Science in the news
Welcome to the "science in the news" page, where you can find links to some of the amazing science breakthroughs that are happening every day!
- Native California medicinal plant may hold promise for treating Alzheimer'sThe medicinal powers of aspirin, digitalis, and the anti-malarial artemisinin all come from plants. A Salk Institute discovery of a potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease based on a compound found in nature. The research appears in the February 2019 issue of the journal Redox Biology.
- Life-changing magic of tidying up: Complex structures' organization studied in slime moldResearchers in Japan think they have found an answer to the fundamental biological question of how individual cells know which way to position themselves within a complex, multicellular body. Depending on a cell's purpose in the larger structure, contact or diffuse chemical signals direct it to its final destination.
- Putting data privacy in the hands of usersMIT and Harvard University researchers have developed Riverbed, a platform that ensures web and mobile apps using distributed computing in data centers adhere to users' preferences on how their data are shared and stored in the cloud.
- Thermally-painted metasurfaces yield perfect light absorbers for high-tech applicationsResearchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio report their insights into how colors are generated on heated metal surfaces and apply those findings to create a nickel thin-film that perfectly absorbs red light.
- Researchers discover a flipping crab feeding on methane seepsResearchers have documented a group of tanner crabs vigorously feeding at a methane seep on the seafloor off British Columbia -- one of the first times a commercially harvested species has been seen using this energy source.
Intel Young Scientists Awards 2014
Nathan Han, 15, of Boston, Massachusetts, won the Gordon E. Moore Award for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Using data from publicly available databases, Han examined detailed characteristics of mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene, vital in protecting cells from developing cancer, in order to “teach” his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool exhibits an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Applications for Han’s research extend from identifying specific mutations that cause cancer and other diseases, to advancements in the fields of genomics, bioinformatics and big data. The Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman/CEO, includes USD 75,000 in scholarship funds.
Runners-up honors went to two individuals: Lennart Kleinwort, 15, of Wurzburg, Germany, developed a new mathematical tool for smartphones and tablets that brings capabilities to hand-held devices, previously available only with more sophisticated and expensive computing tools; and Shannon Lee, 17, of Singapore, developed a novel electrocatalyst that may significantly improve batteries of the future.