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

Concept: The Wall


The purpose of the present simulation study is to reveal how confining surfaces with different mechanical properties affect the acoustic response of a contrast agent microbubble. To this end, numerical simulations are carried out for three types of walls: a plastic (OptiCell) wall, an aluminium wall, and a biological tissue. For each wall, the behaviour of contrast microbubbles of three sizes is investigated. The spectral characteristics of the scattered pressure produced by the microbubbles are compared for two cases: the bubble oscillates far away from the wall and the same bubble oscillates in the immediate vicinity of the wall. The results of the simulations allow one to make the following main conclusions. The effect of the OptiCell wall on the acoustic bubble response is stronger than that of the aluminium and tissue walls. Changes in the bubble response near the wall are stronger when bubbles are excited above their resonance frequency. Considering changes in the fundamental and the 2nd harmonic with respect to the peak values of these components at different bubble radii, it is found that the changes are stronger for smaller bubbles and that the changes in the 2nd harmonic are stronger than those in the fundamental. These results allow one to gain an insight into conditions under which the effect of an elastic wall on the acoustic response of a contrast agent microbubble is easier to be detected.

Concepts: Resonance, Sound, AnyLogic, Resonator, English-language films, Acoustics, The Wall, Wave


The benefit of endoscopic full-thickness resection is the improved diagnostic work-up with an integral wall specimen which allows a precise determination of the tumor or its precursor and its infiltration depth into the wall.

Concepts: Roger Waters, Benefit of clergy, The Wall


Systems capable of precise motion in the vasculature can offer exciting possibilities for applications in targeted therapeutics and non-invasive surgery. So far, the majority of the work analysed propulsion in a two-dimensional setting with limited controllability near boundaries. Here we show bio-inspired rolling motion by introducing superparamagnetic particles in magnetic and acoustic fields, inspired by a neutrophil rolling on a wall. The particles self-assemble due to dipole-dipole interaction in the presence of a rotating magnetic field. The aggregate migrates towards the wall of the channel due to the radiation force of an acoustic field. By combining both fields, we achieved a rolling-type motion along the boundaries. The use of both acoustic and magnetic fields has matured in clinical settings. The combination of both fields is capable of overcoming the limitations encountered by single actuation techniques. We believe our method will have far-reaching implications in targeted therapeutics.Devising effective swimming and propulsion strategies in microenvironments is attractive for drug delivery applications. Here Ahmed et al. demonstrate a micropropulsion strategy in which a combination of magnetic and acoustic fields is used to assemble and propel colloidal particles along channel walls.

Concepts: Field, Force, Classical mechanics, Electromagnetism, Physics, Magnetism, The Wall, Magnetic field


There is increasing evidence that all cells sense mechanical forces in order to perform their functions. In animals, mechanotransduction has been studied during the establishment of cell polarity, fate, and division in single cells, and increasingly is studied in the context of a multicellular tissue. What about plant systems? Our goal in this review is to summarize what is known about the perception of mechanical cues in plants, and to provide a brief comparison with animals.

Concepts: The Wall, DNA, Photosynthesis, Plant, Cell wall, Kingdom, Eukaryote, Organism


Enhanced conductivity at specific domain walls in ferroelectrics is now an established phenomenon. Surprisingly, however, little is known about the most fundamental aspects of conduction. Carrier types, densities and mobilities have not been determined and transport mechanisms are still a matter of guesswork. Here we demonstrate that intermittent-contact atomic force microscopy (AFM) can detect the Hall effect in conducting domain walls. Studying YbMnO3 single crystals, we have confirmed that p-type conduction occurs in tail-to-tail charged domain walls. By calibration of the AFM signal, an upper estimate of ∼1 × 10(16) cm(-3) is calculated for the mobile carrier density in the wall, around four orders of magnitude below that required for complete screening of the polar discontinuity. A carrier mobility of∼50 cm(2)V(-1)s(-1) is calculated, about an order of magnitude below equivalent carrier mobilities in p-type silicon, but sufficiently high to preclude carrier-lattice coupling associated with small polarons.

