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August 15, 2016

Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

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Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Scientists at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have recently developed a natural “nanorobot” to treat colorectal cancer in mice according to a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The technique involves engineering flagellated bacteria to seek out specific cancer cells. The researchers load them with the chemotherapy drug of choice and the modified bacteria can autonomously seek out the cancer cells by detecting region of low oxygen concentration, a key characteristic of rapidly-growing tumors. The bacteria then deliver the anti-cancer drug precisely to the tumor without significantly affecting the healthy tissue surrounding it.

However, in order to get the bacteria close enough to the tumor to detect it, the researchers exploited a natural sensor within the bacterial cells that allows them to respond to magnetic fields. By exposing them to a magnetic field, they were able to successfully point the drug-carrying bacteria toward the tumor so that the drugs could ultimately be administered.

While this technique has only been tested in mice at this point, the researchers are hopeful that this will be an effective treatment for cancer in humans in the future.



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July 19, 2016

ARM to be bought by SoftBank

ARM to be bought by SoftBank – Wikinews, the free news source

ARM to be bought by SoftBank

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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The United Kingdom‘s (UK) largest technology company, ARM Holdings, confirmed on Monday morning that it had accepted an offer from the Japanese company, SoftBank.

ARM logo

ARM designs microchips used in many devices, including smart phones made by Apple and Samsung. It is expected to invest in the so-called Internet of Things, where many everyday items are expected to be connected to the internet into the future.

The deal, worth £24 billion (US$32 billion), is now expected to be presented to shareholders. The amount offered per share is 43% above the value at the close of trading on Friday. Shares rose by 45% on Monday morning in response to the announcement. Three-quarters of shareholders will need to approve the deal for it to go ahead.

ARM has said its headquarters will remain in Cambridge. Simon Segars, ARM’s Chief Executive, also said a pledge by SoftBank to double ARM’s workforce on the UK would be legally binding.

Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor, said it would be the biggest investment into the UK from Asia, as well as showing that “Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth”. Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, had recently questioned the benefit to the nation of such takeovers, but has said this one shows the UK can remain successful outside the European Union.



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July 6, 2016

Final panel added to China\’s FAST radio telescope

Final panel added to China’s FAST radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday, China announced the attachment of the final panel to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



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NASA\’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter Orbit

NASA’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter orbit

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Yesterday, NASA announced their spacecraft Juno has reached Jupiter orbit. It was launched almost five years ago to investigate the largest planet of the Solar System, especially its past.

Juno approaching Jupiter; simulation.
Image: NASA.

Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, said, “Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter”. He also added the spacecraft would help study the evolution of the Solar System and explore Jupiter’s radiation belts.

NASA spent US$1.1 billion for Juno. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reported Juno was confirmed in Jupiter’s orbit at 0353 UTC. Including the camera, the probe has nine scientific instruments. Juno has covered 2.7 billion kilometres (1.7 billion miles) to reach Jupiter.

NASA said non-essential equipment was turned off for the approach. They expect photos in some days. The first orbital revolution period is 53 days. Juno is expected to orbit the planet 37 times keeping an altitude of 5000 kilometres (3100 miles) above the Jovian clouds and then fall into the planet in 2018.

NASA’s Galileo, launched in 1989, found evidence of saline water on Jovian satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

The electronics have been encased in titanium to protect them from high-energy radiation.



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Final piece added to China\’s new radio telescope

Final piece added to China’s new radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday China announced the final panel attached to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 9, 2016

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

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The periodic table as it stands today. The four newly discovered elements are officially added by IUPAC following the five months of public review. The new names would replace the current placeholder names.
Image: Sandbh.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced yesterday the proposed names of four chemical elements recently discovered by scientists around the world. According to the rules of IUPAC, the four names — nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson — are to be subject to a five-month period of public scrutiny which ends November 2016. IUPAC allows the teams of scientists who discover and synthesize new elements to name them, subject to process.

Element number 113, nihonium, is named after the Japanese name for the country of JapanNihon — where it was first synthesized and discovered by researchers at the RIKEN institute.

Elements 115 and 117, moscovium and tennessine, were co-discovered by researchers in the United States and Russia. Moscovium’s name comes from the Moscow-based Joint Institute of Nuclear Research where researchers discovered the element. Similarly, tennessine is named after the US state of Tennessee where chemical research is commonly conducted.

Lastly, element number 118, oganesson, is named for a Russian physicist, Yuri Oganessian, team leader from the synthesis of tennessine, element 117.

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 complete the bottom row of the current periodic table. Further discoveries would likely add a new row on the table. Currently, these elements are given the systematic placeholder names ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, respectively.

The elements are formed as a result of colliding two smaller atoms together to form a larger atom. These resultant atoms are made in small amounts, are generally unstable, and decompose into smaller components in periods of time less than a second.

IUPAC confirmed discovery of these four elements in December. These were the first confirmed discoveries since IUPAC confirmed elements 114 and 116, flerovium and livermorium, in 2011.



