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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Mar 2, 2021

Humans are dirty. This NASA scientist helps prevent Mars from getting contaminated

Posted by in categories: biological, space

How do you keep microbes from Earth from contaminating Mars? This NASA scientist, who worked on the Perseverance mission, explains: # CountdowntoMars # Mars2020.

Mar 1, 2021

Clocking the Movement of Electrons Inside an Atom – Down to a Millionth of a Billionth of a Second

Posted by in categories: biological, particle physics

Scientists get dramatically better resolution at X-ray free-electron lasers with a new technique.

Intense, ultrashort X-ray pulses from hard X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) can capture images of biological structures down to the atomic scale and shed light on the fastest processes in nature with a shutter speed of just one femtosecond, a millionth of a billionth of a second.

However, on these miniscule time scales, it is extremely difficult to synchronize the X-ray pulse that sparks a reaction in the sample with the follow-up pulse that observes the reaction. This problem, called timing jitter, is a major hurdle in performing these XFEL experiments with ever-better resolution.

Continue reading “Clocking the Movement of Electrons Inside an Atom – Down to a Millionth of a Billionth of a Second” »

Feb 18, 2021

Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn

Posted by in categories: biological, information science, robotics/AI

The learning algorithm that enables the runaway success of deep neural networks doesn’t work in biological brains, but researchers are finding alternatives that could.

Feb 16, 2021

Scientists Successfully “Wake” Microbes That Had Remained Dormant for 100 Million Years

Posted by in category: biological

Scientists have successfully managed to wake a series of microbes that had remained “asleep” for at least 100 million years. The microbes that existed during the dinosaurs’ time have shown traces of growth in the latest studies.

A team of scientists in the US and Japan says that these prehistoric microorganisms began to grow and divide despite having entered an energy-saving state when dinosaurs were still walking on Earth.

The microbes belonged to ten different bacteria groups and were recovered from sediments mined in 2010 at the bottom of the South Pacific Gyre, one of the most deserted parts of the ocean in terms of nutrients.

Continue reading “Scientists Successfully ‘Wake’ Microbes That Had Remained Dormant for 100 Million Years” »

Feb 14, 2021

The Power of Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

Check out this amazing video about Synthetic Biology! (Credit: Vasil Hnãtiuk, Denis Sibilev, and Andrei Myshev)

Feb 8, 2021

Microbe that Eats Arsenic Found

Posted by in category: biological

Arsenic may be deadly to us, but now a microbe that can live and grow entirely off the poison has been discovered.

Feb 6, 2021

These star-shaped brain cells may help us understand depression’s biological roots

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

People with depression have a distinguishing feature in their brains, according to a new study.

Feb 2, 2021

Researchers discover an immense hydrocarbon cycle in the world’s ocean

Posted by in category: biological

Hydrocarbons and petroleum are almost synonymous in environmental science. After all, oil reserves account for nearly all the hydrocarbons we encounter. But the few hydrocarbons that trace their origin to biological sources may play a larger ecological role than scientists originally suspected.

Feb 2, 2021

DeepMind’s AlphaFold Is Close to Solving One of Biology’s Greatest Challenges

Posted by in categories: biological, education, mapping, robotics/AI

OEC promoting STEM education in Africa.


If we know a protein’s structure, we can make educated guesses about its function. And by mapping thousands of protein structures, we can begin to decipher the biology of life.

Continue reading “DeepMind’s AlphaFold Is Close to Solving One of Biology’s Greatest Challenges” »

Feb 1, 2021

Synthetic biology reinvents development

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, mathematics, physics

Richard Feynman, one of the most respected physicists of the twentieth century, said “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” Not surprisingly, many physicists and mathematicians have observed fundamental biological processes with the aim of precisely identifying the minimum ingredients that could generate them. One such example are the patterns of nature observed by Alan Turing. The brilliant English mathematician demonstrated in 1952 that it was possible to explain how a completely homogeneous tissue could be used to create a complex embryo, and he did so using one of the simplest, most elegant mathematical models ever written. One of the results of such models is that the symmetry shown by a cell or a tissue can break under a set of conditions.

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