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Elusive atmospheric molecule produced in a lab for the 1st time
The previously elusive methanediol molecule of importance to the organic, atmospheric science and astrochemistry communities has been synthetically produced for the first time by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers. Their discovery and methods were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 30.


Australia's Covid surge in four charts: NSW now has one of world's highest infection rates
Within just two weeks Australia went from having one of the lowest rates of new Covid cases per capita in the world to one of the highest Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Get our free news app ; get our morning email briefing Vaccine rollout and rates tracker ; Cases and data tracker For the past two years, Australia has fought off waves of Covid using strict lockdowns a
Two years of coronavirus: how pandemic unfolded around the world
In December 2019 the WHO was told of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. These charts show how Covid-19 has spread across the world since then See all our coronavirus coverage Two years ago today, as New Year's Eve fireworks lit up skies across the world, news reached the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of "pneumonia" in Wuhan, China, the cause of which was unknown. Th
The NBA and NFL Surrendered to Their Vaccine Refusers
The Brooklyn Nets have officially ended their tug-of-war with Kyrie Irving over the star point guard's vaccination status. And Irving, who has refused to get a COVID-19 shot, is unquestionably the winner. The rapid spread of the coronavirus's Omicron variant has left gaps on rosters across the NBA. Because positive tests had rendered so many players ineligible, the Nets finally buckled to Irving,
2021: a year of climate crisis in review
A look back at 12 months of key summits, devastating weather and alarming discoveries The year began with a counting up of the damage after the catastrophic extreme weather events of 2020, from fires to floods. Looking at the US alone, California more than doubled its previous annual wildfire record with more than 1.7m hectares (4.1m acres) burned and Nasa concluded that 2020 had been the joint h
Germany buoyed by data from abroad amid Omicron spread
Covid expert hopeful about signs variant makes people less ill but warns restrictions still needed Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Germany's leading coronavirus expert has expressed optimism that his country could expect a "relatively normal" winter in 2022, after data from other countries firmed up the impression that infections with the Omicron variant of Covid-19
Weekend reads: A Russian paper mill under an X-ray; AI and doctored images; COVID-19 vaccine paper earns scrutiny
Last chance to make a tax-deductible contribution for 2021. Would you consider a donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance. The week at Retraction Watch featured: 2021: A review of the year's 3,200 retractions 'A clusterf**K': Authors plagiarize material from NIH and elsewhere, make legal threats — then see their paper … Continue reading
Our Highways Are an Ever-Expanding Museum of America's Wars
S outh of downtown Columbus, Ohio , lost on the way to a tailgate, I saw the road sign bearing his name. The brown aluminum placard flashed between passing cars. I'd been holding my phone, listening to directions, and I dropped it. I could hardly make out the words on the sign, and then it disappeared behind semis, but I knew what they said: Army Specialist Nicholaus E. Zimmer Memorial Highway .
Have a better 2022 with these tech resolutions
Like clockwork, at the end of every year, people around the world sit down and make resolutions for the new one: lose weight, meditate, save money. Maybe this year it's time to take stock of your tech life. Perhaps you've been getting a persistent note that your storage is full, or you simply want to feel less stressed by the onslaught of breaking news. Here are some digital resolutions that you
Book Review: Coming to Grips With the Plastic Crisis
In "Thicker Than Water," environmental journalist Erica Cirino traces the history and impact of plastic pollution, alongside potential solutions. From clean-up and bioplastics to recycling and politics, Cirino engages the reader beyond the usual litany of grim statistics and accounts of pollution.
Tag med på lyntur gennem 2021
PLUS. Det blev et corona-klima år – det dér 2021. Men vi skal også huske det for landinger på Mars, containerskibe på tværs og mangel på chips til de mange nye elbiler. For slet ikke at tale om Tollundmandens sidste måltid.
