Open Questions Chronicle

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Volume 10, Number 22
May 30, 2011


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

Extrasolar planets
Star-forming regions
Pulsars
Sea level rise
Large Hadron Collider
Gamma-ray bursts and white holes
Black hole spin
Quark-gluon plasma
Plate tectonics
Enceladus
Carina nebula
Intergalactic filaments
Global warming
White dwarfs
Stellar age and spin
Radio astronomy
Planet formation
Galaxy collisions
Electric dipole moment of electrons
2MASS Redshift Survey
Gamma-ray bursts
Snowball Earth
Isolated massive star
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer galaxy images
Earthquakes
Astrochemistry
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
Bose-Einstein condensates
Mantle plumes
Mini black holes
Blue stragglers
Galaxy evolution
Oceans and global climate
Olivine in stellar dust clouds
Quantum entanglement
Active galaxies
Paleoclimatology
Measuring black hole masses by infrared emissions
Gravitational waves

Technology

Metamaterials
Molecular computing
Fuel cells
Superconductivity
Nanotechnology
Artificial intelligence
Lasers
Graphene
Quantum computing
Photovoltaics
Metamaterials and photonics
Spintronics
Carbon nanotubes

Life sciences

Bacterial electricity
Anomalocaridids
Transdifferentiation of neurons
Bacterial cooperation
TFEB, autophagy, and lysosomes
E-cadherin and pluripotency
Metabolic rate and lifespan

Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior

Brain-imaging studies
Understanding of basic geometric concepts
Infant language learning
Age-related loss of plasticity in the prefrontal cortex
Bipolar disorder
Schizophrenia
Autism
Regret and the prefrontal cortex
Memory formation
Sleep and decision making
Synesthesia
Firing neurons under voluntary control

Health and medicine

Inflammatory bowel disease
Hepatitis C
Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Multiple sclerosis
Diabetes
Cancer biology
Alzheimer's disease
Obesity
Nanobiotechnology
Stem cells
Malaria
Parkinson's disease
Celiac disease
Gene therapy
Antibiotic resistance



Physical sciences


Extrasolar planets

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Stars With Multiple Planets Abound
  2. May 23, 2011 - Kepler announces new rocky planet
  3. May 23, 2011 - Alien Solar Systems Are Much Different Than Our Own
  4. May 23, 2011 - One-in-three Kepler planets reside in solar systems
  5. May 24, 2011 - Kepler Spacecraft Shows That Smaller Planets Abound
  6. May 24, 2011 - Kepler's astounding haul of multiple-planet systems
  7. May 25, 2011 - Solar system's big bully leaves others looking flat
  8. May 26, 2011 - Kepler's Exoplanets: A Progress Report
  9. May 26, 2011 - Second rocky world makes Kepler-10 a multi-planet system
  10. May 27, 2011 - Who Needs a Moon?
  11. May 28, 2011 - Birthplace of 'hot Neptunes' revealed
Background


Star-forming regions

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Glowing Lagoon
Background


Pulsars

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Tenfold leap in pulsars to test gravity
Background


Sea level rise

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Sea levels set to rise by up to a metre
  2. May 23, 2011 - Sea levels set to rise by up to a metre: report
Background, Background


Large Hadron Collider

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Large Hadron Collider smashes another record - also here
Background


Gamma-ray bursts and white holes

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Small bangs and white holes
Background, Background


Black hole spin

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Black holes spinning faster than ever before
  2. May 24, 2011 - Black holes are spinning faster
  3. May 27, 2011 - Black holes are spinning faster than ever
Background


Quark-gluon plasma

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Large Hadron Collider experiments present new results at Quark Matter 2011 conference
  2. May 23, 2011 - LHC experiments dive into the quark gluon plasma
  3. May 24, 2011 - Densest Matter Created in Big-Bang Machine
  4. May 25, 2011 - New results about the primordial universe from CERN experiments
Background


Plate tectonics

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - The Atlantic 'resting' -- for now
Background


Enceladus

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Evidence mounts for liquid water on Enceladus
Background


Carina nebula

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - X-raying a Supernova Factory
  2. May 24, 2011 - Nearby supernova factory ramps up
  3. May 27, 2011 - Stellar Time Bomb
Background


