Scientists create new class of “Turing patterns” in colonies of E. coli

Scientists have proven how a brand new class of Turing patterns work by utilizing artificial biology to create them from scratch within the lab.

Shortly earlier than his loss of life, Alan Turing revealed a provocative paper outlining his principle for a way advanced, irregular patterns emerge in nature—his model of how the leopard acquired its spots. These so-called Turing patterns have been noticed in physics and chemistry, and there’s rising proof that additionally they happen in organic programs. Now a crew of Spanish scientists has managed to tweak E. coli within the laboratory in order that the colonies exhibit branching Turing patterns, in keeping with a current paper revealed within the journal Artificial Biology.

“Through the use of artificial biology, we’ve a novel alternative to interrogate organic buildings and their generative potential,” stated co-author Ricard Solé of Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, who can be an exterior professor on the Santa Fe Institute. “Are the noticed mechanisms present in nature to create patterns the one options to generate them, or are there options?” (Artificial biology sometimes includes stitching collectively stretches of DNA—which will be present in different organisms, and be totally novel—and inserting into an organism’s genome.)

In artificial biology, scientists sometimes sew collectively lengthy stretches of DNA and insert them into an organism’s genome. These synthesized items of DNA might be genes which are present in different organisms or they might be totally novel.

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A curious observer’s information to quantum mechanics, pt. 5: Catching a wave

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 5: Catching a wave

Enlarge (credit score: Aurich Lawson / Getty Photos)

One of many quietest revolutions of our present century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our on a regular basis expertise. It was once that quantum results have been confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. However fashionable expertise more and more depends on quantum mechanics for its primary operation, and the significance of quantum results will solely develop within the many years to come back. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean process of explaining quantum mechanics to laypeople on this seven-part sequence (no math, we promise). Under is the fifth story within the sequence, however you’ll be able to at all times discover the beginning story plus a touchdown web page for the complete sequence to this point on website.

Sung to the abbess’s traces in “Maria” from The Sound of Music:

“How do you catch a wave like Maria? How do you seize a cloud and pin it down? Oh, how do you resolve a particle like Maria? How do you maintain a moonbeam in your hand?”

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Remastered photographs reveal how far Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the Moon

This image consists of six photographs taken from the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, enhanced and stitched into a single panorama to show the landing scene, along with the location from where Alan Shepard hit two golf balls. Both astronaut's PLSS' (life-support backpacks) can also be seen at left.

Enlarge / This picture consists of six pictures taken from the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, enhanced and stitched right into a single panorama to point out the touchdown scene, together with the placement from the place Alan Shepard hit two golf balls. Each astronaut’s PLSS’ (life-support backpacks) may also be seen at left. (credit score: NASA / JSC / ASU / Andy Saunders)

Fifty years in the past this week, NASA astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. made area historical past when he took a number of golf swings on the Moon in the course of the Apollo 14 mission, efficiently hitting two golf balls throughout the lunar floor. House fans have debated for many years simply how far that second ball traveled. It appears we now have a solution, due to the efforts of imaging specialist Andy Saunders, who digitally enhanced archival photographs from that mission and used them to estimate the ultimate resting spots of the golf balls.

Saunders, who has been working with america Golf Affiliation (USGA) to commemorate Shepard’s historic feat, introduced his findings in a Twitter thread. Saunders concluded that the primary golf ball Shepard hit traveled roughly 24 yards, whereas the second golf ball traveled 40 yards.

Shepard’s fondness for cheeky irreverence had popped up often throughout his profitable pre-NASA naval profession, most notably when he was a check pilot on the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. He was almost court-martialed for looping the Chesapeake Bay Bridge throughout a check flight, however thankfully, his superiors intervened. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1959, Shepard was chosen as one of many seven Mercury astronauts. (The others had been Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton.)

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New research cracks the case of why meals sticks to middle of nonstick pans

Eggs frying in a pan have been arranged to look like a smiling face.

Enlarge / Meals will generally get caught to a heated floor, even when oil or a nonstick frying pan is used. Scientists have concluded that convection could also be accountable. (credit score: Dan Tentler/through Getty Photos)

House cooks around the globe have relied on nonstick cookware for many years for fast and simple cleanup after making ready meals. However generally meals will get caught to the middle of nonstick pans anyway. A new paper printed within the journal Physics of Fluids presents a possible clarification—meals sticks due to the identical underlying mechanism that provides rise to the espresso ring impact and so-called “wine tears.”

