Tech

The ability to successfully navigate in the environment is essential both for animals searching for food or escaping predators, as well as for human urban dwellers. It is something we take for granted, but under the hood, it is supported by still incompletely understood brain networks that continuously calculate our position in the environment. Moreover, the location where certain experience occurred is an indispensable building block of memory.

Pearls are among nature's most beautiful creations, and have been treasured for countless centuries. Beneath one's iridescent surface lies a tough and resilient structure made of intricately arranged tiles of calcium carbonate organized by a crew of proteins that guide its formation and repair.

While it is known that pearls are made of calcium carbonate with an organic matrix core, the role of the proteins modulating the organization of these crystals has, until recently, been unclear.

Scientists confirm that the age and content of an old sack is in accordance with a medieval myth about Saint Francis of Assisi.

For more than 700 years the Friary of Folloni near Montella in Italy has protected and guarded some small fragments of textile.

According to the legend the textile fragments originate from a sack that appeared on the doorstep of the friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from Saint Francis of Assisi, who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel.

BOULDER, Colo.--Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Their method can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic.

Mathematicians have opened a new chapter in the theory of moonshine, one which begins to harness the power of the pariahs - sporadic simple groups that previously had no known application.

"We've found a new form of moonshine, which in math refers to an idea so farfetched as to sound like lunacy," says Ken Ono, a number theorist at Emory University. "And we've used this moonshine to show the mathematical usefulness of the O'Nan pariah group in a way that moves it from theory to reality. It turns out that the O'Nan group knows deep information about elliptic curves."

Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System.

Pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease and, ultimately, contribute to kidney failure, according to the researchers.

From self-folding robots, to robotic endoscopes, to better methods for computer vision and object detection, researchers at the University of California San Diego have a wide range of papers and workshop presentations at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (or IROS) which takes place from Sept. 24 to 28 in Vancouver, Canada. UC San Diego researchers also are organizing workshops on a range of themes during the event.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For years, scientists and physicians have been debating whether personality and behavior changes might appear prior to the onset of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Now, the findings of a new and comprehensive study from FSU College of Medicine Associate Professor Antonio Terracciano and colleagues, published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, has found no evidence to support the idea that personality changes begin before the clinical onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.

Don't let their appearance fool you: Thimble-sized, dappled in cheerful colors and squishy, poison frogs in fact harbor some of the most potent neurotoxins we know. With a new paper published in the journal Science, scientists are a step closer to resolving a related head-scratcher -- how do these frogs keep from poisoning themselves? And the answer has potential consequences for the fight against pain and addiction.

WASHINGTON -- A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3D rendering methods. The ability to create detailed, 3D digital versions of real-world objects and scenes can be useful for movie production, creating virtual reality experiences, improving design or quality assurance in the production of clear products and even for preserving rare or culturally significant objects.