Concepts: Density, The Wall, Silicon, Electric and magnetic fields in matter, Piezoelectricity, Condensed matter physics, Magnetic field, Semiconductor


At the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary, ecosystems witnessed an unparalleled biological innovation: the appearance of shelled animals. Here, we report new paleoecological and paleobiological data on Cloudina, which was one of the most abundant shelled animals at the end of the Ediacaran. We report the close association of Cloudina tubes with microbial mat textures as well as organic-rich material, syndepositional calcite and goethite cement between their flanges, thus reinforcing the awareness of metazoan/microorganism interactions at the end of the Ediacaran. The preservation of in situ tubes suggests a great plasticity of substrate utilization, with evidence of different life modes and avoidance behavior. Geochemical analysis revealed walls composed of two secondary laminae and organic sheets. Some walls presented boreholes that are here described as predation marks. Taken together, these data add further information regarding the structuring of shelled animal communities in marine ecosystems.

Concepts: Biology, Cambrian explosion, Animal, 2005 albums, The Wall, Life, Ecology, Organism


Two North American nurses found their research cited in the Wall Street Journal in February 2018 (The Wall Street Journal A13 Feb 20 2018). It’s usually a researcher’s dream to make the mainstream press with their work. What was particularly interesting about Baker and Quinn’s (ref see below) work was that it focused on the impact of a fundamental care activity - oral care to prevent nonventilator hospital acquired pneumonia - as one of a number of routine interventions that should be delivered by nurses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Mass media, Research, All rights reversed, The Wall, Thermodynamics, North America, All rights reserved, Copyright


The total contact cast (TCC) is an effective intervention to reduce plantar pressure in patients with diabetes and a plantar forefoot ulcer. The walls of the TCC have been indirectly shown to bear approximately 30 % of the plantar load. A new direct method to measure inside the TCC walls with capacitance sensors has shown that the anterodistal and posterolateral-distal regions of the lower leg bear the highest load. The objective of this study was to directly measure these two regions in patients with Diabetes and a plantar forefoot ulcer to further understand the mechanism of pressure reduction in the TCC.

Concepts: Real number, The Wall, Wall, Human leg, Electrochemistry


When Staphylococcus aureus undergoes cytokinesis, it builds a septum, generating two hemispherical daughters whose cell walls are only connected via a narrow peripheral ring. We found that resolution of this ring occurred within milliseconds (“popping”), without detectable changes in cell volume. The likelihood of popping depended on cell-wall stress, and the separating cells split open asymmetrically, leaving the daughters connected by a hinge. An elastostatic model of the wall indicated high circumferential stress in the peripheral ring before popping. Last, we observed small perforations in the peripheral ring that are likely initial points of mechanical failure. Thus, the ultrafast daughter cell separation in S. aureus appears to be driven by accumulation of stress in the peripheral ring and exhibits hallmarks of mechanical crack propagation.

Concepts: Binary fission, Staphylococcus, Cell, The Wall, Bacteria, Cell wall, Staphylococcus aureus


How growing cells cope with size expansion while ensuring mechanical integrity is not known. In walled cells, such as those of microbes and plants, growth and viability are both supported by a thin and rigid encasing cell wall (CW). We deciphered the dynamic mechanisms controlling wall surface assembly during cell growth, using a sub-resolution microscopy approach to monitor CW thickness in live rod-shaped fission yeast cells. We found that polar cell growth yielded wall thinning and that thickness negatively influenced growth. Thickness at growing tips exhibited a fluctuating behavior with thickening phases followed by thinning phases, indicative of a delayed feedback promoting thickness homeostasis. This feedback was mediated by mechanosensing through the CW integrity pathway, which probes strain in the wall to adjust synthase localization and activity to surface growth. Mutants defective in thickness homeostasis lysed by rupturing the wall, demonstrating its pivotal role for walled cell survival.

Concepts: Cell, Cell wall, Pink Floyd, The Wall, Archaea, Organism, Yeast, Bacteria