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Gifts for the most stressed out people you know
Keep calm and carry on. (Medcline/PopSci/) You probably know more than a few people whose stress levels are running a little high right now. While there's no gift that can truly combat the existential terror of 2020, these products can at least take the edge off. Here are a few presents to help your favorite ball of anxiety unwind a bit. A blanket to crush their feelings Grin and bear it from und
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Extreme political advertising can hurt campaign efforts
Aggressive political messaging can work against candidates by radicalizing supporters and alienating moderates, according to a Dartmouth study.
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AI model shows promise to generate faster, more accurate weather forecasts
Today's weather forecasts come from some of the most powerful computers on Earth. The huge machines churn through millions of calculations to solve equations to predict temperature, wind, rainfall and other weather events. A forecast's combined need for speed and accuracy taxes even the most modern computers.
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Error correction means California's future wetter winters may never come
California and other areas of the U.S. Southwest may see less future winter precipitation than previously projected by climate models. After probing a persistent error in widely used models, researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimate that California will likely experience drier winters in the future than projected by some climate models, meaning reside
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To Cut Emissions to Zero, U.S. Needs to Make Big Changes in Next 10 Years
New research details major infrastructure work — including immense construction projects — that would need to start right away to achieve Biden's goal of zero emissions by 2050.
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Miami Beach's Housing Crisis Worsened By Climate Change
WLRN 91.3 FM | By Ayurella Horn-Muller and Jenny Staletovich The Villa Maria affordable housing building in Miami Beach | Jenny Staleovich / WLRN News This story and the accompanying audio segments were produced through a collaboration involving journalists from Southerly , Climate Central and WLRN . A little over four feet of elevation is all that's standing between some waterfront neighborhoods
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FDA Clears Genetic Modification in Pigs for Biomedicine and Food
The decision, which concerns the removal of a sugar molecule on the surface of cells in a line of domestic pigs, marks the first time an approval has been granted for both purposes simultaneously.
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The Guardian view on a Covid Christmas: better safe than sorry | Editorial
Easing of UK restrictions should not go ahead while they risk a third wave of coronavirus Christmas is on hold. The governments of the four nations of the United Kingdom are reviewing the proposed relaxation of their Covid restrictions over the holidays. A common policy had been agreed which allowed up to three households to be able to travel and meet up indoors between 23 and 27 December. Many u
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Tesla Full Self-Driving Code Contains Secret "Augmented Reality View"
AR View While digging through the code of their Tesla's Full Self-Driving feature, a noted Tesla hacker-owner who goes by the handle "green" found an augmented reality view of everything the vehicle is capable of seeing in vivid detail, Teslarati reports . The Elon Musk-led company began rolling out its Full Self-Driving beta in October, allowing a select group of Tesla owners to test the feature
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In This Issue [This Week in PNAS]
Fuel and oxygen production on Mars Regolith on the Martian surface. Image credit: Needpix/WikiImages. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Phoenix lander has found evidence of an active water cycle and extensive subsurface ice on Mars, as well as evidence of magnesium perchlorate (Mg(ClO4)2) as a major component…
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Bisexual orientation cannot be reduced to arousal patterns [Social Sciences]
In their article, Jabbour et al. (1) claim to demonstrate "robust evidence for bisexual orientation among men," but their research is guided by problematic assumptions about, and definitions of, sexual orientation, bisexuality, and arousal. First, it is well established that sexual orientation is multidimensional [inclusive of identity, attraction, arousal, behavior,…
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Bisexuality in men exists but cannot be decoded from men's genital arousal [Social Sciences]
Jabbour et al. (1) ask "whether some men have a bisexual orientation" and, by measuring men's genital arousal, conclude that the answer is yes. Jabbour et al.'s results potentially make a valuable contribution to the literature on sexual orientation. However, this contribution is occluded by underlying assumptions that affect their…
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Reply to Feinstein and Galupo and to Zivony: Sexual arousal pattern is an objective although imperfect window on sexual orientation [Social Sciences]
Both Feinstein and Galupo (1) and Zivony (2) argue that skepticism about male bisexual orientation has long been beyond the scientific pale. As researchers who have studied this issue for two decades, we disagree. Regardless, scientific questions are settled by evidence rather than by votes among scientific experts (much less…
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Feature frequency profile-based phylogenies are inaccurate [Biological Sciences]
Choi and Kim (1) used the alignment-free feature frequency profile (FFP) method to reconstruct a broad sketch of the tree of life (ToL). The FFP tree reports many relationships that strongly contradict the current consensus view of the ToL, including sister group relationships for plants + animals, Bacteria + Archaea,…
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Reply to Li et al.: Organism tree of life: Gene phylogeny vs. whole-proteome phylogeny [Biological Sciences]
In responding to the Letter by Li et al. (1) regarding our paper (2), we would like to remind the authors of the Letter that 1) the concept and structure of organism tree of life ("organism ToL") have been evolving since Darwin's time and are expected to continue to evolve…
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QnAs with Juan Carrillo [QnAs]
Paleobiologist Juan Carrillo has moved around the globe during his short research career, but his work has stayed solidly anchored in South America. A native of Colombia, Carrillo completed his undergraduate degree at National University of Colombia in Bogota. He moved to Panama for a research internship at the Smithsonian…
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Profile of Sandra L. Schmid [Profiles]
Cell biologist Sandra L. Schmid has compared some of her skills to that of a watchmaker. "I like to take things apart, put them back together, and understand exactly how they work," she explained in an essay commemorating the American Society for Cell Biology's 50th anniversary (1). For much of…
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Hundreds of thousands of cell generations reveal a treasure chest of genome alterations [Genetics]
Mutations can result from DNA replication errors and through the repair of DNA lesions (1). While most mutations are deleterious, some are beneficial and provide the stock for adaptive evolution. In PNAS, Sui et al. (2) performed mutation accumulation experiments in a diploid baker's yeast strain, identifying genetic alterations throughout…
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HLA polymorphism and tapasin independence influence outcomes of HIV and dengue virus infection [Immunology and Inflammation]
Processing and presentation of self-antigens and foreign antigens and their loading into class I and class II molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) constitute a major feature of the cellular immune response and induce CD8 and CD4 T cell immune responses (1, 2), respectively. The MHC complex, in human,…
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Straightening up for life in a biofilm [Microbiology]
Since our eyes were opened to the microscopic world centuries ago, microbiologists have been dazzled by the incredible diversity of shapes and sizes adopted by bacteria (1). Given this dizzying morphological potential, it is remarkable that most species gravitate to a particular shape. It is tempting to speculate that the…
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Radiation with reticulation marks the origin of a major malaria vector [Applied Biological Sciences]
Advances in genomics have led to an appreciation that introgression is common, but its evolutionary consequences are poorly understood. In recent species radiations the sharing of genetic variation across porous species boundaries can facilitate adaptation to new environments and generate novel phenotypes, which may contribute to further diversification. Most Anopheles…
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An engineered 4-1BBL fusion protein with "activity on demand" [Applied Biological Sciences]
Engineered cytokines are gaining importance in cancer therapy, but these products are often limited by toxicity, especially at early time points after intravenous administration. 4-1BB is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, which has been considered as a target for therapeutic strategies with agonistic antibodies or using…
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Transforming yeast peroxisomes into microfactories for the efficient production of high-value isoprenoids [Applied Biological Sciences]
Current approaches for the production of high-value compounds in microorganisms mostly use the cytosol as a general reaction vessel. However, competing pathways and metabolic cross-talk frequently prevent efficient synthesis of target compounds in the cytosol. Eukaryotic cells control the complexity of their metabolism by harnessing organelles to insulate biochemical pathways….
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Event-specific interventions to minimize COVID-19 transmission [Applied Mathematics]
COVID-19 is a global pandemic with over 25 million cases worldwide. Currently, treatments are limited, and there is no approved vaccine. Interventions such as handwashing, masks, social distancing, and "social bubbles" are used to limit community transmission, but it is challenging to choose the best interventions for a given activity….
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Inner Workings: Early Mars may have boasted a large ocean and cool climate [Astronomy]
When Mariner 4 buzzed Mars in 1965, it revealed a dry, desiccated world that stood in stark contrast to the habitable planet dreamed of by decades of science fiction writers. Subsequent observations revealed the apparent scars of rivers and deltas, and even potential sea shorelines. The revelations brought hope that…
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FGF23 contains two distinct high-affinity binding sites enabling bivalent interactions with {alpha}-Klotho [Biochemistry]
The three members of the endocrine-fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, FGF19, 21, and 23 are circulating hormones that regulate critical metabolic processes. FGF23 stimulates the assembly of a signaling complex composed of α-Klotho (KLA) and FGF receptor (FGFR) resulting in kinase activation, regulation of phosphate homeostasis, and vitamin D levels….
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Refined measurement of SecA-driven protein secretion reveals that translocation is indirectly coupled to ATP turnover [Biochemistry]
The universally conserved Sec system is the primary method cells utilize to transport proteins across membranes. Until recently, measuring the activity—a prerequisite for understanding how biological systems work—has been limited to discontinuous protein transport assays with poor time resolution or reported by large, nonnatural tags that perturb the process. The…
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Nonequilibrium models of optimal enhancer function [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
In prokaryotes, thermodynamic models of gene regulation provide a highly quantitative mapping from promoter sequences to gene-expression levels that is compatible with in vivo and in vitro biophysical measurements. Such concordance has not been achieved for models of enhancer function in eukaryotes. In equilibrium models, it is difficult to reconcile…
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Pattern-induced local symmetry breaking in active-matter systems [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The emergence of macroscopic order and patterns is a central paradigm in systems of (self-)propelled agents and a key component in the structuring of many biological systems. The relationships between the ordering process and the underlying microscopic interactions have been extensively explored both experimentally and theoretically. While emerging patterns often…
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Fingerprint ridges allow primates to regulate grip [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Fingerprints are unique to primates and koalas but what advantages do these features of our hands and feet provide us compared with the smooth pads of carnivorans, e.g., feline or ursine species? It has been argued that the epidermal ridges on finger pads decrease friction when in contact with smooth…
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Individual variations lead to universal and cross-species patterns of social behavior [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The duration of interaction events in a society is a fundamental measure of its collective nature and potentially reflects variability in individual behavior. Here we performed a high-throughput measurement of trophallaxis and face-to-face event durations experienced by a colony of honeybees over their entire lifetimes. The interaction time distribution is…
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A complete rule set for designing symmetry combination materials from protein molecules [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Diverse efforts in protein engineering are beginning to produce novel kinds of symmetric self-assembling architectures, from protein cages to extended two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) crystalline arrays. Partial theoretical frameworks for creating symmetric protein materials have been introduced, but no complete system has been articulated. Only a minute fraction of…
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Viewing rare conformations of the {beta}2 adrenergic receptor with pressure-resolved DEER spectroscopy [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is an archetypal G protein coupled receptor (GPCR). One structural signature of GPCR activation is a large-scale movement (ca. 6 to 14 Å) of transmembrane helix 6 (TM6) to a conformation which binds and activates a cognate G protein. The β2AR exhibits a low level…
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Micellar TIA1 with folded RNA binding domains as a model for reversible stress granule formation [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
TIA1, a protein critical for eukaryotic stress response and stress granule formation, is structurally characterized in full-length form. TIA1 contains three RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) and a C-terminal low-complexity domain, sometimes referred to as a "prion-related domain" or associated with amyloid formation. Under mild conditions, full-length (fl) mouse TIA1 spontaneously…
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A hybrid approach reveals the allosteric regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Guanosine triphosphate (GTP) cyclohydrolase I (GCH1) catalyzes the conversion of GTP to dihydroneopterin triphosphate (H2NTP), the initiating step in the biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). Besides other roles, BH4 functions as cofactor in neurotransmitter biosynthesis. The BH4 biosynthetic pathway and GCH1 have been identified as promising targets to treat pain disorders…
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An angular motion of a conserved four-helix bundle facilitates alternating access transport in the TtNapA and EcNhaA transporters [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
There is ongoing debate regarding the mechanism through which cation/proton antiporters (CPAs), like Thermus thermophilus NapA (TtNapA) and Escherichia coli NapA (EcNhaA), alternate between their outward- and inward-facing conformations in the membrane. CPAs comprise two domains, and it is unclear whether the transition is driven by their rocking-bundle or elevator…
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Driving integrative structural modeling with serial capture affinity purification [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Streamlined characterization of protein complexes remains a challenge for the study of protein interaction networks. Here we describe serial capture affinity purification (SCAP), in which two separate proteins are tagged with either the HaloTag or the SNAP-tag, permitting a multistep affinity enrichment of specific protein complexes. The multifunctional capabilities of…
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TAT-RasGAP317-326 kills cells by targeting inner-leaflet-enriched phospholipids [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
TAT-RasGAP317–326 is a cell-penetrating peptide-based construct with anticancer and antimicrobial activities. This peptide kills a subset of cancer cells in a manner that does not involve known programmed cell death pathways. Here we have elucidated the mode of action allowing TAT-RasGAP317–326 to kill cells. This peptide binds and disrupts artificial…
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Regulatory mechanisms of tau protein fibrillation under the conditions of liquid-liquid phase separation [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders is the aggregation of tau protein into fibrillar structures. Building on recent reports that tau readily undergoes liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS), here we explored the relationship between disease-related mutations, LLPS, and tau fibrillation. Our data demonstrate that, in…
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Functional characterization of 67 endocytic accessory proteins using multiparametric quantitative analysis of CCP dynamics [Cell Biology]
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) begins with the nucleation of clathrin assembly on the plasma membrane, followed by stabilization and growth/maturation of clathrin-coated pits (CCPs) that eventually pinch off and internalize as clathrin-coated vesicles. This highly regulated process involves a myriad of endocytic accessory proteins (EAPs), many of which are multidomain proteins…
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Vibration enhanced cell growth induced by surface acoustic waves as in vitro wound-healing model [Cell Biology]
We report on in vitro wound-healing and cell-growth studies under the influence of radio-frequency (rf) cell stimuli. These stimuli are supplied either by piezoactive surface acoustic waves (SAWs) or by microelectrode-generated electric fields, both at frequencies around 100 MHz. Employing live-cell imaging, we studied the time- and power-dependent healing of…
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HSATII RNA is induced via a noncanonical ATM-regulated DNA damage response pathway and promotes tumor cell proliferation and movement [Cell Biology]
Pericentromeric human satellite II (HSATII) repeats are normally silent but can be actively transcribed in tumor cells, where increased HSATII copy number is associated with a poor prognosis in colon cancer, and in human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-infected fibroblasts, where the RNA facilitates viral replication. Here, we report that HCMV infection or…
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Cellular proteostasis decline in human senescence [Cell Biology]
Proteostasis collapse, the diminished ability to maintain protein homeostasis, has been established as a hallmark of nematode aging. However, whether proteostasis collapse occurs in humans has remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that proteostasis decline is intrinsic to human senescence. Using transcriptome-wide characterization of gene expression, splicing, and translation, we found…
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Scaffold association factor B (SAFB) is required for expression of prenyltransferases and RAS membrane association [Cell Biology]
Inhibiting membrane association of RAS has long been considered a rational approach to anticancer therapy, which led to the development of farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs). However, FTIs proved ineffective against KRAS-driven tumors. To reveal alternative therapeutic strategies, we carried out a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen designed to identify genes required for KRAS4B…
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Polyphosphate is an extracellular signal that can facilitate bacterial survival in eukaryotic cells [Cell Biology]
Polyphosphate is a linear chain of phosphate residues and is present in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis accumulate polyphosphate, and reduced expression of the polyphosphate kinase that synthesizes polyphosphate decreases their survival. How polyphosphate potentiates pathogenicity is poorly understood. Escherichia coli K-12 do not…
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Atomic-scale evidence for highly selective electrocatalytic N-N coupling on metallic MoS2 [Chemistry]
Molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) is the most widely studied transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMDs) and phase engineering can markedly improve its electrocatalytic activity. However, the selectivity toward desired products remains poorly explored, limiting its application in complex chemical reactions. Here we report how phase engineering of MoS2 significantly improves the selectivity for nitrite…
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Hierarchical supramolecular assembly of a single peptoid polymer into a planar nanobrush with two distinct molecular packing motifs [Chemistry]
Hierarchical nanomaterials have received increasing interest for many applications. Here, we report a facile programmable strategy based on an embedded segmental crystallinity design to prepare unprecedented supramolecular planar nanobrush-like structures composed of two distinct molecular packing motifs, by the self-assembly of one particular diblock copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(N-o
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The potential harms of the Tor anonymity network cluster disproportionately in free countries [Computer Sciences]
The Tor anonymity network allows users to protect their privacy and circumvent censorship restrictions but also shields those distributing child abuse content, selling or buying illicit drugs, or sharing malware online. Using data collected from Tor entry nodes, we provide an estimation of the proportion of Tor network users that…
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Control of Drosophila wing size by morphogen range and hormonal gating [Developmental Biology]
The stereotyped dimensions of animal bodies and their component parts result from tight constraints on growth. Yet, the mechanisms that stop growth when organs reach the right size are unknown. Growth of the Drosophila wing—a classic paradigm—is governed by two morphogens, Decapentaplegic (Dpp, a BMP) and Wingless (Wg, a Wnt)….
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Prdm16 is a critical regulator of adult long-term hematopoietic stem cell quiescence [Developmental Biology]
Regulation of quiescence is critical for the maintenance of adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Disruption of transcription factor gene Prdm16 during mouse embryonic development has been shown to cause a severe loss of fetal liver HSCs; however, the underlying mechanisms and the function of Prdm16 in adult HSCs remain unclear….
