In a pilot study presented to the European Association of Urology, scientists identified two compounds that inhibited prostate cancer in a mouse model. The two compounds, kahweol acetate and cafestol, are naturally found in Arabica coffee and slowed the growth of drug-resistant prostate cancer cells by ~50%. This is expected to spur further research to determine the effectiveness of these molecules on humans.
NASA’s Insight lander has detected mini-tremors on Mars. Though the lander is designed to detect “Marsquakes”, it has a hypersensitive seismomenter that was able to pick up the lower frequency mini-tremors. Scientists believe that these are caused by low-frequency pressure air waves driven by atmospheric winds hitting the surface. This causes a shallow surface wave on the surface. NASA scientists are hopeful that the Insight lander will detect larger quakes.
In collaboration with the US Department of Energy, Intel has announced that Aurora is expected to come online in 2021. While prior supercomputers Summit and Sierra were capable of exascale processing for genomic analysis and precision calculations, Aurora is expected to achieve a LINPACK benchmark greater than 1 exaflop.
Taking inspiration from jellyfish, researchers have developed a touch-sensitive skin that could be used to help humans interact with machines. The details were published in a paper in the journal “Nature Electronics”. Researchers mixed an elastic plastic and a fluorine-rich ionic liquid into a gel. This created a transparent membrane that is gel-like, can self-heal, and is capable of operating in wet environments. Previously, hydrogels that have been used in tissue engineering were not able to operate in this type of environment. The gel material is also conductive, allowing it to respond to touch. Benjamin Tee, the lead researcher for this project, was quoted as saying “We are hoping to create a future where electronic devices made from intelligent materials can perform self-repair functions to reduce the amount of electronic waste in the world.”
In a study published in the journal “Scientific Reports”, a team of Japanese and Russian scientists reported that they had successfully “reawakened” cells from a 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth. Scientists used cell nucleous transfer to remove cell nuclear material from a well-preserved woolly mammoth cell, and implant it into a mouse oocyte. When they used a live0cell imaging technique on the oocyte, they saw traces of biological activity. While scientists are still unable to clone a woolly mammoth, this study is a step towards that eventual goal.