Colorado wildfires destroy hundreds of homes
Fast-moving wildfires in the US state of Colorado destroyed hundreds of homes and forced at least 33,000 people to flee, officials have said, as flames tore through areas desiccated by a historic drought.
Math theory for counterfactual learning in humans?
Hey all! I was wondering if anyone knew of any mathematical theory that could be applied to learning in humans? E.g Theory into how many counterfactuals we might need to more or less understand a problem. Work from Van Hoeck et al: Cognitive neuroscience of human counterfactual reasoning has me interested in the topic. I don't know if this fits well into neuro or AI/ML so I apologize if the tag i
Queensland's new travel rule labelled 'pointless' as state faces fresh Covid surge
Travellers will now be required to return a negative rapid antigen test instead of a PCR test before travel as state records 3,118 new cases Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Get our free news app ; get our morning email briefing Vaccine rollout and rates tracker ; Cases and data tracker Queensland is due to change travel restrictions into the state despite a surge in fre
Schneider Shorts 31.12.2021 – Happy New Year!
Schneider Shorts 31.12.2021 – Happy New Year from our founder, president and CEO, with this year's top ten most read articles on For Better Science, plus some cannabis, a saved English healer, a failed regmed business, and a Schneider conspiracy revealed in Oz.
Tre stora klimathändelser under 2021
Extrema händelser som översvämningar och skogsbränder, men också hopp i form av länder som stramar åt sina klimatmål. Det är några av sakerna klimatologen Markku Rummukainen lyfter fram som årets avgörande klimathändelser.
Higher-order effects, continuous species interactions, and trait evolution shape microbial spatial dynamics [Microbiology]
The assembly and maintenance of microbial diversity in natural communities, despite the abundance of toxin-based antagonistic interactions, presents major challenges for biological understanding. A common framework for investigating such antagonistic interactions involves cyclic dominance games with pairwise interactions. The incorporation of higher-order interactions in such models permits increa
Sod1 integrates oxygen availability to redox regulate NADPH production and the thiol redoxome [Biochemistry]
Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Sod1) is a highly conserved and abundant antioxidant enzyme that detoxifies superoxide (O2•−) by catalyzing its conversion to dioxygen (O2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mammalian cells, we discovered that a major aspect of the antioxidant function of Sod1 is to integrate O2 availability…
PKD-dependent PARP12-catalyzed mono-ADP-ribosylation of Golgin-97 is required for E-cadherin transport from Golgi to plasma membrane [Cell Biology]
Adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation is a posttranslational modification involved in key regulatory events catalyzed by ADP-ribosyltransferases (ARTs). Substrate identification and localization of the mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase PARP12 at the trans-Golgi network (TGN) hinted at the involvement of ARTs in intracellular traffic. We find that Golgin-97, a TGN protein required for the formation an
Nutrient availability and senescence spatially structure the dynamics of a foundation species [Ecology]
Disentangling the roles of the external environment and internal biotic drivers of plant population dynamics is challenging due to the absence of relevant physiological and abundance information over appropriate space and time scales. Remote observations of giant kelp biomass and photosynthetic pigment concentrations are used to show that spatiotemporal patterns…
Eulerian simulation of complex suspensions and biolocomotion in three dimensions [Applied Mathematics]
We present a numerical method specifically designed for simulating three-dimensional fluid–structure interaction (FSI) problems based on the reference map technique (RMT). The RMT is a fully Eulerian FSI numerical method that allows fluids and large-deformation elastic solids to be represented on a single fixed computational grid. This eliminates the need…
Transcranial stimulation of alpha oscillations up-regulates the default mode network [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
The default mode network (DMN) is the most-prominent intrinsic connectivity network, serving as a key architecture of the brain's functional organization. Conversely, dysregulated DMN is characteristic of major neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the field still lacks mechanistic insights into the regulation of the DMN and effective interventions for DMN dysregulation. The…
Phospholipase A2 inhibitor and LY6/PLAUR domain-containing protein PINLYP regulates type I interferon innate immunity [Immunology and Inflammation]
Type I interferons (IFNs) are the first frontline of the host innate immune response against invading pathogens. Herein, we characterized an unknown protein encoded by phospholipase A2 inhibitor and LY6/PLAUR domain-containing (PINLYP) gene that interacted with TBK1 and induced type I IFN in a TBK1- and IRF3-dependent manner. Loss of…
Combination of tucatinib and neural stem cells secreting anti-HER2 antibody prolongs survival of mice with metastatic brain cancer [Medical Sciences]
Brain metastases are a leading cause of death in patients with breast cancer. The lack of clinical trials and the presence of the blood–brain barrier limit therapeutic options. Furthermore, overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) increases the incidence of breast cancer brain metastases (BCBM). HER2-targeting agents,…
1H detection and dynamic nuclear polarization-enhanced NMR of A{beta}1-42 fibrils [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Several publications describing high-resolution structures of amyloid-β (Aβ) and other fibrils have demonstrated that magic-angle spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy is an ideal tool for studying amyloids at atomic resolution. Nonetheless, MAS NMR suffers from low sensitivity, requiring relatively large amounts of samples and extensive signal acquisition periods, which in turn…
Symbiosis-inspired de novo synthesis of ultrahigh MOF growth mixed matrix membranes for sustainable carbon capture [Engineering]
Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) are one of the most promising solutions for energy-efficient gas separation. However, conventional MMM synthesis methods inevitably lead to poor filler–polymer interfacial compatibility, filler agglomeration, and limited loading. Herein, inspired by symbiotic relationships in nature, we designed a universal bottom-up method for in situ nanosized metal…
Flexibility of telomerase in binding the RNA template and DNA telomeric repeat [Biochemistry]
Telomerase synthesizes telomeres at the ends of linear chromosomes by repeated reverse transcription from a short RNA template. Crystal structures of Tribolium castaneum telomerase reverse transcriptase (tcTERT) and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of human and Tetrahymena telomerase have revealed conserved features in the reverse-transcriptase domain, including a cavity near the…
RedChIP identifies noncoding RNAs associated with genomic sites occupied by Polycomb and CTCF proteins [Genetics]
Nuclear noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression and chromatin organization. The progress in studying nuclear ncRNAs depends on the ability to identify the genome-wide spectrum of contacts of ncRNAs with chromatin. To address this question, a panel of RNA–DNA proximity ligation techniques has been developed. However, neither…
Thermal conductivity of Fe-Si alloys and thermal stratification in Earth's core [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Light elements in Earth's core play a key role in driving convection and influencing geodynamics, both of which are crucial to the geodynamo. However, the thermal transport properties of iron alloys at high-pressure and -temperature conditions remain uncertain. Here we investigate the transport properties of solid hexagonal close-packed and liquid…
Correction for Hamm et al., Cortical ensembles selective for context [Neuroscience]
NEUROSCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES Correction for "Cortical ensembles selective for context," by Jordan P. Hamm, Yuriy Shymkiv, Shuting Han, Weijian Yang, and Rafael Yuste, which published April 2, 2021; 10.1073/pnas.2026179118 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118, e2026179118). The authors note that on page 2, left column, first full paragraph,…
Correction for Shanmugapriya et al., Dynactin 1 negatively regulates HIV-1 infection by sequestering the host cofactor CLIP170 [Microbiology]
MICROBIOLOGY Correction for "Dynactin 1 negatively regulates HIV-1 infection by sequestering the host cofactor CLIP170," by Shanmugapriya Shanmugapriya, Eveline Santos da Silva, Jackson A. Campbell, Marie-Philipe Boisjoli, and Mojgan H. Naghavi, which published October 22, 2021; 10.1073/pnas.2102884118 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118, e2102884118). The authors note that, due to…
Profile of David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian: 2021 Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine [Profiles]
Three apparently unrelated findings led to the discovery of the temperature receptors: a better understanding of pain-sensing, the molecular nature of the channels in charge of touch and proprioception, and the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine bestowed to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. In 1953, state-of-the-art research in…
