Scientists have an obligation to strive for honesty. And on the question of whether kids should wear masks in schools—particularly preschools and elementary schools—here is what I conclude: The potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools. To justify co
Health body says Mu, or B.1.621, first identified in Colombia, has been designated as a variant of interest Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The World Health Organization has added another version of coronavirus to its list of "variants of interest" amid concerns that it may partially evade the immunity people have developed from past infection or vaccination. The Mu
Gerald Ford supported abortion rights. George H. W. Bush supported abortion rights for the first two decades of his political career. As governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed one of the most permissive abortion laws in the nation. Over the four decades since 1980, however, the Republican Party has coalesced around a more radical brand of abortion politics. This week, the Republican-appoint
The Accident A team of scientists found a bizarre new celestial body out in our galaxy's interstellar space that has them so baffled that they've nicknamed it "The Accident." The Accident is reminiscent of a brown dwarf, which is a class of space object that weighs in between the largest planets and the tiniest stars but isn't quite massive enough to trigger the fusion reactions that give the sta
Before oxygen became plentiful on Earth, it apparently made a brief, and somewhat mysterious, appearance. Evidence of the oxygen burst was found in shale from Western Australia. Volcanic eruptions may have introduced phosphorus that fed and promoted life in the form of ancient microbes. Oxygen arrived in large quantities and for good on Earth about 2.4 billion years ago in what is called the Grea
Ever wonder how tiny creatures can so easily slice, puncture, or sting? New research reveals that ants, worms, spiders, and other tiny creatures have a built-in set of tools that would be the envy of any carpenter or surgeon.
The conservative majority on the Supreme Court was so eager to nullify Roe v. Wade , the 1973 precedent securing the right to abortion, that it didn't even wait for oral arguments. Instead, in the middle of the night, five of the high court's conservatives issued a brief, unsigned order allowing a Texas law that bans abortion at six weeks . The law also gives private citizens the authority to sue
In the face of grave concerns about misinformation, social media networks and news organizations often employ fact-checkers to sort the real from the false. But fact-checkers can only assess a small portion of the stories floating around online.
University of Central Florida researchers have developed a nanoparticle-based disinfectant that can continuously kill viruses on a surface for up to seven days—a discovery that could be a powerful weapon against COVID-19 and other emerging pathogenic viruses.
A hair-like protein hidden inside bacteria serves as a sort of on-off switch for nature's "electric grid," a global web of bacteria-generated nanowires that permeates all oxygen-less soil and deep ocean beds, Yale researchers report in the journal Nature. "The ground beneath our feet, the entire globe, is electrically wired," said Nikhil Malvankar, assistant professor of molecular biophysics and b
Medieval manuscript fragments discovered in Bristol that tell part of the story of Merlin the magician, one of the most famous characters from Arthurian legend, have been identified by academics from the Universities of Bristol and Durham as some of the earliest surviving examples of that section of the narrative.
Astronomers have found dramatic evidence that a black hole or neutron star spiraled its way into the core of a companion star and caused that companion to explode as a supernova. The astronomers were tipped off by data from the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), a multi-year project using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).
Moderna submitted data from 344 volunteers who got a third shot of the vaccine six months after their first two doses. The additional shot significantly boosted immunity, the company said. (Image credit: Juana Miyer/Long Visual Press/Universal Imag)
Months of cajoling and pressure haven't worked. Neither has bringing home the COVID-19 vaccine and offering to administer it myself. I got my own vaccine as soon as I could—as did my husband and sons—with little to no side effects. Yet my mother, a 93-year-old Black woman, still won't get vaccinated. Her excuses vary. One day she'll insist, "I don't know what's in it," even though I've explained
The CDC's COVID-19 data set is supposed to help track the pandemic, but a new NPR analysis has found the majority of fields are blank and millions of cases across the country are missing altogether. (Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)
W hile watching the scientific community grapple with long COVID, I have thought a lot about a scene in The Lord of the Rings . Faced with impending doom, the hobbits Merry and Pippin ask the powerful treelike ents for help. But despite the urgency of the situation, the ents are slow. They meet for hours, and after a lot of deliberation, they announce that they've agreed that the hobbits are not
Last night, the Supreme Court faced an unprecedented emergency application. Unless the Court acted, abortion would be functionally illegal in Texas . In May, the state had adopted a version of a "heartbeat bill" that went into effect today. So-called heartbeat bills prohibit abortions once a physician can detect fetal cardiac activity, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy, before most peopl
In a bid to keep the coronavirus out of the country, Australia's federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows that the burden is too heavy. "This is not a sustainable way to live in this country," he recently declared . One prominent civil libertarian summed up the rules by lamenting , "We've never seen anything like this in our
Gabriela Pesqueira W hen the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, people throughout the developed world raced to buy toilet paper, bottled water, yeast for baking bread, and other basic necessities. Americans also stocked up on guns. They bought more than 23 million firearms in 2020, up 65 percent from 2019 . First-time gun purchases were notably high. The surge has not abated in 2021. In Janua
Researchers also find no difference in mental health scores between children who test positive or negative Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Up to one in seven children who test positive for coronavirus could still have symptoms linked to the disease three months later, according to a study that suggests the prevalence of long Covid in young people is lower than initia
Health officials say shots are not boosters but part of vaccination schedule for half a million patients Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Half a million people with severely weakened immune systems are to be offered third Covid vaccine shots in a move that will increase debate over the rollout of booster jabs for the wider population. The NHS will provide third doses
An experiment involving dog treats suggests our canine pals may understand the difference when a human withholds a treat by accident and when they do so on purpose. But don't press your luck. (Image credit: Os Tartarouchos/Getty Images)
Underground trains are incredibly susceptible to flooding from climate-driven extreme rain and sea level rise. Cities around the world are racing to adapt their transit systems. (Image credit: STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Health groups say move would leave many patients in England unable to afford medication, intensifying existing health inequalities Scrapping free prescription charges for people over 60 and raising the qualifying age to 66 could have a devastating impact on the health of tens of thousands of older people, new analysis by Age UK suggests. In a joint open letter urging the government to reconsider
