The dicarbon molecule (C2) is found in flames, comets, stars, and the diffuse interstellar medium. In comets, it is responsible for the green color of the coma, but it is not found in the tail. It has long been held to photodissociate in sunlight with a lifetime precluding observation in…
The virus is the enemy, NIH Director Francis Collins said. "It's not the other people in the other political party." Omicron, which could soon become the dominant strain, is extremely infectious. (Image credit: Sarah Silbiger/AP)
Grieving is a form of learning, says a scientist who studies the brain's response to loss. When someone you love dies, you have to learn new rules for navigating the world and your brain has to adapt. (Image credit: Adam Lister/Getty Images)
It certainly might not seem like it given the pandemic mayhem we've had, but the original form of SARS-CoV-2 was a bit of a slowpoke. After infiltrating our bodies, the virus would typically brew for about five or six days before symptoms kicked in. In the many months since that now-defunct version of the virus emerged, new variants have arrived to speed the timeline up. Estimates for this exposu
Largest ever specimen, a 2.7 metre-long creature known as Arthropleura, discovered by 'fluke' on UK beach Giant millipedes as long as a car and weighing 50kg once hunted across northern England, experts have revealed, following the discovery of a 326m-year-old fossil. The largest fossil of a giant millipede was found by a "fluke" on a Northumberland beach at Howick, after a section of cliff fell
My dad has been a long-haul truck driver since 1989, after he left Communist Poland in search of a better life in the United States. He's spent thousands of days on the road. Growing up, I didn't see much of my dad. He was home one week and then gone for four, on the road for 270 days each year. As a young girl, I didn't appreciate his job the way I should have or recognize why he wasn't going to
An unknown culprit has been removing oxygen from our atmosphere for at least 800,000 years, and an analysis of air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for up to 1.5 million years has revealed the likely suspect.
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Researchers have identified the first signature of a magnetic field surrounding a planet outside of our solar system. Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield against energetic particles from the sun known as the solar wind. Magnetic fields could play similar roles on other planets.
Thyme and oregano possess an anti-cancer compound that suppresses tumor development, but adding more to your tomato sauce isn't enough to gain significant benefit. The key to unlocking the power of these plants is in amplifying the amount of the compound created or synthesizing the compound for drug development.
In science fiction stories about contact with extraterrestrial civilisations, there is a problem: What kind of propulsion system could make it possible to bridge the enormous distances between the stars? It cannot be done with ordinary rockets like those used to travel to the moon or Mars. Many more or less speculative ideas about this have been put forward—one of them is the "Bussard collector" o
Scientists and journalists alike are disputing claims made by an international team of researchers that they had entangled a tardigrade with superconducting qubits. Their paper is published on the arXiv preprint server. Virtually all of those with an opinion pointed out that the work by the researchers in this new effort did not involve entanglement.
A groundbreaking study by researchers from Tel Aviv University tracks the development of early humans' hunting practices over the last 1.5 million years—as reflected in the animals they hunted and consumed. The researchers claim that at any given time early humans preferred to hunt the largest animals available in their surroundings, which provided the greatest quantities of food in return for a u
A team of researchers from China, the U.K. and the U.S. has found that a species of darkling beetles engage in oral sex prior to copulating. In their paper published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, the group describes their study of the beetles and what they learned about their mating habits.
Nature Communications, Published online: 21 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27453-8 Large slow slip earthquakes and tremor occur in subduction zones near the locked megathrust. Combined analysis of changes in slab seismicity and stress field near the times of such slow slip events highlights the role of fluid in promoting slow slip.
A group of geologists stumbled on the fossil of the giant creature, known as Arthropleura, during a "social trip" to England's Northumberland region in 2018. It's the largest such fossil ever found. (Image credit: Neil Davies)
Pharmaceuticals firm says third dose of its Covid vaccine increases antibodies against variant by 37-fold Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The pharmaceuticals company Moderna has said a booster dose of its Covid vaccine appeared to protect against the fast-spreading Omicron variant in laboratory testing and that the current version would continue to be Moderna's "firs
Tens of thousands of heavy steel slats, once destined to become part of former President Donald Trump's border wall, are slowly rusting in the open air throughout the southwestern borderlands. The bollards—18- or 33-foot-long hollow posts, most of them reinforced with concrete and rebar—are worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars. The Department of Defense owns most of that steel, but it's
This article was updated at 11:39 p.m. ET on December 20, 2021. Just a few minutes before tip-off on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the PA announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder broke the news to the gathered fans: That night's NBA game between the Thunder and the visiting Utah Jazz was canceled "due to unforeseen circumstances." A Jazz player, it would soon come out, had tested positive for the nov
Trump once again claimed credit for producing the vaccine, saying vaccine wariness was 'playing into the hands' of his opponents Donald Trump revealed he received a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, drawing boos from a crowd of his supporters in Dallas. The former president made the disclosure on Sunday night during the final stop of The History Tour, a live interview show he has been doing w
Famed science educator Bill Nye has yet again issued a warning to the world: if we keep burning coal at higher and higher rates every year, all of South Florida is going to sink into the sea. In an interview with CNN discussing the melting of the "doomsday glacier ," — a gigantic Antarctic glacier that may melt within 5 years — Nye noted that "it's estimated the ocean will rise about half a meter
NFT Theft Comic artist Liam Sharp, who has worked for the likes of DC Comics, is sick and tired of having his work stolen. Sharp decided to shut down his gallery on DeviantArt, a massive online art community, because "people keep stealing my art and making NFTs," he announced in a tweet. It's a huge problem that isn't talked about much: many NFTs circulating online are the result of copyright the
But Bestie! Oh my god, y'all — the supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies like our Milky Way may have BESTIES. As researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced today , there's new evidence to suggest that Sgr A* — the supermassive black hole at the center of our home galaxy — may have a "friend," or neighboring black hole that orbits it. But first, let's back up to