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Enhanced trace element mobilization by Earth's ice sheets [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Trace elements sustain biological productivity, yet the significance of trace element mobilization and export in subglacial runoff from ice sheets is poorly constrained at present. Here, we present size-fractionated (0.02, 0.22, and 0.45 µm) concentrations of trace elements in subglacial waters from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and the Antarctic…
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Crustal fingering facilitates free-gas methane migration through the hydrate stability zone [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Widespread seafloor methane venting has been reported in many regions of the world oceans in the past decade. Identifying and quantifying where and how much methane is being released into the ocean remains a major challenge and a critical gap in assessing the global carbon budget and predicting future climate…
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Distemper, extinction, and vaccination of the Amur tiger [Ecology]
Canine distemper virus (CDV) has recently emerged as an extinction threat for the endangered Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). CDV is vaccine-preventable, and control strategies could require vaccination of domestic dogs and/or wildlife populations. However, vaccination of endangered wildlife remains controversial, which has led to a focus on interventions in…
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Oxygen limitation may affect the temperature and size dependence of metabolism in aquatic ectotherms [Ecology]
Both oxygen and temperature are fundamental factors determining metabolic performance, fitness, ecological niches, and responses of many aquatic organisms to climate change. Despite the importance of physical and physiological constraints on oxygen supply affecting aerobic metabolism of aquatic ectotherms, ecological theories such as the metabolic theory of ecology have focused…
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An empirical evaluation of Chinese college admissions reforms through a natural experiment [Economic Sciences]
College admissions policies affect the educational experiences and labor market outcomes for millions of students each year. In China alone, 10 million high school seniors participate in the National College Entrance Examination to compete for 7 million seats at various universities each year, making this system the largest centralized matching…
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Livestock plants and COVID-19 transmission [Economic Sciences]
Policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak must strike a balance between maintaining essential supply chains and limiting the spread of the virus. Our results indicate a strong positive relationship between livestock-processing plants and local community transmission of COVID-19, suggesting that these plants may act as transmission vectors into the surrounding…
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A wireless, skin-interfaced biosensor for cerebral hemodynamic monitoring in pediatric care [Engineering]
The standard of clinical care in many pediatric and neonatal neurocritical care units involves continuous monitoring of cerebral hemodynamics using hard-wired devices that physically adhere to the skin and connect to base stations that commonly mount on an adjacent wall or stand. Risks of iatrogenic skin injuries associated with adhesives…
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Fuel and oxygen harvesting from Martian regolithic brine [Engineering]
NASA's current mandate is to land humans on Mars by 2033. Here, we demonstrate an approach to produce ultrapure H2 and O2 from liquid-phase Martian regolithic brine at ∼−36 °C. Utilizing a Pb2Ru2O7−δ pyrochlore O2-evolution electrocatalyst and a Pt/C H2-evolution electrocatalyst, we demonstrate a brine electrolyzer with >25× the O2…
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Fouling-resistant zwitterionic polymers for complete prevention of postoperative adhesion [Engineering]
Postoperative adhesions are most common issues for almost any types of abdominal and pelvic surgery, leading to adverse consequences. Pharmacological treatments and physical barrier devices are two main approaches to address postoperative adhesions but can only alleviate or reduce adhesions to some extent. There is an urgent need for a…
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Fluctuating optimum and temporally variable selection on breeding date in birds and mammals [Evolution]
Temporal variation in natural selection is predicted to strongly impact the evolution and demography of natural populations, with consequences for the rate of adaptation, evolution of plasticity, and extinction risk. Most of the theory underlying these predictions assumes a moving optimum phenotype, with predictions expressed in terms of the temporal…
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Multiple origins of obligate nematode and insect symbionts by a clade of bacteria closely related to plant pathogens [Evolution]
Obligate symbioses involving intracellular bacteria have transformed eukaryotic life, from providing aerobic respiration and photosynthesis to enabling colonization of previously inaccessible niches, such as feeding on xylem and phloem, and surviving in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. A major challenge in the study of obligate symbioses is to understand how they arise….
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Genome analyses reveal the hybrid origin of the staple crop white Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) [Evolution]
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is an important staple tuber crop in West Africa. However, its origin remains unclear. In this study, we resequenced 336 accessions of white Guinea yam and compared them with the sequences of wild Dioscorea species using an improved reference genome sequence of D. rotundata. In…
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Targeting progesterone signaling prevents metastatic ovarian cancer [Genetics]
Effective cancer prevention requires the discovery and intervention of a factor critical to cancer development. Here we show that ovarian progesterone is a crucial endogenous factor inducing the development of primary tumors progressing to metastatic ovarian cancer in a mouse model of high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC), the most common and…
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Targeting a scavenger receptor on tumor-associated macrophages activates tumor cell killing by natural killer cells [Immunology and Inflammation]
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can have protumor properties, including suppressing immune responses, promoting vascularization and, consequently, augmenting tumor progression. To stop TAM-mediated immunosuppression, we use a novel treatment by injecting antibodies specific for scavenger receptor MARCO, which is expressed on a specific subpopulation of TAMs in the tumor. We now report…
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Tolerogenic nanoparticles suppress central nervous system inflammation [Immunology and Inflammation]
Therapeutic approaches for the induction of immune tolerance remain an unmet clinical need for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Based on its role in the control of the immune response, the ligand-activated transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a candidate target for novel immunotherapies. Here,…
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A thermogenic fat-epithelium cell axis regulates intestinal disease tolerance [Immunology and Inflammation]
Disease tolerance, the capacity of tissues to withstand damage caused by a stimulus without a decline in host fitness, varies across tissues, environmental conditions, and physiologic states. While disease tolerance is a known strategy of host defense, its role in noninfectious diseases has been understudied. Here, we provide evidence that…
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Mitochondrial Nuclear Retrograde Regulator 1 (MNRR1) rescues the cellular phenotype of MELAS by inducing homeostatic mechanisms [Medical Sciences]
MNRR1 (CHCHD2) is a bi-organellar regulator of mitochondrial function that directly activates cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria and functions in the nucleus as a transcriptional activator for hundreds of genes. Since MNRR1 depletion contains features of a mitochondrial disease phenotype, we evaluated the effects of forced expression of MNRR1…
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Autologous IgG antibodies block outgrowth of a substantial but variable fraction of viruses in the latent reservoir for HIV-1 [Microbiology]
In untreated HIV-1 infection, rapid viral evolution allows escape from immune responses. Viral replication can be blocked by antiretroviral therapy. However, HIV-1 persists in a latent reservoir in resting CD4+ T cells, and rebound viremia occurs following treatment interruption. The reservoir, which is maintained in part by clonal expansion, can…
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Human sapovirus propagation in human cell lines supplemented with bile acids [Microbiology]
Human sapoviruses (HuSaVs) cause acute gastroenteritis similar to human noroviruses. Although HuSaVs were discovered four decades ago, no HuSaV has been grown in vitro, which has significantly impeded the understanding of viral biology and the development of antiviral strategies. In this study, we identified two susceptible human cell lines, that…
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A bacterial cytolinker couples positioning of magnetic organelles to cell shape control [Microbiology]
Magnetotactic bacteria maneuver within the geomagnetic field by means of intracellular magnetic organelles, magnetosomes, which are aligned into a chain and positioned at midcell by a dedicated magnetosome-specific cytoskeleton, the "magnetoskeleton." However, how magnetosome chain organization and resulting magnetotaxis is linked to cell shape has remained elusive. Here, we describe…
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Structure of the Plasmodium-interspersed repeat proteins of the malaria parasite [Microbiology]
The deadly symptoms of malaria occur as Plasmodium parasites replicate within blood cells. Members of several variant surface protein families are expressed on infected blood cell surfaces. Of these, the largest and most ubiquitous are the Plasmodium-interspersed repeat (PIR) proteins, with more than 1,000 variants in some genomes. Their functions…
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Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication by blocking membrane fusion [Microbiology]
Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H) is an interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene that shows broad antiviral activities against a wide range of enveloped viruses. Here, using an IFN-stimulated gene screen against vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-SARS-CoV and VSV-SARS-CoV-2 chimeric viruses, we identified CH25H and its enzymatic product 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC) as potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replic
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Inverse correlation between fatty acid transport protein 4 and vision in Leber congenital amaurosis associated with RPE65 mutation [Neuroscience]
Fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4), a transmembrane protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), is a recently identified negative regulator of the ER-associated retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)65 isomerase necessary for recycling 11-cis-retinal, the light-sensitive chromophore of both rod and cone opsin visual pigments. The role of FATP4 in the disease…
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A goal-driven modular neural network predicts parietofrontal neural dynamics during grasping [Neuroscience]
One of the primary ways we interact with the world is using our hands. In macaques, the circuit spanning the anterior intraparietal area, the hand area of the ventral premotor cortex, and the primary motor cortex is necessary for transforming visual information into grasping movements. However, no comprehensive model exists…
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Seasonal plasticity in the adult somatosensory cortex [Neuroscience]
Seasonal cycles govern life on earth, from setting the time for the mating season to influencing migrations and governing physiological conditions like hibernation. The effect of such changing conditions on behavior is well-appreciated, but their impact on the brain remains virtually unknown. We investigate long-term seasonal changes in the mammalian…
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The NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor OLT1177 rescues cognitive impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease [Neuroscience]
Numerous studies demonstrate that neuroinflammation is a key player in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Interleukin (IL)-1β is a main inducer of inflammation and therefore a prime target for therapeutic options. The inactive IL-1β precursor requires processing by the the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3…
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Targeting presynaptic H3 heteroreceptor in nucleus accumbens to improve anxiety and obsessive-compulsive-like behaviors [Neuroscience]
Anxiety commonly co‐occurs with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Both of them are closely related to stress. However, the shared neurobiological substrates and therapeutic targets remain unclear. Here we report an amelioration of both anxiety and OCD via the histamine presynaptic H3 heteroreceptor on glutamatergic afferent terminals from the prelimbic prefrontal cortex…
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Periodic training of creeping solids [Physics]
We consider disordered solids in which the microscopic elements can deform plastically in response to stresses on them. We show that by driving the system periodically, this plasticity can be exploited to train in desired elastic properties, both in the global moduli and in local "allosteric" interactions. Periodic driving can…
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Local elected officials' receptivity to refugee resettlement in the United States [Political Sciences]
Local leaders possess significant and growing authority over refugee resettlement, yet we know little about their attitudes toward refugees. In this article, we use a conjoint experiment to evaluate how the attributes of hypothetical refugee groups influence local policymaker receptivity toward refugee resettlement. We sample from a national panel of…
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Valuation of peers' safe choices is associated with substance-naivete in adolescents [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Social influences on decision-making are particularly pronounced during adolescence and have both protective and detrimental effects. To evaluate how responsiveness to social signals may be linked to substance use in adolescents, we used functional neuroimaging and a gambling task in which adolescents who have and have not used substances (substance-exposed…
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Visual motion assists in social cognition [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Recent evidence suggests a link between visual motion processing and social cognition. When person A watches person B, the brain of A apparently generates a fictitious, subthreshold motion signal streaming from B to the object of B's attention. These previous studies, being correlative, were unable to establish any functional role…
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Time-dependent discrimination advantages for harmonic sounds suggest efficient coding for memory [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Perceptual systems have finite memory resources and must store incoming signals in compressed formats. To explore whether representations of a sound's pitch might derive from this need for compression, we compared discrimination of harmonic and inharmonic sounds across delays. In contrast to inharmonic spectra, harmonic spectra can be summarized, and…
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Using dynamic monitoring of choices to predict and understand risk preferences [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Navigating conflict is integral to decision-making, serving a central role both in the subjective experience of choice as well as contemporary theories of how we choose. However, the lack of a sensitive, accessible, and interpretable metric of conflict has led researchers to focus on choice itself rather than how individuals…
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The Fast Track intervention's impact on behaviors of despair in adolescence and young adulthood [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
How to mitigate the dramatic increase in the number of self-inflicted deaths from suicide, alcohol-related liver disease, and drug overdose among young adults has become a critical public health question. A promising area of study looks at interventions designed to address risk factors for the behaviors that precede these —often…
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Planning universal accessibility to public health care in sub-Saharan Africa [Sustainability Science]
Achieving universal health care coverage—a key target of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 3—requires accessibility to health care services for all. Currently, in sub-Saharan Africa, at least one-sixth of the population lives more than 2 h away from a public hospital, and one in eight people is no…
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The origin, supply chain, and deforestation risk of Brazil's beef exports [Sustainability Science]
Though the international trade in agricultural commodities is worth more than $1.6 trillion/year, we still have a poor understanding of the supply chains connecting places of production and consumption and the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of this trade. In this study, we provide a wall-to-wall subnational map of the origin…
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On the use of simulation in robotics: Opportunities, challenges, and suggestions for moving forward [Perspectives]
The last five years marked a surge in interest for and use of smart robots, which operate in dynamic and unstructured environments and might interact with humans. We posit that well-validated computer simulation can provide a virtual proving ground that in many cases is instrumental in understanding safely, faster, at…
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Global evidence for ultraviolet radiation decreasing COVID-19 growth rates [Environmental Sciences]
With nearly every country combating the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), there is a need to understand how local environmental conditions may modify transmission. To date, quantifying seasonality of the disease has been limited by scarce data and the difficulty of isolating climatological variables from other drivers of transmission in observational…
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Nursing home staff networks and COVID-19 [Economic Sciences]
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities account for a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases and fatalities worldwide. Outbreaks in US nursing homes have persisted despite nationwide visitor restrictions beginning in mid-March. An early report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified staff members working in multiple…
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Study suggests reporting of sexually transmitted infections may be impacted by COVID-19
With the health care community heavily focused on COVID-19 since the first quarter of 2020, there have been concerns that reporting of other diseases — and the resulting data that enables them to be more effectively treated and controlled — may have been impacted. For example, little is known about how the pandemic may have affected the reporting of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
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Accurate neural network computer vision without the 'black box'
New research offers clues to what goes on inside the minds of machines as they learn to see. Instead of attempting to account for a neural network's decision-making on a post hoc basis, their method shows how the network learns along the way, by revealing how much the network calls to mind different concepts to help decipher what it sees as the image travels through successive layers.
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Attitudes about climate change are shifting, even in Texas
Longstanding skepticism among Texans toward the climate movement has shifted, and attitudes in the nation's leading energy-producing state now mirror those in the rest of the United States.
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Fragments of energy – not waves or particles – may be the fundamental building blocks of the universe
Matter is what makes up the universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists. Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves , as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that m
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New At-Home Covid Test Gets Green Light From F.D.A.
Unlike similar at-home tests, Ellume's does not require a prescription.
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How Ancient DNA Unearths Corn's A-Maize-ing History
New study shows how extracting whole genomes from ancient material opens the door for new research questions and breathes new life into old samples
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Renewable energy benefits vary by place
The environmental benefits of renewable power generation vary significantly depending on the conventional power generation that the renewable energy offsets, according to a new study. The researchers hope the new finding will help target future renewable energy investments in places where they can do the most good. "For years, researchers have taken different approaches to try to assess the envir
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Johns Hopkins Medicine expert weighs devastating impact of COVID-19 on health care workers
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers have been at the forefront of the battle against the life-threatening illness. Sadly, they are not immune to the effects of the disease. Many have contracted COVID-19, and some have died.
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AI model shows promise to generate faster, more accurate weather forecasts
A model based solely on the past 40 years of weather events uses 7,000 times less computer power than today's weather forecasting tools. An A.I.-powered model could someday provide more accurate forecasts for rain, snow and other weather events.
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Attitudes about climate change are shifting, even in Texas
Longstanding skepticism among Texans toward the climate movement has shifted, and attitudes in the nation's leading energy-producing state now mirror those in the rest of the United States, according to new research by UH Energy and the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.
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Error correction means California's future wetter winters may never come
After probing a persistent error in widely used models, PNNL researchers estimate that California will likely experience drier winters in the future than projected by some climate models, meaning residents may see less spring runoff, higher spring temperatures, and an increased risk of wildfire in coming years.
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How long do doctor visits last? Electronic health records provide new data on time with patients
How much time do primary care physicians actually spend one-on-one with patients? Analysis of timestamp data from electronic health records (EHRs) provides useful insights on exam length and other factors related to doctors' use of time, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.
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Cancer researchers identify potential new class of drugs to treat blood and bone marrow cancers
CLEVELAND – A new study by researchers in Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute and Lerner Research Institute describes a novel class of targeted cancer drugs that may prove effective in treating certain common types of leukemia. The results first appeared online in Blood Cancer Discovery.
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Better heart health scores in midlife linked to lower risk of late-life dementia
A long-term study of 1,449 people in Finland found that those who had better scores on standard metrics of cardiovascular health in midlife, especially for behavioral factors such as smoking, had a lower risk of dementia later in life. Yajun Liang of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine .
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Walmart Plans to Start Ditching Human Delivery Drivers Next Year
Robotic Delivery For over two years, Walmart has been testing out autonomous delivery trucks — and now the company says it's almost ready to take human drivers out of the driver's seat. Beginning next year, the retail giant plans to do away with the human operators tending to its self-driving fleet of trucks in Arkansas and Louisiana, The Verge reports . This comes after 18 months of tests with t
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Greater Greenland Ice Sheet contribution to global sea level rise in CMIP6
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-20011-8 The potential contribution of Greenland Ice Sheet to sea level rise in the future is known to be substantial. Here, the authors undertake new modelling showing that the Greenland Ice Sheet sea level rise contribution is 7.9 cm more using the CMIP6 SSP585 scenario compared to CMIP5 using multiple RCP8.5 simul
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Calculation of external climate costs for food highlights inadequate pricing of animal products
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19474-6 Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions not only amplify the global climate crisis, but cause damage currently unaccounted for by food prices. Here the authors show the calculation of prices with internalized climate costs for food categories and production systems, revealing strong market distortions.
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Plastics pose threat to human health, report shows
Plastics contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that threaten human health. An authoritative new report presents a summary of international research on the health impacts of EDCs and describes the alarming health effects of widespread contamination from EDCs in plastics.
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Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets
Rice University scientists find the ubiquitous, "weak" van der Waals force is sufficient to indent rigid nanosheets, hinting at applications in nanoscale optics or catalytic systems.
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To the brain, reading computer code is not the same as reading language
Neuroscientists have found reading computer code does not rely on the regions of the brain involved in language processing. Instead, it activates the 'multiple demand network,' which is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving math problems or crossword puzzles.
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Researchers identify where giant jets from black holes discharge their energy
Scientists have disagreed about where powerful jets from black holes discharge their energy. A new study uses standard statistical techniques and relies on very few assumptions to determine that the jets release their energy in an area called the molecular torus, which is much farther away from the black hole's center than another prime candidate, the broadline region. This finding has implication
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Engineers develop soft robotic gripper
Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots – some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans.
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Telemedicine needed to diagnose and treat dysphagia in COVID-19 patients, doctors say
COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the disease, have caused health care providers to change how they treat patients. Clinicians are now frequently using telemedicine to see their patients for routine checkups, saving office visits for emergencies. The same goes for rehabilitation.
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Supporting renewable electricity: EU member states should coordinate reform efforts
The European Union recently adopted more ambitious climate goals for 2030 – their implementation is now the focus of debate. What do the Member States need to consider? A new study shows how important it is that governments coordinate policy reforms to support renewable electricity. Otherwise, many investors are likely to shift their focus to technologies that will continue to be subsidized or to
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Kernels of history
Earlier this year Douglas J. Kennett, a UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology, demonstrated that maize, or corn, became a staple crop in the Americas 4,700 years ago. It turns out he was just beginning to tell the story of the world's biggest grain crop.
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Could Apple build a search engine that competes with Google?
"Apple it" just doesn't have the same ring… (Nathana Rebouças/Unsplash/) Hamza Mudassir is a Visiting Fellow in Strategy, Cambridge Judge Business School. This story originally featured on The Conversation . Small corners of the internet are ablaze with the news that Apple has significantly ramped up its search bot activity . Search bots typically scan websites in order to rank and index them for
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Astronomers Are Now Obsessed With a Particular Gas on Venus
A few days ago, at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, one of the most important conferences in science, a certain session began with a sharp reminder, akin to a school teacher's instructions to play nice. "Remember, this is a scientific session, and we will have different viewpoints," said Sushil Atreya, a climate and space sciences professor at the University of Michigan and one
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Primitive fish fossils reveal developmental origins of teeth
Teeth and hard structures called dermal odontodes are evolutionarily related, arising from the same developmental system, a new study shows.
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Oceanographers have an explanation for the Arctic's puzzling ocean turbulence
MIT oceanographers have an explanation for the Arctic's puzzling ocean turbulence: Their study suggests waters will become more turbulent as Arctic loses summertime ice.
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Physicians say non-contact infrared thermometers fall short as COVID-19 screeners
While a fever is one of the most common symptoms for people who get sick with COVID-19, taking one's temperature is a poor means of screening who is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease, and more importantly, who might be contagious.
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Discovering gaps in food safety practices of small Texas farms
A survey of small farmers in Texas identifies a significant gap in food safety protocols and resources, increasing the risk of produce contamination and foodborne illness. Very few small growers – most of whom are not required to follow federal food safety guidelines – have previous food safety training, according to the study.
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St. Edward's University study finds a manly beard may help drive sales
Business researchers conducted five studies to test the "power of the beard," predicting that the beard would be an advantage in sales and service roles. The studies examined the beard's effect on perception of expertise, trustworthiness, likelihood of sales and service satisfaction. Their findings are published online in the Journal of Business Research in their article titled, "It Grows on You:
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Accurate neural network computer vision without the 'black box'
New research by a team at Duke University offers clues to what goes on inside the minds of machines as they learn to see. Instead of attempting to account for a neural network's decision-making on a post hoc basis, their method shows how the network learns along the way, by revealing how much the network calls to mind different concepts to help decipher what it sees as the image travels through su
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Novel MRI contrast agent sidesteps toxic effects of current products
Researchers are developing an alternative MRI contrast agent based on manganese, an essential element in human nutrition, that is easily processed and eliminated by the body. Manganese has magnetic properties similar to those of gadolinium, but without gadolinium's toxicity.
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'Peecycling' payoff: Urine diversion shows multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale
Diverting urine away from municipal wastewater treatment plants and recycling the nutrient-rich liquid to make crop fertilizer would result in multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale, according to a new University of Michigan-led study.
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3D printers may be toxic for humans
Several studies that aim to characterize and quantify the release and composition, particle size, and residence time in the indoor environment will be presented in the Exposure and Risk Assessment of 3D Printing and Emerging Materials symposium on December 15, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting held December 13-17, 2020.
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Fans ease breathing in people with advanced cancer
Blowing air from a fan into the face of patients with advanced cancer who experience breathlessness, and other nonpharmacologic interventions, may offer symptom relief, researchers report. On the other hand, the researchers found medications, such as opioids, had limited impact in improving breathlessness. In a systematic review of 29 randomized clinical trials of breathlessness in 2,423 adults w
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Listen: How alternate reality games can pave way for change
Scientists are rethinking how to leverage games in a way to address some of the world's biggest issues. Professor Patrick Jagoda and Associate Professor Kristen Schilt, both of the University of Chicago, are designing alternate reality games that allow players to become active participants not just as players, but as designers. By using these games to educate users about climate change, marginali
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What Trump Has Done to America
The Supreme Court slammed the door on President Donald Trump's preposterous lawsuits. State legislators ignored his pressure to countermand the voters. The Electoral College cast a majority of its votes for President-elect Joe Biden. Trump's efforts to usurp the presidency have failed. That is cause for relief. But not too much relief. No one who understands the law believed that Trump and his su
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By the age of 3, children appreciate nature's fractal patterns
A new study from the University of Oregon found that, by the age of three, children understand and prefer nature's fractal patterns. A "fractal" is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. Exact fractals are ordered in such a way that the same basic pattern repeats exactly at every scale, like the growth spiral of a plant, for example. Separate studies have proven that exposu
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Resistance training paired with peanut protein affects muscle health in older adults
Researchers from Auburn University have found that when combined with resistance training, defatted peanut powder can be an effective plant-based protein option for positively affecting select markers of muscle growth and strength in untrained older adults.
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Extreme political advertising can hurt campaign efforts
Aggressive political messaging can work against candidates by radicalizing supporters and alienating moderates, according to a Dartmouth study.
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Editor's Picks of The Scientist's Best Infographics of 2020
This year's most captivating illustrations tell stories from the micro scale–such as newborn neurons in the adult brain and bacteria in the infant gut–to the scale of entire ecosystems, including reintroduced predators and rising seas.
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Chameleon-like material spiked with boron comes closer to mimicking brain cells
Each waking moment, our brain processes a massive amount of data to make sense of the outside world. Thus, by imitating the way the human brain solves everyday problems, neuromorphic systems have tremendous potential to revolutionize big data analysis and pattern recognition problems that are a struggle for current digital technologies. But for artificial systems to be more brain-like, they need t
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Tinkering with moods alters trust in smart speakers
How do our moods affect their trust of autonomous products, such as smart speakers? It's a complicated relationship, according to new research. While a certain level of trust is needed for autonomous cars and smart technologies to reach their full potential, these technologies are not infallible—hence why we're supposed to keep our hands on the wheel of self-driving cars and follow traffic laws,
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You Can See the Pandemic From Space, NASA Says
Different World This year's COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. With a record number of people staying within the confines of their own homes, the environment has seen dramatic shifts throughout 2020 — impacts so profound that you can see them from space, according to NASA . "Economic and social shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to noticeable changes in Earth
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Our Ancestor Homo Erectus Is 200,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought
A fossil that sat exposed at a cave site for eight years upends human family tree.
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How do pathogens sense environment? Scientists identify key proteins' structures
In order to adapt to the changing environment, bacteria must quickly transform extracellular information into appropriate intracellular reactions. Two component system (TCS) is the main signal transduction protein in prokaryotic cells to transform environmental stimuli into cellular responses.
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How do pathogens sense environment? Scientists identify key proteins' structures
In order to adapt to the changing environment, bacteria must quickly transform extracellular information into appropriate intracellular reactions. Two component system (TCS) is the main signal transduction protein in prokaryotic cells to transform environmental stimuli into cellular responses.
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Researchers identify where giant jets from black holes discharge their energy
The supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies are the most massive objects in the universe. They range from about 1 million to upwards of 10 billion times the mass of the Sun. Some of these black holes also blast out gigantic, super-heated jets of plasma at nearly the speed of light. The primary way that the jets discharge this powerful motion energy is by converting it into extremely hi
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Device mimics life's first steps in outer space
A device developed by scientists at the CY Cergy Paris University and Paris Observatory promises insight into how the building blocks of life form in outer space.
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HSS bone study sheds light on complications after spinal surgery
The microscopic structure of bone appears to predict which patients will experience poor outcomes after spinal fusion, according to a new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City.
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Device mimics life's first steps in outer space
A device developed by scientists at the CY Cergy Paris University and Paris Observatory promises insight into how the building blocks of life form in outer space. In Review of Scientific Instruments, the scientists detail how VENUS — an acronym of the French phrase "Vers de Nouvelles Syntheses," which means "toward new syntheses" — mimics how molecules come together in the freezing darkness of i
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Researchers develop Si-based super-high frequency nanoelectromechanical resonator
Silicon single-electron/hole transistors (SETs/SHTs) and super-high frequency nanoelectromechanical resonators show great potential in quantum computation, sensing and many other areas.
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Is photoperiod a dominant driver of secondary growth resumption? [Letters (Online Only)]
In their recent paper, Huang et al. (1) have amassed a fascinating time-series of xylem tissue formation across 826 individual trees, spanning 21 species and 79 Northern Hemisphere locations. Like many other aspects of plant growth, wood formation shows strong seasonality, but very little is known about the environmental triggers…
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Reply to Elmendorf and Ettinger: Photoperiod plays a dominant and irreplaceable role in triggering secondary growth resumption [Letters (Online Only)]
In their Letter, Elmendorf and Ettinger (1) question the dominant role of photoperiod in driving secondary growth resumption (hereafter referred to as xylem formation onset) of the Northern Hemisphere conifers, recently reported by Huang et al. (2). Their opinions are grounded on the following three aspects, including 1) the seasonality…
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Monarch Butterflies Qualify for Endangered List. They Still Won't Be Protected.
Officials said they did not have the money or resources to protect the species even though it meets the criteria under the Endangered Species Act.
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Feds to delay seeking legal protection for monarch butterfly
Federal officials on Tuesday declared the monarch butterfly "a candidate" for threatened or endangered status, but said no action would be taken for several years because of the many other species waiting for that designation.
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Daily briefing: Gene variations associated with severe COVID-19
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03589-3 Genetic variations that could make some people more susceptible to severe COVID-19, Nature's 10 and the Drosophila stockeepers who keep the fruit flies flowing.
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Should we take a chance and divert early booster shots to the unprotected?
Leaving vulnerable people unvaccinated while second doses languish in fridges is also a risk
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Feds to delay seeking legal protection for monarch butterfly
Federal officials on Tuesday declared the monarch butterfly "a candidate" for threatened or endangered status, but said no action would be taken for several years because of the many other species waiting for that designation.
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Engineers go microbial to store energy, sequester CO2
By borrowing nature's blueprints for photosynthesis, bioengineers have found a way to efficiently absorb and store large-scale, low-cost renewable energy from the sun – while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide to use later as a biofuel.
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RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Researchers succeed in the first enzyme-driven biocatalytic synthesis of nucleic acid building blocks. This facilitates the development of antiviral agents and RNA-based therapeutics.
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Empowering women could help address climate change
Mitigating current and future damage stemming from climate change depends greatly on the ability of affected populations to adapt to changing conditions. According to an international group of researchers, building capacity to adapt to such changes will require eradicating inequalities of many sorts, including gender.
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Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets
You have to look closely, but the hills are alive with the force of van der Walls.
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Primitive fish fossils reveal developmental origins of teeth
Teeth and hard structures called dermal odontodes are evolutionarily related, arising from the same developmental system, a new study published today in eLife shows.
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New study shows link between hot and dry weather and air quality in Korea
While ozone in the stratosphere acts as a barrier that protects the Earth from ultraviolet radiation, ground-level (or tropospheric) ozone is a dangerous trace gas that can cause serious health problems. This ozone is the result of photochemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which are two major air pollutants.
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Engineers develop soft robotic gripper
Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots – some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans.
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UMBC researchers identify where giant jets from black holes discharge their energy
Scientists have disagreed about where powerful jets from black holes discharge their energy. A new study in Nature Communications uses standard statistical techniques and relies on very few assumptions to determine that the jets release their energy in an area called the molecular torus, which is much farther away from the black hole's center than another prime candidate, the broadline region. Thi
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Empowering women could help address climate change
Current and future damages of climate change depend greatly on the ability of affected populations to adapt to changing conditions. According to an international group of researchers, building capacity to adapt to such changes will require eradicating inequalities of many sorts, including gender.
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Plastics pose threat to human health
Plastics contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that threaten human health. An authoritative new report, Plastics, EDCs, & Health, from the Endocrine Society and the IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network), presents a summary of international research on the health impacts of EDCs and describes the alarming health effects of widespread co
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This is your brain on code: JHU deciphers neural mechanics of computer programming
By mapping the brain activity of expert computer programmers while they puzzled over code, Johns Hopkins University scientists have found the neural mechanics behind this increasingly vital skill.
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Study shows the impact of genetic diversity on effective alligatorweed control
New research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management (IPSM) shows that genetics matter when it comes to the effective control of alligatorweed, an invasive plant found in or near aquatic settings across the southern U.S. and California.
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Undruggable diseases gain a new RNA drug-discovery tool
Imagine trying to throw a bullseye when the dartboard lies buried within a crumpled box. That's the challenge faced by scientists working to make new medicines for some 'undruggable' diseases, including a type of metastatic breast cancer.
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Giant U.S. Computer Security Breach Exploited Very Common Software
A cybersecurity expert explains how hackers used SolarWinds to steal information from government and industry organizations — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Remote learning here to stay despite challenges, survey finds
About two in 10 U.S. school districts have already adopted, plan to adopt or are considering adopting virtual schools after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
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Type of sugar used to sweeten sheep milk kefir may improve consumer acceptance
The study of human emotions can be used to gauge the sensory acceptance of dairy products. A possible route to increase worldwide consumption of sheep milk kefir may be to improve its sensory acceptance, which can be a determining factor for its inclusion in daily diets. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists studied the effects of kefir sweetened with five different s
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Undruggable diseases gain a new RNA drug-discovery tool
Imagine trying to throw a bullseye when the dartboard lies buried within a crumpled box. That's the challenge faced by scientists working to make new medicines for some 'undruggable' diseases, including a type of metastatic breast cancer.
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Study shows the impact of genetic diversity on effective alligatorweed control
New research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management (IPSM) shows that genetics matter when it comes to the effective control of alligatorweed, an invasive plant found in or near aquatic settings across the southern U.S. and California.
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Engineers go microbial to store energy, sequester CO2
By borrowing nature's blueprints for photosynthesis, bioengineers have found a way to efficiently absorb and store large-scale, low-cost renewable energy from the sun – while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide to use later as a biofuel.
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Drug may boost vaccine responses in older adults
A drug that boosts the removal of cellular debris in immune cells may increase the protective effects of vaccines in older adults, a new study shows.
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RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Researchers succeed in the first enzyme-driven biocatalytic synthesis of nucleic acid building blocks. This facilitates the development of antiviral agents and RNA-based therapeutics.
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Study IDs four things that make people feel good about using chatbots
A recent study has identified four factors that predict user satisfaction with customer service chatbots. The study also found that a positive chatbot experience was associated with customer loyalty, highlighting the potential importance of the findings to corporate brands.
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Undruggable diseases gain a new RNA drug-discovery tool
A new RNA-targeting tool enables scientists to tackle difficult molecular recognition problems to aid drug discovery for incurable diseases.
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Type and abundance of mouth bacteria linked to lung cancer risk in non-smokers
The type and abundance of bacteria found in the mouth may be linked to lung cancer risk in non-smokers. Fewer species and high numbers of particular types of bacteria seem to be linked to heightened risk, the findings indicate.
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After Wildfires, Mourning the Loss of California's Giants
For one reporter, documenting the destruction of redwoods and sequoias was a heartbreaking assignment.
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Survey shows dicamba may reduce the effectiveness of junglerice controls
In recent years, jungle rice has become a significant problem in dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean crops. In Tennessee, for example, growers routinely find populations of the weed that escape applications of dicamba plus glyphosate and/or clethodim—two 'go to' herbicide controls.
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Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devours flies from within
University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz around days as the fungi devour them from within and eject fungal spores from these holes in their bodies. The discovery marks a contribution to the mapping of global biodiver
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Scientists Say Pee-Drinking Machine Could Save Lives
Vitamin P Life on the International Space Station is a lesson in efficiency. To wit, the NASA astronauts there have to recycle all their urine back into drinkable water. Now a company that designed an efficient wastewater recovery system for NASA has set its sights earthward, CNN reports , in hopes that similar technology might improve access to clean water around the world — yet another example
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A palm oil alternative could help save rainforests
Plantations for palm oil are blamed for rainforest destruction, but an artificial palm oil is close.
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Survey shows dicamba may reduce the effectiveness of junglerice controls
In recent years, jungle rice has become a significant problem in dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean crops. In Tennessee, for example, growers routinely find populations of the weed that escape applications of dicamba plus glyphosate and/or clethodim—two 'go to' herbicide controls.
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Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devours flies from within
University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz around days as the fungi devour them from within and eject fungal spores from these holes in their bodies. The discovery marks a contribution to the mapping of global biodiver
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One Wild Mink Near Utah Fur Farms Tests Positive for the Coronavirus
Infection seems to have come from farm animals, but there is no evidence of further spreading.
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How Denali National Park's Sled Dogs Prepare for Winter
For nearly a century, park rangers have relied on dogsledding to patrol the public land and collect data for scientists
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Giant U.S. Computer Security Breach Exploited Very Common Software
A cybersecurity expert explains how hackers used SolarWinds to steal information from government and industry organizations — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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To the brain, reading computer code is not the same as reading language
MIT neuroscientists have found reading computer code does not rely on the regions of the brain involved in language processing. Instead, it activates the "multiple demand network," which is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving math problems or crossword puzzles.
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Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets
Rice University scientists find the ubiquitous, "weak" van der Waals force is sufficient to indent rigid nanosheets, hinting at applications in nanoscale optics or catalytic systems.
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Primitive fish fossils reveal developmental origins of teeth
Teeth and hard structures called dermal odontodes are evolutionarily related, arising from the same developmental system, a new study published today in eLife shows.
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Type of sugar used to sweeten sheep milk kefir may improve consumer acceptance
The study of human emotions can be used to gauge the sensory acceptance of dairy products. A possible route to increase worldwide consumption of sheep milk kefir may be to improve its sensory acceptance, which can be a determining factor for its inclusion in daily diets. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists studied the effects of kefir sweetened with five different s
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RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Researchers from TU Graz and acib succeed in the first enzyme-driven biocatalytic synthesis of nucleic acid building blocks. This facilitates the development of antiviral agents and RNA-based therapeutics.
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Drug may boost vaccine responses in older adults
A drug that boosts the removal of cellular debris in immune cells may increase the protective effects of vaccines in older adults, a study published today in eLife shows.
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Tri-lab initiative leads innovation in novel hybrid energy systems
Future novel hybrid energy systems could lead to paradigm shifts in clean energy production, according to a paper published last week in Joule. Researchers from the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) three applied energy laboratories — Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) — co?authored the paper desc
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Mystery solved: new study shows link between hot and dry weather and air quality in Korea
Although air quality in Korea has been declining over the past few decades, the reasons behind the steady rise in ground-level ozone concentrations are a mystery. In a recent study, scientists from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, investigated the relationship between synoptic weather patterns and ozone levels, revealing another worrisome link between air pollution and climate c
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Engineers go microbial to store energy, sequester CO2
By borrowing nature's blueprints for photosynthesis, Cornell University bioengineers have found a way to efficiently absorb and store large-scale, low-cost renewable energy from the sun – while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide to use later as a biofuel.
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Water may be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered that fructose stimulates the release of vasopressin, a hormone linked to obesity and diabetes. They also found that water can suppress the hormone and alleviate these conditions in mice.
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Atlas shows off 466 carbon nanotube colors
Researchers have created a color atlas for 466 unique varieties of single-walled carbon nanotubes. The researchers detail the nanotube color atlas in a study about a new method to predict the specific colors of thin films made by combining any of the 466 varieties. "Carbon, which we see as black, can appear transparent or take on any color of the rainbow," says Esko Kauppinen, a physicist at Aalt
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Nature's 10: the human stories behind an extraordinary year in science
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03551-3 Ten profiles illustrate an unforgettable year that propelled research teams to the front of the world's stage.
