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.

Ancient DNA Tells Tales of Humans’ Migratory History

Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied­­ – revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past._hhmi

Φαινόμενο Dunning – Kruger: Η αυτοπεποίθηση των ανεπαρκών ανθρώπων.

Οι περισσότεροι άνθρωποι συνήθως είναι πολύ ικανοί σε ορισμένες δεξιότητες και σε κάποιες άλλες λιγότερο ικανοί (υπολείπονται). Ωστόσο, υπάρχουν ορισμένοι που υπερεκτιμούν τις γνώσεις, ή τις ικανότητές τους σε ένα συγκεκριμένο θέμα, ή δεξιότητα.

Millirobot with a talent for versatility of movement

Tiny robots need not fear obstacle courses in the future: Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a minuscule, flexible robot that can master a variety of forms of movement. Its magnetic drive allows it to walk, crawl and roll through difficult terrain. Moreover, it can transport small loads and swim on and in liquids. In future, tiny robots moving in this way could transport medication specifically to where it is needed._ Max Planck Gesellschaft.

New Egyptian dinosaur reveals ancient link between Africa and Europe

When it comes to the final days of the dinosaurs, Africa is something of a blank page. Fossils found in Africa from the Late Cretaceous, the time period from 100 to 66 million years ago, are few and far between. That means that the course of dinosaur evolution in Africa has largely remained a mystery. But in the Sahara Desert of Egypt, scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur that helps fill in those gaps: Mansourasaurus shahinae, a school-bus-length, long-necked plant-eater with bony plates embedded in its skin._ Ohio University

A new Oligo–Miocene marsupial lion from Australia and revision of the family Thylacoleonidae

A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings, published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, are based on fossilised remains of the animal’s skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found by University of New South Wales (UNSW) scientists in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland. _phys.org

Scientists observe supermassive black hole in infant universe

A team of astronomers, including two from MIT, has detected the most distant supermassive black hole ever observed. The black hole sits in the center of an ultrabright quasar, the light of which was emitted just 690 million years after the Big Bang. That light has taken about 13 billion years to reach us — a span of time that is nearly equal to the age of the universe._MIT

A 100-fold leap to GigaDalton DNA nanotech

DNA bricks enable self-assembly of 3D nanostructures from 10,000 unique components, advancing DNA nanotech from Mega to GigaDalton scale

Original Release: Harvard’s Wyss Institute  •  Author: Benjamin Boettner

When water met iron deep inside the earth, it might have created conditions for life

Reservoirs of oxygen-rich iron between the Earth’s core and mantle could have played a major role in Earth’s history, including the breakup of supercontinents, drastic changes in Earth’s atmospheric makeup, and the creation of life, according to recent work from an international research team published in National Science Review. _Carnegie Science