Piece by Piece An astute Twitter user spotted an odd piece of machinery heading down the German Autobahn highway this week. The machinery, which looked like a pair of giant tank treads emblazoned with the SpaceX logo, seemed to be heading from Austria to a port in either Hamburg, Germany or Rotterdamn in The Netherlands, they tweeted . After much speculation about spacecraft transportation vehicl
Testing eVTOL NASA is officially starting to flight test an all-electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft built by California-based Joby Aviation, with the hopes of establishing an entirely new form of city-to-city transportation. The space agency is using the aircraft to collect performance and acoustic data to help develop future airspace concepts as part of its Advanced Air Mobil
As the pandemic stretches on, a new era of COVID-19 litigation has begun. At first, America's pandemic litigation followed a familiar script: Religious worshippers, business owners, and anti-government populists protested against public-health orders, and asked courts to either declare them exempt or scrap the orders altogether. This time, state governments are blocking public-health measures, an
Canines seem to understand whether actions are deliberate or accidental, 'theory of mind' study suggests From a canny look to a quizzical grumble, dogs have long conveyed the impression they know more about what their owners are up to than what might be expected. Now researchers have found fresh evidence of canine savviness, revealing dogs seem to be able to tell whether human actions are deliber
Adam Maida A record of the plague dead: Stacy Forbess, 55, an Alabama twirling coach ; Haley Mulkey Richardson, 32, a pregnant Alabama nurse ; Cindy Dawkins, 50, a Florida restaurant worker ; Martin and Trina Daniel, 53 and 49, a Georgia couple married for some 20 years ; Lawrence and Lydia Rodriguez, 49 and 42, a Texas couple married for 21 . All unvaccinated, and all whose deaths were covered b
Sometimes, the Supreme Court does the most when it does nothing. Last night, the justices denied an emergency petition by abortion providers in Texas seeking to block S.B. 8, a law banning pregnancy terminations after roughly six weeks' gestation. A 5–4 majority of the justices argued that they had no power to stop the law from going into effect, since none of the citizens who are now empowered u
Using the COVID vaccine "off-label" — whether that's for booster shots or young children — may be tempting to some vaccine providers, but the CDC warns it could get them into trouble. (Image credit: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images)
Failure Analysis Days after Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station found new cracks in the Zarya module, a prominent Russian official is warning that the damage is poised to get even worse — and that it may be impossible to restore the module to its former glory. Vladimir Solovyov, the chief engineer of the Russian space company Energia that developed Russia's portion of the ISS, r
Over the past three weeks, the Caldor Fire has burned more than 200,000 acres in western California, and continues to push eastward, toward the resort city of South Lake Tahoe and the Nevada state line. Evacuation orders have been issued for South Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area, where tens of thousands of structures are threatened. More than 4,000 firefighters are working on the blaze, amid
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is getting real tired of litigation by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin. Most recently, Blue Origin took NASA to court over its decision to award its Human Landing Systems (HLS) contract to SpaceX , leaving Blue Origin in the dust. Today, Ars Technica reported that Blue Origin has the hired advisory firm behind the highly controversial JEDI contract , a $10 billion military cloud comp
Chloe Mrozak, a 24-year-old woman from Illinois, was busted for faking the vaccination card she used to enter the state of Hawaii in late August. The reason why is almost as stupid as faking your own vaccination card: she misspelled Moderna as "Maderna," Insider reports . Mrozak was arrested on Saturday, according to Hawaii News Now , upon returning to the Daniel K. Inouye international Airport f
Imagine the human genome as a string stretching out for the length of a football field, with all the genes that encode proteins clustered at the end near your feet. Take two big steps forward; all the protein information is now behind you. The human genome has three billion base pairs in its DNA, but only about 2% of them encode proteins. The rest seems like pointless bloat… Source
Swiss scientists develop prototype 'nanogenerator' that produces renewable energy when trodden on Scientists have developed technology that can turn footsteps into electricity. By tapping into an unexpected energy source, wooden flooring, researchers from Switzerland have developed an energy-harvesting device that uses wood with a combination of a silicone coating and embedded nanocrystals to pro
Bones found in 2014 in what is now South Dakota described as 'miracle of nature and work of art' In its time, approximately 66m years ago, the triceratops, with its massive collared skull and three attacking horns, was one of the most dangerous and daunting of dinosaurs. Now the remains of one of the giants of the Cretaceous period, a herbivore despite its fearsome appearance, have gone on displa
From sending a quick check-in message to getting vaccinated for their benefit, there are many ways to make your high-risk friends feel loved, even if they are still having to isolate Now that almost all pandemic restrictions have been lifted in the UK, many of us are enjoying getting our social lives back. But if you are clinically vulnerable, you might still be living with self-imposed rules, su
Our mushy brains seem a far cry from the solid silicon chips in computer processors, but scientists have a long history of comparing the two. As Alan Turing put it in 1952: "We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge." In other words, the medium doesn't matter, only the computational ability. Today, the most powerful artificial intelligence systems emplo
Bob Cut Elon A team of researchers from Israel have devised a way of making photorealistic changes to photos using AI-based generative adversarial networks — simply by asking the user to input a description of what they want. The result: a picture of a cat gets turned into a "cute cat" with enlarged eyes simply by typing in the words "cute cat," as seen in their preprint . But the researchers did
Bait and Switch A self-proclaimed cryptocurrency-guru-turned-reality-TV-star named Garrett Morosky successfully conned his way into success on the new HBO Max show "FBoy Island." Morosky, who says he's an accredited investor and president of a medical sales company called " G LLC " on his LinkedIn , was one of the 12 "FBoy" contestants on the show who were out to blend in with another 12 "nice gu
What would a modern Cinderella look like? The classic fairy tale has been told so many times on film, always following the same basic arc: A charming girl, who is forced into servitude by her mean stepmother and wishes to go to a ball, ultimately gets what she wants with the help of three mice and a magic fairy. Cinderella is the world's most famous underdog, but she's also more of a plot vehicle
Even though neutrons love to partner with protons to make the nucleus of an atom, the particles have always been notorious for their reluctance to bind with each other. But according to a new proposed theory, these particles might communicate under certain circumstances, forming a new sort of 'unparticle'—which could offer evidence of a new kind of symmetry in physics.
