Exploratory Testing Service Market to Show High Growth by 2027 & Covid-19 Impact | Trigent, Testnerds

This Exploratory Testing Service market report tries to give some independent information in order to protect the money of firms. It contains information on market share, market strategies, growth drivers, and the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on small and large enterprises, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on every industry. It looks at potential investment possibilities in light of the present market scenario. Sellers, purchasers, and consumers will benefit greatly from the market survey study. It also helps with the smooth and painless completion of business responsibilities. This Exploratory Testing Service market report is a great tool for aiding market players in developing and introducing novel and sophisticated items into the market in order to improve their market position.

Exploratory testing is an approach to software assessment that integrates learning about the program that’s being developed with plans for future testing.

For the advantage of industry major participants, this Exploratory Testing Service market report momentarily and briefly discusses research, objectives, technique, performance, and marketing. The global market study includes data for a number of years, from 2021 to 2027. This projection is extremely advantageous to emerging market enterprises. Researchers have worked tirelessly to give consumers with exact, precise, and up-to-date data. This is entirely based on the facts as well as numbers that have been provided. Many industry characteristics, such as investments, value proposition, sales volume, and marketing technique, are available in standardized manner. With the use of two data collection procedures, all of the data is assembled. This Exploratory Testing Service market report also includes the best ways that can be employed to improve, progress, and increase the performance of the organization.

Major enterprises in the global market of Exploratory Testing Service include:
Flatworld Solutions
XB Software
qa on request

Segmentation on the Basis of Application:
Large Enterprises
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Exploratory Testing Service Market: Type Outlook
Web App
Mobile App

Table of Content
1 Report Overview
1.1 Product Definition and Scope
1.2 PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) Analysis of Exploratory Testing Service Market

2 Market Trends and Competitive Landscape
3 Segmentation of Exploratory Testing Service Market by Types
4 Segmentation of Exploratory Testing Service Market by End-Users
5 Market Analysis by Major Regions
6 Product Commodity of Exploratory Testing Service Market in Major Countries
7 North America Exploratory Testing Service Landscape Analysis

8 Europe Exploratory Testing Service Landscape Analysis
9 Asia Pacific Exploratory Testing Service Landscape Analysis
10 Latin America, Middle East & Africa Exploratory Testing Service Landscape Analysis
11 Major Players Profile

Innovative industry insights are depicted in the Exploratory Testing Service market report as they help industries to establish them in the market. This market study report provides insightful data for helping industries to become successful. It not only provides the driving factors of the market but also provides restraining factors to aware new entrants about the present market scenario. Moreover, this market research analysis classifies the market into different segments and sub-segments according to type, product type, end user and region. On the basis of region, it categorizes market into leading regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Exploratory Testing Service Market Intended Audience:
– Exploratory Testing Service manufacturers
– Exploratory Testing Service traders, distributors, and suppliers
– Exploratory Testing Service industry associations
– Product managers, Exploratory Testing Service industry administrator, C-level executives of the industries
– Market Research and consulting firms

With the help of the company operations and statistics included in this Exploratory Testing Service market study, organizations may create goals for their operations, achieve stated objectives, outperform the competition, and earn significant profits. It serves as a basis for developing a successful business plan. It contributes positively to key stakeholders making well-informed decisions in the company. Several industries avoid making the same business mistake by resorting to such in-depth market research, leading to massive profits.

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Non-Protein Nitrogen Market 2021| Global Analysis with Focus on Opportunities, Comprehensive Analysis | Aggrandizes Phenomenally By 2028 with a Whooping CAGR

In animal nutrition, non-protein nitrogen is a term used to collectively refer to components like ammonia, biuret, and urea, which are not proteins but have the potential to be converted into proteins. Non-protein nitrogens are sources of nitrogen that are not a part of polypeptides. They can be converted into proteins by the microbial action in the stomach of ruminants and hence are used as ingredients in livestock feeds for ruminants.


The burgeoning animal husbandry industry has been one of the major driving factors behind the growth of the animal nutrition market and its allied non-protein nitrogen market. Rising consumption of meat products and dairy has stirred the demand for enhanced animal nutrition products and consequently driven the consumption of non-protein nitrogen. The gradually rising demand for urea-based non-protein nitrogen as an effective protein supplement for cattle has propelled the non-protein nitrogen market. The rising popularity of non-protein nitrogen as a less expensive source of nitrogen and protein and its easy availability is expected to lead to a substantial adoption of non-protein nitrogen in animal nutrition across the globe.


