November 25, 2019
Our bodies are filled with molecular and cellular machines, pumping, spinning and moving. How do tiny single molecules pump sodium ions across a cell? What is the connection between a single molecule pump and cells producing electricity? How can a single molecule pump be more efficient than our modern ones? How do we make pacemakers safer? Overtime a pacemaker grows to become part of the heart fibre. How do we make pacemakers less likely to be overgrown and easier to replace?
- Tatsuya Iida, Yoshihiro Minagawa, Hiroshi Ueno, Fumihiro Kawai, Takeshi Murata, Ryota Iino. Single-molecule analysis reveals rotational substeps and chemo-mechanical coupling scheme of Enterococcus hirae V1-ATPase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2019; 294 (45): 17017 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.008947
- Francesco Robotti, Ita Sterner, Simone Bottan, Josep M. Monné Rodríguez, Giovanni Pellegrini, Tanja Schmidt, Volkmar Falk, Dimos Poulikakos, Aldo Ferrari, Christoph Starck. Microengineered biosynthesized cellulose as anti-fibrotic in vivo protection for cardiac implantable electronic devices. Biomaterials, 2020; 229: 119583 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.119583
July 22, 2019
Ice can be refreshing and cooling, but it can also be used to preserve life. Sometimes for strangely long periods of time. So just how do you make extreme forms of ice? From 'warm ice that doesn't ruin your frozen food, to controlled ice that helps planes fly. Sometimes you can even use a diamond to make some super controlled ice. Ice can harbour life even in some extreme conditions like the frozen and UV radiated Andes. Buried in Alaska is a bacterial community frozen in time. For 50,000 years bacteria have been thriving beneath layers of frozen tundra.
- Yong-Jae Kim, Yun-Hee Lee, Sooheyong Lee, Hiroki Nada, Geun Woo Lee. Shock growth of ice crystal near equilibrium melting pressure under dynamic compression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 116 (18): 8679 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818122116
- Lara Vimercati, Adam J. Solon, Alexandra Krinsky, Pablo Arán, Dorota L. Porazinska, John L. Darcy, Cristina Dorador, Steven K. Schmidt. Nieves penitentes are a new habitat for snow algae in one of the most extreme high-elevation environments on Earth. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 2019; 51 (1): 190 DOI: 10.1080/15230430.2019.1618115
- University of Washington. (2019, July 12). Super salty, subzero Arctic water provides peek at possible life on other planets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 13, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190712105707.htm
April 8, 2019
Bacteria are all around us and inside our guts too. Yet despite this there is still so much we do not know about them. We keep discovering new types, new species and then they change the game by blending into hosts and having new side effects. We look at how microbial infections disguise themselves to blend in, how fungal infections deactivate alarm systems, and just how many unknown bacteria there are in your gut. We also find out about ways to tackle our lack of knowledge with bacterial search engines.
- Alexandre Almeida, Alex L. Mitchell, Miguel Boland, Samuel C. Forster, Gregory B. Gloor, Aleksandra Tarkowska, Trevor D. Lawley, Robert D. Finn. A new genomic blueprint of the human gut microbiota. Nature, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-0965-1
- Iratxe Estibariz, Annemarie Overmann, Florent Ailloud, Juliane Krebes, Christine Josenhans, Sebastian Suerbaum. The core genome m5C methyltransferase JHP1050 (M.Hpy99III) plays an important role in orchestrating gene expression in Helicobacter pylori. Nucleic Acids Research, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky1307
- Koenig S et al. Gliotoxin from Aspergillus fumigatus Abrogates Leukotriene B4 Formation through Inhibition of Leukotriene A4 Hydrolase. Cell Chemical Biology, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2019.01.001
- Phelim Bradley, Henk C. den Bakker, Eduardo P. C. Rocha, Gil McVean, Zamin Iqbal. Ultrafast search of all deposited bacterial and viral genomic data. Nature Biotechnology, 2019; 37 (2): 152 DOI: 10.1038/s41587-018-0010-1
October 8, 2018
Laser are used in some many things around us from computer storage, discs, communication, medical scanning and even laser surgery. Turning lasers from an expensive tool in the exclusive hands of large laboratories to something people all over the world can simply and easily use required groundbreaking physics. As did turning a laser into a pair of precise tweezers. For that groundbreaking research Arthur Ashkin, Gerad Morou and Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2018. We find out about lasers, how they're used and how they were made powerful and precise.
