Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Blue


Synesthesia is a phenomenon where a stimulus produces consistent extraordinary subjective experiences. A relatively common type of synesthesia involves perception of color when viewing letters (e.g. the letter ‘a’ always appears as light blue). In this study, we examine whether traits typically regarded as markers of synesthesia can be acquired by simply reading in color.

Concepts: Light, Color, Green, Blue, Purple, Qualia, Synesthesia, Azure


Evidence suggests that light and circadian rhythms profoundly influence the physiologic capacity with which an organism responds to stress. However, the ramifications of light spectrum on the course of critical illness remain to be determined. Here, we show that acute exposure to bright blue spectrum light reduces organ injury by comparison with bright red spectrum or ambient white fluorescent light in two murine models of sterile insult: warm liver ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and unilateral renal I/R. Exposure to bright blue light before I/R reduced hepatocellular injury and necrosis and reduced acute kidney injury and necrosis. In both models, blue light reduced neutrophil influx, as evidenced by reduced myeloperoxidase (MPO) within each organ, and reduced the release of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a neutrophil chemotactant and key mediator in the pathogenesis of I/R injury. The protective mechanism appeared to involve an optic pathway and was mediated, in part, by a sympathetic (β3 adrenergic) pathway that functioned independent of significant alterations in melatonin or corticosterone concentrations to regulate neutrophil recruitment. These data suggest that modifying the spectrum of light may offer therapeutic utility in sterile forms of cellular injury.

Concepts: Biology, Light, Photoreceptor cell, Blue, Red, Circadian rhythm, Spectrum, Visible spectrum


Light-emitting diodes utilizing perovskite nanocrystals have generated strong interest in the past several years, with green and red devices showing high efficiencies. Blue devices, however, have lagged significantly behind. Here, it is shown that the device architecture plays a key role in this lag and that NiOx, a transport layer in one of the highest efficiency devices to date, causes a significant reduction in perovskite luminescence lifetime. An alternate transport layer structure which maintains robust nanocrystal emission is proposed. Devices with this architecture show external quantum efficiencies of 0.50% at 469 nm, seven times higher than state-of-the-art devices at that wavelength. Finally, it is demonstrated that this architecture enables efficient devices across the entire blue-green portion of the spectrum. The improvements demonstrated here open the door to efficient blue perovskite light-emitting diodes.

Concepts: Estimator, Light, Green, Blue, Red, Robust statistics, OSI model, Cyan


On 11 March 2011, the day of the unforgettable disaster of the 9 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and quickly followed by the devastating Tsunami, a damageable amount of radionuclides had dispersed from the Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged nuclear reactors. Decontamination of the dispersed radionuclides from seawater and soil, due to the huge amounts of coexisting ions with competitive functionalities, has been the topmost difficulty. Ferric hexacyanoferrate, also known as Prussian blue (PB), has been the most powerful material for selectively trapping the radioactive cesium ions; its high tendency to form stable colloids in water, however, has made PB to be impossible for the open-field radioactive cesium decontamination applications. A nano/nano combinatorial approach, as is described in this study, has provided an ultimate solution to this intrinsic colloid formation difficulty of PB. Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) were used to immobilize PB via the creation of CNF-backboned PB. The CNF-backboned PB (CNF/PB) was found to be highly tolerant to water and moreover, it gave a 139 mg/g capability and a million (10(6)) order of magnitude distribution coefficient (Kd) for absorbing of the radioactive cesium ion. Field studies on soil and seawater decontaminations in Fukushima gave satisfactory results, demonstrating high capabilities of CNF/PB for practical applications.

Concepts: Water, Cyanide, Colloid, Potassium, Blue, Ferrocyanide, Prussian blue, Potassium ferrocyanide


InP-based quantum dots (QDs) have attracted much attention for use in optical applications, and several types of QDs such as InP/ZnS, InP/ZnSeS, and InP/GaP/ZnS have been developed. However, early synthetic methods that involved rapid injection at high temperatures have not been able to reproducibly produce the required optical properties. They were also not able to support commercialization efforts successfully. Herein, we introduce a simple synthetic method for InP/GaP/ZnS core/shell/shell QDs via a heating process. The reaction was completed within 0.5 h and a full color range from blue to red was achieved. For emitting blue color, t-DDT was applied to prevent particle growth. From green to orange, color variation was achieved by adjusting the quantity of myristic acid. Utilizing large quantities of gallium chloride led to red color. With this method, we produced high-quality InP/GaP/ZnS QDs (blue QY: ~40%, FWHM: 50 nm; green QY: ~85%, FWHM: 41 nm; red QY: ~60%, FWHM: 65 nm). We utilized t-DDT as a new sulfur source. Compared with n-DDT, t-DDT was more reactive, which allowed for the formation of a thicker shell.