Intergalactic filaments

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Universe's not-so-missing mass
  2. May 27, 2011 - Student finds universe's missing mass
  3. May 27, 2011 - Undergraduate Student Amelia Fraser-McKelvie Solves 'Missing Mass' Problem
  4. May 27, 2011 - Aussie student finds universe's 'missing mass'
Background


Global warming

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Two Greenland glaciers lose enough ice to fill Lake Erie - also here
  2. May 25, 2011 - Global warming may affect the capacity of trees to store carbon, study finds
Background


White dwarfs

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Feuding helium dwarfs exposed by eclipse
  2. May 26, 2011 - Feuding white dwarfs stripped to helium
Background


Stellar age and spin

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - How to learn a star's true age
  2. May 24, 2011 - Spin cycle reveals star's age
  3. May 25, 2011 - Astronomers put a new spin on the age of stars
Background


Radio astronomy

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Expanded VLA flexing new scientific muscle - also here
  2. May 27, 2011 - The Largest Telescope Ever Built Will Rely On Citizens to Analyze Its Reams of Data
Background


Planet formation

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Want to make planets? Better hurry
Background


Galaxy collisions

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - The Spitzer Photo Atlas of Galactic "Train Wrecks" - also here
  2. May 27, 2011 - Atlas profiles crash-course galaxies
  3. June 2, 2011 - When Galaxies Collide
Background


Electric dipole moment of electrons

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Rounding the electron
  2. May 25, 2011 - Electron is surprisingly round, say scientists following 10 year study - also here
  3. May 25, 2011 - Electrons are fantastically round, say British scientists
  4. May 25, 2011 - Ultracold measurements reveal shape of the electron
  5. May 26, 2011 - Electrons Are Near-Perfect Spheres
  6. May 26, 2011 - New technique narrows electron dipole moment
  7. May 26, 2011 - Electrons are almost perfectly round, scientists discover
Background, Background, Background


2MASS Redshift Survey

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - You Are Here
  2. May 25, 2011 - Survey captures local universe in 3-D
  3. May 25, 2011 - Most complete 3-D map of local universe unveiled
  4. May 25, 2011 - New 3-D Map of Universe Is Best One Yet
  5. May 26, 2011 - New 3D map shows the universe in greatest detail yet
  6. June 6, 2011 - Our 3D universe revealed
Background


Gamma-ray bursts

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Gamma-ray burst is most distant yet seen
  2. May 25, 2011 - New candidate for most distant object in universe - also here
  3. May 25, 2011 - Huge Space Explosion Is Farthest Thing Ever Seen
  4. May 25, 2011 - Cosmic explosion may be most distant object in Universe
  5. May 25, 2011 - Cosmic distance record 'broken'
  6. May 25, 2011 - Betting on the most distant gamma ray burst ever seen
  7. May 25, 2011 - Swift Detects Most Distant Object In The Universe! AGAIN!
  8. May 26, 2011 - Gamma-ray burst closest yet to Big Bang
  9. May 26, 2011 - Extending the edge of the observable Universe
  10. May 26, 2011 - Huge explosion most distant ever seen
  11. May 26, 2011 - Farthest-ever explosion found at edge of cosmos? - also here
  12. May 27, 2011 - NASA's Swift Finds Most Distant Gamma-ray Burst Yet
Background


Snowball Earth

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Study debunks theory on end of 'Snowball Earth' ice age
Background


Isolated massive star

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - VLT finds a brilliant but solitary superstar - also here, here
  2. May 25, 2011 - Discovery of a very massive, isolated star in a nearby galaxy
  3. May 26, 2011 - A brilliant but solitary star
  4. May 27, 2011 - Solitary Superstar
  5. June 3, 2011 - Gigantic Star Shines Brightly, But Is a Loner
Background


Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer galaxy images

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - WISE mission offers a taste of galaxies to come
Background


Earthquakes

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Japan earthquake appears to increase quake risk elsewhere in the country: study
Background


Astrochemistry

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - NASA scientists on the trail of mystery molecules
Background


Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - New Endeavour for an MIT experiment
Background


