Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 5

Jan 24, 2024

Complex green organisms emerged a billion years ago, says new research

Posted by in categories: biological, habitats

Of all the organisms that photosynthesize, land plants have the most complex bodies. How did this morphology emerge? A team of scientists led by the University of Göttingen has taken a deep dive into the evolutionary history of morphological complexity in streptophytes, which include land plants and many green algae.

The team’s research allowed them to go back in time to investigate lineages that emerged long before land plants existed. Their results revise the understanding of the relationships of a group of filamentous algal land colonizers much older than land plants. Using modern gene sequencing data, researchers pinpoint the emergence of multicellularity to almost a billion years ago. The results were published in the journal Current Biology.

The study focused on Klebsormidiophyceae, a class of known for its ability to colonize diverse habitats worldwide. The team of researchers conducted extensive sampling, investigating habitats ranging from streams, rivers, and lake shores to bogs, soil, natural rocks, , acidic post-mining sites, , urban walls, and building façades.

Jan 24, 2024

Researchers design new open-source technology for interfacing with living neurons

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

Mind In Vitro Platforms: Versatile, Scalable, Robust, and Open Solutions to Interfacing with Living Neurons.

Neurons intricately communicate and respond to stimuli within a vast network, orchestrating essential functions from basic bodily processes to complex thoughts. Traditional neuroscience methods, relying on in vivo electrophysiology (within a living organism), often have difficulty addressing the complexity of the brain as a whole.

An alternative approach involves extracting cells from the organism and conducting studies on a culture dish instead (in vitro), providing researchers with enhanced control and precision in measuring neural processes.

Continue reading “Researchers design new open-source technology for interfacing with living neurons” »

Jan 23, 2024

2023 Moon to Mars Architecture Concept Review Outcomes Released by NASA

Posted by in categories: biological, physics, space travel

NASA’s Moon to Mars Architecture has been instrumental in developing, designing, and executing the long-term goals of establishing not only a permanent human presence on the Moon but sending humans to Mars, someday. Today, NASA announced the results from the recent 2023 Moon to Mars Architecture Concept Review, which outlines key objectives, strategies, and key decisions in establishing a human presence on Mars in the future.

The Concept Review discussed in detail the architecture objectives and segments for not only returning humans to the Moon but establishing a long-term presence there through testing new technologies, systems, and equipment that would be used on an eventual human mission to Mars. the Moon to Mars Objectives cover a myriad of goals, including lunar and planetary science, heliophysics, human and biological science, physics and physical sciences, science enabling, applied science, lunar infrastructure, Mars infrastructure, transportation and habitation, and operations.

“Over the last year we’ve been able to refine our process for Moon to Mars architecture concept development to unify the agency,” Nujoud Merancy, who is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Strategy & Architecture for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), said in a statement. “Our process in the coming months will focus on addressing gaps in the architecture and further reviewing the decisions the agency needs to make to successfully mount crewed Mars missions.”

Jan 23, 2024

Daniel Dennett — Information & Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

Is an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.

Recorded, Nov 22, 2017.

Jan 22, 2024

Unlocking the Secrets of Love — Neuroscientists Have Identified the “Chemical Imprint of Desire”

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, neuroscience

When you get in the car to see your significant other for dinner, your brain’s reward center is likely flooded with dopamine, a hormone also associated with cravings for sugar, nicotine, and cocaine. This rush of dopamine motivates you to navigate through traffic to maintain that special connection. However, if the dinner is with just a work colleague, this intense flood of dopamine may be reduced to a mere trickle, according to recent research conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“What we have found, essentially, is a biological signature of desire that helps us explain why we want to be with some people more than other people,” said senior author Zoe Donaldson, associate professor of behavioral neuroscience at CU Boulder.

Jan 21, 2024

Ancient Power Unlocked: Scientists Discover 2.5 Billion-Year-Old Bacterial Energy Source

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry

Biologists from Konstanz have unveiled a unique and ancient phosphorus-based bacterial metabolism. Central to this discovery are four elements: an analytical calculation dating back to the 1980s, a modern sewage treatment facility, the identification of a novel bacterial species, and a remnant from around 2.5 billion years ago.

Our story begins at the end of the 1980s, with a sheet of paper. On this sheet, a scientist calculated that the conversion of the chemical compound phosphite to phosphate would release enough energy to produce the cell’s energy carrier – the ATP molecule. In this way, it should therefore be possible for a microorganism to supply itself with energy. Unlike most living organisms on our planet, this organism would not be dependent on energy supply from light or from the decomposition of organic matter.

The scientist actually succeeded in isolating such a microorganism from the environment. Its energy metabolism is based on the oxidation of phosphite to phosphate, just as predicted by the calculation. But how exactly does the biochemical mechanism work? Regrettably, the key enzyme needed to understand the biochemistry behind the process remained hidden – and thus the mystery remained unsolved for many years. In the following three decades, the sheet stayed in the drawer, the research approach was put on the back burner. Yet the scientist couldn’t get the thought out of his head.

Jan 19, 2024

“Dirt-powered fuel cell” draws near-limitless energy from soil

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry

A Northwestern University team has demonstrated a remarkable new way to generate electricity, with a paperback-sized device that nestles in soil and harvests power created as microbes break down dirt – for as long as there’s carbon in the soil.

Microbial fuel cells, as they’re called, have been around for more than 100 years. They work a little like a battery, with an anode, cathode and electrolyte – but rather than drawing electricity from chemical sources, they work with bacteria that naturally donate electrons to nearby conductors as they chow down on soil.

The issue thus far has been keeping them supplied with water and oxygen, while being buried in the dirt. “Although MFCs have existed as a concept for more than a century, their unreliable performance and low output power have stymied efforts to make practical use of them, especially in low-moisture conditions,” said UNW alumnus and project lead Bill Yen.

Jan 19, 2024

Ultimate Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and NanoTechnology

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing, engineering, mathematics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, physics

The possibility of direct interfacing between biological and technological information devices could result in a merger of mind and machine — Ultimate Computing. This book, a thorough consideration of this idea, involves a number of disciplines, including biochemistry, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, mathematics, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, philosophy, physics, physiology, and psychology.

Jan 19, 2024

Ion-tunable antiambipolarity in mixed ion–electron conducting polymers enables biorealistic organic electrochemical neurons

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, neuroscience

Silicon-based complementary metal-oxide semiconductors or negative differential resistance device circuits can emulate neural features, yet are complicated to fabricate and not biocompatible. Here, the authors report an ion-modulated antiambipolarity in mixed ion–electron conducting polymers demonstrating capability of sensing, spiking, emulating the most critical biological neural features, and stimulating biological nerves in vivo.

Jan 18, 2024

Scientists Discover New Sense of Bottlenose Dolphins: They Feel Electricity

Posted by in category: biological

Born tail first, bottlenose dolphin calves are initially adorned with two delicate rows of whiskers along their snout, resembling the tactile whiskers of seals. However, these whiskers are shed shortly after birth, leaving behind a pattern of indentations called vibrissal pits. Recently, Tim Hüttner and Guido Dehnhardt, researchers from the University of Rostock in Germany, began to suspect that these pits might serve a purpose beyond being mere remnants.

Could they allow adult bottlenose dolphins to sense weak electric fields? Taking an initial close look, they realized that the remnant pits resemble the structures that allow sharks to detect electric fields, and when they checked whether captive bottlenose dolphins could sense an electric field in water, all of the animals felt the field.

‘It was very impressive to see,’ says Dehnhardt, who recently published the extraordinary discovery and how the animals could use their electric sense in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

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