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Taking a spin on plasma space tornadoes with NASA observations
Interplanetary space is hardly tranquil. High-energy charged particles from the Sun, as well as from beyond our solar system, constantly whizz by. These can damage satellites and endanger astronaut health—though, luckily for life on Earth, the planet is blanketed by a protective magnetic bubble created by its magnetic field. This bubble, called the magnetosphere, deflects most of the harmful high-energy particles. phys.org/news/2017-11-plasm...
Using catalysts like tweezers to select single enantiomer from a mirrored pair
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Harvard University has developed a catalytic technique that allows for selecting a single enantiomer (mirror-image isomers) when choosing between one of two mirrored possibilities. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their technique and the possible ways it might be used. Anita Mattson with Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue along with a discussio... phys.org/news/2017-11-catal...
Research sheds new light on how organisms use energy in a crowd
Monash scientists have uncovered new and surprising discoveries about how organisms can regulate energy use when their numbers increase. phys.org/news/2017-11-energ...
Making mosquitoes self-destruct
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed transgenic mosquitoes that stably express the Cas9 enzyme in their germline. The addition of Cas9 will enable the use of the CRISPR gene editing tool to make efficient, targeted changes to the mosquitoes' DNA. phys.org/news/2017-11-mosqu...
Chromosome organization emerges from 1-D patterns
The DNA in a human cell is 2 yards (1.83 meters) long and wraps around millions of bead-like histone proteins to fit inside the cell's nucleus. Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine showed that examining the chemical state of these proteins makes it possible to predict how an entire DNA chromosome will fold. phys.org/news/2017-10-chrom...
Later-borns choose less prestigious programmes at university
First-born children tend to choose more prestigious university programmes such as medicine or engineering than their later-born siblings. These are the findings of a new study published in the science journal Social Forces by researchers Kieron Barclay and Mikko Myrskylä from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, together with Martin Hällsten from the University of Stockholm. phys.org/news/2017-11-later...
Study shows need for adaptive powered knee prosthesis to assist amputees
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New North Carolina State University research into wearable robotics shows how amputees wearing these devices adapted when presented with a real-world challenge: carrying a weighted backpack. The results could assist device manufacturers and clinicians expand the utility of these important devices, and could help researchers develop smarter controllers that adapt to real-world demands. phys.org/news/2017-11-power...
Hubble spots expanding light echo around supernova
Light from a supernova explosion in the nearby starburst galaxy M82 is reverberating off a huge dust cloud in interstellar space. phys.org/news/2017-11-hubbl...
Laser-imaging technology provides improved method for peering inside living creatures
Caltech engineers have improved a technique for taking three-dimensional (3-D) microscopic images of tissue, allowing them to see inside living creatures with greater precision than before. phys.org/news/2017-10-laser...
Minerals in volcanic rock offer new insights into the first 1.5 billion years of Earth's evolution
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The first 1.5 billion years of Earth's evolution is subject to considerable uncertainty due to the lack of any significant rock record prior to four billion years ago and a very limited record until about three billion years ago. Rocks of this age are usually extensively altered making comparisons to modern rock quite difficult. In new research conducted at LSU, scientists have found evidence showing that komatiites, three-billion-year old volcanic rock found within the Earth's mantle, had a ... phys.org/news/2017-11-miner...