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Challenging our understanding of how platelets are made

Platelets are uniquely mammalian cells, and are the small cells of the blood that are critical for us to stop bleeding when we cut ourselves. They are also a central part of the process of thrombosis, which underlies heart attacks and stroke, and form the target of major drugs used in the treatment of these diseases, such as aspirin. These cells are formed from large precursor cells, megakaryocytes, in the bone marrow and the lung, at a remarkable rate of 100 billion platelets per day in adult humans (that is one million platelets per second) according to Science Daily.

Despite this hugely active process, we still do not understand the details of how platelets are formed in the body.

Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

A tree regarded as the icon of the African savannah is dying in mysterious circumstances.

International scientists have discovered that most of the oldest and largest African baobab trees have died over the past 12 years, according to BBC.

They suspect the demise may be linked to climate change, although they have no direct evidence of this.

The tree can grow to an enormous size, and may live hundreds if not thousands of years.

New insight into Earth's crust, mantle and outer core interactions

A new study, sheds light on a longstanding question that has puzzled earth scientists.

Using previously unavailable data, researchers confirm a correlation between the movement of plate tectonics on the Earth's surface, the flow of mantle above the Earth's core and the rate of reversal of the Earth's magnetic field which has long been hypothesized, according to Science Daily.

They suggest that it takes around 120-130 million years for slabs of ancient ocean floor to sink (subduct) from the Earth's surface to a sufficient depth in the mantle where they can cool the core, which in turn causes the liquid iron in the Earth's outer core to flow more vigorously and produce more reversals of the Earth's magnetic field.

This study is the first to demonstrate this correlation using records and proxies of global rates of subduction from various sources including a continuous global plate reconstruction model developed at the University of Sydney. These records were compared with a new compilation of magnetic field reversals whose occurrence is locked into volcanic and sedimentary rocks.

What REALLY happens when a black hole eats a star: Astronomers find they gorge and become 'overfed' causing massive radiation emissions

It is one of the most violent events in the universe.

Unsuspecting stars that wanders too close to the supermassive black hole in the center of their galaxy are torn apart by the black hole's gravity, according to Daily Mail.

Now researchers have shed new light on the violent cataclysm called a tidal disruption event (TDE).  

The new unified model from the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute and UC Santa Cruz also helps explain recent observations of these extreme events.

First 3D-printed human corneas

The first human corneas have been 3D printed by scientists at Newcastle University, UK , according to Science Daily.

It means the technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas.

As the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision.

Yet there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder.

In addition, almost 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease.