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The obscure maths theorem that governs the reliability of Covid testing
There's been much debate about lateral flow tests – their accuracy depends on context and the theories of a 18th-century cleric Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Maths quiz. If you take a Covid test that only gives a false positive one time in every 1,000, what's the chance that you've actually got Covid? Surely it's 99.9%, right? No! The correct answer is: you have no
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The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying
For weeks, Americans looked on as other countries grappled with case reports of rare, sometimes fatal blood abnormalities among those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. That vaccine has not yet been authorized by the FDA, so restrictions on its use throughout Europe did not get that much attention in the United States. But Americans experienced a rude awakening this week w
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Parents Are Sacrificing Their Social Lives on the Altar of Intensive Parenting
Over the past few decades, American parents have been pressured into making a costly wager: If they sacrifice their hobbies, interests, and friendships to devote as much time and as many resources as possible to parenting, they might be able to launch their children into a stable adulthood. While this gamble sometimes pays off , parents who give themselves over to this intensive form of child-rea
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NASA has selected SpaceX's Starship as the lander to take astronauts to the moon
Later this decade, NASA astronauts are expected to touch down on the lunar surface for the first time in decades. When they do, according to an announcement made by the agency, they'll be riding inside SpaceX's Starship vehicle. NASA's award of a $2.9 billion contract to build Starship, first reported by the Washington Post on April 16 and later confirmed by NASA, is a huge achievement for the sp
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Two Die in Fiery Tesla Wreck, Seemingly in Self-Driving Mode
A Tesla Model S crashed into a tree and burst into flames on Saturday evening in Spring, Texas, not far from Houston — but investigators of the wreck found neither of its occupants in the driver's seat. Following the fatal crash, two bodies were removed from the wreck, neither of which was actually behind the wheel. One person was in the front passenger seat, while the other body was found in the
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Hubble watches cosmic light bend
This extraordinary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of the galaxy cluster Abell 2813 (also known as ACO 2813) has an almost delicate beauty, which also illustrates the remarkable physics at work within it. The image spectacularly demonstrates the concept of gravitational lensing.
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Parker Solar Probe sees Venus orbital dust ring in first complete view
NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission has given scientists the first complete look at Venus' orbital dust ring, a collection of microscopic dust particles that circulates around the Sun along Venus' orbit. Though earlier missions have made some observations of Venus' orbital dust ring, Parker Solar Probe's images are the first to show the planet's dust ring for nearly its entire 360-degree span around
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NASA's Mars Helicopter Achieves Flight on Red Planet
NASA's Mars helicopter has made history. Ingenuity , a small, four-pound rotorcraft that was dropped off by the agency's Perseverance rover earlier this year, became the first manmade object to achieve powered, controlled flight on the surface of another planet earlier this morning. It's a feat that could revolutionize the way we explore the surface of other planets, including Mars, in the medium
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Forskare: Plasten vi använder i vardagen gör oss mer infertila
Ungefär var tionde kvinna i världen kämpar nu med infertilitet i minst 12 månader samtidigt som mängden och kvaliteten på spermier drastiskt minskat de senaste årtiondena. Enligt forskare är en av bovarna bakom våra fertilitetsproblem hormonstörande tillsatser i den plast som vi använder i vardagen. – All plast innehåller tillsatsämnen och all plast är ett problem, säger Pauliina Damdimopoulou, se
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The Interior Lives of Hoarders
Tomas Schuler / EyeEm / Getty I cannot remember whether I knew what compulsive hoarding was before 2009. Likely not. That year, the TV network A&E put the disorder on the cultural radar in an unparalleled way with its show Hoarders. The series introduced a public audience to a sometimes-private struggle—the obsessive need to acquire objects, coupled with the fear of letting them go—and offered it
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Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?
Last week, I covered my nose and mouth with close-fitting fabric like a good citizen and walked to a restaurant in Washington, D.C., where I de-masked at a patio table to greet a friend. I sat with my chair facing the entrance and watched dozens of people perform the same ritual, removing a mask they'd worn outside and alone. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world. Until, suddenly, it
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Research investigates radio galaxy 3C 84
An international team of astronomers has conducted a detailed kinematic study of a radio galaxy known as 3C 84. The research sheds more light on the properties of this source and its connection to gamma-ray emission. The study was detailed in a paper published April 7 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
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NASA's New Horizons reaches a rare space milestone
In the weeks following its launch in early 2006, when NASA's New Horizons was still close to home, it took just minutes to transmit a command to the spacecraft, and hear back that the onboard computer received and was ready to carry out the instructions.
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Activity-regulated synaptic targeting of lncRNA ADEPTR mediates structural plasticity by localizing Sptn1 and AnkB in dendrites
Activity-dependent structural plasticity at the synapse requires specific changes in the neuronal transcriptome. While much is known about the role of coding elements in this process, the role of the long noncoding transcriptome remains elusive. Here, we report the discovery of an intronic long noncoding RNA (lncRNA)—termed ADEPTR—that is up-regulated and synaptically transported in a cAMP/PKA-de
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The SARS-CoV-2 Spike variant D614G favors an open conformational state
The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic underwent a rapid transition with the emergence of a dominant viral variant (from the "D-form" to the "G-form") that carried an amino acid substitution D614G in its "Spike" protein. The G-form is more infectious in vitro and is associated with increased viral loads in the upper airways. To gain insight into the molecular-level underpinnings of thes
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Tinnitus helpline reports a surge in calls since start of the coronavirus pandemic
Scientists are concerned virus or medication used for treating Covid-19 is causing ear damage Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage More people are complaining of developing tinnitus for the first time or have found their symptoms have worsened since the start of the pandemic, according to scientists and other leading experts who specialise in the condition. The British Ti
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The New Face of Trumpism in Texas
I n 2015, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, the fates of two very different Texans collided. One was 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a precocious kid in a NASA T-shirt who had built a clock out of spare parts and brought it to school in a pencil case. His English teacher decided it might be a bomb, and the school called the police, who arrested Mohamed for bringing in a " hoax bomb ." Because Mohamed's
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This Theory Could Explain Many Military UFO Sightings
A fascinating clip of what appeared to be triangular or "pyramid" shaped UFOs flying over a US Navy warship circulated online earlier this month. The footage, obtained by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, shows the mysterious objects caught on a night vision camera aimed at the skies over the warship. "I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel," Department of Defens
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Add India to UK travel ban list to stop Covid variant, urges scientist
Indian coronavirus variant has potential to 'scupper' lockdown easing, says professor of immunology Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage India should be placed on the UK's "red list" for travel after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, according to a leading scientist. Prof Danny Altmann, from Imperial College London, said it was "mystifying" and "confounding" tha
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Japanese Prime Minister Challenged to Drink Radioactive Water Before Dumping It Into the Ocean
Shots Shots Shots Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the government could no longer delay its plan to dump radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean. The Japanese government has repeatedly insisted that the plan won't put biodiversity or people in the area at risk, but plenty of residents of Japan and neighboring countr
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Dogecoin Is Spiking and People Are Losing Their Minds
At first, it was meant to be a joke. But now the market capitalization of Dogecoin, a popular altcoin, has spiked to $40 billion, CNBC reports , after values skyrocketed and added $20 billion in value in just 24 hours. The shiba inu-emblazoned token was created as a "fun" alternative to Bitcoin back in 2013. But thanks to a massive surge in interest, led by communities on Reddit — and some promin
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Artist Sells NFT of Single Pixel for $1.7 Million
The Pixel The NFT isn't dead. A single pixel, a part of an NFT by digital artist Pak, sold for $1.36 million worth of Ether, Reuters reports , at the famed auction house Sotheby's. The work was part of a larger series of digital artworks that sold for a whopping $16.8 million combined. Most notable among them was "The Pixel," which as its name suggests, was an image of a single grey block. Three
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NASA Reportedly Chooses SpaceX to Develop Moon Lander
NASA Leak NASA officially announced that it's going to announce who it will choose to build a rocket capable of bringing the first astronauts to the Moon's surface since the Apollo missions. But news of the decision may have just leaked to The Washington Post a little early. According to documents obtained by the newspaper, NASA has officially chosen Elon Musk's SpaceX to to build a lunar lander
