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Neuroscientists Demonstrate Integration of Plasticity Mechanisms within a Single Sensory Neuron

An individual neuronal cell of the worm C. elegans (captured through the visualization of calcium dynamics using the calcium sensor GCAMP6). Imaging of single neurons in the brains of behaving animals, like in this photo, allowed Yale researchers to reconstruct how single neurons change based on experience, and how their plasticity mechanisms then compute sensory information to actuate a memory. The nervous system has the capacity to change based on experience. This plasticity is thought to underpin the formation and…

MIT Develops Ultrafine High Performance Polyethylene Fibers

New ultra-fine fibers created by the MIT team are seen in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image. Researchers at MIT have developed a process that can produce ultrafine fibers — whose diameter is measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter — that are exceptionally strong and tough. These fibers, which should be inexpensive and easy to produce, could be choice materials for many applications, such as protective armor and nanocomposites. The new process, called gel electrospinning, is described in a paper…

Two New NASA Missions Team Up To Explore Earth’s Ionosphere

Charged particles in Earth’s atmosphere, which make up the ionosphere, create bands of color above Earth’s surface, known as airglow. ICON, depicted in this artist’s concept, will study the ionosphere from a height of about 350 miles to understand how the combined effects of terrestrial weather and space weather influence this ionized layer of particles. Credit: NASA Goddard’s Conceptual Image Lab/B. Monroe Like Earth, space has weather. Except instead of swirling winds and downpours of precipitation, space weather is defined…

Bio-Based Acrylonitrile Offers a Greener Carbon Fiber Alternative

The catalytic reactor shown here is for converting chemical intermediates into acrylonitrile. The work is part of the Renewable Carbon fiber Consortium. Photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL From cars and bicycles to airplanes and space shuttles, manufacturers around the world are trying to make these vehicles lighter, which helps lower fuel use and lessen the environmental footprint. One way that cars, bicycles, airplanes and other modes of transportation have become lighter over the last several decades is by using carbon fiber…

Researchers Optimize Nanomaterials for Fuel-Cell Cathodes

Simulations by Rice University scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells for transportation and other applications. Credit: Yakobson Research Group/Rice University New research from Rice University shows that nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons may be suitable replacements for platinum for fast oxygen reduction, the key reaction in fuel cells that transform chemical energy into electricity. The findings are from computer simulations by Rice scientists who set out…

Astronomers Use a Single Gravitational Wave Event to Measure the Age of the Universe

NGC4993, the galaxy hosting the gravitational wave event GW170817 that has been used to measure the age of the universe. The source of the event is the red dot to the upper left of the galaxy’s center; it was not there in earlier images. NASA and ESA The direct detection of gravitational waves from at least five sources during the past two years offers spectacular confirmation of Einstein’s model of gravity and space-time. Modeling of these events has also provided information on…

New Drug Suppresses HIV & Protects Immune Cells With a Single Dose

A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate to enhance current HIV treatment regimens — without increasing toxic side effects, the researchers said. The finding builds on the work of senior co-authors Karen S. Anderson and William L. Jorgensen, who used computational and structure-based design methods to develop a class of…

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes Aid Spinal Cord Recovery

In a new study, Yale researchers report the healing effects of stem cells in spinal cord injury can be aided by their ability to hitch intercellular rides to specific anti-inflammatory cells called M2 macrophages. Yale University researchers had previously shown that mesenchymal stem cells harvested from bone marrow helped repair spinal cord injury in rats; however, many of the cells did not reach their target injury site. The study by the Yale team, headed by neuroscientists Jeffery Kocsis and Karen…

Carnegie Mellon’s ‘Superhuman AI’ bests leading Texas Hold’em poker pros

A new paper published by Science today details how Libratus, an AI developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department, managed to take on and defeat top industry professionals at one of the most challenging forms of poker: No-limit Texas Hold’em. Yes, the same variant of poker that swept the nation during the heady days of the early to mid-aughts. This is significant because no-limit Texas Hold’em is what’s called an “imperfect-information game,” which means that not all information about all…

Open Garden wants to give you tokens for sharing your internet connection

Open Garden launched its mesh networking platform at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012. Since then, the company has gone through a few iterations and found unexpected success in its Firechat offline messaging service. Now, it’s ready for the next step in its evolution. The company now wants to make it easier for anybody with an Android phone to share their Wi-Fi connections with anyone who is nearby. And to incentivize people to do so, the company plans to launch its own Ethereum token (called OG…)…

Traumatic Brain Injury Causes Intestinal Damage

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have found a two-way link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and intestinal changes. These interactions may contribute to increased infections in these patients, and may also worsen chronic brain damage. This is the first study to find that TBI in mice can trigger delayed, long-term changes in the colon and that subsequent bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal system can increase posttraumatic brain inflammation and associated tissue loss. The findings were published recently…

IN IOS 11, TOGGLING WI-FI AND BLUETOOTH ‘OFF’ DOESN’T WORK. HERE’S WHY.

Apple users have unwittingly discovered a new feature after installing iOS 11 on their mobile devices: when you toggle your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth quick settings to "off" those services remain on for Apple services. For example, Location Services is still enabled, and Handoff and Instant Hotspot stay on, even when iPhones and iPads are put in "Airplane Mode." The change in iOS 11 has come under criticism because it could expose users to security risks. Because iOS 10 allowed users to perform…

Twitter is getting a much needed save-for-later button

Twitter is working on a bookmarking button so you can save tweets to read later, for posterity or whatever else – without having to ‘heart’ it, reports BuzzFeed News. That’ll certainly come in handy, especially for the scores of users (myself included) who enjoy using Twitter to discover interesting content. In addition to the bookmarking button, there’ll also be a dedicated section within the app to help you go through your saved items. Here’s what that might look like: For Hack Week @Twitter we…

Facebook wants to fix your crooked 360-photos

Facebook wants you to post more 360-degree photos. Earlier this week, the company announced it would allow people to capture the spherical shots and set them as their cover photo right from the app. Problem is, 360-degree photos are a lot trickier to capture than a regular photo. Because it can difficult to keep the camera straight while you capture the image, the photos often look crooked, which, well, doesn't look great on Facebook. That's why the social network's researchers…

Sensics Developed A High-Resolution VR HMD For Location Based VR Entertainment

Sensics revealed a new high-resolution VR HMD with ruggedized features designed to meet the needs of location based entertainment facilities. The new HMD also features a higher resolution than consumer headsets offer. Consumer sales for virtual reality hardware may not have met the expectations of investors and some critics, but you would be hard pressed to make that argument about commercial facilities adopting VR. Location based VR entertainment facilities are popping up all over the world at a rapid pace.…

WannaCry ‘hero’ Marcus Hutchins arrested for reportedly selling the Kronos malware

Marcus Hutchins, the security researcher who helped stop the WannaCry attack earlier this year, has reportedly been arrested in the US on charges of creating, selling, and maintaining malware. Motherboard first reported news of Hutchins being detained by the FBI on his way home from the DefCon hacking event in Las Vegas. It was initially thought Hutchins, who posts online under the psyeudonym MalwareTech, had been taken by US Marshals but a spokesperson for the agency said the arrest had been made by the…