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Common myths about Covid – debunked
Read on for the facts about Sars-CoV-2, backed up by science Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Wrong. People who never get symptoms from Covid are less infectious than people who get symptoms, but they can still have high viral loads and can pass on the virus. Continue reading…
Why boiling droplets can race across hot oily surfaces
When you're frying something in a skillet and some droplets of water fall into the pan, you may have noticed those droplets skittering around on top of the film of hot oil. Now, that seemingly trivial phenomenon has been analyzed and understood for the first time by researchers at MIT—and may have important implications for microfluidic devices, heat transfer systems, and other useful functions.


The IPCC's latest climate report is dire. But it also included some prospects for hope | Rebecca Solnit
The striking thing is not the bad news, which is not really news for those who have followed the science closely. It's the report's insights on possibilities for cautious optimism The first response many of us have to a cancer diagnosis is terror, horror and the conviction that we're doomed. For those who haven't been paying serious ongoing attention to climate chaos, reminders that we are facing
Fear of COVID-19 in Kids Is Getting Ahead of the Data
As a practicing primary-care doctor, I fully empathize with parents who worry about their unvaccinated kids' potential exposure to the coronavirus. Raising my own children is a daily exercise in vulnerability. One rainy night this summer, my teenage son, a new driver who was running late for a babysitting job, asked for my keys. "Can't you walk there instead?" I pleaded. He rolled his eyes. I let
Deleting unethical data sets isn't good enough
In 2016, hoping to spur advancements in facial recognition, Microsoft released the largest face database in the world. Called MS-Celeb-1M, it contained 10 million images of 100,000 celebrities' faces. "Celebrity" was loosely defined, though. Three years later, researchers Adam Harvey and Jules LaPlace scoured the data set and found many ordinary individuals, like journalists, artists, activists,
Cornel West on Why the Left Needs Jesus
Cornel West is not particularly interested in being nice. He recently left Harvard—after his second tour as a professor there—and he made sure to post his resignation letter on Twitter : The school's "narcissistic academic professionalism," "anti-Palestinian prejudices," and what he saw as indifference toward his mother's recent death constituted "an intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of deep
Stop saying "delta plus." It doesn't mean anything.
If you've been worried by recent news stories about a strain of covid called "delta plus," it may freak you out to hear that scientists just expanded the delta family from four variants to 13. Please take a deep breath. Scientists would really like you to understand that there's no evidence delta has learned any new tricks, and these new names are for helping keep track of covid's evolution—not n
Black howler monkeys adapt mental maps like humans
Ever since humans began committing their view of the world to flat slabs of rock and papyrus, we had a sense that our mental maps are laid out in much the same way. However, our mental maps are nothing like paper maps. Humans rely on route-based maps. These internal maps, also used by animals, are composed of well-trodden routes linking frequently visited locations, with little understanding of wh
New instrument to measure atmospheric ammonia
In the past decades, intensive human agricultural activities have caused a significant increase in ammonia (NH3) emissions to the atmosphere, which have led to serious environmental and public health problems.
Sex with robots: How should lawmakers respond?
Advancements in technology have resulted in the design of hyper–realistic, Wi-Fi–connected, programmable sex robots that can mimic human responses, but what do these developments mean for how we regulate interactions with "sexbots" in the future?