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Restoring the 'Soul of the Nation' Means Taking in Refugees
One of the Trump administration's early priorities was engineering a whiter America through immigration restrictions. We know this because it told us so. "U.S. demographics have been changing rapidly—and undesirably in the eyes of top Trump aides, including his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and domestic policy advisor Stephen Miller," the Los Angeles Times reported in February 2017. The tr
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'Like hunting for unicorns': Australians on the search for adequate, affordable mental healthcare
Countless inquiries have found the same problems afflicting the mental health system, but cost and access barriers still leave those seeking and providing care in despair 'The worst it's ever been': Guardian readers tell us about Australia's mental health system Many Australians experience the country's mental health system as inadequate, dangerous and financially punishing, saying they often fee
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Wilhelm Reich: the strange, prescient sexologist who sought to set us free
He believed orgasms could be a healing force and coined the term 'sexual revolution'. Reich's understanding of the body is vital in our age of protests and patriarchy, writes Olivia Laing There are certain people who speak directly into their moment, and others who leave a message for history to decipher, whose work gains in relevance or whose life becomes uncannily meaningful decades after their
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Study: Humanity Has Ravaged All But 3 Percent of The Land on Earth
Global Domination New research shows that humanity's influence has already altered about 97 percent of the land on the planet. Very little of the land surface on the Earth — just 2.8 percent — can still be considered "functionally intact," according to a study published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change . Therefore, the study's authors, who hail from a long list of un
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Oldest piece of writing ever found in Israel identified on ancient shard of pottery
A team of researchers from the Austrian Academy of Science's, Austrian Archaeological Institute, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archeology, has identified a piece of writing on a shard of pottery unearthed in 2018 at the Lachish archaeological site as the oldest piece of writing ever found in Israel. In their paper published in Cambridge University Press's, Antiquity, the gr
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India Covid variant found in UK specimens taken in February
Researchers worry that 'variant under investigation' contains mutations that could help it evade immune response Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The first of the 77 cases of the India variant of coronavirus found in the UK were detected in specimens dating back to February, the Guardian has learned. On Thursday Public Health England (PHE) revealed that 77 cases of a
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Special Ops Soldier With Jetpack Boards Ship in Amazing Video
Special Jet Suit Ops In a new video released by jetpack maker Gravity Industries, a jetsuit-wearing special ops soldier from the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force can be seen boarding a ship — by flying there from a nearby pursuit vessel. It's a spectacular demonstration of Gravity Industries' flying technology. Rather than having to pursue and approach the ship in the tailing vessel,
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Nasa's Mars helicopter in first powered, controlled flight on another planet
Ingenuity successfully takes flight, hovering at height of about 3 metres before touching back down Nasa is celebrating the first powered, controlled flight on another planet after its Ingenuity helicopter rose into the Martian sky, hovered for a moment, and then gently returned to the dusty surface. The robotic craft climbed to an altitude of about 3 metres on its maiden flight on Monday morning
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Photos: The Culture Of Whales
Belugas play, a sperm whale nurses, and orcas teach their pups to hunt in a series of photographs from National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry. (Image credit: Brian Skerry/National Geographic)
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FAQ: America's New Promise On Climate
The U.S. is planning to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is America's return to the international climate stage. We break it down for you. (Image credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
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UK Covid news: Boris Johnson cancels trip to India as pressure grows for it to be added to travel red list
Latest updates: PM's forthcoming trip to India cancelled as country's total cases reach 15m 'If we catch Covid, we die': UK shielders reflect on still feeling unsafe Oxford trial to study effect of immune system on reinfection Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.29am BST Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is making a statement to MPs on coronavirus at 3.30pm. Two maj
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Mars helicopter Ingenuity: Nasa about to try historic flight
If all goes to plan, craft will ascend to 10 feet above the surface of Mars, hover for 30 seconds, then rotate before descending Nasa on Monday will attempt to fly a miniature helicopter above the surface of Mars in what would be the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. If all goes to plan, the 1.8kg helicopter will slowly ascend to an altitude of three metres above
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OPINION: Doctors Should Be More Candid With Their Patients
As a doctor, I was eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in December, but I also was pregnant, and there wasn't yet much data to inform my decision. What I needed was a different kind of information. (Image credit: DrAfter123/Getty Images)
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A Distinctly American Problem Needs Systematic Investigation
Aviation deaths once looked like an intractable problem. Then the federal government began probing every plane crash with an eye toward preventing future loss of life. Our skies got much safer as a result. A similar approach could reduce police killings. A federal agency should investigate every single killing and significant injury caused by American police officers, who have long killed people
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Så minskar du riskerna med plast i ditt hem
Hormonstörande tillsatser i plast har flera negativa effekter för vår hälsa. Men genom att dra ned på mängden plast som kommer i kontakt med din mat, använda oparfymerade hygienprodukter och vädra dina nya möbler kan du dra ned på din exponering för kemikalierna.
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Så kyler trädens gaser ner planeten
Att träd binder koldioxid är välkänt. Men träd håller även ner temperaturen på fler sätt än många tidigare har trott. Träd släpper ifrån sig gaser och de gaserna har en nedkylande effekt på atmosfären. – Den ljuvliga doften av en tallskog är just sådana gaser, säger klimatforskaren Catherine Scott vid Leeds universitet.
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Who Wants to Watch Black Pain?
Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET on April 17, 2021. In the trailer for Amazon's new horror series, Them , Diana Ross's "Home" soundtracks a tender scene: A Black husband and wife in the 1950s survey their new house in wonder and dance in the living room with their two daughters. "When I think of home / I think of a place where there's love overflowing," Ross sings. But, as in the song, the tenor of the tr
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Walking or running in nature with a therapist is helping people heal
Outdoor therapy can help people to become reflective and their body language while moving gives clues to their feelings Covid has transformed the way many of us work and that includes the people who look after our mental health. For much of lockdown, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists have all had to venture into the world of online therapy, tackling their clients' iss
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AI ethicist Kate Darling: 'Robots can be our partners'
The MIT researcher says that for humans to flourish we must move beyond thinking of robots as potential future competitors Dr Kate Darling is a research specialist in human-robot interaction, robot ethics and intellectual property theory and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab . In her new book, The New Breed , she argues that we would be better prepared for the fu
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Pandemic made 2020 'the year of the quiet ocean', say scientists
Human-generated sounds faded substantially at height of Covid lockdown, studies show Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Covid-19 lockdown has produced the quietest year for the world's oceans in recent memory, according to a group of scientists working on a global map of underwater soundscapes. Noise pollution from ship engines, trawling activities, oil platforms, s
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Nasa picks Elon Musk's SpaceX to build spacecraft to return humans to moon
Space agency breaks with tradition by awarding $2.9bn contract to single company in 'big step' for moon-to-Mars strategy Nasa has chosen SpaceX to build the next-generation spacecraft that will return humans to the moon, further strengthening Elon Musk's grip on the burgeoning public-private space industry. The $2.9bn contract to build the lunar lander that will spearhead the Artemis program , Na
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What are the new Covid variants and what do they mean for the pandemic?
From Doug to Nelly and Eeek, we look at how mutations are affecting the battle against the virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage From the moment public health officials started to track new variants of coronavirus, it became clear that the same mutations were cropping up time and again and making the virus more troublesome. What are these mutations, what do they do,
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Pfizer CEO Says You'll "Likely" Need a Third Dose of COVID Vaccine
Getting both shots of the Pfizer vaccine may not be enough to permanently protect you against the coronavirus. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC yesterday that we may eventually need a third injection of the vaccine to serve as a booster when its protective benefits start to wane, or if the company reworks its formula to better protect against new variants of the coronavirus. "A likely scenario
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87 Neanderthal footprints found on an ancient Iberian shoreline
A team of researchers from Spain, Argentina and France has identified 87 Neanderthal footprints found on an ancient shoreline on the Iberian Peninsula. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group describes their study of the footprints and what they learned about them.