The primary nonstick frying pans have been made doable by the invention of Teflon in 1938 by a chemist named Roy Plunkett, who was researching doable new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants as a part of a three way partnership with DuPont. In April of that yr, Plunkett later recalled, his assistant chosen one of many cylinders they have been utilizing to retailer tetrafluoroethylene gasoline (TFE) at dry-ice temperatures till the canisters have been able to be chlorinated for his or her experiments. When the assistant opened the valve, the gasoline didn’t move underneath its personal strain from the container, as anticipated.

Puzzled, the researchers opened the container solely to search out the gasoline was gone. In its stead, they discovered a white powder. The TFE had polymerized right into a waxy strong referred to as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which proved to have some attention-grabbing properties: it was chemically inert and heat-resistant, and it had very low floor friction. Maybe it wasn’t helpful as a refrigerant, however it proved to be a terrific nonstick coating.

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A curious observer’s information to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Trying on the stars

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Looking at the stars

Enlarge (credit score: Aurich Lawson / Getty Photographs)

One of many quietest revolutions of our present century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our on a regular basis expertise. It was that quantum results had been confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. However trendy expertise more and more depends on quantum mechanics for its primary operation, and the significance of quantum results will solely develop within the many years to return. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean activity of explaining quantum mechanics to the remainder of us laymen on this seven-part sequence (no math, we promise). Beneath is the fourth story within the sequence, however you possibly can at all times discover the beginning story plus a touchdown web page for your entire sequence to this point on web site.

Stunning telescopic pictures of our Universe are sometimes related to the stately, classical physics of Newton. Whereas quantum mechanics dominates the microscopic world of atoms and quarks, the motions of planets and galaxies comply with the majestic clockwork of classical physics.

However there isn’t any pure restrict to the dimensions of quantum results. If we glance carefully on the pictures produced by telescopes, we see the fingerprints of quantum mechanics. That’s as a result of particles of sunshine should journey throughout the huge reaches of area in a wave-like solution to make the attractive pictures we take pleasure in.

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It’s the wombat’s unusual intestines, not its anus, that produces cubed poo

cube shaped wombat dropping

Enlarge / Take a look at this pretty cube-shaped piece of poo, courtesy of the Australian bare-nosed wombat. (credit score: Patricia J. Yang et al., 2021)

Scientists have been puzzling for many years over how the Australian bare-nosed wombat poops out neat little cubes of feces as a substitute of tapered cylinders like just about all different animals. In accordance with a brand new paper revealed within the journal Mushy Matter, the key lies of their intestines, which have various stiff and mushy areas that serve to form the poo through the digestive course of. Earlier preliminary findings by the identical group gained the 2019 Ig Nobel Physics Prize.

“Naked-nosed wombats are famend for producing distinctive, cube-shaped poos. This skill to kind comparatively uniform, clear minimize feces is exclusive within the animal kingdom,” stated College of Tasmania wildlife ecologist Scott Carver, a co-author on the paper. “They place these feces at distinguished factors of their residence vary, equivalent to round a rock or a log, to speak with one another. Our analysis discovered that these cubes are shaped throughout the final sections of the gut—and at last proves that you just actually can match a sq. peg via a spherical gap.”

Zoologist Eric Guiler first famous the weird form of wombat droppings in 1960, and to this point, wombats are the one identified animals to supply six-sided cube-shaped poo. It is one among a number of examples of naturally occurring sample formation, such because the columns of Eire’s Big’s Causeway (shaped by cooling lava), or how vibrating membranes could make grains of sand kind “Chladni figures.” However naturally occurring dice shapes are extraordinarily uncommon. The Australian bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus) can pump out as many as 100 cube-shaped droppings a day.

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A curious observer’s information to quantum mechanics, pt. 3: Rose coloured glasses 

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 3: Rose colored glasses 

Enlarge (credit score: Getty Photographs / Aurich Lawson)

One of many quietest revolutions of our present century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our on a regular basis expertise. It was that quantum results had been confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. However trendy expertise more and more depends on quantum mechanics for its primary operation, and the significance of quantum results will solely develop within the many years to come back. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean job of explaining quantum mechanics to the remainder of us laymen on this seven-part collection (no math, we promise). Under is the third story within the collection, however you may at all times discover the beginning story right here.

