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Nyheder2021december22

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Elyse Flayme and the final flood
From: Boreal, Emily To: Picual, Jim , Joss, Lillian , Gupta, Mohan Cc: Executive Committee You sent me to find the god of a dying world, and I found her, but it didn't turn out the way you expected. I'm not sorry for what I did, but I do owe you an explanation. Those of you reading this know very well the problem we faced, but I assume this message will be forwarded to at least one board member,
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Another tool in the fight against climate change: storytelling
It might sound strange to think of storytelling as a climate solution, but after spending five years documenting 1,001 voices on climate change in 20 countries, I believe one of the most powerful forms of climate action is to listen deeply to people already affected by the crisis. To ensure that solutions actually help communities most at risk, we must first hear their stories. Climate change is
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Our water infrastructure needs to change
In the world of water, 2021 was yet another year for the record books. Parts of Western Europe reeled from deadly floods that sent rivers surging to levels not seen in 500 to 1,000 years. Destructive floods hit central China as well, displacing more than a quarter of a million people from their homes. Meanwhile, a large swath of the southwestern United States remained locked in a megadrought—the
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Can data help quench the thirst of Pakistan's most populous city?
When Ahsan Rehman graduated from one of Pakistan's top engineering universities in 2016, he knew he wanted a job that would help people. He did not have to look far for ideas. At his home in Karachi, his family often went days without getting any water from the city's pipes. Initially, they had dug a well, boring into the aquifer that runs beneath the city. When that began drying up, they turned
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Day Zero still looms over Cape Town
In the waning weeks of 2017, many residents of Cape Town, South Africa, lined up day and night to fill old jugs with water from the city's few natural springs. Palpable angst hung in the air. After months of warnings through an anomalously long drought, Cape Town was on the verge of becoming the world's first major city to run out of water. Freshwater dams had dipped below 25% of capacity, and le
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Singapore pushes for water independence as temperatures rise
Every day, the Linggiu Reservoir does quiet battle with the ocean, feeding rainwater into the Johor River in southern Malaysia to keep its salt levels low enough to treat. Singapore, which built the reservoir in 1995, had been entitled to extract some 250 million gallons per day from the 123-kilometer-­long river, meeting more than half its national needs. But a prolonged dry spell in 2016 saw re
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Most of us will first experience climate change through water
As we were closing this issue, I came across a video on Twitter of a highway just outside Vancouver, submerged in water. It wasn't the only one. The densely populated urban heart of British Columbia was cut off from the rest of Canada by flooding and mudslides after an atmospheric river barreled through. The country's busiest port lost access to rail service, stranding containers. Hundreds of mot
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A grave matter of ancient kinship in Neolithic Britain
Nature, Published online: 23 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03799-3 An investigation into the nature of genetic connections between individuals interred in the same chambers of an ancient tomb in Britain about 5,700 years ago sheds light on kinship in an early society.
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PODCAST: Hvad er årets vigtigste forskningsresultater?
Ingeniøren udpeger hvert år de fem bedste danske forskningsresultater inden for teknik og naturvidenskab. Jens Ramskov fortæller om vinderen og de fire 'runner-ups'. I årets sidste udgave af Transformator kigger vi desuden tilbage på de vigtigste teknologiske nyheder og tendenser i 2021.
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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #51, 2021
122 articles in 90 journals by 735 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Interpreting Observed Temperature Probability Distributions Using a Relationship between Temperature and Temperature Advection Linz & Chen Journal of Climate Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-20-0920.1 An assessment of radiative impacts of CO2 on baroclinic instability using idealized life cycles Kavi
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Covid-19: what will Omicron mean for 2022? podcast
Yesterday, daily cases in the UK exceeded 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. Despite this, the government has stuck to its guns in refusing to introduce any restrictions in England before Christmas Day. Yesterday also saw the publishing of a report from a team at Imperial College London that suggests, in the UK, the risk of a hospital stay is 40% lower with Omicron than Delta .