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May 16, 2016

Australian scientists reveal photographs from world\’s first scanning helium microscope

Australian scientists reveal photographs from world’s first scanning helium microscope

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Monday, May 16, 2016

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Scientists from the University of Newcastle Australia, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) have released the first microscopic photographs from the Scanning Helium Microscope prototype (SHeM) that was revealed on Sunday. The photographs, which depict intricate details of chitin (a structural molecule in invertebrates) on a butterfly’s wing and a close up look at a spider’s fang, are the first of their kind from the SHeM prototype, that is more than 20 years in the making. The SHeM prototype is able to take detailed images of organic and polymer electronics, where a traditional electron microscope would likely damage the samples. The prototype shines helium in a similar way to that of a pinhole camera, and has the potential to reveal the chemical content of surfaces that are being photographed.

According to ABC News, Associate Professor Paul Dastoor from the University of Newcastle said “The Scanning Helium Microscope means the samples will be analysed in their true state for the first time ever,”

The Helium atoms used in the SHeM prototype are the second most abundant element in the universe, and the most stable, which ensures that no chemical reactions will take place with other surfaces. The beam from a helium atom is less than 0.1 electron volts, which makes it low energy compared to the 100,000 volt beam used in an electron microscope. The SHeM at its present form can only image with a resolution of up to a micron, but future plans have been developed for the prototype to be redesign to make it a smaller size better suited to a laboratory bench top, and advance the resolution so it reaches the nanometer range.

The microscope is said to have the potential to be used in a variety of research applications such as modern surface science, which can aid in the development of stealth defence technology and new explosives, the ability to view human samples in an un-altered state for medicinal purposes, and could potentially benefit sustainability research and new technology.



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May 13, 2016

World\’s oldest known hafted axe fragment found in Western Australia

World’s oldest known hafted axe fragment found in Western Australia

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Archaeology

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On Wednesday Australian archaeologists published an analysis of a previously discovered axe fragment which indicates it is up to 49,000 years old.

The axe fragment was originally discovered in Western Australia‘s Kimberley region in 1991 by Professor Sue O’Connor of the Australian National University but was only recently examined. The recent analysis and dating published in journal Australian Archaeology indicates the fragment came from the head of a hafted axe 46,000 to 49,000 years old. This is currently the world’s oldest known hafted axe fragment.

According to coauthor Professor O’Connor, this predates all other known evidence of axe hafting, as in Japan where evidence of hafted axes around 35,000 years old has been found. Professor O’Connor said, “Nowhere else in the world do you get axes at this date […] in most countries in the world they arrived with agriculture after 10,000 years ago.”

Analysis by coauthor Professor Peter Hiscock of the University of Sydney showed the axe-head was made of basalt, a hard volcanic rock. Axe-heads like this one would have been ground against a softer rock to shape and polish them. This recent discovery indicates the early inhabitants of Australia developed and used complex tools soon after they arrived in Australia 50,000 to 55,000 years ago.



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May 9, 2016

Digital media could be changing how we process information

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Digital media could be changing how we process information

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Monday, May 9, 2016

A study released on Saturday, published in the proceedings of the AMC 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, has found a link between how humans interpret information and whether that information was delivered digitally or on paper.

For example, when asked to read a table of information about four, fictitious Japanese car models and pick the superior model based on the information presented, 66% of participants who viewed the information on a paper print-out gave the correct answer, compared to 43% who were given the information via a laptop screen.

Participants were shown the same content on different forms of media, tailored to appear as identical as possible to ensure any differences in reaction were not based on the information being delivered in a different way, and found that reading comprehension and problem solving success were affected by the type of platform used.

The research was composed of four separate studies, totaling more than 300 participants aged 20 to 24, which aimed to test whether the way media is consumed affected “construal” levels. This in turn affects how likely a person is to think of concrete details versus abstract and higher-level interpretations.

“Compared to the widespread acceptance of digital devices, as evidenced by millions of apps, ubiquitous smartphones, and the distribution of iPads in schools, surprisingly few studies exist about how digital tools affect our understanding — our cognition.” said Mary Flanagan, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College and Co-Author of the study.

“Sometimes, it is beneficial to foster abstract thinking, and as we know more, we can design to overcome the tendencies — or deficits — inherent in digital devices.”



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NASA releases first topographical map of Mercury

NASA releases first topographical map of Mercury

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Monday, May 9, 2016

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On Friday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the first ever global digital elevation model (DEM) of Mercury.

The DEM was created using data gathered by NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, including over 100,000 photographs, and shows a variety of Mercury’s topographical features including the planet’s highest and lowest points. MESSENGER principal investigator Sean Solomon said they hope the information will be used to investigate Mercury’s geological history.

MESSENGER image of Mercury from file, 2008.
Image: NASA/JPL.

The highest elevation on Mercury is at 4.48 kilometres (2.78 miles) above Mercury’s average elevation, located just south of the equator in some of Mercury’s oldest terrain. The lowest elevation, at 5.38 kilometers (3.34 miles) below Mercury’s average, is found on the floor of the Rachmaninoff basin, a double-ring impact basin suspected to host some of the most recent volcanic deposits on the planet.

The MESSENGER spacecraft was launched in 2004 to study Mercury, including its chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field. MESSENGER began orbiting Mercury in March 2011, becoming the first spacecraft to do so. In April 2015, having completed its mission, MESSENGER dropped out of orbit and impacted the surface of Mercury.



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