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Latest University of Cambridge Stories

Do Birds Communicate With Their Eyes?
2014-02-05 12:41:12

University of Cambridge Researchers in Cambridge and Exeter have discovered that jackdaws use their eyes to communicate with each other – the first time this has been shown in non-primates. While what humans do with their eyes has been well studied, we know almost nothing about whether birds communicate with members of the same species with their eyes. The new study, published today in Biology Letters, shows that jackdaw eyes are used as a warning signal to successfully deter...

2014-01-29 13:10:08

The thyroid hormone thyroxine, which controls our day-to-day activity and was previously believed to remain at a constant level in the blood, actually fluctuates as a result of a protein which modifies the release of the hormone depending on body temperature, new research reveals. The research was published today, 29 January, in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The hormone thyroxine regulates metabolism in all mammals, including humans. If there is too much, it leads to...

New Light Shed On Mystery Mechanism That Allows Positive And Negative Charges To Be Separated Efficiently
2013-12-13 10:17:11

University of Cambridge By using an ultrafast camera, scientists say they have observed the very first instants following the absorption of light into artificial yet organic nanostructures and found that charges not only formed rapidly but also separated very quickly over long distances - phenomena that occur due to the wavelike nature of electrons which are governed by fundamental laws of quantum mechanics. This result surprised scientists as such phenomena were believed to be limited...

2013-12-05 23:45:13

Viruses alter plant biochemistry in order to manipulate visiting aphids into spreading infection University of Cambridge researchers have shown that viruses use aphids as pawns, discouraging the insects from permanently settling on already-infected crops and using this forced migration to spread infection to healthy vegetation. Aphids are sap-sucking insects that attack many different types of plants and are major transmitters of crop-infecting viruses. By altering plant biochemistry,...

Exploiting Flaws In Diamond Fragments Paves Way For Nanoscale MRI
2013-11-25 08:02:31

University of Cambridge By exploiting flaws in miniscule diamond fragments, researchers say they have achieved enough coherence of the magnetic moment inherent in these defects to harness their potential for precise quantum sensors in a material that is 'biocompatible'. Nanoscopic thermal and magnetic field detectors - which can be inserted into living cells - could enhance our understanding of everything from chemical reactions within single cells to signalling in neural networks and...

Two For One In Solar Power
2013-11-18 09:51:03

University of Cambridge Solar cells offer the opportunity to harvest abundant, renewable energy. Although the highest energy light occurs in the ultraviolet and visible spectrum, most solar energy is in the infrared. There is a trade-off in harvesting this light, so that solar cells are efficient in the infrared but waste much of the energy available from the more energetic photons in the visible part of the spectrum. When a photon is absorbed it creates a single electronic excitation...

Research Shows Cuckoos Impersonate Hawks By Matching Their 'Outfits'
2013-10-16 11:54:30

University of Cambridge New research shows that cuckoos have striped or "barred" feathers that resemble local birds of prey, such as sparrowhawks, that may be used to frighten birds into briefly fleeing their nest in order to lay their parasitic eggs. By using the latest digital image analysis techniques, and accounting for "bird vision" - by converting images to the spectral sensitivity of birds - researchers have been able to show for the first time that the barred patterns on a...

Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Aid In Future Transplant Therapies
2013-10-10 14:38:50

University of Cambridge A new method for creating stem cells for the human liver and pancreas, which could enable both cell types to be grown in sufficient quantities for clinical use, has been developed by scientists. Using the technique, researchers have for the first time been able to grow a pure, self-renewing population of stem cells specific to the human foregut, the upper section of the human digestive system. These so-called "Foregut stem cells" could then be developed...

2013-10-03 08:57:15

Researchers discover that the cells play a major role in inflammation which underlies Crohn's disease in small intestine Scientists have discovered that Crohn's disease, the inflammatory bowel disorder, can originate from specialized intestinal cell type called Paneth cells. As such, they propose that small intestinal Crohn's disease might be a specific disorder of this cell type, providing a possible new target for treatments. The study, by researchers from the University of Cambridge and...

Computers Keeping Our Minds Alive After We Die? Stephen Hawking Says Yes
2013-09-22 08:02:19

[ Watch the Video: Download Your Brain To A Computer After Death? ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online Stephen Hawking does not believe in the conventional version of the afterlife, but he does believe that technology could someday allow our minds to live on once our bodies are gone. Speaking at the UK’s Cambridge Film Festival following the premiere of a biopic of his own life, the 71-year-old cosmologist told reporters – including Nick Collins, Science...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
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