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Anesthesia: Double chalice breaks the blockade
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. A research team has now reported a novel broad-spectrum antidote. It consists of two 'chalices' that are linked
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Cochlear implant as a sensor
The cochlear implant (CI) is the most successful neural prosthesis worldwide. Thanks to direct stimulation of the auditory nerve, it enables more than half a million people worldwide to hear, even though those affected were born deaf or deafened. Researchers have developed a method to convert the stimulation electrodes of common CIs into electrochemical sensors. With the help of this novel sensor
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Study finds artificial intelligence accurately detects fractures on x-rays, alert human readers
Emergency room and urgent care clinics are typically busy and patients often have to wait many hours before they can be seen, evaluated and receive treatment. Waiting for x-rays to be interpreted by radiologists can contribute to this long wait time because radiologists often read x-rays for a large number of patients. A new study has found that artificial intelligence (AI) can help physicians in
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If Aliens Exist, Here's How We'll Find Them – Issue 111: Spotlight
Happy Holidays. In this special issue we are reprinting our top stories of the past year. This article first appeared online in our "Wonder" issue in February, 2021. Suppose aliens existed, and imagine that some of them had been watching our planet for its entire four and a half billion years. What would they have seen? Over most of that vast timespan, Earth's appearance altered slowly and gradua
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Where Aliens Could Be Watching Us – Issue 111: Spotlight
Happy Holidays. In this special issue we are reprinting our top stories of the past year. This article first appeared online in our "Intelligent Life" issue in September, 2021. Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? They could be. And I'm not talking about the odd neighbors at the end of your street. This summer, at the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University and the American Museum of
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A Wrinkle in Nature Could Lead to Alien Life – Issue 111: Spotlight
Happy Holidays. In this special issue we are reprinting our top stories of the past year. This article first appeared online in our "Universality" issue in April, 2021. I grew up in a small village in a very rural part of England. It was a landscape capped with the huge skies of a low-lying coastal zone. Gently rolling fields, long hedgerows, and a lot of farms. Some of the people running those f
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How much of the Omicron variant is there in Australia, and is it dominant?
As the data comes in, experts are confident the new variant will soon be dominant – if it isn't already Hospitalisation rates: how is Australia's health system coping? Follow our Covid live blog for the latest updates Vaccine rollout tracker ; Cases and data tracker Get our free news app ; get our morning email briefing The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is now the dominant variant in England , Sout
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These fish work together by the hundreds of thousands to make waves
In the sports arena, spectators sometimes create a spectacle known as a wave, as successive groups stand up in unison to yell with arms in the air. Now, researchers have shown that small freshwater fish known as sulphur mollies do a similar thing, and for life or death reasons. The collective wave action produced by hundreds of thousands of fish working together helps to protect them from predator
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Ancient DNA reveals the world's oldest family tree
Analysis of ancient DNA from one of the best-preserved Neolithic tombs in Britain has revealed that most of the people buried there were from five continuous generations of a single extended family. By analysing DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of 35 individuals entombed at Hazleton North long cairn in the Cotswolds-Severn region, the research team was able to detect that 27 of them were clo
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How do our organs know when to stop growing?
The smallest fish in the world, the Paedocypris, measures only 7 millimeters. This is nothing compared to the 9 meters of the whale shark. The small fish shares many of the same genes and the same anatomy with the shark, but the dorsal and caudal fins, gills, stomach and heart, are thousands of times smaller! How do organs and tissues of this miniature fish stop growing very quickly, unlike those
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Astronomers capture black hole eruption spanning 16 times the full Moon in the sky
Astronomers have produced the most comprehensive image of radio emission from the nearest actively feeding supermassive black hole to Earth. The emission is powered by a central black hole in the galaxy Centaurus A, about 12 million light years away. When viewed from Earth, the eruption from Centaurus A now extends eight degrees across the sky — the length of 16 full Moons laid side by side.
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Semiconductors reach the quantum world
Quantum effects in superconductors could give semiconductor technology a new twist. Researchers have identified a composite material that could integrate quantum devices into semiconductor technology, making electronic components significantly more powerful.
