July 31, 2013


Three-dimensional printing is a hot item in the news lately. Tons of products are being created from the sophisticated desktop manufacturing devices, from toys to replacement eagle beaks. There are ongoing efforts to perfect the printing of replacement human organs.

In June, the College of Business and Economics purchased two 3-D printers for its students to utilize in their studies.

Wait. 3-D printers for business students?

Is Freedom of Tweet a Right or a Wrong?

Twitter and Facebook are under fire for the role each platform plays in unknowingly tolerating flagrant hate-fueled, public-facing obscenity and outright threats.  Twitter was targeted as the result of  an advocate for honoring women on British currency was deluged with sickening rape threats. Facebook too has been criticized for its molasses-like pace for contending with hate posts and groups. In the case of Twitter, its UK branch reaffirmed its position against hate by publishing a post that acknowledged complaints and also introduced new mechanisms for flagging offending posts.

Microfluidic breakthrough in biotechnology

Chemical flasks and inconvenient chemostats for cultivation of bacteria are likely soon to be discarded. Researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw were first to construct a microfluidic system allowing for merging, transporting and splitting of microdroplets. Since now, hundreds of different bacteria cultures can be maintained simultaneously in a single system, which could speed up the research on restistance of bacteria to antibiotics.

Cells reprogrammed on the computer

Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have developed a model that makes predictions from which differentiated cells – for instance skin cells – can be very efficiently changed into completely different cell types – such as nerve cells, for example.

This can be done entirely without stem cells. These computer-based instructions for reprogramming cells are of huge significance for regenerative medicine. The LCSB researchers present their results today in the prestigious scientific journal “Stem Cells”. This is the first paper based solely on theoretical, yet practically proven, results of computational biology to be published in this journal. (DOI: 10.1002/stem.1473)

Scientists at Mainz University decode mechanisms of cell orientation in the brain

Transmembrane protein NG2 controls orientation of cell migration toward the wound / Publication in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience

When the central nervous system is injured, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) migrate to the lesion and synthesize new myelin sheaths on demyelinated axons. Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Cell Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have now discovered that a distinct protein regulates the direction and movement of OPC toward the wound. The transmembrane protein NG2, which is expressed at the surface of OPCs and down-regulated as they mature to myelinating oligodendrocytes, plays an important role in the reaction of OPC to wounding. The results of this study have recently been published in the renowned Journal of Neuroscience.

Random, scattered, and ultra tiny: A spectrometer for the future

Sometimes a little disorder is precisely what’s in order.

Taking advantage of the sensitive nature of randomly scattered light, Yale University researchers have developed an ultra-compact, low-cost spectrometer with improved resolution over existing micro models. The innovation represents an advance in “lab-on-a-chip” technology, or the consolidation of laboratory capabilities in miniature, highly portable devices.

“The largest dimension of our spectrometer, which we built on a silicon chip, is about the width of a human hair,” said Brandon Redding, a postdoctoral associate in applied physics at Yale and lead author of research published online in the journal Nature Photonics. “It could open up a whole new range of uses, a lot of them outside the lab.”


Attackers can compromise your iPhone through chargers and apps

Researchers from the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) have discovered two security weaknesses that permit installation of malware onto Apple mobile devices using seemingly innocuous applications and peripherals, uncovering significant security threats to the iOS platform.

“Apple utilizes a mandatory app review process to ensure that only approved apps can run on iOS devices, which allows users to feel safe when using any iOS app,” said GTISC Associate Director Paul Royal, also a research scientist in the College of Computing. “However, we have discovered two weaknesses that allow circumvention of Apple’s security measures.”

By tracking maggots’ food choices, scientists open significant new window into human learning

The squirming larva of the humble fruit fly, which shares a surprising amount of genetic material with the human being, is helping scientists to understand the way we learn information from one another.

Fruit flies have long served as models for studying behaviour because their cognitive mechanisms are parallel to humans’, but much simpler to study.

Fruit flies exhibit many of the same basic behaviours as humans and share 87 per cent of the material that is responsible for genetically based neurological disorders, making them a potent model for study.

Tiny, brightly shining silicon crystals could be safe for deep-tissue imaging

In a new study, the crystals had no toxic effects in non-human primates

Tiny silicon crystals caused no health problems in monkeys three months after large doses were injected, marking a step forward in the quest to bring such materials into clinics as biomedical imaging agents, according to a new study.

The findings, published online July 10 in the journal ACS Nano, suggest that the silicon nanocrystals, known as quantum dots, may be a safe tool for diagnostic imaging in humans. The nanocrystals absorb and emit light in the near-infrared part of the spectrum, a quality that makes them ideal for seeing deeper into tissue than traditional fluorescence-based techniques.

NYIT Professor's Study in Nature: Dinosaur Brains Wired for Flight

Many dinosaurs had large “flight-ready” brains long before some of them soared the skies as ancestors of modern birds, according to new research published today in Nature by a New York Institute of Technology scientist and three other researchers.

Assistant Professor Gaberiel Bever, Ph.D., of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was part of a team that completed one of the first comprehensive studies detailing the relatively large size of birds’ brains and how they evolved.

The “bird brain” cliché is actually a misnomer; bird brains, like those of mammals, are relatively large compared to body size, Bever said, adding that the study’s conclusions also refute the common notion that the large forebrain of birds evolved as part its flight system.

Robots Strike Fear in the Hearts of Fish


The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. These findings may pave the way for new methodologies for understanding anxiety and other emotions, as well as substances that alter them.

Maurizio Porfiri, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and Simone Macrì, a collaborator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy, published their findings in PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication.

Chemists develop innovative nano-sensors for multiple proteins

Test strips bearing gold nano-particles as sensor elements can detect numerous proteins simultaneously / New concept with potential applications in medicine, environmental technology, and foodstuff analysis

a scratch built replica of a 1961 series II Aston Martin DB4

72% printed but...

72% printed but I've been preparing my house for sale so I've not had any time to assemble anything (so no new pics sorry)

The house is sold though (it was only on the market for 1 day before we got a pre-auction offer, after having spent weeks preparing it). New Zealand property market is really booming at the moment.

Samsung Announces GALAXY S4 and GALAXY S4 mini With the world’s first TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE Seamless Handover Technology

Samsung accelerates global LTE market possibilities with world’s first commercial dual-mode LTE handover devices

Samsung Electronicstoday announced the world’s first commercial devices capable of TDD-LTE (Time-Division Duplex) and FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplex) seamless handover technology. Samsung will launch TDD/FDD Dual Mode LTE versions of the Samsung GALAXY S4 and Samsung GALAXY S4 mini, which will enable continuous and seamless voice and data communications even as the devices switch between two different types of LTE networks.

“Samsung continues to accelearate global LTE market deployment, addressing technical challenges faster than anyone else. With today’s TDD/FDD LTE seamlesshandover devices announcement, Samsung again demonstrates the company’s commitment to driving better, more convenient customer experiences,” said JK  Shin, co-CEO and president of the IT & Mobile division of Samsung Electronics. Shin added, “The first commercially available TDD/FDD seamless handover deviceswill allowcustomers to fully enjoy the benefits of fast mobile data communications no matter where they are.”


By Mark Kaye, acting Emergency Communications Manager for Save the Children's response in Central African Republic

As I look around the empty health post it dawns on me just how much work is to be done here. Its four rooms are completely empty apart from a single broken maternity bed and a dented chamber pot. There are no medicines left, no equipment, not even a mattress.

I’m told everything of value was stolen in the aftermath of the coup; that this area is practically lawless and that armed gangs now rule with impunity extorting ‘tax’ from those who have already lost almost everything with the threat of further violence.

Visio.M e-mobility project unveils remote control driving technology: The invisible driver

Fully autonomous cars may still be the stuff of science fiction. Remote driving technology, however, may be much closer than we think. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) believe that full-size remote control cars could be hitting the roads within the next five to ten years. So if your next rental car turns up to your door driverless, the chances are that the actual driver is sitting in the car rental headquarters.

