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196,569 articles from PhysOrg

Getting to the doctor's office for a check-up can be challenging for someone with a neurological disorder that impairs their movement, such as a stroke. But what if the patient could just take a video clip of their movements with a smart phone and forward the results to their doctor? Work by Dr. Hardeep Ryait and colleagues at CCBN-University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, publishing November 21 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, shows how this might one day be possible.

When pathogens invade cells, our body combats them using various methods. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have now been able to show how a cellular pump keeps such invading pathogens in check. As the researchers report in Science, this pump causes a magnesium shortage, which in turn restricts bacterial growth.

Researchers are pursuing engineered bacteriophage as alternatives to antibiotics to infect and kill multi-drug resistant bacteria. The potential for an innovative synthetic biology approach to enhance phage therapeutics and the role a biofoundry can play in making this approach feasible and effective is discussed in an article in PHAGE: Therapy, Applications, and Research.

The volcanic island of Kueishantao in northeastern Taiwan is an extreme habitat for marine organisms. With an active volcano, the coastal area has a unique hydrothermal field with a multitude of hot springs and volcanic gases. The acidity of the study area was among the highest in the world. The easily accessible shallow water around the volcanic island therefore represents an ideal research environment for investigating the adaptability of marine organisms, some of which are highly specialised, such as crabs, to highly acidified and toxic seawater.

Last month a new projection of sea-level rise by the year 2050 spurred headlines showing more coastal cities around the world will be submerged than earlier models have predicted. Just how fast and how high sea levels rise globally will be determined by the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. However, the acceleration, retreat and thinning of glaciers where they meet ocean water are still understood poorly.

Redox flow batteries are an emerging technology for electrochemical energy storage that could help enhance the use of power produced by renewable energy resources. These power resources are inherently irregular in their supply, which doesn't typically align with demand on the power grid. In principle, redox flow batteries can be designed to have an energy-storage capacity that is independent of its power rating. However, in practice, the ease with which redox-active molecules are transported to electrode surfaces plays an important role in determining their efficiency, the power that is produced or charged and, in some instances, their length of life.

Changes in the genes that control development can potentially make large contributions to evolution by generating new morphologies in plants and animals. However, because developmental genes frequently influence many different processes, changes to their expression carry a risk of "collateral damage." Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne and collaborators have now shown how gene self-repression can reduce the potential side effects of novel gene expression so that new forms can evolve. This self-regulation occurs via a distinctive molecular mechanism employing small regions of genomic DNA called low-affinity transcription factor binding sites.

The DNA of a single cell is two to three meters long end-to-end. To fit in the nucleus and function correctly, DNA is packaged around specialized proteins. These DNA-protein complexes are called nucleosomes, and they are a small part of a larger structure called chromatin. Nucleosomes can be thought of as the cell's DNA storage and protection unit.

An international research team led by scientists from Göttingen and Potsdam proved for the first time that the galaxy NGC 6240 contains three supermassive black holes. The unique observations, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, show the black holes close to each other in the core of the galaxy. The study points to simultaneous merging processes during the formation of the largest galaxies in the universe.

Even faster processors with even smaller dimensions? Wherever neither electronics nor spintronics can cope with performance or miniaturization, magnonics comes to the rescue. But before that happens, scientists must learn how to accurately simulate the flow of magnetic waves through magnonic crystals. At the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow an important step in this direction has just been made.