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Why Did My Post Get Removed? or How To Write A Good Science Post

This is a huge and fascinating community and the strong guidelines are what we think make it that way.  We heavily moderate this community and you might see your post disappear.  Why?  We want the best science posts possible. 

The number one reason a post will be removed is, it might be what can be called Link Litter or a One Liner.  These are posts that say just one sentence or even just one word describing a link.  "Interesting"  or   "I just found this and wanted to post it"  are not a good lead-in to a post and will usually get the post removed. This is also not a place for memes, there are many other communities devoted to just memes and jokes.  Please no self promotion.

Composition  - Please,  "No links without explanation. Accompany any link with an explanation of why you think it's share worthy. Write a paragraph or two (not just a sentence) that summarizes the key scientific content and why you were intrigued."

Sources - Please check your sources; if you can, find the original research paper and post a link so people who are interested can see what it was that you found so stimulating.  You have the largest library in the world, right at your fingertips.

Videos - Remember that many people read from a mobile device and might not have the bandwidth to view that video you really like.  So give a good description that will entice those people to come back and have a look later.  Also please give full credit to all videos, someone worked hard to make that science video, and they deserve the acknowledgement. 

Asking Questions see

Posting here is not hard, it just takes a little work on your part to make your post one that people will read and comment on.  And, check those comments; please, don't post and run.  

Thanks for reading this far.  We, the moderators and owners, know that it is you that make this community what it is.

Thanks for being a part of this community.

This community, it's moderators, owners and other members make no representation towards the ability to maintain, preserve or protect the copyright as we are users here ourselves. Please contact +Google   for terms of use and permissions thereof.

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Quick Solar Outburst
A small eruption blew a bright, disjointed stream of plasma into space (Oct. 18, 2017). The source of the blast was just out of sight beyond the edge of the sun. Images from SOHO's coronagraph instruments show a bright loop of material heading away from the sun near this same area. The video, taken in extreme ultraviolet light, covers just two hours of activity.

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.

#space #universe #sun #SDO #NASA #science #plasma
Animated Photo

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a team from the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) in New Jersey has characterized a new MATHEMATICAL OBJECT, a multi-dimensional, interconnected series of polyhedrons: the AMPLITUHEDRON

The AMPLITUHEDRON is NOT a PHYSICAL object, but an abstraction that allows scientists to model how the details of particle interactions play out. There are as many amplituhedra as there are possible ways for particles to interact.

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Although several companies are working to develop marijuana breathalyzers, testing a person's breath for marijuana-derived compounds is far more complicated than testing for alcohol.

But scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken an important step toward that goal by measuring a fundamental physical property of the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Specifically, they measured the vapor pressure of this compound -- a measurement that, due to the compound's chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before. The results were published in Forensic Chemistry.

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For most prematurely born infants, it’s not their tiny size itself that makes life a struggle. Rather, it’s the development of their lungs that spells the difference between life and death. Researchers around the nation are working together to develop a molecular atlas of the developing lung during late pregnancy and early childhood. PNNL scientists, in turn, have developed one of the most in-depth looks ever at the developing lung, characterizing hundreds of lipids and thousands of proteins from samples as small as just 4,000 cells. Learn more about this important research at

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The PNNL team, directed by Charles Ansong, published two papers in Scientific Reports:

* Geremy Clair and Paul Piehowski looked at how proteins change ( during normal lung development in the alveoli, the tiny sacs where the action happens, with oxygen entering and carbon dioxide exiting the body. The team characterized and tracked changes in more than 3,400 proteins from just 4,000 cells in the alveoli, which produce surfactant, a vital substance in the lungs and one that often does not work properly in prematurely born infants.

* Sydney E. Dautel and Jennifer Kyle studied how lipids change ( in the maturing lung after birth. Lipids are an important element in surfactant and they play a number of roles, including preventing lung collapse. The scientists' study is one of the most in-depth looks ever at the lipids in the lung and analyzed which lipids are involved in normal lung development.

"We want to develop the equivalent of an identity card for the biomolecules in the lung — allowing us to know where and when a particular biomolecule is present to provide an indication of what it's doing," said Ansong.

"Lung immaturity is a leading cause of death and sickness in infants born prematurely. If we can understand how the lung normally develops, perhaps we can use that information to jump-start stalled development in these children," he added.

To do the study, the team used advanced mass spectrometry tools at the +Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at PNNL.

