Each year, malaria results in more than a million deaths. Controlling this disease involves understanding its transmission, and understanding its transmission means understanding its basic reproductive number, R0. For all infectious disease, R0 describes the most important aspects of transmission as it is the expected number of hosts that can trace their infection directly back to a single host after one disease generation. For vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, R0 is given by a classic formula. In a new study published in PLoS Biology, David Smith and colleagues demonstrate that estimates of R0 range from around one to over 3,000, providing much higher estimates than previously thought, with serious implications for the control of the disease.
Understanding the origin and behavior of the magnetic fields of planets and stars is the goal of research being carried out by many teams from all over the world. The VKS1 collaboration (CEA2, CNRS3,4, Ecole normale supérieure in Lyon3, Ecole normale supérieure in Paris4) has succeeded in creating in the laboratory a magnetic field in a highly turbulent flow of liquid sodium. Although the extreme conditions specific to astrophysical and geophysical environments cannot all be reproduced in the laboratory, the magnetic field observed shows remarkable similarities with magnetic fields observed in the cosmos. The findings represent a significant advance in the understanding of the mechanisms at work in the formation of natural magnetic fields.
A decade-long mystery has been solved using data from ESA's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton. The brightest member of the so-called 'magnificent seven' has been found to pulsate with a period of seven seconds.
The discovery casts some doubt on the recent interpretation that this object is a highly exotic celestial object known as a quark star.
This X-ray image, obtained by the EPIC instrument on-board the ESA XMM-Newton observatory in October 2006 over a 19-hour observation session, shows the neutron star RXJ1856.
Severe climate changes during the last ice-age could have been caused by random chaotic variations on Earth and not governed by external periodic influences from the Sun. This has been shown in new calculations by a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University.
The temperature curve through the Greenland inland ice sheet shows 26 dramatic and abrupt climate shifts during the last ice age that lasted more than 100.000 years. This curve shows the climate shifts during 40,000 years. The climate shifts appear to be periodic, but mathematical computer simulations shows that they are probably chaotic and random. Credit: Peter Ditlevsen
King Alfred burned the cakes, right? Wrong.
A project by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has come one step closer to making fusion energy possible.
The research team, headed by electrical and computer engineering Professor David Anderson and research assistant John Canik, recently proved that the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX), an odd-looking magnetic plasma chamber called a stellarator, can overcome a major barrier in plasma research, in which stellarators lose too much energy to reach the high temperatures needed for fusion.
Helically Symmetric Experiment