January 20, 2018

STEM News – 26th Mar

New world record in 5G wireless spectrum efficiency

New research by engineers has demonstrated how a massive antenna system can offer a 12-fold increase in spectrum efficiency compared with current 4G cellular technology.

Read more


 

Can drones help Malawi test for HIV?

Ground-breaking experiments on drones are being carried out in Malawi which could speed up the delivery of HIV tests in remote parts of the country.

Read more


4 things you can actually learn while you sleep

When you go to sleep tonight, put a book under your pillow. When you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll have its contents memorised. Okay, so that probably won’t work, but don’t lose hope just yet.

It turns out there actually are a few things you can learn – or at least improve your grasp of – while you snooze. Most of them depend on one thing: sound. Here are some of the skills you may be able to sharpen in your sleep.

Read more


Social media use associated with depression among US young adults

The more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed, according to new research. The findings could guide clinical and public health interventions to tackle depression, forecast to become the leading cause of disability in high-income countries by 2030.

Read more


 

Link between nightmares, suicidal behavior

A new study is the first to report that the relationship between nightmares and suicidal behaviors is partially mediated by a multi-step pathway via defeat, entrapment and hopelessness. Results show that suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts were present in 62 percent of participants who experienced nightmares and only 20 percent of those without nightmares.

Read more


 

HIV removed from human immune cells using a new gene-editing technique

If you haven’t heard of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique before, get ready to hear a whole lot more about it in 2016, because it’s set to revolutionise how we investigate and treat the root causes of genetic disease. It allows scientists to narrow in on a specific gene, and cut-and-paste parts of the DNA to change its function.

Using the much-touted CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing method, scientists have demonstrated how they can edit HIV out of human immune cell DNA, and in doing so, can prevent the reinfection of unedited cells too.

Read more


Morphing metal shapes future of soft robotics

Engineers have created a hybrid material featuring stiff metal and soft, porous rubber foam that combines the best properties of both — stiffness when it’s called for, and elasticity when a change of shape is required. The material also has the ability to self-heal following damage.

Read more


 

6 natural compounds that could help us slow down ageing

The fountain of youth might only exist as a mythical concept, but that’s not stopping scientists from trying to find its molecular equivalent. Right now, there are huge levels of interest in drugs such as rapamycin and metformin, for example, thanks to their impressive life-extending and disease-fighting properties.

But a new study suggests that the anti-ageing effects of these medications might have now been outdone: certain plant extracts have been found to contain the most effective anti-ageing molecules ever seen.

Read more


We all carry the genes for autism

A large international study of the genes that predispose people to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) suggests that the same gene variants are also present in the wider population, where they can contribute to a range of behavioural and developmental traits with lesser severity than clinical ASD.

Read more


Breakthrough technology to improve cyber security

An international research team has made a breakthrough in generating single photons, as carriers of quantum information in security systems. The interdisciplinary research is set to revolutionize our ability to exchange data securely — along with advancing quantum computing, which can search large databases exponentially faster.

Read more


Researchers identify molecule needed for sperm activation

The cellular switch that boosts the activity of sperm cells so that they can travel to the egg has now been discovered by researchers. The finding may lead to new options for male contraception, as well as treatments for infertility resulting from problems with sperm mobility, say the scientists.

Read more


Mathematician finds his ‘new’ solution to Poisson formula problem buried in 1959 paper

As Yves Meyer was getting ready to publish a detailed mathematical proof that he had spent months working on, he decided do a final search of the existing literature. In the reference list of one of the papers he had just peer-reviewed, he noticed what he describes as a “bizarre” paper published in 1959 by Andrew Paul Guinand. Upon further investigation, he was shocked to discover that Guinand had formulated the exact same proof to solve the same problem that Meyer had been working on, though the solution had remained deeply buried and completely forgotten.

Read more


Liquid battery made of biomass could store energy from wind and solar power

Researchers have designed a liquid battery whose catholyte is made of an organic solution, hydroquinone, which is part of the quinone family that can be extracted directly from biomass such as certain plants. The bioinspired battery can overcome some of the limitations facing conventional liquid batteries, resulting in a higher output voltage and lower cost. One of the main applications of liquid batteries is storing the energy produced by wind and solar power.

Read more


Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adults

A healthy brain is critical to a person’s cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence — a measure of one’s ability to solve unusual or complex problems — in young adults.

Read more