Matter & Energy 

Hematene joins parade of new 2D materials

In the wake of its recent discovery of a flat form of gallium, an international team led by scientists from Rice University has created another two-dimensional material that the researchers said could be a game changer for solar fuel generation. Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan and colleagues extracted 3-atom-thick hematene from common iron ore. The research was introduced in a paper today in Nature Nanotechnology.

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Migratory animals carry more parasites

Every year, billions of animals migrate across the globe, carrying parasites with them and encountering parasites through their travels. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology discovered that animals known to migrate long distances are infected by a greater number of parasite species than animals that do not migrate.

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Machine learning flags emerging pathogens

A new machine learning tool that can detect whether emerging strains of the bacterium, Salmonella are more likely to cause dangerous bloodstream infections rather than food poisoning has been developed. The tool, created by a scientist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and her collaborators at the University of Otago, New Zealand and the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research, a site of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany, greatly speeds up the process for identifying the genetic changes underlying new invasive types of Salmonella that are of public health concern.

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Mind & Brain 

A vital pause: Neurons in the brain’s striatum may help regulate response to unexpected stimuli

Changing our behavior based on unexpected cues from our environment is an essential part of survival. The ability to drop what you’re doing when circumstances demand it could mean the difference between avoiding a speeding vehicle or getting hit by it. A new study at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has delved into a brain mechanism that may regulate such adaptation.

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Wrap an electrode material for Li-ion battery into the inner spacing of carbon nanotube

Researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology have demonstrated the electrochemical performance of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) using phosphorus-encapsulated carbon nanotube electrodes, in which red phosphorus with considerable high capacity is introduced into the inner spacing of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with a tubular structure. The electrodes indicated an improvement in the electrochemical reactivity of red phosphorus when accessible pathways of lithium ions, i.e., nanopores, were formed onto the sidewalls of the CNTs where the red phosphorus was encapsulated. Furthermore, the charge-discharge profiles and structural analysis revealed reversible electrochemical reactions and the relatively high structural stability of red phosphorus in the nanotubes even after the fiftieth charge-discharge cycle. The charge-discharge capacities show a value two times or higher than that of graphite used in commercial LIBs. Therefore, a new electrode material for LIBs with high capacity is proposed.

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Plants & Animals 

Despite mutations in makona Ebola virus, disease consistent in mice, monkeys

Early during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, scientists speculated that the genetic diversity of the circulating Makona strain of virus (EBOV-Makona) would result in more severe disease and more transmissibility than prior strains. However, using two different animal models, National Institutes of Health scientists have determined that certain mutations stabilized early during the epidemic and did not alter Ebola disease presentation or outcome. Their work, published in Cell Reports, offers further evidence to support previous findings from molecular sequencing that the diversity of EBOV-Makona did not significantly impact the course of disease.

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