The “Global Non-protein Nitrogen Market Analysis to 2028″ is a specialized and in-depth study of the chemicals and materials industry with a special focus on the global market trend analysis. The report aims to provide an overview of the non-protein nitrogen market with detailed market segmentation by form, type, livestock, and geography. The global non-protein nitrogen market is expected to witness high growth during the forecast period. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the leading non-protein nitrogen market players and offers key trends and opportunities in the market.


The global non-protein nitrogen market is segmented on the basis of form, type and livestock. On the basis of form, the non-protein nitrogen market is segmented into pellet, dry, and liquid. The non-protein nitrogen market on the basis of type is classified into ammonia, urea, biuret, and other. Based on livestock, the global non-protein nitrogen market is divided into sheep & goat, cattle, and other.


The report provides a detailed overview of the industry, including both qualitative and quantitative information. It provides an overview and forecast of the global non-protein nitrogen market based on various segments. It also provides market size and forecast estimates from the year 2020 to 2028 with respect to five major regions, namely; North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and South America. The non-protein nitrogen market by each region is later sub-segmented by respective countries and segments. The report covers the analysis and forecast of 18 countries globally, along with the current trend and opportunities prevailing in the region.

The report analyzes factors affecting the non-protein nitrogen market from both demand and supply side and further evaluates market dynamics affecting the market during the forecast period, i.e., drivers, restraints, opportunities, and future trends. The report also provides exhaustive PEST analysis for all five regions, namely; North America, Europe, APAC, MEA, and South America, after evaluating political, economic, social, and technological factors affecting the non-protein nitrogen market in these regions.


The reports cover key developments in the non-protein nitrogen market as organic and inorganic growth strategies. Various companies are focusing on organic growth strategies such as product launches, product approvals, and others, such as patents and events. Inorganic growth strategies activities witnessed in the market were acquisitions and partnerships & collaborations. These activities have paved the way for the expansion of business and customer base of market players. The market payers from the non-protein nitrogen market are anticipated to lucrative growth opportunities in the future with the rising demand for non-protein nitrogen in the global market. Below mentioned is the list of few companies engaged in the non-protein nitrogen market.

The report also includes the profiles of key companies along with their SWOT analysis and market strategies in the non-protein nitrogen market. In addition, the report focuses on leading industry players with information such as company profiles, components, and services offered, financial information of the last three years, the key development in the past five years.

1. ADM Animal Nutrition
2. Antonio Tarazona
3. CF Industries Holdings, Inc
4. Fertiberia, S.A.
6. Kemin Industries, Inc
7. Nutrien Ltd.
9. Orica Limited


4.2.1 North America – Pest Analysis
4.2.2 Europe – Pest Analysis
4.2.3 Asia-Pacific – Pest Analysis
4.2.4 Middle East and Africa – Pest Analysis
4.2.5 South and Central America – Pest Analysis


Eirewave new independent radio station in Belfast.

Eirewave is a new independent digital radio station in Belfast broadcasting 100% British and Irish music (i.e. bands or singers) listened to by more than 350,000 monthly listeners online.

Eirewave is passionate about showcasing music created by local people.

Every day from 7:00 am to 9 pm our presenters entertain and inform programme audiences, acting as the public face on various types of programmes.

Jack McCarthy, from the station’s programming team, said: ‘We are delighted to launch this new radio station in Belfast. In this competitive market, we had to propose a unique format. Eirewave stands alone in providing a unique alternative to current radio station offerings. The main target market is very socially active and attends a lot of musical gigs, concerts, events etc. Eirewave keeps them constantly up-to-date on contemporary pop-rock music developments and events both on the airwaves and online. We strive to have a visible impact on the British music business industry by introducing new British & Irish artists, highlighting existing artists and promoting both to our listeners.”

Eirewave is founded by Olivier Mauxion, a Frenchman who has worked with radio stations across Europe and all around the world – including in France, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.

Speaking about the launch of Eirewave, Mauxion said:
“Eirewave is an Ad-Free radio station, we believe that the radio stations economic model has to change, we can’t get 15 minutes ad breaks per hour when you have Spotify and other musical platforms as competitors. We have new ideas to monetize the radio station on a different way” and Olivier added “Eirewave as a radio station is of Irish blood and English heart, to quote the famous singer Morrissey’

Eirewave has now applied to get terrestrial frequencies Licence (DAB +) in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.

