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U.K. Authorizes Covid-19 Vaccine From Oxford and AstraZeneca
Health officials hope to soon vaccinate up to two million people per week as the country's hospitals are overwhelmed by cases of a new, more contagious coronavirus variant.
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Forsker: Behovet for restriktioner slutter ikke i midten af januar
PLUS. Følger man virussers natur, vil bølgen blive langstrakt. Dog kan man ikke sammenligne smittens udvikling fuldt ud med influenzaen, understreger epidemiforsker.
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Storbritannien godkender vaccine fra AstraZeneca – EU afventer stor test
AstraZeneca er billigere og behøves ikke fryses ned, men er ikke helt så effektiv som mRNA vaccinerne fra Pfizer og Moderna. Og så er den et stykke fra at blive godkendt i EU.
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New Covid variant linked to higher viral load in respiratory samples
Preliminary analysis suggests higher load makes B117 variant easier to spread to other people Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The hypothesis that the fast-spreading UK variant of the Covid-19 virus has a transmission advantage has been bolstered by an analysis that suggests it is linked to higher loads of the virus in respiratory samples. The variant, named B117, was
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Exotic Animal Cafes Featuring Otters, Lizards and Owls Raise Alarms
The business of these cafés is growing, which could boost the illegal wildlife trade and have negative implications for wild animal populations — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Everybody Spies in Cyberspace. The U.S. Must Plan Accordingly.
The recently revealed SolarWinds hack unfolded like a scene from a horror movie: Victims frantically barricaded the doors, only to discover that the enemy had been hiding inside the house the whole time. For months, intruders have been roaming wild inside the nation's government networks, nearly all of the Fortune 500, and thousands of other companies and organizations. The breach—believed to be
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Exotic Animal Cafes Featuring Otters, Lizards and Owls Raise Alarms
The business of these cafés is growing, which could boost the illegal wildlife trade and have negative implications for wild animal populations — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Torpor: a neat survival trick once thought rare in Australian animals is actually widespread
Life is hard for small animals in the wild, but they have many solutions to the challenges of their environment. One of the most fascinating of these strategies is torpor. Not, to be confused with sleep or Sunday afternoon lethargy, torpor is a complex response to the costs of living.
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Torpor: a neat survival trick once thought rare in Australian animals is actually widespread
Life is hard for small animals in the wild, but they have many solutions to the challenges of their environment. One of the most fascinating of these strategies is torpor. Not, to be confused with sleep or Sunday afternoon lethargy, torpor is a complex response to the costs of living.
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Designing Dirac vortex topological photonic crystal fibres
Optical fibres made of topological photonic crystals allow improved versatility and control across the modes and polarization of light they transmit. Compositionally, photonic crystals contain bandgaps to prevent the passage of light relative to specific wave energies and momenta much like an on/off switch. In a new report now published on Nature Light: Science & Applications, Hao Lin, and Ling Lu
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I Can't Stand These Words Anymore
Recently, I noticed a headline in The New York Times that featured the word tasked . This is among my least favorite rhetorical strategies—the verbing of the noun. Contemporary American English is rife with such constructions: to journal, to parent, to impact, to effect. I wince a little every time I come across one. As a writer, I've spent my life immersed in language, but this relationship, lik
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6 memorable environmental stories from 2020
Climate justice became even more pressing this year. (Marryam Moma/) It's been a year, folks. Even if you and your loved ones were spared the worst of the public health crisis and the economic downturn that came along with it, the past 12 long months of isolation and stress have been rough. And unfortunately, the climate hasn't fared much better. There's not a lot of happy news to share about the
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Wounds on Brown Pelicans in California Raise Fears of Animal Cruelty
In a little over a year, five birds have been treated by International Bird Rescue with severe slashes on their pouches that the organization believes were intentionally inflicted.
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U.K. Approves AstraZeneca-Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine
The British government has ordered 100 million doses, enough to vaccinate 50 million residents. (Image credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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List of retracted COVID-19 papers grows past 70
As Retraction Watch readers may know, as part of keeping our database of retractions up to date, we've been publishing a running list of COVID-19 papers that have been retracted. That list has been steadily growing since the end of April, but yesterday the number jumped from 45 to 72, so we thought we'd walk … Continue reading
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Så formulerar du ett hållbart nyårslöfte
I en SIFO-undersökning från 2017 angav 18 procent av svenskarna att de inför det nya året hade avgett nyårslöften, och vanligast var det bland kvinnor och yngre personer. Per Carlbring, professor i psykologi vid Psykologiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, har nu undersökt dels vilka nyårslöften svenskarna har, dels om sättet man bestämmer sitt löfte påverkar om man lyckas hålla det.
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Rapid and complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by ultraviolet-C irradiation
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79600-8
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Root-associated entomopathogenic fungi manipulate host plants to attract herbivorous insects
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-80123-5
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Grand-potential based phase-field model for systems with interstitial sites
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79956-x
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State-specific projection of COVID-19 infection in the United States and evaluation of three major control measures
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-80044-3
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Wettability control of polymeric microstructures replicated from laser-patterned stamps
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79936-1
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Fluid dynamics of COVID-19 airborne infection suggests urgent data for a scientific design of social distancing
Scientific Reports, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41598-020-80078-7
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Bringing Traditional Healing Under the Microscope in South Africa
Tension over an herbal Covid-19 treatment underscores a long-brewing fight in South Africa between those who practice traditional medicine and those who wish to subject it to rigorous scientific trials. But the rise of Covid-19 is driving new calls to bring some traditional cures under empirical scrutiny.
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The Climate Desk Looks Ahead to 2021
After a year when climate-related disasters seemed to become the norm, the team will be monitoring a 2021 that is pivotal for the world.
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Cuttlefish Took Something Like a Marshmallow Test. Many Passed.
It turns out that camouflage isn't the only talent these cephalopods have.
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Hjælp din bedste ven: Sådan får du din hund trygt gennem nytårsaften
Bliver din hund skræmt af store nytårsbrag kan den udvikle angst overfor lyde.
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COVID cluckers: Pandemic feeds demand for backyard chickens
The coronavirus pandemic is coming home to roost in America's backyards.
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Restoring longleaf pines, keystone of once vast ecosystems
When European settlers came to North America, fire-dependent savannas anchored by lofty pines with footlong needles covered much of what became the southern United States.
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Bluer skies: inside the 1 January edition of Guardian Weekly
2020 was a year to forget, but here's why the new one bring reasons to hope. Get the Guardian Weekly delivered at home For many people, the back of 2020 can't come too soon. With a new virus strain upending millions of people's Christmas plans in the UK, coupled with the threat of a no-deal Brexit, the lead-up to 25 December was … a hairy one. At least the belated announcement of a trade and secu
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COVID cluckers: Pandemic feeds demand for backyard chickens
The coronavirus pandemic is coming home to roost in America's backyards.
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Restoring longleaf pines, keystone of once vast ecosystems
When European settlers came to North America, fire-dependent savannas anchored by lofty pines with footlong needles covered much of what became the southern United States.
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Podcast special: Smart home – er det smart eller bare 'funwashing'?
PLUS. Lå der smart home-elektronik under juletræet i år, så lyt med her om de forskellige standarder, som ikke taler sammen. Og overvej, om fordelene opvejer det ekstra energiforbrug til en masse funktioner, som man i virkeligheden aldrig får brugt.
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The best science long reads of 2020
A selection of the best science and environment features published this year.
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Er 'smart homes' bæredygtige eller bare ekstra luksus?
PLUS. Smart homes er blevet kaldt en grøn teknologi, som kan skære unødig brug af el, vand og varme væk. Men kritikere ser smart home-fænomenet som en trojansk hest, der fylder huset op med energislugende komfortelektronik.
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Britain Authorizes Covid-19 Vaccine From Oxford and AstraZeneca
Health officials are hoping to soon vaccinate a million people per week as the country's hospitals are overwhelmed by cases of a new, more contagious variant of the virus.
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Organisationer kritiserer nye databeskyttelsesregler: Vil presse livet ud af internationale dataoverførsler
Store internationale organisationer retter kritik mod Det Europæiske Databeskyttelsesråds anbefalinger til tredjelandsoverførsler. Man mangler en risikobaseret tilgang, og opgaven er umulig for virksomheder, lyder opråbet.
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He Was Hospitalized for Covid-19. Then Hospitalized Again. And Again.
Significant numbers of coronavirus patients experience long-term symptoms that send them back to the hospital, taxing an already overburdened health system.
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How well does the Oxford vaccine work? What we know so far
How the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab works, its advantages and possible limitations Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the vaccine developed by Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, with the rollout beginning on 4 January. Continue reading…
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Young sea lion recovers from shark bite, returns to ocean
A feisty young sea lion is back in the Northern California wild after five weeks of rehabilitation to treat a severe shark bite, domoic acid poisoning and malnutrition.
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Young sea lion recovers from shark bite, returns to ocean
A feisty young sea lion is back in the Northern California wild after five weeks of rehabilitation to treat a severe shark bite, domoic acid poisoning and malnutrition.
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Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine approved by UK regulator
Vital vaccine needs only normal refrigeration and is easily transportable See all our coronavirus coverage The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by the UK medicines regulator, raising hopes of a rapid scale-up of vaccination against Covid-19 within days, using just a single jab in order to get as many vulnerable people protected as possible. The approval of the vaccine by th
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Moths to monkeys: 503 new species identified by UK scientists
Spectacular discovery of monkey in Myanmar among new species described this year by Natural History Museum scientists Scarab beetles from New Guinea, seaweed from the Falklands and a new species of monkey found on an extinct volcano in Myanmar are among 503 species newly identified by scientists at the Natural History Museum . The museum's work in 2020 describing species previously unknown to sci
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UK approves Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
Authorisation boosts hopes that millions more Britons can be inoculated in coming months
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Britain Authorizes Covid Vaccine From Oxford and AstraZeneca
Health officials are hoping to soon vaccinate a million people per week as the country's hospitals are overwhelmed by cases of a new, more contagious variant of the virus.