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Nature's 10: ten people who helped shape science in 2020
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03435-6 A COVID vaccine developer, an Arctic voyager and a prime minister are some of the people behind the year's big research stories.
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The melting of the Greenland ice sheet could lead to a sea level rise of 18 cm in 2100
A new study, applying the latest climate models, of which the MAR predicts a 60 percent greater melting of the Greenland ice sheet than previously predicted. Data that will be included in the next IPCC report.
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COVID-19 does not damage auditory system, Tel Aviv University study finds
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been reports in the professional literature on possible hearing loss caused by the disease. A new study from Tel Aviv University (TAU), in collaboration with the Galilee Medical Center, finds no evidence of damage to the auditory system as a result of COVID-19 infection.
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Losing money causes plastic changes in the brain
Researchers at the HSE Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience have shown experimentally that economic activity can actively change the brain. Signals that predict regular financial losses evoke plastic changes in the cortex. Therefore, these signals are processed by the brain more meticulously, which helps to identify such situations more accurately. The article was published in Scientific Reports .
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Remote learning here to stay despite challenges, survey finds
About two in 10 U.S. school districts have already adopted, plan to adopt or are considering adopting virtual schools after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The survey of district leaders indicates that virtual schooling was the innovative practice that most district leaders anticipated would continue, citing both student and parent demand for continuing
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Doctoral thesis introduces a scale to measure human's trust in technology
Siddharth Nakul Gulati's scale developed as part of his PhD can give a starting point for both researchers and practitioners alike to measure trust with different forms of technology and decide how they should be designed, developed and deployed.
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The {beta}-encapsulation cage of rearrangement hotspot (Rhs) effectors is required for type VI secretion [Microbiology]
Bacteria deploy rearrangement hotspot (Rhs) proteins as toxic effectors against both prokaryotic and eukaryotic target cells. Rhs proteins are characterized by YD-peptide repeats, which fold into a large β-cage structure that encapsulates the C-terminal toxin domain. Here, we show that Rhs effectors are essential for type VI secretion system (T6SS)…
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Transcriptional readout of neuronal activity via an engineered Ca2+-activated protease [Biochemistry]
Molecular integrators, in contrast to real-time indicators, convert transient cellular events into stable signals that can be exploited for imaging, selection, molecular characterization, or cellular manipulation. Many integrators, however, are designed as complex multicomponent circuits that have limited robustness, especially at high, low, or nonstoichiometric protein expression levels. Here, we
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Engineering 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase improves grain yield in heat-stressed maize [Agricultural Sciences]
Endosperm starch synthesis is a primary determinant of grain yield and is sensitive to high-temperature stress. The maize chloroplast-localized 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH), PGD3, is critical for endosperm starch accumulation. Maize also has two cytosolic isozymes, PGD1 and PGD2, that are not required for kernel development. We found that cytosolic PGD1…
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Structure, self-assembly, and properties of a truncated reflectin variant [Biochemistry]
Naturally occurring and recombinant protein-based materials are frequently employed for the study of fundamental biological processes and are often leveraged for applications in areas as diverse as electronics, optics, bioengineering, medicine, and even fashion. Within this context, unique structural proteins known as reflectins have recently attracted substantial attention due to…
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Towards the molecular architecture of the peroxisomal receptor docking complex [Biochemistry]
Import of yeast peroxisomal matrix proteins is initiated by cytosolic receptors, which specifically recognize and bind the respective cargo proteins. At the peroxisomal membrane, the cargo-loaded receptor interacts with the docking protein Pex14p that is tightly associated with Pex17p. Previous data suggest that this interaction triggers the formation of an…
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Vapor isotopic evidence for the worsening of winter air quality by anthropogenic combustion-derived water [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Anthropogenic combustion-derived water (CDW) may accumulate in an airshed due to stagnant air, which may further enhance the formation of secondary aerosols and worsen air quality. Here we collected three-winter-season, hourly resolution, water-vapor stable H and O isotope compositions together with atmospheric physical and chemical data from the city of…
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A 2020 view of tension-based cortical morphogenesis [Neuroscience]
Mechanical tension along the length of axons, dendrites, and glial processes has been proposed as a major contributor to morphogenesis throughout the nervous system [D. C. Van Essen, Nature 385, 313–318 (1997)]. Tension-based morphogenesis (TBM) is a conceptually simple and general hypothesis based on physical forces that help shape all…
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A modern scleractinian coral with a two-component calcite-aragonite skeleton [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
One of the most conserved traits in the evolution of biomineralizing organisms is the taxon-specific selection of skeletal minerals. All modern scleractinian corals are thought to produce skeletons exclusively of the calcium-carbonate polymorph aragonite. Despite strong fluctuations in ocean chemistry (notably the Mg/Ca ratio), this feature is believed to be…
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FDA Approves Gene-Hacked Pigs for Human Consumption
For the second time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a gene-hacked animal for human consumption. In this case, it's the GalSafe pig, CNN reports , a genetically modified swine that's safe even for people with allergies to eat. All in all, it's a fresh sign that genetically-altered animals and sophisticated gene-hacking technology are now becoming commercially viable and
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Profiling 1.3 Million Brain Cells
New technology enables the digital profiling of hundreds to millions of cells in the mammalian brain!
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Moffitt identifies genomic and immune indicators that predict lethal outcomes in prostate cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers conducted studies to determine if genomic heterogeneity in tumors from grade 4/5 prostate cancer patients can be exploited to identify patient subsets that are at higher risk for lethal outcomes and that may benefit from targeted treatment strategies. Their results were published in the journal European Urology.
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How does pathogen sense environment? Scientists identify key proteins' structures
Recently, a team led by Prof. TAO Yuyong from the School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with Hefei National Laboratory for Physics Sciences at the Microscale, revealed the signal transduction mystery inside S. aureus, using a comprehensive application of biochemical and structural biology research methods. The stud
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Undruggable diseases gain a new RNA drug-discovery tool
A new RNA-targeting tool enables scientists to tackle difficult molecular recognition problems to aid drug discovery for incurable diseases.
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First ride: Harley's stylish new electric bicycles
One of Serial 1's Rush/Cty e-bikes. (Rob Verger /) On a recent misty day in Manhattan, I hit 26 miles per hour or so on one of Harley-Davidson's new e-bikes. I was on a bike trail on the west side of the island, a stretch of path that was either flat or slightly downhill. I felt my legs working, but I'd also gotten a boost from the bike's onboard motor. "Oh man, that is thrilling," I said to myse
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Genes play a role in common knee injury
It has long been known that the choice of shoe, surface and type of sport can all be contributing factors when someone suffers an anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Researchers have now observed that genes also play a decisive role.
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The farthest galaxy in the universe
A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very boundary of the observable universe itself. The team hopes this study can shed light on a period of cosmological history when the universe was only a few hundred million years
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Fractured bedrock in forests is overlooked source of natural CO2
According to a new study, CO2 is being produced deep underground in bedrock fractures. This source could account for up to 29% of the daily average CO2 emitted by the land.
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Autoantibody Problems
Here's a preprint from a large team at Yale with a close look at a less-studied aspect of coronavirus infection. It's been well established by now that a feature of severe cases is a misfiring immune response (the "cytokine storm", etc.), and one reason that fatality rates have been going down for hospitalized cases is better management of this problem. But the details are still being worked out
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Five things we learned about Dutch parents during the pandemic
The Netherlands has entered into its strictest lockdown to date, with a new round of school and daycare closures. This will undoubtedly have an impact on parents around the country, who must once again juggle home schooling with work and childcare.
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Researchers develop Si-based super-high frequency nanoelectromechanical resonator
Recently, a group led by Prof. GUO Guoping from the University of Science and Technology of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, collaborating with Prof. ZHANG Zhen's group from Uppsala University, Sweden, designed and fabricated CMOS-compatible suspended SHT devices which worked as super-high frequency nanoelectromechanical resonators. The work was published in Advanced Materials .
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Study IDs four things that make people feel good about using chatbots
A recent study has identified four factors that predict user satisfaction with customer service chatbots. The study also found that a positive chatbot experience was associated with customer loyalty, highlighting the potential importance of the findings to corporate brands.
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Drug for pulmonary hypertension may become an option against cancer
In experiments by Brazilian researchers with mice and tumor cell lines, the drug showed potential to combat metastasis. The scientists are planning to conduct clinical trials with patients who are on chemotherapy.
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Study shows the impact of genetic diversity on effective alligatorweed control
New research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management ( IPSM ) shows that genetics matter when it comes to the effective control of alligatorweed, an invasive plant found in or near aquatic settings
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Augmented reality visor makes cake taste moister, more delicious
Researchers have developed an augmented reality (AR) visor system that enables them to manipulate the light coming off food in such a way as to 'trick' people consuming the food into experiencing it as more or less moist, watery, or even delicious.
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Genes play a role in common knee injury
It has long been known that the choice of shoe, surface and type of sport can all be contributing factors when someone suffers an anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now observed that genes also play a decisive role.
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Positive messages encourage safer driver behavior than fear tactics
A new study has shown that films demonstrating responsible behavior could lead to young drivers taking fewer risks on the road than if they only saw videos aimed at provoking fear of accidents.
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The melting of the Greenland ice sheet could lead to a sea level rise of 18 cm in 2100!
A new study, headed by researchers from the Universities of Liège and Oslo, applying the latest climate models, of which the MAR predicts a 60% greater melting of the Greenland ice sheet than previously predicted. Data that will be included in the next IPCC report. This study is published in Nature Communications.
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Analysis finds gaps in care in treating opioid use disorders during pandemic shutdowns
Study finds no decrease in prescription fills or clinician visits in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients recently receiving opioid use disorder therapy. On the flip side, the study found that during this period fewer people started new treatment for opioid use disorder and fewer urine tests were given across both new and established patients.Findings identify strengths and
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Fighting hypertension through electrical impulses
Electrical impulses applied to a particular branch of the vagus nerve could be used in the future to reduce complications of arterial hypertension. These are the results of a research conducted, on animal models, by the Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, in Italy, and published in the scientific journal Cell Reports .
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Maximizing the uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine in people with severe mental illness
This Viewpoint discusses individual- and system-level barriers and solutions for people with serious mental illness to access COVID-19 vaccination when it is available.
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What is an aerosol-generating procedure?
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought renewed urgency to the question of what constitutes an aerosol-generating procedure. Four factors that explain transmission risk during aerosol-generating medical procedures are discussed in this article.
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Surgical and drug treatment options lead to similar outcomes for diabetic eye disease
Surgical and injectable drug approaches are equally effective for treatment of bleeding inside the eye from proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), according to a National Eye Institute (NEI)-supported clinical study from the DRCR Retina Network (DRCR.net).
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USPSTF statement on screening for hepatitis B virus infection in adolescents, adults
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for hepatitis B virus infection in adolescents and adults at increased risk for infection.
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Changes in outpatient buprenorphine dispensing during COVID-19 pandemic
Outpatient buprenorphine dispensing patterns in Texas before and after the Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily relaxed outpatient buprenorphine prescribing regulations in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were examined in this study.
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Treatment of opioid use disorder among commercially insured patients in context of COVID-19 pandemic
Opioid use disorder treatment during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, including medication fills, outpatient visits and urine tests among privately insured individuals, was compared with 2019 in this study.
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'Chaotic' way to create insectlike gaits for robots
Researchers are embracing chaos and nonlinear physics to create insectlike gaits for tiny robots — complete with a locomotion controller to provide a brain-machine interface. Biology and physics are permeated by universal phenomena fundamentally grounded in nonlinear physics, and it inspired the researchers' work. In the journal Chaos , the group describes using a system of three nonlinear differ
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The mask matters: How masks affect airflow, protection effectiveness
Even though it has been widely known that wearing a face mask will help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19, less is known regarding the specific effectiveness of masks in reducing the viral load in the respiratory tracts of those wearing them. In Physics of Fluids, researchers examined the effect of wearing a three-layer surgical mask on inspiratory airflows and the effects on the inhalatio
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Fast walking in narrow corridors can increase COVID-19 transmission risk
Simulations have been used to predict droplet dispersal patterns in situations where COVID-19 might be spread and results in Physics of Fluids show the importance of the space shape in modeling how droplets move. The simulations are used to determine flow patterns behind a walking individual in spaces of different shape. The results reveal a higher transmission risk for children in some instances,
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An inside look at how trust accelerates transformation
With thousands of developers, publishers, authors, designers, production houses and distributors, Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform is a complex ecosystem of relationships. Collaboration across this ecosystem is key to producing a high-quality product that attracts the best talent and satisfies consumers—but Microsoft recognized points of friction that needed to be addressed. A multitude of manual
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The New History of the Milky Way
When the Khoisan hunter-gatherers of sub-Saharan Africa gazed upon the meandering trail of stars and dust that split the night sky, they saw the embers of a campfire. Polynesian sailors perceived a cloud-eating shark. The ancient Greeks saw a stream of milk, gala , which would eventually give rise to the modern term "galaxy." In the 20th century, astronomers discovered that our silver river is ju
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Want to stop cognitive decline? Wine and cheese could help.
Iowa State University researchers found that red wine, cheese, and a weekly serving of lamb could help reduce cognitive decline. The observational study is based on a decade of research conducted at the UK Biobank. The team also found that excessive salt could help promote diseases of dementia. The world is not in want of diet advice. Paleo living, vegan lifestyles, eating for your blood type, se
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New coronavirus strain behind a fifth of cases in Norfolk, data shows
UK should boost vaccine programme to tackle Covid variant, says leading scientist Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A new strain of coronavirus is behind a fifth of all cases in Norfolk, fresh data has suggested, as a leading scientist called for the Covid vaccination programme to be accelerated to contain its spread. The variant was picked up by Public Health England
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Asteroid samples leave Japanese scientist 'speechless'
Scientists hope dust will shed light on formation of universe and offer clues about how life began on Earth Scientists in Japan said they were left amazed when they saw how much asteroid dust was inside a capsule delivered by the Hayabusa-2 space probe. The Japanese probe collected surface dust and pristine material last year from the asteroid Ryugu, about 200m miles (300m km) away, during two da
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New fullerene crystal production method 50 times faster than predecessor
Researchers from Yokohama National University and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan have developed a highly efficient technique for producing a unique fullerene crystal, called fullerene finned-micropillar (FFMP), that is of significant use for next-generation electronics.
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The melting of the Greenland ice sheet could lead to a sea level rise of 18 centimeters by 2100
A new study, headed by researchers from the Universities of Liège and Oslo, applyies the latest climate models, of which the MAR predicts a 60% greater melting of the Greenland ice sheet than previously predicted. This is important data that will be included in the next IPCC report. The study is published in Nature Communications.
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Protecting soil biodiversity essential in adapting to climate change
Efforts to adapt to a rapidly changing climate are entirely dependent on protecting the life in our soils.
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Protecting soil biodiversity essential in adapting to climate change
Efforts to adapt to a rapidly changing climate are entirely dependent on protecting the life in our soils.
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Research trip to study impact of giant floating iceberg
A team of scientists will set off next month on a research mission to find out the impact of a giant floating iceberg on the wildlife and marine life on a sub-Antarctic island, the British Antarctic Survey said Tuesday.
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Possibilities of new one-atom-thick materials
New 2D materials have the potential to transform technologies, but they're expensive and difficult to synthesize. Researchers used computer modeling to predict the properties of 2D materials that haven't yet been made in real life. These highly-accurate predictions show the possibility of materials whose properties could be 'tuned' to make them more efficient than existing materials in particular
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Powerful electrical events quickly alter surface chemistry on Mars, other planetary bodies
On Earth, dust particles are viewed mainly in terms of their physical effects, like erosion. But, in exotic locales from Mars to Venus to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, electrical effects can affect the chemical composition of a planetary body's surface and atmosphere in a relatively short time, according to new research.
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Digital trackers for mental health not yet fit for purpose
Digital tracking of people with mental health conditions has the power to transform medical diagnostics and treatment, but its claims need careful scrutiny, says an expert in digital analytics.
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Wireless, ultra-thin and battery-free strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive
A research team has developed a new range of strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive when measuring minute movements. These sensors are ultra-thin, battery-free and can transmit data wirelessly, making them attractive for a wide range of applications.
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'Chaotic' way to create insectlike gaits for robots
Researchers in Japan and Italy are embracing chaos and nonlinear physics to create insectlike gaits for tiny robots—complete with a locomotion controller to provide a brain-machine interface.
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Fast walking in narrow corridors can increase COVID-19 transmission risk
Computational simulations have been used to accurately predict airflow and droplet dispersal patterns in situations where COVID-19 might be spread. In the journal Physics of Fluids, results show the importance of the shape of the space in modeling how virus-laden droplets move through the air.
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COVID-19 further exposes inequalities in the global financial system
To stem the economic fallout from COVID-19, developed countries have injected an unprecedented US$9 trillion into their economies.
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The mask matters: How masks affect airflow, protection effectiveness
Even though it has been widely known that wearing a face mask will help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19, less is known regarding the specific effectiveness of masks in reducing the viral load in the respiratory tracts of those wearing them.
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Truslen fra coronavirus peger på systemisk ulighed i sundhed for socialt udsatte
Socialt udsatte, hjemløse og misbrugere og de læger, sygeplejersker og assistenter, der arbejder med den gruppe af borgere, testes ikke i samme omfang for COVID-19 som andre grupper af sårbare. Jeg frygter, at vi er vidner til en systemisk ulighed i sundhed, der mest af alt handler om, hvordan man undgår at skulle have udgifter til socialt udsattes sundhed fremfor at investere i den, skriver Kars
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New data on 'jumping genes' linked to cancer
Scientists from the University of Granada and GENYO have discovered a mechanism via which our cells protect themselves against these transposable or mobile genetic elements, known as "LINE-1," which are involved in the development and progression of many types of cancer
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Coronavirus pandemic: Entering the Christmas season with caution
This year, the pre-Christmas season is accompanied by discussions about a possible strict lockdown. This does not leave the population in Germany unaffected. This is shown by the results of the BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). For example, the acceptance of the measures of the "Lockdown Light", which has been ongoing since th
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Climate change caused the demise of Central Asia's river civilizations, not Genghis Khan
While Genghis Khan and Mongol invasion is often blamed for the fall of Central Asia's medieval river civilisations, new research shows it may have been down to climate change. Researchers from the University of Lincoln conducted analysis on the region and found that falling water levels may have led to the fall of civilisations around the Aral Sea Basin, as they depended on the water for irrigatio
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New approach can improve COVID-19 predictions worldwide
Methods currently used around the world for predicting the development of COVID-19 and other pandemics fail to report precisely on the best and worst case scenarios. Newly developed prediction method for epidemics, published in Nature Physics, solve this problem.