Researchers at TUM’s Institute of Automotive Technology have demonstrated that cars can be driven remotely and safely on public roads. As part of their project, the engineers equipped the Visio.M electric car with six video cameras and enabled all functions to be activated via a central control panel. The video images are fed into a computer before being encoded and sent to the driver at the remote operator station via LTE.

Cleaning up behind the fashion industry

A reagent capable of removing colour left in the waste water used in the textile industry is an improvement, but choosing quality dyes would lead to less pollution alltogether.

The European fashion industry is a huge consumer of fresh water. Estimates point to 600 million cubic meter of fresh water being consumed yearly in Europe by the textile and clothing industry; not a negligible amount. To reduce the water consumption and the coloured mass effluent, researchers have developed a flocculating agent. Called TEXAFLOK DCL 41, it is able to separate and remove the dyes from the water. It is a highly viscous liquid, which works by reacting with dyestuffs and forming precipitates, leaving a small volume of sludge. This sludge can be then destroyed in the waste waters treatment plants.

Want To Help Solve The Global Food Crisis? Eat More Crickets

Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis, two Brooklyn, NY-based entrepreneurs, are taking the consumption of insects to a whole new level. Their company, Exo, produces protein bars that pack a punch with dates, almonds, coconut and – you guessed it – crickets. Their mission is not only to change consumer mindsets but also to provide a new, sustainable food source that will slow the process of environmental degradation. Recently, the team took some time off from power bar production to chat with Addie Thompson (@adelinemt) about their company, the team’s vision for the future of food and why even vegetarians are on board.

Man flies jet pack over Wisconsin at 119 mph as future finally arrives

We’ve been promised many awesome things will be invented in the future, from a five-course meal in a pill to time travel to jetpacks. So far, we’ve been let down. Until now. No, you can't go back and play those winning lottery numbers, but the jet pack is finally here. Swiss flying ace Yves Rossy, 53, demonstrated his device on Monday in Wisconsin, getting darn close to Superman-like levels of unencumbered flight. Reaching speeds of 119 mph, he controlled his movements simply by leaning his weight, which he likens to skiing. It was his first public flight — Rossy air-schussed the Grand Canyon unannounced in 2011. While it may look dangerous, the bird man says he’s "not crazy," and loves life. "That's why we are living," offered Rossy. "To have this kind of emotion, this kind of moment of joy."

Twin-turbocharged engines to level IndyCar playing field

INDYCAR has announced that all engines for the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2014 forward will be equipped with twin Borg-Warner turbochargers. After Lotus dropped out of competition due to a problem-filled 2012, returning engine manufacturer Chevrolet squared dual superchargers against Honda's single, and dominated the season. Next year should show better performance and a more level playing field.

IndyCar engines represent remarkable feats of engineering and experience. These 2.2 liter (135.25 cu in) turbocharged V6 engines weighing a mere 114 kg (250 lbs) might be an appropriate size for pushing along a mid-sized sedan, but pump out about 650 horsepower at up to 12,000 rpm. A combination of direct and indirect fuel injection allows these tiny engines to swallow the enormous amount of fuel needed to achieve such power.

Reading the smoke signals on e-cigarettes: Can you puff away on a plane, train or in your local bar?

The rules can be hazy for electronic cigarettes, devices that uses synthetic nicotine and are cheaper and cleaner than the traditional kind. E-cigarettes are banned in some public places but restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs, bowling alleys or shopping malls may allow 'vaping.'

Do Indoor Plants Really Clean the Air?

Sure, that potted fern is pretty, but can it really spruce up the air quality in your home? Studies by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and other respected institutions suggest that it can.

Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. It's this skill that facilitates photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy and carbon dioxide into chemical energy to fuel growth.

But scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate.

How Did Earth's Primitive Chemistry Get Kick Started?