Eirewave Limited
The Mount
2 Woodstock Link Belfast

Android Kiosk Software Market Keyplayers and Vendors: 42Gears Mobility Systems Pvt Ltd., Esper, KioWare, Meridian Kiosks, Mitsogo Inc., NoviSign Digital Signage Inc., Photo Booth Solutions, LLC, Provisio GmbH, Scalefusion, Zoho Corp.

An end-to-end conclusive research methodology covers highly descriptive analysis of the Android Kiosk Software market thoroughly encompassing various elements of the industry into an aggregate of statistically accurate and theoretically compelling data. The report consists of pre-established findings, comparative market analysis, valuation and calculations all of which lead to the end goal of the study which is delivering the future forecast of the Android Kiosk Software market. the study applies highly reliable, greater efficiency analytical tool in order to deliver most accurate market values based on the prior records followed by the future predictions that forecast the status of the Android Kiosk Software market.

Competitor Profiling: Android Kiosk Software Market
42Gears Mobility Systems Pvt Ltd.
Meridian Kiosks
Mitsogo Inc.
NoviSign Digital Signage Inc.
Photo Booth Solutions, LLC
Provisio GmbH
Zoho Corp.

The focal point of the market review remains identification and analysis of the wide-ranging factors including both industrial as well as non-industrial in origin influencing the growth derivative output. Android Kiosk Software market growth is effectively evaluated as a part of the present scenario followed showcasing the estimated values determined largely based upon the growth-altering influential factors. A crisp classification of the growth positive and negative factors is provided in the study along with an analysis briefing the impact of each mentioned factor. In addition to the in-depth study of growth factors, the Android Kiosk Software market is also assessed for an impact posed from the most recent industry trends.

Unraveling Segmentation and Scope of the Android Kiosk Software Market

Analysis by Type:
by Deployment Type (Cloud, On-premise);

Analysis by Application:
End-user (BFSI, Retail, Healthcare, Government, Logistics, Others)

The future of the App Store depends on the difference between a ‘button’ and an ‘external link’

Today the judge in Epic v. Apple issued a lengthy ruling holding that Epic failed to prove that Apple has a monopoly in mobile gaming transactions. Importantly, the court also held that Apple’s rules preventing other payment options in the App Store are anticompetitive, and issued an injunction telling Apple to cut it out.

In particular, the court said that “Apple is participating in anticompetitive direct,” and that “Apple’s enemy of controlling arrangements conceal basic data from purchasers and illicitly smother customer decision.”

To fix that, the court gave the accompanying extremely durable directive banning Apple from having rules against other installment frameworks. I’ve bolded the most important bit:

Apple Inc. what’s more, its officials, specialists, workers, representatives, and any individual in dynamic show or support with them (“Apple”), are thus for all time controlled and urged from forbidding engineers from (I) remembering for their applications and their metadata buttons, outside joins, or different suggestions to take action that immediate clients to buying instruments, notwithstanding In-App Purchasing and (ii) speaking with clients through resources acquired deliberately from clients through account enrollment inside the application.

This specific wording is lifted directly from Apple’s App Store rule 3.1.1, which says “Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase,” so it’s tempting to think that the judge just declared that rule anticompetitive and crossed it out.

But it’s a little more complicated than that — now that this text is in a judicial order, it no longer belongs to Apple, or needs to be interpreted how Apple wants. Indeed, the court was clear that it will enforce this rule, and that if anyone thinks Apple is breaking it, it wants to know. Again, my bolding:

The Court will retain jurisdiction over the enforcement and amendment of the injunction. If any part of this Order is violated by any party named herein or any other person, plaintiff may, by motion with notice to the attorneys for defendant, apply for sanctions or other relief that may be appropriate.

So now comes the really complicated part. What does this injunction mean for Apple and the App Store? Let’s break this rule down piece by piece — the difference between a “button” and an “external link” is going to be remarkably important here.

Apple is:

  1. not allowed to prohibit developers from including in their apps and their metadata
  2. buttons
  3. external links, or
  4. other calls to action
  5. that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms
  6. in addition to In-App Purchasing.

We can make some versions of this sentence make sense really easily:

  • Apple is not allowed to prohibit developers from including external links in their apps that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms.
  • Apple is not allowed to prohibit developers from including calls to action in app metadata [like descriptions in the App Store] that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms.

