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Add-on clip turns smartphone into fully operational microscope
We've designed a simple mobile phone microscope that takes advantage of the integrated illumination available with nearly all smartphone cameras, says Dr Orth. Our mobile microscope can be used as an inexpensive and portable tool for all types of on-site or remote area monitoring. It is this design philosophy that inspired us in the development of this add-on clip, says Dr Orth. Explore further: Research team turns smartphone into a powerful microscope in the fight against infectious diseases More information: A Orth et al.
Neutrons reveal the wild Weyl world of semimetals
The properties of Weyl semimetals include both magnetism and topological semimetal behavior, in which electrons-or charge carriers-are nearly massless and immune to conduction defects. Weyl semimetals are kind of the Holy Grail in physics right now, said Alan Tennant, chief scientist at ORNL's Neutron Sciences Directorate. When the two cones break the time reversal symmetry, they induce a Weyl semimetal state in which the electrons lose mass.
Origins of land plants pushed back in time
A seminal event in the Earth's history - when plants appeared on land - may have happened 100 million years earlier than previously thought. Land plants evolved from pond scum about 500 million years ago, according to new research. Early plants would have provided a habitat for fully terrestrial animals, which emerged onto land at much the same time. The study, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls into question existing theories on the evolution of land plants.
New chapter: a landmark move for Greece's national library
From January until April, the National Library of Greece is moving root and branch, out of its 100-year-old home in central Athens and literally into the 21st-century. Room to grow For years, the library has been clamouring for space, library engineer Chrysanthi Vassiliadou told a media briefing earlier this month. The National Library had approximately 20,000 visitors and 21,000 readers each year. Thanks to SNF funds, the library has renewed its foreign-language collection for the first time in 20 years.
German court could open way to bans on diesel cars
After years of warnings, environmental campaign group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) took dozens of municipalities to court to force them into tougher action. In their thinking, we can't limit people's freedom, we can't dispossess diesel owners, explained Hermann-himself a member of the ecologist Greens. Upholding the court decisions in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf would open the way to local authorities imposing a patchwork of bans. A ruling from the highest administrative court would also send an important signal to other tribunals and put pressure on Berlin.
Vampire bat's blood-only diet 'a big evolutionary win'
At first glance, the cost-benefit ratio of a blood-only diet suggests that vampire bats-the only mammals to feed exclusively on the viscous, ruby-red elixir-flew down an evolutionary blind alley. Both, they discovered, stand apart from the 1,200 other species of bats that favour fruits, flesh, and/or insects. Gilbert speculated that vampire bats might have eased into pure-blood diet, starting with blood-gorged insects such as tics and mosquitos.
Volcanic blast reshaped summit of Indonesia's Mount Sinabung
The eruption of Indonesia's Mount Sinabung that shot ash 5 kilometers high also annihilated the mountain's summit. Before and after images from Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation show an enormous chunk missing from the peak. The volcano in North Sumatra, which has been active since 2010, erupted explosively on Monday morning. Hot ash clouds rolled down its slopes, traveling as far as 4.9 kilometers from the crater. Explore further: Indonesia's Sinabung volcano unleashes towering ash column.
Archaeologists find fossils, Mayan relics in giant underwater cave in Mexico
Archaeologists who have been exploring the world's largest underwater cave-recently discovered in Mexico-presented their findings Monday, including fossils of giant sloths and an elaborate shrine to the Mayan god of commerce. The animal remains include gomphotheres-an extinct elephant-like animal-as well as giant sloths and bears, archaeologists told a press conference. The relics include a shrine to the Mayan god of war and commerce, with a staircase accessed through a sink-hole in the middle of the jungle.
Assassination of political leaders connected to increase in social conflict
An increase in social conflict increases the likelihood of assassinations of political leaders, according to new research co-conducted by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. We found that (1) an increase in social conflict increases the likelihood of assassination and (2) environmental constraints and traditional culture predict social conflict and then, ultimately, leader assassination. According to Yammarino, social conflict is a major factor in the occurrence of an assassination.
Ocean plastic tide 'violates the law'
The global tide of ocean plastic pollution is a clear violation of international law, campaigners say. The report urges those governments that are trying to tackle the issue to put legal pressure on those that are not. He calls for governments and green groups to support small island nations suffering most from plastic pollution. Tickell adds: Amid all the hand-wringing over ocean plastic, the fact that it's actually illegal has scarcely been mentioned.
Richard Branson Wants To Build A High-Speed Hyperloop In India
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters British billionaire Richard Branson has announced plans to build a high-speed shuttle in India that could potentially revolutionize travel in the country. Branson, co-founder of the British multinational conglomerate, signed a preliminary agreement with Maharashtra's government on Sunday, the Press Trust of India reports. I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century, Branson said in the press release.
France to let wolf population grow
France is to allow the wolf population to grow from about 360 now to 500 by 2023, despite protests from farmers worried about their livestock. A new plan announced by the government represents a rise of nearly 40% in the wolf population. After being eradicated by hunters in the 1930s, the wolf made its way back into France from Italy in the 1990s.
Pausing evolution makes bioproduction of chemicals affordable and efficient
Bioproduction of chemicals using engineered microorganisms is routinely reported today, but only a few bioprocesses are functional in the large fermentation volumes that industry requires. One central issue is that bioproduction in large-scale fermenters is limited by toxicities and stresses that allow evolution to reduce or eliminate production of chemicals by engineered cells. The evolution can be circumvented and cells will be able to produce the biochemicals within an industrial time scale.
In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings
Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colours in nature. The results open up the possibility of harvesting these bacteria for the large-scale manufacturing of nanostructured materials: biodegradable, non-toxic paints could be 'grown' and not made, for example. This is the first systematic study of the genes underpinning structural colours-not only in bacteria, but in any living system.
Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'
New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of extinction cascades, where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions. The researchers, from the University of Exeter, showed there is a higher risk of extinction cascades when other species are not present to fill the gap created by the loss of a species.
Plants colonized the Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought
For the first four billion years of Earth's history, our planet's continents would have been devoid of all life except microbes. All of this changed with the origin of land plants from their pond scum relatives, greening the continents and creating habitats that animals would later invade. The timing of this episode has previously relied on the oldest fossil plants which are about 420 million years old.
Günter Blobel, Nobel Laureate Who Found Cell 'ZIP Codes,' Dies at 81
Along the way he won many prestigious awards, some for essentially the same insights recognized later by the Nobel committee. Dr Palade's discoveries about cells' inner workings, and the functions of cell structures, laid the foundations of modern cell biology, the basis of the biotechnology industry. Gnter Blobel was born on May 21, 1936, in the Silesian village of Waltersdorf, then in eastern Germany and later part of Poland.

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