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A rich marine algal ecosystem existed 600 million years earlier than previously thought
The first photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms on Earth were cyanobacteria. Their evolution dramatically changed the Earth allowing oxygen to accumulate into the atmosphere for the first time and further allowing the evolution of oxygen-utilizing organisms including eukaryotes. Eukaryotes include animals, but also algae, a broad group of photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms that now domi
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A Huge New Kroger Warehouse Is Staffed by 1,000 Grocery-Picking Robots
With the pandemic at long last starting to wind down, many of us are beyond eager to get back to "the way things used to be," that is, being able to interact with other humans, spending time in public places, and getting some measure of joy out of life. But some of our habits may be permanently changed , like doing meetings over Zoom, working from home, and shopping online. One grocery store chai
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How The U.S. Could Halve Climate Emissions By 2030
Environmental groups and business leaders are pushing President Biden to cut U.S. emissions 50% by 2030. The question is: what kind of climate policies will work that fast? (Image credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL)
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Women in England almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed opiate painkillers
Experts worried about high use of drugs such as codeine and tramadol after prescriptions rose during Covid pandemic 'I was told to live with it': women tell of doctors dismissing their pain Women in England are almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers, prompting experts to warn that female pain is overly medicated and not properly invest
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Under-30s less compliant with Covid rules, UK data shows
While most followed restrictions, one in seven admitted to decreasing levels of compliance Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage People under 30 were less compliant with Covid rules over the past year, according to survey data from more than 50,000 adults in the UK. While the still to be peer-reviewed analysis suggests most people followed lockdown and social distancing ru
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Microbes are 'unknown unknowns' despite being vital to all life, says study
Understanding these tiny organisms could be crucial to tackling threats such as coronavirus, but new research shows how little we know A new study has highlighted how little is known about microbes – the hidden majority of life on Earth. Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms. They generate oxygen, keep soils healthy and regulate the climate.
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Covid: trial to study effect of immune system on reinfection
Oxford scientists will track whether participants are reinfected when re-exposed to coronavirus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The immune response needed to protect people against reinfection with the coronavirus will be explored in a new human challenge trial, researchers have revealed. Human challenge trials involve deliberately exposing healthy people to a diseas
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New Warp Drive Research Dashes Faster-Than-Light Travel Dreams—but Reveals Stranger Possibilities
In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a radical technology that would allow faster-than-light travel: the warp drive , a hypothetical way to skirt around the universe's ultimate speed limit by bending the fabric of reality. It was an intriguing idea—even NASA has been researching it at the Eagleworks laboratory—but Alcubierre's proposal contained problems that seemed insurmountable. Now,
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Readers reply: the universe is expanding – but what is it expanding into?
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers' questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts Scientists and astronomers tell us that the universe is expanding. But what is it expanding into, ie what's beyond the universe? Phil Town, Lisbon Please email new questions to nq@theguardian.com Continue reading…
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Vodka, toothpaste, yoga mats … the new technology making items out of thin air
An exhibition at London's Science Museum shows how far carbon capture research has come Tackling climate change may bring unexpected benefits, London's Science Museum will reveal next month. A special exhibition on carbon capture, the fledgling technology of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and emissions from factories, will display bottles of vodka, tubes of toothpaste, pens and y
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Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the cretaceous
Tarantulas are among the most notorious spiders, due in part to their size, vibrant colors and prevalence throughout the world. But one thing most people don't know is that tarantulas are homebodies. Females and their young rarely leave their burrows and only mature males will wander to seek out a mate. How then did such a sedentary spider come to inhabit six out of seven continents?
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Elon Musk Takes Cybertruck for Off-Road Joyride
Off-Road Joyride During a recent visit to Tesla's factory in Austin, Texas, CEO Elon Musk decided to take a prototype of the company's long-awaited electric pickup, the Cybertruck, out for a spin. Videos of the event showed the brutalist truck drive over the site's dirt-covered grounds. Cybertruck at Gigafactory Texas! $TSLA #Tesla #Cybertruck #EV @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/g90Ml0NWTF — Tesla New
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What the Pandemic Has Done to the Class of 2020
Nina Berman / NOOR / Redux Noah Baumbach's 1995 film, Kicking and Screaming , opens at a college-graduation party. Students dressed in boxy suits and flouncy dresses mill around campus, savoring their final moments of collegiate aimlessness: Today I am a student, an English major. Tomorrow these identities will fall away and I will have no idea who or what I am anymore. A group of friends gathers
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Laos jars are slowly revealing their secrets
In the rugged province of Xieng Khoaung in upper northern Laos are scattered more than 2,000 large carved stone jars. They vary in size, with the biggest standing at just over 2.5 meters tall and weighing in at 30 tons. The jars are believed to have been used for funerary purposes, with human remains (including teeth) found buried around some of the jars.
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'They Just Feel That They've Been Violated'
People come to Shelly Hughes to get better. Most patients at the Washington State long-term-care facility she works at are there for the express purpose of getting well enough to go home. In a typical year, she would rarely see cases of "failure to thrive," the technical term for a sharp and sudden decline in health. But last year, multiple people who were expected to make a full recovery went in
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Is the 'new muon' really a great scientific discovery? For now, I'm cautious | Carlo Rovelli
Physicists are always looking for eureka moments – but we should be careful with headline-grabbing announcements There is something curious about the great experiments and discoveries in fundamental physics from the past few decades. They have covered black holes , gravitational waves , the Higgs particle and quantum entanglement . They have led to Nobel prizes, reached the front pages of newspap
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4,000 to attend FA Cup semi-final as live sport cautiously reopens
Largest crowd at a major British stadium for more than a year will aid research into events reopening this summer Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A sporting record will be broken on Sunday when 4,000 football fans gather at Wembley to watch the FA Cup semi-final between Leicester City and Southampton. It will be the largest crowd to have watched a football match in a
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Left-Behind Suburbs Are a Civil-Rights Battleground
The death of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist killed by police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, is a window into the future of civil-rights conflict in America. That Black Lives Matter was launched after a police shooting in a similar community outside St. Louis—Ferguson, Missouri—is not a coincidence. Both Brooklyn Center and Ferguson are small, older suburbs. Both have be
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The Danger of a 'Dudes Only' Vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson shot is teetering on the precipice of becoming America's "dudes only" vaccine. On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA advised halting the vaccine's nationwide rollout to investigate six cases of a rare blood-clotting disorder that's occurred in people within about two weeks of receiving the vaccine—all of them women under the age of 50. In an emergency meeting convened Wednesday by the
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Tesla Helps Cops Catch Man Who Committed Racial Hate Crime
Hello There A federal court charged 44-year-old Dushko Vulchev with repeatedly setting fire to a predominately Black church in Massachusetts thanks, in part, to video footage captured by a nearby Tesla's cameras . Vulchev reportedly set the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church on fire several times and slashing the tires of cars in the area, according to Gizmodo . Vukchev, who was
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NASA rocket to survey the solar system's windshield
Eleven billion miles away—more than four times the distance from us to Pluto—lies the boundary of our solar system's magnetic bubble, the heliopause. Here the Sun's magnetic field, stretching through space like an invisible cobweb, fizzles to nothing. Interstellar space begins.