- Ashkin, A. (1997) Optical trapping and manipulation of neutral particles using lasers,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 94, pp. 4853–4860
- Strickland, D. and Mourou, G. (1985) Compression of Amplified Chirped Optical Pulses,
Optics Communications , Vol. 56, Nr 3
- How Lasers Work. (2018). Retrieved from https://lasers.llnl.gov/education/how_lasers_work
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Nobel Committee for Physics. (2018, October). Tools made of light [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/uploads/2018/10/popular-physicsprize2018.pdf
- Image Credit: Baxley/JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) frequency comb, 2012
September 24, 2018
Can a single fly ruin a drink? How long does the fly even need to be in there to destroy the quality and taste? How does a fly even manage to ruin your sense of taste? These important questions were answered by the winners of the Ignobel Prize 2018 in Biology.
Does having a more expensive label on something make it feel 'better' to eat, drink or use? What's going on in our brain when the "Label Placebo" effect takes hold? If you're an expert are you more easily swayed by the placebo than a regular person?
- "The Scent of the Fly," Paul G. Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika A. Wallin, Erik Hedenstrom, Felipe Borrero-Echeverry, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Jorger, and Peter Witzgall, bioRxiv, no. 20637, 2017.
- Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness, Hilke Plassmann, John O'Doherty, Baba Shiv, Antonio Rangel, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2008, 105 (3) 1050-1054; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105
- Goldstein, R., Almenberg, J., Dreber, A., Emerson, J., Herschkowitsch, A. and Katz, J. (2008). Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings. Journal of Wine Economics, 3(01), pp.1-9.
- Liane Schmidt, Vasilisa Skvortsova, Claus Kullen, Bernd Weber, Hilke Plassmann. How context alters value: The brain’s valuation and affective regulation system link price cues to experienced taste pleasantness. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08080-0
- Trei, L. (2018). Price changes way people experience wine, study finds. [online] Stanford University. Available at: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/january16/wine-011608.html [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
August 28, 2017
How can we protect species from extinction? What can the Dodo and other extinctions on islands teach us about protecting species today?
August 7, 2017
North America gears up for a solar eclipse by planning a myriad of experiments, from telescopes on jets to analysing mountains on the moon. We find out about the experiments planned for this once in a generation event.
July 31, 2017
How can we reduce food waste and turn it into bioplastics and cleaning agents. Plus the benefits of using bio-char to help improve crops and clean the air from smog.
July 24, 2017
Your own unique microbiome protects and serves you. We find out more this week.
July 17, 2017
We get a new look at Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Plus we find out how deadly other planets can be for bacteria but how spaceships can help bacteria and fungi thrive.
July 10, 2017
An energy crisis, a storm and a tech entrepreneur walked into South Australia and ended up with a giant battery. We investigate the context, other generation technology and the future of renewables.
July 3, 2017
How can we make our lab tests of new drugs more realistic to shorten the time to human trials? Plus how can we better test for cancer treatment effectiveness using liquid biopsies?
June 26, 2017
Making particles self assemble using sound ways, hydrogen fuel cells just by painting houses and a simpler way to desalinate water.
June 19, 2017
Understanding the structure of DNA, how it shields DNA from mutation and helps messages spread quickly across the jumbled mess. Plus a shovel full of 1000s of new bacteria have their genomes sequences and released into the world.
June 12, 2017
New Materials to help separate oil from water using magnets and nano particles. Plus making cheaper and more efficient batteries from recycling rusting steel.
June 5, 2017
We find out what the latest LIGO discovery means for gravitational waves and black holes. Plus finding out why black holes grew so quickly and a new observatory for Neutron Stars.
May 29, 2017
Why do farmers help goats climb trees? Where was a living T-Rex hiding in Singapore? Regenerating limbs is cool but how do we change the plans and say grow even more heads?
May 22, 2017
Making outfits that breath and prevent sweating using living cells. Plus we find out about materials that shed their waterproof skin like a snake and printing flexible circuits.
May 15, 2017
Does anyone know how to recover a lost sense of smell? What are the best ways to treat and reduce the symptoms of asthma? What other methods can we use to treat asthma that don't rely on steroids?
May 8, 2017
Sea-scorpions ruled the ancient oceans with a slicing tails. Finding the origin of the evolutionary success story of mandibles. Forget extracting DNA from dinosaur fossils, we learn of a new method using proteins to reconstruct the past.