How did life on Earth get started? Three new papers co-authored by Mike Russell, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., strengthen the case that Earth's first life began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottom of oceans. Scientists are interested in understanding early life on Earth because if we ever hope to find life on other worlds -- especially icy worlds with subsurface oceans such as Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's Enceladus -- we need to know what chemical signatures to look for.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Conclude Absorption-Type Company Split Agreement on Business Integration in the Thermal Power Generation Systems Field

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 7011, "MHI") and Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, "Hitachi") today announced that the two companies respectively signed absorption-type company split agreements (the "Absorption-type Company Split Agreements") with the new company established by MHI (the "Integrated Company") in order to transfer the business centered on the thermal power generation systems of both companies (the "Integrated Business") by way of company split (the "Absorption-type Company Split") in relation to integrating the Integrated Business (the "Business Integration") in accordance with a basic integration agreement and a joint venture agreement on June 11, 2013 in relation to the Business Integration (the "Definitive Agreements") as announced in a press release titled "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Conclude Definitive Agreement on Business Integration in the Thermal Power Generation Systems Field" on June 11, 2013 (the "June 11, 2013 Announcement").

Combating food allergies with vaccine viruses

Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have succeeded in preventing food allergy against chicken protein using a modified vaccine virus. The viruses serve a dual function: They transfer genetic information of the allergen into the target cell of the immune system and they have an inherent immunomodulatory effect. The research results have been published in the online edition of the journal Allergy of 30 July 2013.

Smartphones Drive Billion Dollar Auto Industry Ad Shift: Study

Browsing for cars on your iPad has done more than speed up your car buying process, it’s forced a dramatic shift in how automakers are spending their ad dollars.

Behavior among new car buyers since 2008 has changed dramatically because of social media. Typical car buyers would spend about six months from starting to dream of a new car to actually buying one. Now, people just browse online and discuss what they want with their friends a month of two before going into a dealer. Shopping for cars is more direct and consolidated.

Psychotherapy via internet as good as if not better than face-to-face consultations

Online psychotherapy is just as efficient as conventional therapy. Three months after the end of the therapy, patients given online treatment even displayed fewer symptoms. For the first time, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich provide scientific evidence of the equal value of internet-based psychotherapy.

Artists’ sketches and interviews give unique insight into sculpture exhibition

Drawings and interviews with the artists featured in the University of Leicester’s Sculpture in the Garden Exhibition are currently on show at Embrace Arts

Art lovers can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the University of Leicester’s sculpture exhibition through a collection of sketches and interviews.

Drawings by the artists whose work is featured in the University’s Sculpture in the Garden exhibition are currently on show at Embrace Arts until Friday 30 August – along with a short film featuring interviews with the sculptors.

Rensselaer Researchers Identify Cause of LED “Efficiency Droop”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have identified the mechanism behind a plague of LED light bulbs: a flaw called “efficiency droop” that causes LEDs to lose up to 20 percent of their efficiency as they are subjected to greater electrical currents. Efficiency droop, first reported in 1999, has been a key obstacle in the development of LED lighting for situations, like household lighting, that call for economical sources of versatile and bright light.

July 30, 2013

Suburban sprawl to power cities of the future

A city’s suburbs could hold the solution to dwindling fuel supplies by producing enough energy to power residents’ cars and even top up power resources, pioneering new research has found.

It is commonly assumed that compact cities, with built-up central business districts and densely-populated residential areas, are more energy efficient than the low-density suburban sprawl that surrounds them, which are dependent on oil for high levels of private transport use.

To infinity and beyond: teleporting humans into space

In the science fiction show, Star Trek, teleportation is a regular and significant feature. But how much time and power is required to send the data needed to teleport a human being?

University of Leicester physics students James Nelms, Declan Roberts, Suzanne Thomas and David Starkey have calculated the answer to this very question.

A group of four fourth year MPhys students have calculated that the energy required to teleport one person is shown to be dependent on bandwidth – which means a decrease in time creates an increase in power consumption.

Pilot clinical study into iPS cell therapy for eye disease starts in Japan

RIKEN is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot study to assess the safety and feasibility of the transplantation of autologous induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell sheets in patients with exudative (wet-type) age-related macular degeneration.

This study, led by Masayo Takahashi M.D., Ph. D. of the Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, and conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation with support from the Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, has been approved to proceed following review by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and is scheduled to open patient recruitment on August 1, 2013.

