Bats obey ‘traffic rules’ when trawling for food

Foraging bats obey their own set of ‘traffic rules’, chasing, turning and avoiding collisions at high speed, new research from the University of Bristol has found.

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Antarctic ice shelves rapidly thinning

A new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego researchers has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.

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Engineers develop new methods to speed up simulations in computational grand challenge

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new family of methods to significantly increase the speed of time-resolved numerical simulations in computational grand challenge problems. Such problems often arise from the high-resolution approximation of the partial differential equations governing complex flows of fluids or plasmas. The breakthrough could be applied to simulations that include millions or billions of variables, including turbulence simulations.

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Dark matter even darker than once thought

Astronomers using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results, published in the journal Science on 27 March 2015, show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.

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Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseases

Traditionally, to understand how a gene functions, a scientist would breed an organism that lacks that gene — “knocking it out” — then ask how the organism has changed. Are its senses affected? Its behavior? Can it even survive? Thanks to the recent advance of gene editing technology, this gold standard genetic experiment has become much more accessible in a wide variety of organisms. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have harnessed a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 editing in an important and understudied species: the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which infects hundreds of millions of people annually with the deadly diseases chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

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Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates

An Ebola whole virus vaccine, constructed using a novel experimental platform, has been shown to effectively protect monkeys exposed to the often fatal virus.

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New study shows bacteria can use magnetic particles to create a ‘natural battery’

New research shows bacteria can use tiny magnetic particles to effectively create a ‘natural battery.’ According to work published in journal Science on 27 March, the bacteria can load electrons onto and discharge electrons from microscopic particles of magnetite. This discovery holds out the potential of using this mechanism to help clean up environmental pollution, and other bioengineering applications.

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How did the chicken cross the sea?

It may sound like the makings of a joke, but answering the question of how chickens crossed the sea may soon provide more than just a punch line.

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