Science

journalism

2013

 

For more frequent updates, check the science journalism entries in my blog.

| books | research papers | science news | book reviews |

 

month

i n   E n g l i s h

i n   G e r m a n

Dec. 2013

(7/66)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 12, 48
    Switched on polymers (review of: Polymers for energy storage and conversion, V. Mittal ed.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 23 (02.12.), R1017-R1020
    Will our civilisation survive this century?
    Ruins remind us that complex and sophisticated civilisations have collapsed in the past. Could over-exploitation of natural resources, climate change, and/or hi-tech conflict lead to a dramatic decline of ours? And, if so, can we avert this fate?
    [environment]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 24 (16.12.), R1063-R1065
    Antibiotics in crisis
    Bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics kill 23,000 people per year in the US alone, a recent report warns. This crisis is man-made, as misuse of the miracle drugs over decades has thrown away their life-saving potential.
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Nov. 2013

(6/59)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 11, 24-27
    Only frogs and horses
    Tropical frogs and horses produce protein-based foams, which are otherwise rare in nature. Structural insights into the mechanism of this unusual phenomenon promise applications in a range of fields..
    [nanoworld]
    [restricted access to full text] (PDF reprints available on request)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry World 08.11.
    Speeding up the experiment to fit the simulation
    [protein folding]
    [FREE access to full text]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry World 27.11.
    MEDIC to kick-start personalised medicine revolution
    [medicine]
    [FREE access to full text]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 21 (04.11.), R939-R943
    Back from the brink
    Against the backdrop of a global loss of biodiversity, some wildlife species have recovered from severe decimation, as a recent report shows for dozens of species in Europe. While these encouraging signs don’t diminish the current crisis of species loss, the analysis of the underlying reasons — ranging from targeted conservation measures to unintended consequences of changes in human behaviour — can help researchers understand what measures may help to save other species as well.
    [ecology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 22 (18.11.), R981-R983
    Elements of consciousness in animals
    Consciousness is still a subject that divides scientific opinion on philosophical grounds. Does it exist in separation from cognitive processes? Are there different types and levels of consciousness? Does it exist in animals, and how can we tell? More and more features that we used to consider unique hallmarks of the conscious human mind are now also being recognised in animals ranging from chimpanzees to corvids. This opens up opportunities to study aspects of the conscious mind in animal models.
    [psychology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Oct. 2013

(7/53)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 10, 20-23
    Pores for thought
    How to obtain a crystal structure of a complex natural product without the crystal, and take control of complex chemical reactions.
    [nanoworld]
    [restricted access to full text] (PDF reprints available on request)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 10, 50-51
    In an ideal world (review of: Functional materials from renewable resources - F. Liebner, T. Rosenau, eds.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 19 (07.10.), R855-R857
    Pests on the move
    Man-made changes in environmental conditions are creating new opportunities for pests and diseases to spread to new areas, threatening both crops and wildlife. Vigilance and early intervention are crucial, as the effects on food supplies could very rapidly turn into a catastrophe with global impact.
    [agriculture]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 20 (21.10.), R901-R904
    Dash for gas leaves Earth to fry
    The aggressive expansion of ‘unconventional natural gas development’ — more widely known as ‘fracking’ — has triggered protests across Europe. The concern is not just the direct impact on the environment but the production of fossil fuel in quantities we can no longer afford to burn, along with the side effect that the availability of cheap gas undermines the economic viability of sustainable energies..
    [climate change]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Sept. 2013

(4/46)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 9, 28-31
    DNA plays ball
    DNA balls – nucleic acids arranged on nanoparticles – are providing new directions in therapeutic and diagnostic medicine.
    [nanoworld]
    [restricted access to full text] (PDF reprints available on request)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 17 (09.09.), R734-36
    Are memories just ripples in time?
    The hippocampus is necessary for the consolidation of long-term episodic memory, and it is also the source of a characteristic electrical phenomenon, the sharp-wave ripples. Researchers are now looking for a possible connection between these two functions in their quest to understand how we form memories.
    [brain]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 18 (23.09.), R821-R823
    Towards living machines
    Progress in biomimetic technology and the production of biohybrid techniques converges towards autonomous, more convincingly life-like systems and novel medical applications.
    [biomimetics]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Aug. 2013

(6/42)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 8, 49
    Outwitting dinosaurs (review of Ginkgo: The tree that time forgot
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 15 (05.08.), R635-37
    Hopes and fears for future of coral reefs
    Coral reefs are widely recognised as vital yet highly vulnerable ecosystems. Recent studies have demonstrated the possibility of recovery after disturbance, but also the continuing threats and decline.
    [environment]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 16 (19.08.),
    The paradoxical evolution of agriculture
    The transition from foraging to agriculture has shaped the history of humanity, our society, psychology, and even landscapes to this day. Research now shows that this step cannot be attributed to technological progress improving efficiency. Only after millennia of slow changes did the early farmers gain the advantages that enabled them to push aside populations adhering to the earlier hunter-gatherer lifestyles.
    [evolution]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