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'Major incident' declared in Essex as Covid threatens to overwhelm health services
Announcement made in response to 'significant growing demand' on hospitals and will enable local leaders to seek more support See all our coronavirus coverage Local authorities in Essex have declared a "major incident" as the number of coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm health services in the county. The announcement was made in response to a "significant growing demand" on hospitals across
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China's Sinopharm says its Covid-19 vaccine is 79% effective
Pharma company will seek approval from regulator as it looks to distribute jab more widely
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Wuhan: nearly 490,000 people could have had Covid, study finds
Official tests for antibody prevalence suggest an infection rate 10 times higher than official number See all our coronavirus coverage A Chinese study of coronavirus antibodies has found almost half a million people may have had Covid-19 in Wuhan, a number that is 10 times the official figure. According to the study of antibody prevalence, the infection rate was also far higher in Wuhan than surr
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New Covid variant linked to higher viral load in respiratory samples
Preliminary analysis suggests higher load makes B117 variant easier to spread to other people Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The hypothesis that the fast-spreading UK variant of the Covid-19 virus has a transmission advantage has been bolstered by an analysis that suggests it is linked to higher loads of the virus in respiratory samples. The variant, named B117, was
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Psykologens uppmaning: Sluta inte, börja med något nytt
För att klara av att hålla nyårslöftet året ut rekommenderar psykologiforskarna att du ska börja med något nytt. Att sluta med något är svårare. Hur du formulerar ditt nyårslöfte har betydelse för resultatet. Se videon för att höra psykologens tips: värdera ditt löfte i pengar.
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Tilbud til elbilister: Sælg strøm fra din private ladestander, når du ikke selv bruger den
PLUS. Selskabet Monta har planer om at etablere et globalt netværk, hvor elbilister kan trække på det private ladenetværk frem for at være afhængige af offentlige ladestandere.
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Science matters. The remarkable response to Covid has reminded us | Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz
While there have been setbacks, in Australia at least it would be hard to find many people distrusting of scientists Being an epidemiologist in 2020 has been a very odd experience. This time last year, when I told people my job title, more than half the time I'd be met with a blank look and then the tentative question: "Is that … like a skin doctor?" Explaining that it was more like a spreadsheet
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Top 20 Citizen Science Projects of 2020
Citizen science has seen significant growth during the pandemic. In 2020, these were the top projects on SciStarter.org.
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Psychology journal retracts two articles for being "unethical, scientifically flawed, and based on racist ideas and agenda"
A psychology journal has retracted a pair of decades-old articles by a now-deceased psychologist with noxious views about race and intelligence after the editors concluded that his work was "unethical, scientifically flawed, and based on racist ideas and agenda." The author, J. Philippe Rushton, was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, where he was … Continue reading
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First U.S. Case of Highly Contagious Coronavirus Variant Is Found in Colorado
The fact that the infected man had no travel history raises the worrisome possibility that the variant is already well established in his community — and perhaps elsewhere in the United States.
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US reports first case of new coronavirus strain
Variant found in Colorado as Biden warns vaccine rollout is behind schedule
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As the Arctic Continues its Meltdown, Economic Exploitation Quickens
Call it the 'polar paradox': warming opens the Arctic to more oil drilling and shipping, which causes yet more warming.
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How voracious antlions engineer deadly sand traps
Funnel-shaped pits capture prey when antlions add some extra sand
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Will the Vaccine End the Pandemic? This Question Must Be Answered First
COVID vaccines can prevent symptoms, but no one knows if they can stop the virus.
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Scientists call for full lockdown in England as new Covid cases multiply
Independent Sage group warns of 'tens of thousands of avoidable deaths' without immediate action Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Scientists and health bodies are calling for tighter coronavirus restrictions in England as cases continue to rise and hospitals report mounting pressure . Issuing a warning ahead of a government review of the tier system in England on Wedn
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Start 2021 by fixing your online privacy
Are you using an authenticator app for your accounts? It's a good move. (Pixabay`/) Going into 2021, the idea of New Year's resolutions can seem fruitless. After the onslaught of 2020, it can feel downright silly to think you're going to make any revolutionary changes in your life in a time when every day blurs into the next. Luckily, fixing up your privacy and security online is a simple goal th
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The Atlantic Daily: Pandemic Year Two
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 . Joan Wong This year, my colleague Ed Yong's work proved unfortunately prescient. Starting in 2016, he warned that America wasn't ready for a pandemic —and that such an outbreak under a Trump admi
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C.V. Vishveshwara's Revolutionary Black Hole Research Turns 50
Before scientists were even sure black holes existed, an Indian astrophysicist did the math behind Einstein's predictions of what would happen if two black holes collided. (Image credit: Namitha Vishveshwara)
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Switching your bank might help slow the climate crisis
Your money is small to any given bank, but if everyone made greener choices it would make an impact. (Pexels/) This is part one of our two-part guide to greener finance. Check out part two, all about your retirement account, here . Fossil fuel companies rely to a surprising extent on funding from banks—funding that comes, in part, from ordinary people's bank accounts. And that means the bank you
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The Maya Civilization's Religion Was More Than Just Ritual Sacrifices
Though best known for bloody ceremonies, Maya spirituality was more nuanced and involved than it's usually portrayed.
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I don't believe in blind idealism: An interview with Katarzyna Boni
Is it possible to bring a utopia to life? When searching for an ideal world, do we part with reality or maybe give it a new shape? And is creating alternative realities something only cult leaders do? Stasia Budzisz discussed these and other questions with Katarzyna Boni, whose reportage Auroville: The City Made of Dreams was published in Polish in June 2020. Stasia Budzisz: You came across one o
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Watch a Quadriplegic Man Feed Himself With Two Bionic Arms
After living with quadriplegia for 30 years — meaning that all four of his limbs are paralyzed — Robert "Buz" Chmielewski was able to feed himself with a fork and knife thanks to a pair of sophisticated robotic prosthetic limbs and a series of electrodes implanted onto his brain. Chmielewski has been working toward this achievement for the two years since he underwent brain surgery and had six el
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Imaging of ballistic wounds, bullet composition and implications for MRI safety
According to an article in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), because patients with ballistic embedded fragments are frequently denied MRI (due to indeterminate bullet composition sans shell casings), radiography and CT can be used to identify nonferromagnetic projectiles that are safe for MRI.
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Scientists develop high-throughput mitochondria transfer device
Scientists have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells.
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College football players: Underestimating risk of injury and concussion
College football players may underestimate their risk of injury and concussion, according to a new study.
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More effective training model for robots
Multi-domain operations, the Army's future operating concept, requires autonomous agents with learning components to operate alongside the warfighter. New research reduces the unpredictability of current training reinforcement learning policies so that they are more practically applicable to physical systems, especially ground robots.
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Sustained cellular immune dysregulation in individuals recovering from COVID-19
Observational clinical research of COVID-19 patients can help clinicians better understand how the previously unknown SARS-CoV-2 virus acts, and findings from this research can better inform treatment and vaccine design.
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Covid hospital patient numbers in England surpass April peak
Boris Johnson meets ministers to decide on further restrictions
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LA Plans to Issue Digital "Passports" With Coronavirus Vaccines
In order to track who's gotten one or both shots of a coronavirus vaccination, Los Angeles County plans to offer a digital proof of inoculation. The digital system, which would be accessible by smartphone, is first and foremost an organizational tool to remind patients to get their second dose and help healthcare workers stay on top of the mountains of medical records and paperwork, Bloomberg rep
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Polysaccharides from red algae affect mice immune systems, say FEFU scientists
Carrageenans, biologically active polysaccharides isolated from red algae and widely used in the food industry as stabilizers, thickeners, or jelly agents have an express effect on the immune systems of mice, a study reports. The research was carried out by scientists from the School of Biomedicine of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and
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Study examines the most effective COVID-19 control policies
A timely new study published by PLOS ONE examines the effectiveness of COVID-19 control policies in 40 jurisdictions including countries and U.S. states. In most places, socially intolerable measures such as stay-at-home orders, targeted or full workplace and school closings are required to curtail the growth of the virus.
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New Covid variant does not cause more severe illness, study shows
Scientists in England have raced to understand new virus strain identified before Christmas
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General anesthesia and normal sleep affect brain in an amazingly similar way as consciousness fades
What happens in the brain when our conscious awareness fades during general anesthesia and normal sleep? Scientists studied this question with novel experimental designs and functional brain imaging. They succeeded in separating the specific changes related to consciousness from the more widespread overall effects, and discovered that the effects of anesthesia and sleep on brain activity were surp
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Lawsuit Claims Facial Recognition AI Sent the Wrong Man to Jail
Algorithmic Policing New Jersey police are under fire after wrongfully accusing and arresting a suspect based on nothing more than faulty facial recognition software that's since been banned in the state. Now, he's suing. Nijeer Parks was surprised to learn in January 2019 that police in the town of Woodbridge had a warrant out for his arrest for a list of crimes including shoplifting and aggrava
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The puzzle of nonhost resistance: why do pathogens harm some plants but not others?
People have puzzled for years why pathogen Phytophthora infestens causes the devastating late blight disease, source of the Irish Potato famine, on potatoes, but has no effect at all on plants like apple or cucumber. How are apple trees and cucumber plants able to completely shake off this devastating pathogen? Agricultural scientists have wondered for years: if this resistance is so complete and
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The puzzle of nonhost resistance: why do pathogens harm some plants but not others?
People have puzzled for years why pathogen Phytophthora infestens causes the devastating late blight disease, source of the Irish Potato famine, on potatoes, but has no effect at all on plants like apple or cucumber. How are apple trees and cucumber plants able to completely shake off this devastating pathogen? Agricultural scientists have wondered for years: if this resistance is so complete and
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Sustained cellular immune dysregulation in individuals recovering from COVID-19
Ongoing observational clinical research has become a priority to better understand how the COVID-19 virus acts, and findings from this research can better inform treatment and vaccine design. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have now reported their observational study, "Sustained cellular immune dysregulation in individuals recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection," published in
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2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend grains at all life stages
The Grain Chain, a farm to fork coalition of stakeholders in the grain industry sector and chaired by the American Bakers Association (ABA), celebrates the recommendation published today in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) to "consume half of your grains from whole grain sources" and the remainder from enriched grains. A foundational piece of the DGAs, the guidelines recognize
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U.S. Diet Guidelines Sidestep Scientific Advice to Cut Sugar and Alcohol
The government's new nutritional recommendations arrive amid a pandemic that has taken a huge toll on American health.
