Archive | Research

How Engineered Cells Could Lead To More Efficient Biofuel Production

biofuel With dwindling gasoline reserves, the search for more renewable energy sources has been ongoing for quite some time, with scientists looking at the possibility of heavy alcohols like isobutanol as alternative sources of energy. Apart from being more compatible with current gasoline based infrastructure, they also provide more energy when compared to ethanol. However, before the use of isobutanol becomes practical, there is a need for scientists to figure out a way of producing it from renewable resources on large scale.

Biologists and chemical engineers from MIT have come up with a way to drastically increase isobutanol production in yeast. The scientists engineered the yeast such that isobutanol synthesis occurs entirely in mitochondria (the cell structures which produce energy and host numerous biosynthetic pathways). Through the use of this approach, the scientists achieved a 260% boost in isobutanol production. Continue Reading

Posted in ResearchComments Off

DNA Data Storage to Provide Unlimited Storage Capacities

DNAResearch is constantly being carried out to find methods of digital data storage that will have limitless capacities of holding data and one of the most recent techniques being researched on involves storing data in form of DNA molecules. For many years, DNA has been used by biological systems to store information but until recently, this technique had not been explored extensively to find out whether it could be used to store other kinds of data as well.

A team of researchers at the European Bio informatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have come up with proof to show that DNA molecules could hold more data than previously imagined. Headed by Nick Goldman and Ewan Birley, this team has demonstrated the potential that DNA molecules possess for storing and transporting man made data. Continue Reading

Posted in ResearchComments Off

Computer Simulation Indicate Grandmothers Extend Humans Longevity and Could Increase Ape Lifespan

ApesThe “grandmother hypothesis” has received mathematical support from a recent study involving computer simulation. This renowned theory postulates that human developed longer lifespan as adults than apes due to grandmothers helping in the feeding of their grandchildren. The theory was first advanced in 1997 by university of Utah anthropologists Kristen Hawkes and James O’Connell, together with Nicholas Blurton Jones, an anthropologist at UCLA.

Kristen Hawkes, a prominent anthropology professor at Utah University conducted this recent study together with Peter Kim, a mathematical biologist and former postdoctoral researcher at the same university currently based in university of Sydney and James Coxworth, an anthropology doctoral student at the University of Utah. The study was financed by the Australia’s Research Council and National Science Foundation.

The computer simulation shows that animals with lifespan similar to Chimpanzees evolve to acquire human lifespan in less than 60,000 years with a little “grandmothering”. While human females live for a number of decades after child bearing, female chimpanzees hardly ever live past their child-bearing years, which are normally their 30′s and at times their 40′s. This simulation did not consider assumptions about the human brain size. Continue Reading

Posted in Animals, ResearchComments Off

A major breakthrough in spintronics

Hard x-ray Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Traditionally, data processing relies on the “charge” of an electron, however a new technology called “Spintronic” is looking to turn the semi-coductor industry on its head by using an electron’s “spin” instead. This development should allow for high speed, micro-sized, and highly efficient storage and data processing semi-conductors.

The most important development for spintronics has been the development of dilute-magnetic semiconductors. These semiconductors are similar to traditional semi-conductors, however magnetic atoms are added, making the semi-conductors ferromagnetic. Ferromagnets are permanent magnets. This represents a significant step forward as one of the largest impediments to understanding ferromagnetism in dilute-magnetic semi-conductors has been removed.

This research is the result of the coordinated efforts of numberous researchers under the leadership by the U.S.-Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab. By using the new Hard x-ray Angle-Resolved-PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (HARPES) technique scientists have discovered that gallium manganese Arsenide gains its ferromagnetism from two separate mechanisms. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

The recombined deadly virus as a result of chicken vaccines

chickensScientists have found that n some Australian farms, vaccines are causing diseases, due to the effect of two virus strains present in chicken vaccination, recombining to form a deadly virus. Glenn Browning says that this shows that indeed recombination can happen and that people should be wary of it.

All around the world chickens are vulnerable to a class of herpesviruses known as ILTV, which attack the bird’s upper respiratory system. When this happens, it results to infectious laryngotracheitis, reduces the number of eggs produced and may kill around one-fifth of the infected chicken. Browning says that this death is caused by choking on mostly mucus and blood. Current knowledge indicates that the deadly virus infects only chickens and other similar birds.

