Open Questions Chronicle

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Volume 10, Number 19
May 9, 2011


Physical sciences
Technology
Life sciences
Neuroscience, psychology, behavior
Health and medicine
Physical sciences

Sea-floor methane
Extrasolar planets
Solar flares
Earthquakes
Dark matter
High-energy cosmic rays
Water on Titan
Topological insulators
Supersymmetry
Sea level rise
Antimatter
Galaxy distortion
Gravity Probe B
Global warming
Aerosols and climate modeling
Binary white dwarfs
Higgs boson
Water on Titan
Supermassive black hole activation
Paleoclimatology
Star-forming regions
Solar system formation
Technicolor physics
Pulsars
Proton spin
Supersolidity
Cosmological bounce model and black holes
Dwarf black holes

Technology

Gamma-ray laser
Quantum information
Hydrogen production
Supercomputing
Matter-wave optics in Bose-Einstein condensates
Terahertz cloaking
Carbon nanotubes and organic LEDs
Superconductivity
3-D transistors
Flexible electronics
Plasmonics
Optical transistors
Retinal prosthetics
Quantum simulators
Spintronics
Graphene
Lasers
Organic electronics
Photovoltaics
Nanotechnology
Metamaterials

Life sciences

Paranthropus boisei
Evolutionary conservation of developmental transcription factor activity
Parthenogenic lizards
Ocean subsurface microbiology
CTLA-4 and immune system regulation
Plant polyploidy and survival advantage
Fat maintenance and longevity
Neuropeptide Y and fat metabolism
Evolutionary developmental biology
Mitochondria
Amazonian biodiversity
Complement system
Organic chemistry from meteorites
Egg fertilization and zinc
Guanylate-binding proteins and immune response to bacteria
Commensal bacteria and evolution
STIM1, temperature, and immune response
Telomerase
Gene regulatory networks
Genomics

Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior

Protection of memories
Autism
Parrot understanding of language
Sleep patterns and cognitive decline in aging
Evolution of altruistic behavior
Attention
Brain-imaging studies
Behavioral and immune system response to stress
Nicotine potentiation of dopaminergic neurons
Chimpanzee self-awareness
Depression and cognition
Antidepressants
Holistic cognition
Schizophrenia
NOTCH and effects of sleep deprivation
SOX2 and neural crest stem cells
Stem cells and age-related cognitive decline
Memory of dreams
Neural coding
Dopamine receptor alleles and risk-taking behavior
Visual search

Health and medicine

Malaria
Eczema and asthma
Nanobiotechnology
Alzheimer's disease
Cancer biology
Cardiovascular disease
Antioxidant properties of caffeine
Obesity
Cancer
Stem cells and cancer
AIDS
Tissue engineering
Multiple sclerosis



Physical sciences


Sea-floor methane

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Sea-floor probe taps methane reservoir
Background, Background


Extrasolar planets

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Transiting super-Earth detected around naked eye star
  2. May 2, 2011 - Alien Planet Nearly Dense as Lead
  3. May 3, 2011 - Super-Earth sports lava ocean
  4. May 4, 2011 - The Hottest, Densest Super-Earth Yet
  5. May 5, 2011 - Dense, Hot Super-Earth Is "New Class of Planet"
Background


Solar flares

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Rotating Sunspots Triggered Massive Solar Flare
Background


Earthquakes

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Indian Scientists Plan to Delve Deep for Earthquake Precursors
  2. May 8, 2011 - Does the central Andean backarc have the potential for a great earthquake?
Background


Dark matter

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Signs of dark matter from Minnesota mine - also here
  2. May 3, 2011 - Second experiment hints at seasonal dark matter signal
  3. May 5, 2011 - Minnesota researcher's findings on dark matter jibe with Italy's DAMA/LIBRA claims
  4. May 6, 2011 - Astronomers and Physicists Remain Skeptical of Long-Standing Dark Matter Claim
Background


High-energy cosmic rays

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - New map of cosmic rays in the Southern sky presented at physics meeting
  2. May 3, 2011 - Strange cosmic ray hotspots stalk southern skies
Background