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Novel biosensors set to revolutionize brain-controlled robotics
A novel carbon-based biosensor is set to drive new innovations in brain-controlled robotics. The biosensor adheres to the skin of the face and head in order to detect electrical signals being sent by the brain. These signals can be translated into commands to control autonomous robotic systems. The sensor, made of epitaxial graphene grown onto a silicon carbide on silicon substrate, overcomes thre
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Brain mechanisms involved in learning also drive social conformity
Some of the same brain systems known to play a role in learning from trial and error also are engaged when people conform to social norms, scientists report in a new study. The findings are important, the researchers said, because changing one's behavior to align with one's peers can contribute to community-building or — depending on the goals and values of the group — societal breakdown.
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On the sparsity of fitness functions and implications for learning [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Fitness functions map biological sequences to a scalar property of interest. Accurate estimation of these functions yields biological insight and sets the foundation for model-based sequence design. However, the fitness datasets available to learn these functions are typically small relative to the large combinatorial space of sequences; characterizing how much…
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SARS-CoV-2 spreads through cell-to-cell transmission [Microbiology]
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly transmissible coronavirus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through cell–cell contact in cultures, mediated by the spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 spike is more efficient in facilitating cell-to-cell transmission than is SARS-CoV spike, which reflects,…
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High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of photosystem II from the mesophilic cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 [Chemistry]
Photosystem II (PSII) enables global-scale, light-driven water oxidation. Genetic manipulation of PSII from the mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has provided insights into the mechanism of water oxidation; however, the lack of a high-resolution structure of oxygen-evolving PSII from this organism has limited the interpretation of biophysical data to…
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Carryover insecticide exposure reduces bee reproduction across years [Ecology]
Insect life plays an unrivalled role in ecosystem function, and many insects are critical to agricultural production. However, insects face continuing threats from anthropogenic stresses related to habitat loss, pesticides and pollution, and climate change (1). No insect group captures as much public and scientific attention as pollinators, especially bees,…
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Reducing opinion polarization: Effects of exposure to similar people with differing political views [Political Sciences]
In a large-scale, preregistered experiment on informal political communication, we algorithmically matched participants, varying two dimensions: 1) the degree of incidental similarity on nonpolitical features; and 2) their stance agreement on a contentious political topic. Matched participants were first shown a computer-generated social media profile of their match highlighting all…
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Reporting is not supporting: Why mandatory supporting, not mandatory reporting, must guide university sexual misconduct policies [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Policies that require most or all university employees to report any sexual misconduct they learn about to a designated university official, including victims' names, even if the victim does not want such a report to be made, have been widely implemented in institutions of higher education (1). Despite the widely…
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Inner Workings: Using vaccines to harness the immune system and fight drugs of abuse [Social Sciences]
Opioids continue to ravage large swaths of the United States. Buffeted by social isolation, financial pressures, and limited mental health resources during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, addiction and its ill effects have only worsened in the past year. More than 100,000 people died from drug overdose between April…
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We Discovered a Rogues' Gallery of Monster-Sized Gas Giants – Facts So Romantic
It doesn't feel right to see a toddler walking down the street by themselves. Toddlers don't just go rogue, and if they do they are quickly chased down by a parent or grandparent or teacher and brought back where they belong. Most planets are like toddlers: They follow a well-behaved orbit around a star. It could be a yellow star, or a red one, a young or old star, or even a system with more than
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Research: Wreck of last US slave ship mostly intact on coast
Researchers studying the wreckage of the last U.S. slave ship, buried in mud on the Alabama coast since it was scuttled in 1860, have made the surprising discovery that most of the wooden schooner remains intact, including the pen that was used to imprison African captives during the brutal journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
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Optimize Your Experience with the Best Gaming Headsets
When you're trying to pinpoint where the enemy team is approaching from or scouting the nearest weapons drop, you don't want to get distracted by static sounds and communication delays from your teammates. Most gamers can handle slight disruptions, but when your headset cannot maintain a signal at all it becomes a real problem, significantly affecting your gameplay and potentially ruining the fun
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Spin splitting of dopant edge state in magnetic zigzag graphene nanoribbons
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04201-y Decoupling spin-polarized edge states using substitutional N-atom dopants along the edges of a zigzag graphene nanoribbon (ZGNR) reveals giant spin splitting of a N-dopant edge state, and supports the predicted emergent magnetic order in ZGNRs.