Hitting Home For many people in America, climate change has long been considered an abstract threat happening to polar bears and people elsewhere in the world. But that's not the case. Climate change is a threat everywhere , as illustrated yet again by the horrific weather event on Wednesday night. Just look at the devastation of Hurricane Ida, which devastated New Orleans last weekend just to he
Archaeologists have discovered a 1,500-year-old church in Israel dedicated to an unknown martyr that had animal mosaics that had been erased. The sizable church has Greek inscriptions that say that it was dedicated to a "glorious martyr" but doesn't say who this martyr was.
" How to Build a Life " is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. E very year, Gallup asks a sample of American adults what might seem to be a rather loaded question: How much do you like your job? The results may surprise you. The portion who say they are "completely satisfied" at work has risen dramatically over the past two decades, from 41 percent in 20
Ultrafast laser spectroscopy allows to observe the motion of atoms at their natural time scales in the range of femtoseconds, the millionth of a billionth of a second. Electron microscopy, on the other hand, provides atomic spatial resolution. By combining electrons and photons in one instrument, the group of Professor Peter Baum at the University of Konstanz has developed some of the fastest elec
A research team from the University of Bern has managed to precisely date pile dwellings on the banks of Lake Ohrid in the south-western Balkans for the first time: they came into being in the middle of the 5th millennium BC. The region around the oldest lake in Europe played a key role in the proliferation of agriculture.
Doctors say inclisiran will prevent tens of thousands of deaths from heart attack and stroke Patients in England are to start receiving a "gamechanger" drug that doctors say will protect tens of thousands of lives by cutting the number of people who have a heart attack or stroke. The treatment, inclisiran, works by boosting the liver's ability to reduce the body's level of "bad" cholesterol, even
This story contains spoilers for Season 1 of Netflix's The Chair . The sheer number of column inches devoted to Netflix's The Chair in the almost two weeks since its debut is impressive. This is no doubt in part because a central premise of the show is correct: Academics are a rather self-absorbed bunch, and even a series that gently mocks us perversely feeds our egos. As Saint Oscar Wilde put it
When we find it difficult to say 'no' at work or at home, our responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming. For good mental health, focusing on our own needs and capabilities is crucial No. A tiny, yet mighty word. To hear it can make us feel childlike; sheepish or in trouble. How does it make you feel to say "no"? Strong? Nervous? Guilty? Do you say it often enough? In July, when the gymnast
Copy Cat Where have we seen this one before? China's National Space Science Center (CNNSC) has shown off a prototype for a "Mars cruise drone" that looks extremely familiar. The image shared by the science center shows a small rotorcraft with two large blades sitting on a table — seemingly heavily inspired by NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter, as SpaceNews reporter Andrew Jones pointed out on Twit
In the early solar system, terrestrial planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are thought to have formed from planetesimals, small early planets. These early planets grew over time, through collisions and mergers, to make them the size they are today.
The familiar star at the center of our solar system has had billions of years to mature and ultimately provide life-giving energy to us here on Earth. But a very long time ago, our sun was just a growing baby star. What did the sun look like when it was so young? That's long been a mystery that, if solved, could teach us about the formation of our solar system—so-named because sol is the Latin wor
Our senses and experiences are a good guide toward an intuitive understanding of how objects behave in the world. But this same guide led us horribly astray when it comes to understanding light. Light behaves like both a wave and a particle, a fact that our brains cannot really grasp. We all carry around a little physics laboratory in our heads. As we move around the world — climbing up stairs, l
By analyzing the data from NASA's Fermi spacecraft and Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) telescope, an international team of astronomers has investigated a millisecond pulsar known as PSR J0218+4232. Results of the study, published August 25 on arXiv.org, shed more light on the emission from this source.
