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Highly functional membrane developed for producing freshwater from seawater
Researchers have developed a new desalination membrane by laminating a two-dimensional carbon material on to the surface of a porous polymer membrane. This membrane has the potential to perform highly efficient desalination because it is possible to control the gaps between its nanosheets and the charge on the nanosheets' surfaces. It is hoped that this research will contribute towards the impleme
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Defects may help scientists understand the exotic physics of topology
Real-world materials are usually messier than the idealized scenarios found in textbooks. Imperfections can add complications and even limit a material's usefulness. To get around this, scientists routinely strive to remove defects and dirt entirely, pushing materials closer to perfection. Now, researchers have turned this problem around and shown that for some materials defects could act as a pro
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Highly functional membrane developed for producing freshwater from seawater
Researchers have developed a new desalination membrane by laminating a two-dimensional carbon material on to the surface of a porous polymer membrane. This membrane has the potential to perform highly efficient desalination because it is possible to control the gaps between its nanosheets and the charge on the nanosheets' surfaces. It is hoped that this research will contribute towards the impleme
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Defects may help scientists understand the exotic physics of topology
Real-world materials are usually messier than the idealized scenarios found in textbooks. Imperfections can add complications and even limit a material's usefulness. To get around this, scientists routinely strive to remove defects and dirt entirely, pushing materials closer to perfection. Now, researchers have turned this problem around and shown that for some materials defects could act as a pro
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Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
Researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionized particles in the hot outer atmosphere.
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Forecasting coastal water quality
Using water samples and environmental data gathered over 48 hours or less, engineers have developed a new predictive technique for forecasting coastal water quality, a critical step in protecting public health and the ocean economy.
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Can a happy lamp help cure your winter blues?
Though you shouldn't stare right at one, a happy lamp can be incredibly helpful during dark winter months. (Deposit Photos/) If you're reading this, you're probably stressed. Never fear: We've dug through the evidence to reveal what science really says about finding zen—and holding onto it through tough times. Want to try meditation ? Take better baths ? Stop anxiety in its tracks ? Welcome to Ca
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Vaccine experts call for clarity on UK's 12-week Covid jab interval
British Society for Immunology calls for a robust programme monitoring the body's immune response Experts have called for greater clarity on the monitoring in place to assess the 12-week dosing interval for Covid-19 vaccines, as the row over delayed second doses continues. The UK's coronavirus vaccination programme was shifted late last year to prioritise administering the first dose to as many a
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Lost touch: how a year without hugs affects our mental health
Humans are designed to touch and be touched – which is why so many who live on their own have suffered during the pandemic. Will we ever fully recover? There's only so much a dog can do, even if that is a lot. I live alone with my staffy, and by week eight of the first lockdown she was rolling her eyes at my ever-tightening clutch. I had been sofa-bound with Covid and its after-effects before loc
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What I Learned About Love When I Stopped Being Honest
When I was a child, my dad invented a game that I loved. Wherever we went, he'd predict what strangers were about to say or do. We'd walk into a store and he'd point at the salesman and say something like, "Watch this. When I tell him how much I'm willing to spend, he'll immediately show me something more expensive." The salesman did exactly as Dad had prophesized. When Dad took me to my first co
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The Bird That Builds Nests Right By Its Worst Enemy
To watch a bald eagle raid a nesting colony of great blue herons is a gut-churning experience. "The herons have a progression of alarms," explains Ross Vennesland, a researcher with Environment and Climate Change Canada. "They start with a chortle, and quickly move to really hideous screaming as the eagle swoops in and lands on the nest." The adult herons are usually forced to flee, while the eag
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I Stare at a Cormorant
with its waterlogged wings spread open, drying off on a rock in the middle of a man-made lake after diving for food and it makes me think about wonder and it makes me want to pry and stretch my shy arms open to the subtle summer wind slicing through the park, sliding over my skin like a stream of people blowing candles out over my feathery body and it makes me think about my church when I was a k
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Tech is having a reckoning. Tech investors? Not so much.