How to learn successfully even under stress

Mineralocorticoid receptors ensure flexible engagement of learning strategies

Whenever we have to acquire new knowledge under stress, the brain deploys unconscious rather than conscious learning processes. Neuroscientists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have discovered that this switch from conscious to unconscious learning systems is triggered by the intact function of mineralocorticoid receptors. These receptors are activated by hormones released in response to stress by the adrenal cortex. The team of PD Dr Lars Schwabe from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, together with colleagues from the neurology department at the university clinic Bergmannsheil, reports in the journal “Biological Psychiatry”.

Evolution of monogamy in humans the result of infanticide risk

The threat of infants being killed by unrelated males is the key driver of monogamy in humans and other primates.

The study by academics from UCL, University of Manchester, University of Oxford and University of Auckland, is the first to reveal this evolutionary pathway for the emergence of pair living.

The team also found that following the emergence of monogamy males are more likely to care for their offspring. Where fathers care for young, not only can they protect infants from other males, but they can also share the burden of childcare.

Will car ownership eventually die out?

As car sharing businesses mushroom, the traditional car industry is forced to change.

In the recent article How the sharing economy is shaking the hotel industry, the sharing economy's effect on the hotel industry was touched on. In this article, it is the car industry that we look at; a sector that may feel a stronger impact from the sharing economy than hotels.

Car sharing businesses, such as RelayRides, FlightCar, WhipCar, Liftshare and Zipcar, to name just a few, have enjoyed an equally great response on both sides of the emerging peer-to-peer model. On the one hand, car owners are able to turn their vehicles into small-sized businesses, producing income from renting them on a short-term basis. On the other hand, consumers rent a car based on their needs, for the specific amount of time they require, at locations they find convenient, with less paperwork involved and at a cheaper price.

Living near benzene release sites increases cancer risk

Living near a benzene release site – such as a refinery or plant that releases the chemical into the air or water supply – puts people at a higher risk for contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a new study.

Risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are not well known, though the disease is more common in older individuals. Nearly 70,000 new cases appear in the United States each year, leading to nearly 20,000 deaths annually – and incidences of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are only expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. 

Biotech companies launch new website for GMO conversations

GMO Answers is a new website launched by The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta. The new initiative is aimed at answering questions from the public about GMOs and how food is produced.

The website offers a place for conversations, public Q&A, and central online resource for information on GMOs, their background, use in agriculture, and research and data in one easy-to-access public resource for the first time.

Plastic Casing For Apple’s Low-Cost iPhone Gets Confirmed In A Supplier Responsibility Investigation

Apple’s plans to release a low-cost iPhone got a solid confirmation from a new report by China Labor Watch this morning. The unlikely source of the new product info was an undercover investigation into Pegatron to shed light on working conditions at the Apple supplier (which also acts as a partner to other consumer electronics makers).

Corning Brings Gorilla® Glass NBT™ to Touch-Enabled Notebooks

New cover glass helps prevent damage to touchscreen displays; extends Corning Gorilla Glass into new market

Corning Incorporated today introduced its newest cover glass, Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™, designed to help protect touch notebook displays from scratches and other forms of damage that come from everyday handling and use.

Gorilla Glass NBT is Corning’s unique glass solution for touch-enabled notebooks. Touch is becoming the primary way consumers are interacting with their mobile devices, and with increased touch comes the potential for the glass to scratch. Scratches can result in the cover glass breaking when the devices are subject to normal day-to-day usage.

Make It Yourself and Save—a Lot—with 3D Printers

It may seem like a stretch to envision a 3D printer in every home. However, a Michigan Technological University researcher is predicting that personal manufacturing, like personal computing before it, is about to enter the mainstream in a big way.

“For the average American consumer, 3D printing is ready for showtime,” said Associate Professor Joshua Pearce.

3D printers deposit multiple layers of plastic or other materials to make almost anything, from toys to tools to kitchen gadgets. Free designs that direct the printers are available by the tens of thousands on websites like Thingiverse. Visitors can download designs to make their own products using open-source 3D printers, like the RepRap, which you build yourself from printed parts, or those that come in a box ready to print, from companies like Type-A Machines.

