By 381 days, they could neutralise 96% of strains tested in the lab.
Dr Dennis Burton, a fellow researcher, said: "The potent responses in this study are remarkable.
"Unlike human antibodies, cattle antibodies are more likely to bear unique features and gain an edge over HIV."
Unusually for human antibodies, the broadly neutralising ones have a long and loopy structure. Cow antibodies are inherently more long and loopy.
So the cow immune system finds making the antibodies easily.
It is thought the cow's "ruminant" digestive system which ferments grass in order to digest it is a Wild West of hostile bacteria. So the animals have developed the antibodies needed to keep them in check.
It means cattle could eventually become a source of drugs to make more effective vaginal microbicides to prevent HIV infection.
However, the real goal is to develop a vaccine that encourages the human immune system to make the antibodies it currently finds a struggle.
That remains a significant challenge, but the cattle study could help point the way.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: "From the early days of the epidemic, we have recognized that HIV is very good at evading immunity, so exceptional immune systems that naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV are of great interest - whether they belong to humans or cattle."
The object-in-question is a photon, which travelled from Gobi desert to a satellite called ‘Micius’ orbiting 500 kilometres in total.
‘Micius’ is described to be a highly sensitive photo receiver that is equipped with the ability to detect quantum states of single photons launched from the ground. (Representational image)
Researchers from China have successfully teleported an object from Earth to the Orbit. The object-in-question is a photon, which travelled from Gobi desert to a satellite called ‘Micius’ orbiting five hundred kilometres in total. This is believed to be an important step towards establishing a global-scale quantum internet.
Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at Oxford University Ian Walmsley tells the World At One how quantum entanglement works and how teleportation could be utilised. He explained that such a deed is achievable through a process called ‘Quantum Entanglement,’ wherein two particles react as one with no physical connection between them.
‘Micius’ is described to be a highly sensitive photoreceiver that is equipped with the ability to detect quantum states of single photons launched from the ground. The aforementioned satellite was developed with the aim to enable scientists to carry out tests that involved quantum entanglement, cryptography and teleportation. “Long-distance teleportation has been recognized as a fundamental element in protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation,” says the Chinese team to MIT Technology Review. “Previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance on the order of 100 kilometres, due to photon loss in optical fibres or terrestrial free-space channels.”
At first, the research team created entangled pairs of photons at the rate of 4,000 per second on Earth. Following which, they attempted at teleporting one out of the many pairs of entangled photons to the satellite. Meanwhile, the others remained on Earth. Finally, the researchers measured the photons both on the ground and the orbit and confirmed that teleportation was taking place. “This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite uplink for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward the global-scale quantum internet,” says the team.
Any internet user will know that the web, like the outside world (or “meatspace”), follows certain rules.
We take a look at 10, with the most well-known and widely used towards the top and some of the lesser lights lower down. If you know any more, let us know below.
Equally, of course, if you have formulated one yourself, do likewise – but you might want to include your real name, not just a web pseudonym. Otherwise it will be known forever as Gherkin555’s Law, or whatever, and you will miss your shot at posterity.
We should state that we are not endorsing these laws or the views they imply, merely reporting them.
1. Godwin’s Law
The most famous of all the internet laws, formed by Mike Godwin in 1990. As originally stated, it said: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." It has now been expanded to include all web discussions.
In its broader sense it can be used to describe any situation where a poster loses all sense of proportion, for example describing New Labour as “Zanu-Labour” after Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwean political party Zanu-PF.
As well as the descriptive form, it can be used prescriptively: so if any poster does mention the Nazis in a discussion thread, Godwin’s Law can be invoked, they instantly lose the argument and the thread can be ended.
If this is done deliberately to end the argument, however, it does not apply. This codicil is known as “Quirk’s Exception”.
2. Poe’s Law
Not to be confused with the law of poetry enshrined by Edgar Allan Poe, the internet Poe’s Law states: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”
Poe’s Law also has an inverse meaning, stating that non-fundamentalists will often mistake sincere expressions of fundamentalist beliefs for parody.
Examples abound – one particularly difficult-to-judge site claims that “Heliocentrism [the belief that the Earth orbits the Sun, rather than the other way around] is an Atheist Doctrine”.