Bose-Einstein condensates

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Bose-Einstein condensation in the textbook and in the lab
Background


Mantle plumes

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Hawaiian hot spot fuels volcano debate
  2. May 26, 2011 - Another Look Beneath Hawaii Knocks Islands Off Their Riser Pipe
  3. May 26, 2011 - Hawaii heat source debated - also here
  4. May 27, 2011 - 800-Mile-Wide Hot Anomaly Found Under Seafloor off Hawaii
  5. May 27, 2011 - New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot
  6. June 1, 2011 - Hawaii's volcanic hotspot appears badly off-center
Background


Mini black holes

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Mini Black Holes Zip Through Earth Every Day?
Background


Blue stragglers

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Hubble finds rare 'blue straggler' stars in Milky Way's hub
  2. June 9, 2011 - "Vampire" Stars Found in Heart of Our Galaxy - A First
  3. June 10, 2011 - Oddball Stars in the Heart of the Milky Way
Background


Galaxy evolution

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Nature's best magnifying glass views eary spiral galaxy
Background


Oceans and global climate

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - New research points to the significant role of oceans in ancient global cooling
  2. May 26, 2011 - Significant Role of Oceans in Onset of Ancient Global Cooling
  3. May 26, 2011 - Pacific shouldn't amplify climate change
Background, Background


Olivine in stellar dust clouds

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Star's Green Crystal 'Rain' May Solve Comet Mystery
  2. May 27, 2011 - Spitzer sees crystal 'rain' in outer clouds of infant star
  3. May 27, 2011 - Crystals rain onto forming star
  4. May 31, 2011 - Green crystal 'rain' discovered near infant star
  5. June 6, 2011 - Green Crystal "Rain"
Background


Quantum entanglement

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Linked in
  2. May 27, 2011 - Matter-matter entanglement at a distance
Background, Background


Active galaxies

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Radio Flyer
Background


Paleoclimatology

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Tree rings open door on 1100 years of El Nino
Background


Measuring black hole masses by infrared emissions

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Measuring galaxy black hole masses
Background


Gravitational waves

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Scientist instils new hope of detecting gravitational waves
Background



Technology


Metamaterials

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Novel Man-Made Material Could Facilitate Wireless Power - also here, here
  2. May 24, 2011 - Metamaterials could power cell phones, computers without wires
  3. May 25, 2011 - Metamaterials Could Help Wirelessly Charge Electronics by Making Space Disappear
  4. May 25, 2011 - Metamaterials could significantly boost wireless power transmission
Background


Molecular computing

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Single molecule performs multiple logic operations simultaneously
Background


Fuel cells

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Chemical engineers invent portable hydrogen reactor for fuel cells
Background


Superconductivity

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Once thought a rival phase, antiferromagnetism coexists with superconductivity
  2. May 23, 2011 - New superconductive properties discovered in old sandwich material
Background


Nanotechnology

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Reusable templates for the production of nanowires
  2. May 26, 2011 - Nanoantennas target single particles
  3. May 27, 2011 - Bring in the (nano) noise
Background


Artificial intelligence

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Accelerates Machine Learning with GPUs
Background


Lasers

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Scientists demonstrate a high-efficiency ceramic laser
  2. May 25, 2011 - World's first 1.3μm wavelength quantum dot laser capable of operating in high-temperature environments
Background


Graphene

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Defect in graphene may present bouquet of possibilities
  2. May 26, 2011 - Graphene: New electronics material closer to commercial reality
  3. May 26, 2011 - Tunable gaps in strained graphene
Background


Quantum computing

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - D-Wave sells its first quantum computer
  2. May 26, 2011 - The quantum computer is growing up: Repetitive error correction in a quantum processor
  3. May 26, 2011 - Lockheed Martin is Buying One of D-Wave's Brand New Quantum Computers
  4. May 31, 2011 - First sale for quantum computing
  5. June 1, 2011 - The World's First Quantum Computer Finds A Buyer, But Questions About Its Abilities Remain
  6. June 1, 2011 - Tapping Quantum Effects for Software that Learns
  7. June 1, 2011 - D-Wave sells first commercial quantum computer
  8. June 1, 2011 - Quantum computer sold to high-profile client
Background