Hemochromatosis drives acute lethal intestinal responses to hyperyersiniabactin-producing Yersinia pseudotuberculosis [Microbiology]
Hemachromatosis (iron-overload) increases host susceptibility to siderophilic bacterial infections that cause serious complications, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. The present study demonstrates that oral infection with hyperyersiniabactin (Ybt) producing Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Δfur mutant (termed Δfur) results in severe systemic infection and acute mortality to hemochromatotic
Modeling for COVID-19 college reopening decisions: Cornell, a case study [Population Biology]
We consider epidemiological modeling for the design of COVID-19 interventions in university populations, which have seen significant outbreaks during the pandemic. A central challenge is sensitivity of predictions to input parameters coupled with uncertainty about these parameters. Nearly 2 y into the pandemic, parameter uncertainty remains because of changes in…
Hydrodynamic flow and concentration gradients in the gut enhance neutral bacterial diversity [Evolution]
The gut microbiota features important genetic diversity, and the specific spatial features of the gut may shape evolution within this environment. We investigate the fixation probability of neutral bacterial mutants within a minimal model of the gut that includes hydrodynamic flow and resulting gradients of food and bacterial concentrations. We…
Lipid bilayer induces contraction of the denatured state ensemble of a helical-bundle membrane protein [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Defining the denatured state ensemble (DSE) and disordered proteins is essential to understanding folding, chaperone action, degradation, and translocation. As compared with water-soluble proteins, the DSE of membrane proteins is much less characterized. Here, we measure the DSE of the helical membrane protein GlpG of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in…
Deepfake detection by human crowds, machines, and machine-informed crowds [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
The recent emergence of machine-manipulated media raises an important societal question: How can we know whether a video that we watch is real or fake? In two online studies with 15,016 participants, we present authentic videos and deepfakes and ask participants to identify which is which. We compare the performance…
Synthesis of methanediol [CH2(OH)2]: The simplest geminal diol [Chemistry]
Geminal diols—organic molecules carrying two hydroxyl groups at the same carbon atom—have been recognized as key reactive intermediates by the physical (organic) chemistry and atmospheric science communities as fundamental transients in the aerosol cycle and in the atmospheric ozonolysis reaction sequence. Anticipating short lifetimes and their tendency to fragment to…
A synergy between mechanosensitive calcium- and membrane-binding mediates tension-sensing by C2-like domains [Cell Biology]
When nuclear membranes are stretched, the peripheral membrane enzyme cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) binds via its calcium-dependent C2 domain (cPLA2-C2) and initiates bioactive lipid signaling and tissue inflammation. More than 150 C2-like domains are encoded in vertebrate genomes. How many of them are mechanosensors and quantitative relationships between tension and…
Children across societies enforce conventional norms but in culturally variable ways [Anthropology]
Individuals in all societies conform to their cultural group's conventional norms, from how to dress on certain occasions to how to play certain games. It is an open question, however, whether individuals in all societies actively enforce the group's conventional norms when others break them. We investigated third-party enforcement of…
Microstratigraphic preservation of ancient faunal and hominin DNA in Pleistocene cave sediments [Genetics]
Ancient DNA recovered from Pleistocene sediments represents a rich resource for the study of past hominin and environmental diversity. However, little is known about how DNA is preserved in sediments and the extent to which it may be translocated between archaeological strata. Here, we investigate DNA preservation in 47 blocks…
Functional observability and target state estimation in large-scale networks [Physics]
The quantitative understanding and precise control of complex dynamical systems can only be achieved by observing their internal states via measurement and/or estimation. In large-scale dynamical networks, it is often difficult or physically impossible to have enough sensor nodes to make the system fully observable. Even if the system is…
