With a pivotal role in fending off infections and disease, white blood cells are the engine room of the body's immune system. But little was known about what happens exactly when these cells reach the end of their life cycles. Scientists have now captured the death of white blood cells on camera for the first time, showing that they eject much of their contents while decomposing. One reason for this could be to warn neighboring cells of dangerous pathogens in the area. The researchers say learning more about their expiration could help bring about improved health treatments in the future.
Researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have created a new combination material from graphene and diamonds that's able to almost entirely overcome friction. The property, known as superlubricity, is highly sought after for its potential use in a wide range of mechanical systems.
PlanetiQ has begun testing its new Pyxis weather instrument. Pyxis tracks GPS signals traveling through the atmosphere and makes measurements based on their behavior. PlanetiQ says it can "dramatically improve weather forecasting, climate monitoring and space weather prediction."
Having previously used Wi-Fi signals to look through walls, a team of researchers in professor Yasamin Mostofi's lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has now turned the wireless signals to the task of counting the number of people walking in a particular area – even if they aren't carrying any Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
A new study by MIT has revealed that the quantities of nitrous oxide (N2O), otherwise known as laughing gas, being released by the world's oceans has been dramatically underestimated. Heightened levels of N2O have the potential to seriously influence the health of our planet's ozone layer, as the gas is around 300 times more potent than the more prevalent menace of carbon dioxide emissions.
While there are already plenty of apps that help birdwatchers identify
birds, most of them work by searching a database based on descriptions.
Cornell University and the Visipedia research project's Merlin Bird
Photo ID program, however, goes further – it utilizes computer vision
tech to identify birds pictured in user-supplied photos.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have created the world's smallest continuous spirals. Made from gold, the spirals exhibit a set of very specific optical properties that would be difficult to fake, making them ideal for use in identity cards or other items where authenticity is paramount.
Identifying fraudulent paintings based on electrochemical data, highlighting cancerous cells in a sea of healthy ones, and identifying different strains of bacteria in samples of food are all examples of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), a sensor system that has only become more in-demand as our desire for precise, instantaneous information has increased. However, the technology has largely failed commercialization because the chips used are difficult and expensive to create, have limited uses for a particular known substance, and are consumed upon use. Researchers led by a team from the University of Buffalo (UB) aim to change nanoscale sensors with an almost-universal substrate that's also low-cost, opening up more opportunities for powerful analysis of our environment.
Currently, recipients of arm or leg transplants need to take
immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives, in order to keep
the donated parts from being rejected. If we could grow our own
replacement limbs, however, that wouldn't be necessary. And while we do
already possess the progenitor cells needed to grow such parts, what's
been lacking is a method of assembling them into the form of the desired
limb. Now, however, scientists have created a shortcut of sorts –
they've stripped the cells from one rat's forelimb and replaced them
with live cells from another rat, creating a functioning limb that the
second rat's immune system won't reject.