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Showing posts from June, 2022

Indian Researchers Develop a Biodegradable Advanced Wound Healing Bandage With Anti-Bacterial And Anti-Inflammatory Properties

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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB) have developed an affordable bilayered bandage that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent infections in wounds, Research Matters reported. The top layer consists of chitosan (a type of sugar found in the outer skeleton of a shellfish) and polycaprolactone (a biodegradable polyester). The bottom layer is built of soluble eggshell membrane protein and polyvinyl alcohol (a water-soluble synthetic polymer) in combination with curcumin nanoparticles (an anti-inflammatory compound found in plants of the turmeric family). Image credits: Pixabay The Problem With Wound Healing And Its Solution Currently, there are 3000 types of wound healing dressings available for numerous types of wounds. However, wounds such as pressure and venous ulcers, diabetic wounds, and burn wounds are difficult to treat with these dressings. In the case of acute and chronic wounds, the skin doesn't repair due to the poor an

German Scientists Find Tetraneutron: An Elusive And Non-native Matter

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Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany , have found evidence for the existence of a foreign and indistinct type of matter containing four neutrons that bind together. The indications of the presence of such a tetraneutron were first observed in an experiment 20 years ago. But the new approach was more accurate and clearer. Image Credits: Pixabay All matter consists of neutrons, but neutron stars contain matter that is made of particles which are bound together by strong nuclear forces. However, it is still unknown what is the exact structure of this neutron. In 2002, the research team discovered some facts that tetraneutrons are the result of the collision between carbon and beryllium atoms. Many nuclear physicists were amazed by this outcome, but they were unable to give scientific explanations behind the experiments. Researchers performed a different particle collision to find solid evidence of a tetraneutron. “We formed something like the smallest neutron

Vitamin D-producing DNA Molecules Can Treat Cancer, Say A Japanese Study

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Researchers at Kanazawa University, Japan , have discovered a novel DNA molecule that can inhibit cancerous growth by preventing the breakdown of Vitamin D. The molecule, Apt-7 – a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) can bind to other molecules and show anti-cancerous effects. It inhibits the production of the CYP24 enzyme, a protein involved in Vitamin D3 breakdown. Image Credits: Pixabay Previous research has shown that Vitamin D3 helps in building strong bones, but it also displays anti-cancer properties . High levels of it are associated with vigorous and faster recovery of cancer patients. Additionally, it has been spotted as a significant target for cancer treatment due to its relationship with tumour development and progression. Evidence-based research has shown that cancerous cells use this vitamin differently compared to normal cells. Preventing the breakdown of Vitamin D can reduce tumour growth. Further, low levels of CYP24 enzyme are also significant in killing cancer cells. Inhi

Plant-based Antimicrobial Food Wrap Could Be The Plastic Alternative We Desperately Need

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Researchers at Rutgers University, in the U.S., have developed a plant-based biodegradable coating or food wrap that can protect edibles against pathogens. This can reduce the use of plastic packaging materials on food and prevent humans from its harmful effects. Image Credits: Pixabay "We knew we needed to get rid of the petroleum-based food packaging that is out there and replace it with something more sustainable, biodegradable and nontoxic," said Philip Demokritou , director of the Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Research Center. "And we asked ourselves at the same time, 'Can we design food packaging with a functionality to extend shelf life and reduce food waste while enhancing food safety?''' The making of the food wrap Researchers used a new packaging technology, focused rotary jet spinning, that converts polysaccharide/biopolymer-based fibres into a solid wrap. The fibres produced using this process can be degraded in the soil within three day

Prevent Harmful Hospital Infections Without Antibiotics? A New Surface Treatment Could Achieve That

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A clinic or hospital is a place where the chances of getting an infection are higher. Evidence suggests that medical instruments like pacemakers, heart valves, catheters and stents get coated with harmful bacterial films. These hospital regulars are the primary source of hospital-based infections , accounting for two-thirds of all cases. Image Credits: Pixabay Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new surface treatment that will enhance the safety of these instruments without increasing any financial strain on the healthcare system. The new method has been tested in both clinical and laboratory settings. In this technique, a thin layer of zwitterionic material (polymer having cations and anions) is deposited on the surface of the instrument and this layer is permanently bonded with it with the help of ultraviolet light irradiation. This layer helps to prevent germs from sticking to the surface. Researchers applied this surface treatment to v

US Scientists Are Unable To Locate California's Bumble Bees

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Previous studies have reported that there is a decline in several species of California bumble bees around the globe due to expansion of wild habitat, climate changes and use of bee-killing pesticides. A recent court ruling could save them if they can be found. Image Credits: Pixabay Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) , have proposed a study that suggests there are changes in the populations of bumble bees across the terrestrial areas in California. Bumble bees are adaptive to cooler temperatures and can fly in lower light levels than other bees. They can perform various types of pollination processes required for plants, including peppers, cranberries and tomatoes. Bumble bees pollinate crops worth $3 billion yearly in the US. For the new data, Hollis Woodard , a UCR Entomologist and her team members collected bees from 17 sites representing six different ecosystems earlier known to host a variety of bumble bees. The research team aimed to gather at four plac