Water on Titan

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - All Signs Point to Hidden Ocean on Saturn Moon Titan
  2. May 5, 2011 - A water ocean on Titan? - also here
  3. May 9, 2011 - An Ocean of Water May Lie Deep Beneath Titan’s Lakes of Methane
  4. May 9, 2011 - Subsurface ocean may explain Titan's orbital wobbles
Background


Topological insulators

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Topological insulator becomes insulating at the surface
Background


Supersymmetry

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Keep it simple, SUSY
Background


Sea level rise

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Report sees sharper sea rise from Arctic melt - also here
  2. May 4, 2011 - Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100
Background, Background


Antimatter

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Fleeting antimatter trapped for a quarter of an hour
  2. May 4, 2011 - CERN scientists confine antihydrogen atoms for 1000 seconds
  3. May 4, 2011 - Antimatter trap tightens its grip
Background


Galaxy distortion

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Why Is This Galaxy Lopsided?
  2. May 4, 2011 - Two views of a lopsided galaxy
  3. May 4, 2011 - New Photos Show Lopsided Galaxy Called 'Meathook'
  4. May 6, 2011 - Glittering Meathook
Background


Gravity Probe B

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - At Long Last, Gravity Probe B Satellite Proves Einstein Right
  2. May 4, 2011 - Space probe confirms general relativity
  3. May 4, 2011 - Gravity Probe B finally pays off
  4. May 4, 2011 - Floating Gyroscopes Vindicate Einstein
  5. May 4, 2011 - Gravity Probe B confirms two Einstein theories
  6. May 4, 2011 - NASA Gravity Probe Confirms Two Einstein Theories
  7. May 4, 2011 - Beleaguered mission measures swirling space-time at last
  8. May 5, 2011 - NASA space probe proves Einstein correct
  9. May 5, 2011 - Einstein Theories Confirmed by NASA Gravity Probe
  10. May 5, 2011 - It Took More Than 50 Years, But NASA Proves That Einstein Was Correct
  11. May 5, 2011 - Einstein's relativity theory survives test in space
  12. May 6, 2011 - Gravity Probe B: Relatively Important?
  13. May 10, 2011 - Troubled probe upholds Einstein
  14. May 19, 2011 - Gravity Probe B concludes its 50-year quest
  15. May 31, 2011 - Finally, results from Gravity Probe B
Background


Global warming

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Canada's Arctic glaciers, ice caps losing water at an alarming rate
  2. May 4, 2011 - A new research report shows effects of climate change in the Arctic are more extensive than expected - also here, here
Background


Aerosols and climate modeling

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Down-and-dirty details of climate modeling
Background


Binary white dwarfs

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Binary white dwarf stars
  2. May 11, 2011 - Dying Stars to Collide and Create Stellar Baby
Background


Higgs boson

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Elusive Higgs slips from sight again
Background


Supermassive black hole activation

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Supermassive black hole rises and shines
Background, Background


Paleoclimatology

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Niño - also here
Background


Star-forming regions

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Swirling Lagoon
  2. May 6, 2011 - Gemini images a psychedelic stellar nursery
Background


Solar system formation

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Paper announces discovery of one of earliest minerals formed in solar system
Background


Technicolor physics

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Testing technicolor physics
Background


Pulsars

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Finger on the pulse of the pulsars
Background


Proton spin

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - New tool for proton spin
Background


Supersolidity

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - A probe for supersolidity—or the lack thereof
Background


Cosmological bounce model and black holes

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Some black holes may be older than time
Background, Background


Dwarf black holes

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - 'Dwarf' black holes might help explain dark matter
Background



Technology


Gamma-ray laser

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Proposed gamma-ray laser could emit 'nuclear light'
Background


Quantum information

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Single atom stores quantum information
Background


Hydrogen production

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Hydrogen fuel tech gets boost from low-cost, efficient catalyst
Background


Supercomputing

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Chinese supercomputer will feature The Godson-3B: A mesh style processor
  2. May 2, 2011 - Top Indian Supercomputer Boots Up at Space Center
  3. May 7, 2011 - Juelich Supercomputing Centre Boots Up GPU Cluster
Background


Matter-wave optics in Bose-Einstein condensates

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Vienna physicists create quantum twin atoms
Background, Background


Terahertz cloaking

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - 3-D Terahertz cloaking
Background, Background


Carbon nanotubes and organic LEDs

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Organic transistor targets displays
Background, Background