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Uncovering the genetic blueprint of the C. elegans nervous system [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Despite rapid advances in connectome mapping and neuronal genetics, we lack theoretical and computational tools to unveil, in an experimentally testable fashion, the genetic mechanisms that govern neuronal wiring. Here we introduce a computational framework to link the adjacency matrix of a connectome to the expression patterns of its neurons,…
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Identification of Z nucleotides as an ancient signal for two-component system activation in bacteria [Microbiology]
Two-component systems (TCSs) in bacteria are molecular circuits that allow the perception of and response to diverse stimuli. These signaling circuits rely on phosphoryl-group transfers between transmitter and receiver domains of sensor kinase and response regulator proteins, and regulate several cellular processes in response to internal or external cues. Phosphorylation,…
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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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Exopolysaccharide defects cause hyper-thymineless death in Escherichia coli via massive loss of chromosomal DNA and cell lysis [Microbiology]
Thymineless death in Escherichia coli thyA mutants growing in the absence of thymidine (dT) is preceded by a substantial resistance phase, during which the culture titer remains static, as if the chromosome has to accumulate damage before ultimately failing. Significant chromosomal replication and fragmentation during the resistance phase could provide…
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Macrophage LC3-associated phagocytosis is an immune defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae that diminishes with host aging [Microbiology]
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia and invasive disease, particularly, in the elderly. S. pneumoniae lung infection of aged mice is associated with high bacterial burdens and detrimental inflammatory responses. Macrophages can clear microorganisms and modulate inflammation through two distinct lysosomal trafficking pathways that involve 1A/1B-light chain 3…
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Poststroke acute dysexecutive syndrome, a disorder resulting from minor stroke due to disruption of network dynamics [Neuroscience]
Stroke patients with small central nervous system infarcts often demonstrate an acute dysexecutive syndrome characterized by difficulty with attention, concentration, and processing speed, independent of lesion size or location. We use magnetoencephalography (MEG) to show that disruption of network dynamics may be responsible. Nine patients with recent minor strokes and…
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Hidden proteome of synaptic vesicles in the mammalian brain [Neuroscience]
Current proteomic studies clarified canonical synaptic proteins that are common to many types of synapses. However, proteins of diversified functions in a subset of synapses are largely hidden because of their low abundance or structural similarities to abundant proteins. To overcome this limitation, we have developed an "ultra-definition" (UD) subcellular…
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Inhibition of GCK-IV kinases dissociates cell death and axon regeneration in CNS neurons [Neuroscience]
Axon injury is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, often resulting in neuronal cell death and functional impairment. Dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) has emerged as a key mediator of this process. However, while DLK inhibition is robustly protective in a wide range of neurodegenerative disease models, it also inhibits…
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Biotin rescues mitochondrial dysfunction and neurotoxicity in a tauopathy model [Neuroscience]
Mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunction are often implicated in neurological disease, but effective mechanism-based therapies remain elusive. We performed a genome-scale forward genetic screen in a Drosophila model of tauopathy, a class of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of the protein tau, and identified manipulation of the B-vitamin biotin as…
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Disturbed glucose and pyruvate metabolism in glaucoma with neuroprotection by pyruvate or rapamycin [Neuroscience]
Intraocular pressure-sensitive retinal ganglion cell degeneration is a hallmark of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Here, we used RNA-sequencing and metabolomics to examine early glaucoma in DBA/2J mice. We demonstrate gene expression changes that significantly impact pathways mediating the metabolism and transport of glucose and pyruvate. Subsequent metabolic…
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Human embryonic stem cell-derived organoid retinoblastoma reveals a cancerous origin [Neuroscience]
Retinoblastoma (Rb) is the most prevalent intraocular malignancy in children, with a worldwide survival rate <30%. We have developed a cancerous model of Rb in retinal organoids derived from genetically engineered human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with a biallelic mutagenesis of the RB1 gene. These organoid Rbs exhibit properties highly…
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Synaptic plasticity rules with physiological calcium levels [Neuroscience]
Spike-timing–dependent plasticity (STDP) is considered as a primary mechanism underlying formation of new memories during learning. Despite the growing interest in activity-dependent plasticity, it is still unclear whether synaptic plasticity rules inferred from in vitro experiments are correct in physiological conditions. The abnormally high calcium concentration used in in vitro…
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Axon morphology is modulated by the local environment and impacts the noninvasive investigation of its structure-function relationship [Neuroscience]
Axonal conduction velocity, which ensures efficient function of the brain network, is related to axon diameter. Noninvasive, in vivo axon diameter estimates can be made with diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, but the technique requires three-dimensional (3D) validation. Here, high-resolution, 3D synchrotron X-ray nano-holotomography images of white matter samples from the…
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Shear stress activates mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by reducing plasma membrane cholesterol in vascular endothelial cells [Physiology]
Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) sense and respond to hemodynamic shear stress, which is critical for circulatory homeostasis and the pathophysiology of vascular diseases. The mechanisms of shear stress mechanotransduction, however, remain elusive. We previously demonstrated a direct role of mitochondria in the purinergic signaling of shear stress: shear stress increases…
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Upregulation of a KN1 homolog by transposon insertion promotes leafy head development in lettuce [Plant Biology]
Leafy head is a unique type of plant architecture found in some vegetable crops, with leaves bending inward to form a compact head. The genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying leafy head in vegetables remain poorly understood. We genetically fine-mapped and cloned a major quantitative trait locus controlling heading in lettuce….
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AtINO80 represses photomorphogenesis by modulating nucleosome density and H2A.Z incorporation in light-related genes [Plant Biology]
Photomorphogenesis is a critical developmental process bridging light-regulated transcriptional reprogramming with morphological changes in organisms. Strikingly, the chromatin-based transcriptional control of photomorphogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ortholog of ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling factor AtINO80 represses plant photomor
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Plant stem-cell organization and differentiation at single-cell resolution [Plant Biology]
Plants maintain populations of pluripotent stem cells in shoot apical meristems (SAMs), which continuously produce new aboveground organs. We used single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to achieve an unbiased characterization of the transcriptional landscape of the maize shoot stem-cell niche and its differentiating cellular descendants. Stem cells housed in the SAM…
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DNA methylation mutants in Physcomitrella patens elucidate individual roles of CG and non-CG methylation in genome regulation [Plant Biology]
Cytosine (DNA) methylation in plants regulates the expression of genes and transposons. While methylation in plant genomes occurs at CG, CHG, and CHH sequence contexts, the comparative roles of the individual methylation contexts remain elusive. Here, we present Physcomitrella patens as the second plant system, besides Arabidopsis thaliana, with viable…
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Large-scale mapping of live corals to guide reef conservation [Sustainability Science]
Coral is the life-form that underpins the habitat of most tropical reef ecosystems, thereby supporting biological diversity throughout the marine realm. Coral reefs are undergoing rapid change from ocean warming and nearshore human activities, compromising a myriad of services provided to societies including coastal protection, fishing, and cultural practices. In…
9d
Correction for Ornes, Inner Workings: Physicists look to a new telescope to understand neutron stars and matter at the extremes [Correction]
INNER WORKINGS Correction for "Inner Workings: Physicists look to a new telescope to understand neutron stars and matter at the extremes," by Stephen Ornes, which was first published November 4, 2020; 10.1073/pnas.2021447117 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117, 29249–29252). The editors note that ref. 5 appeared incorrectly. It should instead…
9d
Correction for Vandvik et al., Biotic rescaling reveals importance of species interactions for variation in biodiversity responses to climate change [Correction]
ECOLOGY, EARTH, ATMOSPHERIC, AND PLANETARY SCIENCES Correction for "Biotic rescaling reveals importance of species interactions for variation in biodiversity responses to climate change," by Vigdis Vandvik, Olav Skarpaas, Kari Klanderud, Richard J. Telford, Aud H. Halbritter, and Deborah E. Goldberg, which was first published August 31, 2020; 10.1073/pnas.2003377117 (Proc. Natl….
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In This Issue [This Week in PNAS]
Climate influence on tree growth and longevity View of wet tropical rainforest in northern Peru from canopy tower. Tropical forests are among the largest above-ground organic carbon stocks, and the capacity of forests to store biomass over long periods of time significantly depends on tree longevity. Giuliano Locosselli et al….