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Most-Vaccinated Country on Earth Has "Pretty Much Eradicated" COVID
According to a new paper published in the journal Nature today, the evidence is overwhelming: COVID-19 vaccines work, and they work well. In fact, Israel's vaccination program — the most expansive on Earth — has been so successful that it has "pretty much eradicated COVID-19 from Israel, at least for the time being," Weizmann Institute researcher and co-author of the new paper Eran Segal wrote in
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Astronomers Surprised to Find That Stars Compete With Each Other
Gas Guzzlers In a new study, Japanese scientists found that a star's final size doesn't depend on how big its initial core was but rather how successful it was at competing with its neighbors for resources. That came as a shock, as the astronomy community long assumed that the mass of a newly-formed core or one collapsed from a dead star — both the seeds of new star formation — had a much larger
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The Two Memos With Enormous Constitutional Consequences
One conclusion is apparent following Donald Trump's four years in office: A sitting president is perhaps the only American who is not bound by criminal law, and thus not swayed by its disincentives. What's astonishing is that this immunity has no grounding in actual law. It's not in the Constitution or any federal statute, regulation, or judicial decision. It is not law at all. Instead, the ban o
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I'm Not Ready to Perform
Last October, before the second pandemic wave took off in New York City, I had one last band practice in my backyard in South Brooklyn. Five of us were working on songs from my new solo record. Normally we'd play in the basement, but it's pretty low-ceilinged, and we'd read Zeynep Tufekci's recent Atlantic article on viral spread, so we were all hyper-focused on air circulation. My bandmate Sara
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An Ode to the Left Hand
Tim Lahan This article was published online on April 17, 2021. I raised the drumstick , brought it down, and a dreamworld opened beneath me. A dreamworld, to be clear, of incompetence. A dreamworld of crapness and debility. A slump in tempo, an abyss. I was sitting at my practice drum kit, attempting one of the signature moves of the late John "Bonzo" Bonham, of Led Zeppelin: triplets with a left
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New Details Emerge About Fatal Jetpack Crash
Jetpack Crash Daredevil jetwing pilot Vince Reffet tragically passed away in November 2020 during a training accident. While details about the cause of his death remained scarce at the time, we're finally starting to get a sense of what may have happened. According to a new report from the United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority, as obtained by the Associated Press , Reffet didn't
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Analysing long Covid and managing anxiety | Letters
There is a greater need than ever for measured, up-to-date information about this condition, writes Prof Michael Sharpe. Plus letters from Robin Davies and Prof Paul Garner George Monbiot has written about post Covid-19 illnesses ( Apparently just by talking about it, I'm super-spreading long Covid , 14 April). He referred to slides he had obtained from a talk I was invited to give because of my
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When Your Best Friend Becomes an 'Aunt' to Your Kids
Each installment of " The Friendship Files " features a conversation between The Atlantic 's Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship. This week she talks with Judie, an introvert, and Kristi, an extrovert, about their opposites-attract friendship, and how Judie leaned on it when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic. Th
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You're Gonna Miss Zoom When It's Gone
I f there's a villain of the pandemic, other than COVID-19, it's probably Zoom. The videochatting platform is making people tired , it's making people awkward , and it's making people sick of their own faces. Zoom is such a shoddy substitute for real life that, according to o ne survey , nearly one in five workers has illicitly met up in person with colleagues to discuss work. And in another poll
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MIT Researcher: Sex Robots May Sell In-App Purchases During Intercourse
Superliminal Advertising As new robots are built to be increasingly social and designed to appeal to our need for emotional connections, a prominent AI ethicist warns that humanity may end up being exploited. MIT Media Lab researcher Kate Darling, an expert on tech ethics and the relationships and interactions between humans and robots, warned The Guardian that the way we talk and think about rob
29min
No, You're Crying About a Helicopter on Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Jason Major For the first time in history, humankind has taken flight on another planet. Millions of miles from Earth, on an alien world with a wisp-thin atmosphere, a tiny helicopter rose into the air, hovered for 39 seconds , and then gently touched back down on the surface of Mars. Today's historic flight is a tremendous feat of engineering and a marvelous display of—as th
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Nations Need Ambassadors to Big Tech
Governments see that companies have country-like powers, but they can't figure out how to deal with their un-country-like structures. Diplomats could help.
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The Americans Who Still Can't Get Vaccinated
Like many Americans, Ariane Dvir is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Only, she doesn't live in America. From her home near Cologne, in western Germany, she has spent much of this year hearing about her loved ones back in the United States getting vaccinated. Her husband, an Israeli citizen, has heard about his family and friends in Israel doing the same. Though the couple had intended to wait the
6h
General Override
Who lost Afghanistan? Generations of diplomatic and military historians will debate that question, and there will be blame to share among presidents, members of Congress, generals, and statesmen. Here's an easier question: Who lost the debate over when to leave Afghanistan? The military did. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would fully withdraw from Afghanistan b
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Scientists report remarkable enhancement of α-particle clustering in uranium isotopes
It is always exciting to find new isotopes with extreme neutron/proton numbers in nuclear physics research. In the region of heavy nuclei, α-decay is one of the pervasive decay modes and plays an essential role in searching for new isotopes. However, even after about a century of studying α-decay, scientists still cannot perfectly describe how the α-particle is formed at the surface of the nucleus
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Examining the impact of Earth's most devastating mass-extinction event on invertebrates
Dr. Luis Buatois (Ph.D.), a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences in USask's College of Arts and Science, is the lead author on a new paper published in the journal Terra Nova. The article, titled "Impact of Permian mass extinctions on continental invertebrate infauna," was co-authored with five researchers from universities in Madrid and Salamanca, Spain.
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The True Costs and Benefits of Fracking
An oil-rig crewmember at work in 2012, during the Bakken Formation oil boom in North Dakota (Alec Soth / Magnum) This article was published online on April 16, 2021. I n January , President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered a drilling moratorium on federal land. The following month, a historic cold snap and a failed power grid turned Texas into a disaster zone . Even as poli
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New analysis finds Spotted Owls harmed by post-fire logging, not fire
Are forest fires a threat to the imperiled Spotted Owl? For years, different groups of scientists assumed so, but a new study turns this assumption on its head. Researchers from the John Muir Project, Pennsylvania State University, and Wild Nature Institute found that these previous studies consistently had a serious methodological flaw: they failed to take into account the impact of post-fire log
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The Trojan-Horse mechanism: How networks reduce gender segregation
The social science literature has long viewed homophily and network-based job recruitment as crucial drivers of segregation. Researchers at Linköping University and ESADE, Ramon Llull University, now show that this view must be revised. In their Science Advances article, they call attention to a previously unidentified factor, the Trojan horse mechanism, which shows that network-based recruitment
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Inside the rise of police department real-time crime centers
At a conference in New Orleans in 2007, Jon Greiner, then the chief of police in Ogden, Utah, heard a presentation by the New York City Police Department about a sophisticated new data hub called a " real time crime center. " Reams of information rendered in red and green splotches, dotted lines, and tiny yellow icons appeared as overlays on an interactive map of New York City: Murders. Shootings
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SpaceX Awarded Lunar Lander Contract
I've been watching For All Mankind – a very interesting series that imagines an alternate history in which the Soviets beat the US to landing on the Moon, triggering an extended space race that puts us decades ahead of where we are now. By the 1980s we had a permanent lunar base and a reusable lunar lander, not to mention spacecraft with nuclear engines. Meanwhile, back in reality, we are approac
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This Week's Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 17)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 15 Graphs You Need to See to Understand AI in 2021 Charles Q. Choi | IEEE Spectrum "If you haven't had time to read the AI Index Report for 2021, which clocks in at 222 pages, don't worry—we've got you covered. The massive document, produced by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, is packed full of data and graphs, and we've plucked out 15 tha
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US West prepares for possible 1st water shortage declaration
The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government's first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.
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DNA robots designed in minutes instead of days
Someday, scientists believe, tiny DNA-based robots and other nanodevices will deliver medicine inside our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help manufacture increasingly smaller electronics.
57min
The Year My Deductibles Disappeared
A little while ago, amid the timeless blur of pandemic lockdown, a calendar ping alerted me that April 15—Tax Day—was nigh. I had completely forgotten to set up an appointment with my accountant. Emailing him in a panic, I was relieved when he responded that he had a slot left the day before Saint Patrick's Day. He wouldn't be meeting clients in person this year, because of COVID-19, he explained
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COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection
Scientists have identified a set of human genes that fight SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. Knowing which genes help control viral infection can greatly assist researchers' understanding of factors that affect disease severity and also suggest possible therapeutic options. The genes in question are related to interferons, the body's frontline virus fighters.
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Fruit flies give researchers new insights into the 'highway of the nerve cells'
The nervous system is the internet of the human body and can in the same way transfer signals over long distances very quickly. Some of the most important elements in this signaling are the axons. They are projections of the nerve cells which send signals to other nerve cells or muscles. For instance, axons that jut out from nerve cells in the spinal cord can be over one meter long.
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How Fury Over Soccer Is Uniting Europe
When I was a teenager, my hometown football—soccer—team was bought by a local businessman who began his career as a safecracker, became friends with Donald Trump, and ended his days broke and in jail. George Reynolds, who died last week, lived an Englishman's version of the American dream: He got rich, bought a local institution, then went bankrupt. For a moment, his ownership sparked a kind of g
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Long-term consequences of CO2 emissions
According to a new study, the oxygen content in the oceans will continue to decrease for centuries even if all CO2 emissions would be stopped immediately. The slowdown of ocean circulation and the progressive warming of deeper water layers are responsible for this process.
