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eNews from AlphaGalileo
October 2019

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Image of the month

Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement - 26/09/2019 - Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, JMU

The figure shows a spider’s web together with the molecular structure of the investigated domain in the bound state in surface representation (structure in red/orange, upper left corner). The side chains of the amino acid methionine, which are located in the core of the domain where they serve to malleablise the structure, are highlighted as coloured sticks.
Photo: Pixaby.com / Collage: Hannes Neuweiler

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September's Hits Parade - Top 5 items our service

1. Third CENIEH excavation campaign at El Sotillo, published by CENIEH on 6/09/19

The 2019 campaign takes place in September at Paleolithic site situated in the province of Ciudad Real. The campaigns carried out in 2017 and 2018 have confirmed that this is a complex site which incorporates stages of occupation of different chronologies from the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, “[a] circumstance which is common for Paleolithic sites in caves, but very unusual for open-air ones”, explains Santonja, an archaeologist at the CENIEH who is directing this project.

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2. Nine Spanish Autonomous Regions participate in the CENIEH Tooth Collection Campaign, published by CENIEH on 13/09/19

Andalucía, Asturias, Baleares, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Cataluña, Extremadura, Galicia and Madrid will help the CENIEH to continue creating the most important collection of dental pieces for research purposes in the world, thanks to public collaboration

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3. Simulations Characterize Turbulence Caused by Common Connection for Dialysis, published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) on 27/09/19

The complex interplay among the arteriovenous grafts, the vessels they connect, and the blood they transport has been difficult to simulate with computers, but one new method provides a way. Researchers report in Physics of Fluids on a series of simulations that reconstructed the fluid dynamics affected by the insertion of an AVG. They used a model that considered the ability of AVG tubes and blood vessels to deform and found much of the disrupted flow could be mitigated by this flexibility.

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4. Portable electronics: a stretchable and flexible biofuel cell that runs on sweat, published by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange) on 25/09/19

A unique new flexible and stretchable device, worn against the skin and capable of producing electrical energy by transforming the compounds present in sweat, was recently developed and patented by CNRS researchers from l’Université Grenoble Alpes and the UC San Diego (USA). This cell is already capable of continuously lighting an LED, opening new avenues for the development of wearable electronics powered by autonomous and environmentally friendly biodevices. This research was published in Advanced Functional Materials on September 25, 2019.

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5. The Enigma of Bronze Age Tin, published by the Heidelberg University on 16/09/19

The origin of the tin used in the Bronze Age has long been one of the greatest enigmas in archaeological research. Now researchers from Heidelberg University and the Curt Engelhorn Centre for Archaeometry in Mannheim have solved part of the puzzle. They were able to proof that tin ingots found at archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, and Greece do not come from Central Asia, as previously assumed, but from tin deposits in Europe.

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English staff pick

Some plastic with your tea? Published by McGill University on 25/09/2019

Plastic teabags release billions of microscopic particles into tea.

A cup of tea may be a cure for rainy days, but the soothing cup of the brewed beverage may also come with a dose of micro- and nano-sized plastics shed from plastic bags, according to researchers at McGill University. While the possible health effects of ingesting these particles are currently unknown, the new research published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests further investigation is needed.

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Spanish staff pick

Los estímulos olfativos y auditivos cambian la percepción de nuestro cuerpo published by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica on 11/09/19

Una investigación pionera desarrollada por la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) junto a la Universidad de Sussex y el University College of London, evidencia que los estímulos olfativos combinados con los auditivos pueden cambiar la percepción de nuestro cuerpo. Estos resultados aportan nuevos conocimientos en el campo de la neurociencia cognitiva y de la interacción persona-ordenador.
Las personas se sienten más delgadas y ligeras cuando se les expone a aroma de limón, y más gruesas y pesadas cuando huelen aroma de vainilla. Este es uno de los resultados de la investigación recogida en el artículo “As Light As Your Scent: Effects of Smell and Sound on Body Image Perception”, que explora la relación entre olores y formas corporales.

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French staff pick

Lutter contre le changement climatique : un investissement payant published byInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) on 20/09/2019

Investir pour limiter le réchauffement climatique à 1,5°C à l’horizon 2050 coûterait quatre à cinq fois moins que les sommes à engager pour réparer les dommages causés aux personnes, aux écosystèmes et aux infrastructures par une augmentation de la température à 2°C. C’est ce que révèle une étude internationale publiée le 20 septembre 2019 dans la revue Science, qui associe des chercheurs de l’IRD et du CNRS. Les auteurs alertent ainsi les décideurs sur l’urgence d’accélérer leurs efforts pour limiter les émissions de gaz à effet de serre.

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German staff pick

Waschmaschine verbreitete antibiotika-resistente Keime published by Universität Bonn on 30/09/2019

Hygieniker der Uni Bonn beweisen eine Übertragung auf Neugeborene. Konsequenzen für das häusliche Umfeld?
Antibiotika-resistente Erreger können über Waschmaschinen verbreitet werden. Das haben Hygieniker der Universität Bonn für ein Kinderkrankenhaus nachgewiesen, in dem mehrfach ein Klebsiella oxytoca-Typ auf Neugeborene übertragen wurde. Glücklicherweise kam es zu keiner gefährlichen Infektion. Quelle war eine handelsübliche Waschmaschine, in der Kleidungsstücke der Neugeborenen gewaschen wurden. Dieser Fall lässt aufhorchen, zumal auch in Haushalten mit zu pflegenden Personen antibiotika-resistente Bakterien über die Waschmaschine übertragen werden könnten. In einer weiteren Studie soll dieser Verbreitungsweg genauer untersucht werden. Die Ergebnisse sind nun im Journal „Applied and Environmental Microbiology“ veröffentlicht.

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