9d
Neuroticism may reflect emotional variability when correcting for the confound with the mean [Social Sciences]
Kalokerinos et al. (1) demonstrate that emotional variability, as assessed via the SD, is not significantly associated with neuroticism once the confound with mean negative emotion is controlled for, r = 0.05. To control for this confound, the authors use the relative SD (RSD), which mathematically corrects for the nonlinear…
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Reply to Wenzel and Kubiak: Neuroticism is best defined by mean levels of negative emotion, not emotional variability [Social Sciences]
Wenzel and Kubiak (1) reanalyze our data (2) and conclude that 1) there is overlap between the relative SD (RSD) (3) and mean of negative emotion and 2) after controlling for this overlap, the RSD weakly but significantly predicts neuroticism. We question both points and note that these findings leave…
9d
Is photoperiod a dominant driver of secondary growth resumption? [Biological Sciences]
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 [Biological Sciences]
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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Francois N. Diederich: Pioneer of carbon allotropes and molecular recognition [Retrospectives]
François Nico Diederich, an iconic organic chemist who innovated and created in the fields of molecular recognition and host–guest chemistry, new allotropes of carbon and novel carbon-rich molecules, and drug activity and design, passed away on September 23, 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland at the age of 68, after battling an…
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Profile of Raul Padron [Profiles]
Over the past four decades, structural biologist Raúl Padrón has elucidated muscle contraction at the molecular and atomic level using a model system that he and his colleague Roger Craig developed: tarantula skeletal muscle. Padrón's research on how skeletal muscle thick filaments relax and become activated is helping to inform…
9d
Considering network interventions [Social Sciences]
One of the greatest challenges to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to develop new economic policies that steer nations safely between the Scylla of exponentially increasing infection rates and the Charybdis of a severe economic downturn. The obvious solution to curtail the rapidly increasing rate of COVID-19…
9d
Igniting Ca2+ sparks with TRPML1 [Physiology]
Storage and voiding of urine in mammals is accomplished by a reciprocal contractile relationship between the bladder and the urethra. During the storage phase, the urethra remains contracted to prevent leakage of urine, while the bladder is relaxed to accommodate the increased volume of urine. Conversely, during voiding, the urethra…
9d
A plant surface receptor for sensing insect herbivory [Plant Biology]
Herbivory, the feeding on living plant parts by animals, is a fundamental ecosystem process affecting both global autotroph biomass production in natural habitats and crop production in agricultural settings (1). Invasions by herbivorous insects are an ancient threat to food security as evidenced, for example, by their inclusion as one…
9d
The spread of COVID-19 shows the importance of policy coordination [Economic Sciences]
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced communities to confront what sacrifices they are willing to make to quickly address threats to public health. The pandemic shock is unusual in its rapid appearance, but the question of trade-offs is nothing new. Environmental regulations, safety mandates, and the battles against other infectious…
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The importance of "year zero" in interdisciplinary studies of climate and history [Environmental Sciences]
The mathematical aberration of the Gregorian chronology's missing "year zero" retains enduring potential to sow confusion in studies of paleoclimatology and environmental ancient history. The possibility of dating error is especially high when pre-Common Era proxy evidence from tree rings, ice cores, radiocarbon dates, and documentary sources is integrated. This…
9d
The mosquito taste system and disease control [Neuroscience]
Mosquitoes are a widely diverse group of organisms, comprising ∼3,500 species that live in an enormous range of habitats. Some species are vectors of diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people each year. Although understanding of mosquito olfaction has progressed dramatically in recent years, mosquito taste remains greatly understudied….
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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…
9d
Robust identification of investor beliefs [Applied Mathematics]
This paper develops a method informed by data and models to recover information about investor beliefs. Our approach uses information embedded in forward-looking asset prices in conjunction with asset pricing models. We step back from presuming rational expectations and entertain potential belief distortions bounded by a statistical measure of discrepancy….
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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…
9d
A thermodynamic atlas of carbon redox chemical space [Biochemistry]
Redox biochemistry plays a key role in the transduction of chemical energy in living systems. However, the compounds observed in metabolic redox reactions are a minuscule fraction of chemical space. It is not clear whether compounds that ended up being selected as metabolites display specific properties that distinguish them from…
9d
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
9d
A general fragment-based approach to identify and optimize bioactive ligands targeting RNA [Biochemistry]
RNAs have important functions that are dictated by their structure. Indeed, small molecules that interact with RNA structures can perturb function, serving as chemical probes and lead medicines. Here we describe the development of a fragment-based approach to discover and optimize bioactive small molecules targeting RNA. We extended the target…
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Assessment of enzyme active site positioning and tests of catalytic mechanisms through X-ray-derived conformational ensembles [Biochemistry]
How enzymes achieve their enormous rate enhancements remains a central question in biology, and our understanding to date has impacted drug development, influenced enzyme design, and deepened our appreciation of evolutionary processes. While enzymes position catalytic and reactant groups in active sites, physics requires that atoms undergo constant motion. Numerous…
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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…
9d
Sulfated glycosaminoglycans mediate prion-like behavior of p53 aggregates [Biochemistry]
Sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as heparan sulfate (HS) are heteropolysaccharides implicated in the pathology of protein aggregation diseases including localized and systemic forms of amyloidosis. Among subdomains of sulfated GAGs, highly sulfated domains of HS, called HS S-domains, have been highlighted as being critical for HS function in amyloidoses. Recent…
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Pyridoxal kinase inhibition by artemisinins down-regulates inhibitory neurotransmission [Biochemistry]
The antimalarial artemisinins have also been implicated in the regulation of various cellular pathways including immunomodulation of cancers and regulation of pancreatic cell signaling in mammals. Despite their widespread application, the cellular specificities and molecular mechanisms of target recognition by artemisinins remain poorly characterized. We recently demonstrated how these drugs…
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Mirror-image antiparallel {beta}-sheets organize water molecules into superstructures of opposite chirality [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Biomolecular hydration is fundamental to biological functions. Using phase-resolved chiral sum-frequency generation spectroscopy (SFG), we probe molecular architectures and interactions of water molecules around a self-assembling antiparallel β-sheet protein. We find that the phase of the chiroptical response from the O-H stretching vibrational modes of water flips with the absolute…
9d
Physical mechanisms of amyloid nucleation on fluid membranes [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Biological membranes can dramatically accelerate the aggregation of normally soluble protein molecules into amyloid fibrils and alter the fibril morphologies, yet the molecular mechanisms through which this accelerated nucleation takes place are not yet understood. Here, we develop a coarse-grained model to systematically explore the effect that the structural properties…
9d
Widespread occurrence of the droplet state of proteins in the human proteome [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
A wide range of proteins have been reported to condensate into a dense liquid phase, forming a reversible droplet state. Failure in the control of the droplet state can lead to the formation of the more stable amyloid state, which is often disease-related. These observations prompt the question of how…
9d
Actin-ring segment switching drives nonadhesive gap closure [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Gap closure to eliminate physical discontinuities and restore tissue integrity is a fundamental process in normal development and repair of damaged tissues and organs. Here, we demonstrate a nonadhesive gap closure model in which collective cell migration, large-scale actin-network fusion, and purse-string contraction orchestrate to restore the gap. Proliferative pressure…
9d
Locking mixed-lineage kinase domain-like protein in its auto-inhibited state prevents necroptosis [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
As an alternative pathway of controlled cell death, necroptosis can be triggered by tumor necrosis factor via the kinases RIPK1/RIPK3 and the effector protein mixed-lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL). Upon activation, MLKL oligomerizes and integrates into the plasma membrane via its executioner domain. Here, we present the X-ray and NMR…
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Snx14 proximity labeling reveals a role in saturated fatty acid metabolism and ER homeostasis defective in SCAR20 disease [Cell Biology]
Fatty acids (FAs) are central cellular metabolites that contribute to lipid synthesis, and can be stored or harvested for metabolic energy. Dysregulation in FA processing and storage causes toxic FA accumulation or altered membrane compositions and contributes to metabolic and neurological disorders. Saturated lipids are particularly detrimental to cells, but…
9d
Adipocytes promote breast tumorigenesis through TAZ-dependent secretion of Resistin [Cell Biology]
Adipocytes have been implicated in breast tumor growth and stemness maintenance through secreted factors. However, the mechanisms by which these cytokines are regulated during diet-induced obesity and contribute to breast tumorigenesis remain largely unknown. Here we show that transcription cofactor TAZ in adipocytes is directly up-regulated by the free fatty…
9d
Quinine copolymer reporters promote efficient intracellular DNA delivery and illuminate a protein-induced unpackaging mechanism [Chemistry]
Polymeric vehicles that efficiently package and controllably release nucleic acids enable the development of safer and more efficacious strategies in genetic and polynucleotide therapies. Developing delivery platforms that endogenously monitor the molecular interactions, which facilitate binding and release of nucleic acids in cells, would aid in the rational design of…
9d
A new ultrafast energy funneling material harvests three times more diffusive solar energy for GaInP photovoltaics [Chemistry]
There is no theoretical limit in using molecular networks to harvest diffusive sun photons on large areas and funnel them onto much smaller areas of highly efficient but also precious energy-converting materials. The most effective concept reported so far is based on a pool of randomly oriented, light-harvesting donor molecules…
9d
Cathodic electroorganic reaction on silicon oxide dielectric electrode [Chemistry]
The faradaic reaction at the insulator is counterintuitive. For this reason, electroorganic reactions at the dielectric layer have been scarcely investigated despite their interesting aspects and opportunities. In particular, the cathodic reaction at a silicon oxide surface under a negative potential bias remains unexplored. In this study, we utilize defective…
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Increasing the rate of the hydrogen evolution reaction in neutral water with protic buffer electrolytes [Chemistry]
Electrocatalytic generation of H2 is challenging in neutral pH water, where high catalytic currents for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are particularly sensitive to the proton source and solution characteristics. A tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) solution at pH 7 with a [2Fe-2S]-metallopolymer electrocatalyst gave catalytic current densities around two orders of magnitude…
9d
