeroen den Hertog, in collaboration with researchers in Leiden, have found that a compound inhibits a group of proteins called BMP receptors. This compound, called cercosporamide, was previously only known to inhibit a different group of proteins. When overactive, BMP receptors can induce several diseases. Studying compounds that may counteract this overactivity may lead to more treatment options in the future. Their results were published in the scientific journal Disease Models & Mechanisms.
We constantly need new therapeutic compounds for use in the clinic for various reasons, including our increasing age, corresponding illnesses and resistance to existing drugs. Fungi are an excellent, but underexplored source of these kinds of compounds. Researcher Jelmer Hoeksma explains: “Every year new compounds produced by fungi are identified, but so far we have only investigated a very small subset of all existing fungi. This suggests that many more
The discovery of topological Weyl semimetals in 2017 has revealed opportunities to realize several extraordinary physical phenomena in condensed matter physics. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated the direct electrical detection of a large spin Hall effect in this topological quantum material. Weyl semimetal takes advantage of its strong spin-orbit coupling and novel topological spin-polarized electronic states in its band structure. These experimental findings can pave the way for the utilization of spin-orbit induced phenomena in developing next-generation of faster and energy-efficient information technology and have been published in the scientific journal Physical Review Research.
As our society is becoming more integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things