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Kyva Go
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Kyva Go

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Yet another item for creating a medical tricorder has been checked off :)
"Because it's a non-ionizing form of radiation, it is generally considered safe to use on the human body. For instance, it can distinguish between tissues of different water content or density, making it a potentially valuable tool for identifying tumors."
Researchers have designed a new device that can convert a DC electric field into a tunable source of terahertz radiation. Their results are published this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.
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Down With Pandas  - 
 
A region in their temporal lobe responded significantly more to movies of human faces than to movies of everyday objects. This same region responded similarly to still images of human faces and dog faces, yet significantly more to both human and dog faces than to images of everyday objects. If the dogs' response to faces was learned - by associating a human face with food, for example - you would expect to see a response in the reward system of their brains, but that was not the case
Having neural machinery dedicated to face processing suggests that this ability is hard-wired in dogs through cognitive evolution, and may help explain dogs' extreme sensitivity to human social cues.
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Spacey News  - 
 
The ESA has published a bunch of pictures and scientific papers about the data gleaned from Philae's short windows of activity, including images of its descent to the surface. Phil Plait summarizes and analyzes the release. The most impressive image is from a mere 9 meters over the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. An animated gif shows the lander's descent near the surface through a handful of pictures. Two shots of the same area from the Rosetta probe show where Philae bounced off the surface, ejecting an estimated 180kg of material in the process. It's a fascinating, close-up look at a very distant and unusual object.
Images taken by Philae’s ROsetta Lander Imaging System, ROLIS, trace the lander’s descent to the first landing site, Agilkia, on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. The first image was taken just over 3 km from the comet, and indicates the position of Agilkia and the area…
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Kyva Go

World Robot Domination  - 
 
Creating a monolithic structure capable of emitting red, green, and blue all at once has proven difficult because it requires combining very different semiconductors. Growing such mismatched crystals right next to each other often results in fatal defects throughout each of these materials. But now scientists say they've overcome that problem.

The heart of the new device is a sheet only nanometers thick made of a semiconducting alloy of zinc, cadmium, sulfur, and selenium. The sheet is divided into different segments. When excited with a pulse of light, the segments rich in cadmium and selenium gave off red light; those rich in cadmium and sulfur emitted green light; and those rich in zinc and sulfur glowed blue.
More luminous and energy efficient than LEDs, white lasers look to be the future in lighting and light-based wireless communication.
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Spacey News  - 
 
Video at http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/96425.php
Astronomers have discovered the first aurora ever seen in an object beyond our Solar System. The aurora -- similar to the famous "Northern Lights" on Earth -- is 10,000 times more powerful than any previously seen. They found the aurora not from a planet, but from a low-mass star at the boundary between stars and brown dwarfs.

The discovery reveals a major difference between the magnetic activity of more-massive stars and that of brown dwarfs and planets, the scientists said.

The astronomers observed the object, called LSR J1835+3259, using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) at radio wavelengths, along with the 5-meter Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain and the 10-meter Keck Telescope in Hawaii at optical wavelengths. The combination of radio and optical observations showed that the object, 18 light-years from Earth, has characteristics unlike any seen in more-massive stars.
Brown dwarf stars host powerful aurora displays just like planets, astronomers have discovered.
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Discussion  - 
 
"A device on the mast of a ship analysing the surface of the sea could perhaps give a minute's warning that a rogue wave is developing," said Professor Nail Akhmediev, leader of the research at The Australian National University (ANU).

"Even seconds could be enough to save lives."

Rogue ocean waves develop apparently out of nowhere over the course of about a minute and grow to as much as 40 metres in height before disappearing as quickly as they appeared.
Physicists have found an explanation for rogue waves in the ocean and hope their theory will lead to devices to warn ships and save lives.
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Kyva Go

Down With Pandas  - 
 
Earthworms are able to digest fallen leaves and other plant material, thanks to the ability of drilodefensins to counteract polyphenols. Dr Bundy and his team found that the more polyphenols present in the earthworm diet, the more drilodefensins they produce in their guts.
Scientists have discovered how earthworms can digest plant material, such as fallen leaves, that would defeat most other herbivores.
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Down With Pandas  - 
 
The new paper, which appeared online August 3, 2015 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, is the first to examine in detail the synapse-level learning rules that could allow the basal ganglia's variable signals to modify the motor plan controlling the bird's song.

