Cells can trap viruses in protein cage to stop their spread, study reveals

Researchers at The Francis Crick Institute in London have discovered that cells can trap viruses in a protein cage to stop them from spreading to neighboring cells. The study, which will be published June 19 in the Journal of Cell Biology, reveals that the vaccinia virus can escape this trap by recruiting additional proteins to dismantle the cage and propel the virus out of the cell.

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New testing method suggests baby Anzick-1 was same age as surrounding Clovis artifacts

A team of researchers from the University of Oxford, Texas A&M University and Stafford Research LLC has found evidence bolstering the theory that the skeletal remains of an infant unearthed in Montana are those of the only known Clovis burial. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their testing methods and what they found.

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A new way to measure the light-warping properties of hyperbolic metamaterials

Manipulating light in a variety of ways—shrinking its wavelength and allowing it to travel freely in one direction while stopping it cold in another—hyperbolic metamaterials have wide application in optical communications and as nanoparticle sensors. But some of the same optical properties that make these metamaterials so appealing make them frustratingly difficult to evaluate.

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On the expansion threshold of a species’ range

What stops a species adapting to an ever-wider range of conditions, continuously expanding its geographic range? The biomathematician Jitka Polechová, an Elise Richter Fellow at the University of Vienna, has published a paper in PLoS Biology which explains the formation of species' range margins. The theory shows that just two compound parameters, important for both ecology and evolution of species, are fundamental to the stability of their range: the environmental heterogeneity and the size of the local population.

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Scientists demonstrate coherent coupling between a quantum dot and a donor atom in silicon

Quantum computers could tackle problems that current supercomputers can't. Quantum computers rely on quantum bits, or "qubits." Current computers perform millions of calculations, one after the other. Qubit coupling allows quantum computers to perform them all at the same time. Qubits could store the data that add up to bank accounts and medical records. In an unusual twist, qubits represent data by the binary state of electron spins. Two systems existed to create qubits. Researchers successfully integrated the systems—donor atoms and quantum dots. The new qubits don't let the spins, and hence the data, degrade. Specifically, the bits demonstrate coherent coupling of the electron spins. This hybrid approach, which has remained elusive until now, exploits the advantages of the two qubit systems.

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New tech uses isomeric beams to study how and where the galaxy makes one of its most common elements

Our galaxy produces and destroys the element aluminum-26 in the process of making magnesium-26. As it forms, it can be momentarily "stuck" in a mirror-image (isomeric) state. Getting stuck lets other reactions occur that destroy the element. Measuring how much aluminum-26 the galaxy makes is tough because scientists have to know how much is destroyed. For the first time, scientists produced an aluminum-26 beam in an isomeric state. They used the beam to determine how fast aluminum-26 is destroyed. The resulting study offers the first experimental result for aluminum-26 synthesis.

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