Superconductivity

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Study helps explain behavior of latest high-temp superconductors - also here
Background


3-D transistors

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Intel Reinvents Transistors Using New 3-D Structure
  2. May 4, 2011 - Intel, Seeking Edge on Rivals, Rethinks Its Building Blocks
  3. May 4, 2011 - For computer chip builders, only one way to go: Up - also here
  4. May 4, 2011 - Intel redesigns transistors for faster computers - also here
  5. May 4, 2011 - Intel Increases Transistor Speed by Building Upward
  6. May 5, 2011 - First Look: Why Intel's 3-D Transistor Is Such A Big Deal
  7. May 5, 2011 - 3D Transistors? We Don't Need 'Em, AMD's Foundry Says
  8. May 5, 2011 - Intel steals a march on rivals as it announces new 3D microchip revolution
  9. May 6, 2011 - Intel Says 'Fins' on Its New Transistors Are an Electronics Revolution
  10. May 6, 2011 - Intel enters the third dimension
  11. May 25, 2011 - Radical new Intel transistor based on UC Berkeley's FinFET
Background


Flexible electronics

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Revolutionary new paper computer shows flexible future for smartphones, tablets
  2. May 5, 2011 - Bend a flexible smartphone to make a call
Background


Plasmonics

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Researchers create novel nanoantennas
  2. May 5, 2011 - Nano-antenna fashions charge from light
  3. May 5, 2011 - Measurement of 'hot' electrons could have solar energy payoff
Background


Optical transistors

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Proposal for optical transistor uses light to control light
Background


Retinal prosthetics

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Forecast calls for nanoflowers to help return eyesight
Background


Quantum simulators

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Quantum simulation with light: Frustrations between photon pairs
Background


Spintronics

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Scientists achieve high temperature milestone in silicon spintronics
Background


Graphene

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Highly sensitive graphene biosensors based on surface plasmon resonance
  2. May 8, 2011 - Graphene optical modulators could lead to ultrafast communications - also here, here
  3. May 8, 2011 - Scientists discover the edge states of graphene nanoribbons
Background


Lasers

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Bird feathers inspire mirrorless laser
  2. May 6, 2011 - Brightly Colored Bird Feathers Inspire New Kind of Laser
  3. May 9, 2011 - New lasing technique inspired by brightly colored birds
  4. May 13, 2011 - Light amplification device inspired by brightly colored feathers
Background


Organic electronics

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Pentagonal tiles pave the way towards organic electronics - also here
Background


Photovoltaics

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - 'Swiss cheese' design enables thin film silicon solar cells with potential for higher efficiencies
Background


Nanotechnology

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Nanotech industry comes under fire
Background


Metamaterials

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - One-way sound walls proven possible
Background



Life sciences


Paranthropus boisei

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - 'Nutcracker Man' Ate Like a Cow (or Pig)
  2. May 2, 2011 - No nuts for 'Nutcracker Man': Early human relative apparently chewed grass instead
  3. May 2, 2011 - Huge-jawed human relative possessed 'graze' anatomy
  4. May 2, 2011 - Study: Ancient 'Nutcracker Man' really ate grass - also here, here
  5. May 2, 2011 - Ancient bipedal hominid dubbed 'Nutcracker Man' preferred grass to nuts, new study finds
  6. May 3, 2011 - Fossil causes rethink of early human diet
  7. May 3, 2011 - Our Ancient Cousin 'Nutcracker Man' Actually Ate Like a Cow: Lots of Grass
  8. May 3, 2011 - "Nutcracker Man" Had Fundamentally Different Diet
  9. May 3, 2011 - Our cousin who ate like a cow
Background


Evolutionary conservation of developmental transcription factor activity

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Study suggests that successful blueprints are recycled by evolution
Background, Background


Parthenogenic lizards

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - All-Female Lizard Species Created in Lab - also here
  2. May 5, 2011 - One generation, new species - all-female lizard bred in a lab
  3. May 6, 2011 - New species of lizard created in lab that reproduces by cloning itself
Background


Ocean subsurface microbiology

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Results from first microbial subsurface observatory experiment
  2. May 3, 2011 - Dynamic Microbial Life Inside Earth's Crust
Background