Most People On The Planet Don't Want To Become Rich, Finds British Survey

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Researchers at the University of Bath, England, have found that the majority of the world's population doesn't want billions of dollars to live their dream life. However, they have found few people who want to become billionaires- which they feel is good for the world. The team stated that there had been a long-economic belief that unlimited desires motivate people on the planet. This keeps them running on a "consumerist treadmill" to earn more for their families. As society still revolves around this thought, researchers believe this affects the stability and health of the population. A never-ending economic growth may end up in more fortune, but at the cost of natural resource depletion and human health. Image Credits: Pexels About the survey The research team wanted to see whether the population wanted to have things that society wanted them to have. They surveyed approximately 8000 people in 33 countries spanning six continents to know how much money people neede

How To Capture CO2 Straight From Thin Air

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  Direct Air Capture of CO 2 Researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan University , Tokyo, Japan have developed a new system for carbon sequestration that may be able to capture and store carbon directly from the air with great effectiveness and efficiency. Image source: pixabay This novel system, described in a study published in ACS Environmental last month, utilizes a liquid sorbent called Isophorone Diamine (IPDA) which is water-soluble. When IPDA comes into contact with CO­ 2 at room temperature, it absorbs the greenhouse gas molecule to form a solid carbamic acid. The carbonic acid can then be separated out and stored as a solid, or it can be heated to 60°C in order to fully reverse the reaction. Reversing the reaction allows the IPDA to be re-used as a sorbent and controls the release of the CO 2 gas to be stored or used elsewhere. When compared to other established liquid-amine sorbents used for carbon capture, IDPA was far superior, as it was more effective at stripping CO­ 2

Monkeys Prefer Listening To Music Over Watching Videos, Find European Researchers

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Researchers at the University of Glasgow and Aalto University in Finland have recorded the response of three white-faced saki monkeys at Korkeasaari zoo in Helenski to different audio and visual stimuli. They have found that the monkeys prefer audio stimuli over visual over screen time. Saki monkeys or sakis are new world primates found in Brazil, Suriname, Venezuela, Guyana and French Guiana. They live in the lower canopy of the forest and feed fruits, seeds, insects and nuts.   Image Credits: Pixabay The researchers used infrared sensors to turn tunnels into interactive zones where sakis could be enclosed. The monkeys would trigger either music or video on the screen in front. Experts recorded their reactions to both and found that sakis interacted for twice as long with audio stimuli than the visual ones. They preferred listening to Arctic Monkeys (a rock band) rather than watching Planet of the Apes (a film series). The overall interaction levels went down with both stimuli as t

The Temperature Of Women's Brains Is Higher Than Men's, Says A UK Study

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Researchers at the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge have discovered that women have warmer brains than men, and their temperatures are more likely to top 40 degrees Celsius.   Image Credits: Pixabay They stated that this temperature difference could be due to the menstrual cycle. Researchers came up with this result as they scanned most women in the post-ovulation phase and found that their brain temperature was around 0.4 degrees Celsius warmer than the women who were scanned in the pre-ovulation phase. For the study, researchers selected 40 volunteers, aged between 20 to 40, who were scanned in the morning, afternoon and late evening of a single day at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh . Researchers also produced the first 4D map of healthy brain temperature . They found that the average temperature was higher than previously thought at 38.5C, while the temperature of the mouth was less than 37C. But the temperature of deeper brain st

Researchers Create An App To Identify Newborns With Jaundice Early On

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Researchers at the University College London (UCL) and the University of Ghana have developed a smartphone app, neoSCB that can identify jaundice in newborn babies by scanning their eyes. The app detected the disease in 300 newborn babies in Ghana, followed by an initial study on 37 newborn babies at University College London Hospital (UCLH) in 2020. It analyzes the images on the smartphone taken using the app. It checks the quantity of yellowness in the sclera (white portion of the eye) as a sign of neonatal jaundice. The app can accurately detect the disease requiring treatment. Image Credits: Pixabay Jaundice- A global health concern Jaundice is a condition in which the whites of the eyes and skin turns yellow. It is common in newborns and is harmless. The yellowness is caused due to substance called bilirubin which can reach the brain in severe cases causing disabilities such as hearing impairment, and neurological conditions, including developmental delays and cerebral palsy or