But consider the following version of this sentence:

  • Apple is not allowed to prohibit developers from including buttons in their apps that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms.

Well, shit. Here is an example of a button that takes you to a purchasing mechanism in the Amazon app:

This is the ballgame! What’s the significance here for a button in an application to “direct a client to buying instruments”? Is it a checkout button? Would amazon be able to add a truck, a checkout button, and installments to the Kindle application now? The court isn’t dumb — it indicated buttons and outside joins, which implies they are ventured to be particular. So a button can’t simply be an outer connection that kicks you to Safari.

Apple will attempt to say that “button” simply implies what something resembles, while engineers will say that “button” signifies how something works.

That implies that a reasonable perusing of the plain text of this order proposes that buttons in iOS applications can guide clients to buying components in the application — if the button simply shows you out to the web, it would be an outer connection!

I’m sure a ton of engineers will test this language forcefully, and that Apple will end up growing new guidelines to secure its rewarding in-application buying framework from contest. What’s more, I’m sure Apple will attempt to say that “button” simply implies what something resembles, while engineers will say that “button” signifies how something works. (There is a great deal of incongruity in this for Apple.)

Be that as it may, eventually, it will not be dependent upon Apple to choose what this request implies — it will be up the court. What’s more, that is a sensitive situation to be in, on the grounds that the court unequivocally thinks the counter controlling guideline is exceptionally anticompetitive.

Apple didn’t react to a solicitation for input on the distinction among buttons and outside joins.

Knight Campus scientist is creating molecules for medicine

In her lab at the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, computational biochemist Parisa Hosseinzadeh is using computer modelling to design synthetic peptides as potential drugs to treat challenging diseases.

Hundreds of synthetic peptides are either in use or in clinical trials, but producing them is time-consuming and costly. Vaccines against COVID-19 have peptides that target the spike protein of the virus, tricking it and thwarting infection.

Peptides are tiny molecules that contain two or more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. They emerged as a therapeutic in 1922, when a natural, hormone-produced version in pigs was used to regulate insulin in a child with diabetes. The first lab-produced peptide came in 1953 and is commonly used to induce labour.

Hosseinzadeh, an assistant professor, is deploying computational methods to help drug designers move more swiftly in their screening of possible peptides that will bind precisely to targets so they initiate the desired response without causing unintended consequences.

“Researchers have been generating huge libraries of random peptides and then screening them to see if they bind to a target or not. It is a random, trial-and-error process,” she said. “The problem with this method is that the overall space in which you can screen for candidate peptides is vast, like 10 to the 30th (power). In a best-case scenario, we can screen 10 to the 14th. It is impossible to screen everything.”

Her research at the Knight Campus aims to narrow that testing space of more than a hundred trillion possibilities to a smaller and more manageable pool of possible candidates. It builds on work she began before arriving at the UO last September.

Hosseinzadeh has emerged as a leader in her field. While a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, she led a study published in 2017 in the journal Science that led to highly structured, rigid peptides with high accuracy. That work was done with UW colleagues, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators and scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“Accurate design of structured peptides in this scale had never been done before, and many people thought it couldn’t be done,” she said. “If you have something that is rigid you can better predict its behavior with computational analyses. This rigidity allows for tighter binding.”

This year has brought two new published studies from work done prior to her arrival in Eugene.

In a paper published online in Nature Communications, Hosseinzadeh, in her postdoctoral role at the UW, and colleagues from the UW, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University unveiled a proof-of-concept for a computational approach that reduces the screening time for peptides that will bind.

Her team detailed how their approach used computational modeling to screen hundreds of thousands of peptides, generating 50 candidate peptides for testing. The computations considered all possible combinations of the human body’s 20 amino acids and associated compounds.

Each tested peptide was designed with a non-protein-generating amino acid as an anchor to provide a weak initial binding around which peptides can be designed to enhance the binding.

“Using this method,” Hosseinzadeh said, “we obtained peptides that can inhibit a class of enzymes with low nanomolar affinity without any downstream optimization.”

Low affinity at nanometer scale is important in drug design; it means that a peptide can bind only at a targeted site without affecting other proteins that lead to undesired effects.

“Our method involves fewer experiments and is faster,” she said. “We can weed out candidate peptides in the experimental libraries that will never bind. At this stage, our work is about creating a platform that scientists can use to generalize to meet their specific needs.”

