Science X Newsletter Week 52

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 52:

Injection of virus-delivered gene silencer blocks ALS degeneration, saves motor function

Writing in Nature Medicine, an international team headed by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine describe a new way to effectively deliver a gene-silencing vector to adult amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice, resulting in long-term suppression of the degenerative motor neuron disorder if treatment vector is delivered prior to disease onset, and blockage of disease progression in adult animals if treatment is initiated when symptoms have already appeared.

First chip-to-chip quantum teleportation harnessing silicon photonic chip fabrication

The development of technologies which can process information based on the laws of quantum physics are predicted to have profound impacts on modern society.

Finally, machine learning interprets gene regulation clearly

In this age of "big data," artificial intelligence (AI) has become a valuable ally for scientists. Machine learning algorithms, for instance, are helping biologists make sense of the dizzying number of molecular signals that control how genes function. But as new algorithms are developed to analyze even more data, they also become more complex and more difficult to interpret. Quantitative biologists Justin B. Kinney and Ammar Tareen have a strategy to design advanced machine learning algorithms that are easier for biologists to understand.

In leap for quantum computing, silicon quantum bits establish a long-distance relationship

Imagine a world where people could only talk to their next-door neighbor, and messages must be passed house to house to reach far destinations.

Chimpanzees spontaneously dance to music

A pair of researchers at Kyoto University has found that chimpanzees will spontaneously dance to music. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Yuko Hattori and Masaki Tomonaga describe observing spontaneous dancing in chimps and how one chimp behaved when tested on dancing tendencies.

A medical insight in Michelangelo's David, 'hiding in plain sight'

Michelangelo's David is perhaps the world's most famous statue, gazed upon by millions over centuries.

Forces from Earth's spin may spark earthquakes and volcanic eruptions at Mount Etna

New research suggests forces pulling on Earth's surface as the planet spins may trigger earthquakes and eruptions at volcanoes.

'Ring of fire' eclipse wows across Asia

Skywatchers from Saudi Arabia and Oman to India and Singapore were treated to a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse Thursday.

Electronics at the speed of light

A European team of researchers including physicists from the University of Konstanz has found a way of transporting electrons at times below the femtosecond range by manipulating them with light. This could have major implications for the future of data processing and computing.

Archaeological discoveries are happening faster than ever before, helping refine the human story

In 1924, a three-year-old child's skull found in South Africa forever changed how people think about human origins.

A new tomato ideal for urban gardens and even outer space

Farmers could soon be growing tomatoes bunched like grapes in a storage unit, on the roof of a skyscraper, or even in space. That's if a clutch of new gene-edited crops prove as fruitful as the first batch.

Calculating the time it will take spacecraft to find their way to other star systems

A pair of researchers, one with the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, the other with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CIT, has found a way to estimate how long it will take already launched space vehicles to arrive at other star systems. The pair, Coryn Bailer-Jones and Davide Farnocchia have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

Diet has rapid effects on sperm quality

Sperm are influenced by diet, and the effects arise rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study by researchers at Linköping University, in which healthy young men were fed a diet rich in sugar. The study, which has been published in PLOS Biology, gives new insight into the function of sperm, and may in the long term contribute to new diagnostic methods to measure sperm quality.

Snowmageddon warnings in North America come from tropics more than Arctic stratosphere

Winter weather patterns in North America are dictated by changes to the polar vortex winds high in the atmosphere, but the most significant cold snaps are more likely influenced by the tropics, scientists have found.

Waiting for Betelgeuse: what's up with the tempestuous star?

Have you noticed that Orion the Hunter—one of the most iconic and familiar of the wintertime constellations—is looking a little… different as of late? The culprit is its upper shoulder star Alpha Orionis, aka Betelgeuse, which is looking markedly faint, the faintest it has been for the 21st century.

The coolest LEGO in the universe

For the first time, LEGO has been cooled to the lowest temperature possible in an experiment which reveals a new use for the popular toy.

New rules illuminate how objects absorb and emit light

Princeton researchers have uncovered new rules governing how objects absorb and emit light, fine-tuning scientists' control over light and boosting research into next-generation solar and optical devices.

Scientists create a 'crystal within a crystal' for new electronic devices

Liquid crystals have enabled new technologies, like LCD screens, through their ability to reflect certain color wavelengths.

Mars 2020 rover to seek ancient life, prepare human missions

The Mars 2020 rover, which sets off for the Red Planet next year, will not only search for traces of ancient life, but pave the way for future human missions, NASA scientists said Friday as they unveiled the vehicle.

New study suggests 'enigmatic hominoid' did not walk upright and was not a tree climber

An international team of researchers has concluded that the so-called "enigmatic hominoid" did not walk upright and was also not a tree climber. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their in-depth study of the skeletal remains of Oreopithecus bambolii and what they learned from it.


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