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Geckos Race Across the Water’s Surface Using Multiple Mechanisms

Penelitian - Geckos are renowned for their acrobatic feats on land and in the air, but a new discovery that they can also run on water puts them in the superhero category, says a University of California (UC), Berkeley, biologist.

"They can run up a wall at a meter per second, they can glide, they can right themselves in midair with a twist of their tail and rapidly invert under a leaf running at full speed. And now they can run at a meter per second over water. Nothing else can do that; geckos are superheroes," said Robert Full of the UC Berkeley.


Full is the senior author of a paper that will appear this week in the journal Current Biology describing four separate strategies that geckos use to skitter across the surface of water. First author Jasmine Nirody, a biophysicist at the University of Oxford and Rockefeller University, conducted much of the research with Judy Jinn, both as Ph.D. students at Berkeley.

According to Full, who discovered many of the unique maneuvers a…
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Soft-tissue Evidence for Homeothermy and Crypsis in a Jurassic Ichthyosaur

Penelitian - An ancient, dolphin-like marine reptile resembles its distant relative in more than appearance, according to an international team of researchers that includes scientists from North Carolina State University and Sweden's Lund University.

Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators.


"Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals," says Mary Schweitzer of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Lund University.

"We aren't exactly sure of their biology either. They have many features in common with living marine reptiles like sea turtles, but we know from the fossil record that they gave live birth, which is associated with warm-bloodedness…

Multiresponsive Polymeric Microstructures with Encoded Predetermined and Self-Regulated Deformability

Penelitian - The pads of geckos' notoriously sticky feet are covered with setae -- microscopic, hairlike structures whose chemical and physical composition and high flexibility allow the lizard to grip walls and ceilings with ease.

Scientists have tried to replicate such dynamic microstructures in the lab with a variety of materials, including liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), which are rubbery networks with attached liquid crystalline groups that dictate the directions in which the LCEs can move and stretch.


So far, synthetic LCEs have mostly been able to deform in only one or two dimensions, limiting the structures' ability to move throughout space and take on different shapes.

Now, a group of scientists from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has harnessed magnetic fields to control the molecular structure of LCEs and create microscopic three-dimensional polymer shapes that…

GlaxoSmithKline Announces Purchase of Tesaro for $5 Billion

Penelitian - British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced Monday that it was buying Massachusetts-based Tesaro for "an aggregate cash consideration of approximately" $5.1 billion in an effort to boost its oncology drug offerings.

Tesaro is best known for the drug Zejula, a treatment for ovarian cancer, MarketWatch reported. The drug is currently cleared in the United States and Europe for the treatment of adult patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.


GSK said in a statement that Zejula's use of an oral poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor is "transforming the treatment of ovarian cancer, notably demonstrating marked clinical benefit in patients with and without germline mutations in a BRCA gene."

The company said it will offer Tesaro shareholders a 62 percent premium for its stocks based on the share price of last Friday's close, placing the offer at $75 per share.

"The acquisition of Tesaro will strengthen our pharmaceuticals business…

UN: Climate Change Impacts Have Never Been Worse

Penelitian - With the direst environmental warnings yet still ringing in their ears, nations gathered in Poland Sunday for a UN summit aimed at heading off the "urgent threat" of runaway climate change.

The UN talks come at a crucial juncture in mankind's response to planetary warming. The smaller, poorer nations that will bare its devastating brunt are pushing for richer states to make good on the promises they made in the 2015 Paris agreement.


In Paris three years ago, countries committed to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to the safer cap of 1.5C if at all possible.

But with only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes made more destructive by rising seas.

"Climate change impacts have never been worse. This reality is telling us that we need to do much more," Patricia Espinosa told journalists after Sunday'…

Developmental Trajectory of Movement-related Cortical Oscillations During Active Sleep in a Cross-sectional Cohort of Pre-term and Full-term Human Infants

Penelitian - The kicks a mother feels from her unborn child may allow the baby to 'map' their own body and enable them to eventually explore their surroundings, suggests new research led by University College London (UCL) in collaboration with University College London Hospitals (UCLH).