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New amphibious centipede species discovered in Okinawa and Taiwan
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Hosei University have discovered a new species of large, tropical centipede of genus Scolopendra in Okinawa and Taiwan. It is only the third amphibious centipede identified in the world, and is the largest in the region, 20 cm long and nearly 2 cm thick. It is also the first new centipede to be identified in Japan in 143 years, testament to the in
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NASA has just flown a helicopter on Mars for the first time
The news: NASA has flown an aircraft on another planet for the first time. On Monday, April 19, Ingenuity, a 1.8-kilogram drone helicopter, took off from the surface of Mars, flew up about three meters, then swiveled and hovered for 40 seconds. The historic moment was livestreamed on YouTube , and Ingenuity captured the photo above with one of its two cameras. "We can now say that human beings ha
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Selective mRNA degradation via autophagy: A novel role for autophagy in gene regulation
Optimal cell function requires a fine balance between the synthesis and degradation of biomolecules. Autophagy is the process by which cells degrade and recycle their own components, helping to clean up and maintain the cell's internal environment and ensure the smooth functioning of cellular processes. Autophagy is strongly induced when cells are subjected to stresses like nutrient deprivation, a
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New Tech Makes Objects Invisible by Shining Light Straight Through Them
Piercing Gaze A team of scientists says they've found a specific kind of light wave that can pierce directly through objects, making it seem as though they were totally invisible. We can see objects because light bounces off of them and into the photoreceptors in our eyes. Now, scientists from Austria's TU Wien and The Netherlands' Utrecht University say they've found a way to make light pass dir
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The Books Briefing: The New Legacy of America's Wilderness
In nature documentaries such as A Perfect Planet and Planet Earth, the wilderness seems free of human influence, Emma Marris wrote in a recent story for The Atlantic . Sweeping, unpeopled vistas and close-up shots of animals render the world in an enhanced, almost unnatural, high-definition style. Such visions of untouched, wild lands are nothing new; John Muir, an early conservationist, even lik
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Bottom trawling harms the ocean—and the climate
The destructive effects of ocean-bottom trawling are easy enough to imagine from any basic description of the practice. Heavy nets 100 yards wide, equipped with weighted rollers and steel doors, are dragged across the seafloor to scoop up cod, halibut, flounder, rockfish, shrimp and other deep-dwelling prey.
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Late-Night Classical Radio Host
The first thing you need is a voice. One someone can fall asleep to. Can sleep through. Words twinkling in faint starbursts of static. Your timbre must sotto the way a library book smells like the mausoleum of Erato. You must bring a thermos— an old metal one, dinged. Fill it with quote-unquote coffee but drink slowly. Before 3, you'll have to say Saint-Saens without slurring. Oh, and you'll need
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Later School Start Times
Yet another study shows the benefits of delaying the start time for High School students. This study also looked at middle school and elementary school students, had a two year follow up, and including both parent and student feedback. In this study: "Participating elementary schools started 60 minutes earlier, middle, 40-60 minutes later, and high school started 70 minutes later," and found Rese
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CRISPR: Can we control it?
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary technology that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one hand, this tool could mean the elimination of certain diseases. On the other, there are concerns (both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation. "The technique could be misused in horribl
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Will Biden's Presidency Be One-and-Done?
Joe Biden spent the bulk of his adult life running for president or auditioning to be president. Now he is president, and yet the notion that he might walk away from the job while he still has a choice in the matter remains a source of undimmed speculation rare in the postwar era. No one seriously believed that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, or any president over the pa
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Long-term consequences of carbon dioxide emissions
The life of almost all animals in the ocean depends on the availability of oxygen, which is dissolved as a gas in seawater. However, the ocean has been continuously losing oxygen for several decades. In the last 50 years, the loss of oxygen accumulates globally to about 2% of the total inventory (regionally sometimes significantly more). The main reason for this is global warming, which leads to a
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Beetles that pee themselves to death could be tomorrow's pest control
Up to 25 percent of global food production is lost annually due to insects, primarily beetles. For the past 500 million years, beetles have successfully spread and adapted to life around the globe and now account for one of every five animal species on Earth. Yet as far back as ancient Egypt, these tough little bugs have invaded granaries and vexed us humans by destroying our crops.
2h
On the pulse of pulsars and polar light
Faced with the tragic loss of the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and the often prohibitive cost of satellite missions, astronomers are searching for savvy alternatives to continue answering fundamental questions in physics.
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Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help
Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things. It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly. By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way. Are you a worrier? Do you imagine nightm
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Can you solve it? Are you smarter than Britain's teenage brainiacs?
A colourful puzzle from the UK girls' maths olympiad Update: the solutions can now be read here. Today's puzzle celebrates the UK's outstanding performance at last week's European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad, which is the world's most prestigious female-only maths competition for pre-university students. Yuhka Machino and Jenni Voon, both aged 17, placed 6th and 7th overall, each earning gold me
10h
Oxygen migration enables ferroelectricity on nanoscale
Hafnium-based thin films, with a thickness of only a few nanometres, exhibit an unconventional form of ferroelectricity. This allows the construction of nanometre-sized memories or logic devices. However, it was not clear how ferroelectricity could occur at this scale. A study that was led by scientists from the University of Groningen showed how atoms move in a hafnium-based capacitor: migrating
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How the Yazoo Land Scandal changed American history
Few people today are familiar with the Yazoo Land Scandal, which broke in the mid-1790s. Yet it sent shockwaves through American public life, influencing politics, law, and even geography. Without it, Georgia could have been a "super state" — and the Trail of Tears might not have happened. Seven of the original 13 states had extensive territorial claims, mainly toward the west. Credit: Library of
4h
The Women Reinventing the Western
Illustration by John Gall; Searchlight Pictures This article was published online on April 19, 2021. I grew up in San Diego , which resembles the backdrop of High Noon or Unforgiven not at all but is extremely west , geographically speaking. Maybe this is what disposed me to feel that the Western as a film genre was trite and foolish, dangerously sentimental about horizons and stoicism and men sh
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Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something's in it for them
A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature. Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group. The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before. Even the best charities with the longest records of doing great fundr
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SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink evade inhibition by antibodies
It has been known for about a year that minks can become infected with SARS-CoV-2. The virus had been transmitted from humans to farmed mink and mutated in infected animals. Mutations were acquired in the spike protein, which is crucial for the entry of the virus into host cells and represents the central point of attack for antibodies. These SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink were transmitted back to
4h
How to make online arguments productive
Researchers worked with almost 260 people to understand online disagreements and to develop potential design interventions that could make these discussions more productive and centered around relationship-building.
3h
Svenska nyhetsmedier i topp i internationell demokratistudie
Svenska nyhetsmedier står starka på digitala plattformar och fortsätter att prioritera granskande och undersökande journalistik, visar en internationell studie. Men i Sverige, liksom i övriga undersökta länder, är det sämre ställt med journalisters anställningstrygghet. Sverige tillhör, tillsammans med Danmark och Storbritannien, de länder där nyhetsmedierna bäst klarat de senaste årens digitala
3h
Researchers develop microscopic theory of polymer gel
Russian scientists have proposed a theory of phase transformation in polymer gels. It explains the mechanisms of the dramatic reduction in volume of zwitterionic hydrogels when they are cooled. The results are published in the journal Chemical Communications (ChemComm).
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Cielo review – love letter to the desert's starry skies
Alison McAlpine's documentary draws out tales from locals and astronomers to evoke the magic and mystery of Chile's stargazing hotspot Cielo means "sky" in Spanish, and "heaven", too. And it's with a sense of humbled wonder at the immense mystery of it all that the Canadian film-maker Alison McAlpine casts her camera upwards in this beautiful documentary about the night sky. It's filmed at the st
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When stars get too close to each other, they cast out interstellar comets and asteroids
In October 2017, humanity caught its first-ever glimpse of an interstellar object—a visitor from beyond our solar system—passing nearby the sun. We named it "Oumuamua, and its unusual properties fascinated and confounded astronomers. Less than two years later, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov found a second interstellar object: a comet-like body that began to disintegrate as it passed within 2 A
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Scientists call for climate projections as part of more robust biodiversity conservation
Scientists have called for the use of climate projections in conservation planning, to ensure that areas most at risk from biodiversity loss and climate impacts are protected. Protected areas are often created in areas of low population density and remote locations, rather than because of their biodiversity conservation potential. Conservation planning in tropical forests especially tends to be le
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Can a new type of glacier on Mars aid future astronauts?