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Integrated photonics enables continuous-beam electron phase modulation
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04197-5 A silicon nitride microresonator is used for coherent phase modulation of a transmission electron microscope beam, with future applications in combining high-resolution microscopy with spectroscopy, holography and metrology.
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Quantum anomalous Hall effect from intertwined moiré bands
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04171-1 An electric-field-induced topological phase transition from a Mott insulator to a quantum anomalous Hall insulator in near-60-degree-twisted (or AB-stacked) MoTe2/WSe2 heterobilayers is reported.
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Non-syntrophic methanogenic hydrocarbon degradation by an archaeal species
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04235-2 'Candidatus Methanoliparum' overexpresses genes encoding alkyl-coenzyme M and methyl-coenzyme M reductases—markers of archaeal multicarbon alkane and methane metabolism—and thrives on a variety of long-chain alkanes and n-alkylcyclohexanes, and n-alkylbenzenes with long n-alkyl (C≥13) moieties.
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Spatial maps in piriform cortex during olfactory navigation
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04242-3 Studies using neural ensemble recordings in rats show that cells in the piriform cortex carry a spatial representation of the environment and link locations to olfactory sensory inputs.
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Very-high-frequency oscillations in the main peak of a magnetar giant flare
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04101-1 Two very-high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (at 2,132 Hz and 4,250 Hz) are detected within the initial hard spike of a magnetar giant flare originating from the galaxy NGC 253, and detailed temporal and spectral analyses are performed.
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Structure of Hsp90–Hsp70–Hop–GR reveals the Hsp90 client-loading mechanism
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04252-1 The cryo-electron microscopy structure of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-loading complex—a complex in which Hsp70 loads GR onto Hsp90 and Hop—is described, providing insights into how the chaperones Hsp90 and Hsp70 coordinate to facilitate GR remodelling for activation.
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A microbe that uses crude oil to make methane
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03729-3 A microorganism that dwells in an underground oil reservoir has been found to degrade various petroleum compounds and use them to produce methane through a previously unreported biochemical pathway.
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A radiocarbon revolution sheds light on the Vikings
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03769-9 Advances in the precision of radiocarbon dating can offer year-specific data. Analyses of archaeological sites in Denmark and Canada provide insights into the chronology of the global networks of the Viking Age.
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Low-power light modifies electron microscopy
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03767-x An optical device designed to control the properties of electron waves inside an electron microscope demonstrates that clever platforms for integrated photonics need not be powered by expensive laser systems.
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Bronze Age genomes reveal migration to Britain
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03770-2 The genomes of hundreds of individuals who lived in Great Britain and in continental Europe during the Bronze Age provide evidence for a migration of people from the continent to southern Britain between 1000 and 875 bc.
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Study reveals a greater diversity of Iberian spiders that were previously unknown
Populations of peninsular spiders that make aerial spider webs and move around the air by ballooning (using the silk threads as parachutes) present a more homogeneous genetics structure and are better connected between them. However, species of nocturnal spiders, which hunt on the ground and have a low dispersal capacity, show less genetically connected populations and are more vulnerable to local
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Face detection in untrained deep neural networks?
Researchers have found that higher visual cognitive functions can arise spontaneously in untrained neural networks. A research team has shown that visual selectivity of facial images can arise even in completely untrained deep neural networks. This new finding has provided revelatory insights into mechanisms underlying the development of cognitive functions in both biological and artificial neural
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Fueling the future with new perovskite-related oxide-ion conductors
Stable and high oxide-ion conductors based on a new hexagonal perovskite-related oxide has been reported by scientists at Tokyo Tech, Kojundo Chemical Laboratory Co. Ltd. and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in a recent study. These high-performance oxide-ion conductors could pave the way for the development of solid electrolytes for next-generation batteries and clea
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Where does the special scent of thyme and oregano come from?
