A team of American and Russian computer scientists has developed an algorithm that can rapidly search massive databases to discover novel variants of known antibiotics -- a potential boon in fighting antibiotic resistance. In just a few hours, the algorithm identified 10 times more variants of peptidic natural products (PNPs) than all previous PNP discovery efforts combined, the researchers report in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Scientists have solved a longstanding puzzle of how cells are able to tightly package lengthy strands of DNA when they divide -- an essential process for growth, repair and maintenance in living organisms.
The Fields Medal, whose origins date back to the 1930s, will be issued again this year in August to up to four of the world's most accomplished mathematicians under the age of 40. In a commentary for Nature, Michael Barany, a Society of Fellows post-doctoral fellow in history at Dartmouth, proposes that the Fields Medal return to its roots as a tool intended to shape the future of mathematics, rather than recognizing those who have already found the spotlight.
Recent spikes in homicide rates across the nation have been attributed to causes ranging from civil unrest to the opioid epidemic, but new UT Dallas research published in the journal Homicide Studies found a much simpler explanation: The increases follow predictable fluctuations in rates over the past 55 years.
Working with a simple mathematical model in which chance plays a key role, Cornell University researchers calculated how long it would take a bacterial infection or cancer cell to take over a network of healthy cells. The distribution of incubation times in most cases, they contend, is close to 'lognormal' -- meaning that the logarithms of the incubation periods, rather than the incubation periods themselves, are normally distributed.
Midges move with ferocious randomness, frequently subjecting themselves to accelerations of more than 10g, well beyond the limit of fighter pilots. 'Fortunately for midges, insect brains do not move around in the skull,' notes Andy Reynolds, a physicist who studies insect flight. He aims to predict, to 'postcode-level' accuracy, where airborne pests, such as aphids, will turn up next.
Nucleic acid sequencing methods, which determine the order of nucleotides in DNA, are rapidly progressing. These processes yield large quantities of sequence data that helps researchers understand organism function. Sequencing also benefits epidemiological studies, such as the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of genetic and/or contagious diseases. In a paper published in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Ryosuke Omori and Jianhong Wu develop an inductive algorithm to study nucleotide frequencies using a multi-strain SIR model.
Punishment might not be an effective means to get members of society to cooperate for the common good, according to a social dilemma experiment.
Using a mathematical modeling approach, scientists have found that certain parameters of tumor growth in mice can predict the effectiveness of drugs that block formation of tumor-nourishing blood vessels. The findings are published in PLOS Computational Biology.
Researchers have improved the control of a key robotic component to better ensure the safety of humans. They published their results in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS), a joint publication of the IEEE and Chinese Association of Automation. The team, based at Nankai University, China, focused on series elastic actuators.