Superhydrophobicity, from leaf to lab

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Esme Symons, Technology & Engineering editor When we’re outside in the rain, we use raincoats and umbrellas to keep us dry. They are made of  waterproof materials that have surface chemistries that are unfriendly to water. It takes less energy for the water molecules to be attracted to each than to the waterproof surface, so […]

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Update All? Re-contacting genomic research participants

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Katie Compton, Policy & Politics editor Genetic testing is more accessible than ever. For around $100, anyone can order a direct-to-consumer DNA spit kit to learn about her ancestry. Doctors are using genetic tests to diagnose, treat and prevent disease. And ambitious research projects such as All of Us, UK Biobank, and Personal Genome Projects […]

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New research sheds light on how plants sense their world

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Plant behaviour is modulated by a special class of proteins on their cell walls that help them sense and adapt to their environment Jenna Finley and Sunitha Chari, Biology & Life Sciences co-editors Plants lack the five basic senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing that help animals interact with their environment. Yet they […]

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Gut feelings: How the bacteria in your body affect your brain

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Tamara Rosner, Health, Medicine & Veterinary Science co-editor Your body plays host to millions of bacteria. In fact, the number of bacterial cells in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is about equal to the number of cells that make up your body. While we typically think of bacteria as “bad” or “unhealthy”, the bacteria that make […]

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Materials science meets artificial intelligence

Erin Bedford, Technology and Engineering co-editor Illustrations by Geoffrey Lee, Sketchy Science We’re in the midst of a revolution in materials science—artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we discover new materials. Scientists don’t have to worry about being replaced by machines anytime soon, however. Rather than replacing the thought-work of researchers, AI is expanding […]

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