Large multi-site study accurately predicts damage to grey matter by disease — ScienceDaily

An international study has found a link between the brain’s network connections and grey matter atrophy caused by certain types of epilepsy, a major step forward in our understanding of the disease.

In neuroscience, it is becoming increasingly clear that the brain’s connectome is as important as its anatomy when studying human disease. The connectome is a map of neural connections that describes how brain regions interact and work together to perform certain tasks. While connectome research in epilepsy has moved forward in recent years, there is still a lot we do not know about its role in the disorder.

The study, led by researchers from The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital), analyzed data from 1,021 individuals with epilepsy and 1,564 healthy controls over 19 sites around the world from the ENIGMA database, a collection of neuroimaging data available to researchers under Open Science principles. They used this data to map

Read More

NASA’s Hubble Spots Galaxy Being Stripped Of Dark Matter

Dark matter theory has long been sacrosanct in mainstream astronomical circles. Rarely do astronomers contradict the tenet that some 85 percent of all matter in the cosmos is dominated by unseen matter that only weakly interacts with gravity.   

Thus, it came as a surprise that doubt was cast on its existence by recent Hubble Space Telescope observations of two massive galaxies that appeared to be altogether devoid of this exotic matter. 

But in a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal, an international team of scientists detail observations on NGC 1052-DF4, the second galaxy purported to harbor little or no such dark matter.

Read More

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars
The 100m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Credits: GBT – NRAO/GBO.

According to theoretical predictions, axion dark matter could be converted into radio frequency electromagnetic radiation when it approaches the strong magnetic fields that surround neutron stars. This radio signature, which would be characterized by an ultranarrow spectral peak at a frequency that depends on the mass of the axion dark matter particle in question, could be detected using high-precision astronomical instruments.

Researchers at University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other institutes worldwide have recently carried out a search for traces of this axion dark matter conversion in data collected by two powerful telescopes, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and the Effelsberg Telescope. Their study was based on their previous research efforts and theoretical predictions, the latest of which is a paper published in 2018.

“The idea proposed in our earlier work and fleshed out in

Read More

How We Build Cities Is Literally A Matter Of Life And Death

Covid-19 has been a monumental wake-up call across generations – succinctly put, a health crisis for older people and an economic crisis for the young. It calls for a substantial overhaul of the way elder care is provided, in light of the disproportionately high death rates in nursing homes—47 percent of recorded coronavirus deaths across 26 countries. 

But so far, there hasn’t been discussion of an equivalent overhaul for young people, who appear to be the most deeply impacted, long term, on social and financial levels. Millions of young workers filed for unemployment since Covid-19 hit, and many young adults are hitting the pause button on getting married or having kids.  Here I’d like to discuss how living conditions for young and old, particularly those in cities, needs to be newly envisioned to support life and promulgate social instincts, rather than foster isolation and death.

Read More

Advanced atomic clock makes a better dark matter detector — ScienceDaily

JILA researchers have used a state-of-the-art atomic clock to narrow the search for elusive dark matter, an example of how continual improvements in clocks have value beyond timekeeping.

Older atomic clocks operating at microwave frequencies have hunted for dark matter before, but this is the first time a newer clock, operating at higher optical frequencies, and an ultra-stable oscillator to ensure steady light waves, have been harnessed to set more precise bounds on the search. The research is described in Physical Review Letters .

Astrophysical observations show that dark matter makes up most of the “stuff” in the universe but so far it has eluded capture. Researchers around the world have been looking for it in various forms. The JILA team focused on ultralight dark matter, which in theory has a teeny mass (much less than a single electron) and a humongous wavelength — how far a particle spreads in

Read More

Dark matter from the depths of the universe — ScienceDaily

Cataclysmic astrophysical events such as black hole mergers could release energy in unexpected forms. Exotic low-mass fields (ELFs), for example, could propagate through space and cause feeble signals detectable with quantum sensor networks such as the atomic clocks of the GPS network or the magnetometers of the GNOME network. These are the results of theoretical calculations undertaken by a research group including Dr. Arne Wickenbrock of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM). They are particularly interesting in the context of the search for dark matter, as low-mass fields are regarded as promising candidates for this exotic form of matter.

From multi-messenger astronomy to the search for dark matter

Multi-messenger astronomy involves the coordinated observation of disparate signals that stem from the same astrophysical event. Since the first detection of gravitational waves with the LIGO interferometer several years ago, the

Read More

A Dark Matter Detector Based on a Wind Chime Seems Just Weird Enough to Work

Illustration for article titled A Dark Matter Detector Based on a Wind Chime Seems Just Weird Enough to Work

Illustration: Jim Cooke

Dark matter physicists may have one of the most frustrating jobs in science. Their work deals with something that must, by almost all models of the universe, exist. But we’ve never found any direct evidence for dark matter. Where other scientists can capture their subjects in a lab and perform experiments on it, scholars of dark matter are left with nothing but a tantalizing set of clues. It’s like studying ghosts—if ghosts were real and also made up a quarter of the matter in the known universe.

Scientists studying dark matter might also be forgiven for feeling a little more anxious lately. A number of expensive experiments meant to find some of the leading candidates for dark matter have turned up empty-handed.

“Now it’s sort of open season,” said Daniel Carney, a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland, the National Institute of Standards and

Read More

Has the hidden matter of the universe been discovered? — ScienceDaily

Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of a hot gas in the complexe cosmic web. Today, scientists at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay) may have detected, for the first time, this hidden matter through an innovative statistical analysis of 20-year-old data. Their findings are published on November 6, 2020 in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Galaxies are distributed throughout the Universe in the form of a complex network of nodes connected by filaments, which are in turn separated by voids. This is known as the cosmic web. The filaments are thought to contain almost all of the ordinary (so-called baryonic) matter of the Universe in the form of a diffuse, hot gas. However, the signal emitted by this diffuse gas is so weak that in reality 40 to 50% of the baryons[1] goes undetected.

Read More

Seeing dark matter in a new light — ScienceDaily

A small team of astronomers have found a new way to ‘see’ the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists currently estimate that up to 85% of the mass in the universe is effectively invisible. This ‘dark matter’ cannot be observed directly, because it does not interact with light in the same way as the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets, and life on Earth.

So how do we measure what cannot be seen? The key is to measure the effect of gravity that the dark matter produces.

Pol Gurri, the PhD student at Swinburne University of Technology who led the new research, explains: “It’s like looking at a flag to try to know how much wind there is. You cannot see the

Read More

It’s the End of an Era for the Media, No Matter Who Wins the Election

“Many media organizations have spent the past four years generally failing to adapt to a campaign, a president, a White House and an administration that is extremely online,” said Stacy-Marie Ishmael, the editorial director of the nonprofit Texas Tribune. “We are only, four years in, getting to grips with how to contend with rhetorical techniques, messaging and communications steeped in misinformation and propaganda.”

Others predicted a deeper cultural shift — from Stephen Colbert’s biting satire back to the sillier Jimmy Fallon, from politics back to entertainment, whenever the studios can get production running again. But some veterans of the business of politics doubt that news coverage can really calm down — or that consumers can look away.

“If Biden is elected, conservatives will be energized, not retreating,” said Eric Nelson, the editorial director of Broadside Books, HarperCollins’s conservative imprint. “Trump will keep tweeting, and new scandals from his presidency will

Read More