July 2013

(5/36)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 13 (08.07.), R545-48
    Where wildlife and tame life collide
    Human–wildlife conflict is often about humans trying to stop wild animals harming domesticated ones, but pets can also be predators and efforts to protect farm animals can backfire and cause havoc in nature. For simultaneous success in conservation and efficient agriculture we need a better understanding of complex relations in the ecological triangle formed by wild and tame animals and people.
    [ecology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 14 (22.07.), R585-88
    Drugs prohibition is criminals' gain, neuroscience's loss
    The global prohibition of psychoactive drugs has arguably caused more suffering than it could ever prevent. A recent UN report shows that it also stimulates the creativity of those who create new designer drugs and ‘legal highs’. Neuroscientists have warned, on the other hand, that drugs control stifles research that could advance our understanding of the mind and find valuable therapies for mental disorders.
    [nanoworld]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

June 2013

(7/31)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 6, 47
    The great energy illusion (review of: Powering planet earth - energy solutions for the future)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry World 25.6.
    A foaming protein from the horse’s mouth
    [protein folding]
    [FREE access to full text]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 11 (03.06.), R462-64
    EU ban puts spotlight on complex effects of neonicotinoids
    The EU ban for the use of neonicotinoids in flowering crops that bees might visit has highlighted the unresolved scientific debates around these systemic pesticides. While the industry maintains that typical field concentrations aren’t toxic to honey bees, a growing body of independent research shows combination effects that may be just as devastating for bee colonies and wild pollinators.
    [bees]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 12 (17.06.), R501-504
    Can science relate to our emotions?
    Traditionally, science is objective and thus separated from all our emotional responses to the world. But, as neurosciences can now describe physiological correlates of emotional states, researchers in other fields are beginning to view emotions as a biological reaction that they can use in many different areas, from medicine to conservation.
    [psychology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

May 2013

(5/24)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 5, 32-34
    Smart new world
    .
    [medicine]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 5, 47
    Golden opportunities (review of: Gold nanoparticles for physics, chemistry and biology
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 9 (06.05.), R359-2
    Does the gut microbiome hold clues to obesity and diabetes?
    As high-throughput genome sequencing technology now enables researchers to study the microbiota in our digestive system both in breadth and in detail, the hope is that mysteries of common problems, including obesity and diabetes, will finally be solved.
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 10 (20.05.), R419-21
    What fish genomes can tell us about life on land
    The earliest vertebrates all lived in the oceans, long before life conquered land. It is only natural, therefore, that genomes of fish species are important reference points for the understanding of evolution and development of land vertebrates. Recent results from a relatively close relative, the coelacanth, and a widely used model, the zebrafish, are particularly promising,
    [genome]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

April 2013

(5/19)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 7 (08.04.), R255-58
    What makes people click?
    The unstoppable spread of online social networks and user-generated content has created an unprecedented opportunity to study human behaviour on all scales from the individual through to networks of hundreds of millions.
    [web2.0]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 8 (22.04.), R295-R298
    Has the manual gone mental?
    The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), to be published in May, will include highly controversial changes. Some diagnoses have been broadened to include a range of behaviours hitherto considered normal. As the coverage of mental disorder diagnoses increases, is there any space left for normal biological variability in human behaviour?
    [psychology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Mar. 2013

(4/14)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 3, 32-35
    Carbon deep
    Research into the chemistry and physics of materials at extremely high pressures promises insights into the origins of diamonds, the limits of life, and the nture of extrasolar 'super-Earths'.
    [astrobiology]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 3, 50
    Playing God (review of: Synthetic biology - a primer, by Paul S. Freemont and Richard Kitney, eds.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 5 (04.03.), R177-80
    Simulating hearts and minds
    Scientists equipped with some of the most advanced supercomputers are attempting to simulate the functions of vital organs, including heart, lungs, and brain. They hope to come up with tools that will further both research and medical treatments.
    [brain]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 6 (18.03.), R214-17
    Evolving new types of enzymes
    With their high selectivity and specificity especially in chiral reactions, natural enzymes are superior to all man-made catalysts. There are many reactions of interest, however, that just don’t occur in their repertoire. With a range of innovative approaches, scientists are now able to create enzymes with entirely new activities.
    [nanoworld]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Feb. 2013

(5/10)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 3 (04.02.), R95-98
    DNA nanotechnology gets real
    Recent research shows that artificial DNA constructs can self-assemble fast and efficiently and adopt the precise three-dimensional structures they were designed for. Functional units produced include hotspots for single-molecule fluorescence studies and a nanopore mimicking the shape of the a-haemolysin pore.
    [ecology]
    [Full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23 No 4 (18.02.), R135-R137
    Plastic waste is all at sea
    The accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans is a global, rapidly growing problem. Experts are especially concerned about the enormous amounts of plastic particles that are smaller than grains of sand and may enter the food chain.
    [environment]
    [Full text and FREE access to PDF]

Jan. 2013

(5/5)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 1, 24-27
    Fertile seas
    Fertilising ocean water with iron compounds might be a way to sequester carbon dioxide. But is it a realistic option for large-scale development?
    [climate change]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 1, 46-47
    Biochemistry by any other name (review of: Natural products in chemical biology, by Natanya Civjan, ed.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 1 (07.01.), R1-4
    Food security in the times of climate change
    Models predict that climate change will affect the world’s poorest people most severely. Which strategies might help to avert disaster in the developing world?
    [climate change]
    [FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 23, No 2 (21.01.), R47-50
    Where art and biology meet
    Nature inspires art, but conversely, art can also aid biological understanding, which, in turn, can help the appreciation and conservation of art works.
    [art]
    [Full text and FREE access to PDF]

 

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last update:

18.01.2014