More information about the two recent studies is available in this article (

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Midwestern summer storms are notorious for their ferocity. They dump heavy rain or hail on everything in their path, moving on as swiftly as they roll in. However, simulating the turbulence of these convective storms, including intense updrafts and high rain rates, has long been a challenge for climate models. Now, PNNL scientists developed a new modeling framework that holds promise for improving current and future simulations of precipitation. Read more at

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Motivated by recent model resolution improvements, scientists conducted climate simulations at several model resolutions over the lower 48 United States. Their model realistically simulated summer precipitation when its grid size was reduced to 4 by 4 kilometers (about 2.5 by 2.5 miles), well below a 100 km grid size. Scientists also found that realistic simulations could occur with larger grid sizes using convection formulations that are less sensitive to grid sizes. These two approaches hold promise for improving current and future simulations of precipitation.

Scientists evaluated the effects of model resolution and convective representations across gray zone resolutions (approximately between 4 km and 15 km). Researchers conducted simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model at resolutions of 36 km, 12 km, and 4 km for two summers over the contiguous 48 states.

The convection-permitting simulations at 4 km grid spacing proved to be most capable in reproducing the location and intensity of precipitation and its sub-daily variability—during the times of day when different areas experience rain; e.g., one area might get it only at night and another mostly during the afternoon. Researchers analyzed notable differences between simulations with the traditional and scale-aware convection formulations. Combining convection-permitting modeling and scale-aware physical representations less sensitive to resolution improved simulations of the nocturnal timing of precipitation in the Great Plains and North American monsoon regions. Their design showed the scale-aware representation is less sensitive to model resolution compared with the traditional method. Researchers also performed analyses to understand the commonly found warm bias—an offset from observations that leans toward warmer temperatures—in the Southern Great Plains.

Overall, the research demonstrated notable improvements in simulating summer rainfall and its sub-daily variability. These resources will lead to better simulation of the water cycle process in models that simulate the Earth system.

Why is this important? The Earth's water cycle supports life and activities we might take for granted, such as swimming in the river on a hot day or enjoying a bountiful winter snowpack. Gathering more accurate information about rain and snow through better precipitation simulations will help people answer questions about how crops will grow or whether reservoirs will be full in the future.

Limitations in computing speed and capacity, as well as model representations of convection, have created a "gray zone" in resolution for modeling convection and precipitation around the globe. In the gray zone, traditional convective parameterizations (simplified formulas representing complex processes) are not valid by convection is not yet explicitly resolved. With recent advances in computing, scientists are helping to bridge the gray zone. They can simulate the climate over smaller and smaller grid sizes.

Meanwhile, the search for better convection representations—some of the toughest to do—has led modelers to "scale-aware" approaches applicable across a wide range of grid sizes. The scientists in this study showed that modeling at 4 km grid spacing to explicitly resolve convection or representing convection using scale-aware representations produces skillful precipitation simulations. The research will help reveal more strategies to advance Earth system modeling.

What's Next? Convection strongly interacts with large-scale atmospheric circulations. Researchers will evaluate convection-permitting modeling and scale-aware representations in a global variable-resolution modeling framework to improve convection simulation and its feedbacks on large-scale circulation. This is important for understanding how warming may affect convection and associated extreme precipitation.

Acknowledgements: The +U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research supported this research as part of the Regional and Global Climate Modeling program for the Water Cycle and Climate Extremes Modeling (WACCEM) Scientific Focus Area.

Reference: Gao Y, LR Leung, C Zhao, and S Hagos. 2017. "Sensitivity of U.S. Summer Precipitation to Model Resolution and Convective Parameterizations Across Gray Zone Resolutions." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122:2714-2733. DOI: 10.1002/2016JD025896

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Symmetry-protected collisions between strongly interacting photons

Thompson et al report a robust two-photon pi/2 phase gate implemented with Rydberg transitions in Rubidium gas. The phase shift arises from an avoided-crossing between two Rydberg polaritons with opposite parity, and therefore strong dipole-dipole interactions. In contrast to other Rydberg state phase gates, the phase shift here is fixed by the interaction symmetry- independent of the experimental parameters.

The gate and signal polaritons are stored from coherent pulses with <n> < 1 using EIT addressing an n=100 Rydberg state. The first (gate) polariton is transferred coherently to an opposite parity Rydberg state with a microwave pi-pulse, which is dark to the EIT control field. The second (signal) polariton collides with the gate polariton as it propagates through the Rubidium cloud. Because of the strong interaction between the two Rydberg states, the polaritons seem to switch positions, 'hopping', in the cloud in an avoided-crossing, and the signal collects a gate dependent phase. After another microwave pi-pulse the gate photon can be recalled.