Computer scientists develop 'mathematical jigsaw puzzles' to encrypt software

Software remains completely functional but impervious to reverse-engineering

UCLA computer science professor Amit Sahai and a team of researchers have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as "software obfuscation," and it is the first time it has been accomplished.

Sahai, who specializes in cryptography at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, collaborated with Sanjam Garg, who recently earned his doctorate at UCLA and is now at IBM Research; Craig Gentry, Shai Halevi and Mariana Raykova of IBM Research; and Brent Waters, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. Garg worked with Sahai as a student when the research was done. 

July 29, 2013

Hot Flashes? Thank Evolution

Human menopause unique among primates, comparative study finds

A study of mortality and fertility patterns among seven species of wild apes and monkeys and their relatives, compared with similar data from hunter-gatherer humans, shows that menopause sets humans apart from other primates.

Nonhuman primates aren't immune to the fading female fertility that comes with age, the researchers say. But human females are unique in living well beyond their childbearing years.

Planetary ‘runaway greenhouse’ more easily triggered than previously thought

It might be easier than previously thought for a planet to overheat into the scorchingly uninhabitable “runaway greenhouse” stage, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington and the University of Victoria published July 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

In the runaway greenhouse stage, a planet absorbs more solar energy than it can give off to retain equilibrium. As a result, the world overheats, boiling its oceans and filling its atmosphere with steam, which leaves the planet glowing-hot and forever uninhabitable, as Venus is now.

Natural affinities – unrecognized until now – may have set stage for life to ignite

The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways, according to new research led by University of Washington scientists.

It could mean a simpler scenario for how that first spark of life came about on the planet, according to Sarah Keller, UW professor of chemistry, and Roy Black, UW affiliate professor of bioengineering, co-authors of a paper published online July 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

read entire press  release

Mini-Monsters of the Forest Floor


A University of Utah biologist has identified 33 new species of predatory ants in Central America and the Caribbean, and named about a third of the tiny but monstrous-looking insects after ancient Mayan lords and demons.

“These new ant species are the stuff of nightmares” when viewed under a microscope, says entomologist Jack Longino, a professor of biology. “Their faces are broad shields, the eyes reduced to tiny points at the edges and the fierce jaws bristling with sharp teeth.

“They look a little like the monster in ‘Alien.’ They’re horrifying to look at up close. That’s sort of what makes them fun.”

Be happy: Your genes may thank you for it

A good state of mind — that is, your happiness — affects your genes, scientists say. In the first study of its kind, researchers from UCLA's Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and the University of North Carolina examined how positive psychology impacts human gene expression.

What they found is that different types of happiness have surprisingly different effects on the human genome.

Speed Limit Set for Ultrafast Electrical Switch

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have clocked the fastest-possible electrical switching in magnetite, a naturally magnetic mineral. Their results could drive innovations in the tiny transistors that control the flow of electricity across silicon chips, enabling faster, more powerful computing devices.

Scientists using SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser found that it takes only 1 trillionth of a second to flip the on-off electrical switch in samples of magnetite, which is thousands of times faster than in transistors now in use. The results were published July 28 in Nature Materials.

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart measure for the first time near-fields of three-dimensional optical nanoantennas.

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart measured for the first time optical near-field intensities of three-dimensional nanoantennas. The team of Prof. Harald Giessen at the 4th Physics Institute achieved those results with a novel scheme of nanospectroscopy and published their paper in the journal “Nature Communications”.*) Their method gives new insight into light-matter coupling at the nanoscale and allows precise measurement of enhanced optical near-field intensities generated by optical antennas. This technique can facilitate the engineering of future sensing platforms with extremely high sensitivity.



The spider expert at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Peter Jäger, has discovered further previously unknown spider species in Laos. One of the spiders, now described for the first time, crawled across his path during the filming of Dominic Monaghan’s nature documentary “Wild Things”, which is why he named it after the Berlin-born actor: Ctenus monaghani. The new spider species was introduced with its first description, published in the scientific journal Zootaxa.