Observations challenge cosmological theories

Recent observations create a puzzle for astrophysicists: since the big bang, less galaxy clusters have formed over time than was actually expected. Physicists from the university of Bonn have now confirmed this phenomenon. For the next three years, the researchers will analyze their data in even greater detail. This will put them in a position to confirm whether the theories considered valid today need to be reworked. The study is part of a series of 20 publications which appear in the professional journal «Astronomy and Astrophysics».


Careful — You Are Made of Glass

UCSB researchers uncover how tissues and organs are sculpted during embryogenesis.
By Sonia Fernandez

Ever wondered how groups of cells managed to build your tissues and organs while you were just an embryo?

The first predators and their self-repairing teeth

Conodont elements are the earliest mineralized vertebrate dental tools and the only ones capable of extensive repair. Two models of conodont growth, as well as the presence of a larval stage, have been hypothesized. We analysed normally and pathologically developed elements to test these hypotheses and identified three ontogenetic stages characterized by different anisometric growth and morphology. _(paper extract_Proceedings of the Royal Society B)

Researchers find Holy Grail of palaeontology

Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and overseas have discovered molecules of fat in an ancient fossil to reveal the earliest confirmed animal in the geological record that lived on Earth 558 million years ago.

The strange creature called Dickinsonia, which grew up to 1.4 metres in length and was oval shaped with rib-like segments running along its body, was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived on Earth 20 million years prior to the ‘Cambrian explosion’ of modern animal life._ANU

Catastrophic construction: Storms can build reef islands in atoll regions

Boulder, Colo., USA: Tropical storms, with waves reaching up to 10-meters-high, can wallop coral reef islands. As global temperatures increase, some scientists suggest that such storms will become more frequent and intense over the next few decades. Additionally, potential sea level rise is perceived as a threat to the continued existence of these remote, low-lying communities.

How plants signal danger

“For decades, it’s been known that leaf damage, inflicted by mechanical wounding or caterpillar munching, rapidly activates defense responses in distant, undamaged leaves of the plant,” Howe said. “But what triggers this rapid response has largely remained a mystery.”

Winds imaged by Aeolus

First wind data from ESA’s Aeolus satellite. These data are from three quarters of one orbit around Earth. The image shows large-scale easterly and westerly winds between Earth’s surface and the lower stratosphere, including jet streams. _ESA

Electrons ride plasma wave

There is a good chance that soon a new door will open to physicists, offering them new insights into the mysteries of the universe. The international AWAKE collaboration has made a breakthrough in its efforts to build a new type of particle accelerator. _MPI

LHC physicists finally uncover Higgs ‘bottom’ decay

The two largest experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), ATLAS and CMS, have observed a previously undetected way that the Higgs boson can decay — into an elementary particle called the bottom quark, and its antiparticle._Nature

Rutgers Scientists Identify Protein that May Have Existed When Life Began

The primordial peptide may have appeared 4 billion years ago
How did life arise on Earth? Rutgers researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts – essential for cells, the building blocks of life, to function – may have existed when life began. Their study of a primordial peptide, or short protein, is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society._ Rutgers University

Unstoppable Monster in the Early Universe

Astronomers obtained the most detailed anatomy chart of a monster galaxy located 12.4 billion light-years away. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the team revealed that the molecular clouds in the galaxy are highly unstable, which leads to runaway star formation. Monster galaxies are thought to be the ancestors of the huge elliptical galaxies in today’s Universe, therefore these findings pave the way to understand the formation and evolution of such galaxies._ALMA

Parasitoid biology preserved in mineralized fossils

Evidence for parasitism in fossils is generally rare, as it requires preserved information of interaction between both partners. As a consequence, the fossil record of parasitoid wasps is nearly exclusively restricted to isolated adults, with few examples of unidentified larvae trapped in amber next to their hosts. Therefore, our understanding of parasitoid evolution is based on the inference that fossil organisms exhibited habits resembling those of their extant relatives. (Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 3325 (2018) 
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05654-y
intro excerpt)

Where do particle names come from?

One of the most difficult things in learning particle physics for the first time is to understand all of the various names. There are dozens and dozens and sometimes many names can apply to one particle or a single name can apply to many particles. It’s all very confusing. Luckily, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln made this video to help you sort it all out.

The Hearing Molecule

The results of their research, reported Aug. 22 in Neuron, reveal that TMC1, a protein discovered in 2002, forms a sound- and motion-activated pore that allows the conversion of sound and head movement into nerve signals that travel to the brain—a signaling cascade that enables hearing and balance. 

The Emergent Mind

WHAT GOES ON in the minds of babies? A lot, it turns out: long gone are the days when psychologists believed infants couldn’t use abstract thought. Recent research from the lab of Elizabeth Spelke, Berkman professor of psychology, suggests that babies can understand things about social behavior, preferences—even about people’s objectives and values. -The emergent mind, Harvard magazine

Ο άβαξ του Λαυρίου

Μουσικολογική και αριθμητική ερμηνεία της μαρμάρινης επιγραφής που βρέθηκε στην βόρεια πλευρά της αγοράς στο λιμάνι Πασά του Λαυρίου το 1977.

Schrödinger in Space

The Schrödinger Equation makes an unlikely appearance at the astronomical scale _Caltech

Τα φάρμακα στην αρχαιότητα

Η αναζήτηση των φαρμάκων άρχισε από το περιβάλλον. Όπως και τα ζώα, ο πρωτόγονος άνθρωπος είχε πολύ ανεπτυγμένο το ένστικτο αυτοπροστασίας. Σταδιακά κυριάρχησε η παρατήρηση και ο συσχετισμός των θεραπευτικών μέσων με συγκεκριμμένες ασθένειες. Αναμφίβολα και η τύχη βοήθησε στην ανακάλυψη των φαρμάκων._ Ε. Σκαλτσά
Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια
Τομέας Φαρμακογνωσίας, Τμήμα Φαρμακευτικής

A surprising chill before the cosmic dawn

An experiment to estimate when stars began to form in the Universe suggests that gas temperatures just before stars appeared had fallen well below predicted limits, and that dark matter is not as shadowy as was thought._ Nature 555, 38-39 (2018)

The secret life of Higgs bosons

The Higgs boson has existed since the earliest moments of our universe. Its directionless field permeates all of space and entices transient particles to slow down and burgeon with mass. Without the Higgs field, there could be no stable structures; the universe would be cold, dark and lifeless.