Phys.org-News about science

Welcome to the “Phys.org” update from Hawaii Science Digest.

Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content provided by “Phys.org”–an official publication of the SpaceX Network.

Accessed on 19 April 2019, 1931 UTC.

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Spotlight science news

Machine Learning & AI

ExAG: An image-guessing game to evaluate the helpfulness of machine explanations

In recent years, researchers have been trying to make artificial intelligence (AI) more transparent by developing algorithms that can explain their actions and behavior, as this could encourage greater trust in machines and …

General Physics

Thermodynamic magic enables cooling without energy consumption

Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears …

Fuel cells in bacteria

The exchange of nitrogen between the atmosphere and organic matter is crucial for life on Earth because nitrogen is a major component of essential molecules such as proteins and DNA. One major route for this exchange, discovered …

Researchers discover critical RNA processing aberrations

Research by a Barrow Neurological Center scientist on mechanisms of dysfunctional RNA processing in ALS and frontaltemporal dementia (FTD) was published in the April issue of Acta Neuropathologica. The research was conducted …

Snake-inspired robot slithers even better than predecessor

Bad news for ophiophobes: Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new and improved snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its …

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 Medical Xpress

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes
Gut microbe helps thwart Salmonella

 Tech Xplore

BRB-seq: The quick and cheaper future of RNA sequencing

RNA sequencing is a technique used to analyze entire genomes by looking at the expression of their genes. Today, such genome-wide expression analyses are a standard tool for genomic studies because they rely on high-throughput …

Taming the genome’s ‘jumping’ sequences

The human genome is fascinating. Once predicted to contain about a hundred thousand protein-coding genes, it now seems that the number is closer to twenty thousand, and maybe less. And although our genome is made up of about …

Chemists take a closer look at the spot where water meets air

Water, despite its central place in so many processes vital to life on Earth, remains a chemical mystery in many respects. One of those mysteries is the nature of water at the exact point where it comes into contact with …

Gut microbe helps thwart Salmonella

Salmonella enterica is the name of a group of rod-shaped bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis in humans and other animals. Salmonella infections can have serious consequences for certain high-risk groups, such as babies, …

How NASA Earth data aids America, state by state

For six decades, NASA has used the vantage point of space to better understand our home planet and improve lives. A new interactive website called Space for U.S. highlights some of the many ways that NASA’s Earth observations …

Salt takes a quick step before falling out of water

When a drop of sea spray lands on a rock and heats under the midday sun, the salt crystalizes and falls out of the evaporating water as a crystal—helping to power the Earth’s atmosphere and leaving a delicious kernel of …

Creating a cloak for grid data in the cloud

Delivering modern electricity is a numbers game. From power plant output to consumer usage patterns, grid operators juggle a complex set of variables to keep the lights on. Cloud-based tools can help manage all of these data, …

War games shed light on real-world strategies

Want to try your hand at negotiating during a crisis? Think you have a plan that could get the U.S. out of Afghanistan? Confident you could keep a nation secure when multi-party international diplomacy is more important than …

Why mass shootings don’t lead to gun control

Mass shootings happen with numbing frequency in the United States. Despite the extraordinary tragedy of these events, such as the shooting at Columbine High School twenty years ago this week, little progress has been made …

Daily grind: The biography of a stone axe

Tom Breukel analysed some 250 stone axes from the Caribbean and reconstructed their biographies, thus increasing our knowledge of production and trade in the period around the arrival of Columbus. His Ph.D. defence is on …

When coastal hazards threaten your Outer Banks trip

A trip to the Outer Banks is a tradition for some North Carolina families and a bucket-list destination for other tourists. A new study from North Carolina State University asked visitors for their reactions to having travel …

People with heart disease at risk when pharmacies close

New research from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that when pharmacies close, people stop taking widely used heart medications—like statins, beta-blockers and oral anticoagulants—that have known cardiovascular …

Next frontier in study of gut bacteria: mining microbial molecules

The human gut harbors trillions of invisible microbial inhabitants, referred to as the microbiota, that collectively produce thousands of unique small molecules. The sources and biological functions of the vast majority of …

Things are stacking up for NASA’s Mars 2020 spacecraft

For the past few months, the clean room floor in High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been covered in parts, components and test equipment for the Mars 2020 spacecraft, scheduled for …

Anxiety ‘epidemic’ brewing on college campuses, researchers find

The number of 18- to 26-year-old students who report suffering from anxiety disorder has doubled since 2008, perhaps as a result of rising financial stress and increased time spent on digital devices, according to preliminary …

Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI) has identified …

Risk of congenital Zika syndrome greater than previously thought

Zika virus infection during pregnancy was first linked to birth defects during the outbreak in the Americas in 2015 and 2016; however, the Zika virus was discovered decades ago. Why then were adverse outcomes during pregnancy …

Molecular target UNC45A is essential for cancer but not normal cell proliferation

Identifying a protein that plays a key role in cancer cell growth is a first step toward the development of a targeted cancer therapy. It is especially promising when this protein is dispensable for the growth of normal cells. …

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