For the study, published today in Scientific Reports, researchers measured brainwaves produced when newborn babies kick their limbs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, finding that fast brainwaves -- a brainwave pattern typically seen in neonates -- fire in the corresponding hemisphere.


For example, the movement of a baby's right hand causes brainwaves to fire immediately afterwards in the part of the left brain hemisphere that processes touch for the right hand. The size of these brainwaves is largest in premature babies, who at that age would usually still be in the womb.

The findings suggest that fetal kicks in the late stages of pregnancy -- the third trimester -- help to grow areas …

Bias From Potentially Mischievous Responders on Large-Scale Estimates of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Questioning (LGBQ)–Heterosexual Youth Health Disparities

Penelitian - Many research studies have reported on the elevated health risk and deviance of youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ). But a new study using national data suggests that many of those estimates may be overstated and that LGBQ youth risk and deviance is not as different from heterosexual youth as many studies claim.

The new research was led by Joseph Cimpian, an associate professor of economics and education policy at New York University's Steinhardt School, and published in the American Journal of Public Health.


The study found that "mischievous responders," research survey respondents who mislead researchers by providing extreme and untruthful responses to multiple items, have significantly affected overall estimates of health disparities between LGBQ and heterosexual youth.

"Not all adolescents take surveys as seriously as researchers would like. Some youth may find it funny to give exaggerated responses, reporting they ar…

Biomechanics of the Peafowl’s Crest Reveals Frequencies Tuned to Social Displays

Penelitian - Indian peafowl crests resonate efficiently and specifically to the same vibration frequencies used in peacock social displays, according to a paper published November 28, 2018 in PLOS ONE by Suzanne Amador Kane from Haverford College, USA, and colleagues.

Both sexes of the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) grow a large crest. While many previous studies have focused on the crest as a potential visual signal, this is the first study to focus on crest feathers' potential to sense motion and vibration. The authors used seven male and eight female crests in the lab for their investigations.


They microscopically analyzed the crests and confirmed the presence of filoplumes -- specialized small feathers appearing across all types of bird feathers and functioning as mechanosensors. The authors then conducted a series of experiments to determine the crests' range of responsiveness to vibration and force.

They exposed the crests to simulated displays of wing-shaking, performe…

A Vector Holographic Optical Trap

Penelitian - When you shine a beam of light on your hand, you don't feel much, except for a little bit of heat generated by the beam. When you shine that same light into a world that is measured on the nano- or micro scale, the light becomes a powerful manipulating tool that you can use to move objects around – trapped securely in the light.

Researchers from the Structured Light group from the School of Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, have found a way to use the full beam of a laser light, to control and manipulate minute objects such as single cells in a human body, tiny particles in small volume chemistry, or working on future on-chip devices.


While the specific technique, called holographic optical trapping and tweezing, is not new, the Wits Researchers found a way to optimally use the full force of the light – including vector light that was previously unavailable for this application. This forms the first vector holographic trap.

ISRO Launched its Latest Earth Observation Satellite HysIS

Penelitian - India on Thursday successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite HysIS, the data from which can be used in wide-ranging areas including agriculture, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here onboard ISRO’s trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The rocket, PSLV-C43, successfully injected state of the art HysIS and 30 other co-passenger satellites from eight countries into their designated orbits. The rocket lifted off majestically into cloudy skies in a burst of orange flames at 9.57 am from the first launch pad at this spaceport at the end of the 28-hour countdown.


The Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) was placed in its orbit 17 minutes and 27 seconds after lift-off while the 30 co-passenger satellites were dropped into the designated orbit one by one after an hour.

HysIS, the latest earth observation satellite developed by ISRO, has several uses. The satellite’s data will be useful in many fields including agriculture, forestry, soi…