An isolated water droplet in the aqueous solution of a supramolecular tetrahedral cage [Chemistry]
Water under nanoconfinement at ambient conditions has exhibited low-dimensional ice formation and liquid–solid phase transitions, but with structural and dynamical signatures that map onto known regions of water's phase diagram. Using terahertz (THz) absorption spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics, we have investigated the ambient water confined in a supramolecular…
9d
Fluorine assembly nanocluster breaks the shackles of immunosuppression to turn the cold tumor hot [Chemistry]
Clinical investigations have shown that a nonimmunogenic "cold" tumor is usually accompanied by few immunopositive cells and more immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which is still the bottleneck of immune activation. Here, a fluorine assembly nanocluster was explored to break the shackles of immunosuppression, reawaken the immune system,…
9d
Allosteric cooperation in a de novo-designed two-domain protein [Chemistry]
We describe the de novo design of an allosterically regulated protein, which comprises two tightly coupled domains. One domain is based on the DF (Due Ferri in Italian or two-iron in English) family of de novo proteins, which have a diiron cofactor that catalyzes a phenol oxidase reaction, while the…
9d
Post-transcriptional tuning of FGF signaling mediates neural crest induction [Developmental Biology]
Ectodermal patterning is required for the establishment of multiple components of the vertebrate body plan. Previous studies have demonstrated that precise combinations of extracellular signals induce distinct ectodermal cell populations, such as the neural crest and the neural plate. Yet, we still lack understanding of how the response to inductive…
9d
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…
9d
Rapid hydrolysis of tertiary isoprene nitrate efficiently removes NOx from the atmosphere [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
The formation of a suite of isoprene-derived hydroxy nitrate (IHN) isomers during the OH-initiated oxidation of isoprene affects both the concentration and distribution of nitrogen oxide free radicals (NOx). Experiments performed in an atmospheric simulation chamber suggest that the lifetime of the most abundant isomer, 1,2-IHN, is shortened significantly by…
9d
Predicting long-term dynamics of soil salinity and sodicity on a global scale [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Knowledge of spatiotemporal distribution and likelihood of (re)occurrence of salt-affected soils is crucial to our understanding of land degradation and for planning effective remediation strategies in face of future climatic uncertainties. However, conventional methods used for tracking the variability of soil salinity/sodicity are extensively localized, making predictions on a global…
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Rapid dark aging of biomass burning as an overlooked source of oxidized organic aerosol [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Oxidized organic aerosol (OOA) is a major component of ambient particulate matter, substantially impacting climate, human health, and ecosystems. OOA is readily produced in the presence of sunlight, and requires days of photooxidation to reach the levels observed in the atmosphere. High concentrations of OOA are thus expected in the…
9d
Coupled impacts of sea ice variability and North Pacific atmospheric circulation on Holocene hydroclimate in Arctic Alaska [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Arctic Alaska lies at a climatological crossroads between the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans. The modern hydroclimate of the region is responding to rapidly diminishing sea ice, driven in part by changes in heat flux from the North Pacific. Paleoclimate reconstructions have improved our knowledge of Alaska's hydroclimate, but no…
9d
Bistability in the redox chemistry of sediments and oceans [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
For most of Earth's history, the ocean's interior was pervasively anoxic and showed occasional shifts in ocean redox chemistry between iron-buffered and sulfide-buffered states. These redox transitions are most often explained by large changes in external inputs, such as a strongly altered delivery of iron and sulfate to the ocean,…
9d
Stem water cryogenic extraction biases estimation in deuterium isotope composition of plant source water [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
The hydrogen isotope ratio of water cryogenically extracted from plant stem samples (δ2Hstem_CVD) is routinely used to aid isotope applications that span hydrological, ecological, and paleoclimatological research. However, an increasing number of studies have shown that a key assumption of these applications—that δ2Hstem_CVD is equal to the δ2H of plant…
9d
A Middle Eocene lowland humid subtropical "Shangri-La" ecosystem in central Tibet [Ecology]
Tibet's ancient topography and its role in climatic and biotic evolution remain speculative due to a paucity of quantitative surface-height measurements through time and space, and sparse fossil records. However, newly discovered fossils from a present elevation of ∼4,850 m in central Tibet improve substantially our knowledge of the ancient…
9d
Stimulation of soil respiration by elevated CO2 is enhanced under nitrogen limitation in a decade-long grassland study [Ecology]
Whether and how CO2 and nitrogen (N) availability interact to influence carbon (C) cycling processes such as soil respiration remains a question of considerable uncertainty in projecting future C–climate feedbacks, which are strongly influenced by multiple global change drivers, including elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) and increased N deposition. However,…
9d
Communication hubs of an asocial cat are the source of a human-carnivore conflict and key to its solution [Ecology]
Human–wildlife conflicts occur worldwide. Although many nonlethal mitigation solutions are available, they rarely use the behavioral ecology of the conflict species to derive effective and long-lasting solutions. Here, we use a long-term study with 106 GPS-collared free-ranging cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) to demonstrate how new insights into the socio-spatial organization of…
9d
Divergence of Arctic shrub growth associated with sea ice decline [Ecology]
Arctic sea ice extent (SIE) is declining at an accelerating rate with a wide range of ecological consequences. However, determining sea ice effects on tundra vegetation remains a challenge. In this study, we examined the universality or lack thereof in tundra shrub growth responses to changes in SIE and summer…
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Deep learning extended depth-of-field microscope for fast and slide-free histology [Engineering]
Microscopic evaluation of resected tissue plays a central role in the surgical management of cancer. Because optical microscopes have a limited depth-of-field (DOF), resected tissue is either frozen or preserved with chemical fixatives, sliced into thin sections placed on microscope slides, stained, and imaged to determine whether surgical margins are…
9d
Operando measurement of lattice strain in internal combustion engine components by neutron diffraction [Engineering]
Engineering neutron diffraction can nondestructively and noninvasively probe stress, strain, temperature, and phase evolutions deep within bulk materials. In this work, we demonstrate operando lattice strain measurement of internal combustion engine components by neutron diffraction. A modified commercial generator engine was mounted in the VULCAN diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron…
9d
Universal features of annealing and aging in compaction of granular piles [Engineering]
This paper links the nonequilibrium glassy relaxation behavior of otherwise athermal granular materials to those of thermally activated glasses. Thus, it demonstrates a much wider universality among complex glassy materials out of equilibrium. Our three-dimensional molecular dynamics simulations, fully incorporating friction and inelastic collisions, are designed to reproduce experimental behavior
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Grain-boundary topological phase transitions [Engineering]
The formation and migration of disconnections (line defects constrained to the grain boundary [GB] plane with both dislocation and step character) control many of the kinetic and dynamical properties of GBs and the polycrystalline materials of which they are central constituents. We demonstrate that GBs undergo a finite-temperature topological phase…
9d
Inner Workings: RNA-based pesticides aim to get around resistance problems [Environmental Sciences]
The half-inch-long corn rootworm larva packs a surprising punch. It feasts on the root system of corn before pupating into a black and yellow beetle that does further damage to the plant's leaves. Before the advent of genetically modified (GM) crops that produce insecticidal proteins to fight rootworm, these insects…
9d
Global tree-ring analysis reveals rapid decrease in tropical tree longevity with temperature [Environmental Sciences]
Forests are the largest terrestrial biomass pool, with over half of this biomass stored in the highly productive tropical lowland forests. The future evolution of forest biomass depends critically on the response of tree longevity and growth rates to future climate. We present an analysis of the variation in tree…
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A hydromorphic reevaluation of the forgotten river civilizations of Central Asia [Environmental Sciences]
The Aral Sea basin in Central Asia and its major rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, were the center of advanced river civilizations, and a principal hub of the Silk Roads over a period of more than 2,000 y. The region's decline has been traditionally attributed to the devastating…
9d
Low potential for evolutionary rescue from climate change in a tropical fish [Evolution]
Climate change is increasing global temperatures and intensifying the frequency and severity of extreme heat waves. How organisms will cope with these changes depends on their inherent thermal tolerance, acclimation capacity, and ability for evolutionary adaptation. Yet, the potential for adaptation of upper thermal tolerance in vertebrates is largely unknown….
9d
Natural selection maintains species despite frequent hybridization in the desert shrub Encelia [Evolution]
Natural selection is an important driver of genetic and phenotypic differentiation between species. For species in which potential gene flow is high but realized gene flow is low, adaptation via natural selection may be a particularly important force maintaining species. For a recent radiation of New World desert shrubs (Encelia:…
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Histone variants in archaea and the evolution of combinatorial chromatin complexity [Evolution]
Nucleosomes in eukaryotes act as platforms for the dynamic integration of epigenetic information. Posttranslational modifications are reversibly added or removed and core histones exchanged for paralogous variants, in concert with changing demands on transcription and genome accessibility. Histones are also common in archaea. Their role in genome regulation, however, and…
9d
Evolutionary determinism and convergence associated with water-column transitions in marine fishes [Evolution]
Repeatable, convergent outcomes are prima facie evidence for determinism in evolutionary processes. Among fishes, well-known examples include microevolutionary habitat transitions into the water column, where freshwater populations (e.g., sticklebacks, cichlids, and whitefishes) recurrently diverge toward slender-bodied pelagic forms and deep-bodied benthic forms. However, the consequences of such
9d
Archaeological Central American maize genomes suggest ancient gene flow from South America [Genetics]
Maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) domestication began in southwestern Mexico ∼9,000 calendar years before present (cal. BP) and humans dispersed this important grain to South America by at least 7,000 cal. BP as a partial domesticate. South America served as a secondary improvement center where the domestication syndrome became fixed…
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HyPR-seq: Single-cell quantification of chosen RNAs via hybridization and sequencing of DNA probes [Genetics]
Single-cell quantification of RNAs is important for understanding cellular heterogeneity and gene regulation, yet current approaches suffer from low sensitivity for individual transcripts, limiting their utility for many applications. Here we present Hybridization of Probes to RNA for sequencing (HyPR-seq), a method to sensitively quantify the expression of hundreds of…
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Direct quantification of in vivo mutagenesis and carcinogenesis using duplex sequencing [Genetics]
The ability to accurately measure mutations is critical for basic research and identifying potential drug and chemical carcinogens. Current methods for in vivo quantification of mutagenesis are limited because they rely on transgenic rodent systems that are low-throughput, expensive, prolonged, and do not fully represent other species such as humans….