On January 10, Charlie O'Donnell, a startup investor who runs Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, published a blog post that he hoped would inspire self-reflection among his peers in the industry. Provocatively titled Seed Investments in Insurrection , his argument was that venture capitalists needed to wrestle with their impact on democracy. "It's kind of hard to make money if the long-term consequences o
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UK vaccine adviser says delay of Covid second dose will save lives
JCVI deputy chair defends extended gap between jabs as Hancock warns end of restrictions 'long way off' Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A representative of the UK's vaccine advisory committee has defended its decision to delay a second dose, saying it will "save many lives", as the health secretary, Matt Hancock, warned lifting restrictions was "a long, long way off"
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Hur vet trädet sin ålder?
Om man sår ett äppelträd tar det kanske 10–15 år innan trädet ger frukt. Men om man ympar ett ungt träd med ympkvistar från ett gammalt träd kan man få äpplen efter 2–4 år. Jag har även sett att rotskott från ett gammalt träd blommar när plantorna bara är cirka 1,5 meter höga. De tror alltså att de har åldern inne. Min fråga är: Var sitter åldern i ett träd?/Tomas Nilsson, Knivsta
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Listen: Who Gets the Next Shot?
Ruth Faden, an expert in biomedical ethics with Johns Hopkins University, has helped vaccine drives answer some tough questions: Who should be ahead of whom? Do we prioritize speed or equity? And once people are inoculated, should they get "vaccine passports" allowing freer movement? She joins James Hamblin and guest host Maeve Higgins on the podcast Social Distance to assess how we've done so fa
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The U.S. Must Do More to Care for Its Caregivers
Some of the couples eligible for coronavirus-relief stimulus checks last year, and who could receive up to $2,800 more under Joe Biden's proposed plan, paraded in their golf carts in support of Donald Trump through the Villages, a Florida community for people over 55. Many are retired and living comfortably, their benefits protected by the government safety net. If they had lost jobs during the p
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Rachel Clarke: 'NHS staff are burning with frustration and grief at this second wave'
The palliative care doctor and author on a year of Covid in UK hospitals and her hopes for the vaccine 'The air reeks of invisible danger' – read an extract from Rachel Clarke's pandemic memoir Breathtaking You wrote Breathtaking towards the start of the pandemic when you couldn't sleep. Did you envisage that the world would still be looking the way it does almost a year later? No, I truly did no
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Behind the numbers: what does it mean if a Covid vaccine has '90% efficacy'? | David Spiegelhalter
Confusion surrounds the vaccines' effectiveness. The leading Cambridge professor clarifies the data behind the trials Imagine 100 people are ill with Covid-19. "90% efficacy" means if only they'd had the vaccine, on average only 10 would have got ill. Vaccine efficacy is the relative reduction in the risk: whatever your risk was before, it is reduced by 90% if you get vaccinated. There is a lot o
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I've had my first vaccine jab. It gives me hope of liberation… but not yet
Exactly a year after his first story about coronavirus, our science editor received the Pfizer injection last week. Here he reflects on a remarkable scientific achievement Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage I marked a grim anniversary in an unexpected manner last week. On 18 January last year, I wrote my first story about a mysterious disease that had struck Wuhan, in C
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The five: emotional contagion
The idea that emotions can 'spread' from one person to another seems to be taking hold in the psychological world Last week, scientists from the universities of Oxford and Birmingham published research describing how teenagers' moods were affected by those of others around them – and that bad moods were more potent. They also found that when a teenager "catches" a low mood from a friend, the frie
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Simple Soup Recipes
With this foundation of vegetables and water, delicious, homemade soup doesn't have to be complicated. Adding personality is up to you.
