5 October 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Sience

A Huge New Data Set Pushes the Limits of Neuroscience

So neuroscientists use an approach called “dimensionality reduction” to make such visualization possible—they take data from thousands of neurons and, by applying clever techniques from linear algebra, describe their activities using just a few variables. This is just what psychologists did in the 1990s to define their five major domains of human personality: openness, agreeableness, […]

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Sience

The Secret Microscope That Sparked a Scientific Revolution

“It almost seems as if Van Leeuwenhoek knew that a new microworld was to unfold,” Cocquyt told me. One of his scientific rivals, Johannes Hudde, later said, “isn’t it surprising that we never had the creativity to use these ball lenses to observe little things against the daylight, and that an uneducated and ignorant man such […]

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Sience

A Wheel Made of ‘Odd Matter’ Spontaneously Rolls Uphill

In a physics lab in Amsterdam, there’s a wheel that can spontaneously roll uphill by wiggling. This “odd wheel” looks simple: just six small motors linked together by plastic arms and rubber bands to form a ring about 6 inches in diameter. When the motors are powered on, it starts writhing, executing complicated squashing and […]

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Sience

Philadelphia’s Diatom Archive Is a Way, Way, Wayback Machine

However, in recent decades, the sea has dominated the once-dynamic coastal margin, propelling farther inland as sea levels rise. Over the last century, the sea level along New Jersey has risen by 0.45 meters, more than double the global average of 0.18 meters. By 2100, the sea could rise by over a meter. This dramatic […]

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Sience

To Understand Brain Disorders, Consider the Astrocyte

This was slow going. “We spent a lot of time, probably the first couple of years, really just working out the immunopanning and culturing the astrocytes,” recalls Caldwell. One challenge was making sure that the media contained few proteins to start with—those would have interfered with their measurements. The scientists also needed to make sure […]

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Sience

Epigenetic ‘Clocks’ Predict Animals’ True Biological Age

A new tool from Belsky and his colleagues, introduced in 2020 and updated earlier this year, acts as an aging speedometer. In creating their Pace of Aging biomarker, they quantified the rate of change in 19 markers of organ function at four ages, compiled them into a single index, and modeled it with methylation. “We’re […]

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Sience

Electric Fish Genomes Reveal How Evolution Repeats Itself

Along the murky bottom of the Amazon River, serpentine fish called electric eels scour the gloom for unwary frogs or other small prey. When one swims by, the fish unleash two 600-volt pulses of electricity to stun or kill it. This high-voltage hunting tactic is distinctive, but a handful of other fish species also use […]

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Sience

How Scientists Are Cleaning Up Rivers Using Grasses and Oysters

One hundred miles north of Philadelphia, the Billion Oyster Project has been restoring the bivalves in New York Harbor since 2010, engaging more than 10,000 volunteers and 6,000 students in the project. Oyster nurseries are being installed in Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland, where until recently they were believed to have been extinct for a […]

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Sience

This De-Extinction Company Wants to Resurrect the Thylacine

Of all the species that humanity has wiped off the face of the earth, the thylacine is possibly the most tragic loss. A wolf-sized marsupial sometimes called the Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine met its end in part because the government paid its citizens a bounty for every animal killed. That end came recently enough that […]

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Sience

What If Cells Kept Receipts of Their Gene Expression?

They added the chemical that triggered the first gene (corresponding to barcode A) for 24 hours, followed by the one for the second gene (corresponding to barcode B) for the next 24. “In theory we should have all the recording proteins turned on throughout the process, but only the RNA for signal A in the […]

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