In a paper published March 25 in ACS Catalysis, a journal of the American Chemical Society, Hosseinzadeh and colleagues addressed the applications of peptide design, particularly in probing the mechanism of enzymatic reactions. Their computational modeling and experimental techniques enabled an investigation of the activity of multiple conformations of a peptide catalyst in isolation.

“We determined that the dynamic movement of the lead catalyst plays a crucial role in achieving a site-specific reaction,” Hosseinzadeh said. “This approach may also serve as a valuable method for investigating the mechanism of other peptide-catalyzed transformations.”

Researchers in Hosseinzadeh’s Knight Campus lab are focusing on the fundamentals of synthetic peptide design. They are using computational modeling and analyses to study peptide behavior. She also is seeking to develop peptide- and protein-based biosensors for disease diagnostics.

Peptide-based vaccines are in play or under development by numerous researchers to treat diseases such as influenza, cancers, hepatitis C, HIV and brain disorders.

Synthetic peptides, she said, hold promise as a treatment for disease targets currently out of range of current drugs.

“At this point, my main focus is developing robust and accurate computational methods, but, as this work develops, I look forward to working with anyone who is pursuing specific targets,” Hosseinzadeh said.

She is already collaborating with Knight Campus colleagues who are interested in specific binding capabilities.

“The collaboration with colleagues at the Knight Campus is a huge motivation for me to move this research forward,” she said. “It’s nice to be around people who are more applied in their focus. I can talk with them and ask questions about next steps I might take. It often leads to questions that bring about new challenges that I have not thought about before.”

Source: University of Oregon


Quantum dots keep atoms spaced to boost catalysis

Hold on there, graphene. Seriously, your grip could help make better catalysts.

Rice University engineers have assembled what they say may transform chemical catalysis by greatly increasing the number of transition-metal single atoms that can be placed into a carbon carrier.

The technique uses graphene quantum dots (GQD), 3-5-nanometer particles of the super-strong 2D carbon material, as anchoring supports. These facilitate high-density transition-metal single atoms with enough space between the atoms to avoid clumping.

Rice University engineers have led the development of a process that uses functionalized graphene quantum dots to trap transition metals for higher metal loading single-atom catalysis. Illustration by Wang Group

An international team led by chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering and Yongfeng Hu of Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, detailed the work in Nature Chemistry.

They proved the value of their general synthesis of high-metal-loading, single-atom catalysts by making a GQD-enhanced nickel catalyst that, in a reaction test, showed a significant improvement in the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide as compared to a lower nickel loading catalyst.

Wang said expensive noble metals like platinum and iridium are widely studied by the single-atom catalyst community with the goal of reducing the mass needed for catalytic reactions. But the metals are hard to handle and typically make up a small portion, 5 to 10% by weight or less, of the overall catalyst, including supporting materials.

By contrast, the Wang lab achieved transition-metal loads in an iridium single-atom catalyst of up to 40% by weight, or 3 to 4 spaced-out single metal atoms per every hundred carbon substrate atoms. (That’s because iridium is much heavier than carbon.)

“This work is focused on a fundamental but very interesting question we always ask ourselves: How many more single atoms can we load onto a carbon support and not end up with aggregation?” said Wang, whose lab focuses on energy-efficient catalysis of valuable chemicals.

“When you shrink the size of bulk materials to nanomaterials, the surface area increases and the catalytic activity improves,” he said. “In recent years, people have started to work on shrinking catalysts to single atoms to present better activity and better selectivity. The higher loading you reach, the better performance you could achieve.”

“Single atoms present the maximum surface area for catalysis, and their physical and electronic properties are very different compared to bulk or nanoscale systems,” he said. “In this study, we wanted to push the limit of how many atoms we can load onto a carbon substrate.”

He noted that the synthesis of single-atom catalysts has to now been a “top-down” or “bottom-up” process. The first requires making vacancies in carbon sheets or nanotubes for metal atoms, but because the vacancies are often too large or not uniform, the metals can still aggregate. The second involves annealing metal and other organic precursors to “carbonize” them, but the metals still tend to cluster.

The new process takes a middle approach by synthesizing GQDs functionalized with amine linkers and then pyrolyzing them with the metal atoms. The amines crosslink with the metal ions and keep them spread out, maximizing their availability to catalyze reactions.