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Vaccine experts defend UK decision to delay second Pfizer Covid jab
Medics told they risk undermining public confidence by querying policy of three-month gap between doses Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Leading vaccine experts have backed the government's decision to delay the second dose for up to three months, after doctors warned that the strategy was proving "ever-more difficult to justify". The British Medical Association (BMA)
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Record-breaking laser link could help us test whether Einstein was right
Scientists have set a world record for the most stable transmission of a laser signal through the atmosphere. The team combined 'phase stabilization' technology with advanced self-guiding optical terminals to 'effectively eliminate atmospheric turbulence,' an advance which could help test Einstein's theory of general relativity.
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Developmental origins of eczema and psoriasis discovered
Scientists have created a highly detailed map of skin, which reveals that cellular processes from development are re-activated in cells from patients with eczema and psoriasis inflammatory skin diseases. The study offers potential new drug targets for treating these painful skin diseases and provides a new understanding of inflammatory disease. The research could also provide a template for regene
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This Bitcoin Mining Machine Helps Level the Playing Field for Crypto Investors
Over the last decade, the world of mining cryptocurrencies has transformed from something that any devoted hobbyist with a working computer and Internet connection could do into something that requires special equipment and expertise. Given that, it's easy to feel like you missed the boat if you weren't an early cryptocurrency adopter. But with a Coinmine One Bitcoin mining machin e, cryptocurren
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Astrophysicists find unique "hot Jupiter" planet without clouds
Astronomers from Harvard and Smithsonian find a very rare "hot Jupiter" exoplanet without clouds or haze. Such planets were formed differently from others and offer unique research opportunities. Only one other such exoplanet was found previously. Astronomers detected a first of its kind hot Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze. Such p lanets are very rare, with only one exoplanet with a cl
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Combining best of both worlds for cancer modeling
Treatment options for many types of cancers remain limited, due partly to the in vitro tools used to model cancers and that results from animal studies do not always translate well to human disease. These shortcomings point to a clear need for a better, patient-specific model. Researchers suggest bioengineered microscale organotypic models can address this need.
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The new mutants: the Covid variants worrying health officials worldwide
Researchers at a high-security Sydney lab are learning more about concerning Covid variants from the swabs of international travellers In December, the UK reported a Covid-19 variant of concern, commonly referred to as the B117 variant, which appeared to be more transmissible. Since then, scientists have established that B117 is somewhere between 50% to 70% more transmissible than other variants.
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Mourn Gary Matthews and recognise that Covid conspiracies endanger life | Nick Cohen
One man's tragic tale reveals much about the reach and harm of anti-science propaganda Gary Matthews fell headlong into a subterranean world haunted by vicious fantasies. But he wasn't vicious himself. "I knew him since he was 19," his friend Peter Roscoe told me. "He was a gentle guy. He wanted a better world. I am so sorry in recent times he became convinced that Covid was some kind of hoax." Th
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Solar system formation in two steps
Researchers have discovered that a two-step formation process of the early Solar System can explain the chronology and split in volatile and isotope content of the inner and outer Solar System.
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Combining best of both worlds for cancer modeling
Treatment options for many types of cancers remain limited, due partly to the in vitro tools used to model cancers and that results from animal studies do not always translate well to human disease. These shortcomings point to a clear need for a better, patient-specific model. Researchers suggest bioengineered microscale organotypic models can address this need.
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On the trail of active ingredients from marine yeasts
Numerous natural products are awaiting discovery in all kinds of natural habitats. Especially microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi are able to produce diverse natural products with high biomedical application potential in particular as antibiotics and anticancer agents. Researchers have isolated red yeast of the species Rhodotorula mucilaginosa from a deep-sea sediment sample and analyzed for
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European eels – one gene pool fits all
European eels spawn in the subtropical Sargasso Sea but spend most of their adult life in a range of fresh- and brackish waters, across Europe and Northern Africa. Using whole-genome analysis, a team of scientists provides conclusive evidence that all European eels belong to a single panmictic population irrespective of where they spend their adult life, an extraordinary finding for a species livi
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Spontaneous cell fusions amplify genetic diversity within tumors
Scientists generally believe that cancers lack a powerful and important diversification mechanism available to pathogenic microbes – the ability to exchange and recombine genetic material between different cells. However, researchers now demonstrate that this belief is wrong and that cancer cells are capable of exchanging and recombining their genetic material with each other through a mechanism m
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Analgesic culture: can reframing pain make it go away?