Shielding ultracold molecules with microwaves
Ultracold molecules are promising for applications in new quantum technologies. Unfortunately, these molecules are destroyed upon colliding with each other. Researchers at Harvard University, MIT, Korea University and Radboud University have demonstrated that these collisional losses can be prevented by guiding the interaction between molecules using microwaves in such a way that they repel each o
A gruesome death: the macabre science of dehydration
When our bodies are deprived of water, they take water from other organs, ultimately leading to organ failure and brain shrinkage. Dehydration is considered one of the most painful and protracted deaths a human can experience. Every year, more athletes die from overhydration than dehydration. In 1994, the Italian athlete Mauro Prosperi entered one of the most intense and grueling endurance races
Material and coating process to protect ceramic parts
Post-pandemic vacation travel was among the biggest stories of summer 2021, raising questions about air travel's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 710 million tons of global carbon dioxide came from commercial aviation in 2013. By 2017, that number reached 860 million tons, a 21% increase in four years. By 2018,
NASA: Asteroid Bennu Has Slightly Higher Chance of Impacting Earth
Bennu, as seen by OSIRIS-REx. The asteroid known as Bennu is one of a precious few that have been explored by human spacecraft. NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission spent more than two years hanging around Bennu, and that has allowed scientists to more accurately model its orbit. The bad news is it's more likely to smack into Earth than we initially believed . The good news; it's still much more likely to m
Vaccines Are Like Sunscreen … No, Wait, Air Bags … No, Wait …
This is, in some ways, a mea culpa. For the past year or so, I've been reporting on the COVID-19 vaccines, a job that's required me to convey, again and again, how inoculations work to boost immunity and why. The shots are new, and immunology is complex . So I, like so many others in journalism and science, turned to analogies to help make the ideas of disease prevention and public health tangibl
#MeToo Has Changed the World—Except in Court
The #MeToo movement claimed another victory Tuesday when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation over numerous sexual-harassment allegations. As more and more powerful harassers face consequences for their actions in the form of resignations, firings, or broader public discrediting, many seem to believe that the #MeToo movement has fully upended the status quo. But as much as the
Neutrons help measure cell membrane viscosity—and reveal its basis
We now have a clearer picture of the lightning-fast molecular dance occurring within the membrane that encloses each cell in our body, revealed in part by neutron beams at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The findings may have applications in drug development, and they also address long-standing fundamental mysteries about why cell membranes move as they do.
Femi Fadugba: 'There's no reason why Peckham couldn't be the theoretical physics capital of the world'
The physicist‑turned-YA novelist talks about choosing to set The Upper World in south London, and how it was snapped up by Daniel Kaluuya for Netflix Read an extract from The Upper World below Had it not been for his secondary school caretaker, physicist-turned-novelist Femi Fadugba might never have gone on to study material sciences and quantum computing at Oxford University. "I don't usually te
New algorithm can help improve cellular materials design
New research published in Scientific Reports has revealed that a simple but robust algorithm can help engineers to improve the design of cellular materials that are used in a variety of diverse applications ranging from defense, bio-medical to smart structures and the aerospace sector.
A Hole in the Heart
T he throbbing near Marian Simmons's temples made her nauseous. She could barely tolerate opening her eyes; the light brought on an excruciating sensation, as if a helmet was cinched too tightly on her head. Simmons, who was 20 years old and healthy, now struggled to get out of bed in her dorm at Westminster College, a small liberal-arts school in Salt Lake City. Simmons asked a friend to drive h
Wide range continuously tunable and fast thermal switching based on compressible graphene composite foams
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25083-8 Current designs of thermal switches are limited by a lack of continuous tunability, low switching ratio, low speed, and not being scalable. Here the authors report a continuously tunable, wide-range, fast, and cost effective thermal switching approach that is demonstrated using compressible graphene composite
Mapping the biosynthetic pathway of a hybrid polyketide-nonribosomal peptide in a metazoan
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24682-9 The only known animal polyketide-nonribosomal peptides, the nemamides, are biosynthesized by two megasynthetases in the canal-associated neurons (CANs) of C. elegans. Here, the authors map the biosynthetic roles of individual megasynthetase domains and identify additional enzymes in the CANs required for nemam
The pathogenesis of mesothelioma is driven by a dysregulated translatome
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25173-7 Treating malignant pleural mesothelioma (MpM) is challenging due to a lack of druggable genes, but other molecular features could be clinically useful. Here the authors profile mRNA translation dysregulation in MpM cell lines using polysome profiling, and identify mTORC1 and 2 as potential pharmacological targ
The Hippo kinase LATS2 impairs pancreatic β-cell survival in diabetes through the mTORC1-autophagy axis
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25145-x Diabetes is characterized by dysfunction and loss of beta-cells, and promoting beta-cell survival is of therapeutic interest. Here the authors show that Large-tumor suppressor 2 (LATS2), a core component of the Hippo signaling pathway, induces beta-cell failure through mTORC1 hyperactivation and autophagic flu
Shadow-wall lithography of ballistic superconductor–semiconductor quantum devices
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25100-w Advanced fabrication techniques enable a wide range of quantum devices, such as the realization of a topological qubit. Here, the authors introduce an on-chip fabrication technique based on shadow walls to implement topological qubits in an InSb nanowire without fabrication steps such as lithography and etchin
Episodic construction of the early Andean Cordillera unravelled by zircon petrochronology
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25232-z Episodic magmatism of the early Andes is the result of a complex interplay between mantle, crust, slab and sediment contributions that can be traced using zircon chemistry. An external (tectonic) model is argued for the episodic plutonism in this extensional continental arc.
RSPO3 is important for trabecular bone and fracture risk in mice and humans
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-25124-2 Genetic association signals for fractures have been reported at the RSPO3 locus, but the causal gene and the underlying mechanism are unknown. Here, the authors show that RSPO3 exerts an important role for vertebral trabecular bone mass and bone strength in mice and fracture risk in humans.
A direct interareal feedback-to-feedforward circuit in primate visual cortex
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 August 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24928-6 In the cerebral cortex, information is processed by multiple hierarchically organized areas, reciprocally connected via feedforward and feedback circuits. Here the authors show that in primate visual cortex, feedforward projection neurons receive monosynaptic feedback contacts selectively from the area to whic
Book Review: Learning to Adapt in the Climate Change Era
In "Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World," Lisa Wells explores the lives of "relatively ordinary people" who have chosen to live off the grid to reconnect and restore nature. Wells argues that alongside a crisis of engineering and politics, climate change has also ushered in a crisis of narrative.
Nyt lægevidenskabeligt selskab ser dagens lys
To overlæger har taget initiativ til at oprette et nyt lægevidenskabeligt selskab for multisygdom og polyfarmaci. De håber at skabe et tværfagligt forum for sparring, udvikling og forskning, der kan komme patienterne til gode og øge den politiske bevågenhed. LVS-formand glæder sig over initiativet.
Nyt lægevidenskabeligt selskab vil forandre sundhedsvæsenet
Igennem flere år har et netværk omkring multisygdom og polyfarmaci udvekslet erfaringer, men nu skal et nyt lægevidenskabeligt selskab skabe endnu bedre muligheder for at dele erfaringer og indsamle viden. Men også for at præge, hvordan sundhedsvæsenet kan omstruktureres for bedre at imødekomme patienternes behov.
Filippinsk folkgrupp har mest denisova-dna
Den filippinska folkgruppen ayta magbukon har den högsta uppmätta andelen gener från vår utdöda släkting denisovamänniskan. Det visar en studie ledd från Uppsala universitet. Denisovamänniskan blev känd för vetenskapen 2010 genom dna-sekvensering från fingerben och tänder som hittats i Denisovagrottan i Sibirien. Trots bra genetisk information är det ännu en gåta vilka de här människorna var då e
Is RSV Being Misdiagnosed as COVID-19?
Doctors who claimed that COVID-19 was essentially harmless to children are now being confronted with the sad fact that it is sometimes quite dangerous to them. How they respond reveals much about them and little about the virus. The post first appeared on Science-Based Medicine .
Barn som inte kan äta
Sommar är för många förknippat med lata dagar med flödande spontanitet. Men för familjer med barn med ätsvårigheter består "ledigheten" ofta av strategier för att få i barnet näring. Föräldrar till barn med ätsvårigheter upplever sig ofta stå ensamma, utan hjälp från vården och med omgivningens ständiga ifrågasättande. Tjugo intervjuade föräldrar vittnar om ett liv som helt styrs av barnens ätande

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