On April 21, 1908, near Earth's North Pole, the Arctic explorer Frederick Albert Cook scrawled in his diary a memorable phrase: "We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice." These words may soon take on new significance for humankind in another dead world of hidden ice, submerged beneath the red sand of its frigid deserts. This dead world is Mars, and the desert is the planet's mi
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End of giant iceberg A-68
The mission to determine the impact of the giant A-68a iceberg on the important marine ecosystem of sub-Antarctic South Georgia is a success according to a team of researchers and engineers, from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and National Oceanography Centre (NOC). This week (Monday 19 April) the U.S National Ice Center declared 'the end' of the A68 iceberg, because its fragments are now too smal
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Surprise twist suggests stars grow competitively
A survey of star formation activity in the Orion Nebula Cluster found similar mass distributions for newborn stars and dense gas cores, which may evolve into stars. Counterintuitively, this means that the amount of gas a core accretes as it develops, and not the initial mass of the core, is the key factor in deciding the final mass of the produced star.
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Leonardo da Vinci definitely did not sculpt the Flora bust
"It is machination, it is deception," said the director general of the Berlin Royal Museums in his defense when criticized for buying a fake. Wilhelm Bode did not budge an inch: The sculpture he acquired in 1909 was an as-yet unknown production of the great Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci.
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NASA-built instrument will help to spot greenhouse gas super-emitters
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California is providing the instrument that will enable a nonprofit organization called Carbon Mapper to pinpoint and measure methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) point-sources from space. The data collected by the instrument will help to find super-emitters—the small percentage of individual sources that are responsible for a significant fraction of global
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Common plants and pollinators act as anchors for ecosystems
'Generalist' plants and pollinators play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and may also serve as buffers against some impacts of climate change, finds new research. The findings provide valuable insights for prioritizing the conservation of species that contribute to the strength of ecological communities.
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Honeywell Just Released Details About How Its Quantum Computer Works
Engineering giant Honeywell burst into the quantum computing race out of left field last year. Now the company has provided the first concrete details of how its device works in a peer-reviewed journal . Unlike its main rivals Google and IBM, who rely on superconducting qubits, Honeywell is using trapped ions to power its device. The technology has a long pedigree— most of the earliest quantum co
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SpaceX has given up trying to catch rocket fairings—fishing them out of the ocean is fine
If there is one driving force in the commercial space industry it is economics. The whole concept of reusable booster rocket emphasizes the importance of getting launch costs down. SpaceX, the company leading the charge in trying to bring launch costs down, doesn't just recover booster rockets however. It also recovers the rocket fairings that hold the payload during launch. SpaceX's original plan
4h
Keeping fit with HIIT really does work
Recently, researchers have been studying whether shorter variations of HIIT, involving as little as 4-min of high intensity exercise per session (excluding a warm up and cool down), also improve health. A new review paper collates a decade's worth of research on the topic of this so-called low-volume high HIIT for health.
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Roman Space Telescope will also find rogue black holes
In the past, we've reported about how the Roman Space Telescope is potentially going to be able to detect hundreds of thousands of exoplanets using a technique known as microlensing. Exoplanets won't be the only things it can find with this technique, though—it should be possible to find solitary black holes, as well.
4h
Ny studie: Risk för 60 procent svårare pollensäsonger i framtiden
Framtida klimatförändringar riskerar att påverka pollenallergiker negativt. Det visar en ny internationell studie där forskarna tittat på hur gräs reagerar på förhöjda koldioxidnivåer. – Det är inte glädjande om fler behöver leva med dessa frågor i framtiden, säger Kristina Ljungros, generalsekreterare på Astma- och allergiförbundet.
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Parasites and kelp forests
Even the mention of parasites can be enough to make some people's skin crawl. But to recent doctoral graduate these creepy critters occupy important ecological niches, fulfilling roles that, in her opinion, have too often been overlooked.
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Nasa helicopter makes historic flight on Mars – video
Nasa's Ingenuity Mars helicopter has completed the first powered, controlled flight on another planet, the space agency has announced. The small helicopter successfully took flight on the red planet on Monday morning, hovering in the air at about 3 metres (10ft), before descending and touching back down on the Martian surface Nasa's Mars helicopter makes first powered, controlled flight on anothe
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Energy implications of the 21st century agrarian transition
Nature Communications, Published online: 19 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22581-7 The global agrarian transition is characterized by a rise in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), whose energy impacts are unknown. Here, the authors assess how LSLAs change land use, finding that they necessitate greater investment in energy to meet demands, and greater greenhouse gas emissions.
7h
How scientists are 'looking' inside asteroids
Asteroids can pose a threat to life on Earth but are also a valuable source of resources to make fuel or water to aid deep space exploration. Devoid of geological and atmospheric processes, these space rocks provide a window onto the evolution of the solar system. But to really understand their secrets, scientists must know what's inside them.
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Research shows to disrupt online extremism freewill is key
According to new research, when people are explicitly told that they are free to accept or reject propagandistic claims, the likelihood of choosing a moderate view increases. This was a result of a survey of attitudes that tested counter-propaganda strategies, which stressed a person's autonomy, and then measured sentiments after exposure.
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Regulatory Limbo for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Continues
Evidence indicates that blood clots associated with the J&J vaccine are rare — far rarer than dying in a car crash, or contracting a severe case of Covid-19. But the exact incidence among certain demographic groups is unclear, partly because the U.S. does not have an efficient system for collecting such data.
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Study sheds light on stellar origin of iron nuclide
Researchers from the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators have recently made great progress in the study of the stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe, which constitutes an important step towards understanding 60Fe nucleosynthesis in massive stars. The results were published in Physical Review Letters on April 12.
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Earth scientists call for prevention and warning systems for Himalayan flooding events
A pair of earth scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology–Kanpu are calling for flood prevention and warning systems in areas around the Himalayan mountains to protect people from floods or to warn them of impending disasters. In their Perspectives piece published in the journal Science, Tanuj Shukla and Indra Sen point out that rising temperatures due to global warming are leading to an in
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Weekend reads: 'The Damage Campaign;' timber industry retracts comments, apologizes; COVID-19 vaccine study conflicts disclosure
Before we present this week's Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance. The week at Retraction Watch featured: Palmitoleic acid paper pulled for data concerns Pharma company demands … Continue reading
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Do more privately owned firearms lead to more firearm violence?
This question is widely discussed and studied, in particular in the US, where firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death. European research on the link between firearm availability and firearm violence is rare, according to a new study by University researchers Katharina Krüsselmann, Pauline Aarten and Marieke Liem. After systematically examining 1958 studies on the topic, they found
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Why 'Zoom fatigue' is worse for women
Women report feeling more exhausted than men do after video calls, according to the first large-scale study on Zoom fatigue. The researchers say the "self-view" display may be to blame for that exhausted feeling after a day of back-to-back online meetings. The research shows that overall, one in seven women —13.8%—compared with one in 20 men —5.5%—reported feeling "very" to "extremely" fatigued a
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A new project to track and value climate innovation in the built world
Carbon is a universal building block of life—it's in almost every product we make and use, from the cement we walk on to the plastic packaging used for shipping products and the tires on cars and trucks. And while some products are more durable than others, at the end of the product's life cycle, the carbon stored in them is released into our air and oceans as carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gas emissi
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3D biomaterial used as 'sponge' for stem cell therapy to reverse arthritis
A 3D biomaterial scaffold design to slowly release stem cells ensures that implanted stem cells stick around to relieve pain and reverse arthritis in mice knee joints. This reduces the use of stem cells by 90%, thus avoiding the challenge of redness, swelling and scar tissue that can arise from large doses of such stem cells, and potentially opening a path to reversal of osteoarthritis in humans f
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A time-domain phase diagram of metastable states in a charge ordered quantum material
Nature Communications, Published online: 19 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22646-7 Tracking the evolution of non-equilibrium phases requires measurements over a wide range of timescales. Here, using a combination of femtosecond spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy, the authors map out a temporal phase diagram of metastable states in a charge-ordered material 1T-TaS2.