The way we think about pain could change how much we actually suffer We've all got a story about pain. Maybe it's that time you broke your arm skating, or the time you finished the game on a twisted ankle, or the 10 hours of labour without an epidural. Maybe your story of pain is a story of violence, the injury and trauma of an assault. Maybe it's a story of terror. Or it's heartbreak, the seemin
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'Don't blame public for overloaded hospitals,' Covid ICU medics tell NHS staff
Leading doctors have divided opinion among an exhausted workforce by pointing to socioeconomic factors behind coronavirus death toll Comment: Let's stop the blame game over ICU Covid beds shortage See all our coronavirus coverage Leading intensive care doctors have told NHS staff not to blame people breaching lockdown rules for hospitals coming close to breaking point and for the death toll from
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This Week's Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through January 23)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE This Chinese Lab Is Aiming for Big AI Breakthroughs Will Knight | Wired "China produces as many artificial intelligence researchers as the US, but it lags in key fields like machine learning. The government hopes to make up ground. …It set AI researchers the goal of making 'fundamental breakthroughs by 2025' and called for the country to be 'the world's primary innovation
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Weekend reads: Scientist in China cleared of plagiarism and fraud charges; "what my retraction taught me;" researcher sued for >$1.5 million for unpaid legal bills in failed defamation cases
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: Exercise science grad student at Australian university dismissed after he … Continue reading
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TV Captured Trump by Looking Away
Paul Spella / HBO / Netflix / Getty / The Atlantic Late last year, at the end of my parental leave, I finally caught up with The Comey Rule , Showtime's stolid adaptation of former FBI Director James Comey's memoir about— among other things —being fired by Donald Trump. A cluster of TV stars play the civil servants elevated by the MAGA internet into almost mythological characters : Jeff Daniels a
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New technique builds super-hard metals from nanoparticles
Metallurgists have all kinds of ways to make a chunk of metal harder. They can bend it, twist it, run it between two rollers or pound it with a hammer. These methods work by breaking up the metal's grain structure—the microscopic crystalline domains that form a bulk piece of metal. Smaller grains make for harder metals.
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One Country Has Jumped Ahead on Vaccinations
O ne nation has already provided more than a quarter of its people with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, outpacing every other country in the world and more than sextupling the percentage in the United States. During one recent three-day period , in fact, it administered a dose of the vaccine to a higher percentage of its population than the U.S. has altogether. Nearly three-fourths of thos
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The Forgotten People Fighting the Forever War
Both the Trump and Obama administrations relied heavily on highly trained Special Forces units to keep Afghanistan from collapse. The strategy has kept recent episodes of the 21-year Afghan War out of the public eye, but it is failing to stabilize the country and is straining the United States military's elite troops, who serve back-to-back combat tours without an end in sight and disproportionat
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Don't Move On Just Yet
Until the day that a violent mob stormed the Capitol building, it seemed possible that Donald Trump would be able to shuffle into postpresidential life without facing any real consequences. President-elect Joe Biden had indicated his anxiety over a potential prosecution of the former president. Commentators muttered about the political divisiveness of pursuing Trump after he left office. Better,
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We could know soon whether vaccines work against a scary new coronavirus variant
Salim Abdool Karim was at a cricket match on December 26, Boxing Day, when he made the mistake of looking at his email. He had received a new report and the news wasn't good. A heavily mutated coronavirus spotted in South Africa appeared to allow the virus to bind more tightly, and more easily, to human cells. Karim, an epidemiologist and lead covid-19 adviser to the South African government, kne
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