Photovoltaics

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Nanostructures improve solar cell efficiency
Background


Metamaterials and photonics

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Sharp turn ahead for light beams
  2. June 2, 2011 - Silicon nanopillars steer infrared light
Background, Background


Spintronics

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Chameleon magnets: ability to switch magnets 'on' or 'off' could revolutionize computing
  2. May 27, 2011 - Semiconductor shows its chameleon side
Background


Carbon nanotubes

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Better viewing through fluorescent nanotubes when peering into innards of a mouse
Background



Life sciences


Bacterial electricity

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Using microbes to generate electricity - also here
  2. May 24, 2011 - Discovery brings electricity from microbes closer
  3. May 24, 2011 - Scientists show for the first time how microbes are able to discharge tiny electrical currents from their cells
Background


Anomalocaridids

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Cambrian super-predators grew large in arms race
  2. May 25, 2011 - Who You Callin' Shrimp?
  3. May 25, 2011 - Fossil of giant ancient sea predator discovered
  4. May 26, 2011 - Ancient sea giant beat mass extinction
  5. May 26, 2011 - Spiny-headed predator dominated pre-dino seas
  6. May 27, 2011 - 3-Foot "Shrimp" Discovered - Dominated Prehistoric Seas
Background


Transdifferentiation of neurons

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - How to make a human neuron
  2. May 26, 2011 - Scientists turn human skin cells directly into neurons, skipping IPS stage
Background


Bacterial cooperation

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - 'Policing' stops cheaters from dominating groups of cooperative bacteria - also here
Background


TFEB, autophagy, and lysosomes

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Master gene may shed new light on lysosomal and neurodegenerative disorders - also here
Background


E-cadherin and pluripotency

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - MDC Researchers Discover Key Molecule for Stem Cell Pluripotency
Background


Metabolic rate and lifespan

References:
  1. May 28, 2011 - Crickets That Live Fast Die Young
Background



Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior


Brain-imaging studies

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Brains on Jazz Feel the Music
  2. May 26, 2011 - New imaging method identifies specific mental states
  3. May 26, 2011 - Study shows brain's response to sadness can predict relapses into depression
  4. May 26, 2011 - People with body-image disorders process 'big picture' visual information abnormally
  5. May 26, 2011 - Mind-reading scan identifies simple thoughts
  6. May 27, 2011 - Changes in brain circuitry play role in moral sensitivity as people grow up
Background


Understanding of basic geometric concepts

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Learning Geometry Without a Protractor
  2. May 24, 2011 - Parallel Lines Never Cross, Even in Remote Amazonia
  3. May 24, 2011 - Amazonian villagers grasp abstract spatial concepts - also here
  4. May 24, 2011 - Basic understanding of geometry not dependent on education: study
  5. May 25, 2011 - Children 'understand principles of geometry without any education'
Background


Infant language learning

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - New research overturns theory on how children learn their first words - also here
Background


Age-related loss of plasticity in the prefrontal cortex

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Researchers show reduced ability of the aging brain to respond to experience
  2. May 25, 2011 - Why learning gets tougher with age
Background, Background


Bipolar disorder

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Bipolar disorder: Mind-body connection suggests new directions for treatment, research
  2. May 24, 2011 - New study aims to improve long-term treatment for patients with bipolar disorder
Background


Schizophrenia

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Why people with schizophrenia may have trouble reading social cues
Background


Autism

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Clues to autism's roots from brain study
  2. May 25, 2011 - An autism brain signature?
  3. May 25, 2011 - Autism changes molecular structure of the brain, study finds
  4. May 25, 2011 - Early prenatal vitamins use may reduce autism risk
  5. May 25, 2011 - Autistic brains' 'genes differ'
Background


Regret and the prefrontal cortex

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Monkeys can play Monday morning quarterback too
Background


Memory formation

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Brain cell networks recreated with new view of activity behind memory formation
Background


Sleep and decision making

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - 'Sleep on it' is excellent, science-based advice, study finds
Background, Background


Synesthesia

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - What it means to 'feel the noise' - also here
  2. May 30, 2011 - Woman can literally feel the noise
  3. June 2, 2011 - The sense of hearing and touch may have evolved together - also here
Background


