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DNA “clews” helps shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells

August 31, 2015 7:18 am | by Matt Shipman, News Services, North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. and the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have for the first time created and used a nanoscale vehicle made of DNA to deliver a CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells in both cell culture and an animal model.

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Fatty Acids in the Brain Hasten Alzheimer’s

August 28, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In 1906 at the 37th Conference of South-West German Psychiatrists in Tübingen, German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer elucidated symptoms of a disease that would later be named after him. He described the case of 51-year-old woman Auguste D., and her progressive symptoms of cognitive impairment, hallucinations and delusions.

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Fracking Chemicals and Human Development

August 28, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

After initially injected into a well, a portion of hydraulic fracturing fluid returns to the surface immediately, dubbed “flow-back,” and some seeps up over the well’s lifespan, called “produced water.” A combination of water, chemical additives and naturally occurring substances, the fluid is typically stored at a fracking site before treatment, recycling or disposal.

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Research advances on “scourge” of transplant wards

August 28, 2015 1:00 pm | by David Tennebaum, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

The fungus Cryptococcus causes meningitis, a brain disease that kills about 1 million people each year—mainly those with impaired immune systems due to AIDS, cancer treatment or an organ transplant. It's difficult to treat because fungi are genetically quite similar to humans, so compounds that affect fungi tend to have toxic side effects for patients.

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Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production

August 28, 2015 12:30 pm | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Videos | Comments

Generating and storing renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, is a key barrier to a clean-energy economy. When the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis was established in 2010, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Energy Innovation Hub had one main goal: a cost-effective method of producing fuels using only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis in plants.

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Controlling Cooling of Biological Samples

August 28, 2015 12:09 pm | by Asynt Ltd. | Product Releases | Comments

The ChilliBlock from Asynt is a new modular system purpose designed for precise, controlled cooling and heating of biological samples in microplates, vials and Eppendorf tubes. Traditionally, methods of cooling biological samples often rely upon direct immersion in ice buckets which are prone to considerable temperature variability, contamination and loss of wetted labels.

Closing the loop with optogenetics

August 28, 2015 12:00 pm | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Optogenetics provides a powerful tool for studying the brain by allowing researchers to activate neurons using simple light-based signals. But until now, these optical stimulation techniques have been “open loop,” meaning they lack the kind of feedback control that most biological and engineering systems use to maintain a steady operating state.

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Can rain clean the atmosphere?

August 28, 2015 11:00 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

As a raindrop falls through the atmosphere, it can attract tens to hundreds of tiny aerosol particles to its surface before hitting the ground. The process by which droplets and aerosols attract is coagulation, a natural phenomenon that can act to clear the air of pollutants like soot, sulfates and organic particles.

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Binary Black Hole at the Center of Closest Quasar

August 28, 2015 10:30 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Considered some of the brightest objects in the universe, quasars are contained within active galaxies and powered by black holes billion times the mass of the sun.

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Learning from the unexpected

August 28, 2015 10:00 am | by Peter Tarr, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | News | Comments

When a large combat unit, widely dispersed in dense jungle, goes to battle, no single soldier knows precisely how his actions are affecting the unit’s success or failure. But in modern armies, every soldier is connected via an audio link that can instantly receive broadcasts based on new intelligence. The real-time broadcasts enable dispersed troops to learn from these reports.

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Evidence suggests subatomic particles could defy Standard Model

August 28, 2015 9:00 am | by Matthew Wright, Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

The Standard Model of particle physics, which explains most of the known behaviors and interactions of fundamental subatomic particles, has held up remarkably well over several decades. This far-reaching theory does have a few shortcomings, however. The most notable is it doesn't account for gravity.

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Researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell

August 28, 2015 8:30 am | by Kevin Mayhood, Case Western Reserve Univ. | News | Comments

Consumers aren't embracing electric cars and trucks, partly due to the dearth of charging stations required to keep them moving. Even the conservation-minded are hesitant to go electric in some states because, studies show, if fossil fuels generate the electricity, the car is no greener than one powered with an efficient gasoline.

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Cheaper, better LED technology

August 28, 2015 8:00 am | by Kathleen Haughney, Florida State Univ. | News | Comments

A Florida State Univ. engineering professor has developed a new highly efficient and low-cost light-emitting diode (LED) that could help spur more widespread adoption of the technology. Asst. Prof. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Zhibin Yu developed the new LED technology using a combination of organic and inorganic materials.

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Chemists solve major piece of cellular mystery

August 28, 2015 7:29 am | by Kimm Fesenmaier, California Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

Not just anything is allowed to enter the nucleus, the heart of eukaryotic cells where, among other things, genetic information is stored. A double membrane, called the nuclear envelope, serves as a wall, protecting the contents of the nucleus. Any molecules trying to enter or exit the nucleus must do so via a cellular gatekeeper known as the nuclear pore complex (NPC), or pore, that exists within the envelope.

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Enabling the design of hybrid glasses

August 28, 2015 7:19 am | by Craig Brierley, Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

A new method of manufacturing glass could lead to the production of “designer glasses” with applications in advanced photonics, whilst also facilitating industrial scale carbon capture and storage. An international team of researchers, writing in Nature Communications, report how they have managed to use a relatively new family of sponge-like porous materials to develop new hybrid glasses.

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