“The maximum appears to be about 3-4 atomic per cent using this approach,” Wang said. “Future challenges include how to further increase the density of single atoms, ensure high stability for real applications and scale up their synthesis processes.”

Source: Rice University


Snowed in: Research team finds Arctic was dinosaur nursery

Long-standing images of dinosaurs as cold-blooded creatures needing tropical temperatures could be a relic of the past. 

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State University palaeontologists have found that nearly all types of dinosaurs — from small bird-like forms to the giant tyrannosaurus — not only reproduced in the region but also remained there year-round. 

Their findings are detailed in a new paper published in the journal Current Biology 

“It wasn’t long ago that people were pretty shocked to find out that dinosaurs lived up in the Arctic 70 million years ago,” said Pat Druckenmiller, the paper’s lead author and director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North. “We now have unequivocal evidence they were nesting up there as well, like nurseries of the north. This is the first time that anyone has ever demonstrated that dinosaurs could reproduce at such high latitudes.” 

The findings counter previous hypotheses that dinosaurs migrated to lower latitudes for the winter and also provides some of the most compelling evidence thus far that these prehistoric creatures were warm-blooded.  

Druckenmiller and Florida State University Professor of Biological Science and study co-author Gregory Erickson have been conducting fieldwork in the Prince Creek Formation in northern Alaska for more than a decade, unearthing a diversity of dinosaur species, most, if not all of which are new to science. Their latest discovery shows evidence of dinosaurs in the earliest stages of life living close to the ancient Arctic Ocean.  

The researchers found tiny teeth —some less than 2 millimeters in length — and bones from seven species of perinatal dinosaurs, a term that describes baby dinosaurs that are either embryonic (just about to hatch) or have just hatched. 

“One of the biggest mysteries about Arctic dinosaurs was whether they seasonally migrated up to the North or were year-round denizens,” Erickson said. “We unexpectedly found remains of perinates representing almost every kind of dinosaur in the formation. It was like a prehistoric maternity ward”.  

The process of recovering the bones and teeth, some no larger than the head of a pin, is an exercise in perseverance and a sharp eye. In the field, the scientists haul buckets of sediment from the face of the bluffs down to the river’s edge, where they wash the material through smaller and smaller screens until they have removed any large rocks and soil.  

Once back at the lab, they run the material through more screens to remove all the clay, until all that’s left is sandy particles. Then, teaspoon by teaspoon, the team, including graduate and undergraduate students examine the sand under microscopes to find the bones and teeth.  

“Recovering these tiny fossils is like panning for gold,” Druckenmiller said. “It requires a great amount of time and effort to sort through tons of sediment grain-by-grain under a microscope. The fossils we found are rare but are scientifically rich in information.”  

The next step in the process involved identifying and comparing the fossils to those from other sites at lower latitudes, such as Alberta and Montana. Co-authors Caleb Brown and Don Brinkman of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology provided valuable information from the extensive collections at their museum.  

Once they knew the dinosaurs were nesting in the Arctic, it was a relatively straight line to the realization that the animals must have lived their entire lives in the region.  

Erickson’s previous research had found that the incubation period for these types of dinosaurs is anywhere between about three to six months, depending on species. Because Arctic summers are short, even if the dinosaurs laid their eggs as soon as it warmed up in the spring, their offspring would be too young to migrate in the fall.   

Global temperatures were much warmer during the Cretaceous, but the angle of the Earth’s axis was much the same as it is today. That means dinosaurs encountered about four months of darkness per year, with temperatures dropping below freezing and periods of snow. There also would have been little to no fresh vegetation for food.  

“Year-round residency in the Arctic provides a natural test of dinosaurian physiology,” Erickson said. “We solved several long-standing mysteries about the dinosaur reign, but opened up a new can of worms — how did they survive Arctic winters?” 

Researchers can only guess for now at how these mysterious creatures lived. Perhaps the smaller ones hibernated through the winter, Druckenmiller said. Perhaps others lived off poor-quality forage, much like today’s moose, until the spring.  

Scientists have found other warm-blooded animal fossils in the region, such as small mammals and birds, but not lizards, snakes, crocodiles, amphibians or turtles. That suggests these cold-blooded animals could not survive the frigid temperatures of the region. 

“This study goes to the heart of one of the longest-standing questions among palaeontologists: Were dinosaurs warm-blooded?” Druckenmiller said. “We think that endothermy was probably an important part of their survival.” 