One that must, surely, be a parody is sexinchrist.com (WARNING: link contains adult material), a site that offers Christians advice on the rights and wrongs of such activities as threesomes and pubic shaving, among much more.
However, it is hard to be entirely certain, given the existence of christiannymphos.org (WARNING: link contains adult material), an apparently entirely serious site.
Here is an example of a parody site that embodies bothGodwin's and Poe's Laws.
3. Rule 34
States: “If it exists, there is porn of it.” See also Rule 35: “If no such porn exists, it will be made.” Generally held to refer to fictional characters and cartoons, although some formulations insist there are "no exceptions" even for abstract ideas like non-Euclidean geometry, or puzzlement.
For obvious reasons it is not appropriate for lengthy discussion in a family newspaper, but the recent appearance of Marge Simpson on the cover of Playboy, pictured above, was a (very mild) example of the law in action, and going mainstream.
The other 33 rules change frequently, except one and two, which are “Do not talk about /b/” and “Do NOT talk about /b/”, respectively, referring to a message board on the 4chan.org website.
4. Skitt’s Law
Expressed as "any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself" or "the likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster."
It is an online version of the proofreading truism Muphry’s Law, also known as Hartman's Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation: "any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror".
"For too long, we linguistic pedants have cringed, watching this phrase used, misused, and abused, again, and again, and again. 'This begs the question...' [we hear], and we must brace ourselves as the ignoramii of modern society literally ask a question after the phrase."
While Mr Ordoveza’s point is entirely valid (“begging the question” is a logical fallacy, meaning to "beggar the question", or assume your conclusion in your premise – not to raise the question), the plural of ignoramus is ignoramuses.
It was apparently first stated by G Bryan Lord, referring to a user named Skitt, on Usenet in 1998.
5. Scopie’s Law
States: “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.” First formulated by Rich Scopie on the badscience.net forum.
This law makes little sense without a background knowledge of Whale.to, a conspiracy theory site which includes such items as the complete text of the anti-Semitic hoax Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as well as claims that Aids is caused by vaccination programmes, and that Auschwitz never happened.
6. Danth’s Law (also known as Parker’s Law)
States: “If you have to insist that you've won an internet argument, you've probably lost badly.” Named after a user on the role-playing gamers’ forum RPG.net.
7. Pommer’s Law
Proposed by Rob Pommer on rationalwiki.com in 2007, this states: “A person's mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.”
The Second Law states: “Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.”
The Zeroth, First and Third Laws cannot be very generally applied and will be glossed over here.
9. Cohen’s Law
Proposed by Brian Cohen in 2007, states that: “Whoever resorts to the argument that ‘whoever resorts to the argument that... …has automatically lost the debate’ has automatically lost the debate.”
Has also been stated in the much longer version, "Whoever resorts to the argument that 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that ... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' has automatically lost the debate."
10. The Law of Exclamation First recorded in an article by Lori Robertson at FactCheck.org in 2008, this states: "The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters."
It is reminiscent of the claim in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels that the more exclamation marks someone uses in writing, the more likely they are to be mentally unbalanced.
According to Pratchett, five exclamation marks is an indicator of "someone who wears their underwear on the outside".
The air pressure in the treadmill can be adjusted to take the patient from 100% of their body weight to only 20%, the same feeling as walking on the moon.(Shutterstock)
Using space-age technology, a British scientist has developed an anti-gravity treadmill that can help people reduce their fears of re-injury as well as boost their confidence after knee operations.
The anti-gravity treadmill could provide a great environment for healing and help restore the belief that injured people could make a successful return to any sport they love, said Karen Hambly, senior lecturer at the University of Kent and an international expert on knee rehabilitation.
When people run, the load on their knee joints could be up to five times greater than when walking. Healthy cartilage that covers the bone surfaces in the knee joint transfers these high loads from the lower leg to the upper leg. However, the anti-gravity treadmill can help walking or running without the full weight of the body, while reducing the load on the joints in the lower limbs and bridging the gap between rehabilitation and return to sport, the research showed.
The air pressure in the treadmill could be adjusted to take the patient from 100% of their body weight to only 20%, the same feeling as walking on the moon, and reducing the impact and pressure on joints during the run.
