A university is playing a key role in an international project to develop a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, more compact and much quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed. Researchers are exploring whether the element thorium could help to meet the new design’s fuel needs.
A team of scientists have identified what is likely a key genetic pathway underlying bipolar disorder, a breakthrough that could lead to better drugs for treating bipolar affective disorder, as well as depression and other related mood disorders. The new findings show that a rare genetic dwarfism called Ellis van-Creveld syndrome protects against bipolar affective disorder.
The building of a new large-scale research facility in Würenlingen forest only enjoyed the sunshine for a brief spell. It is now disappearing under a mound of earth. This is just one of the measures taken to integrate the facility as harmoniously as possible into the natural environment.
Archaeologists have unearthed a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a 2nd or 3rd century BC chariot that appears to have been buried as a religious offering. The pieces appear to have been gathered in a box, before being planted in the ground upon a layer of cereal chaff and burnt as part of a religious ritual.
A team of researchers has pioneered the world’s first fluorescent sensor to rapidly identify the presence of fat in milk. When the light purplish sensor is mixed with a milk sample, it transmits fluorescent signals of orange hues instantly under light when fat is detected, with brighter shades when the concentration of fat in the milk sample increases.
Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also has spiked. More than 2,700 people have called poison control this year to report an exposure to liquid nicotine, over half of those cases in children younger than six.
People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time in which we live. They're calling it the Anthropocene— the age of humans.
A clinical trial indicates that, for people with metabolic syndrome, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts may help reverse the condition.
Human testing of an experimental Canadian-made Ebola vaccine has begun, with federal officials saying the drug could be shipped to West Africa within months if it proves successful. Studies have shown the vaccine works in primates both to prevent infection when given before exposure and to increase survival chances when given quickly after exposure.
The familiar “dot-com” and “dot-org” Internet domains hail from the Reagan era, and the trickle of new domains since has usually been met with much discussion and occasionally debate or even discontent. But now, public health officials have brought up a potential concern: the use of the new "dot-health" suffix by groups that aren’t medical experts.
In spite of its dangerous reputation, cholesterol is in fact an essential component of human cells. Manufactured by the cells themselves, it serves to stiffen the cell’s membrane, helping to shape the cell and protect it. By mapping the structure of a key enzyme involved in cholesterol production, researchers have gained new insight into this complex molecular process.
Inexpensive microrobots capable of probing and manipulating individual cells and tissue for biological research and medical applications are closer to reality with the design of a system that senses the minute forces exerted by a robot's tiny probe.
Developing a cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick, according to electrical engineers. They have developed a metamaterial coating with a negligible thickness that allows coated objects to function normally while appearing as something other than what they really are, or even completely disappearing.
Chemists have synthesized a ferromagnetic superconducting compound that is amenable to chemical modification, opening the route to detailed studies of this rare combination of physical properties.
Many celestial objects are beautiful– swirling spiral galaxies or glittering clusters of stars are notable examples. But some of the most striking scenes are created during the death throes of intermediate-mass stars, when great clouds of superheated gas are expelled into space.