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Efficient photoactivatable Dre recombinase for cell type-specific spatiotemporal control of genome engineering in the mouse [Genetics]
Precise genetic engineering in specific cell types within an intact organism is intriguing yet challenging, especially in a spatiotemporal manner without the interference caused by chemical inducers. Here we engineered a photoactivatable Dre recombinase based on the identification of an optimal split site and demonstrated that it efficiently regulated transgene…
9d
DNA polymerase {iota} compensates for Fanconi anemia pathway deficiency by countering DNA replication stress [Genetics]
Fanconi anemia (FA) is caused by defects in cellular responses to DNA crosslinking damage and replication stress. Given the constant occurrence of endogenous DNA damage and replication fork stress, it is unclear why complete deletion of FA genes does not have a major impact on cell proliferation and germ-line FA…
9d
FXR mediates T cell-intrinsic responses to reduced feeding during infection [Immunology and Inflammation]
Reduced nutrient intake is a widely conserved manifestation of sickness behavior with poorly characterized effects on adaptive immune responses. During infectious challenges, naive T cells encountering their cognate antigen become activated and differentiate into highly proliferative effector T cells. Despite their evident metabolic shift upon activation, it remains unclear how…
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IBEX: A versatile multiplex optical imaging approach for deep phenotyping and spatial analysis of cells in complex tissues [Immunology and Inflammation]
The diverse composition of mammalian tissues poses challenges for understanding the cell–cell interactions required for organ homeostasis and how spatial relationships are perturbed during disease. Existing methods such as single-cell genomics, lacking a spatial context, and traditional immunofluorescence, capturing only two to six molecular features, cannot resolve these issues. Imaging…
9d
A non-diagonalizable pure state [Mathematics]
We construct a pure state on the C*-algebra B(ℓ2) of all bounded linear operators on ℓ2, which is not diagonalizable [i.e., it is not of the form limu⟨T(ek),ek⟩ for any orthonormal basis (ek)k∈N of ℓ2 and an ultrafilter u on N]. This constitutes a counterexample to Anderson's conjecture without additional…
9d
Heterozygous germline BLM mutations increase susceptibility to asbestos and mesothelioma [Medical Sciences]
Rare biallelic BLM gene mutations cause Bloom syndrome. Whether BLM heterozygous germline mutations (BLM+/−) cause human cancer remains unclear. We sequenced the germline DNA of 155 mesothelioma patients (33 familial and 122 sporadic). We found 2 deleterious germline BLM+/− mutations within 2 of 33 families with multiple cases of mesothelioma,…
9d
Machine-learning-driven biomarker discovery for the discrimination between allergic and irritant contact dermatitis [Medical Sciences]
Contact dermatitis tremendously impacts the quality of life of suffering patients. Currently, diagnostic regimes rely on allergy testing, exposure specification, and follow-up visits; however, distinguishing the clinical phenotype of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis remains challenging. Employing integrative transcriptomic analysis and machine-learning approaches, we aimed to decipher dise
9d
The ABL2 kinase regulates an HSF1-dependent transcriptional program required for lung adenocarcinoma brain metastasis [Medical Sciences]
Brain metastases are the most common intracranial tumors in adults and are associated with increased patient morbidity and mortality. Limited therapeutic options are currently available for the treatment of brain metastasis. Here, we report on the discovery of an actionable signaling pathway utilized by metastatic tumor cells whereby the transcriptional…
9d
HIV proviral DNA integration can drive T cell growth ex vivo [Microbiology]
In vivo clonal expansion of HIV-infected T cells is an important mechanism of viral persistence. In some cases, clonal expansion is driven by HIV proviral DNA integrated into one of a handful of genes. To investigate this phenomenon in vitro, we infected primary CD4+ T cells with an HIV construct…
9d
Vitamin B12-dependent biosynthesis ties amplified 2-methylhopanoid production during oceanic anoxic events to nitrification [Microbiology]
Bacterial hopanoid lipids are ubiquitous in the geologic record and serve as biomarkers for reconstructing Earth's climatic and biogeochemical evolution. Specifically, the abundance of 2-methylhopanoids deposited during Mesozoic ocean anoxic events (OAEs) and other intervals has been interpreted to reflect proliferation of nitrogen-fixing marine cyanobacteria. However, there currently is no…
9d
Rewiring the specificity of extracytoplasmic function sigma factors [Microbiology]
Bacterial genomes are being sequenced at an exponentially increasing rate, but our inability to decipher their transcriptional wiring limits our ability to derive new biology from these sequences. De novo determination of regulatory interactions requires accurate prediction of regulators' DNA binding and precise determination of biologically significant binding sites. Here…
9d
An in vivo atlas of host-pathogen transcriptomes during Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization and disease [Microbiology]
Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) colonizes the nasopharynx and can cause pneumonia. From the lungs it spreads to the bloodstream and causes organ damage. We characterized the in vivo Spn and mouse transcriptomes within the nasopharynx, lungs, blood, heart, and kidneys using three Spn strains. We identified Spn genes highly expressed at…
9d
Identification of novel targets of azithromycin activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa grown in physiologically relevant media [Microbiology]
Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes severe multidrug-resistant infections that often lead to bacteremia and sepsis. Physiologically relevant conditions can increase the susceptibility of pathogens to antibiotics, such as azithromycin (AZM). When compared to minimal-inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in laboratory media, AZM had a 16-fold lower MIC in tissue culture medium with 5% Mueller…
9d
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…
9d
Similarity in functional brain connectivity at rest predicts interpersonal closeness in the social network of an entire village [Neuroscience]
People often have the intuition that they are similar to their friends, yet evidence for homophily (being friends with similar others) based on self-reported personality is inconsistent. Functional connectomes—patterns of spontaneous synchronization across the brain—are stable within individuals and predict how people tend to think and behave. Thus, they may…
9d
Nonadiabatic coupling of the dynamical structure to the superconductivity in YSr2Cu2.75Mo0.25O7.54 and Sr2CuO3.3 [Physics]
A crucial issue in cuprates is the extent and mechanism of the coupling of the lattice to the electrons and the superconductivity. Here we report Cu K edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure measurements elucidating the internal quantum tunneling polaron (iqtp) component of the dynamical structure in two heavily overdoped…
9d
Two-boson quantum interference in time [Physics]
The celebrated Hong–Ou–Mandel effect is the paradigm of two-particle quantum interference. It has its roots in the symmetry of identical quantum particles, as dictated by the Pauli principle. Two identical bosons impinging on a beam splitter (of transmittance 1/2) cannot be detected in coincidence at both output ports, as confirmed…
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Testing the drift-diffusion model [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
The drift-diffusion model (DDM) is a model of sequential sampling with diffusion signals, where the decision maker accumulates evidence until the process hits either an upper or lower stopping boundary and then stops and chooses the alternative that corresponds to that boundary. In perceptual tasks, the drift of the process…
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Transforming task representations to perform novel tasks [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
An important aspect of intelligence is the ability to adapt to a novel task without any direct experience (zero shot), based on its relationship to previous tasks. Humans can exhibit this cognitive flexibility. By contrast, models that achieve superhuman performance in specific tasks often fail to adapt to even slight…
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Heading perception depends on time-varying evolution of optic flow [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
There is considerable support for the hypothesis that perception of heading in the presence of rotation is mediated by instantaneous optic flow. This hypothesis, however, has never been tested. We introduce a method, termed "nonvarying phase motion," for generating a stimulus that conveys a single instantaneous optic flow field, even…
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COVID-19 lockdown induces disease-mitigating structural changes in mobility networks [Social Sciences]
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic many countries implemented containment measures to reduce disease transmission. Studies using digital data sources show that the mobility of individuals was effectively reduced in multiple countries. However, it remains unclear whether these reductions caused deeper structural changes in mobility networks and how such…
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A polynomial algorithm for best-subset selection problem [Statistics]
Best-subset selection aims to find a small subset of predictors, so that the resulting linear model is expected to have the most desirable prediction accuracy. It is not only important and imperative in regression analysis but also has far-reaching applications in every facet of research, including computer science and medicine….
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Crop wild relatives of the United States require urgent conservation action [Sustainability Science]
The contributions of crop wild relatives (CWR) to food security depend on their conservation and accessibility for use. The United States contains a diverse native flora of CWR, including those of important cereal, fruit, nut, oil, pulse, root and tuber, and vegetable crops, which may be threatened in their natural…
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Evaluating sustainable development policies in rural coastal economies [Sustainability Science]
Sustainable development (SD) policies targeting marine economic sectors, designed to alleviate poverty and conserve marine ecosystems, have proliferated in recent years. Many developing countries are providing poor fishing households with new fishing boats (fishing capital) that can be used further offshore as a means to improve incomes and relieve fishing…
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Video Claims to Show Person Flying Jetpack Near Airport
LAXative A pair of mysterious jetpack sightings near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) made headlines this summer. Multiple pilots claimed to have spotted somebody wearing a jetpack and cruising around 3,000 feet near LAX. We still have no idea who was behind the dangerous stunt — or if it was even a jetpack being piloted by a human to begin with. All we had were some hilarious transcripts
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Ten New Things We Learned About Human Origins in 2020
Smithsonian's archaeologist Ella Beaudoin and paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner reveal some of the year's best findings in human origins studies
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Army research leads to more effective training model for robots
Multi-domain operations, the Army's future operating concept, requires autonomous agents with learning components to operate alongside the warfighter. New Army research reduces the unpredictability of current training reinforcement learning policies so that they are more practically applicable to physical systems, especially ground robots.
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The puzzle of nonhost resistance: why do pathogens harm some plants but not others?
There are many examples of plants that are susceptible to one pathogen but able to resist another closely related pathogen. By uncovering the mechanism behind resistance, we can obtain a deeper understanding of the plant immune system and can also uncover previously unknown aspects of immune signaling and regulation, which can help scientists improve resistance against a broader spectrum of pathog
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Editorial: SoCal is losing its fight against smog. Things have to turn around in 2021
For a brief moment this year, Southern Californians got a glimpse of what clean air could look and feel like. During the first COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns in the spring, the dramatic drop in vehicle pollution combined with stormy weather to help clear out the region's notoriously smoggy, hazy air, leaving blue skies and crisp vistas.
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Finally, an Online Counseling Service That Covers All Your Mental Health Needs
This has been a pretty rough year. Between the pandemic, the election, and the economic crisis, it's hardly a surprise that more people than ever are suffering from things like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. And, unfortunately, a lot of people simply are not getting the professional help they need , whether it's because it's too expensive, because psychiatrists and therapists in their area ar
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Computer Model Predicts When and Where Extraterrestrial Life Is Most Likely to Emerge in Our Galaxy (Spoiler: It's Not Here)
Earth sits outside the region of the Milky Way where life is most likely to have arisen, say astronomers.
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Scientists turn toxic pesticide into treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
N-Aryl-C-nitroazoles are an important class of heterocyclic compounds. They are used as pesticides and fungicides. However, these substances could be toxic to humans and cause mutations. As they are not frequently used, there is little data about them in the medicinal chemistry literature. However, it has been suggested recently that the groups of compounds that are traditionally avoided can help
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Scientists turn toxic pesticide into treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
N-Aryl-C-nitroazoles are an important class of heterocyclic compounds. They are used as pesticides and fungicides. However, these substances could be toxic to humans and cause mutations. As they are not frequently used, there is little data about them in the medicinal chemistry literature. However, it has been suggested recently that the groups of compounds that are traditionally avoided can help
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People with this rare condition can't 'count sheep'
New research sheds light on aphantasia, which prevents people from easily recreating images in their mind's eye. If you were asked to draw a picture of your grandparents' living room from memory, could you do it? For most people, certain details are easy to visualize: "There's a piano in the corner, a palm by the window, and two seashells on the coffee table." But for people with aphantasia, such
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Scientists turn toxic pesticide into treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
N-Aryl-C-nitroazoles are an important class of heterocyclic compounds. They are used as pesticides and fungicides. However, these substances could be toxic to humans and cause mutations. As they are not frequently used, there is little data about them in the medicinal chemistry literature. However, it has been suggested recently that the groups of compounds that are traditionally avoided can help
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Scientists develop high-throughput mitochondria transfer device
Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells. This approach enables researchers to tailor a key genetic component of cells, to study and potentially treat debilitating diseases such as cancer, diabetes and metabolic disorders.