Concepts: Light, Color, Green, Blue, Red, White, Orange, Primary color


Anthocyanins are some of the most widely occurring secondary metabolites in plants, responsible for the orange, red, purple, and blue colors of flowers and fruits and red colors of autumn leaves. These pigments accumulate in vacuoles, and their color is influenced by chemical decorations, vacuolar pH, the presence of copigments, and metal ions. Anthocyanins are usually soluble in the vacuole, but in some plants, they accumulate as discrete sub-vacuolar structures. Studies have distinguished intensely colored intra-vacuolar bodies observed in the cells of highly colored tissues, termed anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions (AVIs), from more globular, membrane-bound anthocyanoplasts. We describe a system in tobacco that adds additional decorations to the basic anthocyanin, cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside, normally formed by this species. Using this system, we have been able to establish which decorations underpin the formation of AVIs, the conditions promoting AVI formation, and, consequently, the mechanism by which they form.

Concepts: Cell, Organelle, Color, Blue, Red, Vacuole, Primary color, Plant cell


Virus B is a newly emerged viral strain for which there is no current treatment. Drug A was identified as a potential treatment for infection with virus B. In this pre-clinical phase of drug testing, the effects of drug A on survival after infection with virus B was tested. There was no difference in survival between control (dark blue) and drug A-treated, virus B-infected mice (green), but a significant difference in survival between control and virus B-infected mice without drug treatment (light blue, z-test for proportions P < 0.05, n = 30 in each group). The authors therefore concluded that drug A is effective in reducing mouse mortality due to virus B.

Concepts: Virus, Light, Strain, Hypothesis, Statistical hypothesis testing, Green, Blue, Null hypothesis


Optogenetic methods take advantage of photoswitches to control the activity of cellular proteins. Here, we completed a multi-directional engineering of the fungal photoreceptor Vivid to develop pairs of distinct photoswitches named Magnets. These new photoswitches were engineered to recognize each other based on the electrostatic interactions, thus preventing homodimerization and enhancing light-induced heterodimerization. Furthermore, we tuned the switch-off kinetics by four orders of magnitude and developed several variants, including those with substantially faster kinetics than any of the other conventional dimerization-based blue spectrum photoswitches. We demonstrate the utility of Magnets as powerful tools that can optogenetically manipulate molecular processes in biological systems.

Concepts: Protein, Medicine, Molecular biology, Biology, Engineering, Dimer, Blue, Elementary mathematics


Many lab studies have shown that colors can evoke powerful emotions and impact human behavior. Might these phenomena drive how we act online? A key research challenge for image-sharing communities is uncovering the mechanisms by which content spreads through the community. In this paper, we investigate whether there is link between color and diffusion. Drawing on a corpus of one million images crawled from Pinterest, we find that color significantly impacts the diffusion of images and adoption of content on image sharing communities such as Pinterest, even after partially controlling for network structure and activity. Specifically, Red, Purple and pink seem to promote diffusion, while Green, Blue, Black and Yellow suppress it. To our knowledge, our study is the first to investigate how colors relate to online user behavior. In addition to contributing to the research conversation surrounding diffusion, these findings suggest future work using sophisticated computer vision techniques. We conclude with a discussion on the theoretical, practical and design implications suggested by this work-e.g. design of engaging image filters.

Concepts: Color, Green, Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Primary color, Color wheel


Since at least the 17(th) century there has been the idea that there are four simple and perceptually pure “unique” hues: red, yellow, green, and blue, and that all other hues are perceived as mixtures of these four hues. However, sustained scientific investigation has not yet provided solid evidence for a neural representation that separates the unique hues from other colors. We measured event-related potentials elicited from unique hues and the ‘intermediate’ hues in between them. We find a neural signature of the unique hues 230 ms after stimulus onset at a post-perceptual stage of visual processing. Specifically, the posterior P2 component over the parieto-occipital lobe peaked significantly earlier for the unique than for the intermediate hues (Z = -2.9, p = 0.004). Having identified a neural marker for unique hues, fundamental questions about the contribution of neural hardwiring, language and environment to the unique hues can now be addressed.

Concepts: Visual system, Color, Green, Blue, Red, Event-related potential, Hue, Primary color