Algae Biofuel Can Substitute Conventional Jet Fuel, Says Turkish Researchers

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Researchers at the Bogazici University, Turkey , are working to produce biofuel for aeroplanes from algae. They are conducting their experiments in a lab away from the Black Sea. Here, huge masses of cloudy and green algae swirl under the hot sun in the lab's greenhouse with the help of a squeaky motor. Image Credits: Pixabay “Right now, they’re just getting fat,” said Berat Haznedaroğlu , Director of the Istanbul Microalgae Biotechnologies Research and Development Center. “As you can see they’re just using air — carbon dioxide and sunlight.” The strain of algae is filled with fatty acids. The more the number of fatty algae, the more fuel they can produce. But producing this biofuel on a large scale is not an easy task. The research team drain the algae pools into large metal tanks and use chloroform and ethanol to break the algae into fatty acids. The oil produced is checked for quality and shipped to a nearby refinery to turn into jet fuel. Demand and Supply Algae biofuels are co

Male Frogs Form Music Bands to Woo Females For Mating, Find American Researchers

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Researchers at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire , United States, have discovered a frog species ( Rana sylvatica or Wood frog) that form singing bands or boy bands that sing to attract females for mating. Studies have shown that females are allured to low-frequency sounds because they indicate their mates' good physical health and bigger bodies. Therefore, males find their band members that have low sound frequencies to increase their chances of mating. A frog chorus includes individual sounds of different frogs that make a bizarre gobbling and quacking noise.  “A chorus of wood frogs can sound a lot like the chaotic gobbling from a group of rowdy turkeys,” said Ryan Calsbeek , study author. “No one has figured out a way to extract the voice of one individual from a chorus to understand how membership in a group influences that individual’s chance at getting a mate.” Image credits: Pexels Wood frogs have a broad range over North America and reproduce in temporary water bodies, unli

Science in the Society : Saving Wildlife

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Conserving wildlife while human society expands into the far corners of the Earth has been a tough act to balance and one that we are constantly failing at.  For all the technological advancements that we have made for ourselves, our biggest interventions to safeguard animal life have been fences that run into miles or overhead bridges that animals do not know how to use.  Vedant Srinivas , a sophomore at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington in the U.S. who has been using advances in science and technology to prevent road kills. Just a teenager, Vedant has dived deep into animal learning and behavior as well as physics and economics to design and deploy interventions that are cost-effective and do their job.  Vedant working on an ORA protoype For our second interview in the Science in the Society series, we spoke to Vedant over email. The interview has been edited for clarity.  CTS:  What got you interested in wildlife conservation? Why are your innovations focused in this sp

Severe Asthma Patients Respond Poorly To Common Treatment, Say The US Scientists

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Researchers at the Rutgers University and Genentech , US, have found that severe asthma patients do not respond to common medication treatment and have pointed to a solution to fix this problem. Image Credits: Pixabay Asthma patients are often prescribed corticosteroid inhalers. These drugs are a common treatment as they reduce swelling and inflammation of the airways to prevent asthma attacks and reduce their severity. These inhalers are effective in patients with mild to moderate asthma but people having severe asthma do not respond well to them. The research team investigated this problem and found the mechanism that seems to block the action of the drugs. For the study, they collected the samples of bronchial airway epithelial cells (BAECs) exposed to inhaled corticosteroids from three different groups: patients with severe asthma, patients with moderate asthma and healthy people. Then, they performed a genetic analysis to find which genes get activated in the cells in response t

Japanese Researchers Make Edible Cement From Food Waste

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Researchers at Tokyo University, Japan , have developed a technology that can convert waste food into cement for construction. The cement formed is edible and has tensile or bending strength four times the conventional concrete. With this innovation, researchers expect to reduce global warming by dealing with problems related to food waste decomposition. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases produced when food materials rot and is a significant contributor to global warming.    Image Credits: Pexels The Formation Of Food Cement According to the Chatham House , a London-based organization providing solutions to climate change, 8 percent of the world's carbon dioxide is emitted by cement production processes. Considering this, researchers developed a technology that could decrease dependency on concrete-based cement. They first developed a method to make concrete with fine wood particles subjected to heat compression. It involved three steps; drying, pulverization (crushing) and com

Pet Goldfishes Are A Threat To Biodiversity Say UK Researchers

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Researchers at the Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland , have reported that goldfish species might harm the surrounding ecosystems if they enter the wild. Invasive species are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss, and the pet trade is responsible for the aquatic invasive species. Many pet owners consider setting their pets free to be the more humane option. But, this approach is not meant for goldfish. Recently, they have been found in Atlantic Forest brook , breaking their confinement, and are flourishing. The release of such pets into the wild could lead to destructive outcomes for biodiversity.   Image Credits: Pixabay To better understand the ecological risks produced by various species within the pet trade, researchers decided to study the most common aquatic pets in Northern Ireland: goldfish and white cloud mountain minnow. Goldfish are the absolute starter pet as they are cute, tiny and easy to take care of. These fishes first domesticated over a thousand y

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