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New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

Science
Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso's great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece.The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems - and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it. Details were revealed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement for Science in Austin, Texas.The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso's blue period. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceWhat is remarkable is that the landscape painting beneath - probably by a student artist - is turned 90 degrees. Th...
Study reveals low alcohol consumption has brain-cleansing function

Study reveals low alcohol consumption has brain-cleansing function

Health
Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Drinking alcohol at low levels can clear away brain toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease, a study published Friday indicates.The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that low levels of consumption reduced inflammation in the brains of mice.Researchers focused on the glymphatic system, a brain-cleaning process first described in 2012 by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, the lead author of the new study.The system works by pumping cerebral spinal fluid into brain tissue to flush away waste, including proteins associated with dementia. Follow-up studies indicate that the glymphatic system works best during sleep and improves with exercise.The new study showed that animals exposed to long-term use of alcohol displayed high levels of a marker ...
Study reveals secrets of DNA mutation

Study reveals secrets of DNA mutation

Science
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- According to new research, some mutational DNA bases are able to avoid detection by the body's natural defense systems and incorporate themselves into the human genome.The DNA base pair formed by guanine and thymine, a mutational mismatch, are able to shape-shift so they blend in with the rest of the DNA ladder, or helix."When these two bases form a hydrogen bond by accident, at first, they don't fit quite right," Zucai Suo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State University, said in a news release. "They stick out along the DNA helix, so normally it's easy for the enzymes that replicate DNA to detect them and fix them."And normally, they do get caught and the mismatch is rectified. But sometimes, the base pair can change shapes before detection, avoiding the ...
Israel reveals plans for 40-mile underground wall around Gaza

Israel reveals plans for 40-mile underground wall around Gaza

World
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Officials in Israel on Thursday gave journalists a tour of a destroyed militant Islamist tunnel and a peek at construction of an underground wall they hope will thwart terrorist groups from digging their way into Israeli territory.The massive underground barrier is the first of its kind in the world. The project, scheduled to be finished by the end of next year, is made of reinforced concrete walls that will run for 40 miles along the entire Israeli-Gaza border.The wall will have underground sensors to help to detect any future tunnels and a fence almost 30 feet tall will help prevent crossings over ground.As construction progresses, Israeli military expects to find and destroy several more attack tunnels that enter Israel from Gaza. During the last three months, Israeli f...
Study reveals 18 new pelican spider species

Study reveals 18 new pelican spider species

Science
Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Researchers with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have discovered 18 new species of pelican spider, a group of arachnids that look as absurd as they sound.The new species were discovered living in the jungles of Madagascar, an African island in the Indian Ocean that hosts a plethora of endemic plant and animal species -- species not found anywhere else on Earth.Arachnologists Hannah Wood and Nikolaj Scharff conducted their survey using specimens collected during their own field work as well as spiders found during an arthropod survey organized by the California Academy of Sciences.Most spiders are opportunistic, eating whatever gets stuck in their web. As such, many spiders occasionally eat other spiders. Pelican spiders, however, eat only other spiders...