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New fullerene crystal production method 50 times faster than predecessor
Researchers from Yokohama National University and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan have developed a highly efficient technique for producing a unique fullerene crystal, called fullerene finned-micropillar (FFMP), that is of significant use for next-generation electronics. In a paper published in Scientific Reports in November 2020 (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-76252-6), the team detail
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Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devour flies from within
University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz around days as the fungi devour them from within and eject fungal spores from these holes in their bodies. The discovery marks a contribution to the mapping of global biodiver
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Hopes of new treatment strategies for glaucoma
In the search for new ways to treat the incurable eye disease glaucoma, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and St. Erik Eye Hospital in Sweden have discovered more clues as to its pathogenesis. A new study shows how metabolic disturbance of the neurons coincide with raised pressure in the eye. In animal and cell models, rapamycin and pyruvate treatments were shown to have a protective effect. Th
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Survey shows dicamba may reduce the effectiveness of junglerice controls
A recent survey featured in the journal Weed Technology explores the prevalence of junglerice in cotton and soybean crops and whether dicamba interferes with the effectiveness of herbicides used to control the weed.
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2020: the year of hard-won lessons
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03521-9 Researchers reflect on a challenging pandemic year and on how lockdowns changed their approach to work and their perceptions of the scientific enterprise.
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Xenon improves properties of maxillofacial and orthopedic implants
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) jointly with the colleagues from Siberian State Medical University (SSMU) and Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU) studied the properties of calcium phosphate coatings deposited on titanium implants in various inert gases environment. The researchers managed to discover that the use of xenon positively affects the physicochemical, mechani
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What's so wrong about diversity?
For much of the past two decades, associate professor of sociology Sarah Mayorga has examined what Americans, especially white Americans, mean by the term diversity.
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Xenon improves properties of maxillofacial and orthopedic implants
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) jointly with the colleagues from Siberian State Medical University (SSMU) and Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU) studied the properties of calcium phosphate coatings deposited on titanium implants in various inert gases environment. The researchers managed to discover that the use of xenon positively affects the physicochemical, mechani
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New approach can improve COVID-19 predictions worldwide
Methods currently used around the world for predicting the development of COVID-19 and other pandemics fail to report precisely on the best and worst-case scenarios. Newly developed prediction method for epidemics, published in Nature Physics, solve this problem.
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New data on 'jumping genes' linked to cancer
Scientists from the University of Granada and GENYO have discovered a mechanism via which our cells protect themselves against these transposable or mobile genetic elements, known as "LINE-1," which are involved in the development and progression of many types of cancer
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Virgin births from parthenogenesis: How females from some species can reproduce without males
An Asian water dragon hatched from an egg at the Smithsonian National Zoo, and her keepers were shocked. Why? Her mother had never been with a male water dragon. Through genetic testing, zoo scientists discovered the newly hatched female, born on Aug. 24, 2016, had been produced through a reproductive mode called parthenogenesis.
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China is scaling up its weather modification programme – here's why we should be worried | Arwa Mahdawi
Beijing is aiming to control rain and snow across half the country. But it is the reason it wants to do this that is really frightening Remember when Donald Trump wanted to nuke hurricanes so they didn't hit the US? Everyone laughed uproariously, but Trump's warped little mind was actually on to something. You may not be able to bomb hurricanes into oblivion, but you can shoot things into the atm
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Virgin births from parthenogenesis: How females from some species can reproduce without males
An Asian water dragon hatched from an egg at the Smithsonian National Zoo, and her keepers were shocked. Why? Her mother had never been with a male water dragon. Through genetic testing, zoo scientists discovered the newly hatched female, born on Aug. 24, 2016, had been produced through a reproductive mode called parthenogenesis.
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Women, parents and early-career faculty in ecology most impacted by COVID-19
In April 2020, Lise Aubry learned that the daycare her children attended in Fort Collins would be closed for several weeks. Aubry, an assistant professor in the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department at Colorado State University, and her husband, Professor Dave Koons, began to juggle childcare at home for their two kids—ages 4 months and 4 years old—and work responsibilities.
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Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years, even in nature reserves. In their joint statement "Biodiversity and Management of Agricultural Landscapes—Wide-ranging action is now crucial," the German Academies of Sciences make recommendations in eight fields of action. They state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A
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Asteroid Mission Successfully Collected Samples, Japan Confirms
Japan's Hayabusa2 mission wrapped up last week when the sample container parachuted down in Australia. The mission certainly looked like a success at every step along the way, but the true test is whether or not it collected the sample it flew out there to get. Today, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that Hayabusa2 did indeed bring back a piece of the asteroid Ryugu. JAX
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Researchers develop novel nanoparticle that efficiently and selectively kills cancer cells
Many chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancers are associated with side-effects of varying severity, because they are toxic to normal cells as well as malignant tumors. This has motivated the search for effective alternatives to the synthetic pharmaceuticals with which most cancers are currently treated. The use of calcium phosphate and citrate for this purpose has been under discussion for so
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Scientists discover a new complex europium hydride
A team of researchers from Russia, the United States and China led by Skoltech Professor Artem R. Oganov have discovered an unexpected very complex europium hydride, Eu8H46. The paper detailing the discovery has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry letters.
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River sediment history suggests it was climate change, not Mongol invasion that doomed Transoxania
An international team of researchers has found evidence in ancient river sediments that suggest climate change, not a Mongol invasion, ultimately doomed the ancient Transoxania civilization. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes how they analyzed sediment samples from rivers and abandoned canals in the area and what they learned by doing s
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CryoSat reveals surprising ebb and flow of subglacial lakes
Hidden from view by ice kilometers thick, there is a vast network of lakes and streams at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet. This subsurface meltwater affects the speed with which the ice sheet flows towards the ocean. Using a decade of altimetry data from ESA's CryoSat satellite, scientists have made an unexpected discovery about how lakes beneath Thwaites glacier have drained and recharged in
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Women, parents and early-career faculty in ecology most impacted by COVID-19
In April 2020, Lise Aubry learned that the daycare her children attended in Fort Collins would be closed for several weeks. Aubry, an assistant professor in the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department at Colorado State University, and her husband, Professor Dave Koons, began to juggle childcare at home for their two kids—ages 4 months and 4 years old—and work responsibilities.
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Don't just think about earthquakes, prepare for them
For her Ph.D. in psychology, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington's Dr. Lauren Vinnell studied how the thoughts and beliefs people hold about preparing for natural hazards influences their behavior.
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50 years in, the Clean Air Act's societal benefits still outweigh costs 10 to 1
The landmark Clean Air Act (CAA) turns 50 this month, and its impact has been dramatic: Ambient measures of pollutants have fallen more than 90% in some areas, and improvements in air quality are credited with preventing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.
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Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires, increase risk in urban fires
When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state's drinking water standard.
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Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years, even in nature reserves. In their joint statement "Biodiversity and Management of Agricultural Landscapes—Wide-ranging action is now crucial," the German Academies of Sciences make recommendations in eight fields of action. They state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A
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Fractured bedrock in forests is overlooked source of natural carbon dioxide
The bedrock beneath our feet has a reputation as an inhospitable place. In contrast, soil is known to be teeming with life—from microbes to plant roots to bugs.
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Team reveals possibilities of new one-atom-thick materials
New 2-D materials have the potential to transform technologies, with applications from solar cells to smartphones and wearable electronics, explains UMBC's Can Ataca, assistant professor of physics. These materials consist of a single layer of atoms bound together in a crystal structure. In fact, they're so thin that a stack of 10 million of them would only be 1 millimeter thick. And sometimes, At
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An innovative way to support children with special needs | Billy Samuel Mwape
After his son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Billy Samuel Mwape realized that his project management skills might be put to use to support his child's special needs. In this inspiring, personal talk, he describes how project management — the process of leading a team's work to achieve goals on a tight timeline — can help you tackle life's biggest challenges.
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Taylor Swift Could Use an Editor
Taylor Swift's new album, Evermore , is shaky from its first verse. "Willow" opens with a gently plucked guitar riff creating a seesawing sensation, and Swift compares herself to water and her lover to a boat. So far, so fine. But for the verse's emphatic final line, Swift uses an odd simile: "Lost in your current like a priceless wine." So, okay, her man, not her, is now the water. But: Are pric
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Wireless, ultra-thin and battery-free strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive
A research team has developed a new range of strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive when measuring minute movements. These sensors are ultra-thin, battery-free and can transmit data wirelessly, making them attractive for a wide range of applications.
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Se djuren som inte längre finns
Djupt inne i Colombias regnskog fann forskarna tusentals bilder av utdöda istidsdjur. Bilderna skapades av människor som såg varelserna med egna ögon för nästan 13 000 år sedan. Spela klippet för att se målningarna.
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Quantum mysteries: Probing an unusual state in the superconductor-insulator transition
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) approach the two decade-old mystery of why an anomalous metallic state appears in the superconductor-insulator transition in 2-D superconductors. Through experimental measurements of a thermoelectric effect, they found that the quantum liquid state of quantum vortices causes the anomalous metallic state. The results clarify the nature of the
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The farthest galaxy in the universe
A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very boundary of the observable universe itself. The team hopes this study can shed light on a period of cosmological history when the universe was only a few hundred million years
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Sights set on curbing gun crime
A community or sub-culture encouraging young men's exposure and obsession with guns—as well as ready access to firearms and drugs—can make gun violence 'all too easy," with Flinders University experts promoting a new direction on managing the global problem.
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Scientists: Xenon improves properties of maxillofacial and orthopedic implants
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) jointly with the colleagues from Siberian State Medical University (SSMU) and Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU) studied the properties of calcium phosphate coatings deposited on titanium implants in various inert gases environment. The researchers managed to discover that the use of xenon positively affects the physicochemical, mechani
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Flexible working time as an opportunity to save costs and increase productivity
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned flexible working arrangements a new reality, but differences in employees' preferences and the financial implications for companies still require unravelling.
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Digital trackers for mental health not yet fit for purpose
Digital tracking of people with mental health conditions has the power to transform medical diagnostics and treatment, but its claims need careful scrutiny, says an expert in digital analytics from the University of Bath.
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Chinese Lander Dies on Lunar Surface
Get Some Rest Good night, Chang'e-5. China's lunar lander has completed its mission of collecting the first Moon samples in almost half a century — meaning, Space.com reports , that it has effectively died. Its ascent vehicle took off with roughly four pounds of lunar rocks on December 3 to rendezvous with the mission's orbiter and fly back to Earth. That means the lunar lander is finally able to
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Two new fungi have a gruesome way to kill flies
Researchers have discovered two new fungal species that devour flies from within. Researchers found both fungi in the Capital Region of Denmark. They found Strongwellsea tigrinae in Jægerspris and Strongwellsea acerosa , on the island Amager. "This is an exciting and bizarre aspect of biodiversity…" The fungi infect two Danish fly species ( Coenosia tigrina and Coenosia testacea ). As they do, th
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Should Your Kidney Doctor Have a Financial Stake in Dialysis?
Joint ventures between nephrologists and dialysis centers have expanded treatment. Critics ask: At what cost? — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Creating a ground plan for stonefly evolution
A team has microscopically examined the eggs of stoneflies to identify ground plan features and shed light on the evolutionary history of the order. By identifying ancestral and derived features, the researchers reconstructed the evolution of egg structures, and confirmed that establishing an embryonic ground plan can provide unique insights into the evolution of the group.
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'Earable' computing: A new research area in the making
A research group is defining a new sub-area of mobile technology that they call 'earable computing.' The team believes that earphones will be the next significant milestone in wearable devices, and that new hardware, software, and apps will all run on this platform.
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Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to 'smell' food
New research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat.
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Among couples, the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact women
In June, analysis of data from the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study, conducted by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR), examined gender differences from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic since it began. Recently, researchers returned to the data for further insights and determine what, if anything, has changed since the original report.
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Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to 'smell' food
New research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat.
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Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years. In a joint statement, the German Academies of Sciences state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A change in society as a whole towards sustainable farming is required. It is important to also take the economic, political, legal, and social parameters of agriculture into a
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New, ultrastable tetrahedral "chiral zinc" added to synthetic chemistry toolbox
Researchers have designed and built a new chemical tool inspired by natural metal-containing enzymes in living organisms. The product, a tetrahedral "chiral zinc", maintains its shape for years, providing a new structure with exciting possibilities for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and optical electronics.
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Quantifying effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on SARS-CoV-2 transmission with modeling
Limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people and closing educational institutions were among the most effective nonpharmaceutical interventions at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, a new modeling study finds.
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A first-in-human clinical trial shows microbubbles augments radiation in liver cancer patients
Bursting gas-filled microbubbles using ultrasound waves sensitizes tumors to targeted radiation, reducing tumor growth and improving overall survival after treatment.
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Powerful electrical events quickly alter surface chemistry on Mars, other planetary bodies
On Earth, dust particles are viewed mainly in terms of their physical effects, like erosion. But, in exotic locales from Mars to Venus to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, electrical effects can affect the chemical composition of a planetary body's surface and atmosphere in a relatively short time, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
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AI that detects post-stroke depression type can help stroke survivors get right treatment
An AI might soon help stroke survivors get the right treatment by detecting a patient's post-stroke depression type, a frequently seen neuropsychiatric manifestation after a stroke that could impair functional recovery.
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UMBC team reveals possibilities of new one-atom-thick materials
New 2D materials have the potential to transform technologies, but they're expensive and difficult to synthesize. Researchers at UMBC used computer modeling to predict the properties of 2D materials that haven't yet been made in real life. These highly-accurate predictions show the possibility of materials whose properties could be "tuned" to make them more efficient than existing materials in par
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Fractured bedrock in forests is overlooked source of natural CO2
According to a study led by The University of Texas at Austin, CO2 is being produced deep underground in bedrock fractures. This source could account for up to 29% of the daily average CO2 emitted by the land.
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UK genstarter planlægning af atomkraftværk på 3,2 GW
PLUS. Storbritanniens myndigheder og den franske energi-gigant EDF har indledt forhandlingerne om et nyt, enormt atomkraftværk, Sizewell C, i Suffolk County.
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Watch these 'beetlebots' keep flying, even after crashing into poles
Beetle-inspired robot proves nimble and durable in flight
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Giant Telescope Could Spot Individual Continents on Exoplanets
Magnifying Lens There are loads of potentially-habitable exoplanets out there in the galaxy, but because they're so far away , they're incredibly difficult to study. Being able to take a close look at these worlds would help, but we don't have any telescopes powerful enough. Now, though, Universe Today points to a hypothetical new telescope design that would use the Sun as a gigantic gravitationa
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Tyst utestängning av ensamstående mödrar
Hemlöshet och fattigdom hos ensamstående föräldrar ökar i Sverige. Värst drabbade är utlandsfödda ensamstående mödrar. När de inte fångas upp av de mätsystem vi har idag, har samhället en oförmåga att se och erkänna deras situation, visar forskning från Malmö universitet. När Tove Samzelius, doktorand i Socialt arbete vid Malmö universitet, började arbeta för Rädda barnen 2015 lade hon märke till
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What the Dippin' Dots 'cold chain' can teach us about COVID-19 vaccines
What's cooler than cool? (Deposit Photos/Unsplash/PopSci/) Countless people across the country are desperate to get their hands on the coronavirus vaccine . But the same could be said for another icy treat with some surprising similarities: Dippin' Dots. Invented by a microbiologist in 1988, Dippin' Dots' self-proclaimed "Ice Cream of the Future" maintains its characteristic beaded form only if s
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Geoengineers set date for Sun-dimming balloon test
Flight in Sweden would set stage for release of small amounts of chalky dust
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New synthetic molecule can kill the flu virus
EPFL scientists have developed a synthetic molecule capable of killing the virus that causes influenza. They hope their discovery will lead to an effective drug treatment.
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Powerful electrical events quickly alter surface chemistry on Mars and other planetary bodies
Thinking like Earthlings may have caused scientists to overlook the electrochemical effects of Martian dust storms.
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Delayed Arctic ice advance tracked back to atmospheric conditions near Alaska months prior
Experts in Japan recently discovered that atmospheric conditions near Alaska can affect sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean months later. The team used various data, including ship-based data from 2018, to uncover how a single atmospheric event over the northern Pacific Ocean caused significantly delayed sea ice formation in the Pacific Arctic region.
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Catalytic activity of individual cobalt oxide nanoparticles determined
Precious metal-free nanoparticles could serve as powerful catalysts in the future, for example for hydrogen production. To optimize them, researchers must be able to analyze the properties of individual particles. A new method for this has been suggested by a team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and from the University of Duisburg-Essen. The group developed a method using a robotic arm that allows th
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Quantum mysteries: Probing an unusual state in the superconductor-insulator transition
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology approach the two decade-old mystery of why an anomalous metallic state appears in the superconductor-insulator transition in 2D superconductors. Through experimental measurements of a thermoelectric effect, they found that the "quantum liquid state" of quantum vortices causes the anomalous metallic state. The results clarify the nature of the transition
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The farthest galaxy in the universe
A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very boundary of the observable universe itself. The team hopes this study can shed light on a period of cosmological history when the universe was only a few hundred million years
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DeepMind's AlphaFold Is Close to Solving One of Biology's Greatest Challenges
DeepMind may just have cracked one of the grandest challenges in biology. One that rivals the discovery of DNA's double helix. It could change biomedicine, drug discovery , and vaccine development forever. The actual achievement sounds far less sexy at first glance. One of DeepMind's powerful AI algorithms, called AlphaFold, used its deep learning prowess to predict a protein's three-dimensional
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Genome sequencing paves the way for more sustainable herring fishery
An international team of Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Irish scientists has used whole genome sequencing to characterize 53 herring populations from the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. They have developed genetic markers that make it possible to better monitor herring populations and avoid overfishing. The study is published in the journal eLife.
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Pfizer Vaccine Final Results: It's Highly Protective — But How Long For?
We still need to know exactly what part of the immune response offers protection – and how strong it needs to be to remain protective.
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New synthetic molecule can kill the flu virus
EPFL scientists have developed a synthetic molecule capable of killing the virus that causes influenza. They hope their discovery will lead to an effective drug treatment.
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EU regulator brings forward Covid vaccine ruling after German pressure
Ruling on Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine brought forward to 21 December Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The EU drug regulator has brought forward its ruling on the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine after Germany made it clear it wanted approval before Christmas. The Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency's announcement that it will meet on 21 December instead of 29 December
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Researchers develop catalyst with chirality at the zinc center
Researchers have designed and built a new chemical tool inspired by natural metal-containing enzymes in living organisms. The product, a tetrahedral "chiral zinc," maintains its shape for years, providing a new structure with exciting possibilities for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and optical electronics. Experts add quotation marks around "chiral zinc" to emphasize that a chiral bond is attached
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Reducing pesticide use with nanoparticles
Researchers at the Adolphe Merkle Institute and the Department of Biology at the University of Fribourg have discovered how certain silica nanoparticles could act as a traceless, degradable, and highly efficient treatment against some plant pathogens.