Source: Florida State University


Blending Old and New Schools: Machine Learning Mixes with Traditional Science Principles

Machine learning came along at just the right time. The world is now awash in more data than ever before, and computer algorithms that can learn and improve as they perform data analysis promise to help scientists handle that information overload.

Yet researchers who think that machine learning by itself can help solve complex problems in science, engineering, and medicine, should strive for a more balanced approach, says Roman Grigoriev, part of a School of Physics team with new research suggesting a hybrid approach for conducting science that blends new era technologies, old school experimentation, and theoretical analysis. The research suggests faster solutions to complex, data-intensive riddles involving such issues as cancer, earthquakes, weather forecasts, and climate change.

“It’s a combination of existing theoretical understanding — as well as experimental data with machine learning,” says Grigoriev, Physics professor and lead investigator of the Dynamics and Control Group. “Oftentimes people who do machine learning kind of forget about theoretical understanding and almost rely totally on data. It’s relatively simple, but when there’s a lot of data and not enough structure in that data, that approach is bound to fail.” Grigoriev explains that there’s often just too much data to meaningfully analyze, at which point “the problem becomes intractable. Essentially, harnessing appropriate domain knowledge is critical for finding structure in the data.”

“Robust learning from noisy, incomplete, high-dimensional experimental data via physically constrained symbolic regression,” was in Nature Communications. Fellow School of Physics researchers involved in the study are Michael Schatz, professor and the School’s interim chair; graduate research assistant Logan Kageorge; and former graduate research assistant Patrick A.K. Reinbold.

The problem with high-dimensional data

Machine learning uses computer algorithms to find patterns in data, but “most popular machine learning approaches present results in a form that is hard to interpret and explain,” Grigoriev says. “Unless you understand the how and the why you can’t really say you understand a problem.”

Understanding and predicting complicated behaviours — by crunching a lot of dense, rich data — can help with fundamental and practical problems in science areas like weather forecasting and characterizing cardiac arrhythmias. The problem is that most of those arenas involve “high-dimensional” data, which means exactly what it sounds like: data with a lot of dimensions or variables, sometimes millions of them.

The dimensionality of the data is so large that “you get lost and it’s hard to see any trends,” Grigoriev says.

His team has come up with a hybrid approach that blends machine learning with elements of the traditional process of scientific discovery. That means a theoretical description, observations, designing experiments to test the description, and “then going back and forth between improving the theories, and designing new experiments. That’s been the traditional approach for hundreds of years.”

The foundation of Science’s understanding and progress relies on that scientific method — the combination of theory and experimentation. “They’re not developed just based on the data. They are developed using both existing knowledges as well as some general fundamental laws.”

An approach that spotlights the beauty of equations

Constraining the data to include just those variables that pertain directly to the experiment in question is vital in working with high-dimensional data, Grigoriev says.

“What this approach allows you to do is identify a simpler model that uses the variables you need. It’s a simplified description that applies to a particular situation but obtained using data that’s computational or experimental. It can do both.”

The result is represented in a mathematical model, Grigoriev says, and “once you see those equations, you understand what the variables are. The equations certainly help explain the essence of a physical problem.” His team’s approach was validated in the research with a fluid dynamics experiment. A thin layer of liquid was suspended in a rectangular tank, with magnetic and electrical fields shot through it to create what physicists call a turbulent flow — irregular shifts happening within the fluid layer that can rapidly change direction and magnitude.

Grigoriev and his team used their hybrid approach to analyze the accessible data, in this case the velocity of the water. Subsequently, they were able to reconstruct variables that couldn’t be measured directly, like water pressure and force.

This is the beauty of the equations — how much they allow you to do, Grigoriev says.

“What we do get is an equation, or set of equations, which are in a familiar form. We know how to explain, how to solve the problem using these equations. This is the nice thing about this approach. We’re working with variables whose meaning we understand; we know how to interpret them.”

The team believes the study’s results will lead to advances like faster, more accurate ways to make predictions of complicated behaviour in those large, real-world problems in science, engineering, and medicine. For example, as Grigoriev’s team’s research states, “the ability to identify and quantify important patterns and sequences in atmospheric turbulence should enable weather forecasts that are better and more rapid than those currently possible today.”

Source: Georgia Tech


Unusual coronavirus protein is potential drug target to fight COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 virus contains a gene that codes for a strange protein that could be a good target for drugs to fight COVID-19 and possibly other coronavirus infections, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.

