New genetic research suggests that smallpox, a pathogen that caused millions of deaths worldwide, may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination.
While investigating mass transit accidents, especially in air travel, officials often rely on digital clues left behind in flash memories of any and all electronic devices—both personal and professional—at a crash site. With the physical forces and high-temperature fires associated with many crashes, memory units are often damaged and sometimes unreadable. Researchers have now figured out how much damage memory units can sustain before becoming unreadable and new repair techniques to retrieve clues off of damaged units, which might help prevent future tragedies.
An international team of scientists has succeeded in making further improvements to the lifetime of superconducting quantum circuits. An important prerequisite for the realization of high-performance quantum computers is that the stored data should remain intact for as long as possible. The researchers have developed and tested a technique that removes unpaired electrons from the circuits. These are known to shorten the qubit lifetime.
Physicists have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. They were able to detect new electronic states of matter in these insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used.
Microsoft's Windows PowerShell configuration management framework continues to be abused by cyber attackers, according to researchers at Symantec, who have seen a surge in associated threats. From a report on ComputerWeekly: More than 95% of PowerShell scripts analysed by Symantec researchers have been found to be malicious, with 111 threat families using PowerShell. Malicious PowerShell scripts are on the rise, as attackers are using the framework's flexibility to download their payloads, traverse through a compromised network and carry out reconnaissance, according to Candid Wueest, threat researcher at Symantec.
It appears many major stakeholders in the movie industry want to bring new titles to you within days, if not hours, as they hit cinemas. Earlier this year, we learned that Sean Parker is working on a service called "Screening Room", an idea that was reportedly backed by Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams, to bring movies on the same day as they show up in theaters. Apple seems interested as well. It is reportedly in talks with Hollywood studios to get iTunes rentals of movies that are still playing on the big screen. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that several studios are exploring the idea of renting new movies for $25 to $50 just two weeks after they have hit cinemas. None of such deals have materialized yet, of course, and also it needs to be pointed out that several movie companies have discarded these ideas before because they know that by offering you new titles so early they are going to lose on all the overpriced cold drinks, and snacks they sell you at the theatre. There's also piracy concerns. If a movie is available early, regardless of the DRM tech these companies deploy, good-enough footage of the movies will crop up on file-sharing websites almost immediately. But leaving all those aspects aside, would you be interested in getting new titles just hours or a week or two after they hit the cinemas? Would you want to end the decades-long practice of going to a theater?
When escaping from attacking predators, different water strider species adjust their jump performance to their mass and morphology in order to jump off the water as fast and soon as possible without breaking of the water surface.
New research revealed contrasting roles for the SNAP23 protein in pancreatic secretion of digestive enzymes and hormones such as insulin. Inhibiting SNAP23 with a potential new diabetes drug enabled an alternative related protein of higher efficacy to compensate for its function and increase insulin secretion in mice. The novel therapy also shows promise as a treatment for pancreatitis.
The honeybee can form complex memories through processes much like those happening in human brains. This study shows that DNA methylation is one molecular mechanism that regulates memory specificity and re-learning, and as such, could control how experiences are integrated over a lifetime.
Researchers have come closer to answering the question of how the brain defends itself against viral infections. In the long term, the discovery may turn out to be very important for the treatment of diseases of the brain in which the immune system is involved such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and potentially also psychiatric disorders.
In a recent study laboratory test subjects read the introductions of Wikipedia articles of their own choice. During the reading session, the test subjects' EEG was recorded, and the readings were then used to model which key words the subjects found interesting.
New research finds that a woman's lifetime history of drug use can help predict whether the woman will suffer from problems with stress and anxiety after childbirth. The finding could help health-care providers screen pregnant women for mental health problems and provide relevant treatment.
In children on the spectrum, anxiety is often masked by the symptoms of autism. But a new variant to a standard anxiety screening method has now proven effective in separating the two and it is leading to important diagnoses.
Tiny predators in the soil can literally sniff out their prey: soil bacteria, which communicate with each other using scent. A team of researchers has discovered that these predators -- called protists - 'eavesdrop' on the bacteria's communication. It's a discovery that opens up perspectives for agriculture.