September's here, and the leaves are starting to change color. Dependent on latitude and altitude, the process is fairly predictable. These maps show the progress of fall foliage from now until November. Beautiful fall foliage in Synevyr National Park, Transcarpathia (Ukraine). Credit : Rbrechko via CC BY-SA 4.0 In the northern hemisphere, the longest day is more than two months gone. Since the s
Picture a skunk. You're probably thinking of a stocky animal, around the size of a housecat, black with white stripes, like Pepé Le Pew. That describes North America's most common skunk, the striped skunk, but they also have smaller, spotted cousins. Scientists still have a lot to learn about spotted skunks, starting with how many kinds of them even exist—over the years, the number of recognized s
As a Black scientist in a traditionally white field, the Brown University professor has often been ostracized. But to move forward, he says, science must embrace diversity As a Black physicist, Dr Stephon Alexander has been doubted, spoken over and met with intentional silence. The tenured Brown University professor has even faced this treatment from his students. This is par for the course for m
Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson traveled high into the upper atmosphere in July on board his space company's Unity rocket plane, an event celebrated as the first time a billionaire CEO did so — despite falling far short from reaching the internationally agreed upon edge of space. While the views were stunning, it turns out that the flight experienced a serious hiccup, which conveniently is on
A study from Cambridge proposes a new type of exoplanet that may support life. These oceanic planets, called Hycean worlds, are covered by thick hydrogen-rich atmospheres. Hycean worlds are relatively common, sparking hope in the detection of extraterrestrial life. When planetary scientists started looking for places outside our solar system that could possibly support life, they kept an eye out
Researchers say the high salt content of whey—the watery part of milk left behind after cheesemaking—helps make it one of the most polluting byproducts in the food processing industry. In a new study, chemists demonstrate the first electrochemical redox desalination process used in the food industry, removing and recycling up to 99% of excess salt from whey while simultaneously refining more than
Boris Johnson's passport plan sets the vaxxers against the anti-vaxxers without necessarily making anything safer Vaccinations are the high point of human reason. Devised under clinical conditions by scientists interested only in what works, they represent the mastery of the rational world over chaotic nature; and also, of course, they save lives. Vaccine passports, then, should in theory be no m
South of UK was duller and wetter than usual, while extreme weather hit hard across the world Glasgow, the host city of the crucial Cop26 UN climate summit in November, has experienced its hottest summer on record, the Met Office has said. Continue reading…
Data Dump The federal government's investigation into crashes seemingly caused by Tesla's semi-autonomous "Autopilot" driving assistance software is ramping up. On Tuesday morning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent Tesla an 11-page letter demanding data on exactly how the Autopilot system detects and perceives emergency vehicles and other hallmarks of a crash scene,
Decades of research have been dedicated to understanding humpback whale songs. Why do they sing? What and where is the intended audience of these songs? To help uncover the answers, many scientists have framed whale songs as something similar to bird songs: vocalizations designed for attracting potential mates, or warnings to competitors.
The crew of the upcoming Inspiration4 mission, the first all-civilian human spaceflight, have agreed to collect and test drops of their blood during their journey around the Earth — for the sake of science. The crew of four are set to lift off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on September 15. They won't be docking with the Crew Dragon's typical destination of the International Space Station
Over the past few years, scientists have demonstrated how cage-like, porous structures made of silicon and oxygen and measuring only billionths of a meter in size can trap noble gasses like argon, krypton, and xenon. However, for these silica nanocages to be practically useful—for example, to improve the efficiency of nuclear energy production—they need to be scaled up from their lab versions. The
In recent weeks, the climate movement has become caught in the middle of a fight that seemingly has nothing to do with the environment: Should President Joe Biden renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve? The choice of who should run the country's central bank has historically not captivated climate advocates—or many Americans, for that matter—yet it has carved the left into two oppos
An international team of researchers led by a group at Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center (MUVPC), has released their long-awaited analysis of a fossil unearthed in Egypt 13 years ago. As they note in their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the fossil represents a new species of ancient four-legged whale.
Over their long shared history, dogs have developed a range of skills for bonding with human beings. Their ability to make sense of human actions, demonstrated by every "sit," "lay down," and "roll over," is just one such skill. But whether dogs understand human intentions, or merely respond to outcomes, remains unclear. The ability to recognize another's intentions—or at least conceive of them—is
University College hospital allows access to its new facility and staff to show how the health service is trying to tackle backlogs Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage "Perfect," says Seana Ruddick. Her single word tells the surgeon Sam Oussedik that the robot-assisted knee replacement he is performing is going well. He is removing the joint using a combination of old-sc
(Photo: University of Washington) Try as we might, the most advanced synthetic materials pale in comparison to super-strong biological compounds like spider silk and muscle fibers. On that second count, researchers may be closer to growing usable amounts of muscle fiber that can be used in place of fabrics like cotton, silk, and even Kevlar. This could lead to clothing made from real muscle. That
Humanity was hoping to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic this year. But viruses have plenty of tools at their disposal, and we should plan for a long-term future in which SARS-CoV-2 is a persistent threat.
Odds are, if you've seen a cat prowling around your neighborhood, it doesn't have an owner. Australia is home to hordes of unowned cats, with an estimated 700,000 living without appropriate care in urban areas, around rubbish dumps or on farms.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Sixth Assessment Report in early August, and the outlook isn't good. The report has added renewed urgency to humanity's effort to curb climate change. The price of solar energy dropped 89 percent in 10 years, and new wind farms are being built both on land and offshore (with ever-bigger turbines capable of generating ever more energy). Bu
Nature, Published online: 01 September 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03863-y Dated palaeolake sequences show that there were at least five Pleistocene hominin expansions into the Arabian interior, coinciding with windows of reduced aridity between 400 and 55 thousand years ago.
