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FAST Observatory

Penelitian - Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is the world's largest single-dish radio telescope and was set up two years ago on this day in southwest China's Guizhou Province. It helps scientists understand the universe by receiving and recording pulsar and interstellar signals from extraterrestrial sources.

Engineers and astronomers continuously try to perfect the telescope, making improvements to allow it to see farther into space. Meanwhile, those who visit the telescope find themselves in awe of the giant dish and its ability to lead to breakthrough discoveries.

Since its trial operation in 2016, FAST has found some 50 stars which bear features similar to pulsars, with 44 confirmed, according to scientists in National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC). Pulsar observation can be used to conduct research on gravitational waves, black holes and to help solve many other major questions in physics.

"We are still improving the system. N…
Recent posts

Graphene Electronic Fibres with Touch-sensing and Light-emitting Functionalities for Smart Textiles

Penelitian - Researchers demonstrate graphene-enabled functional devices directly fabricated on textile fibres and attained by weaving graphene electronic fibres in a fabric. Touch-sensors and light-emitting devices were produced using a roll-to-roll-compatible patterning technique, opening new avenues for woven textile electronics.

Smart textiles are an emerging research field with applications in medical diagnostics, health monitoring, clothing, home fabrics, automotive textiles, tracking and packaging. Devices seamlessly integrated into fabrics represent the ultimate form of smart textiles and require the development of fibres endowed with electronic functions.

The recently discovered atomically thin materials hold the gamut of required properties to develop conceptually novel smart textiles, to include high electrical conductivity, optical transparency, mechanical strength, thermal stability, as well as ease of processing into different structures, such as atomically thin-films, p…

Code Word Usage in the Online Ivory Trade Across Four European Union Member States

Penelitian - Researchers examined 19 different code words and phrases that have been identified as representing ivory products on sale across four of eBay's European websites in the UK, Italy, France and Spain.

Sara Alfino and David Roberts from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology within the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent found that despite eBay's ban on ivory sales there were 183 ivory items on sale by 113 sellers during their research window between 18 January and 5 February 2017.

Not only did these sales violate eBay's trading conditions but some broke regulations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and EU regulations regarding the sale of 'unworked' ivory.

Despite the use of codes to hide sales and the problems this could pose law enforcement agencies working in different languages, the researchers found that the majority of items on offer, around 80%,…

Desert Ants Possess Distinct Memories for Food and Nest Odors

Penelitian - Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology used behavioral experiments to show that desert ants are able to quickly learn many different food odors and remember them for the rest of their lives.

However, their memory for nest odors seems to differ from their food odor memory, whereas food odors are learned and kept after a single contact, ants need several trials to memorize nest odors. Moreover, ants forget a nest-associated odor very quickly after it has been removed from the nest. Hence, ants process food and nest odors differently in their brains.

The desert ant Cataglyphis fortis has amazing abilities to trace food and to return to its nest in the North African desert. Its sense of smell has a central function for orientation. The ant is not only a master navigator, it is also a memory artist.

Behavioral scientists Markus Knaden from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has been studying the navigational skills of this ant species for years.…

Effect of Soil Management Practices on the Sweeping Operation during Coffee Harvest

Penelitian - Coffee is one of Brazil's biggest crops. Brazil's favorable climate helps coffee beans ripen and be ready for picking during a concentrated period of weeks. This makes mechanical harvesting an economically reasonable choice. So much mechanization, however, comes with its challenges.

Tiago de Oliveira Tavares is an agronomist at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil. He and his colleagues perked up at the opportunity to brew some coffee-growing solutions. Up to 20% of coffee berries fall to the ground.

This can be due to the mechanical harvesting process as well as other causes, including rain, wind, disease and pests. This "ground coffee" is retrieved through a process of mechanical sweeping and picking. But the machinery is heavy.

Over time it compresses the soil, interfering with the trees' root growth and their ultimate levels of production. In response, growers use a process called subsoiling to break up this hard soil. A long blade is pulled behi…

China plans to explore polar regions of Moon by 2030

Penelitian - An official of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said China plans to land on and explore the southern and northern polar regions of the Moon by 2030.