Menstrual irregularity as a biological limit to early pregnancy awareness [Social Sciences]
US state legislatures have proposed laws to prohibit abortion once the earliest embryonic electrical activity is detectable (fetal "heartbeat"). On average, this occurs roughly 6 wk after the last menstrual period. To be eligible for abortion, people must recognize pregnancy very early in gestation. The earliest symptom of pregnancy is…
Mechanistic analysis of carbon-carbon bond formation by deoxypodophyllotoxin synthase [Chemistry]
Deoxypodophyllotoxin contains a core of four fused rings (A to D) with three consecutive chiral centers, the last being created by the attachment of a peripheral trimethoxyphenyl ring (E) to ring C. Previous studies have suggested that the iron(II)- and 2-oxoglutarate–dependent (Fe/2OG) oxygenase, deoxypodophyllotoxin synthase (DPS), catalyzes the oxidative coupling…
Volcanic ash, victims, and tsunami debris from the Late Bronze Age Thera eruption discovered at Ceşme-Bağlararası (Turkey) [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
The Late Bronze Age Thera eruption was one of the largest natural disasters witnessed in human history. Its impact, consequences, and timing have dominated the discourse of ancient Mediterranean studies for nearly a century. Despite the eruption's high intensity (Volcanic Explosivity Index 7; Dense Rock Equivalent of 78 to 86…
The sacrificial adaptor protein Skp functions to remove stalled substrates from the {beta}-barrel assembly machine [Microbiology]
The biogenesis of integral β-barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs) in gram-negative bacteria requires transport by molecular chaperones across the aqueous periplasmic space. Owing in part to the extensive functional redundancy within the periplasmic chaperone network, specific roles for molecular chaperones in OMP quality control and assembly have remained largely elusive….
Large variation in availability of Maya food plant sources during ancient droughts [Anthropology]
Paleoclimatic evidence indicating a series of droughts in the Yucatan Peninsula during the Terminal Classic period suggests that climate change may have contributed to the disruption or collapse of Classic Maya polities. Although climate change cannot fully account for the multifaceted, political turmoil of the period, it is clear that…
Locust density shapes energy metabolism and oxidative stress resulting in divergence of flight traits [Agricultural Sciences]
Flight ability is essential for the enormous diversity and evolutionary success of insects. The migratory locusts exhibit flight capacity plasticity in gregarious and solitary individuals closely linked with different density experiences. However, the differential mechanisms underlying flight traits of locusts are largely unexplored. Here, we investigated the variation of flight…
A virus-specific monocyte inflammatory phenotype is induced by SARS-CoV-2 at the immune-epithelial interface [Immunology and Inflammation]
Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) provokes a potentially fatal pneumonia with multiorgan failure, and high systemic inflammation. To gain mechanistic insight and ferret out the root of this immune dysregulation, we modeled, by in vitro coculture, the interactions between infected epithelial cells and immunocytes. A strong response…
Immune response to seasonal coronaviruses may offer protection against COVID-19
Researchers have found that individuals with a certain HLA type may be able to mount a killer T cell response to COVID-19, thanks to the T cells responding to a portion of the virus's spike protein that is also present in seasonal coronaviruses that cause the common cold. This work could help explain the different responses between populations, and could potentially be used as a way to develop a n
Parkinson's protein blueprint could help fast-track new treatments
Researchers have solved a decade-long mystery about a critical protein linked to Parkinson's disease that could help to fast-track treatments for the incurable disease. The research has produced a 'live action' view of the protein, called PINK1, in exquisite molecular detail. The discovery explains how the protein is activated in the cell, where it is responsible for initiating the removal and rep
Novel semiconductor gives new perspective on anomalous Hall effect
A large, unconventional anomalous Hall resistance in a new magnetic semiconductor in the absence of large-scale magnetic ordering has been demonstrated, validating a recent theoretical prediction. Their findings provide new insights into the anomalous Hall effect, a quantum phenomenon that has previously been associated with long-range magnetic order.


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