By studying the phenomenon of contagious yawning, the researchers learned that people's reactions in virtual reality can be quite different from what they are in actual reality. They found that contagious yawning happens in VR, but people's tendency to suppress yawns when they have company or feel they're being watched don't apply in the VR environment. Further, when people immersed in VR are aware of an actual person in the room, they do stifle their yawns. Actual reality supersedes virtual reality.
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered the relaxation dynamics of a zero-field state in skyrmions, a spinning magnetic phenomenon that has potential applications in data storage and spintronic devices.
Transmissible cancer which has devastated Tasmanian devil populations is unlikely to cause extinction, according to latest research.
Small infections can be fatal: Millions of people die each year from sepsis, an overreaction of the immune system. A new immune signaling molecule, designed by a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), now provides the basis for potential new approaches in sepsis therapy.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them the potential to be useful as soft robots that mimic creatures living on water surfaces or that can serve as tissue scaffolds for cell cultures.
Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created the first 3D-printed fluid circuit element so tiny that 10 could rest on the width of a human hair. The diode ensures fluids move in only a single direction -- a critical feature for products like implantable devices that release therapies directly into the body.
Water splitting, the process of harvesting solar energy to generate energy-dense fuels, could be simplified thanks to new research including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Some people use fidget spinners -- flat, multi-lobed toys with a ball bearing at the center -- to diffuse nervous energy or whirl away stress. Now, researchers have found a surprising use for the toys: separating blood plasma for diagnostic tests. The new approach, reported in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, could be useful for medical applications in regions of the world that lack electricity and other resources.
Early research on a new approach to protecting against malaria is offering promising, potentially long-lasting results against the persistent parasite that sickens hundreds of millions people each year. The approach uses a cytomegalovirus-based platform that's already being used in vaccines being developed to battle HIV and tuberculosis. This new vaccine reduced the malaria-causing parasite's release from the liver and into the blood of infected rhesus macaques by 75 to 80 percent, reports a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Policy Cures Research's annual G-FINDER report is the world's most comprehensive survey of R&D funding for neglected infectious diseases that disproportionately affect people in developing countries. The 11th G-FINDER report finds that funding for neglected disease R&D in 2017 reached its highest level ever, exceeding US$3.5 billion. This is up seven percent since 2016, driven primarily by new investments from the United Kingdom, European Commission, Germany and India.