The phase is stable wrt atom density, and independent of the Rydberg states chosen, so long as they are opposite parity.

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Fungal enzymes in the digestive tracts of cows, goats, sheep and other herbivores work well together, teaming to form cellulosomes – large protein structures made up of several enzymes. While each enzyme specializes in a certain kind of reaction, a cellulosome brings several together in one structure adept at transforming the primary building block of plant cell walls into sugars. And creating the sugars is a key step toward faster, cheaper creation of #biofuel from #biomass. Read more about this research at

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Fungal enzymes in herbivores play well together, teaming up to form cellulosomes — large protein structures made up of several enzymes. While each enzyme specializes in a certain kind of reaction, a cellulosome brings several of the tools together in one structure adept at transforming lignocellulose — the primary building block of plant cell walls — into sugars. It's like the fungal version of an all-purpose jackknife, with all the tools handy for a variety of tasks. Creating the sugars is a key step toward faster, cheaper creation of biofuels from biomass like corn stalks and switchgrass.

The work, published in Nature Microbiology (, was led by Michelle O'Malley of the University of California at Santa Barbara. To do the work, she drew on the resources of two Department of Energy Office of Science user facilities, the Joint Genome Institute and EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL, through the FICUS program. Among the authors at EMSL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory were Heather Brewer, Samuel Purvine, Aaron Wright and Scott Baker. More information is available via reports from UCSB, JGI and EMSL.

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Batteries affect all facets of modern life, from transportation and consumer electronics to medical devices implanted in our bodies. With the goal of creating better, longer-lasting batteries, researchers at PNNL and +Texas A&M University developed a new tool that allows them to determine the atomic composition and electronic and chemical state of atoms on the electrode – while a battery is operating. According to PNNL’s Vijay Murugesan, the tool gives researchers the unique ability to see the products of parasitic electrolyte decomposition reactions under realistic operating conditions, which smother the electrode. “We can now realistically probe the reactions happening and view how the products actually spread,” he said. Learn more at

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Everyone has heard the phrase about seeing both the details and the big picture, and that struggle comes into sharp relief for those studying how to create batteries that last longer and cost less. It's difficult to see the details of atomic and topographical changes that lead to battery failure. For the +U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), Vijay Murugesan and his colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Texas A&M University found a way. The result? They saw reactions that led to a layer that smothers the electrode in energy-dense-but short-lived-lithium-sulfur batteries.

This research is thanks, in part, to a new device that let the team track the progression of sulfur in a vacuum inside a powerful scientific instrument and to the ability to model the reaction using advanced software and computing resources. "We can now realistically probe the reactions happening and view how the products actually spread," said Murugesan, researcher at PNNL.

The team achieved the results thanks to a combination of scientific innovation and serendipity. The innovation came in building the unique stage for the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) instrument. The researchers needed to track the sulfur in the battery, but sulfur volatilizes in a vacuum. All samples in an XPS are studied under vacuum. Combining the newly designed stage and ionic liquids as electrolyte media let the team operate the battery inside the XPS and monitor the growth of sulfur-based compounds to see the parasitic reactions.

"We designed a completely new capability for the XPS system," said Ashleigh Schwarz, who performed many of the XPS scans on the battery and helped determine the electrolyte to use on the stage.

The electrolyte's composition is crucial, as it must survive the vacuum used by XPS. Schwarz and her colleagues tested different compositions to see how well the electrolyte performed in the XPS. The team's choice contained 20 percent of the traditional solvent (DOL/DME) combined with an ionic solvent.

Using the XPS in analysis or spectroscopy mode, the team obtained the atomic information, including the atoms present and the chemical bonds between them. Switching over to an imaging or microscopic mode, the researchers acquired topological views of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer forming. This view let them see where the elements were on the surface and more. The combination of views let them obtain critical information over a wide range of spatial resolutions, spanning from angstroms to micrometers as the battery drained and charged.

The XPS resides in EMSL, the +Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE Office of Science user facility at PNNL.

In addition, the team benefited from a serendipitous meeting at a national scientific conference. Murugesan was talking with Perla Balbuena, Texas A&M University, about her research into lithium-sulfur batteries. The pair quickly realized that her work on ab initio molecular dynamics modeling would benefit the experiments. Balbuena and her colleague Luis Camacho-Forero worked with the experimentalists to interpret the results and test new ideas about how the SEI layer forms. Knowing how the layer forms could lead to options that stop its formation altogether and greatly extend the battery life cycle.