Exclusive: head of key research into third dose says it may be better to prioritise vulnerable first Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage There is "almost certainly no urgency" to press ahead with booster shots for healthy adults and it may be better to see how the pandemic pans out before a decision is made, the scientist leading key research into third shots has said. P
In a new review article in Nature Photonics, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory assess the status of research into colloidal quantum dot lasers with a focus on prospective electrically pumped devices, or laser diodes. The review analyzes the challenges for realizing lasing with electrical excitation, discusses approaches to overcome them, and surveys recent advances toward this objecti
One of the most important tasks in modern information technologies is controlling spin directions in magnets. State-of-the-art hard disk drives and large-volume magnetic storage used in data centers require magnetization in solids to switch their directions in nanoseconds, corresponding to GHz frequency, or even faster speeds. An ever-increasing demand for writing speed has pushed researchers towa
As the United States rushed to evacuate people from an Afghanistan that is once again controlled by the Taliban, China has crowed over America's failure in nearly every conceivable way. A former high-ranking member of the People's Liberation Army has written a jubilant op-ed . State media have published scathing editorials . Chinese officials have circulated jingoistic tweets and nationalist cart
Models of how the Earth could look in 250m years, with huge land masses and longer days, can help exoplanet hunters It's unlikely humans will be around to see it, but in about 250m years Earth's land masses will have moved together to form the next supercontinent. By this time the sun will be a little brighter and the Earth's rotation will have slowed down, making a day about 30 minutes longer th
As newly reported by the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Graduate School of Science at Osaka City University have developed a quantum algorithm that can understand the electronic states of atomic or molecular systems by directly calculating the energy difference in their relevant states. Implemented as a Bayesian phase different estimation, the algorithm breaks fr
Quantum computers are advancing at a rapid pace and are already starting to push the limits of the world's largest supercomputers. Yet, these devices are extremely sensitive to external influences and thus prone to errors which can change the result of the computation. This is particularly challenging for quantum computations that are beyond the reach of our trusted classical computers, where we c
From playing word games to using a memory palace, there are many ways to train your brain as we start to socialise in greater numbers Say what you will about the rule of six : at least it was easy to keep up with everyone. Now that most restrictions in the UK have been lifted, we might not only be catching up with acquaintances we have not seen for well over a year, but meeting new people – and o
New centre in Berlin aims to make it easier for governments to compare notes on emerging infectious diseases Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A World Health Organization "pandemic intelligence hub" launched by the UN agency's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Germany's Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday will try to help governments identify future pa
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox. Moises Saman / Magnum The war in Afghanistan is over, and the president stands by his decision to end it. Today, just one day after the last military flight departed from Kabul, President Joe Bide
A team of researchers from the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, in Italy, has found evidence showing that magma pressure had begun building up deep in Mt. Etna's reservoir several months before the 2018 eruption. They also found evidence of degassing. In their paper, published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of data from gas monitors situated on the
There is a clear link between taking antibiotics and an increased risk of developing colon cancer within the next five to ten years. This has been confirmed after a study of 40,000 cancer cases. The impact of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiome is thought to lie behind the increased risk of cancer.
Quantum nanophotonics is an active research field with emerging applications that range from quantum computing to imaging and telecommunications. This has motivated scientists and engineers to develop sources for entangled photons that can be integrated into nano-scale photonic circuits. Practical application of nanoscale devices requires a high photon-pair generation rate, room-temperature operat
Monolayer graphene finds practical applications in many fields, thanks to its desirable intrinsic properties. However, these properties can also limit its potentials. The addition of foreign atoms can help, but requires precise control. Now, researchers from South Korea invented a simple methodology to achieve fine control over the integration of foreign atoms with graphene, developing composite g
"A moral failing and a national shame." During his 2020 campaign, that was how Joe Biden characterized America's immigration policies in the Trump era. On his first day in office, the new president announced an ambitious reform . The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It would raise caps on legal immigration. It would increase aid for
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions has found via survey that women are more likely to experience technical paper authorship disagreements than men. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how they conducted a survey of thousands of researchers around the globe regarding technical paper authorship issues and what was learned from it.
When a Los Angeles wastewater treatment facility spilled 17 million gallons of raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay this summer, it underscored the growing social and environmental risks posed by centralized wastewater treatment. Fortunately, there's a sustainable solution: Sewage should go local.
A new study, co-authored by University of Arizona researchers and published in the Sept. 1 issue of Nature, provides the first quantitative assessment of how environmental policies on deforestation, along with forest fires and drought, have impacted the diversity of plants and animals in the Amazon.
Isaac Nape, an emerging South African talent in the study of quantum optics, is part of a crack team of Wits physicists who led an international study that revealed the hidden structures of quantum entangled states. The study was published in the renowned scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Friday, 27 August 2021.
Emotional Rollercoaster Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is now cozying up to its Western partners in the International Space Station after years of taking jabs at NASA and SpaceX . Now he's claiming that Russia won't be leaving the International Space Station prematurely, Rogozin told CNN in his first interview with western media since taking charge of
In the world's second-most populous country, policymakers have historically paid too little attention to tracking people's deaths — with serious implications for public health. During India's devastating second wave of Covid, many deaths in rural areas went uncounted. Will the pandemic prompt a new approach?
Lions and cheetahs are closer to extinction than the authoritative Red List of Threatened Species suggests, according to conservation scientists who warn that sharp drops in populations could be going undetected.
Getting trees into the ground isn't simple. Reforestation often involves trade-offs and challenges. Phoebe Weston checks in on two projects where people are planting trees, and one where it's not humans doing the planting at all. She and Patrick Greenfield from The age of extinction are back with two new episodes Continue reading…
Grounded In a shocking new development, the Federal Aviation Administration is grounding Virgin Galactic until further notice, according to Bloomberg , following a troubling report that pilots ignoring a red warning light during CEO Richard Branson's maiden voyage in July. "Virgin Galactic may not return the SpaceShipTwo vehicle to flight until the FAA approves the final mishap investigation repo
Have you ever met someone you instantly liked, or at other times, someone who you knew immediately that you did not want to be friends with, although you did not know why? Now, a new study suggests that there may be a biological basis behind this instantaneous compatibility reaction. A team of researchers showed that variations of an enzyme found in a part of the brain that regulates mood and moti
Many small animals grow their teeth, claws and other "tools" out of materials that are filled with zinc, bromine and manganese, reaching up to 20% of the material's weight. My colleagues and I call these "heavy element biomaterials," and in a new paper, we suggest that these materials make it possible for animals to grow scalpel-sharp and precisely shaped tools that are resistant to breaking, defo
A study examining the body mass index (BMI) of over 14,000 children from birth to age 15 shows those in the Midwest have the highest BMI levels while kids in the West have the lowest, suggesting regional influences may play a role in the development of childhood obesity.
It's happened to all of us: You're putting the final touches on your manuscript and run plagiarism detection software against it. Somehow, part of the software's report ends up in your abstract — and neither you nor the peer reviewers nor the publishing team notices. Well, it's happened to one group of researchers, anyway. Here's … Continue reading
As the core of the light field modulation technologies, optical lattice has highly tunability and is usually used to manipulate the nonlinear matter waves of Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). At present, the mainstream researches focus on coherent atomic systems like BECs which have been confirmed to be able to stably generate optical solitons under electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) mod
Around a third of all the world's tree species are threatened with extinction, according to a global index published Wednesday, warning that climate change could tip some forests into ecosystem collapse.
US President Joe Biden's administration on Tuesday announced plans to open more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration after a court ruled against the administration's pause in leasing.
An estimated 70% of China's rivers and lakes are too polluted for human use, the result of decades of intensifying economic development that have increased the amount of pollution that winds up in the water. Fixing China's water pollution problems is an uphill battle, but citizen monitoring of remediation efforts could lead to consistent improvements in water quality, according to researchers at U
Complex carbon-based molecules are everywhere in the Cosmos. How many of these molecules are formed is still something of a mystery, particularly for carbon molecules formed by nature on primordial Earth that gave rise to life on this planet.
Researchers have discovered geologic evidence that unusually large earthquakes and tsunamis from the Tokyo region—located near tectonic plate boundaries that are recognized as a seismic hazard source—may be traceable to a previously unconsidered plate boundary. The team, headed by Simon Fraser University Earth scientist Jessica Pilarczyk, has published its research today in Nature Geoscience.
Seán Boyle suspects that the Gaelicised spelling of 'craic' may be a more recent ploy to attract tourists Andrew Poole ( Letters, 26 August ) is of course correct that "crack" has a long history in Scots and north-eastern English. But it also existed in Ireland well before its late 20th-century emergence as "craic". Growing up in south Ulster, it was in regular use by young and old – "Sure, he's
Warming oceans have driven the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population from its traditional and protected habitat, exposing the animals to more lethal ship strikes, disastrous commercial fishing entanglements and greatly reduced calving rates. Without improving its management, the right whale populations will decline and potentially become extinct in the coming decades, accordi
A new study published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that exposing certain nanomaterials to light can influence their environmental transformation, fate and, ultimately, their toxicity. The discovery provides new insights into the behavior of engineered nanomaterials and how they can be better designed for numerous commercial applications without impacting the enviro
Forskare ska undersöka om probiotika från sex veckors ålder kan förhindra utveckling av typ 1-diabetes hos barn. – Hypotesen är att probiotika ska främja en hälsosam tarmflora och att detta ska ha en positiv effekt på immunsystemet innan de första tecknen på typ 1-diabetes uppstår, säger Markus Lundgren vid Lunds universitet. Barn som haft autoantikroppar innan de insjuknat i typ 1-diabetes har o
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox. Getty; Dawid Markiewicz / Getty; The Atlantic More than a year into the pandemic, long COVID remains a mystery. My colleague Ed Yong, who has been covering the disease since last June , updates us
A new video series from Scientific American and Spektrum der Wissenschaft gives you a serving of science. In this episode we take a look at something called inulin. — Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
An alarming new trend is spreading across TikTok. And unlike previous trends like the milk crate challenge or anti-vaxxer nonsense , this one has doctors concerned for kids' neurological health. Motherboard reports that a growing number of TikTok users — primarily girls and young women — seem to have developed tics, similar to those characterized by Tourette syndrome , during the pandemic. In the
Swarms of small satellites could communicate amongst themselves to collect data on important weather patterns at different times of the day or year, and from multiple angles. Such swarms, using machine learning algorithms, could revolutionize scientists' understanding of weather and climate changes.
You can find it in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes and asparagus. And it has some surprising culinary abilities across a range of foods. From: Scientific American
New analysis of Hayabusa2 data of the asteroid Ryugu reveals much of the surface reflects and scatters light in ways that are consistent with studies of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in the lab. This research looks specifically at data taken while Ryugu was in opposition to the spacecraft and Sun, and utilizes Hayabusa2's near infrared spectrometer, NIRS3, and Optical Navigation Camera, ONC, m
Last night, the Supreme Court quietly green-lit the most extreme abortion ban the United States has seen in half a century: a Texas law that prohibits abortions at six weeks from a woman's last period, even in cases of rape or incest, and that deputizes citizens to spy on and sue anyone who has an abortion after that point or helps a woman obtain one. The rest of the states now have a road map to
Natural and some man-made ingredients came together, causing the weakened but still soggy remnants of Hurricane Ida to devastate the Northeast more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away from its landfall.
Better weather on Thursday helped the battle against a huge California forest fire threatening communities around Lake Tahoe, but commanders warned firefighters to be prepared for dangers that still pose a risk.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that Virgin Galactic cannot launch anyone into space again until an investigation is complete into a mishap that occurred during July's flight with founder Richard Branson.
New Yorkers mopped up flooded homes and businesses and began removing fallen debris from crushed cars Thursday as they counted the cost of record rainfall that caught much of the Big Apple by surprise.
Prominent podcaster Joe Rogan has tested positive for the coronavirus. Rogan has repeatedly voiced his doubts about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine , despite the overwhelming amount of publicly available evidence that it prevents most infections and nearly all life threatening cases. "Throughout the night, I got fevers, sweats, and I knew what was going on," he said in an Instagram vide
After years of steady reductions in healthcare-associated infections, significantly higher rates of four out of six routinely tracked infections were observed in U.S. hospitals, according to a new analysis. Increases were attributed to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including more and sicker patients requiring more frequent and longer use of catheters and ventilators as well as staffing
New experiments using trapped one-dimensional gases—atoms cooled to the coldest temperatures in the universe and confined so that they can only move in a line—fit with the predictions of the recently developed theory of "generalized hydrodynamics." Quantum mechanics is necessary to describe the novel properties of these gases. Achieving a better understanding of how such systems with many particle
As in previous economic downturns, it is the small business community that drives the recovery across all sectors of the economy. UK entrepreneurs once again stand ready to rise to the challenges and opportunities created by the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout from Brexit, a new report says.
The first United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), scheduled for September, could be as historic to food system transformation as the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 was to climate change. Rio sparked the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which has brought scientists and governments around the world together and has greatly increased consensus and understanding of the
Do Vladimir Putin and Justin Bieber look alike? They do if you think they have similar personalities, according to new research. The findings, which appear in the journal Cognition , reveal that knowledge of a person's personality can influence the perception of a face's identity and bias it toward unrelated identities. For example, if Vladimir Putin and Justin Bieber, a pair of faces among many
New research has uncovered a precision medicine test using blood proteins to identify a novel patient subgroup of idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD), a rare blood disorder, who are more likely to respond to siltuximab, the only FDA approved treatment for the disease. Prior research suggests that half of patients do not respond to the monoclonal antibody treatment, siltuximab. For tho
Human-caused climate change — including increased extreme weather and climate events — is here, according to the UN IPCC 2021 report, but the best way to communicate the concern is still debated. Deadline messaging has been criticized as causing people to feel hopelessness, despair and disengagement. However, a new study finds that this deadline messaging may be effective after all.
More than 3,000 regions in the human genome are very different in people from in any other mammals, including our closest primate relatives. Now, a study has evidence to confirm that nearly half of these so-called human accelerated regions (HARs) have played an important role in rewriting the course of human brain development, offering important insight into the genetic basis of human evolution.
The rise and fall of Earth's land surface over the last three million years shaped the evolution of birds and mammals, a new study has found, with new species evolving at higher rates where the land has risen most.
Recent dog breeding practices have loaded up cavalier King Charles spaniels with disease-causing mutations, including variants linked to the common heart condition, myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). Erik Axelsson of Uppsala University and colleagues published these new findings September 2nd in the journal PLOS Genetics.
While studying the behavior of electrons in iron-based superconducting materials, researchers at the University of Tokyo observed a strange signal relating to the way electrons are arranged. The signal implies a new arrangement of electrons the researchers call a nematicity wave, and they hope to collaborate with theoretical physicists to better understand it. The nematicity wave could help resear
A new study shows that the frequency of polar vortex disruptions that is most favorable for extreme winter weather in the United States is increasing, and that Arctic change is likely contributing to the increasing trend. Led by Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), University Massachusetts Lowell and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the study is published in the September 3 issue of Sc
Many arboreal lizards leap and glide from tree to tree, but what if they can't glide to a gentle, four-point landing? Researchers documented many such leaps of the common house gecko, and found that they often hit trees headfirst and rebounded violently. Their recovery strategy — grab on with the back feet and leverage their tail to prevent falling. The team created a soft robot with reactive tai
A new study show that whole-body regeneration involves transcriptional changes in cells from all three germ layers (muscle, epidermis, and intestine) of the body, and that tissue from areas distant from, as well as nearby to the site of injury, contribute to the process of regeneration.
New research sheds light on why COVID-19 has hit nursing homes so hard. Residents in long-term care facilities had a significantly higher rate of reinfection than people in the general population, according to a new study. The study in the journal The Lancet Regional Health–Americas analyzed nine months of testing data, just prior to the roll-out of vaccines in long-term care facilities, a period
Bitcoin can be complex and confusing, and not much academic work has been done on it. While the tech is still new, Bitcoin can be understood in traditional economic terms. Ironically, the report suggests that the currency is a poor store of value Cryptocurrency has existed for twelve years, and despite continued reports of its impending demise, it has seen increasingly widespread use. El Salvador
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle An influential figure in the world of Chinese space policy just announced that the country will be using existing rockets for its planned crewed missions to the Moon. Instead of developing a new rocket for the crewed lunar missions, China is more likely to upgrade an existing Long March 5 rocket into a "Long March 5-DY," Ars Technica reports . That's coming from Long Lehao,
Researchers describe a novel molecular device with exceptional computing prowess. Reminiscent of the plasticity of connections in the human brain, the device can be reconfigured on the fly for different computational tasks by simply changing applied voltages. Furthermore, like nerve cells can store memories, the same device can also retain information for future retrieval and processing.
Nearly 20 years after the United States' invasion of Afghanistan, the cost of its global war on terror stands at $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths, according to a new report. The Costs of War project , founded more than a decade ago at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, released its annual report ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
Pond scum generally isn't looked upon kindly. But the microalgae that make up these floating green mats of slime could get newfound respect as renewable sources of fuel, specialty chemicals, dietary supplements and other valued products.
Carthamin is a red pigment that stems from the yellow-orange corollas of safflower. Its usage as a red colorant can be traced back to ancient Egypt. In Japan it is named "beni" and has been used for dyeing textiles, coloring cosmetics and food, and as an herbal medicine for over 1400 years.
A research team led by Michael Biggerstaff, a professor of meteorology in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, successfully captured data with mobile radars and other weather instruments as Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.
Female mice exhibit a strong drive to socialize with other females following periods of acute isolation, significantly increasing their production of social calls that are akin to human emotional vocalizations, new Cornell psychology research finds.
In recent years, atmospheric temperature has been on the increase and extreme heat events have occurred frequently, which may not only affect the growth and development of individual organisms but also disturb the inter-species balance in competition, predation and parasitism, thereby exerting deleterious impacts on biodiversity and the ecosystem. Many studies have concluded that global warming ma
Methane contributes to global warming; it is therefore a greenhouse gas. Of all the methane produced in the Netherlands, 70% comes from livestock farming. A substantial percentage. But how harmful is it? Because, unlike other greenhouse gasses, methane breaks down relatively quickly in the atmosphere. Theun Vellinga, senior researcher at Wageningen Livestock Research, explains.
A study of highly vaccinated health workers found that the more contagious delta variant, combined with the masking mandate end, was associated with increased breakthrough cases, paralleling exponential rise of COVID-19 infections in the San Diego community.
A new study shows that losing weight and treating excess levels of fat in the blood may help prevent lung disease in those exposed to dangerous levels of fine particles from fire, smoke and toxic chemicals.
Australian schools are struggling to recruit and keep teachers. Low wages, overwork, difficult student behavior, lack of support and stress are some of the reasons teachers leave the profession or have periods of sick leave.
Världens första gyllenfärgade glasögonbjörn – snarlik den populära filmbjörnen Paddington – observerades under en forskningsexpedition i Anderna. Nu finns ny kunskap om hur den hotade björnarten lever och kan skyddas. De är sällsynta, utrotningshotade och svårstuderade. Glasögonbjörnen är den enda björnarten på södra halvklotet, och hittills har mycket lite varit känt om den skygga björnen som sä
Tokamak devices use strong magnetic fields to confine and to shape the plasma that contains the fuel that achieves fusion. The shape of the plasma affects the ease or difficulty of achieving a viable fusion power source. In a conventional tokamak, the cross-section of the plasma is shaped like the capital letter D. When the straight part of the D faces the "donut hole" side of the donut-shaped tok
The amount of digital communication supporting our daily lives continues to increase. This means there is a constant need to improve hardware, including optimizing the performance of printed wiring boards (PWBs). Researchers from Osaka University have demonstrated a method for strongly combining polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and smooth cooper foil. They presented their findings at the INTERFINISH
A new platform housing data from over 100 apple varieties could shave years off of the breeding process and enable data-driven assessments of how to boost the health benefits of America's favorite fruit.
For many, an increase in living standards would require an increase in energy provision. At the same time, meeting current climate goals under the Paris Agreement would benefit from lower energy use. IIASA researchers have assessed how much energy is needed to provide the global poor with a decent life and have found that this can be reconciled with efforts to meet climate targets.
Your camera may be partially to blame for "Zoom fatigue," a new study suggests. More than a year after the pandemic, virtual meetings have become a familiar part of daily life. For many, "Zoom fatigue," a feeling of being drained and lacking energy, is part of the package. The study in the Journal of Applied Psychology looks at the role of cameras in employee fatigue and explores whether these fe
2021 is a critical year for climate change. According to the Paris Climate Agreement, governments must decide now on how to reduce the amount of carbon they pump into the atmosphere in order to avoid the most devastating consequences of global warming. So, are we on track to limit global warming to only 1.5 degrees Celsius? The Climate Action Tracker explains the good news and the bad news for the
St. Augustine is considered one of the main "Church Fathers," but his life was surprisingly salacious before his turn to Christianity. He was one of the major proponents of "original sin" — the idea that we are born with a natural inclination toward sin and evil. Augustine also was largely responsible for the "Neoplatonism" that infused so much early Christian theology, namely, the notion that th
A research group led by Prof. Jiao Yuannian from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently reported a high-quality genome sequence of Aristolochia fimbriata, providing new insights into angiosperm evolution, floral development and chemical biosynthesis.
A research team in Ehime University, Japan conducted a comprehensive profiling of chlorinated and brominated compounds bioaccumulated in the liver of various wild bird species from Osaka, Japan in order to find potentially harmful but "hidden" contaminants. The team found a specific accumulation of several groups of typically unmonitored halogenated contaminants in raptors, including those so far
Trickling down over rocks, surrounded by wildflowers and ferns, Appalachian mountain streams are chock-full of life. They hold some of the world's greatest diversity of freshwater animals, including many species that can't be found anywhere else in the world.
BioNyt Videnskabens Verden (www.bionyt.dk) er Danmarks ældste populærvidenskabelige tidsskrift for naturvidenskab. Det er det eneste blad af sin art i Danmark, som er helliget international forskning inden for livsvidenskaberne.
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