Firing neurons under voluntary control

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - New study points to power of controlling neurons
  2. May 27, 2011 - Monkey mind control
Background



Health and medicine


Inflammatory bowel disease

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Protein from probiotic bacteria may alleviate inflammatory bowel disorders
Background


Hepatitis C

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Discovery of canine hepatitis C virus opens up new doors for research on deadly human pathogen
  2. May 23, 2011 - FDA clears Vertex's hepatitis C drug Incivek
  3. May 23, 2011 - Vertex hepatitis C drug OK'd, promising more cures
Background


Cancer

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Mushroom compound suppresses prostate tumors
  2. May 23, 2011 - Antibody-guided drug works against acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  3. May 24, 2011 - Red, processed meat directly linked to bowel cancer
  4. May 24, 2011 - Most authoritative ever report on bowel cancer and diet: Links with meat and fibre confirmed
  5. May 24, 2011 - New drug stops aggressive form of childhood leukemia
  6. May 24, 2011 - Brisk walking could improve prostate cancer outcomes
  7. May 24, 2011 - New made-in-Canada therapy for bladder cancer shows promising results
  8. May 26, 2011 - New clues to how humble painkiller stifles cancer growth
  9. May 26, 2011 - Roche upbeat on Avastin in ovarian cancer
  10. May 27, 2011 - Researchers discover key to making cancer-killing peptides
Background


Cardiovascular disease

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Scientists discover protein that may be one cause of heart failure
  2. May 23, 2011 - Some heart screenings may do more harm than good
  3. May 26, 2011 - Omega-3 may cut risk of artery disease, heart attacks for patients with stents
  4. May 26, 2011 - NIH stops study of niacin to prevent heart attacks - also here
  5. May 26, 2011 - No heart benefit seen in adding niacin to statin
  6. May 27, 2011 - Super-sticky 'ultra-bad' cholesterol revealed in people at high risk of heart disease
Background


Multiple sclerosis

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - New nanoscale imaging may lead to new treatments for multiple sclerosis
Background


Diabetes

References:
  1. May 23, 2011 - Common test could help predict early death in diabetes, study shows
  2. May 25, 2011 - Lecithin component may reduce fatty liver, improve insulin sensitivity
  3. May 26, 2011 - Diabetes can be predicted 7 years before pregnancy with blood sugar and body weight
Background


Cancer biology

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - Researchers reveal PAX gene's role in cancer
  2. May 26, 2011 - Cancer cells accelerate aging and inflammation in the body to drive tumor growth
Background


Alzheimer's disease

References:
  1. May 24, 2011 - New protein linked to Alzheimer's disease
  2. May 25, 2011 - Tricking the Brain Into Taking Its Medicine
  3. May 25, 2011 - Engineered antibodies cross blood-brain barrier
  4. May 25, 2011 - Identifying the first signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia
  5. May 26, 2011 - Brain Barrier Breached in Roche Push to Deliver Potential Alzheimer's Drug
  6. May 26, 2011 - New Way to Smuggle Drugs Into Brain May Lead to Better Alzheimer's Treatments
  7. May 26, 2011 - Researchers find new way to use antibodies to carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier
  8. May 26, 2011 - New study identifies compounds that could slow down Alzheimer's disease
Background


Obesity

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Healthy gut flora could prevent obesity
Background


Nanobiotechnology

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Quantum sensor tracked in human cells could aid drug discovery
Background


Stem cells

References:
  1. May 25, 2011 - Translating stem cell research into therapies
Background


Malaria

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Scientists find genetic basis for key parasite function in malaria - also here
Background


Parkinson's disease

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - High risk of Parkinson's disease for people exposed to pesticides near workplace
Background


Celiac disease

References:
  1. May 26, 2011 - Effects of celiac disease on bone mineral density are pronounced in lumbar spine than femoral neck
Background


Gene therapy

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - New research results could improve gene therapy
Background


Antibiotic resistance

References:
  1. May 27, 2011 - Cystic fibrosis bacteria could help fight back against antibiotic resistance
Background


Copyright © 2011 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved