Science Podcast: How Brain Cells Use Energy, Lobster Bellies & Red Meat

Ultra-precise measurements connect brain activity and energy use in individual fruit-fly neurons.

In this episode:

00:45 How brain cells use energy

A team of researchers have looked in individual fruit-fly neurons to better understand how energy use and information processing are linked – which may have important implications for future fMRI studies in humans.

Research Article: Mann et al.

07:04 Research Highlights

A tough but flexible material inspired by lobster underbellies, and research reveals that red meat consumption hasn’t dropped since the 1960s.

Research Highlight: Material mimicking lobster belly cracks the code for toughness

Research Highlight: Meat lovers worldwide pay climate little heed

10:15 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, early results for a new malaria vaccine look positive, and researchers unearth the latest chapter in a long-running plant experiment.

Nature News: Malaria vaccine shows promise — now come tougher trials

BBC News: Malaria vaccine hailed as potential breakthrough

New York Times: One of the World’s Oldest Science Experiments Comes Up From the Dirt

Science: Salt Water Evaporation Creates “Crystal Critters’ (MIT)

A team of MIT researchers have observed that when salty water evaporates from a heated, superhydrophobic surface the crystal structures that form can easily be removed or roll away on their own.

This phenomenon could make it possible to use brackish or salty water, without any pretreatment, rather than relying on freshwater sources, for cooling systems in power plants.

Modern Architecture: ‘Glass & Steel House’ – Malibu, California (Video)

Designed by architect Ed Niles, this four bedroom, four bathroom home sits on two private acres overlooking the Pacific and is currently listed for sale at $13.5 Million.

Analysis: Russia’s Military On Ukraine’s Border (WSJ)

Clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists continued after Moscow’s large-scale military maneuvers at the border. WSJ’s Georgi Kantchev reports from the front line of a conflict that is seen as a test for the Biden administration. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova for The Wall Street Journal

Walking Tour: Cefalù – Sicily, Italy (4K Video)

Cefalù is a coastal city in northern Sicily, Italy. It’s known for its Norman cathedral, a 12th-century fortress-like structure with elaborate Byzantine mosaics and soaring twin towers. Nearby, the Mandralisca Museum is home to archaeological exhibits and a picture gallery with a portrait by Antonello da Messina. The beaches of Mazzaforno and Settefrati lie to the west. 

Mountain Views: ‘Chalet On Powder Mountain’ In Northern Utah (Video)

Chalet on Powder Mountain

This chalet is located just slightly north of the top of a gentle slope that stretches from north to south in the natural park in Powder Mountain, Utah, USA. It sits at the northern end of a cluster of chalets spread out to the south, and one can enjoy the view to the south from the second floor. It is a great place to access both the town and the ski resort, and enjoy the magnificent view to the north.

After skiing, they would step off the ski slope and approach the chalet from the south side of the site to take a break. They would go into the mud room, take off ski clothes and skis, hang them there to dry, take a shower on the same floor, change in on of the bedrooms, and go upstairs. The upper floor where one can enjoy the magnificent view on the north side has a spacious balcony resulted from the setback regulation, kitchen, dining room, and living room where they would enjoy the view, delicious food and drinks, light the fire and have a good time together after a long day of skiing. Since the building is located in a natural park, it is subject to very strict building regulations and the buildable area is small. This extremely compact building is designed to take up the maximum allowable volume. The compact size is perfect for experiencing the grandeur of nature, giving you a sense of being nestled in it.

Structurally, the lower floor is constructed with steel frames to maintain an appropriate distance between the slope and the building, and a highly insulated wooden structure is placed on top of the steel frames to protect the indoor environment. The expression of the wooden materials harmonizes and integrates with the surrounding land and stones in summer, and evokes the warmth of home against the white snow in winter.

Title: Chalet on Powder Mountain

Architect: Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects

Project team: Matthieu Darcourt, Ou Ueno

Collaboration: Lloyd Architects(AOR)

Location: Utah, USA

Naval Warfare: ‘Seawolf Class Submarines’ (Video)

The Seawolf class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack  submarines  (SSN) in service with the United States Navy. The class was the intended successor to the Los Angeles class, and design work began in 1983. A fleet of 29 submarines was to be built over a ten-year period, but that was reduced to 12 submarines.