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Genome sequencing paves the way for more sustainable herring fishery
An international team of Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Irish scientists has used whole genome sequencing to characterize 53 herring populations from the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. They have developed genetic markers that make it possible to better monitor herring populations and avoid overfishing. The study is published in the journal eLife.
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ATCC Introduces New Product Segment with Launch of SARS-CoV-2 External Control Kit
Quality Control Solution Addresses Critical Need for Verification and Assessment in COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostic Testing for Clinical Laboratories and Test Manufacturers
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Newegg Changes Return Policy to Combat Scammers, Harm Customers
Online retailers worldwide have been dealing with an unwanted influx of automated purchasing bots since early this fall. These online bots, which originated in sneaker-collecting sites, allow unethical individuals to snap up more of a given product than they would otherwise be able to purchase. Online distributors such as Newegg have no interest in seeing their own products resold on eBay for mor
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How water helps the substrate into the enzyme
Researchers from Bochum and Berkeley have investigated why cages can increase the catalytic activity of enclosed molecules. Using terahertz spectroscopy and complex computer simulations, they showed that water encapsulated in a tiny cage has special properties – that are structurally and dynamically distinct from any known phase of water. The water forms a droplet inside the cage that facilitates
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Sights set on curbing gun crime
A community or sub-culture encouraging young men's exposure and obsession with guns – as well as ready access to firearms and drugs – can make gun violence 'all too easy', with Flinders University experts promoting a new direction on managing the global problem. Flinders criminologists conclude that the need to 'dematerialise' the attraction to gun has "never been greater" than "in a post-COVID-19
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Creating a ground plan for stonefly evolution
A team led by the University of Tsukuba microscopically examined the eggs of stoneflies to identify ground plan features and shed light on the evolutionary history of the order. By identifying ancestral and derived features, the researchers reconstructed the evolution of egg structures, and confirmed that establishing an embryonic ground plan can provide unique insights into the evolution of the g
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Genome sequencing paves the way for more sustainable herring fishery
An international team of Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Irish scientists has used whole genome sequencing to characterise 53 herring populations from the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. They have developed genetic markers that make it possible to better monitor herring populations and avoid overfishing. The study is published in the journal eLife .
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Biologists clarify how three species of cephalopods coexist in the Arctic
By analyzing the content of stable heavy isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in the beaks, the researchers studied three closely related cephalopod species: the highly boreal Rossia megaptera, the wide-boreal-Arctic Rossia palpebrosa, and the Arctic endemic Rossia moelleri, which are sympatric in the Arctic.
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Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to 'smell' food
New research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat.
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New England Biolabs® Introduces NEBNext® Custom RNA Depletion Design Tool and RNA Depletion Core Reagent Set for Customizable RNA Depletion
Combination of free user-friendly web tool, to obtain custom probe sequences, and enzyme-based technology allows for efficient depletion of abundant RNAs for virtually any organism and sample type.
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FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific Introduces Sterile Express Media Service
The first manufacturing service of its kind delivers tested sterile, non-GMP media designed for feasibility testing before scale-up, to support development of cell and gene therapies
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New constraints on alternative gravity theories that could inform dark matter research
While particle theories are currently the most favored explanations for dark mater, physicists have still been unable to detect dark matter particles in ways that would confirm or contradict these theories. Some theorists have thus been exploring new theories of gravity that clearly account for and explain the existence of this elusive type of matter. In order to obviate the need for dark matter,
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Delayed Arctic ice advance tracked back to atmospheric conditions near Alaska months prior
Experts in Japan recently discovered that atmospheric conditions near Alaska can affect sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean months later. The team used various data, including ship-based data from 2018, to uncover how a single atmospheric event over the northern Pacific Ocean caused significantly delayed sea ice formation in the Pacific Arctic region.
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Ivermectin now against COVID-19, why…
Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine. But who is its new Raoult? What if the cast of the 2021 sequel will remain otherwise the same?
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How water helps the substrate into the enzyme
Researchers from Bochum and Berkeley have investigated why cages can increase the catalytic activity of enclosed molecules. Using terahertz spectroscopy and complex computer simulations, they showed that water encapsulated in a tiny cage has special properties—that are structurally and dynamically distinct from any known phase of water. The water forms a droplet inside the cage that facilitates th
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How water helps the substrate into the enzyme
Researchers from Bochum and Berkeley have investigated why cages can increase the catalytic activity of enclosed molecules. Using terahertz spectroscopy and complex computer simulations, they showed that water encapsulated in a tiny cage has special properties—that are structurally and dynamically distinct from any known phase of water. The water forms a droplet inside the cage that facilitates th
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RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the associated intensive search for therapeutics and vaccines, the chemical substance class of nucleosides is experiencing an enormous increase in interest. Natural and synthetic nucleosides have an antiviral effect and can act as building blocks of ribonucleic acids (RNA). When incorporated into RNA, novel interactions within the macromolecule result with positive
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RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the associated intensive search for therapeutics and vaccines, the chemical substance class of nucleosides is experiencing an enormous increase in interest. Natural and synthetic nucleosides have an antiviral effect and can act as building blocks of ribonucleic acids (RNA). When incorporated into RNA, novel interactions within the macromolecule result with positive
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Best of Last Year: The top Phys.org articles of 2020
It was a good year for research of all kinds as a team of geophysicists at the University of Maryland detected unexpected widespread structures near Earth's core. The structures were revealed as the researchers analyzed thousands of recordings of seismic waves traveling through the Earth—they turned out to be areas of unusually dense, hot rock.
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Catalytic activity of individual cobalt oxide nanoparticles determined
Precious metal-free nanoparticles could serve as powerful catalysts in the future, for example for hydrogen production. To optimize them, researchers must be able to analyze the properties of individual particles. A new method for this has been suggested by a team from the Center for Electrochemistry at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Dui
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Wireless, ultra-thin and battery-free strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive
A research team from NUS Engineering has developed a new range of strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive when measuring minute movements. These sensors are ultra-thin, battery-free and can transmit data wirelessly, making them attractive for a wide range of applications.
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Earable computing: A new research area in the making
Research Group (SyNRG) at UIUC is defining a new sub-area of mobile technology that they call "earable computing." The team believes that earphones will be the next significant milestone in wearable devices, and that new hardware, software, and apps will all run on this platform.
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Change in use, perceptions of nicotine vaping among US youth 2017-2020
This study estimates how common nicotine vaping is, its perceived harm and the accessibility of nicotine vaping products among U.S. adolescents from 2017 to 2020.
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Study: Surge of teen vaping levels off, but remains high as of early 2020
Findings released today from the most recent Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of substance use behaviors and related attitudes among teens in the United States indicate that levels of nicotine and marijuana vaping did not increase from 2019 to early 2020, although they remain high. The annual MTF survey is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, and is
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Stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles ease brain bleeding in newborn rats
Murine study, by researchers at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, shows how extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can ease IVH-induced brain injuries.
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Nearly half of young drivers are resuming driving just weeks after sustaining a concussion
Researchers found that nearly half of adolescents who sought specialty care for a concussion were back to driving when asked approximately two weeks after the injury, even though few had returned to exercise and sports.
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Do tumors stiff-arm the immune system?
Cancer cells use an ancient mechanism of self-nonself discrimination to remain hidden from the immune system. A nanoscale molecular machine, akin to an arm that flexes and extends, allows cancer cell to fend off immune. defenders. The stiff-arm is delivered by components of the complement system. It prevents the initiation of immune responses, without which the current generations of immunotherape
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'Alarmingly high' vitamin D deficiency in the United Kingdom
Over 50 per cent of Asians living in the UK are severely deficient in vitamin D, leaving them more vulnerable to respiratory infections such as COVID-19 and musculoskeletal disorders, according to a large-scale population study published this week.
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Study shows women less likely to survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest than men
A study of patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest shows that women have a lower likelihood of survival compared with men and are less likely to receive procedures commonly administered following cardiac arrest.
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How Russian hackers infiltrated the US government for months without being spotted
Thousands of companies and governments are racing to discover whether they have been hit by the Russian hackers who reportedly infiltrated several US government agencies. The initial breach, reported on December 13, included the Treasury as well as the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security. But the stealthy techniques the hackers used mean it could take months to identify all their victim
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The Real Dilophosaurus Would Have Eaten the Jurassic Park Version for Breakfast
The most comprehensive study of the iconic dinosaur reveals a very different animal from the one portrayed on film — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Racial stereotypes drive students of color away from STEM, but many persist
Dominique, a Black electrical engineering doctoral student, found herself in an awkward situation in the lounge of a hotel where she had been attending a conference on science.
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Researchers develop wireless, ultra-thin and battery-free strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive
A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Assistant Professor Chen Po-Yen, has taken the first step towards improving the safety and precision of industrial robotic arms by developing a new range of nanomaterial strain sensors that are 10 times more sensitive when measuring minute movements, compared to existing technology.
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US regulator finds Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine 'highly effective'
FDA staff report paves the way for possible approval by end of the week
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Our research shows more Australians receive unemployment payments than you think
Australians receiving unemployment payments are often negatively portrayed as a relatively small group of people with personal or behavioural problems that stop them from getting a job.
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The 8 Best Books About Artificial Intelligence to Read Now
Algorithms have crept into our feeds, streets, and workplaces. Here's what WIRED staff are reading to understand what that means for the future.
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The New Surface Pro X Has Improved—a Bit
Microsoft has updated its ARM-powered portable, giving it a faster chip and a new keyboard. It still struggles to compete.
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Data-driven discovery of biomarkers pave way for improved diagnosis of contact allergy
With the help of algorithms, researchers have identified markers that can differentiate between irritant eczema and contact allergy, two skin reactions that look similar but require different treatment.
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Tyskland foreslår deponi med højradioaktivt affald tæt på den danske grænse
PLUS. I en rapport fra september foreslår Tyskland at opbevare højradioktivt atomaffald på en række områder tæt ved den danske grænse. Region Syddanmark og fire sønderjyske kommuner tager afstand fra forslagene.
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Exploring the relationship between nitrogen and carbon dioxide in greenhouse gas emissions
An interdisciplinary study on a decade-long experiment (1997-2009) found that lower nitrogen levels in soil promoted release of carbon dioxide from soils under high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and could therefore contribute to furthering rising atmospheric greenhouse gases and climate change.
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Ancient DNA continues to rewrite corn's 9,000-year society-shaping history
Scientists report the fully sequenced genomes of three roughly 2,000-year-old cobs from the El Gigante rock shelter in Honduras. Analysis of the three genomes reveals that these millennia-old varieties of Central American corn had South American ancestry and adds a new chapter in an emerging complex story of corn's domestication history.
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Data-driven discovery of biomarkers pave way for improved diagnosis of contact allergy
With the help of algorithms, researchers have identified markers that can differentiate between irritant eczema and contact allergy, two skin reactions that look similar but require different treatment.
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New insights about depression
New research reveals new insights about risk factors for depression based on data from a landmark longitudinal study focused on heart disease.
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Research dispels fears human stem cells contain cancer-causing mutations
Pioneering new research has made a pivotal breakthrough that dispel concerns that human stem cells could contain cancer-causing mutations.
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Materials scientists create stronger cobalt for fuel cells
A multi-institutional research team led by materials scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has designed a highly active and durable catalyst that doesn't rely on costly platinum to spur the necessary chemical reaction.
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A Year in the Arctic: A Close-Up Look at the Biggest Ever Polar Expedition
How thin ice and historically warm Arctic summers complicated MOSAiC's $150-million hunt for climate data.
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Natural selection helps maintain plant diversity, research finds
It turns out where certain desert shrubs grow matters a lot—especially when it comes to making sure they don't all end up looking the same.
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Creating a ground plan for stonefly evolution
If a creature with eight legs, a large abdomen, and lots of eyes comes crawling your way, even if you have never seen one like it before, you know instinctively that it is a spider. Likewise, an animal with wings, feathers, and a beak is unlikely to be mistaken for anything other than a bird. The common features of a group of animals that make them immediately recognizable are often called a groun
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2020 Has Been a Huge Year for Understanding the Process of Science
For COVID-19, climate, dinosaurs, and more, we're seeing how science works — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Women, parents and early-career faculty in ecology most impacted by COVID-19
The majority of faculty who responded to the survey were negatively impacted on personal and professional levels, and struggling to find a healthy work-life balance.
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Survivors of child abuse twice as likely to die young
A world-first study by the University of South Australia has found that survivors of child abuse are more than twice as likely to die young than children who have never come to the attention of child protection services.
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COVID-19 news from Annals of Internal Medicine
1. Accounting for recent population aging is critical for estimating non-COVID-19 excess deaths in the U.S. ; 2. During pandemic, researchers may need guidance on informed consent exceptions
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Big Bounce or Big Bang? Scientists Still Grappling With Origin of Universe
The universe is a big place. The Hubble Space Telescope's views burrow deep into space and time, but cover an area a fraction the angular size of the full Moon. The challenge is that these "core samples" of the sky may not fully represent the universe at large. This dilemma for cosmologists is called cosmic variance. By expanding the survey area, such uncertainties in the structure of the univers
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Large ionized bubble around NGC 5585 X-1 investigated in detail
An international team of astronomers have conducted a detailed study of a large ionized bubble an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) in the galaxy NGC 5585. Results of the research, presented in a paper published December 7 on arXiv.org, provide more insights into the nature of this bubble.
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Natural selection helps maintain plant diversity, research finds
It turns out where certain desert shrubs grow matters a lot—especially when it comes to making sure they don't all end up looking the same.
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Creating a ground plan for stonefly evolution
If a creature with eight legs, a large abdomen, and lots of eyes comes crawling your way, even if you have never seen one like it before, you know instinctively that it is a spider. Likewise, an animal with wings, feathers, and a beak is unlikely to be mistaken for anything other than a bird. The common features of a group of animals that make them immediately recognizable are often called a groun
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Images reveal where lava broke through the wall of a Martian crater and began filling it up
At a fundamental level, Mars is a volcanic planet. Its surface is home to the solar system's largest extinct volcano, Olympus Mons, and another trio of well-known volcanoes at Tharsis Montes. And those are just the highlights: there are many other volcanoes on the surface. Though that volcanic activity ceased long ago, the planet's surface tells the tale of a world disrupted and shaped by powerful
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Mummified baboons shine new light on the lost land of Punt
Ancient Punt was a major trading partner of Egyptians for at least 1,100 years. It was an important source of luxury goods, including incense, gold, leopard skins, and living baboons. Located somewhere in the southern Red Sea region in either Africa or Arabia, scholars have debated its geographic location for more than 150 years. A new study tracing the geographic origins of Egyptian mummified bab
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Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to 'smell' food
New UC Riverside research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat.
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Aging, diet-induced obesity, and metabolic disease link explored in new research
Unraveling the links among obesity, aging, telomere lengths and metabolic diseases is the subject of the study published today in Nature Metabolism by a collaborative research team at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
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Researchers create gene expression database to gain new insights into pneumococcal infecti
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine published one of the most comprehensive analyses of how genes get expressed during infection (known as a transcriptome). The analyses include three different strains of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia, meningitis and middle-ear infections.
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Vaccin kan ge skydd mot problem långt senare i livet
Vaccination mot pneumokocker och haemophilus ger barn ett bra skydd mot hjärnhinneinflammation och andra allvarliga infektioner. I en ny avhandling vid Umeå universitet visas även att barn som drabbats av dessa infektioner löper ökad risk att långt senare i livet drabbas av bland annat psykiska problem. – Resultaten understryker vilken betydelsefull åtgärd för folkhälsan som barnvaccination fakti
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Glömda klimateffekter vid avskogning i tropiska berg
När träd huggs ner i tropiska bergsområden, för att ge utrymme för jordbruket att expandera, förändras markytans egenskaper. Strålningsbalansen på den blottade ytan påverkas. Därmed förändras också det lokala klimatet. – De biofysiska förändringar som sker, och deras inverkan på klimatet, har emellertid inte ens beaktats i de senaste klimatmodellerna och därmed förblivit okända, säger Deliang Che
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Costs, COVID-19 risk and delays top older adults' concerns about seeking emergency care
Even before the pandemic, older Americans had concerns about seeking emergency care because of the costs they might face, the amount of time they might spend in the waiting room and the worry that they might end up hospitalized.But the risk of catching the novel coronavirus in the emergency department and developing COVID-19 added to those worries, according to a national poll of people ages 50 to
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Mummified baboons shine new light on the lost land of Punt
Ancient Punt was a major trading partner of Egyptians for at least 1,100 years. It was an important source of luxury goods, including incense, gold, and living baboons. Located somewhere in the southern Red Sea region in either Africa or Arabia, scholars have debated its geographic location for more than 150 years. A new Dartmouth-led study tracing the geographic origins of Egyptian mummified babo
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COVID-19 preprint data rapidly influenced critical care practice
In a new research letter published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine , researchers examine whether preprint data on the use of the corticosteroid dexamethasone influenced clinical practice in treating COVID-19 critical care patients throughout Australia.
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Techtopia: Internetgiganter bidrager til censur i Vietnam
Ifølge en ny rapport fra Amnesty International samarbejder Facebook og Google med myndighederne i Vietnam om at censurere aktivister, journalister, forfattere og systemkritikere.
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Digital acceleration in the time of coronavirus: North America
This MIT Technology Review Insights report is part of a series examining the degree to which business preparedness, particularly in technology strategy, contributed to corporate resilience during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in three world regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. Based on survey research and in-depth executive interviews, the series also seeks to understand how techn
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Digital acceleration in the time of coronavirus: Europe
This MIT Technology Review Insights report is part of a series examining the degree to which business preparedness, particularly in technology strategy, contributed to corporate resilience during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in three world regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. Based on survey research and in-depth executive interviews, the series also seeks to understand how techn
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Digital acceleration in the time of coronavirus: Asia-Pacific
This MIT Technology Review Insights report is part of a series examining the degree to which business preparedness, particularly in technology strategy, contributed to corporate resilience during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in three world regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. Based on survey research and in-depth executive interviews, the series also seeks to understand how techn
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For a Better Connection, Talk instead of Typing
The phone is not as awkward as you think, and you may have a more satisfying interaction — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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How COVID-19 is changing the cold and flu season
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03519-3 Measures meant to tame the coronavirus pandemic are quashing influenza and most other respiratory diseases, which could have wide-ranging implications.