Why is this important? Better batteries affect everything from how you get to work to how long you can work on your laptop computer before finding an outlet. The results from this fundamental study benefit energy storage in two ways. First, to do the work, the team created a new "stage." This device let scientists determine the atomic composition and electronic and chemical state of the atoms on the electrode while the battery was running. Scientists can use this device to obtain a detailed view of other batteries.

"Doing this measurement is challenging," said Vaithiyalingam Shutthanandan, a PNNL scientist who worked on the research. "This is the first time we could access these levels of quantity and quality data while batteries were charging and discharging."

The second benefit of this study is the potential to solve the fading issue in lithium-sulfur batteries. "Sulfur is significantly cheaper than current cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries," said Murugesan. "So the total cost of a lithium-sulfur battery will be low. Simultaneously, the energy density will be a huge advantage-approximately five times more than lithium-ion batteries."

What's next? As part of JCESR, the team is continuing to answer tough questions necessary to create the next generation of energy storage technologies.

Acknowledgments: The in situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy cell designs were funded by the Chemical Imaging Initiative as part of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development effort at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The lithium-sulfur battery materials and measurements were funded through the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. LECF and PBB acknowledge financial support from the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the U.S. Department of Energy under the Advanced Battery Materials Research Program.

Reference: Nandasiri MI, LE Camacho-Forero, AM Schwarz, V Shutthanandan, S Thevuthasan, PB Balbuena, KT Mueller, and V Murugesan. 2017. "In-Situ Chemical Imaging of Solid-Electrolyte Interphase Layer Evolution in Li-S Batteries." Chemistry of Materials. Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00374

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A case of science catching up to science fiction, in this case Larry Niven's melanin pills...

Scientists have developed a drug that mimics sunlight to make the skin tan, with no damaging UV radiation involved.
The drug tricks the skin into producing the brown form of the pigment melanin in tests on skin samples and mice. Evidence suggests it will work even on redheads, who normally just burn in the sun. The team at Massachusetts General Hospital hope their discovery could prevent skin cancer and even slow the appearance of ageing.

UV light makes the skin tan by causing damage. This kicks off a chain of chemical reactions in the skin that ultimately leads to dark melanin - the body's natural sunblock - being made.

The drug is rubbed into the skin to skip the damage and kick-start the process of making melanin. Dr David Fisher, one of the researchers, told the BBC News website: "It has a potent darkening effect. Under the microscope it's the real melanin, it really is activating the production of pigment in a UV-independent fashion."

It is a markedly different approach to fake tan, which "paints" the skin without the protection from melanin, sun beds, which expose the skin to UV light or pills that claim to boost melanin production but still need UV light.

But the team is not motivated by making a new cosmetic.

Dr Fisher said the lack of progress in skin cancer - the most common type of cancer - was a "very significant frustration".

He added: "Our real goal is a novel strategy for protecting skin from UV radiation and cancer.

"Dark pigment is associated with a lower risk of all forms of skin cancer - that would be really huge."

Tests, detailed in the journal Cell Reports, have shown the melanin produced by the drug was able to block harmful UV rays.

Eventually the scientists want to combine their drug with sun-cream to give maximum protection from solar radiation.

Dr Fisher said everyone should "absolutely" use sun-cream but its weakness was it "keeps you pale".

The way the drug works could also allow a ginger tan, as the genetic mutation that causes red hair and fair skin disrupts the normal process where UV light leads to dark melanin.

It is not yet clear if the drug might have the unintended consequence of affecting the glorious hair colour, but it is thought the hair follicle is too deep in the skin for the drug to reach.

But whether you are ginger, blonde or brunette, the drug is not yet ready for commercial use.

The researchers want to do more safety testing, although so far there has been "no hint of problems".

They will probably want to give it a better name than an SIK-inhibitor too.
Matthew Gass, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said the study was a "novel approach" to preventing skin cancer.

He added: "A lot more research has to be done before we see this sort of technology being used on humans, however, it's certainly an interesting proposition.

"Skin cancer rates in the UK are going through the roof... any research into ways that we can prevent people from developing skin cancer in the first place is to be welcomed."

Stopping UV damage could have an extra boon beyond cancer - slowing the appearance of ageing.
Dr Fisher's final piece of promise for the research is: "Many people would say the obvious and most dramatic sign of ageing is what skin looks like and even casual UV damage over the years causes damage.
"Medically it is very difficult to focus on, but if it is tremendously safe then it could keep skin healthier for longer."
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