Reaction comes after Boris Johnson announces there will be no additional measures put in place for now Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Scientists have reacted with dismay to Boris Johnson's decision not to impose fresh restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron, emphasising that waiting until the new year would "almost certainly be too late to have a material impact
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says Omicron is infecting people who have been vaccinated and could double its infections every 1.5 to three days Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that holiday festivities would in many places lead to "increased cases, overwhelmed health systems and more deaths" and urged people to p
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is finally paying his taxes this year — and he wants to be celebrated for his generosity! "For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year," Musk tweeted late Sunday night, in an apparent bid for a pat on the back for doing something most other Americans do every year. That amount may sound like a lot, but it still represents a tiny fraction of Musk's subst
Loneliness is significant mental health concern and can raise risk of death by 45%, say scientists Contact with nature in cities significantly reduces feelings of loneliness, according to a team of scientists. Loneliness is a major public health concern, their research shows, and can raise a person's risk of death by 45% – more than air pollution, obesity or alcohol abuse. Continue reading…
Jane Goodall says such donations can have unintended consequences, especially where water is scarce It's the classic gift given by do-gooding family members at Christmas but Jane Goodall and other scientists have warned that people should think twice before giving a donation of a goat or heifer to a developing country. Charity gifts, where the recipient is informed their present is an animal to h
Like most of my colleagues, I haven't arrived at this moment unscathed. I weathered the brutal first wave of the pandemic, often witnessing more COVID deaths during my shifts in New York City than I saw working in an Ebola-treatment center in West Africa in 2014. When I was vaccinated against COVID a year ago, I was already exhausted. But better times seemed close at hand. Perhaps soon we wouldn'
Paxlovid is expected to work well against Omicron. The real problem is that production is insufficient What if there was a pill you could take as soon as you test positive for Covid, that stopped the virus in its tracks? A pill that reduced the viral number of copies in your upper airway (known as viral load) by more than tenfold, markedly reducing contagiousness to others? And that reduced the c
Every Democratic activist, strategist, and lawmaker in America has spent at least a brief moment this fall staring at the ceiling in desperation, probably thinking to him- or herself: Something's gotta give . Democrats were already facing an inconvenient truth going into next year's elections: The incumbent president's party usually gets smoked in the midterms. But they keep getting more bad news
Having long Covid made me reassess my health and wellbeing, and the benefits have been profound At the start of 2021, I was diagnosed with long Covid. It was a huge relief to finally know why I had been struggling so much with my health – extreme fatigue, continuous coughing and, most distressing of all, brain fog and panic attacks. The diagnosis was also the beginning of a journey that would tak
Countdown Astronomers are counting down the days until the launch of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) later this week — and anxiety surrounding the long-awaited launch is starting to creep up as well . The massive project has been in development for decades and has cost the agency around $10 billion. The very real possibility of something going wrong is really starting to keep astronomers
Season's Yeetings Courtesy of YouTube channel BPS Space, we get to watch a rocket-powered Christmas tree soar to an altitude of almost 300 feet — an appropriate metaphor, perhaps, for many of us cancelling plans to see loved ones over the holidays. The ragtag group of engineers, many of whom are working in the aerospace industry, strapped a seven foot tree to a four-winged structure. A small soli
Fourteen years ago, the day before Thanksgiving, I lost my sister Tracie to breast cancer. She was 37, married, and the mother of three children. I can't remember what happened the next day—what we ate or who even cooked. Everything was a blur. A couple of days after we laid Tracie to rest, my mother called me. William, my only brother, was being hospitalized. Doctors didn't know what was wrong,
I n the beginning , the universe was dark. The Big Bang had electrified the cosmos into existence, and the new landscape buzzed with particles, chaotic and hot, before cooling off into a calm expanse of hydrogen and helium. Then something began to happen in the fog. Gravity drove pockets of gas to collapse in on themselves and ignite, creating the first stars. The radiant orbs began to cluster, f
The pandemic has given us new kinds of exhaustion, all of them equally draining. Yet there's hope in perseverance During the past two years, each stage of the pandemic has brought with it a new species of tired. The first was a heady sort of tiredness, all jittery over-vigilance when the first lockdown happened. The memory of that time has an almost lunar quality: it felt like being marooned in a
After many delays, Hubble's successor is set to travel to a cosmic parking spot 1m miles from Earth Final preparations are under way for the launch of the James Webb space telescope, a landmark observatory built to peer back through space and time to the first stars and galaxies that lit up the universe. Regarded as the successor to Nasa's Hubble space telescope , the mission is scheduled to blas
Even if vaccinations hold back the tide of infections, there will still be too many patients for us to look after Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Across the country, even before Omicron admissions have started to rise, the bed occupancy in our hospitals is 94% . That seems a luxury to me; it is quite a while since I saw an empty bed in mine. Our bed occupancy hovers
Someone who seems to really hate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has made a modified version of the classic video game Doom where the whole premise involves "killing" NFTs via screenshot. As PC Gamer reports , the biggest difference between regular Doom and NFT Doom is that, instead of shooting the hellish monsters that populate the original, players take screenshots of Bored Ape-esque primates and, i
During a summer storm in 2018, a momentous lightning bolt flashed above a network of radio telescopes in the Netherlands. The telescopes' detailed recordings, which were processed only recently, reveal something no one has seen before: lightning actually starting up inside a thundercloud. In a new paper that will soon be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters… Source
Misuse of the VAERS database to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines has been a favorite technique of antivaxxers for decades. Unfortunately, 2021 was the year when this particular antivax trope was turbocharged, and public health messaging seemed powerless to counter it. The post first appeared on Science-Based Medicine .
What do you expect will happen when you walk into a rental-car office? Do you think you'll turn over your credit card and your driver's license, and walk out with the keys to at least generally the type of car you've reserved, having agreed to at least roughly the fee that you were quoted? Or do you picture something else? "I'm expecting chaos," says the comedian Caleb Hearon, who travels semi-fr
The largest and most powerful rocket ship ever is fully recyclable and may be the first vehicle to land humans on Mars It's been an eventful month for Elon Musk. The world's richest man and founder of Tesla and SpaceX was, controversially, named Time's person of the year ; became embroiled in a Twitter spat over his taxes with a politician he branded "Senator Karen" and got a bizarre new haircut
NASA is once again having to delay the launch of its uberpowerful, mega-expensive Space Launch System (SLS) at the heart of its forthcoming Artemis 1 mission to the Moon — this time because of a testing glitch. The space agency conceded this week that the latest-scheduled test launch for its SLS rocket ahead of the unmanned Artemis 1 launch has once again been pushed back from February 2022 until
Move is part of a renewed White House effort that also includes the Pentagon calling up 1,000 troops to deploy to hospitals Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Half a billion at-home coronavirus tests will be sent free to the American public in an effort to fight the surging Omicron variant, Joe Biden announced on Tuesday. The move is part of a renewed White House effort
It's hard to imagine a more inhospitable world than our closest planetary neighbor. With an atmosphere thick with carbon dioxide, and a surface hot enough to melt lead, Venus is a scorched and suffocating wasteland where life as we know it could not survive. The planet's clouds are similarly hostile, blanketing the planet in droplets of sulfuric acid caustic enough to burn a hole through human ski
I n November 2019, Nixie Lam suffered the same fate as nearly all of her pro-Beijing compatriots running in Hong Kong's local elections. The two-term district councillor was roundly defeated by a prodemocracy candidate whose campaign had been buoyed by months of sustained protests. A pro-Beijing "silent majority," much talked about by supporters and pundits, proved to be nothing more than a falla
What does a quantum computer have in common with a top draft pick in sports? Both have attracted lots of attention from talent scouts. Quantum computers, experimental machines that can perform some tasks faster than supercomputers, are constantly evaluated, much like young athletes, for their potential to someday become game-changing technology.
Sign up for Derek's newsletter here . R ecently, I wrote that America was running out of ideas . As evidence, I pointed to the demise of original blockbuster films , the great stagnation in productivity , slowed progress in science , the lead-footed pharmaceutical industry , and the glacial pace of infrastructure development . As one paper on the decline of new ideas in science and technology sum
Latest updates: Lord Frost says resignation is over policy not leadership, saying it was driven by his opposition to Covid restrictions Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020 In an interview with broadcasters this morning Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson should produce a plan for dealing with Covid. Labour was ready to support further measures, he said. But
Being on social media can feel a bit like living in a new kind of city. It's the greatest city in the world. Millions of people can do things their parents never dreamed of . They can live together, play together, learn together . The city is a marvel. But it's also rotten. Raw sewage runs in the streets. Every once in a while, a mass frenzy takes hold. Citizen denounces citizen . Relationships a
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers' questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts Five hundred years or so ago, a significant number of people thought the world was flat. In 500 years' time, which current scientific theories will be relegated to the same level as the flat Earth theory is now? Richard Cutsfo
York-based company makes synthetic antibodies for pharmaceutical firms including AstraZeneca A British biotechnology firm that supplies big pharmaceutical firms with synthetic antibodies for targeted delivery of drugs will float in London this week valued at £80.7m – giving its two founders a combined paper fortune of more than £33m. Aptamer Group was founded in 2008 by Dr Arron Tolley, 44, an ea
At least 66m-year-old fossil discovered in southern China reveals posture previously unseen in dinosaurs Scientists have announced the discovery of an exquisitely preserved dinosaur embryo from at least 66m years ago that was preparing to hatch from its egg just like a chicken. The fossil was discovered in Ganzhou, southern China and belonged to a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur ,
She may look like a preteen, but Shauna Rae is legally old enough to drink — and soon the world will know her story, or at least the TLC version of it. Next month, the channel is airing a docuseries called " I Am Shauna Rae ," which it's billing as a look into the life of the 22-year-old who looks like she's about eight, due to complications from surgery she had as an infant. Rae was just six mon
A new coronavirus is here. It is highly contagious, and case numbers are climbing. New York is the epicenter in the United States. This feels terribly familiar, even reminiscent of March 2020. And yet the situation is also very different because much of the population has acquired some form of immunity. Vaccination is extremely protective against severe illness and death, even for those infected
By connecting China's garment factories with western gen-Z customers, Shein ushered in a new era of 'ultra-fast' shopping Last year, Julia King, a 20-year-old art student and influencer from Texas, noticed that a particular kind of sweater vest was taking over the internet. Celebrities including Bella Hadid had been photographed wearing shrunken, argyle-patterned styles, channelling classic 1990s
(Photo: Airseas) A slice of the shipping industry is preparing to deploy massive ship-dragging kites in an effort to reduce freight's environmental impact. Seawing, a 500-square meter parafoil kite developed by Airseas, is designed to cut carbon emissions from waterborne shipping vessels by harnessing "free and unlimited" wind energy. Airseas' website doesn't say exactly how much fuel consumption
Recently back from the COP26 UN climate conference in Scotland, former Icelandic presidential candidate Halla Tómasdóttir sums up the outcomes of the gathering, the progress she saw and the work that's left to be done this way: "The most difficult work of our lifetimes has to happen in the next few years." In conversation with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Tómasdóttir urges us all to recognize ou
Bigger is better— or at least that's been the attitude of those designing AI language models in recent years. But now DeepMind is questioning th is rationale, and says giving an AI a memory can help it compete with models 25 times it s size. When OpenAI released it s GPT-3 model last June, it rewrote the rulebook for language AIs. The lab's researchers showed that simply scaling up the size of a
Given that less than 10 percent of synthetic plastics are recycled, the petroleum-derived, non-biodegradable materials continue to accumulate across the planet, covering stretches of land and the ocean floor. Microplastics have been found 29,000 feet above sea level, on the peak of Mount Everest, and 36,000 feet below it, in the depths of the Mariana Trench.
In 2019, Retraction Watch ran an exclusive story of a Russian paper mill operating under the business name "International Publisher LLC". Since then, Retraction Watch and other scientific news and blogging sites have continued to report on the activities of research paper mills, including International Publisher and its primary website, 123mi.ru. These mills provide an … Continue reading
Yusaku Maezawa spent 12 days at the space station, marking Russia's return to space tourism after a decade-long pause A Japanese billionaire has returned to Earth after 12 days spent on the International Space Station, where he made videos about performing mundane tasks in space including brushing his teeth and going to the toilet. Online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hiran
High-precision measurements have provided important clues about processes that impair the efficiency of superconductors. Future work building on this research could offer improvements in a range of superconductor devices, such quantum computers and sensitive particle detectors.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn't believe the hype about Web3, a buzzy idea for a blockchain-based and highly decentralized internet. The billionaire slammed Web3 in a Sunday tweet , calling it "more marketing buzzword than reality right now." The context was intriguing as well, as Musk was replying to a clip of a Web3 advocate responding to a video of David Letterman ridiculing the idea of the interne
Researchers made a huge splash last year when they announced the discovery of significant sources of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. The colorless and odorless gas, they claimed at the time, could be a possible sign of life, as it's often the result of organic matter breaking down here on Earth. The hypothesis remains a bit of a stretch : that clouds in the planet's thick, carbon dioxide-fi
At least 132 SpaceX employees have tested positive for COVD-19 at the company's factory in Hawthorne, California, the Los Angeles Times reports — the biggest outbreak at a workplace in the area. According to data provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there is an "active outbreak" at the space company, but we aren't entirely sure how many active case of COVID there are as
Māori boy who died last week was youngest New Zealander to die with virus and the first child Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The first death of a child with Covid-19 in New Zealand has prompted calls for Māori children to be prioritised in the next stage of the vaccine rollout, as the country grapples with racial inequalities compounded by the pandemic. A Māori boy,
Three and a half billion years of evolution have given life on Earth plenty of time to explore the margins of what's possible, so biological science has a lot of catching up to do. Biologists have identified some fundamental principles and mechanisms that govern their field, like natural selection, the cellular nature of organisms and the central dogma of molecular biology. They have toiled to…
It's been a year of supersized AI models. When OpenAI released GPT-3 , in June 2020, the neural network's apparent grasp of language was uncanny. It could generate convincing sentences, converse with humans, and even autocomplete code. GPT-3 was also monstrous in scale—larger than any other neural network ever built. It kicked off a whole new trend in AI, one in which bigger is better. Despite GP
European astronomers have observed a source on the sky known as Gaia20eae, which recently entered a phase of significant outbursting activity. Results of the new study suggest that this source may be an EXor-type eruptive young star. The finding was detailed in a paper published December 8 on the arXiv pre-print server.
For years, Beijing landscape architect Yu Kongjian was ridiculed by his fellow citizens as a backward thinker. Some even called him an American spy—a nod to his doctorate from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and his opposition to dams, those symbols of power and progress in modern China. Yu's transgression: he advised working with water, rather than trying to control it. Yu is at the forefron
A new study has shed new light on why large mammals died out at the end of the ice age, suggesting their extinction was caused by a warming climate and expansion of vegetation that created unsuitable habitat for the animals. The findings, published in the journal PNAS, have major implications for proposals to prevent the soils in the Arctic today from thawing by re-introducing animals such as biso
About 20 miles outside El Paso, Texas, on a warm afternoon just before the fall harvest, Ramon Tirres Jr. turns his truck between two fields covered in nothing but dirt. Both should be lush with cotton by now, but these 70 acres—a fraction of the nearly 1,000 that Tirres left unplanted this year—are bare. All told, about two-thirds of his cotton fields lie empty. Tirres has been farming here for
Solar panels, cameras, biosensors and fiber optics are technologies that rely on photodetectors, or sensors that convert light into electricity. Photodetectors are becoming more efficient and affordable, with their component semiconductor chips decreasing in size. However, this miniaturization is pushing against limits set by current materials and manufacturing methods, forcing trade-offs between
Shrubs in the desert Southwest have increased their water use efficiency at some of the highest rates ever observed to cope with a decades-long megadrought. That's the finding of a new study from University of Utah researchers, who found that although the shrubs' efficiency increases are unprecedented and heroic, they may not be enough to adapt to the long-term drying trend in the West.
When the immense sound of the Ariane 5 rocket rumbles across Europe's spaceport in French Guiana, it will signal the end of a journey decades in the making. Perched atop the rocket will be the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the most sophisticated and complex observatory ever constructed. An enormous mirror 6.5 meters across, consisting of 18 gold-plated segments, will be delicately folded to f
With many countries, companies and individuals intensifying their space exploration programs, questions about rights, ownership and the feasibility of manned space missions are coming to the fore of public debate.
The Matrix was set at the end of history. Released in 1999, the Wachowskis' sci-fi film painted a quotidian picture of the late 20th century: The protagonist, Thomas Anderson (played by Keanu Reeves), lived in a bland-looking megacity where he worked a dull cubicle job and pondered the hopeless future that many feared at the end of the millennium. The twist, of course, was that this seemingly fam
Mobile carriers around the world are busy plowing resources into 5G networks that could vastly increase connection speeds. That's not going to happen overnight, though. Some 5G networks are actually slower than the 4G ones they replace . A small but vocal minority claims the rush to 5G had more serious consequences. They believe 5G is damaging to human health and have gone so far as to wear speci
It was bad enough that the Omicron variant shattered hopes of a normal holiday season, or at least what passes for normal in year two of the pandemic. Now it feels like we're fated to live with COVID-19 in perpetuity, forever worried that when one variant fades, another will quickly take its place, that we'll never, once and for all, throw out our face masks. Anthony Fauci is more upbeat. No, we
Home-brewed yoghurt on International Space Station may be just a small leap for a group of budding scientists Get our free news app ; get our morning email briefing Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Australian high school students are sending bacteria into space in an experiment to make their own yoghurt. In collaboration with the Swinburne University of Technology, 40 st
Happiness, and the pursuit of it, is elemental to the experience of being human. On one hand, we need the right tools to make joy part of our daily routine, and on the other, joy requires a sort of inaction—the ability to simply absorb the moment. In The Atlantic 's podcast series How to Build a Happy Life , our happiness correspondent Arthur Brooks talks with psychologists, physicians, mindfulne
Agency will give go-ahead for Pfizer and Merck to launch groundbreaking oral treatments perhaps this week US federal regulators are expected to approve the first pills to treat Covid-19 as early as this week, it was reported on Tuesday. According to sources quoted by Bloomberg News , the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will give the go-ahead for Pfizer and Merck to launch groundbreaking oral t
W hen Bishop D. J. Soto gives his Christmas sermon this year—his fifth Christmas in the metaverse—he will be surrounded by spirits. "I think my favorite part is going to be when the host of angels comes and the shepherds are in the fields, and we will have some lighting effects and angels in the sky," Soto told me. His virtual-reality-headset-wearing flock of about 200 will be right in the middle
A novel approach to testing for the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 may lead to tests that are faster, less expensive, and potentially less prone to erroneous results than existing detection methods. Though the work, based on quantum effects, is still theoretical, these detectors could potentially be adapted to detect virtually any virus, the researchers say.
T ake us back , little time machine, with your bleepings and your flashings; take us back to crusty old London in the late 1650s, so we can clap the electrodes onto the sleeping head of blind John Milton. Let's monitor the activity in the poet's brain. Let's observe its nocturnal waves. And let's pay particular attention as his sightless eyes begin to flick and roll in deepest, darkest, dream-fri
In recent years, electronics engineers have been trying to broaden the pool of available semiconducting materials, to enable the development of a wider range of devices. One emerging class of semiconductors are amorphous oxide semiconductors (AOSs), which are semiconductors based on oxides of post-transition metals.
A nyone who spent their teenagedom in a black hooded sweatshirt was served a nice piece of attention bait last year in the form of a TikTok phenomenon known as the "emo test." In it, users listened to snippets of songs by such artists as Panic! At the Disco and Paramore to see how many tunes they recognized. If you got eight to 10 songs right, you were certified "emo." If you got more than that,
Microplastics from Africa and North America found airborne in French Pyrenees, 2,877 metres above sea level From Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench, microplastics are everywhere – even high in the Earth's troposphere where wind speeds allow them to travel vast distances, a new study has found. Microplastics are tiny fragments – measuring less than 5mm – that come from packaging, clothing, vehicl
In a new report now published in Science Advances, Mathias Oster, and a team of scientists at the Institute for Mathematics at the Berlin Institute of Technology and the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburg in the U.K., presented a three-periodic, chiral tensegrity structure and demonstrated that it is auxetic, i.e., such materials become thicker perpendicular to the applied force w
By confirming certain light-scattering dynamics first proposed a half-century ago, University of Nebraska–Lincoln physicists are casting fresh eyes on the universe-birthing fireworks ignited by the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago.
Some days, it's hard to be optimistic. But cynicism — the idea that people are inherently selfish, greedy and dishonest — is making humanity lonelier and more divided, says psychologist Jamil Zaki. Presenting fascinating research on cooperation, empathy and trust, Zaki makes the scientific case for optimism and shows us how to break out of the cynicism trap.
Danes have been diligent about wetland restoration. Indeed, more than 200 wetlands have been restored over the past 25 years. In particular, restoration in Denmark has been used as a means to curb nutrient runoff from crop fields into watercourses. But Danish authorities also point to wetlands restoration as a means to increase biodiversity across the country, which has been in decline for decades
The Amazon rainforest is a massive carbon sink and home to more than 400 Indigenous tribes. Deforestation rates had been on the decline for a decade — until the election of President Jair Bolsonaro. Now, advocacy groups, tribes, and some human rights lawyers believe he should be prosecuted for "ecocide."
The finding that some genes are active from the get-go challenges the textbook view that genes don't become active in human embryos until they are made up of four-to-eight cells, two or three days after fertilization.
Genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics can persist longer than it was previously believed. This was recently shown in a new University of Copenhagen study that reports a previously unknown hiding place for these genes. The finding represents a new and important piece in the puzzle to understand how bacterial antibiotic resistance works.
An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Bayreuth, the University of Hohenheim, and the Bavarian State Natural Science Collections has discovered how different climatic conditions influence the chemical properties of lichen substances and thus the evolution and global distribution of lichens.
Cop26 may have dominated the headlines this year, but there have been lots of other fascinating, devastating and hopeful environment stories over the past 12 months. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington and biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston about some of their favourites, from reintroducing wild bison to the fields of Kent to climate crisis tipping points Arc
A team of researchers led by Penn State scientists has identified the location of changes in the photosynthetic apparatus of some cyanobacteria—formerly known as "blue-green algae"—that allow the organisms to grow using far-red light. Using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), the researchers pinpointed locations in two photosystem complexes within the cyanobacteria that incorporate
A previously unknown bird-like dinosaur that used brute strength to overcome its prey has been found by paleontologists combing through fossils found on the Isle of Wight. It dates back to the Early Cretaceous, over 100 million years ago.
Court papers reveal how long watchdog knew of potential problems at Wolverhampton site Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government's health watchdog knew about anomalous tests at a private laboratory that gave at least 43,000 people potentially false negative Covid results almost a month before it took action, it emerged. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) was
From questionable Covid treatments to life-saving inventions and discoveries about the natural world – medical editor Melissa Davey and science writer Donna Lu talk to Laura Murphy-Oates about the best and worst science stories of 2021 You can also read: Continue reading…
An alternative statistical method honed and advanced by Cornell researchers can make clinical trials more reliable and trustworthy while also helping to remedy what has been called a "replicability crisis" in the scientific community.
The finding of fossils of an aurochs (Bos primigenius) and a white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), which lived between 57,000 and 100,000 years ago, at the Oued el Haï site (northeast Morocco), has allowed us to learn more about the climatic changes that led North Africa to become part of the Palearctic region and not the Afrotropical one, as one might expect. The increase in the Palearctic faun
After the "first quantum revolution"—the development of devices such as lasers and the atomic clock—the "second quantum revolution" is currently in full swing. Experts from all over the world are developing fundamentally new technologies based on quantum physics. One key application is quantum communication, where information is written and sent in light. For many applications making use of quantu
As cold relics in an increasingly warming world, plants of the spoonweed group time and again quickly adapted to a changing climate during the Ice Ages of the last two million years. An international team of evolutionary biologists and botanists led by Prof. Dr. Marcus Koch of Heidelberg University used genomic analyses to study what factors favor adaptation to extreme climatic conditions. The evo
A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.K. has found that people enjoying nature in urban settings tend to experience less loneliness than those who stay home. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group describes their study that involved the use of the Urban Mind smartphone application.
Under anesthesia, patients are often given muscle-relaxing neuromuscular blockers to make intubations easier and reduce the skeletal muscle tone during surgery. Using a drug to remove the blocking agent after the operation improves patient recovery and reduces the risk of complications. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a Canadian research team has now reported a novel broad-spectrum antidote. It
The Arctic is warming not twice as quickly as the rest of the world, as previously believed, but four times as fast. The Sami Indigenous people say the herds of reindeer they tend to in the region are being pushed to the limit by climate change, as finding food becomes increasingly difficult.
An unknown culprit has been removing oxygen from our atmosphere for at least 800,000 years. An analysis of air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for up to 1.5 million years reveals the likely suspect. "We know atmospheric oxygen levels began declining slightly in the late Pleistocene, and it looks like glaciers might have something to do with that," says Yuzhen Yan, a postdoctoral research assoc
Nature, Published online: 21 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03829-0 Nearly all of the monoclonal antibodies used to prevent severe disease fail to stand up to the new variant, laboratory assays show.
Researchers at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) have shown that handgun owners who have been charged with intimate partner violence (IPV)—abuse or aggression in romantic relationships—are much more likely to commit other violent crimes. That includes crime index offenses, such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. These results affirm prior research that showed I
Coastal erosion and land subsidence driven by permafrost thawing may lead to extensive seawater inundation in several northern Alaska communities by 2100, according to research by a University of Alaska Fairbanks geomorphologist.
In his bombshell statement yesterday , Senator Joe Manchin listed several reasons why he purportedly cannot support the Build Back Better (BBB) budget reconciliation package. Manchin's primary concerns do not apply to the climate provisions in the bill, and can be overcome through re-negotiating and restructuring. The reservations he expressed regarding clean energy spending are inaccurate. Build
About 50 y ago, Crow and Kimura [An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory (1970)] and Ohta and Kimura [Genet. Res. 22, 201–204 (1973)] laid the foundations of conservation genetics by predicting the relationship between population size and genetic marker diversity. This work sparked an enormous research effort investigating the importance…
Unidirectional ("stripe") charge density wave order has now been established as a ubiquitous feature in the phase diagram of the cuprate high-temperature superconductors, where it generally competes with superconductivity. Nonetheless, on theoretical grounds it has been conjectured that stripe order (or other forms of "optimal" inhomogeneity) may play an essential…
Coxiella burnetii is a bacterial pathogen that replicates within host cells by establishing a membrane-bound niche called the Coxiella-containing vacuole. Biogenesis of this compartment requires effectors of its Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. A large cohort of such effectors has been identified, but the function of most of them remain…
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in tremendous loss worldwide. Although viral spike (S) protein binding of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been established, the functional consequences of the initial receptor binding and the stepwise fusion process are not clear. By…
SF3B1 is the most frequently mutated RNA splicing factor in cancer, including in ∼25% of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. SF3B1-mutated MDS, which is strongly associated with ringed sideroblast morphology, is characterized by ineffective erythropoiesis, leading to severe, often fatal anemia. However, functional evidence linking SF3B1 mutations to the anemia described…
In mammals, circadian clocks are strictly suppressed during early embryonic stages, as well as in pluripotent stem cells, by the lack of CLOCK/BMAL1-mediated circadian feedback loops. During ontogenesis, the innate circadian clocks emerge gradually at a late developmental stage, and with these, the circadian temporal order is invested in each…
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common degenerative cardiovascular disease whose pathobiology is not clearly understood. The cellular heterogeneity and cell-type-specific gene regulation of vascular cells in human AAA have not been well-characterized. Here, we performed analysis of whole-genome sequencing data in AAA patients versus controls with the aim of…
Recent advances in super-resolution microscopy revealed the previously unknown nanoscopic level of organization of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), one of the most vital intracellular organelles. Membrane nanostructures of 10- to 100-nm intrinsic length scales, which include ER tubular matrices, ER sheet nanoholes, internal membranes of ER exit sites (ERES), and ER…
Replacing synthetic insecticides with transgenic crops for pest management has been economically and environmentally beneficial, but these benefits erode as pests evolve resistance. It has been proposed that novel genomic approaches could track molecular signals of emerging resistance to aid in resistance management. To test this, we quantified patterns of…
In the cell, the conformations of nascent polypeptide chains during translation are modulated by both the ribosome and its associated molecular chaperone, trigger factor. The specific interactions that underlie these modulations, however, are still not known in detail. Here, we combine protein engineering, in-cell and in vitro NMR spectroscopy, and…
Cytoglobin (Cygb) was discovered as a novel type of globin that is expressed in mammals; however, its functions remain uncertain. While Cygb protects against oxidant stress, the basis for this is unclear, and the effect of Cygb on superoxide metabolism is unknown. From dose-dependent studies of the effect of Cygb…
Statistical phylogeography provides useful tools to characterize and quantify the spread of organisms during the course of evolution. Analyzing georeferenced genetic data often relies on the assumption that samples are preferentially collected in densely populated areas of the habitat. Deviation from this assumption negatively impacts the inference of the spatial…
The collapse of the steppe-tundra biome (mammoth steppe) at the end of the Pleistocene is used as an important example of top-down ecosystem cascades, where human hunting of keystone species led to profound changes in vegetation across high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Alternatively, it is argued that this biome…
The particulate guanylyl cyclase A receptor (GC-A), via activation by its endogenous ligands atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), possesses beneficial biological properties such as blood pressure regulation, natriuresis, suppression of adverse remodeling, inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and favorable metabolic actions through the generation
Ozone is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane but has a larger uncertainty in its radiative forcing, in part because of uncertainty in the source characteristics of ozone precursors, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic carbon that directly affect ozone formation chemistry. Tropospheric ozone also…
China has implemented an emission trading system (ETS) to reduce its ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining rapid economic growth. With low carbon prices and infrequent allowance trading, whether China's ETS is an effective approach for climate mitigation has entered the center of the policy and research debate. Utilizing China's…
Thymol and carvacrol are phenolic monoterpenes found in thyme, oregano, and several other species of the Lamiaceae. Long valued for their smell and taste, these substances also have antibacterial and anti-spasmolytic properties. They are also suggested to be precursors of thymohydroquinone and thymoquinone, monoterpenes with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor activities….
In this article, we present the results from a large-scale field experiment designed to measure racial discrimination among the American public. We conducted an audit study on the general public—sending correspondence to 250,000 citizens randomly drawn from public voter registration lists. Our within-subjects experimental design tested the public's responsiveness to…
The atmosphere of Venus remains mysterious, with many outstanding chemical connundra. These include the unexpected presence of ∼10 ppm O2 in the cloud layers, an unknown composition of large particles in the lower cloud layers, and hard to explain measured vertical abundance profiles of SO2 and H2O. We propose a…
Immediate-early gene (IEG) expression has been used to identify small neural ensembles linked to a particular experience, based on the principle that a selective subset of activated neurons will encode specific memories or behavioral responses. The majority of these studies have focused on "engrams" in higher-order brain areas where more…
Although declines in intent to vaccinate had been identified in international surveys conducted between June and October 2020, including in the United States, some individuals in the United States who previously expressed reluctance said, in spring 2021, that they were willing to vaccinate. That change raised the following questions: What…
Humans have an extraordinary ability to recognize and differentiate voices. It is yet unclear whether voices are uniquely processed in the human brain. To explore the underlying neural mechanisms of voice processing, we recorded electrocorticographic signals from intracranial electrodes in epilepsy patients while they listened to six different categories of…
Sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) is an understudied problem. Whole-exome sequence data from 124 "trios" (decedent child, living parents) was used to test for excessive de novo mutations (DNMs) in genes involved in cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy, and other disorders. Among decedents, nonsynonymous DNMs were enriched in genes associated with…
Soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) represents an important component of the terrestrial carbon cycle that affects whether ecosystems function as carbon sources or sinks. Due to the complex interactions between biological and physical factors controlling microbial growth, Rh is uncertain and difficult to predict, limiting our ability to anticipate future climate…
Globally, intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) has risen dramatically over the past century in concert with increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This increase could be further accelerated by long-term drought events, such as the ongoing multidecadal "megadrought" in the American Southwest. However, direct measurements of iWUE in this region are rare…
Matthew V. Tirrell has been at the forefront of efforts to understand and apply the surface and interfacial properties of organic polymers and micellar nanoparticles. His contributions to the field led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019. Now dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular…
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox. With coronavirus cases on the rise, at-home testing remains a useful but imperfect way to mitigate risk. I caught up with Katherine J. Wu, a staff writer who's been covering this pandemic, to talk
Tourist towns along the Lake Michigan shoreline love to proclaim the giant body of water "Unsalted and Shark-Free." The slogan is plastered on t-shirts, magnets and bumper stickers—but, according to a new study, only one of those claims holds water.
Giving children the human papillomavirus vaccine before age 11 could help promote on-time vaccination, report researchers. Approximately 45,300 cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV) occur in the US every year. HPV vaccination has the potential to prevent up to 80% of these cancers . While raising HPV vaccination rates has been a public health priority since 2014, improving these numbers h
To paint a clearer picture of how global climate change will affect Earth's ecosystems, researchers forced the world's only enclosed rainforest through a four-month-long controlled drought and recovery. The findings, published in Science , reveal a roughly 70% drop in the rainforest's carbon storage—speaking to concerns surrounding forests' ability to capture and store carbon dioxide from the atm
Parasitic worms that infect companion animals such as dogs and cats are more likely to make the leap into humans than other worm species, according to new research from the University of Georgia's Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases.
With less than a week left until Christmas, lighted displays, colorful markets, and Santa's helpers are out in force. From the Americas to Europe and Asia, gathered here as an early gift is a collection of holiday cheer and light wrapped up in 30 photographs.
A new study authored by University of Houston Law Center Professor Jim Hawkins and student Tiffany Penner and published in the Emory Law Journal indicates that the payday lending industry often targets Black and Latino communities in advertising their products, while the mainstream banking industry targets white consumers.
Last summer the SETI Institute began installing a second LaserSETI Observatory, this time 10,000 feet above sea level at Haleakala Observatory, thanks to the University of Hawai'i's Institute of Astronomy (IfA). As a result of challenges involving equipment damaged during shipping, supply chain delays for replacement parts, equipment malfunctions and even a blizzard in Hawai'i, the installation wa
The tropical floating fern Salvinia molesta has developed sophisticated structures to allow water to roll off its leaves quickly—even during heavy rainfall. This relieves the pressure on the leaves floating on the water surface, but even more importantly, it keeps the stomata open for air exchange. This allows the fern to absorb carbon dioxide which is essential for photosynthesis. This was discov
As the Arctic and the oceans warm due to climate change, understanding how a rapidly changing environment may affect birds making annual journeys between the Arctic and the high seas is vital to international conservation efforts. However, for some Arctic species, there are still many unknowns about their migration routes. Using telemetry to solve some mysteries of three related seabird species—th
Invisibility devices may soon no longer be the stuff of science fiction. A new study published in the De Gruyter journal Nanophotonics by lead authors Huanyang Chen at Xiamen University, China, and Qiaoliang Bao, suggests the use of the material Molybdenum Trioxide (α-MoO3) to replace expensive and difficult to produce metamaterials in the emerging technology of novel optical devices.
The field of tissue engineering is constantly exploring the possibility of using different properties of various biomaterials to achieve tissue regeneration. However, a key factor in creating effective tissues that can ameliorate and act as physical barriers is the strength of cell-cell adhesion.
Tropical rainforests are the world's most significant source of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). These compounds have a great influence on the concentration of oxidative substances and thus on the self-purifying power of the atmosphere. They also contribute to particle formation and influence the Earth's climate through cloud formation and precipitation. Until now, it was assumed that
Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan on the Moon. (Photo: European Space Agency) The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing to open a very special time capsule: a 50-year-old Moon soil sample. The sample has been largely untouched since the Apollo 17 mission, during which astronaut Gene Cernan collected soil from a landslip deposit that fell into the Taurus-Littrow Valley. Cernan hammered a 70-centi
Understanding service workers' current challenges, and adjusting your expectations accordingly, can ease shopping frustrations As we approach our second Christmas at the mercy of a virus that just won't quit, one would think people would have accepted that supply chain issues and other Covid-related problems might mean low stock and delayed deliveries, as has been the case for going on two years.
Plants of the spoonweed group time-and-again quickly adapted to a changing climate during the Ice Ages of the last two million years. Evolutionary biologists and botanists used genomic analyses to study what factors favor adaptation to extreme climatic conditions. The evolutionary history of the Brassicaceae family provides insights into how plants may be able to cope with climate change in the fu
Computer systems that are physically isolated from the outside world (air-gapped) can still be attacked. This is demonstrated by IT security experts. They show that data can be transmitted to light-emitting diodes of regular office devices using a directed laser. With this, attackers can secretly communicate with air-gapped computer systems over distances of several meters. In addition to conventi
Shrubs in the desert Southwest have increased their water use efficiency at some of the highest rates ever observed to cope with a decades-long megadrought. Researchers found that although the shrubs' efficiency increases are unprecedented and heroic, they may not be enough to adapt to the long-term drying trend in the West.
There are lots of ways to organize our busy lives these days — from planners to apps to meticulously organized spreadsheets — but it turns out that some of the best smartwatches out there can actually help you do just that. With a variety of innovative features that allow you to set reminders, keep tabs on important health markers, and have Alexa update you on the news or add to your grocery list
A newly discovered extinct reptile species has shed light on how our earliest ancestors became top predators by modifying their teeth in response to environmental instability around 300 million years ago.
What do you think is the best way to raise children? One method is psychological control where parents attempt to improve their children's behavior by making them feel shame or guilt about their actions. Another form of psychological control is the "silent treatment," where parents ignore their kids following bad behavior in order to discourage future undesirable behavior. These methods may sound
The adoption of high-dimensional quantum states in quantum information protocols enables better performances in applications ranging from secure quantum communications to fault-tolerant quantum computation. Development of universal protocols able to engineer arbitrary high-dimensional quantum states would be a significant achievement. Several strategies and platforms have been proposed and develop
The Late Devonian mass extinction (roughly 372 million years ago) was one of five mass extinctions in Earth's history, with roughly 75% of all species disappearing over its course. It happened in two "pulses," spaced about 800,000 years apart, with most of the extinctions happening in the second pulse. However, for one group of animals living in eastern North America, the first pulse dealt the dea
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