CTLA-4 and immune system regulation

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Scientists discover 'how to stop your immune system from killing you'
Background


Plant polyploidy and survival advantage

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Genome duplication encourages rapid adaptation of plants
Background


Fat maintenance and longevity

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Mouse study turns fat-loss/longevity link on its head
Background


Neuropeptide Y and fat metabolism

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Turning 'bad' fat into 'good': A future treatment for obesity?
Background


Evolutionary developmental biology

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Treehopper Camouflage Derives From Ancestral Wing
  2. May 5, 2011 - Evolution in reverse: insects recover lost 'wings'
  3. May 6, 2011 - Full-circle evolution: when a wing is not a wing
  4. May 6, 2011 - Sticking their necks out for evolution: Why sloths and manatees have unusually long (or short) necks
Background, Background


Mitochondria

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - New mitochondrial control mechanism discovered - also here
Background


Amazonian biodiversity

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Why more species live in the Amazon rainforests - also here
Background


Complement system

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - New structure of an important immune system complex resolves a 10-year controversy
Background


Organic chemistry from meteorites

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Asteroids make life's raw materials
Background, Background


Egg fertilization and zinc

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Spray of zinc marks fertilization
Background


Guanylate-binding proteins and immune response to bacteria

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Defensive proteins kill bacteria invading mouse cells by delivering deadly sacs of antimicrobial chemicals
Background


Commensal bacteria and evolution

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Could bacterial hitchhikers influence formation of new host species?
Background


STIM1, temperature, and immune response

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Scientists show how shifts in temperature prime immune response
Background


Telomerase

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Research reveals how cancer-driving enzyme works
Background, Background


Gene regulatory networks

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Medusa-structure of gene regulatory network: Dominance of transcription factors in cancer subtypes
Background


Genomics

References:
  1. May 8, 2011 - In a genetic research first, researchers turn zebrafish genes off and on - also here
Background



Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior


Protection of memories

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Scientists discover brain structures associated with learning
  2. May 3, 2011 - Keeping memories sharp
  3. May 5, 2011 - Mice with PTSD help neuroscientists understand memories
Background


Autism

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Study finds autism-related early brain overgrowth slows by age 2 years
  2. May 3, 2011 - The mirror neuron system in autism: Broken or just slowly developing?
  3. May 4, 2011 - Autism epidemic? More likely we're just better at diagnosis
  4. May 4, 2011 - 'Most adults with autism go undiagnosed' -- new findings
  5. May 4, 2011 - Autism Overdiagnosed Or Undiagnosed?
  6. May 5, 2011 - Children conceived in winter have a greater risk of autism, study finds
  7. May 5, 2011 - Female-to-male transsexual people have more autistic traits
Background


Parrot understanding of language

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Talk to the animals - also here
Background, Background


Sleep patterns and cognitive decline in aging

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Sleep changes associated with loss of brain power in middle age
Background, Background


Evolution of altruistic behavior

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Even Robots Can Be Heroes
  2. May 3, 2011 - Nice Robots Finish First: Simulation Shows How Altruism Can Evolve
  3. May 3, 2011 - Robots learn to share, validating Hamilton's rule - also here, here
  4. May 4, 2011 - Robots Evolve Altruism, Just as Biology Predicts
  5. May 4, 2011 - Cooperative robots obey evolutionary law
  6. May 5, 2011 - Tiny robots reveal why we share
  7. May 23, 2011 - Robots show the evolution of altruism
Background, Background


Attention

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Scientists discover a neuronal network that may affect attention abilities
Background


Brain-imaging studies

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Ecstasy associated with chronic change in brain function
  2. May 3, 2011 - Sense of justice built into the brain
  3. May 5, 2011 - Caltech Researchers Pinpoint Brain Region That Influences Gambling Decisions
  4. May 6, 2011 - Easily distracted people may have too much brain
Background


Behavioral and immune system response to stress

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Researchers see a 'picture' of threat in the brain: Work may lead to new model of neuroinflammation
Background, Background


Nicotine potentiation of dopaminergic neurons

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Nicotine and cocaine leave similar mark on brain after first contact
Background


Chimpanzee self-awareness

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Like humans, chimps are self-aware
  2. May 4, 2011 - I control therefore I am: chimps self-aware, says study
Background