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College football players underestimate risk of injury and concussion
College football players may underestimate their risk of injury and concussion, according to a new study published today in JAMA Network Open . Christine Baugh, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and member of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, is the corresponding author of the article, "Accuracy of US College Football Players' Esti
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Scientists develop high-throughput mitochondria transfer device
Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells. This approach enables researchers to tailor a key genetic component of cells, to study and potentially treat debilitating diseases such as cancer, diabetes and metabolic disorders.
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Calcineurin controls proximodistal blastema polarity in zebrafish fin regeneration [Developmental Biology]
Planarian flatworms regenerate their heads and tails from anterior or posterior wounds and this regenerative blastema polarity is controlled by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. It is well known that a regeneration blastema of appendages of vertebrates such as fish and amphibians grows distally. However, it remains unclear whether a regeneration blastema in…
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A method of incorporating rate constants as kinetic constraints in molecular dynamics simulations [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
From the point of view of statistical mechanics, a full characterization of a molecular system requires an accurate determination of its possible states, their populations, and the respective interconversion rates. Toward this goal, well-established methods increase the accuracy of molecular dynamics simulations by incorporating experimental information about states using structural…
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Tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent localization of TmaR that controls activity of a major bacterial sugar regulator by polar sequestration [Microbiology]
The poles of Escherichia coli cells are emerging as hubs for major sensory systems, but the polar determinants that allocate their components to the pole are largely unknown. Here, we describe the discovery of a previously unannotated protein, TmaR, which localizes to the E. coli cell pole when phosphorylated on…
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Altered Cl- homeostasis hinders forebrain GABAergic interneuron migration in a mouse model of intellectual disability [Neuroscience]
Impairments of inhibitory circuits are at the basis of most, if not all, cognitive deficits. The impact of OPHN1, a gene associate with intellectual disability (ID), on inhibitory neurons remains elusive. We addressed this issue by analyzing the postnatal migration of inhibitory interneurons derived from the subventricular zone in a…
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Acidity across the interface from the ocean surface to sea spray aerosol [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Aerosols impact climate, human health, and the chemistry of the atmosphere, and aerosol pH plays a major role in the physicochemical properties of the aerosol. However, there remains uncertainty as to whether aerosols are acidic, neutral, or basic. In this research, we show that the pH of freshly emitted (nascent)…
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Pixel-based open-space microfluidics for versatile surface processing [Applied Physical Sciences]
An increasing number of applications in biology, chemistry, and material sciences require fluid manipulation beyond what is possible with current automated pipette handlers, such as gradient generation, interface reactions, reagent streaming, and reconfigurability. In this article, we introduce the pixelated chemical display (PCD), a scalable strategy for highly parallel, reconfigurable…
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Cooperative formation of porous silica and peptides on the prebiotic Earth [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Modern technology has perfected the synthesis of catalysts such as zeolites and mesoporous silicas using organic structure directing agents (SDA) and their industrial use to catalyze a large variety of organic reactions within their pores. We suggest that early in prebiotic evolution, synergistic interplay arose between organic species in aqueous…
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Selective Aster inhibitors distinguish vesicular and nonvesicular sterol transport mechanisms [Physiology]
The Aster proteins (encoded by the Gramd1a-c genes) contain a ligand-binding fold structurally similar to a START domain and mediate nonvesicular plasma membrane (PM) to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cholesterol transport. In an effort to develop small molecule modulators of Asters, we identified 20α-hydroxycholesterol (HC) and U18666A as lead compounds. Unfortunately,…
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The retromer is co-opted to deliver lipid enzymes for the biogenesis of lipid-enriched tombusviral replication organelles [Microbiology]
Biogenesis of viral replication organelles (VROs) is critical for replication of positive-strand RNA viruses. In this work, we demonstrate that tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and the closely related carnation Italian ringspot virus (CIRV) hijack the retromer to facilitate building VROs in the surrogate host yeast and in plants. Depletion…
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Sunlight exposure exerts immunomodulatory effects to reduce multiple sclerosis severity [Immunology and Inflammation]
Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease risk is associated with reduced sun-exposure. This study assessed the relationship between measures of sun exposure (vitamin D [vitD], latitude) and MS severity in the setting of two multicenter cohort studies (nNationMS = 946, nBIONAT = 990). Additionally, effect-modification by medication and photosensitivity-associated MC1R variants was…
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Stopping RAS inhibitors tied to worse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease
Small studies have suggested that a group of medications called RAS inhibitors may be harmful in persons with advanced chronic kidney disease, and physicians therefore often stop the treatment in such patients. Researchers now show that although stopping the treatment is linked to a lower risk of requiring dialysis, it is also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular events and death.
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Detective work in theoretical physics
Physicists have published a review article on the so-called dynamical density functional theory (DDFT). This is a method for describing systems consisting of a large number of interacting particles such as are found in liquids, for example.
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Sugars influence cell-to-surface adhesion
An international team of researchers examined how movement and adhesion in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can be manipulated. To this end, the researchers altered the sugar modifications in proteins on the cell surface. As a result, the so-called adhesion force was also altered.
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Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
A team found that some flag leaves of different varieties of rice transform light and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates better than others, potentially opening new opportunities for breeding higher yielding rice varieties.
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Recipe: Peruvian Roast Chicken
Here's another one that we make every so often around stately Lowe Manor. When we had it last week, I just had to roast it in the oven – normally I'd put it on the rotisserie on the grill outside, but weather conditions did not allow it. Like many such recipes, this one is all about the marinade. You'll need oil, lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano,
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Scientists identify electronic and structural dynamics of catalytic centers in single-Fe-atom materials
Single-atom catalyst (SAC) is a conceptual bridge between homo- and heterogeneous catalysis. It offers new opportunities for capturing the reaction intermediates by identifying the active sites, and even monitoring the dynamic behaviors of both the geometric structure and electronic environment of the catalytic sites at atomic scale.
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Researchers discover C-H bond activation reactions at low temperature by photo-induced means
The C-H bond is very important in organic chemistry. Chemical reactions related to the breaking and further synthesis of the C-H bond require high activation energy and poor selectivity. Therefore, it's important to understand the reaction mechanism of the C-H bond.
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Cellulose nanofibril-based encapsulation structure to control drug release
Intelligent hydrogels with multiple functions such as sustained drug release abilities with low burst release, antibacterial properties, and biocompatibility are highly desirable in the biomaterials fields, particularly for cellulose-based drug carriers.
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Scientists publish a complete overview of sulfonimide dendrimers
A research team from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials (CDMM) has prepared a comprehensive overview of research on a family of sulfonimide dendrimers that holds promise for optics, photonics, and surface functionalization of materials.
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Scientists summarize hydrological basis and discipline system of cryohydrology
Cryohydrology has been defined as hydrology involving low temperatures, which has broadened with the development of cryospheric science and now involves hydrological processes of various cryosphere elements systematically coupled with river basin hydrological processes. However, limited studies have introduced the characteristics and discipline comprising cryohydrology from the perspective of cryo
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Researchers achieve sustained, high-fidelity quantum teleportation
A viable quantum internet—a network in which information stored in qubits is shared over long distances through entanglement—would transform the fields of data storage, precision sensing and computing, ushering in a new era of communication.
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Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
In rice plants, the flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. Photosynthesis in this leaf provides the majority of the carbohydrates needed for grain filling—so it is the most important leaf for yield potential. A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different
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Researchers publish review article on the physics of interacting particles
Scientific articles in the field of physics are mostly very short and deal with a very restricted topic. A remarkable exception to this is an article published recently by physicists from the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf. The article is 127 pages long, cites a total of 1075 sources and deals with a wide range of branches of physics—from biophysics to quantum mechanics.
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Order and disorder in crystalline ice explained
A fascinating substance with unique properties, ice has intrigued humans since time immemorial. Unlike most other materials, ice at very low temperature is not as ordered as it could be. A collaboration between the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the Institute of Physics Rosario (IFIR-UNR), with the sup
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Sugars influence cell-to-surface adhesion
How can cells adhere to surfaces and move on them? This is a question which was investigated by an international team of researchers headed by Prof. Michael Hippler from the University of Münster and Prof. Kaiyao Huang from the Institute of Hydrobiology (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China). The researchers used the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as their model organism. They manipulat
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Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
In rice plants, the flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. Photosynthesis in this leaf provides the majority of the carbohydrates needed for grain filling—so it is the most important leaf for yield potential. A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different
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Sugars influence cell-to-surface adhesion
How can cells adhere to surfaces and move on them? This is a question which was investigated by an international team of researchers headed by Prof. Michael Hippler from the University of Münster and Prof. Kaiyao Huang from the Institute of Hydrobiology (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China). The researchers used the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as their model organism. They manipulat
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Race Riot Site from 1908 Could Become a National Park
The aftermath of the Springfield, Ill., rampage led, in part, to the NAACP — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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A Japanese Startup Is Building Wooden Satellites
Wooden Satellites A Japanese startup called Sumitomo Forestry is teaming up with Kyoto University to develop the first satellites made out of wood. The goal is to minimize the amount of space junk that has been accumulating in orbit over the last decades, as the BBC reports . Satellites made out of wood, the theory goes, could simply burn up upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. "We are very c
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Electrons hop to it on twisted molecular wires
Researchers at Osaka University synthesized twisted molecular wires just one molecule thick that can conduct electricity with less resistance compared with previous devices. This work may lead to carbon-based electronic devices that require fewer toxic materials or harsh processing methods.