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Kommunikationshandbok för vaccin mot covid-19
Hur kommunicerar man bäst fakta om covid19-vaccin? Forskarna bakom Handbok i debunkning 2020 har presenterat ännu en handbok som översatts till svenska under ledning av Lotten Kalenius. Kommunikationshandbok för vaccin … Continued Inlägget dök först upp på Vetenskap och Folkbildning .
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Differences in national food security best explained by household income, not agriculture
One of the most comprehensive statistical analyses of drivers of food insecurity across 65 countries has concluded that household income consistently explains more discrepancy in food security than any other factor, including agricultural land resources and production. The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth study, "Cross-national analysis of food security drivers: comparing results based on
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Corporations agree to transparency on climate lobbying
Insurer American International Group Inc., railroad company CSX Inc. and electric companies Duke Energy Corp., FirstEnergy Corp. and Entergy Corp. have pledged to report publicly about their influence on climate policy and alignment with the Paris Agreement, according to investors.
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What does the study of domesticated birds tell us about the evolution of human language?
Language is one of the most notable abilities humans have. It allows us to express complex meanings and transmit knowledge from generation to generation. An important question in human biology is how this ability ended up being developed, and researchers from the universities of Barcelona, Cologne and Tokyo have treated this issue in a recent article.
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How oxygen-producing cyanobacteria facilitated complex life
The "Great Oxygenation Event" (GOE), the process whereby the Earth's atmosphere was continuously enriched with oxygen, a waste product of photosynthesis, began ~2.43 billion years ago. The source, according to science, was photosynthesizing cyanobacteria. But why did this all-important turnaround occur so late? Cyanobacterial life existed, as rock samples show, at least 300 million years before th
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Phenological shifts in lake stratification under climate change
Nature Communications, Published online: 19 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22657-4 Stratification has a considerable influence on lake ecology, but there is little understanding of past or future changes in its seasonality. Here, the authors use modelling and empirical data to determine that between 1901–2099, climate change causes stratification to start earlier and end later.
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Cutting the cost of Covid tests for travellers | Letters
Mike Whittaker has a suggestion to reduce test costs for those wishing to travel abroad, while Catherine Dunn says that if the government invested in public health infrastructure, we would have a more effective testing system Your article ( Airlines warn the cost of Covid tests will stop people going abroad , 9 April) considers the cost of Covid tests for a family, calculated as the cost of a sin
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Highly dense urban areas are not more vulnerable to COVID-19, researchers say
A person who owns a car or who has a college education may be less vulnerable to COVID-19, according to an analysis of cases in Tehran, Iran, one of the early epicenters of the pandemic. While such variables do not inherently lower a person's risk, they do indicate an infrastructure of protection that persists despite how densely populated a person's district might be.
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Experiments cast doubts on the existence of quantum spin liquids
A quantum spin liquid is a state of matter in which interacting quantum spins do not align even at lowest temperatures, but remain disordered. Research on this state has been going on for almost 50 years, but whether it really exists has never been proven beyond doubt. An international team has now put an end to the dream of a quantum spin liquid for the time being. Nevertheless, the matter remain
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Two distinct types of COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome identified
Identifying subsets of patients with different biochemical characteristics can help clinical researchers develop more effective therapies for treating ARDS associated with COVID-19 infections. Results of a new study suggest that disruption of the normal regulation of blood vessels and circulation could be a key feature of critical illness, severe symptoms, and death related to COVID-19 infections.
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Pandemic led to profound changes in multiple sclerosis clinical practice
A survey of U.S. multiple sclerosis, or MS, specialist clinicians reveals the COVID-19 pandemic has created major changes in how they deliver care. More than 95% of survey respondents reported using telehealth platforms to provide care for their patients. Approximately one half of the respondents were MS specialist neurologists, four out of five of whom indicated that COVID-19 had changed how they
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Without major changes, gender parity in orthopaedic surgery will take two centuries
At the current rate of change, it will take more than 200 years for the proportion of women in orthopaedic surgery to reach parity with the overall medical profession, according to a study in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® (CORR®), a publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons®. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.
46min
In-ambulance consults cut down on critical treatment time for stroke patients
By changing EMS workflows and incorporating telemedicine techniques, physicians at MUSC Health have significantly shortened the time between a patient's stroke symptom onset and their treatment, as recently reported in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. Before the telestroke program, stroke patients would be brought directly to the closest hospital, where they would begin their ex
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Once-a-week insulin treatment could be game-changing for patients with diabetes
Treating people with Type 2 diabetes with a new once-a-week injectable insulin therapy proved to be safe and as effective as daily insulin injections, according to the results of two international clinical trials published online today in Diabetes Care. The studies suggest that the once-weekly treatment could provide a convenient alternative to the burden of daily insulin shots for diabetes patien
46min
Green hydrogen: 'Rust' as a photoanode and its limits
Hydrogen will be needed in large quantities as an energy carrier and raw material in the energy system of the future. To achieve this, however, hydrogen must be produced in a climate-neutral way, for example through so-called photoelectrolysis, by using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. As photoelectrodes, semiconducting materials are needed that convert sunlight into electricity a
57min
Who is selling and trafficking Africa's wild meat?
A new study classifies different types of wildlife traffickers and sellers in two of Central Africa's growing urban centers, providing new insight into the poorly understood urban illegal wildlife trade. The findings can help conservation and law enforcement authorities prioritize their efforts on professional criminals, identify patterns among repeat offenders, and determine if wildlife offenders
57min
Northern Red Sea corals live close to the threshold of resistance to cold temperatures
Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. In the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba corals also have exceptionally high tolerance to increasing seawater temperatures, now occurring as a consequence of global warming. This characteristic led coral reef scientists to designate this region as a potential coral reef refuge in the face of climate change—a reef where cora
1h
Researchers use laser paintbrush to create miniature masterpieces
Researchers are blurring the lines between science and art by showing how a laser can be used to create artistic masterpieces in a way that mirrors classical paints and brushes. The new technique not only creates paint-like strokes of color on metal but also offers a way to change or erase colors.
1h
Ocean currents modulate oxygen content at the equator
Due to global warming, not only the temperatures in the atmosphere and in the ocean are rising, but also winds and ocean currents as well as the oxygen distribution in the ocean are changing. For example, the oxygen content in the ocean has decreased globally by about 2% in the last 60 years, particularly strong in the tropical oceans. However, these regions are characterized by a complex system o
1h
Sustainable chemical synthesis with platinum
Researchers used platinum and aluminum compounds to create a catalyst which enables certain chemical reactions to occur more efficiently than ever before. The catalyst could significantly reduce energy usage in various industrial and pharmaceutical processes. It also allows for a wider range of sustainable sources to feed the processes, which could reduce the demand for fossil fuels required by th
1h
Model predicts Texas COVID infection rates weeks in advance
A new model has proved successful in predicting COVID-19 infection rates two to three weeks in advance, researchers report. The new model could help public health officials and other organizations get accurate, reliable short-term projections of daily COVID-19 cases. The researchers used a method based on the SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infected, and recovered states) framework to project COVID-1
1h
MicroMESH: A microscopic polymeric network to attack glioblastoma multiforme
A micro-sized polymeric net wrapping around brain tumors, just like a fishing net around a shoal of fish: this is microMESH, a new nanomedicine device capable of conforming around the surface of tumor masses and efficiently delivering drugs. It has been described by the researchers of the IIT—Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) in Nature Nanotechnology. The new biomed
1h
The challenge of presenting novel nanostructural bimetallic composite for catalysis
Solid-matrix catalysts called heterogeneous catalysts are among the most widespread industrial applications in reducing toxic gases, unburned fuel, and particulate matter in the exhaust stream from the combustion chamber. They are also used in energy, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors, i.e., production of biodiesel, polymers, biomass/waste conversion into valuable products, and many others proc
1h
Green hydrogen: "Rust" as a photoanode and its limits
A team at HZB, together with partners from Ben Gurion University and the Technion, Israel, has now analysed the optoelectronic properties of rust (haematite) and other metal oxides in unprecedented detail. Their results show that the maximum achievable efficiency of haematite electrodes is significantly lower than previously assumed. The study demonstrates ways to assess new photoelectrode materia
1h
Mayo researchers, collaborators identify 'instigator' gene associated with Alzheimer's disease
In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators report the protein-coding gene SERPINA5 may worsen tau protein tangles, which are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, and advance disease. By combining clinical expertise, brain tissue samples, pathology expertise and artificial intelligence, the team clarified and validated the relevance of the gene to
1h
New Horizons Reaches Deep-Space Milestone, Snaps Photo
The New Horizons probe scanned Pluto in 2015, but it wasn't designed to remain in Orbiter of the dwarf planet. NASA's New Horizons probe has already made history a few times since its 2006 launch. At the time, Pluto was a planet, but it had become a dwarf planet when New Horizons beamed back the first close-up photos of it in 2015. After that, the probe flew deeper into the Kuiper Belt and delive
1h
Sleep disorders and surgery: Anesthesia & Analgesia marks first decade of the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine
An estimated 50 million people undergo surgery each year in the United States, and a significant proportion of them have undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders (SD) or sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Issues at the intersection of anesthesiology and sleep medicine are the focus of the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM) whose 10th anniversary is commemorated in the special theme May
1h
Stone Age black bears didn't just defecate in the woods – they did it in a cave too
Scientists have sequenced ancient DNA from soil for the first time and the advance will transform what is known about everything from evolution to climate change. The findings have been described as the 'moon landings' of genomics because researchers will no longer have to rely on finding and testing fossils to determine genetic ancestry, links and discoveries – and it is thanks to Stone Age black
1h
NYU Abu Dhabi researchers develop Micro-Fluidic Probe to isolate cancer spreading cells
A team of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator at the NYU Abu Dhabi Mohammad A. Qasaimeh, have developed a new microfluidic system, called the Herringbone Microfluidic Probe (HB-MFP), that effectively isolates both CTCs and clusters of CTCs from blood samples of cancer patients for easier and more insightful analysis.