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Heather Couper remembered by Floella Benjamin
2 June 1949 – 19 February 2020 The broadcaster and parliamentarian remembers her friend and fellow TV presenter, a distinguished astronomer and advocate of science Little Richard remembered by Bootsy Collins Read the Observer's obituaries of 2020 in full I got to know Heather working on the Millennium Commission, which was a great organisation with which to be involved. It really changed the face
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'Magic' angle graphene and the creation of unexpected topological quantum states
Electrons inhabit a strange and topsy-turvy world. These infinitesimally small particles have never ceased to amaze and mystify despite the more than a century that scientists have studied them. Now, in an even more amazing twist, physicists have discovered that, under certain conditions, interacting electrons can create what are called 'topological quantum states.' This finding has implications f
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Find the best smart light for your home
Yes, you can light up your living room in neon green, too. (Daniele Franchi / Unsplash/) Rigging your living room with computer-controlled lights like the bridge of the USS Enterprise used to be a multi-hundred dollar prospect. But over the last few years smart lights have become more affordable, and you can get started for less than $50. If you're thinking about joining the smart home revolution
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Moderna Vaccine Is Highly Protective and Prevents Severe Covid, Data Show
The positive review most likely ensures that the Food and Drug Administration will grant emergency authorization to a second coronavirus vaccine this week for millions of Americans.
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The Longing Is a Video Game of Transcendent Slowness
Set in a virtual cave, this Tamagotchi-like waiting simulator is a riff on a German folktale that captures 2020's sad and surreal lockdown energy.
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All the Stuff Humans Make Now Outweighs Earth's Organisms
Anthropogenic mass—concrete, metal, and other human creations—has grown to be heavier than plants, animals, and microbes combined. Planet Earth is not happy.
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The Race to Get a PlayStation 5 Is the Year's Best Game
This is what a holiday-shopping craze looks like when everyone's in lockdown.
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3300-year-old baboon skull may tell of mysterious ancient kingdom
East African artifact may be first known treasure recovered from the "fantasy land" of Punt
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Being Manipulated by Robots
How susceptible would you be to suggestion or even manipulation by a robot, or even just a digital AI (artificial intelligence)? This is one of those questions where almost everyone thinks they would not be affected, while in reality many or even most people are. We don't like to think that our behavior can easily be manipulated, but a century of psychological research tells a different story. Th
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For a Better Connection, Talk instead of Typing
The phone is not as awkward as you think, and you may have a more satisfying interaction — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Johnson under pressure to rethink Christmas mixing rules
UK's nations fail to agree new strategy, with health journals warning of 'blunder' that would cost lives
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Snart virker Smittestop også på gamle iPhones
Gamle iPhone-modeller helt ned til iPhone 5S forventes at kunne bruge Smittestop i starten af 2021.
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World's first gas sample from deep space confirmed
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has confirmed that the gas collected from the sample container inside the re-entry capsule of the asteroid explorer, Hayabusa2, is a gas sample originating from asteroid Ryugu.
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Australia's Byron Bay beach shrinks as sand disappears
Australia's Byron Bay usually conjures images of bathers lounging on sunkissed shores, or blissed-out longboarders cruising along cyan-blue waves—but coastal erosion and lashing storms have reduced its seashore to a debris-strewn slither.
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Scientists breed new rice variety with ion beam technology
A research team led by Prof. WU Yuejin from the Institute of Intelligent Machines of the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) bred a rice variety with ion beam breeding technology.
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Accurate theoretical modeling unravels changes in molecules interacting with quantum light
A team of researchers from Italy, Norway, and Germany has demonstrated that the properties of molecules undergo significant changes when interacting with quantized electromagnetic fields in optical cavities. Using novel theoretical methodologies and computational simulations, the team revealed that the ground- and excited-state chemistry of molecules can be modified by a confinement in space. They
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As sea ice disappears, a greener and browner Arctic emerges
Arctic sea ice has been in steep decline over the past two decades. A study of tundra shrubs published today in the journal PNAS shows that as sea ice disappears, the Arctic is becoming both greener and browner.
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Ice-rich flow features in Martian southern hemisphere reveal effects of recent climate cycles
A large, previously unrecognized reservoir of water ice on Mars is well preserved and formed within the past few million years, says a paper led by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Daniel C. Berman.
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Temporal control of light echoes
Scientists at Paderborn University, the Technical University of Dortmund and the University of Würzburg have for the first time used laser pulses to precisely control photon echoes, which can occur when light waves superimpose on each other. The findings of the research have now been published in scientific journal Communications Physics.
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An elusive effect, captured on a chip, that promises new technologies
A single laser is shot through a microscopic comb, which splits into a rainbow of colors. It all happens in a highly controlled manner on a tiny photonic resonator, and could pave the way toward more accurate clocks, the discovery of exoplanets and improved GPS systems.
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Scientists breed new rice variety with ion beam technology
A research team led by Prof. WU Yuejin from the Institute of Intelligent Machines of the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) bred a rice variety with ion beam breeding technology.
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Marine pollution: How do plastic additives dilute in water and how risky are they?
Plastic pollution has been at the center of environmental debate for decades. While it is well known that plastic in the environment can break down into microplastics, be ingested by humans and other organisms, transfer up the food chain and cause harm, this is only one part of the picture. Plastics are almost always enriched with additives, which makes them easier to process, more resistant, or m
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Marine researchers find trawling noise risk to protected mammals
The noise of bottom trawling in or near underwater canyons can disturb protected mammals such as fin whales and beaked whales in important feeding grounds and along migratory paths, researchers at National University of Ireland Galway report. The team, based with iCRAG, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Applied Geosciences, in NUI Galway's Ryan Institute, used hydrophones to recor
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Marine researchers find trawling noise risk to protected mammals
The noise of bottom trawling in or near underwater canyons can disturb protected mammals such as fin whales and beaked whales in important feeding grounds and along migratory paths, researchers at National University of Ireland Galway report. The team, based with iCRAG, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Applied Geosciences, in NUI Galway's Ryan Institute, used hydrophones to recor
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Shedding light on the dark side of biomass burning pollution
Oxidized organic aerosol is a major component of ambient particulate matter, substantially impacting climate, human health and ecosystems. Oxidized aerosol from biomass burning is especially toxic, known to contain a large amount of mutagens that are known carcinogens. Inhaling biomass burning particles can also cause oxidative stress and a wide range of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and
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Author Correction: Factors determining speed management during distracted driving (WhatsApp messaging)
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79428-2
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Light Pollution Is Causing Birds to Nest Earlier–Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing
Earlier nesting may help birds adjust to the effects of climate change — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The 'Healthy Building' Surge Will Outlast the Pandemic
Because of Covid-19, developers are realizing that incorporating health concerns in a building's design isn't just a luxury—it's a necessity.
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The 7th Jackbox Party Pack Is the First Perfect Pack
It took a couple swings (most of them good, some of them okay at best) but the most recent release is a crowd-pleaser.
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The Steampunk Rover Concept That Could Help Explore Venus
50 years after the first spacecraft touched down on our super hot neighbor (and promptly died), NASA has a plan for a tougher mechanical lander.
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The Zodiac Killer's Cipher Is Finally Cracked After 51 Years
Amateur and professional cryptographers, including those at the FBI, had been trying to decode the infamous serial killer's message to the media for decades.
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Why Do Many Self-Driving Cars Look Like Toasters on Wheels?
Without any need for steering wheels or pedals, the cubes give passengers room to maneuver inside. The latest entrant, from Zoox, can hold 4.
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Quantum Mechanics, the Mind-Body Problem and Negative Theology
Scientists and philosophers should keep trying to solve reality's deepest riddles while accepting that they are unsolvable — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Light Pollution Is Causing Birds to Nest Earlier–Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing
Earlier nesting may help birds adjust to the effects of climate change — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Miljøorganisation efter ministersvar: Flystribers klimaeffekt er nu endelig 'en ting'
PLUS. Med nylig EASA-rapport er flystribernes klimaeffekt nu slået fast i så højt et luftlag, at de ikke længere kan skydes til hjørne.
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How Texas's Attorney General Won by Losing Big
Last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brilliantly cynical lawsuit seeking to overturn the presidential election in four swing states—Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The lawsuit used a provision of the U.S. Constitution that makes the Supreme Court the arbiter in state conflicts. President Donald Trump quickly jumped on board. Republican attorneys general in 17 other
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Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine
T he Doomsday Machine was never supposed to exist. It was meant to be a thought experiment that went like this: Imagine a device built with the sole purpose of destroying all human life. Now suppose that machine is buried deep underground, but connected to a computer, which is in turn hooked up to sensors in cities and towns across the United States. The sensors are designed to sniff out signs of
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Light Pollution Is Causing Birds to Nest Earlier–Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing
Earlier nesting may help birds adjust to the effects of climate change — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Heads angry after two councils forced to back down over Covid school closures
Greenwich and Islington back down over ending term early following government threat of legal action Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Headteachers have reacted with anger after the government ratcheted up pressure on schools to remain fully open in the run-up to Christmas, threatening legal action against a London council after forcing two others to back down. Islingt
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Cylindrical 3D printed configurable ultrasonic lens for subwavelength focusing enhancement
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-77165-0
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A small number of daily pitches induces shoulder and elbow injuries among high school baseball pitchers: a prospective study
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-78957-0
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Optimization and computational studies evaluating molecular dynamics of EDA cored polymeric dendrimer
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-77540-x
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Striking forest revival at the end of the Roman Period in north-western Europe
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-77253-1
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Theoretically predicting the feasibility of highly-fluorinated ethers as promising diluents for non-flammable concentrated electrolytes
Scientific Reports, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79038-y
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Teleindustrien frygter for retssikkerheden i ny telelov
PLUS. Et kinesisk farvel til den danske telesektor vil ifølge teleanalytiker John Strand næppe få store konsekvenser for hverken forbrugere eller telebranchen. Huaweis danske talsmand har forladt virksomheden tirsdag.
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The Year We Lost
Photographs by Yen Duong T he year 2020 has given more to the authors of history textbooks than it has to the writers of diaries. Decades from now, scholars will have a wealth of material for their accounts of this pivotal time, but when the people who lived through it look back on the timelines of their personal lives, many of them will find a gap where 2020 should be. For all its eventfulness,
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The World's Most Important Body of Water
T he South China Sea is the most important body of water for the world economy—through it passes at least one-third of global trade. It is also the most dangerous body of water in the world, the place where the militaries of the United States and China could most easily collide. Chinese and American warships have just barely averted several incidents there over the past few years, and the Chinese
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Why Is There Financing for Everything Now?
This article was published online on December 15, 2020. E veryone is born a mark, and you have to hope you wise up from there. Getting purposefully and repeatedly fooled is one of the fundamental experiences of childhood—by peekaboo, by Santa Claus, by the idea that you'll grow a watermelon in your tummy if you swallow the seeds. The more kids realize they've been fooled, first by caregivers doin
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Dna-test för sill ger hållbarare fiske
Sillens hela arvsmassa är kartlagd och forskare har funnit några tydliga genetiska skillnader mellan bestånden. Det har resulterat i dna-tester som ska kunna användas för att särskilja bestånd åt och på sikt ge bättre och hållbarare underlag för fiskekvoter. Den internationell forskargruppen, som är ledd från Uppsala universitet, har kartlagt hela arvsmassan hos sillen i 53 populationer från hela
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Første afgørelse af sin slags: Twitters millionbøde vokser
Twitters millionbøde er vokset, efter sagen endte med en artikel-65-afgørelse i Det Europæiske Databeskyttelsesråd.
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The Mustang Mach-E Delivers a Jolt—If You Can Find a Charge
The electric version of Ford's legendary sports car is a lot of fun to drive. But road trips can be derailed by an underpowered charging network.
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The best treatments we currently have for COVID-19
Empty hospital beds have been an uncommon sight during this pandemic. (Pexels/) Follow all of PopSci's COVID-19 coverage here , including the truth about herd immunity , advice for pregnant women , and a tutorial on making your own mask . The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been given, and hope for the eventual end of the pandemic is in sight. There's a long road ahead before everyone is v
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Unmeet the beetles: "A very disappointing story" as authors yank paper on new insect species
Don't tell the aquatic beetles in the family Grouvellinus Champion 1923, but their number just got a little smaller. Officially speaking, that is. Unofficially, keep that place setting at the holiday table. Well, don't, if you're under travel restrictions for COVID-19. You get the picture. A journal has retracted a 2019 paper describing the discovery … Continue reading
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Daily briefing: The most spectacular science images of the year
Nature, Published online: 14 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03580-y The year's best science images, breakthroughs in allergy medicine, and which countries nailed COVID contact tracing (and which didn't).
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Forskere skal undersøge kæmpeisbjerg med undersøiske fartøjer
PLUS. Et isbjerg større end Fyn er på vej mod den britiske ø South Georgia i Sydatlanten. Til januar vil et forskerhold fra British Antarctic Survey ledet af en dansker undersøge, hvordan afsmeltningen af ferskvand påvirker dyrelivet omkring øen.
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AI academic speaks out on Google race row
The AI academic at the centre of a race row at Google speaks to BBC News.
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UK medical journals call for Christmas Covid rules to be reversed
Call echoed by head of hospital doctors' union and in a letter from Keir Starmer to the PM Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Plans to relax Covid restrictions at Christmas must be reversed or many lives risk being lost, according to a rare joint editorial from two of the UK's most eminent medical journals. That call was echoed by the head of the hospital doctors' union
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Poverty linked to higher risk of Covid-19 death, study suggests
People in the poorest areas are more likely to be affected by severe Covid-19 – and to die from the disease – than those in more affluent districts, according to a study of critical care units.
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Scientists show what loneliness looks like in the brain
This holiday season will be a lonely one for many people as social distancing due to COVID-19 continues, and it is important to understand how isolation affects our health. A new study shows a sort of signature in the brains of lonely people that make them distinct in fundamental ways, based on variations in the volume of different brain regions as well as based on how those regions communicate wi
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Li1.5La1.5MO6 (M = W6+, Te6+) as a new series of lithium-rich double perovskites for all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19815-5 The development of the all solid-state battery requires the formation of stable solid/solid interfaces between different battery components. Here the authors tailor the composition to form both electrolyte and anode from the same novel family of perovskites with shared crystal chemistry.
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Uniform spatial pooling explains topographic organization and deviation from receptive-field scale invariance in primate V1
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19954-9 Two-photon imaging in macaque V1 captured maps of tuning selectivity for four spatial parameters, all of which correlated with peak spatial frequency. These inter-map relationships reveal a common motif—they are described by uniform spatial pooling from a family of scale invariant Gabor receptive fields.
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A collection of bacterial isolates from the pig intestine reveals functional and taxonomic diversity
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19929-w The authors present a public collection of 117 bacterial isolates from the pig gut, including the description of 38 novel taxa. Interesting functions discovered in these organisms include a new fucosyltransferease and sactipeptide-like molecules encoded by biosynthetic gene clusters.
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Overcoming gender inequality for climate resilient development
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19856-w Gender inequality increases vulnerability to climate change impacts and reduces societies' adaptive capacity. Here the authors show how gender inequality may evolve in the future in five scenarios of socioeconomic development and highlight the importance of incorporating gender inequality in climate change r
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In situ differentiation of iridophore crystallotypes underlies zebrafish stripe patterning
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-20088-1 The skin of zebrafish is patterned by alternating blue stripes and yellow interstripes which arises from guanine crystal-containing cells called iridophores that reflect light. Here the authors track iridophores and see that they do not migrate between stripes and interstripes, but instead differentiate and
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Direct energy transfer from photosystem II to photosystem I confers winter sustainability in Scots Pine
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-20137-9 Evergreen conifers rely on 'sustained quenching' to protect their photosynthetic machinery during long, cold winters. Here, Bag et al. show that direct energy transfer (spillover) from photosystem II to photosystem I triggered by loss of grana stacking in chloroplast is the major component of sustained quenc
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The default network of the human brain is associated with perceived social isolation
Nature Communications, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41467-020-20039-w Here, using pattern-learning analyses of structural, functional, and diffusion brain scans in ~40,000 UK Biobank participants, the authors provide population-scale evidence that the default network is associated with perceived social isolation.
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Open-access journal eLife announces 'preprint first' publishing model
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03541-5 It also plans to make reviews publicly available — for both accepted and rejected manuscripts.
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Women of the Nobel factory share their stories
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03520-w From sequencing to stardom — alumnae of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology reflect on how they succeeded in science.
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Sådan udviklede psykiatrien i Region H automatiseret corona-dashboard på to uger
PLUS. Visual analytics giver ledelsen i Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri et hurtigt overblik over coronapandemiens konsekvenser for organisationen. Nu er flere dashboards på vej.
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The great project: how Covid changed science for ever
The emergence of a novel coronavirus prompted a wave of global collaboration that has led to vaccines, treatments and the promise of new discoveries Show your support for rigorous, independent Guardian journalism Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage For scientists, 5 January was a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus. That day, a team led by Prof Yong-Zhen Z
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With First Dibs on Vaccines, Rich Countries Have 'Cleared the Shelves'
The U.S., Britain, Canada and others are hedging their bets, reserving doses that far outnumber their populations, as many poorer nations struggle to secure enough.
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1st Patients To Get CRISPR Gene-Editing Treatment Continue To Thrive
As the first patient to receive an experimental treatment that relied on the gene-editing technique CRISPR continues to do well 17 months later, more patients seem to be benefiting, too. (Image credit: Victoria Gray )
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Stargazers watch the total eclipse in Argentina's Neuquen province
Tourists and scientists gathered at an observation site in Argentina to witness the total eclipse.
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Should Your Kidney Doctor Have a Financial Stake in Dialysis?
Joint ventures between nephrologists and for-profit dialysis centers have expanded access to treatment. But critics say it raises inherent conflicts of interest for doctors to have a financial stake in the centers to which they refer their patients — especially when other treatment options might exist.
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Tårn af kranier dukker op ved berømt katedral: Mænd, kvinder og børn blev ofret til guderne
Mere end 600 kranier fra aztekernes tid er kommet frem i Mexico City.
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Hayabusa-2: Pieces of an asteroid found inside space capsule
Scientists in Japan open the Hayabusa-2 space capsule that landed just over a week ago.
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Covid: 'Do minimum possible' over Christmas, says UK minister
Urgent talks under way in Whitehall after emergence of new variant of virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Relaxations in coronavirus rules over Christmas should not be "misinterpreted" and people should do "the minimum that is possible" over the festive period, a cabinet minister has said. Under recently announced plans, up to three households will be permitted to
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UK coronavirus live: allowing mixing at Christmas 'major error that will cost many lives', say health experts
Latest updates: London mayor adds to pressure on No 10 to act to prevent potential surge in coronavirus cases over Christmas Pressure grows on No 10 to prevent Christmas Covid surge Millions more enter tier 3 in England amid new Covid strain warning Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.45am GMT In a joint editorial, the British Medical Journal and the Health Service Jo
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Fra nytår kan du få beton med 25 procent lavere CO2-udslip
Efter mange års udvikling kan danske byggerier fra næste år anvende beton produceret med 25 procent lavere CO2-udslip. Listeprisen bliver ti procent højere end for standardbeton.
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China to open giant telescope to international scientists
Nestled among the mountains in southwest China, the world's largest radio telescope signals Beijing's ambitions as a global centre for scientific research.
