SwRI-led study captures science data from Great American Eclipse

Two NASA WB-57F research aircraft successfully tracked the August 21 solar eclipse as part of a NASA project led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to study the solar corona and Mercury’s surface.

New green solvent could help clean our air

French researchers have patented an eco-friendly liquid mixture that could help trap harmful pollutants from the air. The non-flammable solvent contains urea and choline salt, a common ingredient in chicken feed, says Leila Moura of the Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant in France. She is the lead author of a study in Springer’s journal Environmental Chemistry Letters. 

Researchers Report Breakthrough in Magnesium Batteries

Magnesium batteries offer promise for safely powering modern life – unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding – but their ability to store energy has been limited.Researchers reported Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Communications the discovery of a new design for the battery cathode, drastically increasing the storage capacity and upending conventional wisdom that the magnesium-chloride bond must be broken before inserting magnesium into the host.

New drug targets for a rare kidney and liver disease

In a joint international study, researchers from Osaka University have partnered with research groups from the United States and Spain to uncover how mutations in a single gene called PKHD1 lead to symptoms associated with a rare kidney and liver disease, ARPKD (autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease). The findings are expected to lead to novel treatment strategies against the disease.

UCLA research reveals how new behaviors appear and spread among capuchin monkeys

One white-faced capuchin monkey sticks its fingers deep into the eye sockets of another capuchin it’s friends with. A capuchin uses her ally’s body parts to whack their common enemy. These behaviors become entrenched in the repertoires of the inventors. But in the first case, the behavior spreads to other group members, and in the second case it does not.

Brain recovery longer than clinical recovery among athletes following concussion, new research suggests

University athletes with a recent concussion had changes in their brain structure and function even after they received medical clearance to return to play, a new study has found.

Exploring the Ground Truth: NASA's Twin Study Investigates Metabolites

You may think you’re just an average Joe, but according to your metabolomics data your body is percolating some expressive information about your daily life.

Custom robots in a matter of minutes

Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware.But what if there were a way to let non-experts craft different robotic designs — in one sitting?Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are getting closer to doing exactly that. In a new paper, they present a system called “Interactive Robogami” that lets you design a robot in minutes, and then 3-D print and assemble it in as little as four hours. 

Annual Value of Trees? $500 Million Per Megacity, Study Says

In the megacities that are home to nearly 10 percent of the world's 7.5 billion people, trees provide each city with more than $500 million each year in services that make urban environments cleaner, more affordable and more pleasant places to live.In a recent study published in the online journal Ecological Modelling, an international team of researchers reported that in the 10 megacities they studied, tree-based ecosystem benefits had a median annual value of $505 million, which is equivalent to $1.2 million per square kilometer of trees. From another perspective, the value was $35 per capita for the average megacity resident.

MU Study Finds that Gravity, 'Mechanical Loading' are Key to Cartilage Development

Mechanical loading, or forces that stimulate cellular growth for development, is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity or mechanical loads. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading.