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Why Do Starburst Galaxies 'Burst'? ALMA Sees Super Stellar Nurseries at Heart of Sculptor Galaxy

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An international team of astronomers used ALMA to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way.

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Better Batteries Inspired by Lowly Snail Shells

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Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have isolated a peptide, a type of biological molecule, which binds strongly to lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNO), a material that can be used to make the cathode in high performance batteries. The peptide can latch onto nanosized particles of LMNO and connect them to conductive components of a battery electrode, improving the potential power and stability of the electrode.

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Feeling Ducky

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Mechanosensation is one of our fundamental physiological processes, on par with sight and smell, but how it works on a cellular level remains poorly understood, holding back development of effective treatments for mechanosensory disorders like chronic pain. Now, a team of researchers has identified a new model organism that may help elucidate the cellular mechanisms behind mechanosensation: the ordinary duck.

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Fluorescing Food Dyes as Probes to Improve Food Quality

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Food dyes can give cakes, candy and sodas brilliant colors of the rainbow. Now a team of food scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey has found that food coloring may be able to play more than its traditional esthetic role in food presentation.

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Worms In Space: Exploring Health Effects of Microgravity

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To prepare for people for safely journeying into space for extended periods of time in the future, it's crucial to gain a better understanding of the biophysics involved within reduced gravity and microgravity environments. To this end, a team of University of Delaware researchers is preparing to send transparent microscopic worms called "Caenorhabditas elegans" up to the International Space Station.

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Arachnid Rapunzel: Researchers Spin Spider Silk Proteins Into Artificial Silk

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Incredibly tough, slightly stretchy spider silk is a lightweight, biodegradable wonder material with numerous potential biomedical applications. But although humans have been colonizing relatively placid silkworms for thousands of years, harvesting silk from territorial and sometimes cannibalistic spiders has proven impractical. Instead, labs hoping to harness spider silk's mechanical properties are using its molecular structure as a template for their own biomimetic silks.

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The Princess and the Pea: Cells’ Ultra-Sensitivity for Strong Molecular Forces in Adhesion Processes

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Knowing how cells exert force and sense mechanical feedback in their microenvironment is crucial to understanding how they activate a wide range of cellular functions, such as cell reproduction, differentiation and adhesion. Now a more fine-grained picture of adhesion mechanics is emerging, thanks to a new tool developed in Illinois in recent years called a "tension gauge tether," which allows scientists to measure cell mechanics at the single-molecule level.

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Molecular Gastronomy: Better Cooking through Biophysics

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During the Biophysical Society's 59th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md., Christophe Lavelle, an expert in biophysics, epigenetics and food science who works for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, will describe his research dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding of genome compaction within the cells in our bodies and the way it influences gene expression.

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Bacteria's Hidden Traffic Control

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Not unlike an urban restaurant, the success of a bacterial cell depends on three things: localization, localization and localization. But the complete set of controls by which bacteria control the movement of proteins and other essential biological materials globally within the confines of their membrane walls has been something of a mystery. Now, researchers have parsed out the localization mechanisms that E. coli use to sort through and organize their subcellular components.

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What's Next in Diets: Chili Peppers?

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A large percentage of the world's population -- fully one third, by the World Health Organization's estimates -- is currently overweight or obese. This staggering statistics has made finding ways to address obesity a top priority for many scientists around the globe, and now a group of researchers at the University of Wyoming has found promise in the potential of capsaicin -- the chief ingredient in chili peppers -- as a diet-based supplement.