Novel quantitative method to assess the safety of food

Spoiled food, especially fish, can have high levels of histamine, which can be dangerous to humans; thus, it is important to devise methods for the detection of such harmful chemicals in food Credit: Unsplash Consumers of purchased foods have no way of ascertaining the quality and safety of the food that existing distribution systems deliver to their plates. Unfortunately, inappropriate refrigeration can sometimes lead to food spoilage, which is often difficult to detect. Such is the case for mackerel fish, which readily develop harmful levels of a substance called histamine when left at room temperature for too long. Histamine is

Scientists reveal structure of plants’ energy generators

Mung bean sprouts grown in the dark that provide the raw materials to determine the structure of plant respiratory complexes Credit: Kaitlyn Abe and Maria Guadalupe Zaragoza (CC BY 4.0) Researchers have revealed the first atomic structures of the respiratory apparatus that plants use to generate energy, according to a study published today in eLife. The 3-D structures of these large protein assemblies—the first described for any plant… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

A new carbon budget framework provides a clearer view of our climate deadlines

Damon Matthews: “The wide range of carbon budget estimates in the literature has contributed to both confusion and inaction in climate policy circles.” Credit: Concordia University Just how close are the world’s countries to achieving the Paris Agreement target of keeping climate change limited to a 1.5°C increase above pre-industrial levels? It’s a tricky question with a complex answer. One approach is to use the remaining carbon budget to gauge… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

A little friction goes a long way toward stronger nanotube fibers

Rice University researchers modeled the relationship between the length of carbon nanotubes and the friction-causing crosslinks between them in a fiber and found the ratio can be used to measure the fiber’s strength. Credit: Evgeni Penev/Rice University Carbon nanotube fibers are not nearly as strong as the nanotubes they contain, but Rice University researchers are working to close the gap. A computational model by materials theorist Boris Yakobson… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

Blockchain technology to optimize P2P energy trading

A research team of Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, has developed a new technology an original blockchain technology that can optimize peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. The technology is expected to contribute to more effective use of surplus electricity from renewable energy by creating trading environments that flexibly respond to shared trading needs, particularly to maximize the amount of surplus electricity available in the market at any given time. Credit: Symposium on Cryptography and Information Security A Tokyo Tech research team led by Specially Appointed Professor Takuya Oda of the Institute of Innovative Research and… Continue

Experimental evidence of an intermediate state of matter between a crystal and a liquid

Intermediate phase. Credit: Scientific Reports Scientists from the Joint Institute for High Temperatures Russian Academy of Sciences (JIHT RAS) and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have experimentally confirmed the presence of an intermediate phase between the crystalline and liquid states in a monolayer dusty plasma system. The theoretical prediction of the intermediate—hexatic—phase was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016: the prize was awarded to Michael Kosterlitz, David Thouless and Duncan Haldane with the formulation “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” … Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

How lobsters can help make stronger 3-D printed concrete

Concrete 3-D printed in patterns inspired by the internal structure of lobster shells. Credit: RMIT University New research shows that patterns inspired by lobster shells can make 3-D printed concrete stronger, to support more complex and creative architectural structures. Digital manufacturing technologies like 3-D concrete printing (3DCP) have immense potential to save time, effort and material in construction. They also promise to push the boundaries of architectural innovation, yet technical challenges remain in making 3-D printed concrete strong enough for use… Continue Reading News Source: techxplore.com

Could ‘Power Walking’ fuel the energy revolution? India is ready to step up

Credit: CC0 Public Domain India has an energy problem. It currently relies heavily on coal, and consumer demand is expected to double by 2040, making its green energy targets look out of reach. Part of the solution could come from harvesting energy from footsteps, say Hari Anand and Binod Kumar Singh from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India. Their new study, published in the De Gruyter journal Energy Harvesting and Systems, shows that Indian attitudes towards power generated through piezoelectric tiles are overwhelmingly positive. … Continue Reading News Source: techxplore.com

Single-cell test can reveal precisely how drugs kill cancer cells

D2O-probed CANcer Susceptibility Test Ramanometry (D2O-CANST-R) Credit: LIU Yang Cancer cells are smart when it comes to anti-cancer drugs, evolving and becoming resistant to even the strongest chemotherapies over time. To combat this evasive behavior, researchers have developed a method named D2O-probed CANcer Susceptibility Test Ramanometry (D2O-CANST-R) to see, at the single-cell/organelle level, how pharmaceuticals induce cancer cell death and how cancer cells adapt. … Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

Your Microbiome Isn’t Shaped Just By What You Feed It

Your digestive system plays host to a mind-boggling 100 trillion microbes — microscopic pinch-hitters that allow you to absorb energy from your food and churn out compounds like serotonin, which affect your mental well-being. While some of these microbes take up residence in your gut from birth, others emerge or wane depending on the lifestyle choices you make. New research suggests that if you exercise, take antidepressants or use cannabis, your gut-bacterial balance may shift profoundly. But scientists still face a so-called black box conundrum: They’re not always sure what biological processes cause these microbial shifts or how the shifts