In the study, published in the journal Physical Therapy in Sport, the expert on knee rehabilitation, highlighted the journey of a 39-year-old female endurance runner.
Post her knee surgery, she took an eight-week rehabilitation on the anti-gravity treadmill to take part in her sport again. The anti-gravity treadmill helped in an improved knee and rehabilitation of self-efficacy and subjective knee function.
For decades, people have wondered about the mysterious "sailing stones" of Death Valley, California. Though no one had seen them actually move, it was clear that they had, because they left behind furrows in the dry, cracked mud. It was hypothesized that the rocks were pushed by the wind, or that ice on the rocks made them float across the playa.
But in 2014 Richard Norris, an oceanographer at University of California San Diego, figured it out. He attached GPS units to some rocks, and then waited. It took two years, but he finally conclusively solved the mystery.
To figure it all out, Norris and his cousin attached specially-designed GPS units to the back of rocks they had brought into Death Valley (the National Parks Service wouldn't let them mess with the rocks that were already there). They also installed a weather station, and then...they waited.
It took two years, but finally, the rocks moved. Norris and his cousin, completely by chance, actually got to witness them in action. The researchers discussed their findings in a paper published in PLOS One. They found that when enough rain fell on the playa to pool, and the temperature dropped, the water would freeze into huge, thin sheets of ice around the rocks — which tumble onto the playa from a nearby hillside. As the morning sun began to melt the ice, if a gentle breeze blew, it could move the ice, which dragged the rocks along with it.
"The ice is like the thickness of a window pane," Norris told me. "And although it's very thin, it's a huge, huge sheet of ice. It's sort of being moved sort of inextricably by these breezes and it can shove around really big things — and a lot of rock."
Caterpillars could hold the key to our growing problem of plastic waste. While doing some routine beehive maintenance, a team of researchers in Spain has chanced upon one type of caterpillar that seems to have a taste for the stuff.
Federica Bertocchini at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria was picking honeycomb moth caterpillars out of a beehive and placing the beeswax-eating pests in a plastic bag for disposal. After a while she found that the caterpillars had broken loose and were milling everywhere. She and her team later confirmed the caterpillars can eat through plastic, and they now want to develop a quick way of breaking down polyethylene – used to make plastic bags – with enzymes from the caterpillars.
The team found that 100 caterpillars of the Galleria mellonella moth can riddle a supermarket shopping bag with holes in under an hour, and can consume 92 milligrams of plastic in half a day – that’s just over 3 per cent of a shopping bag. “That’s quite fast,” says Bertocchini, considering that it takes at least 100 years for one to decompose naturally.
To make sure the caterpillars were actually digesting the plastic, the team ground some of them up and spread a thin layer of the paste on a polyethylene film. Within 14 hours and after some reapplications, the paste had broken down 13 per cent of the plastic. The team also found traces of ethylene glycol, a sign of polyethylene breakdown.
“Our study is the first scientific work to show that this species eats plastic with the chemical depolymerisation of polyethylene,” says Bertocchini. Such an ability might be down to the caterpillars harbouring certain gut microbes.
Wei-Min Wu from Stanford University, who has studied various plastic-eating species, says the results are exciting. But he says the paste has produced a much higher biodegradation rate than anything seen in polyethylene-degrading bacteria isolated so far, suggesting that what goes on in the caterpillar’s gut is more complicated.
Bertocchini is hoping that a single enzyme is what is breaking down the plastic. “If this is the case, I can picture a scenario in the future where we can isolate it, produce it on a large scale and use that to biodegrade plastics.” She has founded a biotech company with one of her co-researchers, but they don’t yet have the funds to test the idea.
They’re not the only ones working on this. BioCellection, start-up based in San Jose, California, is hoping to launch a pilot plastic waste-processing plant by 2020. Their plan involves chemically treating plastics to make them easier for bioengineered bacteria to digest.
In the meantime, it’s not unreasonable to think we will keep finding organisms that have evolved to digest plastic. But our plastic problem won’t magically go away. On the plus side, neither will these creatures start devouring our precious plastic goods.
“These animals don’t live on plastic,” says Bertocchini. “They eat it to get out of it, or get to the food behind it. If in the future something evolves to exclusively eat plastic, I don’t know. So far it hasn’t happened.”