Thyme and oregano are not only popular herbs for cooking, but also valuable medicinal plants. Their essential oils contain thymol and carvacrol which impart the typical flavors and are medically important. A team has now fully identified how the plants produce these two substances. The results could simplify the breeding process and improve the pharmaceutical value of thyme and oregano.
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The Hitchhiker's guide to the soil
The interaction of fungi and bacteria in the transport of viruses in the soil ecosystem has been examined in a recent study. The scientists showed a novel mechanism of viral transport by bacterial shuttles traveling along fungal hyphae. Bacteria thereby benefit from taking along viruses on the conquest of new habitats.
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From the oilfield to the lab: How a special microbe turns oil into gases
Microorganisms can convert oil into natural gas, i.e. methane. Until recently, it was thought that this conversion was only possible through the cooperation of different organisms. In 2019, Rafael Laso-Pérez and Gunter Wegener from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology suggested that a special archaeon can do this all by itself, as indicated by their genome analyses. Now, in collaborati
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DNAzymes: How active DNA molecules with therapeutic potential work
DNAzymes are precision biocatalysts that destroy unwanted RNA molecules. However, major obstacles to their use in medicine remain. Together with Jülich Research Centre (FZJ) and the University of Bonn, a research team from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has investigated with atomic resolution how DNAzymes work in real time. They have now presented these important fundamental findings a
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The genomes of 204 Vitis vinifera accessions reveal the origin of European wine grapes
Nature Communications, Published online: 21 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27487-y Reports on the origin of European wine grapes are controversial. Here, the authors perform population genetics analyses on a large set of representative wine-making varieties and reveal a single domestication event at the origin of the entire germplasm followed by repeated introgression from wild populations
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New models needed for food system transformation
According to a paper titled "Enacting theories of change for food systems transformation under climate change," published in Global Food Security, food systems are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, and agricultural yields are at risk due to climate change impacts. And yet, there is not a clear picture of the different elements of the agricultural resea
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High temperatures hit Greenland
Temperatures have soared in Greenland recently, the Danish Meteorological Institute said on Wednesday, in line with warming trends experts have linked to global warming.
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AHA journal tones down abstract linking COVID-19 vaccines to risk of heart problems
The American Heart Association has published a corrected version of a controversial meeting abstract which claimed to show that Covid-19 vaccinations "dramatically" increased a person's risk for serious heart problems. The study was the work of Stephen Gundry, a cardiac surgeon who now sells dietary supplements of questionable efficacy on his website. Gundry also sees … Continue reading
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Scientists identify gut-derived metabolites that play a role in neurodegeneration
A New York-based, multi-institutional research team has found high levels of three toxic metabolites produced by gut bacteria in the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The important findings further scientists' understanding of how gut bacteria can impact the course of neurological diseases by producing compounds that are toxic to nerve cells.
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Step forward in quest to develop living construction materials and beyond
Some engineered living materials can combine the strength of run-of-the-mill building materials with the responsiveness of living systems. Think self-healing concrete or paint that changes color when a specific chemical is detected. Critical early research sheds new light on this exciting advancement, which would revolutionize construction and maintenance, with wide-reaching economic and environme
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Fast and durable batteries to come: A promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries
To overcome the slow charging times of conventional lithium-ion batteries, scientists have developed a new anode material that allows for ultrafast charging. Produced via a simple, environmentally sound and efficient approach involving the calcination of a bio-based polymer, this novel material also retained most of its initial capacity over thousands of cycles. The findings of this study will pav
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Ansjovis, sardin eller sardell? – professorn reder ut begreppen
Ansjovishyllan gapar tom i matbutiken och julfriden är hotad när Janssons frestelse står utan den salta fisken. Men varför är den slut när vi behöver den som mest? Och vad är ansjovis egentligen? Kerstin Johannesson, professor i marin ekologi, reder ut begreppen. Inlägget dök först upp på forskning.se .
