Tech

A biological switch that reliably turns protein expression on at will has been invented by University of Bath and Cardiff University scientists. The switch enables control of genome editing tools that might one day regulate cascades of desired genetic changes through entire populations.

This new switching method should work for any protein in any species and uses a cheap, non-toxic amino acid as the control switch - the 'on' mode requires the presence of an amino acid called BOC.

It is currently recommended in Europe that screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) should target people at high risk of infection. In France, public health data suggest that in 2014 approximately 75 000 people aged 18 to 80 were infected by HCV, but were unaware of their status. In at least one in ten cases, these people are at an advanced stage of the disease when diagnosed. Today's treatments of HCV infection are both highly effective and well tolerated, and cure the infection in a few weeks in over 95% of cases.

Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have observed the formation of holes that move by themselves in droplets of ionic liquids (IL) sitting inside water-ethanol mixtures. This curious, complex phenomenon is driven by an interplay between how ionic liquids dissolve, and how the boundary around the droplet fluctuates. Self-driven motion is a key feature of active matter, materials that use ambient energy to self-propel, with potential applications to drug delivery and nano-machine propulsion.

Autophagy, meaning "self-eating" in Greek, is a general metabolic mechanism adopted by nearly all the eukaryotic species, from the single cell yeast to humans. It is a process that cells degrade unnecessary components for materials recycling and energy generation to survive against stress or maintain homeostasis.

Invigorating the idea of computers based on fluids instead of silicon, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have shown how computational logic operations could be performed in a liquid medium by simulating the trapping of ions (charged atoms) in graphene (a sheet of carbon atoms) floating in saline solution. The scheme might also be used in applications such as water filtration, energy storage or sensor technology.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2018 -- As silicon-based semiconductors reach their performance limits, gallium nitride (GaN) is becoming the next go-to material to advance light-emitting diode (LED) technologies, high-frequency transistors and photovoltaic devices. Holding GaN back, however, is its high numbers of defects.

June 29, 2018--Higher daily doses of rifampin, a cornerstone of tuberculosis treatment, killed more TB bacteria in sputum cultures, and the higher doses did so without increasing the adverse effects of treatment, according to a randomized controlled trial published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Charles Lieber and his group are rewriting the rules of how scientists study retinal cells, and they're doing it with a single injection.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Texas A&M University used satellite images, on-the-ground measurements and a statistical model to determine how much of the earth is covered by rivers and streams. They found that global river and stream surface area is about 45 percent greater than what was indicated by previous studies.

Rivers and streams are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so the significantly higher river and stream surface area calculation has important implications for understanding carbon emissions.

Speed limits apply not only to traffic. There are limitations on the control of light as well, in optical switches for internet traffic, for example. Physicists at Chalmers University of Technology now understand why it is not possible to increase the speed beyond a certain limit - and know the circumstances in which it is best to opt for a different route.