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Elein Chahoud verified badge
Medical Scientist | Pharmacist to be | Editor at The Surg
October 28, 2018 · 171 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Mars might just have enough molecular oxygen to support life, claims new study

New research found that water on Mars holds more oxygen than previously believed, enough to support aerobic respiration. The finding could inform future missions to Mars by providing better targets to rover searching for signs of habitable environments.

Reference: Nature geoscience

 

 

Neuroscientists have found a difference in human brain cells that could help explain our unique intelligence

Neuroscientists discovered that dendrites, neural extensions, in the human brain are larger, than those of other species, and have different electrical properties. The finding suggested that the increased length of human neurons alters their input-output properties, which impact cortical computation.

Reference: Cell

Scientists developed a new methodology to accurately study immune cells in cancer

Immunotherapy has perhaps been the most exciting advancement in cancer therapy in the past decade. Understanding and modulating the state and composition of immune cells within the tumour microenvironment holds great potential in the treatment of cancer. Scientists have developed a new methodology to facilitate the characterization of immune cells in a tumour using gene expression data. Scientists say this resource can aid in the discovery of novel biomarkers to predict outcome to cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.

Reference: Cancer Immunology Research

Scientists say, Herpes virus that causes cold sore could be one cause of Alzheimer’s disease

Long-term research provided a causal link between Alzheimer’s disease risk and Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) infection in people carrying a specific gene. As cold sores (Herpes infection) found to occur more frequently in carriers of (APOE-ε4) gene that confers an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. New epidemiological data show antiviral drugs drastically reduce the risk of senile dementia in patients with severe herpes infections.

Reference: Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience

Physicists improved the delivery of quantum information over long distances

Physicists presented a method for the production of so-called quantum repeaters needed to transmit quantum information over long distances. They used the Purcell effect with which light particles can be shot in a much more targeted manner. The current high interest in the Purcell effect, partly because it makes the construction of quantum repeaters possible. Also, it can shorten the time it takes the atom to store and release the quantum information.

Reference: American Physical Society

Scientists show that New Caledonian crows can create compound tools to solve problems

Scientists discovered that New Caledonian crows could combine two or more non-functional elements to form a long-distance reaching aid. The study showed that this species of crow possess highly flexible abilities, so far observed only in humans and great apes, which allow them to solve complex problems. The finding is striking because the crows received no assistance or training in making these combinations, they solved it by themselves.

Reference: Scientific Reports

Researchers presented first ‘snapshot’ of the whole spectrum of sun’s neutrinos

Around 99% of the sun’s energy released through nuclear reaction sequences initiated by proton-proton fusion (the pp chain) in which hydrogen is converted into helium. Neutrinos beamed by five of these reactions to represent a unique exploration of how the sun is burning. Using the Borexino instrument, one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, researchers observed neutrinos as they interact with the electrons which helps them to understand the nun better.

Reference: Nature

Scientists show that powerful vibrations during large impacts can make rocks flow like liquid

A new study showed that powerful vibrations during large impacts, e.g. earthquakes let rock flow like liquid for minutes after the impact. These findings help to understand how impact craters collapse and how large rocks behave in a fluid-like manner in certain circumstances. Also, help to know the consequences of a massive asteroid strike on Earth.

Reference: Nature

Researchers create the largest leukemia dataset that could help match therapies to patients

After years of work, researchers released the most extensive dataset detailing the molecular makeup of tumour cells from hundreds of patients with the aggressive blood cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The dataset includes how hundreds of individual patients’ cells responded to a broad panel of drugs in laboratory screens. Using the online data viewer, researchers can now find out what kinds of targeted therapies are most effective against specific subsets of AML cells.

Reference: Nature

Researchers say breathing through the nose may enhance long-term memory

The way we breathe might affect how well our memories are consolidated. A study found if we breathe through the nose rather than the mouth after trying to learn a set of smells, we remember them better.

Reference: The Journal of Neuroscience

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