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Ljus framtid för ny ljuskälla
Adventsstjärnor, ljusstakar och ljusslingor lyser upp i mörkaste december. Men vad blir kostnaden för elen – och kan LEC vara framtidens julbelysning? Inlägget dök först upp på forskning.se .
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Morning glory symbiosis may yield new psychedelic drugs
Thanks to a symbiotic fungus, many species of morning glories contain elements of powerful psychedelic drugs called ergot alkaloids, according to new research. The seeds of the common tropical vine, whose namesake trumpet-like blooms only open in the morning, contain compounds that could be useful for treating mental and physical diseases as well as promoting well-being, says plant and fungal bio
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'Wheel of Time' is set thousands of years from now, yet it's still burdened with today's climate change
"Wheel of Time," the 14-book epic fantasy now turned into an Amazon Prime TV series, is a medieval-style adventure set in the Third Age of the World of the Wheel. While not explicit in the storyline, notes from the late author suggest that the First Age was actually modern-day Earth, which ended with a dramatic event (perhaps even climate change). From these notes, we estimate the show takes place
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New ocean floats to boost global network essential for weather, climate research
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and partners have joined together to launch approximately 100 new Argo floats across the Atlantic Ocean to collect data that supports ocean, weather and climate research and prediction. These will bolster the international Argo Program, which maintains a global array of about 3,800 floats that measure pressure, temperature, and salinity of the upper 2,00
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Preparing, and paying for, climate change-induced disasters
During the evening hours of Dec. 10, a flurry of tornadoes ravaged several states, claiming close to 100 lives and leaving whole communities in wreckage. According to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the storms were at least the 19th weather or climate disaster to cause more than $1 billion in damage this year, coming on the heels of droughts, wildfires, severe co
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Why social scientists still need data on sex, not only gender identity
The collection of data on a person's sex—that is, whether they are male or female—has become controversial in recent years, and a number of public bodies have moved away from collecting data on sex as a result. For example, Scotland's chief statistician recently issued guidance stating that data on sex should only be collected in exceptional circumstances. This move has been greeted with alarm by
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SpaceX is hoping to turn atmospheric CO2 into rocket fuel
Earth is in the midst of a climate crisis. Thanks to rising CO2 emissions since the early 20th century, global temperatures are rising, triggering a positive feedback cycle that threatens to make it worse. According to recent analyses, even if the industrialized nations agree to slash carbon emissions drastically, global warming will not begin to slow until mid-century. For this reason, emission r
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World's smallest microelectronic catheter for minimally invasive surgery of the future
Catheters are of paramount importance for minimally invasive surgery. They enable interventions such as the removal of blood clots, the insertion of implants, or the targeted administration of drugs, and are intended to be particularly gentle for patients. In general, the less invasive the catheter procedure, the lower the risk of medical complications and the shorter the recovery time.
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Can a dangerous microbe offer a new way to silence pain?
A new study shows that a toxin from the microbe that causes anthrax can silence multiple types of pain in mice. Researchers found the toxin targets pain-sensing cells to alter signaling and block pain. Building on that finding, researchers engineered an anthrax protein vehicle to deliver different types of treatments into pain receptors and modulate nerve-cell function. The findings can inform the
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Donald Caspar (1927–2021)
Nature, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03820-9 Crystallographer who defined rules of virus structure.
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Neoadjuvant immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab induces major pathological responses in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
Nature Communications, Published online: 22 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-26472-9 Immune checkpoint blockade has become standard care for patients with recurrent metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Here the authors present the results of a non-randomized phase Ib/IIa trial, reporting safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant nivolumab monotherapy and nivolumab plus ipilimum
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Development and conservation clash at Komodo National Park
On a dirt path, forked yellow tongue darting from its mouth, a member of the world's largest lizard species lazes on an island in eastern Indonesia's Komodo National Park as tourists snap photos. And about 18 miles (30 kilometers) away on another park island that harbors Komodo dragons, trees have been removed and concrete poured for new tourist facilities that have aroused the ire of residents an
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Malaysia floods death toll rises to 27
The death toll from Malaysia's worst floods in years rose to 27 on Wednesday, as a clean-up operation gathered pace and residents assessed the damage unleashed by the disaster.
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Is there a specific cognitive bias that refers to this situation?
So often that I am faced with two difficult choices on a multiple choice exam, I am leaning towards to correct answer choice, but because the stakes are high I end up becoming overly critical of it that I just end up selecting the other (wrong) answer choice without much scrutiny at all. But had I compared the two answer choices fairly, it is obvious that the shortcomings of the right answer choi
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Years later, restored wetlands remain a shadow of former selves
A study of restored wetlands on the Danish island of Funen reveals that plant species richness remains extremely poor many years after wetlands restoration. It is widely assumed that restored wetlands will increase local biodiversity and come to resemble natural wetlands over time. However, more must be done to catalyze recovery according to researchers behind the study.
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Earth's oceans probably once had a lot more salt
Earth's ancient oceans likely contained much more salt than they do today, scientists say. The finding may clarify how its life, atmosphere, and climate evolved. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , researchers suggest that for the first 500 million years of Earth's existence, its oceans may have contained a salt level as high as 7.5%. Today's oceans, by compari
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(Repost) [Academic] Participants aged between 50-65 years needed for a short language-related experiment that is currently running online (Right-handed, native English speakers, 50-65)
Hi, I am currently conducting an experiment to examine language processing in adults aged between 50-65 years. It is quite simple and takes approx. 10-15 minutes to complete on a laptop or PC only. Participants must also be right-handed and speak English as a first language. The experiment has received ethical approval from Maynooth University`s Research Ethics Subcommittee (SRESC-2021-2450172).
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Shellac for printed circuits
Intelligent packaging with sensors that monitor goods, such as vegetables, on long transport routes is a trend for the future. Yet printed and disposable electronics also cause problems: Metals in printing inks are expensive — and disposing of them in an environmentally sound manner is costly and exacerbates the problem of electronic waste.
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Measuring a quantum computer's power just got faster and more accurate
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.
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Swinging on the quantum level
For many applications making use of quantum effects, the light has to be in a certain state — namely a single photon state. But what is the best way of generating such single photon states? Researchers have now proposed an entirely new way.
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Reporting all results efficiently: A RARE proposal to open up the file drawer [Social Sciences]
While the social sciences have made impressive progress in adopting transparent research practices that facilitate verification, replication, and reuse of materials, the problem of publication bias persists. Bias on the part of peer reviewers and journal editors, as well as the use of outdated research practices by authors, continues to…
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The infant's view redefines the problem of referential uncertainty in early word learning [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
The learning of first object names is deemed a hard problem due to the uncertainty inherent in mapping a heard name to the intended referent in a cluttered and variable world. However, human infants readily solve this problem. Despite considerable theoretical discussion, relatively little is known about the uncertainty infants…
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On the mechanism of tissue-specific mRNA delivery by selective organ targeting nanoparticles [Medical Sciences]
Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a clinically mature technology for the delivery of genetic medicines but have limited therapeutic applications due to liver accumulation. Recently, our laboratory developed selective organ targeting (SORT) nanoparticles that expand the therapeutic applications of genetic medicines by enabling delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) and gene editing…
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Spinal cord representation of motor cortex plasticity reflects corticospinal tract LTP [Neuroscience]
Although it is well known that activity-dependent motor cortex (MCX) plasticity produces long-term potentiation (LTP) of local cortical circuits, leading to enhanced muscle function, the effects on the corticospinal projection to spinal neurons has not yet been thoroughly studied. Here, we investigate a spinal locus for corticospinal tract (CST) plasticity…
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Lipidome profiling with Raman microspectroscopy identifies macrophage response to surface topographies of implant materials [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Biomaterial characteristics such as surface topographies have been shown to modulate macrophage phenotypes. The standard methodologies to measure macrophage response to biomaterials are marker-based and invasive. Raman microspectroscopy (RM) is a marker-independent, noninvasive technology that allows the analysis of living cells without the need for staining or processing. In the…
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Mechanism of H+ dissociation-induced O-O bond formation via intramolecular coupling of vicinal hydroxo ligands on low-valent Ru(III) centers [Chemistry]
The understanding of O–O bond formation is of great importance for revealing the mechanism of water oxidation in photosynthesis and for developing efficient catalysts for water oxidation in artificial photosynthesis. The chemical oxidation of the RuII 2(OH)(OH2) core with the vicinal OH and OH2 ligands was spectroscopically and theoretically investigated…
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Elastic forces drive nonequilibrium pattern formation in a model of nanocrystal ion exchange [Applied Physical Sciences]
Chemical transformations, such as ion exchange, are commonly employed to modify nanocrystal compositions. Yet the mechanisms of these transformations, which often operate far from equilibrium and entail mixing diverse chemical species, remain poorly understood. Here we explore an idealized model for ion exchange in which a chemical potential drives compositional…
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Tetramerization of STAT5 promotes autoimmune-mediated neuroinflammation [Immunology and Inflammation]
Signal tranducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) plays a critical role in mediating cellular responses following cytokine stimulation. STAT proteins critically signal via the formation of dimers, but additionally, STAT tetramers serve key biological roles, and we previously reported their importance in T and natural killer (NK) cell biology….
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Active nematic order and dynamic lane formation of microtubules driven by membrane-bound diffusing motors [Physics]
Dynamic lane formation and long-range active nematic alignment are reported using a geometry in which kinesin motors are directly coupled to a lipid bilayer, allowing for in-plane motor diffusion during microtubule gliding. We use fluorescence microscopy to image protein distributions in and below the dense two-dimensional microtubule layer, revealing evidence…
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Ethics and society review: Ethics reflection as a precondition to research funding [Social Sciences]
Researchers in areas as diverse as computer science and political science must increasingly navigate the possible risks of their research to society. However, the history of medical experiments on vulnerable individuals influenced many research ethics reviews to focus exclusively on risks to human subjects rather than risks to human society….
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Algorithmic amplification of politics on Twitter [Computer Sciences]
Content on Twitter's home timeline is selected and ordered by personalization algorithms. By consistently ranking certain content higher, these algorithms may amplify some messages while reducing the visibility of others. There's been intense public and scholarly debate about the possibility that some political groups benefit more from algorithmic amplification than…
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AnchorWave: Sensitive alignment of genomes with high sequence diversity, extensive structural polymorphism, and whole-genome duplication [Evolution]
Millions of species are currently being sequenced, and their genomes are being compared. Many of them have more complex genomes than model systems and raise novel challenges for genome alignment. Widely used local alignment strategies often produce limited or incongruous results when applied to genomes with dispersed repeats, long indels,…
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Members of the KCTD family are major regulators of cAMP signaling [Pharmacology]
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a pivotal second messenger with an essential role in neuronal function. cAMP synthesis by adenylyl cyclases (AC) is controlled by G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling systems. However, the network of molecular players involved in the process is incompletely defined. Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9–based screening to…
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Mind-controlled robots now one step closer
Researchers teamed up to develop a machine-learning program that can be connected to a human brain and used to command a robot. The program adjusts the robot's movements based on electrical signals from the brain. The hope is that with this invention, tetraplegic patients will be able to carry out more day-to-day activities on their own.
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Team's virtual reality system for moths may spur development of robots for finding chemical leaks and more
A team led by the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, including Professor Daisuke Kurabayashi of the Department of Systems and Control Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), has shed light on the search behavior of moths using a specially constructed virtual reality system that can independently apply visual, wind, and odor stimulation. This work may hel
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Forced labor in 19th-century Java cost many lives
In the nineteenth century, Javanese peasants were forced to work on plantations for low wages. This was an economic success, but at the cost of a large number of lives, reveals a study conducted by Pim de Zwart, Daniel Gallardo-Albarrán and Auke Rijpma, titled "The demographic effects of Colonialism: Forced Labor and Mortality in Java 1834-1879," jointly researched by Wageningen University & Resea
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