Depression and cognition

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Positive effects of depression
  2. May 6, 2011 - Thinking better with depression
Background


Antidepressants

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - New neurons key to antidepressant effect
Background


Holistic cognition

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Seeing the trees and missing the forest
Background


Schizophrenia

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Scientists afflict computers with schizophrenia to better understand the human brain - also here, here
  2. May 6, 2011 - Schizophrenia misunderstood, psychiatrist says
  3. May 6, 2011 - Schizophrenic Simulation: Computer Acts Out Human Disease
  4. May 9, 2011 - Computers Become Schizophrenic-Like When Learning Goes Into Overdrive
Background


NOTCH and effects of sleep deprivation

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Protein keeps sleep-deprived flies ready to learn
Background


SOX2 and neural crest stem cells

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - What decides neural stem cell fate?
Background, Background


Stem cells and age-related cognitive decline

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Stem cell-related changes that may contribute to age-related cognitive decline identified
Background, Background


Memory of dreams

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Why do we remember some dreams but not others?
Background, Background


Neural coding

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Learning how the brain does its coding
Background


Dopamine receptor alleles and risk-taking behavior

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Out-of-Africa migration selected novelty-seeking genes
Background


Visual search

References:
  1. May 8, 2011 - The brain performs visual search near optimally - also here
  2. May 10, 2011 - Humans are Lean, Mean, Seeing Machines
Background



Health and medicine


Malaria

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Sickle-cell may blunt, not stop, malaria
  2. May 5, 2011 - How sickle-cell carriers fend off malaria
Background


Eczema and asthma

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Childhood eczema leads to adult allergic asthma
Background


Nanobiotechnology

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Removable 'cloak' for nanoparticles helps them target tumors
  2. May 3, 2011 - 'I'm a tumor and I'm over here!' Nanovaults used to prod immune system to fight cancer
  3. May 3, 2011 - Tooled-up T-cells take the fight to cancer
  4. May 5, 2011 - Nanoparticle boosted T-cells take on cancer
Background


Alzheimer's disease

References:
  1. May 2, 2011 - Being overweight in midlife might increase chance of dementia later
  2. May 4, 2011 - Blood test for Alzheimer's: Study identifies procedure that detects early stages
  3. May 4, 2011 - New route to map brain fat
  4. May 4, 2011 - Simulating amyloid formation
Background


Cancer biology

References:
  1. May 3, 2011 - Protein identified as enemy of vital tumor suppressor PTEN - also here
  2. May 3, 2011 - Researchers demonstrate why DNA breaks down in cancer cells - also here
  3. May 3, 2011 - Key cause of bone marrow failure identified
Background


Cardiovascular disease

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Exercise protects the heart via nitric oxide
  2. May 4, 2011 - Age alone should be used to screen for heart attacks and strokes, say experts
  3. May 6, 2011 - Low sodium intake could be riskier than thought
  4. May 8, 2011 - Heart attacks are more dangerous in the morning
Background


Antioxidant properties of caffeine

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - New evidence that caffeine is a healthful antioxidant in coffee
Background


Obesity

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Scientists discover a protein that contributes to obesity
  2. May 4, 2011 - Night owls at risk for weight gain and bad diet - also here
  3. May 5, 2011 - How Obesity Spreads in Social Networks
Background


Cancer

References:
  1. May 4, 2011 - Study: Prostate cancer surgery helps younger men - also here
  2. May 5, 2011 - Celgene's Revlimid extends life in cancer trial
  3. May 6, 2011 - 3 popular supplements fall short in preventing prostate cancer: study
  4. May 6, 2011 - UCSF scientists play key role in success of Yervoy, a new cancer drug
  5. May 6, 2011 - A microscope could detect cancer by scanning skin
Background


Stem cells and cancer

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Normal stem cells made to look and act like cancer stem cells
Background, Background


AIDS

References:
  1. May 5, 2011 - Antibodies help protect monkeys from HIV-like virus, scientists show
Background


Tissue engineering

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Biomedical engineers patch a heart using novel tissue cell therapy
Background


Multiple sclerosis

References:
  1. May 6, 2011 - Discovery demonstrates potential MS therapy could kill brain cells
Background


Copyright © 2011 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved