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There's a Better Way to Parent: Less Yelling, Less Praise
At one point in her new book, the NPR journalist Michaeleen Doucleff suggests that parents consider throwing out most of the toys they've bought for their kids. It's an extreme piece of advice, but the way Doucleff frames it, it seems entirely sensible: "Kids spent two hundred thousand years without these items," she writes. Her deeply researched book, Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures
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Australia confirms extinction of 13 more species, including first reptile since colonisation
Christmas Island forest skink and 12 mammals on list, which also includes the desert bettong, broad-cheeked hopping mouse and Nullarbor barred bandicoot The Australian government has officially acknowledged the extinction of 13 endemic species, including 12 mammals and the first reptile known to have been lost since European colonisation. The addition of the dozen mammal species confirms Australi
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Why Was Google Telling People to Throw Car Batteries Into the Ocean?
Great Tips Over the weekend, a quirk of Google's search engine emerged. On Saturday night, reporter and author Violet Blue googled "why do people throw car batteries in the ocean." The algorithm's top response, which was formatted in a blurb at the top of the results, was strange. "Throwing car batteries into the ocean is good for the environment, as they charge electric eels and power the Gulf s
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Neandertals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech
Neandertals—the closest ancestor to modern humans—possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.
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Researchers read sealed 17th century letter without opening it
'Virtual unfolding' is hailed a breakthrough in the study of historic documents as unopened letter from 1697 is read for the first time using X-ray technology In a world first for the study of historic documents, an unopened letter written in 1697 has been read by researchers without breaking the seal. The letter, dated 31 July 1697 and sent from French merchant Jacques Sennacques in Lille to his
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Scientists Observe Eight-Hour "Space Plasma Hurricane"
Space Hurricanes A team of scientists have confirmed the existence of a gigantic, 1,000 kilometer-across "space hurricane" swirling hundreds of kilometers above the North Pole, the BBC's Science Focus reports . The team analyzed data in the form of low geomagnetic activity over the North Pole dating back to 2014. What they found was something truly awe-inspiring: an anticlockwise spinning vortex
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James Webb Hated Gay People. Why Are We Naming a Telescope After Him?
Hold Up Later this year, NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Hubble Space Telescope's long-awaited successor that's expected to revolutionize space research . But scientists are concerned, saying that Webb may not be the right person to name such an important observatory after. Aside from being a former NASA Administrator, Webb had an extensive career in the State Depa
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Astrophysicist's 2004 theory confirmed: Why the Sun's composition varies
About 17 years ago, J. Martin Laming, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, theorized why the chemical composition of the Sun's tenuous outermost layer differs from that lower down. His theory has recently been validated by combined observations of the Sun's magnetic waves from the Earth and from space.
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Data on long Covid in UK children is cause for concern, scientists say
With lack of vaccinations and schools in England set to reopen cases must not be ignored, experts warn Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Scientists have warned that emerging data on long Covid in children should not be ignored given the lack of a vaccine for this age group, but cautioned that the evidence describing these enduring symptoms in the young is so far uncert
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In the Distant Future, All Earth's Creatures May Asphyxiate From Lack of Oxygen
All complex aerobic life on Earth as we know it will eventually die as oxygen levels deplete in our planet's atmosphere. Fortunately, that won't happen for another billion years or so, according to an international team of researchers. But eventually, New Scientist reports , Earth's atmosphere will return to the considerably lower oxygen levels of its early history — and that will be bad news for
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Covid: Germany and France under pressure to shift Oxford vaccine
Both countries urged to take action to avoid pile-up of unused AstraZeneca vaccine doses Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Authorities in Germany and France are under pressure to come up with creative solutions to shift the AstraZeneca vaccine at higher speed in order to avoid a pile-up of unused doses over the coming weeks. On Monday, France's medical regulator revers
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Simulations suggest Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere will last only another billion years
A pair of researchers from Toho University and NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science has found evidence, via simulation, that Earth will lose its oxygen-rich atmosphere in approximately 1 billion years. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Kazumi Ozaki and Christopher Reinhard describe the factors that went into their simulation and what it showed.
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Theoretical interpretations of the pulsar timing data recently released by NANOGrav
The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) is a gravitational-wave detector that monitors areas in the vicinity of Earth using a network of pulsars (i.e., clock-like stars). At the end of 2020, the NANOGrav collaboration gathered evidence of fluctuations in the timing data of 45 pulsars, which could be compatible with a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGW
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China's most important border is imaginary: the Hu Line
In 1935, demographer Hu Huanyong drew a line across a map of China. The 'Hu Line' illustrated a remarkable divide in China's population distribution. That divide remains relevant, not just for China's present but also for its future. Consequential feature The Hu Line is arguably the most consequential feature of China's geography, with demographic, economic, cultural, and political implications f
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Utah Considers State Park Named For Utahraptor Dinosaur
Utah is considering naming a new park in honor of dinosaurs discovered there. Researchers expect to uncover more Utahraptor bones — provided they can get them out of a massive block of rock. (Image credit: Utah Geological Survey)
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Trump Is Threatening Republican Prospects in 2022
The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference proved that it's still Donald Trump's Republican Party, but then you knew that. So did the organizers, the attendees, and the politicians who attended. It's why the conference moved from its traditional home outside Washington, D.C., to Florida. Oh, sure, COVID-19 restrictions played a part, but CPAC could have chosen any number of places to reloc
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Expert: Vaccination Passports Could Become a "Dystopian Nightmare"
For practically as long as the coronavirus pandemic has been raging, officials have suggested that "immunity passports" — or "vaccination passports" now that we're talking about inoculations rather than antibodies — could help society safely reopen . By allowing those who are less likely to catch the coronavirus go to offices, stores, and otherwise participate in the economy, the argument goes ,
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Photon-photon polaritons: the intriguing particles that emerge when two photons couple
Scientists at the University of Bath in the UK have found a way to bind together two photons of different colors, paving the way for important advancements in quantum-electrodynamics—the field of science that describes how light and matter interact. In time, the team's findings are likely to impact developments in optical and quantum communication, and precision measurements of frequency, time and
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Brazil variant evaded up to 61% of immunity in previous Covid cases
Scientists call for more genetic sequencing of emerging variants like P1 to bring pandemic under control Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The coronavirus variant originally found in Manaus in Brazil and detected in six cases in the UK was able to infect 25% to 61% of the people in the Amazonian city who might have expected to be immune after a first bout of Covid, res
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Benefits of microdosing LSD might be placebo effect, study finds
Imperial College London researchers conducted largest placebo-controlled trial of psychedelics It became the trend in Silicon Valley and spread swiftly around the world: the latest hack to boost the mood, sharpen the mind and get the creative juices flowing. But for all the entrepreneurs and tech gurus that flocked to the practice, scientists have never been sure whether consuming small doses of
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The human brain grew as a result of the extinction of large animals
A new paper by Dr. Miki Ben-Dor and Prof. Ran Barkai from the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University proposes an original unifying explanation for the physiological, behavioral and cultural evolution of the human species, from its first appearance about two million years ago, to the agricultural revolution (around 10,000 BCE). According to the paper, humans developed as hu
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The human brain grew as a result of the extinction of large animals
A new paper by Dr. Miki Ben-Dor and Prof. Ran Barkai from the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University proposes an original unifying explanation for the physiological, behavioral and cultural evolution of the human species, from its first appearance about two million years ago, to the agricultural revolution (around 10,000 BCE). According to the paper, humans developed as hu
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Billionaire Says He'll Fly Eight People Around the Moon for Free
Round Trip Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced yesterday that he's inviting eight members of the public to get onboard a SpaceX Starship with him and fly around the Moon as soon as 2023. "I'm inviting you to join me on this mission," Maezawa says in an announcement video , alongside SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The Japanese fashion tycoon is feeling generous and is willing to "pay for the enti
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The best defense against authoritarianism? More educated citizens.
It's difficult to overstate the impact of technology and artificial intelligence. Smart machines are fundamentally reshaping the economy—indeed, society as a whole. Seemingly overnight, they have changed our roles in the workplace, our views of democracy—even our family and personal relationships. In my latest book , I argue that we can—and must—rise to this challenge by developing our capacity f
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New P.1 Strain Can Re-Infect People Who Already Caught COVID
A variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 called P.1 seems to be able to reinfect people who already recovered from COVID-19, despite whatever protections their immune systems built up. The variant, which was discovered and began circulating in Brazil back in December, poses a new threat that has scientists worried about the potential for yet another major wave of the coronavirus, The New York Time
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Scientists use lipid nanoparticles to precisely target gene editing to the liver
The genome editing technology CRISPR has emerged as a powerful new tool that can change the way we treat disease. The challenge when altering the genetics of our cells, however, is how to do it safely, effectively, and specifically targeted to the gene, tissue and organ that needs treatment. Scientists at Tufts University and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have developed unique nanoparticl
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What's in a vaccine and what does it do to your body?
There are all sorts of different vaccines but many of them share specific types of ingredients. Josh Toussaint-Strauss talks to Prof Adam Finn to find out what is in most conventional vaccines, as well as what's going on in our bodies when we take them – and why the Covid jabs work differently Continue reading…
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Cuttlefish have ability to exert self-control, study finds
Delaying gratification may have evolved in the squid-like creature to maximise efficiency Humans, chimps, parrots and crows have evolved to exert self-control, a trait linked to higher intelligence. Now, researchers say cuttlefish – chunky squid-like creatures with eight arms – also have the ability to delay gratification for a better reward. Researchers used an adapted version of the Stanford ma
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Scientists Suggest Farming Fish on the Moon
Fishy Situation A team of French scientists has a pressing concern. When the European Space Agency constructs its planned Moon Village , what exactly are the astronauts supposed to eat? Thankfully, they have a plan: farming fish on the Moon using live eggs shipped from Earth and water harvested from the lunar surface, Hakai Magazine reports . It sounds outlandish to consider raising animals on th
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There's Something Very Different About Tomorrow's Starship Test
Third Time SpaceX is ramping up to launch its third full-scale Starship rocket this week — but this time, the company will attempt a new strategy. The prototype, called SN10, could be rocketing high into the sky from its launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas as early as Wednesday afternoon, Teslarati reports , according to flight restrictions announced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This
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Mammal ancestors moved in their own unique way
The backbone is the Swiss Army Knife of mammal locomotion. It can function in all sorts of ways that allows living mammals to have remarkable diversity in their movements. They can run, swim, climb and fly all due, in part, to the extensive reorganization of their vertebral column, which occurred over roughly 320 million years of evolution.
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NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final functional tests to prepare for launch
February marked significant progress for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which completed its final functional performance tests at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California. Testing teams successfully completed two important milestones that confirmed the observatory's internal electronics are all functioning as intended, and that the spacecraft and its four scientific instruments can send a
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The problems with anti-vaccers' precautionary principle arguments
Invoking the precautionary principle is a favorite tactic of anti-vaccers, anti-GMO activists, and various other groups that are prone to opposing scientific advances, but there are numerous issues with this strategy. The exact definition of the precautionary principle is a bit amorphous and variable, but the general concept is that before taking an action that Continue reading ""
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5 Medical Appointments You Should Stop Putting Off
If you've been delaying routine medical care in the past year, now's the time to catch up, doctors say. The consequences of missing some key screenings and health checkups can be lethal. (Image credit: Kristen Uroda for NPR)
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Paralyzed Man Walks More Than 100 Miles in Powered Exoskeleton
Over the month of February, a man named Simon Kindleysides walked a total of 112 miles despite being utterly paralyzed from the waist down. Kindleysides, who used a robotic exoskeleton to run the London Marathon back in 2018, once again donned the assistive device to raise money for the UK's National Health Service, BBC News r eports . The robotic exoskeleton restored his ability to walk . Every
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Wisconsin hunters have already killed more gray wolves than allowed
The event was called off early as non-Indigenous hunters quickly exceeded the harvest quota. (John Hafner/) This post originally featured on Outdoor Life . Wolf hunters in Wisconsin exceeded the state's harvest quota just three days into their first wolf hunt since 2014. The hunt was supposed to last a week, but it was called early because of the fast and furious harvest. The Wisconsin Department
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New study challenges 'established' mechanism about selectivity of cellular ion channels
The cell membranes of all organisms contain ion channels that permit ions to pass into or out of the cell, and these channels play extremely important roles in fundamental physiological processes such as heartbeats and the rapid conduction of signals along neurons. An important property of these ion channels is their selective conductivity—they selectively permit the passage of particular ions. Fo
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New study challenges 'established' mechanism about selectivity of cellular ion channels
The cell membranes of all organisms contain ion channels that permit ions to pass into or out of the cell, and these channels play extremely important roles in fundamental physiological processes such as heartbeats and the rapid conduction of signals along neurons. An important property of these ion channels is their selective conductivity—they selectively permit the passage of particular ions. Fo
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How 'great' was the great oxygenation event?
Around 2.5 billion years ago, our planet experienced what was possibly the greatest change in its history: According to the geological record, molecular oxygen suddenly went from nonexistent to becoming freely available everywhere. Evidence for the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) is clearly visible, for example, in banded iron formations containing oxidized iron. The GOE, of course, is what allowed
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How 'great' was the great oxygenation event?
Around 2.5 billion years ago, our planet experienced what was possibly the greatest change in its history: According to the geological record, molecular oxygen suddenly went from nonexistent to becoming freely available everywhere. Evidence for the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) is clearly visible, for example, in banded iron formations containing oxidized iron. The GOE, of course, is what allowed
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Sci-fi carbon coins could actually save our planet
A currency based on carbon would be like a green version of the gold standard. (Pixabay/) By now we're probably all familiar with the concept of carbon taxes. The idea is pretty simple: if we want less carbon to go into the atmosphere, we have to provide economic incentives to change behavior. Most mainstream economic proposals to tackle climate change are essentially ways of attaching a cost to
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Graphene 'Nano-Origami' Could Take Us Past the End of Moore's Law
Wonder material graphene is often touted as a potential way a round the death of Moore's Law, but harnessing its promising properties has proven tricky. Now, researchers have shown they can build graphene chips 100 times smaller than normal ones using a process they've dubbed "nano-origami." For decades our ability to miniaturize electronic components improved exponentially, and with it the perfo
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Trump Is Gone, but Democracy Is in Trouble
After November 3, I allowed myself to dream that the battered troops of democracy would regain their courage and go on the offensive. For a decade or more, authoritarian populists around the globe had won one upset victory after another. They rose to power in India and Brazil, in the Philippines and the United States. And though Jair Bolsonaro and Rodrigo Duterte were at first mocked as incompete
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Stockton's Basic-Income Experiment Pays Off
Two years ago, the city of Stockton, California, did something remarkable: It brought back welfare. Using donated funds, the industrial city on the edge of the Bay Area tech economy launched a small demonstration program, sending payments of $500 a month to 125 randomly selected individuals living in neighborhoods with average incomes lower than the city median of $46,000 a year. The recipients w
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Democrats' Only Chance to Stop the GOP Assault on Voting Rights
T he most explosive battle in decades over access to the voting booth will reach a new crescendo this week, as Republican-controlled states advance an array of measures to restrict the ballot, and the U.S. House of Representatives votes on the federal legislation that represents Democrats' best chance to stop them. It's no exaggeration to say that future Americans could view the resolution of thi
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Unions attack 'sinister' plan to force NHS staff to have Covid vaccine
Government reportedly considering making jab mandatory for health and care workers in England Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A government plan to force all NHS and care staff in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has been criticised as "sinister" and likely to increase the numbers refusing to have the jab. Health unions and hospital bosses urged the health s
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The climate crisis can't be solved by carbon accounting tricks | Simon Lewis
Disaster looms if big finance is allowed to game the carbon offsetting markets to achieve 'net zero' emissions An astonishing global shift is under way: 127 countries have now stated that by mid-century their overall emissions of carbon dioxide will be zero. That includes the EU, US, and UK by 2050 – and China by 2060. Companies are enthusiastically signing up to similar "net zero" goals . Finall
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Study: COVID-19 Can Kill Heart Cells
Even though we're nearly a full calendar year into the COVID pandemic, scientists still don't fully understand how the coronavirus targets and attacks different parts of our bodies. Now, doctors have uncovered that SARS-CoV-2 can attack the heart directly, according to a massive study led by Washington University School of Medicine researchers that was published in the journal JACC: Basic to Tran
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Despite Rebounding Cases of COVID, TX to Open State "100 Percent"
The governors of both Texas and Mississippi announced they will be lifting both states' mask mandates and rolling back COVID-19 health mandates, NBC News reports . "It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," Texas governor Greg Abbott told a largely unmasked crowd at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock, Texas. The news comes just one day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned
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Catholic Archdiocese Calls COVID Vaccine "Morally Compromised"
There are now three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by the United States government. By all accounts, this is great news — unless, apparently, you're responsible for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, in which case you're busy telling your community that the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine is "morally compromised." The Archdiocese released a statement urging Catholics to avoid the Johnso
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New UK science body could be used as 'cover for cronyism'
Advanced Research & Innovation Agency will be exempt from existing procurement rules for 'maximum flexibility', says government A new £800m government science and defence research agency will be exempt from existing procurement rules, prompting warnings from Labour that it could be used as "cover for cronyism". Originally the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Advanced Research & Innovation Agen
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Unusual earthquakes highlight central Utah volcanoes
If you drive south through central Utah on Interstate 15 and look west somewhere around Fillmore, you'll see smooth hills and fields of black rock. The area is, aptly, named the Black Rock Desert. It may not look like much, but you're looking at some of Utah's volcanoes.
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What Happened to Jordan Peterson?
Illustration by Vanessa Saba; photos by Rene Johnston; Chris Williamson; Getty This article was published online on March 2, 2021. O ne day in early 2020 , Jordan B. Peterson rose from the dead. The Canadian academic, then 57, had been placed in a nine-day coma by doctors in a Russian clinic, after becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, a class of drug that includes Xanax and Valium. The coma kept
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Model describes interactions between light and mechanical vibration in microcavities
Optomechanical microcavities are extremely small structures with diameters of less than 10 micrometers (about a tenth of a human hair) inside which light and mechanical vibrations are confined. Thanks to their small size and to efficient microfabrication techniques that enable them to hold intense light energy and interact with mechanical waves, microcavities can be used as mass and acceleration s
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NASA Is Testing an All-Electric Airplane
Ground Control NASA is gearing up to begin tests on the X-57 Maxwell, the space agency's first aircraft to be powered entirely by electricity. For now, the X-57 will remain safely grounded while NASA engineers test its electrical systems and motors, according to a NASA press release . But these preliminary tests will mark an important milestone in the development of all-electric aircraft — and, i
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Scientists Discover Glow-in-the-Dark Sharks
Glow-In-the-Shark A team of researchers in New Zealand have discovered yet another mystery lurking in the deepest, mostly unexplored depths of our planet's oceans: three species of sharks that can glow in the dark, NBC reports . As detailed in a new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science last week, the researchers found for the first time that the kitefin shark, the blackbelly
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Austria and Denmark to work with Israel on future Covid jabs, saying EU 'too slow'
Austrian chancellor says two nations 'will no longer rely on EU' as he unveils manufacturing deal to tackle new variants Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Austria's chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, described the EU's vaccination deployment as "too slow" as he announced that his country and Denmark would work with Israel on protecting their citizens against new coronavirus v
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Study shows conversations rarely end when people want them to end
A team of researchers from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the University of Virginia has found that conversations between people usually do not end when either partner in the conversation wants them to end. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the results of surveys and experiments they conducted r
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Supertest evaluates performance of engineering students in Russia, U.S., India, China
A group of researchers representing four countries summed up the results of a large-scale study of the academic performance of engineering students in Russia, China, India, and the United States. Supertest is the first study to track the progress of students in computer science and electrical engineering over the course of their studies with regard to their abilities in physics, mathematics and cr
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Nearly four in 10 university students addicted to smartphones, study finds
Research finds students who showed signs of addiction were also highly likely to suffer from poor sleep Almost four in 10 university students are addicted to their smartphones, and their habit plays havoc with their sleep, research has found. A study of 1,043 students aged 18-30 at King's College London found that 406 (38.9%) displayed symptoms of smartphone addiction, as defined by a clinical to
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Meteorites from sky fireball 'may have fallen near Cheltenham'
Computer modelling suggests fragments of space debris may have landed outside Gloucestershire town The yellow-green fireball that pierced Earth's atmosphere on Sunday night , delighting observers from the UK to the Netherlands, is thought to have partially survived the journey in the form of meteorites, most likely landing just north of Cheltenham. Fireballs are particularly bright meteors – spac
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Startup Unveils Rocket Capable of Sending Humans to Space
Jimmy Neutron New Zealand-based space startup Rocket Lab unveiled a brand new spacecraft today : the Neutron, a fully reusable launch vehicle technically capable of sending a crew of eight astronauts into orbit. The sleek rocket is "tailored for mega constellations, deep space missions and human spaceflight," according to the company. It stands just over 130 feet tall, a little smaller than Space
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Officials Hunting For Missing Person Infected With New COVID Strain
Health officials in the UK are desperately trying to locate an individual who was infected with a highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus that originated in Brazil, CNBC reports . Experts are worried that the variant, called P.1, spreads more rapidly than the original strains of the virus. But it's important to note that our understanding of the new variant is still limited. In one gl
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Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem
In the mid-1980s, the mathematician Jean Bourgain thought up a simple question about high-dimensional shapes. And then he remained stuck on it for the rest of his life. Bourgain, who died in 2018, was one of the preeminent mathematicians of the modern era. A winner of the Fields Medal , mathematics' highest honor, he was known as a problem-solver extraordinaire — the kind of person you might talk
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Large meteor 'fireball' blazes across the UK, lighting up skies – video
A large meteor was visible over parts of the UK on Sunday night, delighting those lucky enough to see it. The meteor was spotted shortly before 10pm and was visible for about seven seconds. It was captured on doorbell and security cameras in Manchester, Cardiff, Honiton, Bath, Midsomer Norton and Milton Keynes UK meteor: 'huge flash' as fireball lights up skies Continue reading…
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Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality
Mathematicians were disturbed, centuries ago, to find that calculating the properties of certain curves demanded the seemingly impossible: numbers that, when multiplied by themselves, turn negative. All the numbers on the number line, when squared, yield a positive number; 2 2 = 4, and (-2) 2 = 4. Mathematicians started calling those familiar numbers "real" and the apparently impossible breed of
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America's Andrew Cuomo Problem
Updated at 12:00 p.m. ET on March 3, 2021. Cable-news shows treated Andrew Cuomo like a living legend this summer, thanks to his supposedly superlative handling of the coronavirus pandemic, yet his past few weeks really have been the stuff of myth. But which myth? Is he Icarus, flying too close to the sun in his premature attempt to claim credit for New York's public-health prowess, only to have
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Japanese billionaire looking for people who 'push the envelope' for moon flight
Yusaku Maezawa, an online fashion tycoon, needs to fill eight spare seats on the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX It's the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue moon: a Japanese billionaire is throwing open a private lunar expedition to eight people from around the world. Yusaku Maezawa , an online fashion tycoon, was announced in 2018 as the first man to book a spot aboard
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COVID-19 cases aren't dropping anymore
Socially distanced events will continue to be a reality for a while. (Unsplash/) Click here to see all of PopSci's COVID-19 coverage. If you've lost count (or never started), we are now at week 51 of the COVID era, which officially began on March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It's been more than a year since the WHO announced there was a mysterious vir
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Don't Help Your Kids With Homework
So much of the homework advice parents are given is theory-based, and therefore not entirely helpful in the chaos of day-to-day life. People are told that students should have " grit ." They should " learn from failure ." But it's hard to know how to implement these ideas when what you really need is to support a kid who has a chemistry test and two papers due in the next 48 hours but seems to be
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The vaccine rollout makes it clear: the randomness of nationality still determines our lives | Kanishk Tharoor
Not one Covid jab had been administered in 130 of the world's poorer countries by mid-February After the news in November of the successful trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine, a curious photo spread online. It showed a Turkish immigrant family of six in Germany in the 1970s. The father stood in the middle, arms stretched around his head-scarfed wife and children. A shoeless boy hung off
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Identifying animals in photos is trickier than you might think
Thylacines at the National Zoo in 1903. (Smithsonian Institution Archives/) After a week of fanfare, an Australian man released photos of what he believes to be a Tasmanian tiger, also known as a thylacine, a six-foot long marsupial carnivore that white settlers hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. The photographer, Neil Waters, is the president of Tasmania's Thylacine Awareness Group, which
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Astronomers identify faint radio-jets in the galaxy cluster CLJ1449+0856
Using ground-based facilities and space telescopes, an international team of astronomers has conducted multiwavelength observations of a galaxy cluster known as CLJ1449+0856. The observational campaign detected multiple faint radio-jets, what could shed more light on the nature of this cluster. The finding is reported in a paper published February 23 on the arXiv pre-print server.
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Intel Discontinues Overclocking Warranties as Hobby Continues to Die
Intel has announced the end of its Performance Tuning Protection Plan (PTPP). An end-user who previously bought a PTPP from Intel was guaranteed a one-time replacement CPU if they fried their chip by overclocking it, provided the chip was still within warranty. The program has existed since the Sandy Bridge era, but Intel is bringing it to an end , effective immediately. All previously purchased
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How to break free of the bystander effect and help someone in trouble
You can help make the world a kinder place. (Cristian Newman/Unsplash/) When someone gets mugged or is subjected to racist harassment on the street , most people will walk by like nothing happened. Sometimes, no one stops to help at all. In fact, the more people present, the less likely that any one person will intervene—a phenomenon known as the bystander effect. Ignoring someone in danger is a
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Is it time to decriminalize prostitution? Two New York bills answer yes in unique ways
Today in the majority of the United States, it is a crime to sell sex, buy it, or promote its sale. The Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act would decriminalize prostitution in New York state while maintaining punitive measures against buyers and pimps. Opponents suggest this law would only push the illegal sex trade further underground and seek full decriminalization for everyone involved.
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Israel's "green pass" is an early vision of how we leave lockdown
The commercial opens with a tempting vision and soaring instrumentals. A door swings wide to reveal a sunlit patio and a relaxed, smiling couple awaiting a meal. "How much have we missed going out with friends?" a voiceover asks. "With the green pass, doors simply open in front of you … We're returning to life." It's an ad to promote Israel's version of a vaccine passport , but it's also catnip f
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This Startup Wants to Tattoo Brain-Reading Electrodes on Your Skull
A startup thinks that listening in on your brain waves could reveal medical mysteries — and perhaps even help connect your mind to virtual reality or video games — and it has an unusual plan to get access. Brain Scientific is developing what it's calling an "e-tattoo" that it can implant beneath someone's scalp with a robotic device that looks like a conventional tattoo gun got mixed up with a 3D
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To move cargo with less mess, these ships unload themselves
This is the Baie St. Paul, a self-unloading ship that currently carries the salt. (CSL /) In the winter, roads require salt to melt ice so that drivers don't lose control of their cars. And in eastern Canada, salt for the byways of places like Quebec City and Montreal comes from a mine on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. But salt from the Mines Seleine can't just magically transp
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Study examines what makes people susceptible to fake health news
Researchers conducted a study to see what makes people susceptible to fake health news. They found the credentials of the author and how the info is written make little difference in how people assess health news, but that social media efficacy and labeling of potentially false info makes people think more critically about what they're reading.
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Optimally promoting biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
Due to modern agriculture, biodiversity across many species groups is in decline. Over the last three decades, attempts have been made to counteract this with agri-environmental schemes at various levels—from the national federal state to EU-wide programs. This is not only out of appreciation of nature, but also because many species fulfill important functions for agriculture itself: some pollinat
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Optimally promoting biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
Due to modern agriculture, biodiversity across many species groups is in decline. Over the last three decades, attempts have been made to counteract this with agri-environmental schemes at various levels—from the national federal state to EU-wide programs. This is not only out of appreciation of nature, but also because many species fulfill important functions for agriculture itself: some pollinat
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Understanding the spatial and temporal dimensions of landscape dynamics
The Earth's surface is subject to continual changes that dynamically shape natural landscapes. Global phenomena like climate change play a role, as do short-term, local events of natural or human origin. The 3-D Geospatial Data Processing (3DGeo) research group of Heidelberg University has developed a new analysis method to help improve our understanding of processes shaping the Earth's surface li
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2,000-year-old chariot unearthed at Pompeii
An ornate four-wheeled chariot of iron, bronze and wood that archaeologists think was drawn by a team of horses in processions through Pompeii almost 2,000 years ago has been unearthed during excavations of a wealthy Roman villa.
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Polaris and Zero Motorcycles just revealed their first electric vehicle collaboration
We know from this teaser image that the new electric Ranger will definitely have headlights. (Polaris Off Road/) A clear trend has emerged in the transportation world, at least when it comes to vehicles that roll around on wheels: They're going electric. Sure, Tesla has been making splashy claims and manufacturing exciting vehicles for a while now, but lately the industry is seeing even more of a
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Pro Wrestler Challenges Elon Musk to Fight
WrestleMania Mars WWE wrestling superstar Triple H isn't impressed by Elon Musk. Speaking on The Good Time Show , a tech and culture podcast, the semi-retired wrestler HHH publicly challenged the scrawny billionaire to a fight. And not in any old wrestling ring — the wrestler wants to duke it out on Mars. "Let me address Elon Musk because I feel like there's some disrespect going on here," HHH sa
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Can you still spread coronavirus after getting the vaccine?
Editor's note: So you've gotten your coronavirus vaccine, waited the two weeks for your immune system to respond to the shot and are now fully vaccinated. Does this mean you can make your way through the world like the old days without fear of spreading the virus? Deborah Fuller is a microbiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine working on coronavirus vaccines. She explains wh
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Quick-learning cuttlefish pass 'the marshmallow test'
Much like the popular TikTok challenge where kids resist eating snacks, cuttlefish can do the same! Cuttlefish can delay gratification—wait for a better meal rather than be tempted by the one at hand—and those that can wait longest also do better in a learning test, scientists have discovered.
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Nonequilibrium dynamics and action at a distance in transcriptionally driven DNA supercoiling [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
We study the effect of transcription on the kinetics of DNA supercoiling in three dimensions by means of Brownian dynamics simulations of a single-nucleotide–resolution coarse-grained model for double-stranded DNA. By explicitly accounting for the action of a transcribing RNA polymerase (RNAP), we characterize the geometry and nonequilibrium dynamics of the…
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Surgeon Contests Traffic Ticket While Operating on Patient
Last Thursday, plastic surgeon Scott Green signed onto a Zoom call to a local court to contest a traffic violation — while performing surgery on an unconscious patient. The video, obtained by The Sacramento Bee , shows Green, apparently double-booked, working with a team of doctors while also responding to questions on the Zoom call. "Hello, Mr. Green? Are you available for trial?" a courtroom cl
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New skills of graphene: Tunable lattice vibrations
Without electronics and photonics, there would be no computers, smartphones, sensors, or information and communication technologies. In the coming years, the new field of phononics may further expand these options. That field is concerned with understanding and controlling lattice vibrations (phonons) in solids. In order to realize phononic devices, however, lattice vibrations have to be controlle
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The right '5-a-day' mix is 2 fruit and 3 vegetable servings for longer life
Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death in men and women, according to data representing nearly 2 million adults. Five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, eaten as 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables, may be the optimal amount and combination for a longer life. These findings support current U.S. dietary recommendations to eat more fru
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Scientists: There's Something Lurking in the Center of Earth's Core
Innermost Core In school, you probably learned that our planet is made up of four distinct layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. But new research by a team of scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) is shaking up the game: like a Russian doll, they say, the inner core has yet another core hidden inside of it. This "innermost inner core" may have been
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Researchers unveil issues with nuclear theory, observe no magic behavior at N=32 in charge radii of potassium isotopes
Measuring the size of atomic nuclei has sometimes been useful to probe aspects of nucleon-nucleon interaction and the bulk properties of nuclear matter. The charge radius of atomic nuclei, which can be extracted using laser spectroscopy techniques, is sensitive to both the bulk properties of nuclear matter and particularly subtle details of the interactions between protons and neutrons.
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Data-driven humanitarianism
It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but its people are among the most vulnerable. Afghanistan's snowy mountains and fertile foothills give way to arid plateaus, offering a contrast often described as stark and gorgeous. The nexus of ancient East-West trade routes, this landlocked country hosts many languages, artisan traditions, and centuries of influence from Islamic, Buddhist, and H
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SpaceX Preparing Third Launch of Astronauts to Space Station
Crew-2 SpaceX is getting ready to send the next batch of astronauts to the International Space Station on April 20, Space.com reports . The launch, dubbed Crew-2, could soon mark the third time the space company has launched astronauts into orbit on board its Crew Dragon spacecraft — and the second fully-crewed launch since the Crew-1 mission in November 2020. "Everybody is on track and ready," S
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Shift in scientific consensus about demise of Neanderthals
It is still unclear how the Neanderthals died out. For long, one theory seemed most likely: the emergence of the highly intelligent Homo sapiens, or modern humans. This competition hypothesis is no longer the dominant theory among scientists, research among archaeologists and anthropologists has shown. Publication in Scientific Reports.
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Plant clock could be the key to producing more food for the world
A University of Melbourne led study has established how plants use their metabolism to tell time and know when to grow—a discovery that could help leverage growing crops in different environments, including different seasons, different latitudes or even in artificial environments and vertical gardens.
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Image: Hubble looks at a 'black eye' galaxy
This image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features NGC 4826—a spiral galaxy located 17 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair). This galaxy is often referred to as the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy because of the dark band of dust that sweeps across one side of its bright nucleus.
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Time to say goodbye? Calls rarely end when we want them to, study finds
Whether talking to family, friends or strangers, calls hardly ever end when both parties are ready So you just called to say "I love you" – but how long should you stay on the phone? New research suggests no matter who we're talking to, or what we're talking about, conversations rarely conclude when the two individuals want them to end. Continue reading…
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British Soldiers Training for Combat in Virtual Reality
Training Grounds The British military is training its soldiers and running military exercises through a virtual reality simulation . The simulation looked more like a first-person shooter video game than a serious military engagement, according to a new BBC video , in no small part due to the fact that the soldiers used commercially-available Oculus Rift S headsets and handheld controllers. The s
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Call of the rewild: releasing Britain's rivers to ease flooding
Confining rivers creates valuable agricultural land but can lead to greater flood risk downstream For many of us across the UK it has felt like another wet winter; yet again homes have flooded and politicians are under pressure to improve flood protection. Engineering our rivers and building defences might bring reassurance, but recent research shows that doing nothing is often more effective at
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Kazuo Ishiguro's Radiant Robot
Na Kim This article was published online on March 2, 2021. G irl AF Klara , an Artificial Friend sold as a children's companion, lives in a store. On lucky days, Klara gets to spend time in the store window, where she can see and be seen and soak up the solar energy on which she runs. Not needing human food, Klara hungers and thirsts for the Sun (she capitalizes it) and what he (she also personif
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Source apportionment of methane escaping the subsea permafrost system in the outer Eurasian Arctic Shelf [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
The East Siberian Arctic Shelf holds large amounts of inundated carbon and methane (CH4). Holocene warming by overlying seawater, recently fortified by anthropogenic warming, has caused thawing of the underlying subsea permafrost. Despite extensive observations of elevated seawater CH4 in the past decades, relative contributions from different subsea compartments such…
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An American Reckoning at the Golden Globes
If this were a normal year, Hollywood's awards season would already be over. This being the opposite of a normal year, however, the Golden Globes have only just aired, and the glitterati of TV and film Zoomed in from their homes, wearing everything from haute couture to homey sweatshirts. One winner, Chloé Zhao —the first Asian woman to win the Globe for best director—toasted the camera with a mu
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'I'm the Doctor Who Is Here to Help You Die'
The first thing Dr. Lonny Shavelson thought when he stepped into the room was This is a bad room to die in . It was small and stuffy and there weren't enough chairs. He would have to rearrange things. He would start by pulling the hospital bed away from the wall, so that anyone who wanted to touch the patient as he died would have easy access to a hand or an arm or a soft, uncovered foot. But fir
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Common bacteria modified to make designer sugar-based drug
Envisioning an animal-free drug supply, scientists have—for the first time—reprogrammed a common bacterium to make a designer polysaccharide molecule used in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Published today in Nature Communications, the researchers modified E. coli to produce chondroitin sulfate, a drug best known as a dietary supplement to treat arthritis that is currently sourced from cow tra
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Covid-19: why are we feeling burnt out?
It's getting towards a year since the UK first went into lockdown. That's almost 12 months of home-schooling, staying in at the weekends, and not being able to see groups of friends and family in person. For many, the pandemic has also brought grief, loss of financial stability and isolation. So it should come as no surprise that lots of us are feeling emotionally exhausted, stressed and generall
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"The right decision": Group retracts Nature Chemical Biology paper after finding a key error
Researchers in Australia have retracted a 2016 paper in Nature Chemical Biology after discovering a critical error in their research, bringing some closure to a gut-wrenching case for the scientists involved. As we reported in January, Nicola Smith, the senior author of the article, titled "Orphan receptor ligand discovery by pickpocketing pharmacological neighbors," described learning … Continue
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Bottling the world's coldest plasma
Rice University physicists have discovered a way to trap the world's coldest plasma in a magnetic bottle, a technological achievement that could advance research into clean energy, space weather and astrophysics.
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NASA's Perseverance Has a Mars Rover Family Portrait
It's not every day you send something to another planet, and NASA likes to adorn its robotic explorers with a little decoration to make these missions extra-special. That's why the people of Earth were invited to add their name to a tiny silicon chip mounted on the rover. Now that the rover is on the surface and there are dozens of photos of its hardware, the internet has spotted another fun orna
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White House Says US Will Have Enough Vaccine For All Adults by May
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would have enough doses of the various coronavirus vaccines to inoculate every adult in the country by the end of May. That's a significant improvement over Biden's previous prediction — that the US would secure enough vaccines by the end of July — which he made just last month, according to CNBC . It's some much-needed good news ab
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Ice Age testing reveals challenges in climate model sensitivity
Key to the usefulness of climate models as tools for both scientists and policymakers is the models' ability to connect changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels to corresponding shifts in temperature. Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is one such measure, representing the predicted warming after a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.
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Indoors, outdoors, 6 feet apart? Transmission risk of airborne viruses can be quantified
The rush for scientific understanding of the novel coronavirus has focused on biological mechanisms: how people get infected, the response of the human body, and the fastest path to a vaccine. As an aerosol scientist, Tami Bond went a different route, convening a research team that would treat the virus like any other aerosol. This team set out to quantify the dynamics of how aerosols like viruses
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The strongest fishing knots you can tie
When it comes to finding the strongest fishing knot, sometimes you've got to do a bit of experimenting. (C D-X/Unsplash/) This story was originally featured on Field & Stream . Fishing line has advanced remarkably in the past few decades. Nylon monofilament, fluorocarbon, and so-called "superline" give fishermen tremendous advantages in strength, visibility, and ease of use. Each of the three pri
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How the trap-jaw ant got its ultrafast bite
Powerful and deadly, the bite of a trap-jaw ant is renowned throughout the animal kingdom. Unlike normal gripping jaws, which rely on muscles to open and close, the trap-jaw latches itself open, storing energy like a stretched spring. When released, the jaws of the ansnap shut on their prey in one ultrafast strike.
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Human DNA methylation signatures differentiate persistent from resolving MRSA bacteremia [Immunology and Inflammation]
Persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia is life threatening and occurs in up to 30% of MRSA bacteremia cases despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Isolates of MRSA that cause antibiotic-persistent methicillin-resistant S. aureus bacteremia (APMB) typically have in vitro antibiotic susceptibilities equivalent to those causing antibiotic-resolving methicillin-re
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ASCL2 reciprocally controls key trophoblast lineage decisions during hemochorial placenta development [Developmental Biology]
Invasive trophoblast cells are critical to spiral artery remodeling in hemochorial placentation. Insufficient trophoblast cell invasion and vascular remodeling can lead to pregnancy disorders including preeclampsia, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth restriction. Previous studies in mice identified achaete-scute homolog 2 (ASCL2) as essential to extraembryonic development. We hypothesized that
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Dear Therapist's Guide to Dealing With Regret
Editor's Note: With Lori Gottlieb on book leave, Rebecca J. Rosen, the editor of "Dear Therapist," begins another month as The Atlantic 's "Dear Therapist" archivist, pointing readers to some of Lori's most beloved columns. Today marks the first day of March, the third month of Lori's book leave. March is always a time of rebirth, a time when we look ahead to spring. This year, with the emergence
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Researchers detects chiral structures using vortex light
Recently, the Laboratory of Micro and Nano Engineering, School of Engineering Science, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) has made important progress in the field of structural chirality detection research using vortex light, and found that photon orbital angular momentum can efficiently detect the optical chiral signal of structures.
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Wolf social group dynamics matter for infectious disease spread, models suggest
By modeling wolves in Yellowstone National Park, researchers have discovered that how a population is organized into social groups affects the spread of infectious diseases within the population. The findings may be applicable to any social species and could be useful in the protection of endangered species that suffer from disease invasion.
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Wolf social group dynamics matter for infectious disease spread, models suggest
By modeling wolves in Yellowstone National Park, researchers have discovered that how a population is organized into social groups affects the spread of infectious diseases within the population. The findings may be applicable to any social species and could be useful in the protection of endangered species that suffer from disease invasion.
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Ultracold atom interferometry in space
In 2017, a team of researchers led by Leibniz University Hannover succeeded in generating Bose-Einstein condensates in space within the scope of the MAIUS-1 rocket mission. Bose-Einstein condensates describe a highly unusual state of matter close to absolute zero and can be illustrated with a single wave function. Through time-consuming analyses, the researchers studied different components of the
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Toward the development of drugs for aging-related diseases
In the search for ways to effectively combat age-related human disease, the enzyme sirtuin 6 (Sirt6) has recently become a focus of biochemical research. A targeted activation of Sirt6 could prevent or mitigate such diseases, for example some types of cancer. In a paper for the journal Nature Chemical Biology, biochemists from the University of Bayreuth have now shown how the small molecule MDL-80
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Toward the development of drugs for aging-related diseases
In the search for ways to effectively combat age-related human disease, the enzyme sirtuin 6 (Sirt6) has recently become a focus of biochemical research. A targeted activation of Sirt6 could prevent or mitigate such diseases, for example some types of cancer. In a paper for the journal Nature Chemical Biology, biochemists from the University of Bayreuth have now shown how the small molecule MDL-80
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Three elder sisters of the Sun with planets
An international team led by Prof. Dr. habil. Andrzej Niedzielski, an astronomer from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland), has discovered yet another three extrasolar planets. These planets revolve around the stars that can be called elder sisters of our Sun.
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Should the US start prioritizing first vaccine doses to beat the variants?
The vaccine rollout in the United States has been sluggish, hampered by manufacturing delays, logistical challenges , and freak snowstorms. Demand far outstrips supply. Meanwhile, the more transmissible variant circulating widely in the UK is gaining a foothold in the US. Modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests it will quickly become the dominant strain, bringing a sur
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Littlest shop of horrors: Hungry green algae prefer to eat bacteria alive
New research suggests that the ability of green algae to eat bacteria is likely much more widespread than previously thought, a finding that could be crucial to environmental and climate science. The work, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Columbia University, and the University of Arizona, found that five strains of single-celled green algae consume bacteria when they a
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Bahamas were settled earlier than believed, settlers dramatically changed landscape
Humans were present in Florida by 14,000 years ago, and until recently, it was believed the Bahamas—located only a few miles away—were not colonized until about 1,000 years ago. But new findings from a team including a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher prove that the area was colonized earlier, and the new settlers dramatically changed the landscape.
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Recovering from the SolarWinds hack could take 18 months
Fully recovering from the SolarWinds hack will take the US government from a year to as long as 18 months, according to the head of the agency that is leading Washington's recovery. The hacking campaign against American government agencies and major companies was first discovered in November 2020. At least nine federal agencies were targeted, including the Department of Homeland Security and the
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Designing spaces with marginalized people in mind makes them better for everyone
The pictograms on crosswalk signs haven't always been ubiquitous. (The Voorhes/) In the 1940s, hundreds of thousands of World War II veterans returned home with disabilities. Frustrated by the difficulties they faced, Jack Fisher of Kalamazoo, Michigan, petitioned his city commission to install an experimental curb cut —a gentle slope that brings the end of a sidewalk down to meet the level of th
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Common bacteria modified to make designer sugar-based drug
Envisioning an animal-free drug supply, scientists have—for the first time—reprogrammed a common bacterium to make a designer polysaccharide molecule used in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Published today in Nature Communications, the researchers modified E. coli to produce chondroitin sulfate, a drug best known as a dietary supplement to treat arthritis that is currently sourced from cow tra
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Lead up to volcanic eruption in Galapagos captured in rare detail
Hours before the 2018 eruption of Sierra Negra, the Galápagos Islands' largest volcano, an earthquake rumbled and raised the ground more than 6 feet in an instant. The event, which triggered the eruption, was captured in rare detail by an international team of scientists, who said it offers new insights into one of the world's most active volcanoes.
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Swapping alpha cells for beta cells to treat diabetes
Blocking cell receptors for glucagon, the counter-hormone to insulin, cured mouse models of diabetes by converting glucagon-producing cells into insulin producers instead, a team reports in a new study. The findings could offer a new way to treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in people.
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New Zealand urged 'don't let virus divide you' as Covid frustration builds
Jacinda Ardern said lockdown breaches would face 'judgment of nation' but director general of health calls for unity Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand's director general of health, has called on the nation to "not let the virus divide you" amidst frustration with rule-breakers linked to recent coronavirus cases, as well as with the govern
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COVID-19 lockdown highlights ozone chemistry in China
Recently, the ozone season in China has been getting longer, spreading from summer into early spring and late winter. The COVID-19 lockdown can help explain why. Researchers found that decreases in NOx emissions are driving increased ozone pollution in late winter in China.
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4-D bioengineering materials bend, curve like natural tissue
Tissue engineering has long-depended on geometrically static scaffolds seeded with cells in the lab to create new tissues and even organs. The scaffolding material—usually a biodegradable polymer structure—is supplied with cells and the cells, if supplied with the right nutrients, then develop into tissue as the underlying scaffold biodegrades. But this model ignores the extraordinarily dynamic mo
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Second order optical merons, or light pretending to be a ferromagnet
One of the key concepts in physics, and science overall, is the notion of a 'field' which can describe the spatial distribution of a physical quantity. For instance, a weather map shows the distributions of temperature and pressure (these are known as scalar fields), as well as the wind speed and direction (known as a vector field). Almost everyone wears a vector field on their head—every hair has
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Tundra vegetation shows similar patterns along microclimates from Arctic to sub-Antarctic
Researchers are in the search for generalisable rules and patterns in nature. Biogeographer Julia Kemppinen together with her colleagues tested if plant functional traits show similar patterns along microclimatic gradients across far-apart regions from the high-Arctic Svalbard to the sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Kemppinen and her colleagues found surprisingly identical patterns.
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Tundra vegetation shows similar patterns along microclimates from Arctic to sub-Antarctic
Researchers are in the search for generalisable rules and patterns in nature. Biogeographer Julia Kemppinen together with her colleagues tested if plant functional traits show similar patterns along microclimatic gradients across far-apart regions from the high-Arctic Svalbard to the sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Kemppinen and her colleagues found surprisingly identical patterns.
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Balanced T cell response key to avoiding COVID-19 symptoms, study suggests
By analyzing blood samples from individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, researchers in Singapore have begun to unpack the different responses by the body's T cells that determine whether or not an individual develops COVID-19. The study, published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine ( JEM ), suggests that clearing the virus without developing symptoms requires T cells to mount an efficient
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Big benefits from experimental watersheds
Scientific insights from the Agricultural Research Service's long-term study sites underpin dozens of models and research methods that guide global land management and conservation practices.
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Hot electrons send carbon dioxide back to the future
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of global warming, but this gas could also serve as a valuable resource. Researchers at KAUST have developed an efficient catalyst that uses light energy to convert CO2 and hydrogen into methane (CH4). This counteracts the release of CO2 when methane is burned as a fuel.
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Interesting pattern in cross-sections observed in F + HD → HF + D reaction
A team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Southern University of Science and Technology, has discovered a thought-provoking pattern in cross-sections observed in an F + HD → HF + D reaction. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their double-pronged approach to learning more about the role of
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The distance to the North Polar Spur
One of the largest structures in the Milky Way galaxy, the North Polar Spur, was discovered at radio and X-ray wavelengths. The Spur is a giant ridge of bright emission that rises roughly perpendicularly out of the plane of the galaxy starting roughly in the constellation of Sagittarius and then curves upward, stretching across the sky for over thirty degrees (the size of sixty full-moons) where i
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New data reveals British sea level records stretching back 200 years
A study published by University of Liverpool scientists, alongside colleagues from the Liverpool branch of the National Oceanography Centre, has uncovered and analyzed new sea level records from the nineteenth century which show that the increased rate of the rise of British sea level took place from 1890 onwards.
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ESA is working on a mission to explore caves on the moon
Infrastructure is going to be one of the biggest components of any permanent human settlement on the moon. NASA Artemis missions are focused directly on building up the facilities and processes necessary to support a moon base. ESA is also contributing both material and knowledge. Most recently, they made another step in their path to explore lava tubes and caves in the subterranean lunar world.
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Bitcoin's Achilles Heel
We are approaching 8 billion people on this planet, and so anything that a lot of people do is likely to have a significant impact. This includes things that we previously considered to be essentially resource free, or at least insignificant, including digital activity. This may be a bit of a generational thing – those of us who lived through the explosion of computer use, the adoption of the web
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Mim-tRNAseq: A method that accurately measures the abundance and modification status of different tRNAs
Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) deliver specific amino acids to ribosomes during translation of messenger RNA into proteins. The abundance of tRNAs can therefore have a profound impact on cell physiology, but measuring the amount of each tRNA in cells has been limited by technical challenges. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have now overcome these limitations with mim-tRNAseq, a meth
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Chemical signatures of iron predict red supergiant temperature
Red supergiants are a class of star that end their lives in supernova explosions. Their lifecycles are not fully understood, partly due to difficulties in measuring their temperatures. For the first time, astronomers have developed an accurate method to determine the surface temperatures of red supergiants.
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Origin of life: The chicken-and-egg problem
New research shows that slight alterations in transfer-RNA molecules (tRNAs) allow them to self-assemble into a functional unit that can replicate information exponentially. tRNAs are key elements in the evolution of early life-forms.
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High school students tend to get more motivated over time
Parents may fear that if their high school student isn't motivated to do well in classes, there's nothing that will change that. But a new study that followed more than 1,600 students over two years found that students' academic motivation often did change – and usually for the better. Results showed that increasing students' sense of 'belongingness' in school was one key way of increasing academi
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What problems do coronavirus variants pose?
The hunt is on for the Brazilian variant, and tracking mutations will be necessary for some time to come Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Of the many coronavirus variants identified so far, there is particular concern about P1, first identified in Brazil, with fears about the extent it can evade the immune system and possibly vaccines . The UK has recorded six cases s
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COVID-19 can kill heart muscle cells, interfere with contraction
A new study provides evidence that COVID-19 patients' heart damage is caused by the virus invading and replicating inside heart muscle cells, leading to cell death and interfering with heart muscle contraction. The researchers used stem cells to engineer heart tissue that models the human infection and could help in studying the disease and developing possible therapies.
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COVID-19 lockdown highlights ozone chemistry in China
In early 2020, daily life in Northern China slammed to a halt as the region entered a strict period of lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. Emissions from transportation and industry plummeted. Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from fossil fuels fell by 60 to 70 percent.
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Could our immune system be why COVID-19 is so deadly?
By analyzing over 5,000 scientific studies to find those containing immune response data from patients, researchers show that SARS-CoV-2 has a unique tendency of halting the rise of specific cytokines in certain patients, when compared to other similar viruses.
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US COVID-19 testing rates have plummeted
The first COVAX shipment from Serum Institute Pune in India. (WHO-SEARO/) Click here to see all of PopSci's COVID-19 coverage. Vaccine numbers continue to go up , and case numbers continue to go down , which has made for a rare few weeks of happy news. Here's all the latest coronavirus news. COVAX finally takes flight Months after vaccinations kicked off in some of the world's wealthiest countrie
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MUSE sheds more light on central kinematics of Messier 15
Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), astronomers have performed observations of an old globular cluster known as Messier 15. The observational campaign delivered essential information about stellar kinematics of the central region of this cluster. The results were published February 24 on arXiv.org.
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New Season of The Joy of x Podcast Explores Scientists' Inner Lives
I have a confession. As a producer working on the new season of the Joy of x podcast, sometimes I find myself editing episodes and thinking: Who let me in the room? It's almost as if I've wandered into some hotel bar, and the last open seat is next to two folks deep in conversation. I'm listening in as they talk with intensity, passion. But they aren't a romantic couple — they are sharing intimat
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Health risks to babies on the front line of climate change
Extreme rainfall associated with climate change is causing harm to babies in some of the most forgotten places on the planet setting in motion a chain of disadvantage down the generations, according to new research. Researchers found babies born to mothers exposed to extreme rainfall shocks, were smaller due to restricted fetal growth and premature birth.
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New study gives the most detailed look yet at the neuroscience of placebo effects
A large proportion of the benefit that a person gets from taking a real drug or receiving a treatment to alleviate pain is due to an individual's mindset, not to the drug itself. Understanding the neural mechanisms driving this placebo effect has been a longstanding question. A meta-analysis finds that placebo treatments to reduce pain, known as placebo analgesia, reduce pain-related activity in m
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Detection dogs help generate important data for research and conservation
It is often difficult to find out exactly where the individual species can be found and how their populations are developing. According to a new overview, specially trained detection dogs can be indispensable in such cases. With the help of these dogs, the species sought can usually be found faster and more effectively than with other methods.
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A new theory for how memories are stored in the brain
Research has led to the development of the MeshCODE theory, a revolutionary new theory for understanding brain and memory function. This discovery may be the beginning of a new understanding of brain function and in treating brain diseases such as Alzheimer's.
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How 'green' are environmentally friendly fireworks?
Fireworks are used in celebrations around the world, including Independence Day in the U.S., the Lantern Festival in China and the Diwali Festival in India. However, the popular pyrotechnic displays emit large amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere, sometimes causing severe air pollution. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have estimated that, although so-call
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Rocket Lab could be SpaceX's biggest rival
In the private space industry, it can seem that there's SpaceX and then there's everyone else. Only Blue Origin, backed by its own billionaire founder in the person of Jeff Bezos, seems able to command the same degree of attention. And Blue Origin hasn't even gone beyond suborbital space yet. Rocket Lab might soon have something to say about that duopoly. The company, founded in New Zealand and h
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Northern Ireland's five steps out of Covid lockdown: key points
Plan for moving from lockdown to relaxation of restrictions will be guided by data Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Northern Ireland's deputy first minister, Michelle O'Neill, has unveiled a cautious five-step plan to ease the region's Covid-19 lockdown. The plan has no hard dates and will be led by data, notably the reproductive rate of the virus, O'Neill told the St
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Big step toward small wires
Researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, Japan's National Institute for Materials Science and QUT's Centre for Materials Science have published the study, "Stable single atomic silver wires assembling into a circuitry-connectable nanoarray," in the journal Nature Communications.
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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine authorized: Here's what makes it unique
The FDA and CDC recently authorized the distribution of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. It will soon be the third vaccine available in the U.S., the other two being vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The new vaccine has a lower efficacy rate, but clinical data suggest its highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. A Food and Drug Administration committee is set
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Microsoft's new Mesh platform turns your remote coworkers into holograms
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many offices quickly and unexpectedly moved to the cloud. Now, these "offices" only really exist in the abstract, relying on a patchwork of real-time messaging services like Slack, e-mail, and a suddenly endless stream of video conferences. The quick switch didn't allow time for the idea of a truly digital office to take shape and deliver on the lofty promise
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Raf promotes dimerization of the Ras G-domain with increased allosteric connections [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Ras dimerization is critical for Raf activation. Here we show that the Ras binding domain of Raf (Raf-RBD) induces robust Ras dimerization at low surface densities on supported lipid bilayers and, to a lesser extent, in solution as observed by size exclusion chromatography and confirmed by SAXS. Community network analysis…
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Study explores link between forestry management and pesticides in aquatic species
Pesticides used in forestry may threaten species in downstream rivers and estuaries, but little is known about the extent to which this occurs. A new study by researchers at Portland State University found mussels, clams and oysters in watersheds along the Oregon Coast are exposed to pesticides used in managing forests. The results of this study, published in the journal Toxics, have implications
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Human arrival and landscape dynamics in the northern Bahamas [Sustainability Science]
The first Caribbean settlers were Amerindians from South America. Great Abaco and Grand Bahama, the final islands colonized in the northernmost Bahamas, were inhabited by the Lucayans when Europeans arrived. The timing of Lucayan arrival in the northern Bahamas has been uncertain because direct archaeological evidence is limited. We document…
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Covering metal catalyst surfaces with thin two-dimensional oxide materials can enhance chemical reactions
Physically confined spaces can make for more efficient chemical reactions, according to recent studies led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. They found that partially covering metal surfaces acting as catalysts, or materials that speed up reactions, with thin films of silica can impact the energies and rates of these reactions. The thin silica
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Heart disease is in the eye of the beholder
Researchers have identified a potential new marker that shows cardiovascular disease may be present in a patient using an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan — a non-invasive diagnostic tool commonly used in ophthalmology and optometry clinics to create images of the retina. The finding suggests it may be possible to detect heart disease during an eye examination.
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Aging stars provide a new cosmological yardstick
Despite a century of measurements, astronomers can't agree on the rate at which the universe is expanding. A technique that relies on measuring distances to a specific type of aging star in other galaxies—called the J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch, or JAGB method—might be able to help.
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Unique molecular characteristics and microglial origin of Kv1.3 channel-positive brain myeloid cells in Alzheimer's disease [Neuroscience]
Kv1.3 potassium channels, expressed by proinflammatory central nervous system mononuclear phagocytes (CNS-MPs), are promising therapeutic targets for modulating neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The molecular characteristics of Kv1.3-high CNS-MPs and their cellular origin from microglia or CNS-infiltrating monocytes are unclear. While Kv1.3 blockade reduces amyloid beta (Aβ) burden in
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While Jack Dorsey Mans the Monastery
The small but boisterous slice of Twitter that's preoccupied with politics imagines @jack, the author of our collective Twitter being, as all-powerful. He's not.
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In era of online learning, new testing method aims to reduce cheating
The era of widespread remote learning brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic requires online testing methods that effectively prevent cheating, especially in the form of collusion among students. With concerns about cheating on the rise across the country, a solution that also maintains student privacy is particularly valuable.
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Researchers report new approach to cultured meat
Humans are largely omnivores, and meat has featured in the diets of most cultures. However, with the increasing population and pressure on the environment, traditional methods of meeting this fundamental food requirement are likely to fall short. Now, researchers at the University of Tokyo report innovative biofabrication of bovine muscle tissue in the laboratory that may help meet escalating futu
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Researchers report new approach to cultured meat
Humans are largely omnivores, and meat has featured in the diets of most cultures. However, with the increasing population and pressure on the environment, traditional methods of meeting this fundamental food requirement are likely to fall short. Now, researchers at the University of Tokyo report innovative biofabrication of bovine muscle tissue in the laboratory that may help meet escalating futu
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New study gives the most detailed look yet at the neuroscience of placebo effects
A large proportion of the benefit that a person gets from taking a real drug or receiving a treatment to alleviate pain is due to an individual's mindset, not to the drug itself. Understanding the neural mechanisms driving this placebo effect has been a longstanding question. A meta-analysis published in Nature Communications finds that placebo treatments to reduce pain, known as placebo analgesia
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Velcro-like cellular proteins key to tissue strength
Where do bodily tissues get their strength? New research provides important new clues to this long-standing mystery, identifying how specialized proteins called cadherins join forces to make cells stick — and stay stuck — together. The findings could lead to more life-like artificial tissues and tumor busting drugs.
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Novel soft tactile sensor with skin-comparable characteristics for robots
A research team has developed a new soft tactile sensor with skin-comparable characteristics. A robotic gripper with the sensor mounted at the fingertip could accomplish challenging tasks such as stably grasping fragile objects and threading a needle. Their research provided new insight into tactile sensor design and could contribute to various applications in the robotics field, such as smart pro
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When does an idea die? Plato and string theory clash with data
How far should we defend an idea in the face of contrarian evidence? Who decides when it's time to abandon an idea and deem it wrong? Science carries within it its seeds from ancient Greece, including certain prejudices of how reality should or shouldn't be. From the perspective of the west, it all started in ancient Greece, around 600 BCE. This is during the Axial Age, a somewhat controversial t
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New wellness center lets guests cuddle with cows
An Indian non-profit hopes to help people relax by giving them cuddle sessions with cows. This is not the first such center where you can chill out with cattle. Like other emotional support animals, the proven health benefits are limited. Comfort and emotional support animals are increasingly popular all over the world. While most people turn to their dog or cat for comfort, some more outlandish
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How does plastic debris make its way into ocean garbage patches?
Tons of plastic debris get released into the ocean every day, and most of it accumulates within the middle of garbage patches, which tend to float on the oceans' surface in the center of each of their regions. The most infamous one, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is in the North Pacific Ocean.
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New technology allows scientists first glimpse of intricate details of Little Foot's life
In June 2019, an international team brought the complete skull of the 3.67-million-year-old Little Foot Australopithecus skeleton, from South Africa to the UK and achieved unprecedented imaging resolution of its bony structures and dentition in an X-ray synchrotron-based investigation at the UK's national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source. The X-ray work is highlighted in a new paper in e-Life, pu
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Early March Vaccine Thoughts
Some thoughts about the current vaccine trials and data, some of which are probably obvious, but which might be worth bringing together: First, as many have been mentioning, it's tempting but quite difficult to compare the vaccines (and vaccine candidates) head-to-head by looking at their phase III data. I would only feel safe doing this when large differences show up (like 60% efficacy versus >9
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Coastal flooding enhances methane buildup in forests
Forests are typically thought of as carbon sinks, absorbing more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they release. Trees and plants suck in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen back into the air. However, they also exchange methane with the atmosphere, primarily through microbes in tree trunks and in soil. Methane exchange in trees is more complicated than that of carbon d
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New long-term study affirms contact lens wear as healthy option for children
A newly-published work highlights the long-term ocular health of children wearing daily disposable soft contact lenses and reports minimal impact on physiology over six years. Its results affirm that such lenses are an option for children as young as eight years old. Across the entire study period, there were no contact lens-related serious adverse events, and the low incidence rate of corneal inf
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A new blindness gene uncovered in a canine study
A study has uncovered a mutation in the IFT122 gene in blind dogs. The gene defect now discovered results in the progressive destruction of photoreceptor cells and retinal dystrophy. IFT122 is a new candidate also for retinal dystrophy in humans. A gene test in support of breeding and diagnostics has been developed based on the finding.
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Deciphering the genetics behind eating disorders
By analysing the genome of tens of thousand people, a team has discovering similarities between the genetic bases of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, and those of psychiatric disorders. Eating disorders differ in their genetic association with anthropometric traits. Thus, genetic predisposition to certain weight traits may be a distinctive feature of anorexia nervosa, bu
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New generation of tiny, agile drones introduced
Researchers developed an insect-size drone with soft actuators — akin to muscles — that are agile and resilient to collisions. The advance could boost aerial robots' repertoire, allowing them to operate in cramped spaces and withstand collisions.
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Researchers publish roadmap to harness data science and artificial intelligence for electron microscopy
Since they came into use in 1938, electron microscopes have played a pivotal role in a host of scientific advances, including the discovery of new proteins and therapeutics and contributions made to the electronics revolution. But the field of electron microscopy must incorporate the latest advances in data science and artificial intelligence to realize its full potential in the years ahead, accor
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Nanoparticle-delivered COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in preclinical studies
Researchers have developed a promising new COVID-19 vaccine candidate that utilizes nanotechnology and has shown strong efficacy in preclinical disease models. According to a new study, the vaccine produced potent neutralizing antibodies among preclinical models and also prevented infection and disease symptoms in the face of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
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Lipid nanoparticle-mediated codelivery of Cas9 mRNA and single-guide RNA achieves liver-specific in vivo genome editing of Angptl3 [Chemistry]
Loss-of-function mutations in Angiopoietin-like 3 (Angptl3) are associated with lowered blood lipid levels, making Angptl3 an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of human lipoprotein metabolism disorders. In this study, we developed a lipid nanoparticle delivery platform carrying Cas9 messenger RNA (mRNA) and guide RNA for CRISPR-Cas9–based genome editing of…
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The Large Hadron Collider's official tally: 59 new hadrons and counting
How many new particles has the LHC discovered? The most widely known discovery is of course that of the Higgs boson. Less well known is the fact that, over the past 10 years, the LHC experiments have also found more than 50 new particles called hadrons. Coincidentally, the number 50 appears in the context of hadrons twice, as 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of hadron colliders: on 27 January 1971,
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Environmental impact of computation and the future of green computing
Every aspect of modern computing, from the smallest chip to the largest data center comes with a carbon price tag. The tech industry and the field of computation as a whole have focused on building smaller, faster, more powerful devices — but few have considered their overall environmental impact. Researchers are trying to change that by challenging the field to add carbon footprint to the list o
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Seeding ice clouds with wildfire emissions
For anyone who has ever witnessed a raging wildfire, ice is probably the last thing that comes to mind when recalling the experience. Yet nature works in mysterious ways, and researchers are beginning to reveal a link between wildfires and the frozen water droplets that make up clouds.
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Energy switching decisions could widen social inequalities
New energy tariffs designed for a low carbon future could leave people on bad deals even worse off. The tariffs could benefit all kinds of customers, but many people are unlikely to choose them. Those likely to adopt them first are younger, with higher incomes and higher education.
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Inhibition of neuroinflammatory nitric oxide signaling suppresses glycation and prevents neuronal dysfunction in mouse prion disease [Neuroscience]
Several neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease) exhibit oxidative and nitrergic stress following initiation of neuroinflammatory pathways. Associated nitric oxide (NO)-mediated posttranslational modifications impact upon protein functions that can exacerbate pathology. Nonenzymatic and irreversible glycation signaling has been implicated
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Indoor air quality study shows aircraft in flight may have lowest particulate levels
If you're looking for an indoor space with a low level of particulate air pollution, a commercial airliner flying at cruising altitude may be your best option. A newly reported study of air quality in indoor spaces such as stores, restaurants, offices, public transportation — and commercial jets — shows aircraft cabins with the lowest levels of tiny aerosol particles.
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Ultrasonic cleaning of salad could reduce instances of food poisoning
A new study has shown that gentle streams of water carrying sound and microscopic air bubbles can clean bacteria from salad leaves more effectively than current washing methods used by suppliers and consumers. As well as reducing food poisoning, the findings could reduce food waste and have implications for the growing threat of anti-microbial resistance.
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Nanoparticle-delivered COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in preclinical studies
Researchers have developed a promising new COVID-19 vaccine candidate that utilizes nanotechnology and has shown strong efficacy in preclinical disease models. According to a new study, the vaccine produced potent neutralizing antibodies among preclinical models and also prevented infection and disease symptoms in the face of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
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New research highlights impact of the digital divide
The coronavirus pandemic has drawn new attention to the digital divide, as the need for online schooling and working from home has disproportionately hurt those without computer equipment and skills. New research finds that people with basic Information Technology (IT) skills are more likely to be employed, even in jobs that aren't explicitly tied to those skills.
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Even just a bit of advertising changes the game in word-of-mouth marketing
A professor of sociology uses computer simulations of networks to reveal how the presence of even just a bit of advertising or other mass communication — 'top-down' information that comes from outside a given network — effectively equalizes the influence of everyone across that network. When advertising exists… 'it's not that word-of-mouth doesn't matter — it's that nobody is particularly imp
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Acute breakdown of the glial network in epilepsy
Scientists have revealed that a first-time exposure to only a brief period of brain hyperactivity resulted in an acute breakdown of the inter-cellular network of glial cells. Pharmacological intervention of the glial plasticity may provide a new preventative strategy for fighting epilepsy.
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Researchers discover SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors
A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as the
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Behavior of wild capuchin monkeys can be identified by marks left on their tools
A group of researchers including Tiago Falótico, a Brazilian primatologist at the University of São Paulo's School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities (EACH-USP), archeologists at Spain's Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) and University College London in the UK, and an anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, have publishe
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Mountain 'tsunamis' have been taking place for 10,000 years in Chilean Patagonia
Catastrophic floods due to the emptying or rupture of glacial lakes in Chilean Patagonia have taken place cyclically since the last glacial maximum 10,000 years ago. Nevertheless, the magnitude of these mountain 'tsunamis' has declined over time, according to a paper published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews in which scientists from the Centro Nacional de Investigación de La Evolución Hu
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Vaccine shows signs of protection against dozen-plus flu strains
A vaccine candidate has demonstrated promising signs of protection against more than a dozen swine flu strains — and more than a leading, commercially available vaccine. Its success in experiments involving swine suggests that its design could also fast-track efforts to develop a vaccine that protects people against many common strains of influenza.
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Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds
The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work while regenerating, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus on multiplication, a new study in mice found. Furthermore, the cells of the liver communicate with each other to coordinate regeneration activity, which progresses from t
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A mechanism by which cells build 'mini-muscles' underneath their nucleus identified
Research has uncovered how motor protein myosin, which is responsible for contraction of skeletal muscles, functions also in non-muscle cells to build contractile structures at the inner face of the cell membrane. This is the first time when such 'mini-muscles', also known as stress fibers, have been seen to emerge spontaneously through myosin-driven reorganization of the pre-existing actin filame
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Uncovering patterns in California's blazing wildfires
California's 2020 wildfire season was unprecedented, the latest tragedy in a decades-long trend of increasing fire. Six of the 20 largest fires in state history burned during the calendar year. In August, a 14,000-strike "lightning siege" sparked 900 fires, and by the end of the year, roughly 17,200 square kilometers had burned across the state.
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Nanoshape imprint lithography using molecular dynamics of polymer crosslinking
Nanoscale applications in energy, optics and medicine have enhanced performance with nano-shaped structures. Such architectures can be fabricated at high-throughput beyond the capabilities of advanced optical lithography. In a new report on Microsystems & Nanoengineering, Anushman Cherala and a research team at the University of Texas at Austin Texas, U.S., expanded on nanoimprint lithography and
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Velcro-like cellular proteins key to tissue strength
Where do bodily tissues get their strength? New University of Colorado Boulder research provides important new clues to this long-standing mystery, identifying how specialized proteins called cadherins join forces to make cells stick—and stay stuck—together.
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How philosophy blends physics with the idea of free will
People feel like they have free will but often have trouble understanding how they can have it in a deterministic universe. Several models of free will exist which try to incorporate physics into our understanding of our experience. Even if physics could rule out free will, there would still be philosophical questions. Most people with a scientific worldview agree with the idea of causal determin
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New light shed on the early evolution of limb bone marrow
When and how bone marrow first originated in the limbs of early four-legged animals is disputed in evolutionary biology. With the help of powerful X-ray technology, an international research team, led by Uppsala University, has now discovered that this evolutionary adaptation most likely took place after the first tetrapods stepped ashore.
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Space hurricane observed for the first time
Hurricanes are known to occur in the lower atmosphere of Earth and even other planets, but had never before been detected in the upper atmosphere. An international team of scientists made the unprecedented discovery during retrospective analysis of satellite observations. The hurricane occurred during surprisingly low geomagnetic activity, and suggests they could occur in the upper atmosphere of o
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Researchers create new roadmap for calculating the social costs of carbon
The Biden administration is revising the social cost of carbon (SCC), a decade-old cost-benefit metric used to inform climate policy by placing a monetary value on the impact of climate change. In a newly published analysis in the journal Nature, a team of researchers lists a series of measures the administration should consider in recalculating the SCC.
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Researchers discover SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors
A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as the
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​These light-emitting "smart" tattoos could act as medical monitors
Researchers at UCL and IIT have created a temporary tattoo that contains the same OLED technology that is used in TVs and smartphones. This technology has already been successfully applied to various materials including glass, food items, plastic, and paper packaging. This advance in technology isn't just about aesthetics. "In healthcare, they could emit light when there is a change in a patient'
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New book reveals Charles Darwin's cultural impact in unprecedented detail
The largest number of species named after a single person is often attributed to the German polymath and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. The impressive list contains about 400 species and includes everything from penguins to perennials. But in a new book, historian of science Dr. John van Wyhe from the National University of Singapore shows that Charles Darwin, not Humboldt, is the world record
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Researchers watch anti-cancer drug release from DNA nanostructures in real time
DNA nanotechnology—the research field using DNA molecules as building material—has developed rapidly during recent years and enabled the construction of increasingly complex nanostructures. DNA nanostructures, such as DNA origami, serve as an excellent foundation for nanocarrier-based drug delivery applications, and examples of their use in medical treatments have already been demonstrated. Althou
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Homeroom: I Can't Keep Prodding My Son to Do His Work
Editor's Note: Every Tuesday, Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer take questions from readers about their kids' education. Have one? Email them at homeroom@theatlantic.com. Dear Abby and Brian, My son, whom I'll refer to as "Sean," is heading off to college next fall (if, God willing, colleges are open), and I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't think he knows how to organize his work or complete as
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Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell
Researchers have uncovered a process cells use to fight off infection and cancer that could pave the way for precision cancer immunotherapy treatment. Through gaining a better understanding of how this process works, researchers hope to be able to determine a way of tailoring immunotherapy to better fight cancer. This research lays the foundation for future studies into the body's response to envi
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Fluorescent nanodiamonds successfully injected into living cells
As odd as it sounds, many scientists have attempted to place extremely small diamonds inside living cells. Why? Because nanodiamonds are consistently bright and can give us unique knowledge about the inner life of cells over a long time. Now physics researchers at Lund University in Sweden have succeeded in injecting a large number of nanodiamonds directly to the cell interior.
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Dethroning electrocatalysts for hydrogen production with inexpensive alternative material
Today, we can say without a shadow of doubt that an alternative to fossil fuels is needed. Fossil fuels are not only non-renewable sources of energy but also among the leading causes of global warming and air pollution. Thus, many scientists worldwide have their hopes placed on what they regard as the fuel of tomorrow: hydrogen (H2). Although H2 is a clean fuel with incredibly high energy density,
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GPUs Used For Crypto Mining Might Lose Game Performance, Long-Term
If true, NV's entire Turing family will be impacted. One question that's come up from time to time in gaming is whether older GPUs get slower over time. ExtremeTech has examined this question before with respect to software updates, meaning we checked whether older GPUs lost performance as a result of later driver updates that were not as well optimized for older GPU architectures. While our driv
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Researchers probe the 'full' thermoelectric properties of a single molecule
One of the dreams of physicists today is being able to harvest electricity back from dissipated heat. The key to this probably resides in circuits that contain single molecules. Instead of being limited to classical conductance, the thermopower can be enhanced dramatically by the properties of quantum states. But then, what quantum states offer good efficiency? What characteristics are desirable?
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The pandemic has ruined my memory. Can my search history help? | Emma Beddington
I can't rely on the grey sponge in my head any more. But my digital footprint shows how I have been idling away my time Our memories are shot: I know this, having read, and instantly forgotten, the science. It is the combination of isolation, anxiety and nothing happening, I think, undermining our episodic memory . Repeating myself, forgetting shopping and rereading a simple recipe 10 times, I fe
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Hoinga: Debris of stellar explosion found in unexpected location
In the first all-sky survey by the eROSITA X-ray telescope onboard SRG, astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have identified a previously unknown supernova remnant, dubbed "Hoinga." The finding was confirmed in archival radio data and marks the first discovery of a joint Australian-eROSITA partnership established to explore our Galaxy using multiple wavelengths, fro
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Backyard chickens risk pathogen spread
Keeping backyard chickens was already on the rise, and the hobby has become even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, a University of Georgia researcher cautions that the practice has risks not just for chickens, but for wildlife and people as well.
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