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Cats Use Hollow Papillae to Wick Saliva Into Fur

Penelitian - Cat lovers know when kitties groom, their tongues are pretty scratchy. Using high-tech scans and some other tricks, scientists are learning how those sandpapery tongues help cats get clean and stay cool.

Tiny hooks that spring up on the tongue - with scoops built in to carry saliva deep into all that fur. A team of mechanical engineers reported the findings Monday, and say they're more than a curiosity. They could lead to inventions for pets and people.

"Their tongue could help us apply fluids, or clean carpets, or apply medicine" to hairy skin, said Georgia Tech lead researcher Alexis Noel, who is seeking a patent for a 3D-printed, tongue-inspired brush.

Cats are fastidious, spending up to a quarter of their waking hours grooming. Noel's interest was piqued when her cat, Murphy, got his tongue stuck in a fuzzy blanket. Scientists had long thought cat tongues were studded with tiny cone-shaped bumps. Noel, working in a lab known for animal-inspired engin…
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Space Station Gets Two Cargo Deliveries in Record 15 Hours

Penelitian - The International Space Station has received two cargo deliveries in a record 15 hours. A U.S. commercial shipment arrived Monday, two days after blasting off from Virginia.

NASA Astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor used the space station’s robot arm to grab Northrop Grumman’s capsule. It’s named after Apollo 16 moonwalker and the first space shuttle commander John Young, who died in January.

The station’s German commander, Alexander Gerst, tweeted, “Welcome aboard, S.S. John Young!” Ice cream and other fresh food are the first things coming out. On Sunday, a Russian supply ship brought a full load.

NASA says it is the quickest back-to-back shipments for the space station, which marks its 20th anniversary Tuesday. The supply ships will remain there for a few months, before being filled with trash and cut loose.

Late Middle Pleistocene Levallois Stone-tool Technology in Southwest China

Penelitian - An international team of researchers found that sophisticated tool technology or "Swiss Army Knife of prehistoric times" emerged in East Asia earlier than previously thought.

Analysis of artifacts at a southern China archaeological site showed that carved stone tools were used in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago, according to a study published in Nature on Monday.

Developed in Africa and Western Europe as far back as 300,000 years ago, the tools called "Levallois cores" are a sign of more-advanced tool-making but, until now, were not believed to have emerged in East Asia until 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, according to the researchers.

The researchers believed people in Asia developed the technology independently, offering evidence of similar sets of skills evolving throughout different parts of the ancient world. The tools are named for the Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris, where stone flakes were found in the 1800s.

"It used to be thought that Lev…

Rubella Spreading Across Japan Raising Concerns Inbound Travel

Penelitian - Rubella infections are spreading across Japan, raising concern that a potentially long-term epidemic could sap travel demand from abroad. With the total number of rubella patients in 2018 expected to top 2,000 for the first time in nearly five years, experts are stressing the importance of taking antibody tests and vaccinations.

The spread is mainly because many men in their 30s and older are unvaccinated. When the rubella outbreak began in the week between July 23 and 29 in Japan, only 19 patients were reported in five prefectures including Tokyo, Chiba and Aichi, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

But the weekly number of rubella patients surged to 154 in the period between Oct 29 and Nov 4 in 26 prefectures with notable rises in the Kansai region in the country's west. The number exceeded 100 for the ninth consecutive week, already bringing the overall figure for patients so far this year to at least 1,884, the institute said.

In late Octob…

Spontaneous Innovation of Hook-bending and Unbending in Orangutans (Pongo abelii)

Penelitian - The bending of a hook into wire to fish for the handle of a basket is surprisingly challenging for young children under eight years of age. Now cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists studied hook tool making for the first time in a non-human primate species -- the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii).

To the researchers' surprise the apes spontaneously manufactured hook tools out of straight wire within the very first trial and in a second task unbent curved wire to make a straight tool.

Human children are already proficient tool-users and tool-makers from an early age on. Nevertheless, when confronted with a task, which required them to innovate a hooked tool out of a straight piece of wire in order to retrieve a basket from the bottom of a vertical tube, the job proved more challenging for children than one might think.

Three to five-year-old children rarely succeed and even at the age of seven less than half of them were able to solve the task. Only at the…

US Authorities Paves Way to Get Lab Meat on Plates

Penelitian - US authorities on Friday agreed on how to regulate food products cultured from animal cells, paving the way to get so-called "lab meat" on American plates.

