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VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS’ END PREDICTED USING INFRARED SATELLITE DATA

21 Jul 17

Scientists from the University of Hawaii have found that NASA’s infrared satellite data could be used to predict the end of lava eruptions.

They tested a hypothesis initially published in 1981 which described the change of lava flow rate during a typical volcanic eruption. According to the model, once the eruption starts, the rate at which lava comes out of the vent rises rapidly to a peak and then over a longer period of time decreases to zero, ending the eruption.

To test the hypothesis, the researchers designed a system to detect and measure the heat emissions from 104 volcanic eruptions worldwide. The system utilized the infrared measurements generated by NASA's MODIS sensors.

Upon reaching the peak flow, they determined the curve of decreasing flow, and thereby predicted the end of the eruption. Though the model has been there for decades, this is the first time satellite data has been utilized to test the usefulness of this approach for predicting an eruption’s end. And, the test was a success.

The importance of this test is that it can be employed to alleviate the disturbance caused to the people affected by a volcanic-eruption.

By: Angel

Content: www.sciencedaily.com



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Surgery-Tested Software to Detect Liver Tumors

20 Jul 17

A surgery – tested software has been developed by an engineer that can combine easily with CT scanned images of the liver. With the help of special stylus surgeons clean the surface of the exposed liver. They capture the shape of the organ during surgery. Captured image is then matched with the CT scan on a screen by a computer.

The new tech is really better than previously feeling tumors and vessels. The potential solution was published by Vanderbilt University's Michael Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and his team. The software has helped half a million liver cancer patients across globe. Their paper was titled as "Deformation Correction for Image Guided Liver Surgery: An Intraoperative Fidelity Assessment”.  It will appear in the journal Surgery this month.

Surgeons reported that the arrival of this new technology has improved the registrations in more than 70 per cent of the cases. The study was being conducted for over two years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

By: Bhavna Sharma

Content: www.sciencedaily.com



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Link between Climate and the Evolution of Beak Size

19 Jul 17

Scientists have left a story incomplete about the evolution of beak size. In the 1990s, researcher Russ Greenberg from the Smithsonian Institution in the United States began to discover a new question. This question was concerning to the link between environment and the evolution of beak size. This question was stimulated by Allen's Rule, which states that warm-blooded animals living in cold climates will have shorter limbs and appendages than those that live in warmer climates.

The scientists stated that the biological mechanism behind this rule is thermoregulation -- more body surface area helps animals to shed heat better. On the other hands, less surface area helps the animals to conserve the heat. As far as the bird’s beak is concerned, it plays a huge role in thermoregulation. Thermoregulation has many blood vessels and is not covered in feathers.

Then the question arises whether hotter climates cause larger beaks and colder climates beget smaller ones. Certainly, studies exposed that climate has influenced beak size. However, it is unclear which type of climate had more of an overall impact.

By: Priyanka Negi

Content: www.sciencedaily.com



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UTILIZING NANOTECHNOLOGY TO FIGHT DRUG-RESISTANT BUGS

18 Jul 17

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing issue, particularly among a group of bacteria known as "Gram-negative." As these bacteria possess two cell-membranes, it is harder for drugs to penetrate and destroy the cells.

Researchers are taking efforts to utilize nanotechnology to design more targeted treatments for these drug-resistant bugs. They directly delivered an antimicrobial peptide packed in a silicon nanoparticle into the lungs of mice aggressively infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a gram-negative drug-resistant bacterium causing pneumonia.

This approach was used previously to deliver targeted cancer drugs. It can also be adapted for treating other difficult-to-treat bacterial infections like tuberculosis. They packed the peptides into silicon nanoparticles to prevent the quick release of peptides which could damage tissues on their way to their targets.

After the delivery of the nanoparticles, they found that the aggressive bacterial infection in the lungs of the mice had dramatically decreased. The treated mice had only one-millionth of the number of bacteria than the untreated ones, and lived longer. These peptides were also found to kill drug-resistant Pseudomonas strains taken from patients and cultured in lab.

Scientists have planned to design an inhalable version of the nanoparticle while using for humans.  

By: Angel 

Content: www.sciencedaily.com



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Scientists Exhibits Known Animal Fossils

17 Jul 17

Currently, scientists have done a research and came to know that the first animal phyla emerged in rapid succession -- prior to the global Ice Age that set in around 700 million years ago. The fossil record disclosed that almost all of the animal phyla known today had come into existence by the beginning of the Cambrian Period some 540 million years ago.

The previously known animal fossils already displayed complex morphologies. The earliest discovery implies that animals must have originated long before the onset of the Cambrian. However, taxonomically transferable fossils that can be confidently dated to pre-Cambrian times are very unusual. The biologists need reliable dating information for the most ancient animal subgroups and to determine what the root of their family tree looked like.

Dr. Martin Dohrmann stated that and Professor Gert Wörheide stated that the sponges, cnidarians, comb jellies and placozoans are few known ancient animal subgroups. Additionally, the research took place at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich. The biologists used a new strategy based on the so-called molecular-clock to investigate chronology of the early animal evolution and produce a new estimate for the ages of the oldest animal groups.

By: Priyanka Negi

Content: www.sciencedaily.com



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