To date, we’ve seen particles transfer as waves and discovered {that a} single particle can take a number of, broadly separated paths. There are a variety of questions that naturally arises from this habits—one in every of them being, “How huge is a particle?” The reply is remarkably delicate, and over the subsequent two weeks (and articles) we’ll discover completely different elements of this query.

Right now, we’ll begin with a seemingly easy query: “How lengthy is a particle?”

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A curious observer’s information to quantum mechanics, pt. 2: The particle melting pot

One of many quietest revolutions of our present century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our on a regular basis expertise. It was that quantum results had been confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. However trendy expertise more and more depends on quantum mechanics for its fundamental operation, and the significance of quantum results will solely develop within the many years to come back. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean process of explaining quantum mechanics to the remainder of us laymen on this seven-part sequence (no math, we promise). Beneath is the second story within the sequence, however you possibly can all the time discover the beginning story right here.

Welcome again for our second guided stroll into the quantum mechanical woods! Final week, we noticed how particles transfer like waves and hit like particles and the way a single particle takes a number of paths. Whereas shocking, this can be a well-explored space of quantum mechanics—it’s on the paved nature path across the customer’s middle.

This week I’d prefer to get off the paved path and go a bit deeper into the woods with the intention to speak about how particles meld and mix whereas in movement. It is a matter that’s often reserved for physics majors; it is hardly ever mentioned in widespread articles. However the payoff is knowing how precision lidar works and attending to see one of many nice innovations making it out of the lab, the optical comb. So let’s go get our (quantum) mountain climbing boots a bit soiled—it will be price it.

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A “no math” (however seven-part) information to fashionable quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics is complex, fold-your-brain stuff. But it <em>can</em> be explained.

Enlarge / Quantum mechanics is complicated, fold-your-brain stuff. But it surely can be defined. (credit score: Aurich Lawson / Getty Photographs)

Some technical revolutions enter with drama and a bang, others wriggle unnoticed into our on a regular basis expertise. And one of many quietest revolutions of our present century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our on a regular basis know-how. It was that quantum results have been confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. However fashionable know-how more and more depends on quantum mechanics for its primary operation, and the significance of quantum results will solely develop within the a long time to come back.

As such, the time has come to clarify quantum mechanics—or, at the very least, its fundamentals.

My aim on this seven(!)-part sequence is to introduce the unusually stunning results of quantum mechanics and clarify how they’ve come to affect our on a regular basis world. Every version will embrace a guided hike into the quantum mechanical woods the place we’ll admire a brand new—and infrequently stunning—impact. As soon as again on the customer’s middle, we’ll discuss how that impact is utilized in know-how and the place to search for it.

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Synchronized violin gamers reveal uniqueness of human networks

There’s hardly ever time to write down about each cool science-y story that comes our manner. So this 12 months, we’re as soon as once more working a particular Twelve Days of Christmas collection of posts, highlighting one science story that fell by way of the cracks in 2020, every day from December 25 by way of January 5. Immediately: experiments in synchronization in a community of violin gamers demonstrated that people can drown out distractions and miscommunications, the higher to remain in sync.

An August 2020 research revealed in Nature Communications makes use of a mannequin of violin synchronization in a community of violin gamers, revealing that there are methods to drown out distractions and miscommunications.

An uncommon experiment involving 16 violinists making an attempt to synchronize their enjoying whereas sporting noise-canceling headphones yielded some intriguing outcomes, in response to an August 2020 paper revealed in Nature Communications. The research concluded that human networks are essentially totally different from different networks by way of synchronized conduct due to our decision-making capacity. That would result in higher fashions for advanced human conduct, with functions in such various areas as economics, epidemiology, politics, visitors administration, and the unfold of misinformation.

There have been prior research of synchronization in human conduct, most notably with regard to bridge dynamics. For example, as we have reported beforehand, folks strolling on a bridge that begins to shift will instinctively modify their stride to match the bridge’s swaying movement because it lurches sideways. This might be acquainted to anybody who has tried to stroll on a fast-moving prepare and wanted to search out regular footing because the prepare wobbled back and forth. However a bridge exacerbates the issue, giving rise to further small sideways oscillations that amplify the swaying. The result’s a optimistic suggestions loop (the technical time period is “synchronous lateral excitation”).

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