AI system identifies buildings damaged by wildfire

People around the globe have suffered the nerve-wracking anxiety of waiting weeks or months to find out if their homes have been damaged by wildfires that scorch with increased intensity. Now, once the smoke has cleared for aerial photography, researchers have found a way to identify building damage within minutes. The DamageMap application identifies buildings […]

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To Colonize Different Environments, Bacteria Precisely Tune Their Nanomotors

In their roughly 3.5 billion years on Earth, bacteria have fine-tuned the art of colonizing all kinds of habitats, from the inner lining of digestive tracts to the blistering hot waters of geysers. But in their quest for world domination, bacteria face a critical snag when moving across diverse environments — preserving their navigational apparatus. […]

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Crafting super steel to contain nuclear waste

Metals embedded in concrete can erode, rusting, and weakening until the concrete splits and the structure it supports falls. Such corrosion is believed to be one of the main issues that exacerbated the damage that led to the June 24 Surfside, Florida, condominium collapse, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and […]

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Better predictions to help save New Zealand blue whales

Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a method for forecasting the locations where a distinct population of New Zealand blue whales are most likely to occur up to three weeks in advance. This ability to forecast is a significant advance in conservation management for a species whose habitat overlaps with a wide range of […]

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The many molecular faces of protoplanetary disks

An international group of scientists, including University of Michigan astronomers, has mapped the chemical composition of protoplanetary disks surrounding five nearby young stars—an effort that will allow the astronomers to search the disks for planet formation in real time. The survey provides the most detailed pictures of planet-forming gases to date, which will help scientists […]

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Is it a horror film or a rom-com? AI can predict based solely on music

Music is an indispensable element in film: it establishes atmosphere and mood, drives the viewer’s emotional reactions, and significantly influences the audience’s interpretation of the story. In a recent paper published in PLOS One, a research team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, led by Professor Shrikanth Narayanan, sought to objectively examine the effect of music […]

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‘Self-inflating’ synthetic cells can capture, store and release cargo

Artificial cells have been created that have no biological components and rely entirely on chemistry to capture, store and release microscopic payloads using light. The cell-mimicking microcapsules could be useful for drug delivery, removing contaminants or collecting biological samples in living organisms, say the researchers. Living cells use active transport – which requires energy as […]

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Explainer: The science of alkyl nitrites aka poppers

Inhaling alkyl nitrites feels like becoming instantly drunk according to some users, although the effect lasts for only a few minutes. Also known as poppers, these chemicals have been taken recreationally since the 1960s.’ Although they are openly, usually in small brown bottles with enticing brand names such as ‘liquid gold’, their consumption remains a […]

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Giant molecular cage protects plastic-eating enzyme

Trapping a plastic-degrading enzyme in a synthetic nanocage protects it from breaking down under heat or in organic solvents. While the caged enzyme retains all of its catalytic activity, it withstands temperatures much hotter than its usual melting point and becomes 1000 times more resistant to solvents. Similar nanocages could protect and extend the life […]

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New programmable gene editing proteins found outside of CRISPR systems

Within the last decade, scientists have adapted CRISPR systems from microbes into gene editing technology, a precise and programmable system for modifying DNA. Now, scientists at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have discovered a new class of programmable DNA modifying systems called OMEGAs (Obligate Mobile Element […]

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