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A single gene 'invented' hemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists from CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, in association with others at the University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, have shown that while hemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to al
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Carbon emissions from ride hailing are worse than we knew
Initial data indicate ride-hailing isn't as good for the environment as many assumed, at least not in its current form. With a focused, practical bent, Joshua Skov, an instructor of management and sustainability at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon, and his colleagues sought to disentangle ride-hailing from other sources of carbon emissions in community-scale greenhous
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A single gene 'invented' hemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists from CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, in association with others at the University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, have shown that while hemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to al
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Detective work in theoretical physics
Physicists have published a review article on the so-called dynamical density functional theory (DDFT). This is a method for describing systems consisting of a large number of interacting particles such as are found in liquids, for example.
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UCLA scientists develop high-throughput mitochondria transfer device
Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells.
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Story tip from Johns Hopkins expert on Covid-19
In a study that looked at suicide deaths during 2020's first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that, contrary to general predictions of suicides skyrocketing, suicides in the overall population actually dropped, relative to previous years. However, the researchers also discovered that suicide deaths increased dramatically among Black Marylanders du
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Significant disparities in telemedicine use, especially among older and POC patients
Older people as well as minorities, non-English speakers and those with lower incomes face inequities in accessing telemedicine care
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Assessment of neutrophil extracellular traps in coronary thrombus of case series of patients with COVID-19
Severe COVID-19 is characterized by the intense formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), leading to the blockage of microvessels, as shown in pulmonary samples. The occurrence of ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a serious cardiac manifestation of COVID-19; the intrinsic mechanism of coronary thrombosis appears to still be unknown. This case series report of five patients sou
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Patient characteristics associated with telemedicine access during COVID-19 pandemic
This study identified racial/ ethnic, sex, age, language, and socioeconomic differences in accessing telemedicine for primary care and specialty ambulatory care; if not addressed, these differences may compound existing inequities in care among vulnerable populations.
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A single gene 'invented' haemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor.
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4D printing makes wrinkly, stretchy energy devices
Researchers have created stretchable supercapacitors using a specialized printing technology, innovative materials, and the centuries-old art of origami. Developing these kinds of malleable energy devices will help existing wearable technologies, such as smart watches, become more flexible, comfortable, and reliable. But Changyong Cao, director of the Soft Machines and Electronics Laboratory at M
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These two kinds of seafood are most often mislabeled
Shrimp is the top mislabeled seafood in the US, followed by farmed Atlantic salmon masquerading as Pacific salmon or rainbow trout, research finds. Seafood is the world's most highly traded food commodity , by value, and the product is hard to track from source to market. Reports of seafood mislabeling have increased over the past decade, but few studies have considered the overall environmental
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'We cannot make it without science': Greta Thunberg says climate experts are being ignored
Climate specialists not being listened to despite Covid showing importance of following science, activist says Climate experts are not being listened to despite the coronavirus pandemic highlighting the importance of following science, the environmental activist Greta Thunberg has said. The Swedish teenager argued that the Covid-19 crisis had "shone a light" on how "we cannot make it without scie
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The Problem of 'Long Haul' COVID
More and more patients are dealing with major symptoms that linger for months — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different varieties of rice transform light and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates better than others, potentially opening new opportunities for breeding higher yielding rice varieties.
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Shield some and let others carry on? This Covid theory is dangerous, and foolish | Charlotte Summers
The concept is not only impractical, it creates a 'them and us' mentality. Everyone's health matters, or no one's health matters Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage There is currently a discussion, relayed by media such as the Sun and MailOnline and circulated on social media, about the way Covid-19 predominantly impacts older people and those who have pre-existing healt
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Tesla Owners Can Now Set Their Horn to Fart, Meme Sounds
Season's Greetings Thanks to a new Holiday Software Update, Tesla owners now have access to a host of new features. Included in the update is the ability to customize the vehicle's horn sound — including to fart and goat noises, and various meme references. Drivers can even upload their own sounds via a USB device. "Change your horn sound to , , or holiday jingles with latest Tesla software updat
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The mosquito taste system and disease control [Perspectives]
Mosquitoes are a widely diverse group of organisms, comprising ∼3,500 species that live in an enormous range of habitats. Some species are vectors of diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people each year. Although understanding of mosquito olfaction has progressed dramatically in recent years, mosquito taste remains greatly understudied….
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Kystdirektoratet advarer om dobbelt så voldsomme stormfloder i fremtiden
Regeringen har afsat 350 millioner kroner ekstra på finansloven til kystbeskyttelse, men kommunerne skal stadig selv sikre sig imod skybrud.
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Scientists turned toxic pesticide into treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Russian scientists from Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg have synthesized nitrogen-containing cyclic compounds that differ only in the relative position of side substituents. They are analogs of pesticides which are toxic and carcinogenic to humans, but the modifications allowed turning them into a powerful weapon against bacteria resistant to most antibiotics.
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Fighting Covid-19 Brought These Lasting Breakthroughs to Science and Medicine
2020 was the year of the pandemic. But the arrival of Covid-19 in January not only threw an Earth-sized wrench into our lives, it also dictated the course of scientific discovery. Never before have so much attention, investment, and passion been devoted to one scientific problem. Never before have pre-print servers exploded in popularity, allowing scientists to share discoveries at lightning spee
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2020 vision
A meeting of smoke and storms ( NASA Earth Observatory ) No-one needs another litany of all the terrible things that happened this year, but there are three areas relevant to climate science that are worth thinking about: What actually happened in climate/weather (and how they can be teased apart). There is a good summary on the BBC radio Discover program covering wildfires, heat waves, Arctic se
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Where did this galaxy's supermassive black hole go?
The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of a supermassive black hole has deepened, researchers say. Despite searching with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have no evidence that a distant black hole estimated to weigh between 3 billion and 100 billion times the mass of the sun is anywhere to be found. This missing black hole should be in the enormous galaxy
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Device gauges hand gestures from arm signals
A new device can recognize hand gestures based on electrical signals it detects in the forearm. Imagine typing on a computer without a keyboard, playing a video game without a controller, or driving a car without a wheel. That's the goal researchers envision for the system, which couples wearable biosensors with artificial intelligence (AI) and could one day control prosthetics or to interact wit
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Here's the Top 10 Science Stories You Missed This Year (While You Were Distracted by COVID-19)
It may have felt like scientists were all-hands-on-deck battling the pandemic. But plenty of researchers learned amazing things this year that had nothing to do with COVID-19.
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Newly-discovered flower is so rare, there is only one plant of its species
Botanists have discovered a new species of flower on a remote slope in Hawaii. The new plant is called Cyanea heluensis and features white, curved flowers. The plant is so rare, there is only one of its kind found so far. A flower was found in Hawaii that is one of a kind—in fact, it's the only known example of its species. It's name is Cyanea heluensis , and the only place you can see it in the
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Saving the world with Christmas cookies?
Despite all warnings, people continue to ruthlessly exploit land resources around the world, planting monocultures and setting up large-scale infrastructure. Social ecologist Anke Schaffartzik analyses the political and economic interests that precede these developments and their impact on society. The snapshots of global material and energy flows, but also the power gradient of which they are a s
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Electrons hop to it on twisted molecular wires
Osaka University scientists show how purposely introducing twists into molecular wires can improve their electrical conductivity. This work may lead to sophisticated and more ecofriendly smartphones and other electronic devices.
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A single gene 'invented' haemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists from CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, in association with others at the University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to a
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Twenty-Four Ways to Turn Outdoor Passions Into Citizen Science
Heading into the new year, consider collecting scientific data while skiing, hiking, surfing, biking and partaking in other adventures
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Drowning salt marshes threaten coastal communities
Climate change and rising sea levels are breaking down the ecosystems that protect coastal communities and their threshold for recovery is lower than previously thought, report researchers. Salt marshes and other ecosystems act as barriers against storm surges and natural disasters for coastal communities around the world. The resiliency of these natural barriers normally allows them to continue
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Sugars influence cell-to-surface adhesion
An international team of researchers examined how movement and adhesion in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can be manipulated. To this end, the researchers altered the sugar modifications in proteins on the cell surface. As a result, the so-called adhesion force was also altered. The results have now been published in the open access scientific journal eLife .
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In plants, channels set the rhythm
Like animals, plants have 'molecular switches' on the surface of their cells that transduce a mechanical signal into an electrical one in milliseconds. In animals, sound vibrations activate 'molecular switches' located in the ear. French scientists have found that in plants, rapid oscillations of stems and leaves due to wind may activate these 'switches' very effectively. They could allow plants t
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Yawning Is One of the Greatest Mysteries of the Human Body
No one knows for sure why we (or our pets) yawn. But some hypotheses hold more weight than others.
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The PS5 and Xbox Series X Are Closing the PC-Console Gap
Last generation, PCs outpowered consoles by a significant margin. This time around, the game is much closer, and the software is catching up too.
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An explanation for the lack of blood oxygenation detected in many COVID-19 patients
Researchers at the Seville Institute of Biomedicine (IBIS) describe the presence in the human carotid body, the organ that senses oxygen in the blood, of the protein (ECA2) through which SARS-CoV-2 infects cells.
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Detective work in theoretical physics
Physicists at the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf in Germany have published a review article on the so-called dynamical density functional theory (DDFT). This is a method for describing systems consisting of a large number of interacting particles such as are found in liquids, for example. The 127-page article is published in the magazine Advances in Physics .
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Stopping RAS inhibitors tied to worse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease
Small studies have suggested that a group of medications called RAS inhibitors may be harmful in persons with advanced chronic kidney disease, and physicians therefore often stop the treatment in such patients. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that although stopping the treatment is linked to a lower risk of requiring dialysis, it is also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular even
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Order and disorder in crystalline ice explained
Unlike most other materials, ice at very low temperature is not as ordered as it could be. A new study explains the reasons why this happens and how some of the missing order can be recovered. The scientists have described a relatively obscure and yet fundamental property of very low temperature ice, ferroelectricity. The results, published in PNAS, are likely to extend to ice surfaces and thus be
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