1h
3D deep neural network precisely reconstructs freely-behaving animal's movements
Following the unveiling of CAPTURE in a December 2020 study, researchers led by Duke University and Harvard University present DANNCE (3-Dimensional Aligned Neural Network for Computational Ethology), an automated tool that can readily capture behavior of freely behaving animals and precisely reconstruct their three dimensional (3D) pose from a single video camera and without markers.
1h
Tracking topological conditions in graphene
Scientists have been able to demonstrate that graphene nanostructures can be generated by annealing of a nanostructured silicon carbide crystal for a few years. "These two-dimensional, spatially strongly restricted carbon bands exhibit a vanishingly small electrical resistance even at room temperature. They are thus ballistic," explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Tegenkamp, Head of the Professorship of S
1h
Brain mapping: explained
Brain mapping is an attempt to identify the location of everything in the brain. An accurate map of the brain would immeasurably enhance our ability to understand how it works. The project is massive, involving multiple fields of biomedical research and expensive cutting-edge technology. Brain mapping is one of the hottest current areas of research. The brain is nothing short of amazing. Billions
2h
Patients who are obese or overweight are at risk for a more severe course of COVID-19
COVID-19 patients who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop a more severe infection than patients of healthy weight, and they require oxygen and invasive mechanical ventilation more often. There is no increased risk of death . These conclusions, for which more than 7,000 patients were studied, appear from international research in eleven countries, including the Netherlands (Radboud u
2h
MIPT and Harvard researchers grow stem cells to cure glaucoma
A joint research carried out by MIPT scientists and Harvard researchers have presented retinal cells that can integrate into the retina. This is the first successful attempt to transplant ganglion cells (retinal neurons that are destroyed by glaucoma) derived from stem cells in a lab setting. Scientists tested the technology in mice and established that the cells successfully integrated and surviv
2h
Can we learn to talk to sperm whales? | David Gruber
Animals are communicating — but what are they saying? And can we talk back? Marine biologist David Gruber introduces Project CETI: a team of scientists, linguists and AI specialists hoping to decode sperm whale language. Using noninvasive robots and a machine-learning algorithm to collect and analyze millions of sperm whale vocalizations known as coda, the team aims to demystify the communication
2h
Smallest stegosaur footprint ever came from cat-sized dino
Researchers have discovered a single footprint left by a cat-sized dinosaur around 100 million years ago in China. "This footprint was made by a herbivorous, armored dinosaur known broadly as a stegosaur—the family of dinosaurs that includes the famed stegosaurus," says Anthony Romilio, a researcher from the University of Queensland who was part of the team that investigated the track. "Like the
2h
New Electron Tricks in Synthetic Chemistry
One of specialties of Phil Baran's group at Scripps the last few years has been electrosynthesis, which has a traditional hmm-interesting-turn-the-page reputation among most synthetic chemists that they're trying to change . Photochemistry was in roughly the same category at one time, and has become much more mainstream (although it always had an advantage with lower barrier to entry). That field
2h
Ämnesomsättning och sömn kopplat till ALS
ALS-patienter har sjukdomsförändringar i de hjärnceller som tillverkar ämnen som reglerar ämnesomsättning och sömn. Det visar en grupp forskare i Lund och Australien. Fynden ger ökad kunskap om sjukdomens bakomliggande orsaker och kan förhoppningsvis på sikt bidra till nya behandlingar. Vanliga symtom vid ALS, amyotrofisk lateral skleros, är en smygande muskelsvaghet som sprider sig till olika de
2h
Cotton wool proves effective in separating single-wall carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are a family of 1D nanostructures with numerous verified applications, made possible due to their excellent mechanical, optical and conductive properties. However, application of CNTs is hampered by the presence of species with various structures in the raw production mixture, which obscures unique properties of individual species.
2h
Modeling collisions between argon nuclei and neutrinos from a supernova
Massive stars end their lives in explosions called core-collapse supernovae. These explosions produce very large numbers of weakly interacting particles called neutrinos. Scientists working on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab, are seeking to perform a detailed measurement of supernova neutrinos. This effort could lead to groundbreaking discoveries in particle physics an
2h
Evidence for glaciation predating MIS-6 in southeastern Tibet
Southeastern Tibet is one of the most glaciated regions on the Tibetan Plateau both at present and during the Quaternary. Numerical dating of glacial deposits has allowed the establishment of a provisional chronology of Quaternary glacial fluctuations in this region, with the oldest glaciation (Guxiang Glaciation) occurring in marine oxygen isotope stage 6 (MIS-6). However, glaciations predating M
2h
Where's my horse-sized rabbit?
Next to cat videos, watching small and cuddly rabbits is probably one of the most popular internet pastimes. Plus they appear in literature as well as in traditional folklore spanning numerous cultures, thanks likely to the fact that rabbits reside on every continent except Antarctica.
2h
Where are the women on the Spanish-language Wikipedia site?
With its more than 40 million articles in 301 different languages, Wikipedia is one of the largest human collaboration efforts in history. One of the main pillars on which this wish to bring together the sum of all knowledge is based is the achievement of a neutral space. However, several studies suggest that the site suffers from a persistent gender bias as regards both content and the compositio
2h
To forget or to do not forget?
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a form of progressive dementia interfering with daily living. It is caused by the decline in the number of brain cells resulting in the deterioration of our mental abilities. One of the main reasons for the worsening brain cells condition and even the brain shrinkage are molecules having a specific structure called β-amyloids. They are peptides that tend to agglomerate
2h
Ice cap study promises new prospects for accurate local climate projections
New, detailed study of the Renland Ice Cap offers the possibility of modelling other smaller ice caps and glaciers with much greater accuracy than hitherto. The study combined airborne radar data to determine the thickness of the ice cap with on-site measurements of the thickness of the ice cap and satellite data. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute – University of Copenhagen gathered data f
2h
New model describes the (scaling) laws of the jungle
A forest looks like a hotbed of randomness, with trees and plants scattered in wild and capricious diversity. But appearances can be deceiving, say a trio of complexity researchers at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). Underneath that apparent messiness lurk extraordinary regularities, governed by the biological mechanisms that drive universal forces of growth, death, and competition.
2h
Corals go hungry long before they bleach
The results of coral beaching are obvious—stark underwater forests of white coral skeletons—yet the physiological processes of bleaching are not well understood. Now, KAUST researchers show that, long before signs of bleaching appear, prolonged spells of warm water cause heat stress that disrupts the nutrient cycling of the coral and its symbiotic algae.
2h