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Latest University of Cambridge Stories

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...

2013-09-19 13:22:40

A new, highly-accurate temperature sensor could save manufacturers millions in maintenance costs, lower fuel consumption, and prolong the lifespan of jet engines, nuclear reactors and other types of large gas turbine engines. A temperature sensor developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could improve the efficiency, control and safety of high-temperature engines. The sensor minimizes drift –degradation of the sensor which results in faulty temperature readings and reduces...

Functioning 'Mechanical Gears' Observed In Nature For The First Time
2013-09-13 13:15:26

University of Cambridge The juvenile Issus - a plant-hopping insect found in gardens across Europe - has hind-leg joints with curved cog-like strips of opposing 'teeth' that intermesh, rotating like mechanical gears to synchronize the animal's legs when it launches into a jump. The finding demonstrates that gear mechanisms previously thought to be solely man-made have an evolutionary precedent. Scientists say this is the "first observation of mechanical gearing in a biological...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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