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Global stocks steady as investors assess latest Covid restrictions
Traders await outcome of EU-UK trade talks and US stimulus negotiations
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Japan's space agency finds ample soil, gas from asteroid
Officials from Japan's space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country's Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, a mission they praised as a milestone in planetary research.
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Balancing climate and development goals
The impact on climate change would only be modest if countries in the process of development were to delay efforts to reduce their carbon emissions until they reach a certain level of economic growth.
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Characterising Indonesia's bird-owners guides behaviour change amid Asian Songbird Crisis
A comprehensive new study into the key user groups in Indonesia's bird trade offers hope for protecting species through behavioural change. Novel research led by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Chester Zoo has identified three main groups within the Indonesian songbird owner community: 'hobbyist', 'contestant' and 'breeder'.
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Scientists find that trees are out of equilibrium with climate, posing new challenges in a warming world
Forecasts predicting where plants and animals will inhabit over time rely primarily on information about their current climate associations, but that only plays a partial role.
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Balancing climate and development goals
The impact on climate change would only be modest if countries in the process of development were to delay efforts to reduce their carbon emissions until they reach a certain level of economic growth.
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Characterising Indonesia's bird-owners guides behaviour change amid Asian Songbird Crisis
A comprehensive new study into the key user groups in Indonesia's bird trade offers hope for protecting species through behavioural change. Novel research led by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Chester Zoo has identified three main groups within the Indonesian songbird owner community: 'hobbyist', 'contestant' and 'breeder'.
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Scientists find that trees are out of equilibrium with climate, posing new challenges in a warming world
Forecasts predicting where plants and animals will inhabit over time rely primarily on information about their current climate associations, but that only plays a partial role.
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Salt-tolerant bacteria with an appetite for sludge make biodegradable plastics
The United States generates seven million tons of sewage sludge annually, enough to fill 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. While a portion of this waste is repurposed for manure and other land applications, a substantial amount is still disposed of in landfills. In a new study, Texas A&M University researchers have uncovered an efficient way to use leftover sludge to make biodegradable plastics.
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Research explores the relationship between nitrogen and carbon dioxide in greenhouse gas emissions
A University of Oklahoma-led interdisciplinary study on a decade-long experiment (1997-2009) at the University of Minnesota found that lower nitrogen levels in soil promoted release of carbon dioxide from soils under high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and could therefore contribute to furthering rising atmospheric greenhouse gases and climate change.
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Researchers use origami to solve space travel challenge
WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel—how to store and move fuel to rocket engines.
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Nanoengineered cement shows promise for sealing leaky gas wells
Leaking natural gas wells are considered a potential source of methane emissions, and a new nanomaterial cement mixture could provide an effective, affordable solution for sealing these wells, according to a team of Penn State scientists.
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Recovery of an endangered Caribbean coral from parrotfish predation
Parrotfishes are abundant herbivores that primarily graze upon algae, which may indirectly benefit corals by mitigating coral-algae competition. At a local scale, management efforts to increase populations of parrotfishes are believed to be critically important to maintaining resilient, coral-dominated reefs. Yet, some parrotfish species also occasionally graze coral—a behavior known as corallivor
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Recovery of an endangered Caribbean coral from parrotfish predation
Parrotfishes are abundant herbivores that primarily graze upon algae, which may indirectly benefit corals by mitigating coral-algae competition. At a local scale, management efforts to increase populations of parrotfishes are believed to be critically important to maintaining resilient, coral-dominated reefs. Yet, some parrotfish species also occasionally graze coral—a behavior known as corallivor
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Scientists warn of likely massive oil spill endangering the Red Sea, region's health
A paper to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science on December 15 is calling for action to remove the oil from a decaying and inactive tanker in the Red Sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oil—four times the amount of oil contained in the Exxon Valdez, the tanker that had a disastrous environmental oil spill in 1989—before its current seepage turns into a massive oil spill into
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New Covid strain: How worried should we be?
Scientists will keep a close eye on this variant to see if it is a better spreader than others.
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Scientists warn of likely massive oil spill endangering the Red Sea, region's health
A paper to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science on December 15 is calling for action to remove the oil from a decaying and inactive tanker in the Red Sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oil—four times the amount of oil contained in the Exxon Valdez, the tanker that had a disastrous environmental oil spill in 1989—before its current seepage turns into a massive oil spill into
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Han leder utvecklingen av Pfizers coronavaccin – och blir nu gästprofessor i Lund
Mikael Dolsten har varit rådgivare för president Obama, arbetat med Joe Biden kring Cancer Moonshot, bidragit till ett 30-tal läkemedel – och nu leder han utvecklingen av Pfizers och BioNTechs corona-vaccin som forskningschef på Pfizer. Hans karriär började i Lund och i januari sluts cirkeln då han tillträder han som gästprofessor i farmakologi vid Lunds universitet.
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Melatonin
supplements are increasingly popular, but the evidence is weak and mixed. The post Melatonin first appeared on Science-Based Medicine .
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Why should we listen to birds? (part one)
Our colleagues from the Age of Extinction project, Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield, are back with two new episodes asking whether birdsong might be beneficial to both our mental and physical health – and if nature is so good for us, why aren't we taking better care of it?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
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Wellcome Trust hails 'spectacular year' for science
Medical charity's endowment boosted investments in research, much of it tied to pandemic
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Mysteriet med protonens rätta storlek
Den vanliga protonen som finns i varje atomkärna har på senare år orsakat huvudbry i forskarvärlden. I ett experiment för några år sedan hade forskare bytt ut elektronen i en väteatom mot en myon så att de kunde göra en noggrannare mätning av protonens storlek. Det överraskande resultatet var att protonen såg mindre ut än i tidigare försök.
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Scientists warn of likely massive oil spill endangering the Red Sea, region's health
A paper to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science on December 15 is calling for action to remove the oil from a decaying and inactive tanker in the Red Sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oil – four times the amount of oil contained in the Exxon Valdez, the tanker that had a disastrous environmental oil spill in 1989 – before its current seepage turns into a massive oil spill
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A68a iceberg: Science mission to investigate frozen giant
Scientists will send robotic vehicles under the colossal berg drifting in the South Atlantic.
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'It made Boris seem like a normal person': how did Johnson's Covid change him?
The prime minister's spell in intensive care underscored the severity of the pandemic. Did it also make him reassess his life? It was an unexpected twist in what already felt like an excessively dramatic disaster movie. On 6 April, the British prime minister was admitted to the intensive care ward at St Thomas' hospital in London, after contracting a new and potentially deadly virus. Donald Trump
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Scientists plan mission to biggest iceberg as it drifts towards island
Team will study effects on environment of A-68A, which is heading for South Georgia Scientists are preparing for an urgent mission to the world's biggest iceberg, which is on a collision course with the island of South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The A-68A iceberg, which is larger than Luxembourg, broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica in 2017 and has been drifting toward
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Researchers use origami to solve space travel challenge
WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel – how to store and move fuel to rocket engines. The researchers have developed an origami-inspired, folded plastic fuel bladder that doesn't crack at super cold temperatures and could someday be used to store and pump fuel.
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Purdue researchers uncover blind spots at the intersection of AI and neuroscience
Is it possible to read a person's mind by analyzing the electric signals from the brain? The answer may be much more complex than most people think. Purdue University researchers – working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and neuroscience – say a prominent dataset used to try to answer this question is confounded, and therefore many eye-popping findings that were based on this datase
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Structural racism severely impacts the health of foreign-born Blacks and Latinx
Structural racism can lead to discrimination in many aspects of life including criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examines the impact of structural racism on health and confirms that chronic exposure to stressors leads to a marked erosion of health that is particularly severe among
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UK Scientists Urge Caution Over Claims of a Particularly Contagious SARS-CoV-2 Strain
"It is important to keep a calm and rational perspective."
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Why should we listen to birds? (part one) – podcast
Our colleagues from the Age of Extinction project , Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield, are back with two new episodes asking whether birdsong might be beneficial to both our mental and physical health – and if nature is so good for us, why aren't we taking better care of it? Continue reading…
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Vind med Ingeniørens julekalender: 15. december
Vær med i Ingeniørens julekalender 2020. Hver dag med nye præmier!
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KU-forskere udvikler nyt princip for smartere insulin
Inden for fremtidens behandling af type 1-diabetes er såkaldt smart insulin det helt store håb. Nu har forskere fra Københavns Universitet udviklet et helt nyt princip til at lave smart insulin, og de har valideret princippet i forsøg med dyr.
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Forskningsleder bliver ny professor i diabetesteknologi på KU
Kirsten Nørgaard er diabetesoverlæge og forskningsleder på Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, og til januar tiltræder hun en stilling som professor i diabetesteknologi på Københavns Universitet.
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Jump in London Covid cases raises fears over Christmas gatherings
Case numbers surge in capital and South East but cause of new outbreak is not fully known
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'Magic' angle graphene and the creation of unexpected topological quantum states
Electrons inhabit a strange and topsy-turvy world. These infinitesimally small particles have never ceased to amaze and mystify despite the more than a century that scientists have studied them. Now, in an even more amazing twist, physicists have discovered that, under certain conditions, interacting electrons can create what are called 'topological quantum states.' This finding has implications f
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Trees are out of equilibrium with climate
A research team studied the current ranges of hundreds of North American trees and shrubs to assess the degree to which species are growing in all of the places that are climatically suitable. Researchers found evidence of widespread 'underfilling' of these potential climatic habitats — only 50% on average — which could mean that trees already have disadvantage as the world continues to warm.
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Marine pollution: How do plastic additives dilute in water and how risky are they?
New research shows that additives in plastic materials deployed or thrown in coastal environments diffuse into the environment at different rates. Their findings demonstrate how assessments of exposure risk based on the composition of the source plastic waste will be inaccurate, because this composition varies as plastics break down and additives dilute into the environment at different rates. A n
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Recovery of an endangered Caribbean coral from parrotfish predation
Orbicella annularis is an important Caribbean coral and an endangered species, yet it is also frequently predated by parrotfishes. Researchers have tracked the recovery of this coral species from parrotfish predation. They found that O. annularis coral tissue loss appears to be driven primarily by a few exceptionally large parrotfish predation scars. Fortunately, 87% of scars were small and likely
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High blood pressure at any age, no matter how long you have it, may speed cognitive decline
Memory, concentration and other cognitive functions decline faster among middle-aged and older adults who have high blood pressure than those who do not. Even seemingly slight blood pressure elevation during middle and older age is linked to a faster decline in cognition.
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The Atlantic Daily: How Science Beat the Virus
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 . Ricardo Tomás Science defeated the coronavirus, my colleague Ed Yong reports in our latest cover story This spring, thousands of researchers paused their projects in order to study the deadly dis
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How to watch the Jupiter and Saturn 'great conjunction' of 2020
On 21 December, the planets will align, appearing closer than they have since the middle ages, in what is being called a 'Christmas kiss' This year, stargazers will have the chance to see a Christmas "kiss" beneath interplanetary mistletoe when Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer to one another and brighter than they have in 800 years in an event known as a " great conjunction ". Continue readi
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Planning ahead protects fish and fisheries
Conservation of fish and other marine life migrating from warming ocean waters will be more effective and also protect commercial fisheries if plans are made now to cope with climate change, according to a new study.
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Partier vil have klapningsreform: Dumping af havneslam skal stoppes
PLUS. Efter Miljøstyrelsens kritisable klaptilladelser vil SF og Enhedslisten have klapning stoppet i Danmark. Venstre og Konservative overvejer i stedet at indskrænke klappladserne og mener, at et totalt stop er urealistisk.
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Apathy could predict onset of dementia years before other symptoms
Apathy — a lack of interest or motivation — could predict the onset of some forms of dementia many years before symptoms start, offering a 'window of opportunity' to treat the disease at an early stage, according to new research.
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Characterizing wildlife consumers to guide behavior change efforts provides optimism amid the Asian Songbird Extinction Crisis
A comprehensive new study into the key user groups in Indonesia's bird trade offers hope for protecting species through behavioural change. Novel research has identified three main groups within the Indonesian songbird owner community: 'hobbyist', 'contestant' and 'breeder'.
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New dinosaur showed descendants how to dress to impress
Scientists have found the most elaborately dressed-to-impress dinosaur ever described and say it sheds new light on how birds such as peacocks inherited their ability to show off.
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Nanoengineered cement shows promise for sealing leaky gas wells
Leaking natural gas wells are considered a potential source of methane emissions, and a new nanomaterial cement mixture could provide an effective, affordable solution for sealing these wells.
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A human gene placed in fruit flies reveals details about a human developmental disorder
Meier-Gorlin syndrome, or MGS, is a rare genetic developmental disorder that causes dwarfism, small ears, a small brain, missing patella and other skeletal abnormalities. One mutation causing MGS, first reported in 2017, is a Lysine 23 to Glutamic acid (K23E) substitution in the gene for Orc6. Researchers have now put that mutant human gene into fruit flies to probe the function of Orc6 K23E.
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Emerging from the fog: Little understood post-stroke cognitive issues are verified
For the first time, researchers have measured the physical evidence of diminished neural processing within the brain after a stroke.
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Critical temperature for tropical tree lifespan revealed
For the first time scientists have provided clear evidence that tropical tree lifespan decreases above a critical temperature threshold.
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Asteroid dust recovered from Japan's daring Hayabusa2 mission
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03451-6 Scientists hope the dark grains from asteroid Ryugu will improve their understanding of the Solar System's formation.
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Compound derived from thunder god vine could help pancreatic cancer patients
The results of a pre-clinical study suggest how a compound derived from the thunder god vine — an herb used in China for centuries to treat joint pain, swelling and fever — is able to kill cancer cells and potentially improve clinical outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer.
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Salt-tolerant bacteria with an appetite for sludge make biodegradable plastics
The United States generates seven million tons of sewage sludge annually, enough to fill 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. While a portion of this waste is repurposed for manure and other land applications, a substantial amount is still disposed of in landfills. In a new study, researchers have uncovered an efficient way to use leftover sludge to make biodegradable plastics.
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Robotic exoskeleton training improves walking in adolescents with acquired brain injury
Gait training using robotic exoskeletons improved motor function in adolescents and young adults with acquired brain injury.
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Robotic exoskeleton training improves walking in adolescents with acquired brain injury
Gait training using robotic exoskeletons improved motor function in adolescents and young adults with acquired brain injury.
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Endothelial cell targeting could help fight COVID-19 symptoms, study shows
For COVID-19 patients with serious lung disease, targeting endothelial cells — cells that comprise the blood vessel wall which regulate oxygen exchange between airways and the bloodstream — may be a novel approach restoring normal lung function.
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UV-emitting LED lights found to kill coronavirus
Researchers have shown that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). They believe that the UV-LED technology will soon be available for private and commercial use.
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UV-emitting LED lights found to kill coronavirus
Researchers have shown that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). They believe that the UV-LED technology will soon be available for private and commercial use.
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Development of high-speed nanoPCR technology for point-of-care diagnosis of COVID-19
Researchers have invented a new diagnostic method for COVID-19, called nanoPCR. The new technology can accurately diagnose the infection in less than 20 minutes.
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Apathy could predict onset of dementia years before other symptoms
Apathy — a lack of interest or motivation — could predict the onset of some forms of dementia many years before symptoms start, offering a 'window of opportunity' to treat the disease at an early stage, according to new research from a team of scientists led by Professor James Rowe at the University of Cambridge.
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Characterising Indonesia’s bird-owners guides behaviour change amid Asian Songbird Crisis
A comprehensive new study into the key user groups in Indonesia's bird trade offers hope for protecting species through behavioural change. Novel research led by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Chester Zoo has identified three main groups within the Indonesian songbird owner community: 'hobbyist', 'contestant' and 'breeder'.
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Bill Barr's Departure Reveals the Hollowness of Trumpism
In most ways, it would be hard to find two men much more different than Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr: One is a slow-drawling anti-immigration fanatic from Alabama; the other is a dry, intellectually engaged bagpiper from New York. One spent his career on the fringes of conservatism before a sudden late-career elevation to the Cabinet; the other is a consummate establishment figure who led the Just
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African families in UK are 'parenting in fear'
Black African families in the UK are parenting in fear of being penalized by authorities due to cultural differences and institutional racial misconceptions, according to new research published today in The British Journal of Social Work.
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New dinosaur showed descendants how to dress to impress
Scientists have found the most elaborately dressed-to-impress dinosaur ever described and say it sheds new light on how birds such as peacocks inherited their ability to show off.
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Lab-Grown Meat Tackles the Looming Threat of Antibiotic Resistance
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Signal Blog: Adding Encrypted Group Calls to Signal
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Google Axes Idea of Permanent Remote Work
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Biggest Breakthrough of 2020: AlphaFold from DeepMind
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EU rights watchdog warns of pitfalls in use of AI
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Physicists create time-reversed optical waves
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Green Hydrogen, The Fuel Of The Future, Set For 50-Fold Expansion
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New Deep Learning Method Helps Robots Become Jacks-of-all-Trades
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The Internet of Senses: Your Brain Is the User Interface
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3D Printed McLaren 720S Hits The Streets
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Our Future Depends on Renewable Energy and Storage Capacity and We Need to Address that Now
Here come the Electric Vehicles! All major auto manufacturers are announcing many new EVs coming out next year with predictions that we will have millions of new electric cars on the roads very soon. That sounds great and EVs can be charged at home and don't use fossil fuels but there are other issues with EVs that if not dealt with are going to slow and could stall our progress towards replacing
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The AI Girlfriend Seducing China's Lonely Men
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Scientists Just Set a New World Record in Solar Cell Efficiency
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The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: Black children diagnosed with severe sepsis are more likely to die than White or Hispanic children, hospital data suggests
Black children hospitalized in the US due to severe sepsis have 20% greater odds of death than White or Hispanic children, according to research published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.
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Vaccines must prevent infection, disease progression and transmission – in every country – to truly bring COVID-19 under control
An editorial co-authored by a member of the UK's influential SAGE committee that advises the UK Government on COVID-19, and published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) says that in order for the global COVID-19 vaccination program to be successful, the available vaccines must be able to do all three of: prevent infection becoming established in an individual, prevent d
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The most contentious election in American history happened in 1876
The 2020 election cycle is wild, but the 1876 elections were even more contentious. In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes became President despite losing the popular vote. That election included allegations of widespread fraud, violence, and was decided by a special Congressional committee. If you think the 2020 election has been a nerve-wrecking mess that threatens the very foundations of our country, it
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Did You Get the Coronavirus Vaccine, or Are You Planning To?
The New York Times would like to hear from people in the U.S. who received a vaccination against Covid-19, or hoped to get one.
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What to know about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine before it reaches you
Over the next several days, FedEx will ship 3 million doses to vaccination sites across the country and healthcare workers have already begun to receive their first doses. (Unsplash/) For many, if not most Americans, the wait for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 has been a long and grueling one. While the development of COVID-19 vaccines has progressed at an unprecedented rate, the wait has been fil
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