Science

The best from the science journals: Bending diamonds to fluid Bitcoins

Here are some the most interesting research works published in the top science journals last week

The dive evolution

Published in Cell

You may be a great diver, and still not be as good as the Bajau people of Southeast Asia. A new study has shown that they have a larger spleen which helps them free dive to up to a depth of 70 m. These marine hunter-gatherers have been diving for thousands of years and natural selection has given them the expanded spleen which acts as an oxygen reservoir. Even today, Bajau people spend about 60% of their working hours diving.

How sugar breaks

Published in Cell Metabolism

A new study has shown how and where fructose(one of the sugars) is metabolised in our body. When small doses of fructose are taken, they are cleared in the small intestine and does not reach the liver( believed to be the centre for sugar metabolism). But when large amount of fructose is ingested, it goes beyond the 'absorption and clearance' ability of small intestine and liver and gut microbes step in and carry out the work.

Bend but don't break

Published in Science

Image for representational purposes only

Image for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: AP

 

Diamond, the hardest material on Earth, was known to be brittle. Now, an international team of researchers has shown that diamond can be bent and stretched and it can get back to its original shape just like rubber. The diamond needles, about few hundred nanometres in size exhibited this ability and the researchers say that they can be used for many things from drug delivery to data storage.

Knotty DNA

Published in Nature Chemistry

A new twisted and knotted structure called i-motif has been for the first time studied inside a living cell. Researchers say that it looks like a four-stranded knot of DNA. Using modern fluorescence imaging techniques, they were able to characterise the new structure. Though its role in health and disease is not yet known, the new structure has created some excitement in molecular biology circles.

Bitcoin in coffee

Published in PNAS

A token of the virtual currency Bitcoin is seen placed on a monitor that displays binary digits in this illustration picture

A token of the virtual currency Bitcoin is seen placed on a monitor that displays binary digits in this illustration picture   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

 

Your coffee stirring pattern is similar to those used by bitcoin transactions. Researchers from Stanford University have shown that the principles of fluid dynamics are similar to hash functions used by cryptocurrencies. They say that chaotic mixing theory used to study liquids can help in creating more secure crypto transactions.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:55:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/the-best-from-the-science-journals-bending-diamonds-to-fluid-bitcoins/article23660701.ece

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