A team of researchers has developed an algorithm for predicting the effect of an external electromagnetic field on the state of complex molecules. The new algorithm, presented in a paper in The Journal of Chemical Physics, enables researchers to look inside large polyatomic molecules, observe and potentially control electron motion therein.
Dopamine has a reputation as the key player in the brain's reward circuits, making us seek out pleasurable experiences, but growing evidence points to a multipronged role for the neurotransmitter. In particular, dopamine may also reinforce avoidance of painful experiences. UC Berkeley researchers have now mapped dopamine neurons in the brain with fiber photometry and discovered two parallel dopamine circuits driving attractive and aversive reinforcement learning and motivation.
Rutgers scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia -- two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.
A team from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences found many dermatologists are interested in learning more about and recommending therapeutic cannabinoids to their patients.
A Mainz-based research team studied how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells. They discovered that differentiation involves three stages and that three proteins in the cell nucleus, so-called transcription factors, play a key role in organizing glia-specific transcription of the genes in the cell nucleus.
What happens when lava and water meet? Explosive experiments with manmade lava are helping to answer this important question. This long-term, ongoing study -- which published its first results on Dec. 10, 2018 -- aims to shed light on the basic physics of lava-water interactions, which are common in nature but poorly understood. Many visuals available.
Researchers from three research institutes in Spain have developed a biotechnological tool to produce, in a very efficient manner, antifungal proteins in the leaves of the plant Nicotiana benthamiana. These proteins are promising biomolecules that could be used to develop new antifungals whose properties and mechanisms of action represent improvements on the existing ones, and which can be applied in diverse fields, including crop and postharvest protection and animal and human health.
Australian study just out in Nature represents a significant advance in topological transistors and beyond-CMOS electronics. First time that the topological state in a topological insulator has been switched on and off using an electric field. Researchers proved this is possible at room temperature, which is necessary for any viable replacement to CMOS technology in everyday applications.
Inspired by nature, Chinese scientists have produced a synthetic analogue to vulcanized natural rubber. Their material is just as tough and durable as the original. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, they reveal the secret to their success: short protein chains attached to the side-chains of the polymer backbone ensure stable physical cross-linkage and give the material a "self-reinforcing" effect under strain. In contrast to conventional rubbers, it is much easier to recycle.
Min Dong, PhD, and his lab are world experts in toxins. Now, setting their sights on Shiga toxin (player in the current E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce) and ricin (a bioterrorism agent), they identify potential protective strategies. Their study also sheds new light on glycosylation, the attachment of sugars to large molecules, key to cells' ability to create more diverse molecules beyond what's encoded in the genome.