Using brain slices containing the region where inputs from the basal ganglia and the song motor pathway converge to control the bird's song performance, Mehaffey electrically stimulated the two pathways to show that the relative timing of their signals - one for "creativity" and the other encoding the established song - can lead to synaptic changes that either put the basal ganglia temporarily in the driver's seat or hand the reins back to the learned motor plan.

Further research in live animals suggested that the same synaptic learning mechanism may be necessary for adult birds to modify their songs based on experience. The scientists exposed birds to an irritating burst of static tied to the pitch of a specific note in their songs. Typically, birds quickly learn to modify this note to avoid the burst of noise, but when the researchers gave the birds a drug that specifically blocks the timing-dependent plasticity mechanism in brain slices, the birds lost the ability to alter their song.
Researchers at UC San Francisco have discovered a neurological mechanism that could explain how songbirds' neural creativity-generator lets them refine and alter their songs as adults.
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Medical Science  - 
 
Researchers found that the direct contact of melanoma cells with the remote epidermal layer triggered an invasion via the activation of "Notch signaling," which turns on a set of genes that promotes changes in melanoma cells, rendering them invasive. "There are many drugs in existence that can block the Notch signalling responsible for that transformation. Maybe, in the future, people will be able to rub some substance on their skin as a prevention measure," said Dr. Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU's Sackler School of Medicine leading a team of researchers from TAU, the Technion Institute of Technology, the Sheba Medical Center, the Institut Gustave Roussy and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

According to the study, when a molecule expressed on a cell membrane -- a spike on the surface of a cell, called a ligand -- comes into contact with a melanoma cell, it triggers the transformation of melanoma into an invasive, lethal agent.

Dr. Levy is continuing to explore the research with the end goal of providing medical professionals with another tool of analysis of different stages of melanoma. "Melanoma is a cancer with a very long gestation period," said Dr. Levy. "If you can provide a simple kit with precise answers, you can catch it at the beginning stage and hopefully save lives."
Tel Aviv University researcher Dr. Carmit Levy has discovered the trigger that causes melanoma cancer cells to turn lethal.
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Down With Pandas  - 
 
The relative size of the olfactory bulb in birds was found to correlate with ecological adaptations, including habitat association (e.g. water birds), type of nesting strategy and diet. For example, birds of prey, including vultures and seabirds, hunt and recognize food by smell, and have relatively large olfactory bulbs, whereas song birds that rely more on cognitive abilities helpful in tool making, vocal learning and feeding innovations have reduced olfactory bulb sizes.

Overall, the role of ecological adaptation in shaping the OR gene families has been found to be consistent in both birds and mammals, indicating the importance of a sense of smell to an animal's fitness, survival and niche. 
A large comparative genomic study of the olfactory genes tied to a bird's sense of smell has revealed important differences that correlate with their ecological niches and specific behaviors.
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Discussion  - 
 
Mankin, Jewett and their colleagues were frustrated in their investigations by the ribosomes' subunits falling apart and coming together in every cycle of protein synthesis. Could the subunits be permanently linked together? The researchers devised a novel designer ribosome with tethered subunits - Ribo-T.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell. The engineered ribosome may enable the production of new drugs and next-generation biomaterials and lead to a better understanding of how ribosomes function.
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Discussion  - 
 
The deficit in naming social groups is associated with lesions in the area that is normally involved in processing emotions, unlike the other categories.
The semantic representation of social groups involves areas of the brain associated with processing emotions. So says a study at SISSA in collaboration with the University of Trieste and the University Hospital of Udine which was published in the j0urnal Cortex.
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