When the virus injects its genome into a cell, the so-called ORF3a gene is expressed to make a protein that moves to the surface of the cell and looks like an ion channel — a passage all cells have for ions like calcium to move in and out as they communicate with other cells.

The structure of the SARS-CoV-2 protein called 3a, as determined by cryoEM. UC Berkeley researchers produced the most detailed structure to date of the protein — an ion channel — which may be a good target for drugs to fight coronavirus infections. Image credit: David Kern

But UC Berkeley researchers, who began investigating the protein’s structure with cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) in January of last year, immediately after the pandemic began, discovered that the protein is nothing like other ion channels known to science. For one thing, it’s half a channel — it only pierces the cell membrane halfway. It also has an unusual fold not seen in other ion channels.

While no one knows why the virus carries a gene to make an ion channel — and a strange one, at that — researchers have found that by knocking out the ORF3a gene in SARS-CoV-2 and a related ORF3a gene in the original SARS virus, SARS-CoV-1, the severity of the disease is reduced, at least in animal models. This, the researchers say, makes it a good target for drugs to reduce the severity of human coronavirus infections. A high-resolution cryoEM structure published by the UC Berkeley team provides key information needed to find such drugs.

The 3a protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus doubles up as a dimer when it is embedded in a cell membrane, serving as a channel for calcium ions. Image credit: David Kern

“It wasn’t clear how conserved this protein was among coronaviruses, but once we solved the structure, we could look to see if other genes in other coronaviruses are likely to adopt the same fold,” said Stephen Brohawn, one of the senior authors of the study and a UC Berkeley assistant professor of molecular and cell biology. “And it turns out that in all of the coronaviruses that circulate among bats and can infect humans, these 3a proteins exist. So, it could be an even broader possible target than we had thought at the beginning of the project.”

After the UC Berkeley researchers posted their preliminary cryoEM structure on bioRxiv last year, one Twitter follower noticed a surprising image — a pig in a hat — embedded in the structure, at least when viewed from one perspective.

Brohawn and his UC Berkeley colleagues have already identified a drug that blocks the ion channel — though it also blocks other ion channels — and have identified mutations in the ORF3a gene that alter channel function.

“This shows, in principle, that one can find molecules that block this activity,” Brohawn said. “Now one of the goals that we have is to screen for small molecules that block the channel and that are specific for blocking 3a compared to other ion channels.”

High-resolution cryoEM structures

The team’s preliminary results were posted on the open-access preprint server bioRxiv in June of 2020, and the final results — with a much higher resolution cryoEM structure for the 3a protein — were published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The original online paper drew attention from those using computational approaches to find drugs to fight COVID-19, but it also helped improve a computer algorithm — Google DeepMind’s AlphaFold — that predicts a protein’s 3D structure from its amino acid sequence.

Brohawn, who is a member of UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, uses cryoEM to study the structures of ion channels in neurons. For this project, he teamed up with the lab of Diana Bautista, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology, who uses other methods to study ion channels, specifically those involved in chronic itch, pain and inflammatory disease. Together, the two labs provided three different pieces of evidence that the 3a protein does act as an ion channel. Though they demonstrated this in artificially-made lipid membranes called liposomes, these membranes are chemically similar to the membranes of cells, so presumably, the proteins also work as ion channels in coronavirus-infected cells.

The odd structure of the 3a protein — specifically, its blind pore, which is totally unlike typical ion channels that contain a tunnel that goes completely through the membrane to allow ions easy passage in and out — suggests that ions may instead diffuse down grooves along the outside of the protein.

According to Brohawn, the 3a protein is the smallest membrane protein channel that has been imaged by cryoEM, which has rapidly become the best way to determine the 3D structure of molecules, down to the level of individual atoms and the water molecules that surround them. Brohawn continues to research the 3a protein and two other potential ion channels — called E and 8a —in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, both to understand how they work and to find potential drugs to inactivate them.

Bautista continues investigating how the virus uses these ion channels to take over human and animal epithelial cells and neurons. Many viruses interfere with calcium signalling in cells, which may help them take over the cells’ molecular machinery and force them to make millions of copies of the virus instead of daily cellular housekeeping.

“We thought 3a was the most understudied and potentially the most interesting of these proteins and something we could probably make a dent in, if we jumped on it right away,” Brohawn said. “We were in a good position to move quickly on this, and it was really exciting to see it come together that fast.”

Source: UC Berkeley