The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration agreed to share regulation of cell-cultured food products, they said in a joint statement, following a public meeting in October.

While technical details have yet to be confirmed, the FDA would oversee the collection and differentiation of cells, when stem cells develop to specialized cells, while USDA would oversee production and labeling of food products.

"This regulatory framework will leverage both the FDA's experience regulating cell-culture technology and living biosystems and the USDA's expertise in regulating livestock and poultry products for human consumption," the statement said, adding that the agencies see no need for legislation on the matter.

The question of whether to approve cell-cultured food products has ne…

Graphene Mechanical Pixels for Interferometric Modulator Displays

Penelitian - With virtual reality (VR) sizzling in every electronic fair, there is a need for displays with higher resolution, frame rates and power efficiency. Now, a joint collaboration of researchers from SCALE Nanotech, Graphenea and TU Delft have used graphene to make reflective-type displays that operate faster and at much higher resolution than existing technologies.

Displays consume the most power in electronic gadgets. Portable devices like smartphones and VR visors therefore require most of the energy from batteries. As an alternative solution, reflective-type displays (like those in e-book readers) consume little power, though they cannot deliver video.

Reflective displays that offer the specifications of standard technologies (OLED, LCD) do not exist yet. The good news is that graphene makes this possible. Graphene, a monolayer of carbon atoms, is the thinnest, strongest material and the best electrical conductor, an ideal combination for micro-electromechanical systems (M…

The Genetic Prehistory of the Andean Highlands 7000 Years BP Though European Contact

Penelitian - A multi-center study of the genetic remains of people who settled thousands of years ago in the Andes Mountains of South America reveals a complex picture of human adaptation from early settlement, to a split about 9,000 years ago between high and lowland populations, to the devastating exposure to European disease in the 16th-century colonial period.

The researchers used newly available samples of DNA from seven whole genomes to study how ancient Andean people, including groups that clustered around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia, 12,000 feet above sea level, adapted to their environment over the centuries.

They compared their seven historical genomes to 64 modern-day genomes from a current highland Andean population, the agropastoral Aymara of Bolivia, and the lowland hunter-gatherer Huilliche-Pehuenche in coastal Chile.

The goals were to date the initial migration to the Andean highlands, to identify the genetic adaptations to the high-altitude environment that allo…

Dlk1-Dio3 Locus-derived lncRNAs Perpetuate Postmitotic Motor Neuron Cell Fate and Subtype Identity

Penelitian - When a gene is active, its DNA sequence is ‘transcribed’ to form a molecule of RNA. Many of these RNAs act as templates for making proteins. But for some genes, the protein molecules are not their final destinations.

Their RNA molecules instead help to control gene activity, which can alter the behaviour or the identity of a cell. For example, experiments performed in individual cells suggest that so-called long non-coding RNAs (or lncRNAs for short) guide how stem cells develop into different types of mature cells.

However, it is not clear whether lncRNAs play the same critical role in embryos. Ya-Ping Yen of the National Taiwan University and team used embryonic stem cells to model how motor neurons develop in the spinal cord of mouse embryos. This revealed that motor neurons produce large amounts of a specific group of lncRNAs, particularly one called Meg3.

Further experiments showed that motor neurons in mouse embryos that lack Meg3 do not correctly silence a set of g…

2D Organic Molecular Metallic Soft Material Derived from BEDO-TTF with Electrochromic and Rectifying Properties

Penelitian - Migration and chemical transformation of iodine species in the organic salt has been utilized to make dual functional devices that can operate at low voltages. An international team led by Eden Steven from Florida State University and Elena Laukhina from Ciber-BBN (ICMAB-CSIC) develops flexible electrochromic and rectifying components based on bi-layered thin films of a molecular metal.

The thin film consists of a thin polycarbonate substrate and a metallic triiodide salt of an organic molecule BEDO-TTF which undergoes losses or restore of I3- anions under forward or reverse biases in the presence of water, respectively, resulting in discoloration/coloration and electrical rectifying behavior.

The simple working principle and the versatile functionalities shown here enable promising design and fabrication of organic electrochromic and rectifying devices in the near future.

Journal : Daniel Suarez et al. 2D organic molecular metallic soft material derived from BEDO-TTF with…