Li Guoping, director of the Department of System Engineering of the CNSA, said at the World Conference on Science Literacy 2018 recently held in Beijing that China is planning four missions for the fourth stage of its lunar exploration program.

China's lunar exploration program, named after the legendary Chang'e, a moon goddess accompanied by a jade rabbit, started in 2003, and the first three stages of the program include orbiting and landing on the Moon, and bringing samples back to Earth.

Li said the fourth stage of the program will include sending the Chang'e-4 lunar probe to the far side of the Moon at the end of 2018, which is expected to become the world's first soft-landing, roving probe on the Moon's far side.

A relay satellite, named Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), for Chang'e-4 has en…

Fresh anti-polio targeting more 10 million children in Pakistan

Penelitian - A fresh anti-polio campaign targeting over 10 million children started in Pakistan on Monday, official broadcaster Radio Pakistan reported.

More than 10 million children up to five years of age will be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign for the eradication of the crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease, according to the notifications issued by provincial health departments.

The provincial health departments said that more than 45,000 polio teams in eastern Punjab province, 25,000 in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 9,000 in southwest Balochistan have been constituted to administer anti-polio drops, adding that the teams will also be available at railway stations, bus stands and main public places other than door-to-door visit.

Meanwhile, special security arrangements have been made to ensure the security of the teams. Pakistan remains one of the three polio-endemic countries together with Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Muhammad Safdar, Pakistan's …

Patients Flocked for Modicare within a Day of Launch

Penelitian - The litmus test for the government’s ambitious healthcare scheme, Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), has begun with around 1,000 patients seeking treatment in just one day after its formal launch.

The government has sent a two-page customized letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to 4 million beneficiaries explaining the importance and benefits of the scheme, according to the ministry of health and family welfare.

As many as 20 patients were admitted and operated on at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, Jharkhand, on the inaugural day of the scheme. The first birth after the scheme’s official launch was that of a girl, who was born to a beneficiary on Monday in the hospital.

“When we started the pilot of AB-PMJAY in Haryana, the first baby was also a girl named Karishma. We named her Ayushman Devi, inspired by the scheme’s name,” said Union health minister J.P. Nadda.

“This is really heartening that the first baby, aft…

A New Clade of Basal Early Cretaceous Pygostylian Birds and Developmental Plasticity of the Avian Shoulder Girdle

Penelitian - Paleontologists reported a newly identified extinct bird species from a 127 million-year-old fossil deposit in northeastern China. The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provided new information about avian development during the early evolution of flight.

Min Wang, Thomas Stidham and Zhonghe Zhou of the the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences described the well-preserved complete skeleton and feathers of this early bird in the study.

The analysis of this early Cretaceous fossil revealed that it was from a pivotal point in the evolution of flight: after birds lost their long bony tail, but before they evolved a fan of flight feathers on their shortened tail.

They named this extinct species Jinguofortis perplexus. The genus name "Jinguofortis" honors women scientists around the world, deriving from the Chinese word "jinguo," meaning female warrior, and the Lati…

Neuromodulation of Lumbosacral Spinal Networks Enables Independent Stepping After Complete Paraplegia

Penelitian - Five years after he was paralysed in a snowmobile accident, a man in the US has learned to walk again aided by an electrical implant, in a potential breakthrough for spinal injury sufferers.

A team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say the man, using a front-wheeled walker, was able to cover the equivalent of the length of a football pitch, issuing commands from his brain to transfer weight and maintain balance, all previously thought impossible for paralysed patients.

The man, now 29, severed his spinal cord in the middle of his back when he crashed his snowmobile in 2013. He is completely paralysed from the waist down, and cannot move or feel anything below the middle of his torso.

In the study, the results of which were published on Monday in the Nature Medicine, doctors in 2016 implanted a small electronic device in the man's spine. The wirelessly operated implant, about the size of a AA battery, generates electrical pulses to stimulate nerves that, due …