Farmers can fight ILTV by vaccinating their chickens with less virulent herpesviruses that don’t cause the disease. Australia has been using SA2 and A20 vaccines produced by Pfizer. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

Feathered dinosaur fossil discovered

dinosaurThe ancestor of all dinosaurs may have been a feathered creature. This is according to a newly unearthed fossil of a young dinosaur estimated to have lived around 150 million years ago. The fossil strongly suggests that dinosaurs may have had sported feathers. Unlike other previously discovered fossils of feathered dinosaurs, this one has been found to have a more distant relation to birds. The feathers found on the fossil are thin, flexible and resemble basic strands of hair. Though they are made of the same fundamental materials and have the same underlying architechture of modern day feathers, they have a very different appearance. They have thus been named “protofeathers” or “type 1 feathers” while those found in birds nowadays are considered “type 2 feathers”.

The fossil belongs to a family of giant dinosaurs known as megalosaurs. Though it measures 70 centimeters, it could have grown to a length of 10 meters. Megalosaurs were distinguished by their strong and heavy frames,very sharp teeth and massive claws. It has been biologically named as the Sciurumimus albersdoerferi. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

How ultra-tough mantis craws can make iprovement in body armor

mantisThe ultra tough mantis craw can be able to give a better body armor if mimicked. This is true according to the research done by Harvard University. This creature has strong punch perhaps no creature can be compared with it considering how small it is. Most of it delicious meals are crabs, snails and other crustacean creatures. Feeding on them is made possible by hammer like craws, which are used to smash the tough body of their prey. These craws can be able to deliver 500 Newton forces, which is enough to break through an aquarium glass.

How do crustaceans able to survive when their craws are always intact? This is the question, which people may wish to be answered. It is proven that they involves three prolong structures that are known to be stronger and tougher than any manmade materials. They have multiple structures in their craws, which are able to protect them against breakage. Groups of scientist who have done this research from Harvard University led by James Weaver say that if people can be able to mimic these structures, human being can have best body armor. In the scientist words the beautiful mantis can be compared to the “armored caterpillar.” It has a unique body parts such its compound eyes that are complex and can be able to see from ultraviolent to infrared. This makes it to be special animal and well known by many. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

The Li-ion Battery with High Charge and Energy Capacity

bateryEnergy experts have been looking for the next hit in energy technology which can be used as a substitute for the lithium-ions batteries that are used in smartphones, laptops as well as cars. It seems that the designers will have to rethink about the currently used li-ion battery. Researchers from the Northwestern University have designed a li-ion battery that has a higher energy capacity than the current battery.

The catch that comes with the modified anode brings about two main issues which are holding back the batteries charge capacity as well as the charge rate. The li-ion batteries operate in a manner where the lithium ions are moved between the cathode and anode. As the device uses the battery energy, the ions move from the anodeto the cathode through the electrolyte. Electrical energy moves to the device when ions diffuse through the electrolyte medium. During charging, the ions move from the cathode to the anode contrary to what happens when energy is used by a device. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

Factors for Being Fat

waking upGaining weight and having excess fat in your body can be a problem. Most of the time you blame your eating habits for your additional fats. But according to studies, excess fat and gaining weight can be the result of different factors. This can be caused by stress, your age, irregular sleeping schedule and even your social relationship with your friends. These factors are known as “social jetlags”.

As a person grows, it encounters changes in life. This increases the chance of experiencing social jetlags. Some may be facing too many workloads that cause them to stay late and sleep late. Others may have to stay late to catch up with their friends during weekends since they are busy working for the rest of the week. This results to changes in your normal body rhythm. While you continue to disrupt your body’s normal rhythm, you gain fat from time to time.

A study was conducted to check the different factors that affect a person’s weight. This study focuses on how your “social jetlags” results to your excess foot intake and eventually increase your weight. Continue Reading

Posted in Research, ScienceComments Off

The links in genomes between humans and gorillas

gorillaThe human genome project was one among the most ambitious projects and a lot has been revealed from the results. A decade ago, a few scientists showed the world, the sequence of the entire human genome. Since the completion of this ardent project, scientists have been trying to unravel the genetic sequence of the apes- with whom we shared our ancestors some ten million years ago. After the successful completion of the gene sequence of the other apes like chimpanzee (which was published in the year 2005) and orangutan (published in 2011), gorillas now have their complete gene sequence analyzed.

The results reveal a close association between the human genome and that of the gorillas. The astonishing fact is that parts of the human genome share a higher degree of similarity with the genomes of the gorilla’s than that of the chimp’s. In fact, the gorillas share the same set of genes that highlight our unique evolutionary pattern. The genetic sequence analysed was that of a western lowland gorilla, a female, named Kamillah, who lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The DNA of other gorillas were also sequenced; that includes two more western lowland gorillas and one eastern lowland gorilla, which is a rare species. Continue Reading

Posted in ResearchComments Off


Follow Us

Brainteaser question

Which is greater: the number of seconds in a day or the number of hours in 10 years? Wanna know the answer

video title

Cool Science Trick