69 articles from MONDAY 14.10.2019

Investing in love and affection pays off for species that mate for life

The males of species that form long-lasting pair-bonds, like many birds, often continue to make elaborate displays of plumage, colors and dances after they mate with a female. While their time and energy might be better spent taking care of their offspring, these displays also encourage the female to invest more of their energy into the brood.

Renewables overtake hydrocarbons in UK electricity generation: study

Renewable sources generated more of Britain's electricity than fossil fuels for the first time last quarter, according to analysis by specialist website "Carbon Brief" published Monday. "In the third quarter of 2019, the UK's windfarms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants generated more electricity than the combined output from power stations fired by coal, oil and gas," said the website....

Not cross bunnies: can a pet rabbit ever be happy?

A study of more than 6,000 rabbits treated by vets has found that many lead sad lives. Here’s how to make sure they stay healthy and avoid lonelinessThere are thought to be more than 1.5m pet rabbits in the UK, and a large proportion of them could be leading very sad lives. A study of more than 6,000 rabbits treated by vets found alarming health conditions such as overgrown nails and teeth,...

Unlocking the biochemical treasure chest within microbes

An international team of scientists has developed a genetic engineering tool that makes producing and analyzing microbial secondary metabolites -- the basis for many important agricultural, industrial, and medical products -- easier than ever before, and could even lead to breakthroughs in biomanufacturing.

Air pollution linked to 'missed' miscarriages in China: study

Exposure to airborne pollutants increases the risk of "missed" miscarriages in which a fetus dies without a pregnant woman experiencing any noticeable symptoms, researchers said Monday. Previous studies have shown a correlation between air pollution and pregnancy complications, but the new research -- published in Nature Sustainability journal by a team of researchers from Chinese universities --...

Lakes worldwide are experiencing more severe algal blooms

The intensity of summer algal blooms has increased over the past three decades, according to a first-ever global survey of dozens of large, freshwater lakes. Researchers used 30 years of data from the Landsat 5 near-Earth satellite and created a partnership with Google Earth Engine to reveal long-term trends in summer algal blooms in 71 large lakes in 33 countries on six continents.

Microbleeds may worsen outcome after head injury

Using advanced imaging, researchers have uncovered new information regarding traumatic microbleeds, which appear as small, dark lesions on MRI scans after head injury but are typically too small to be detected on CT scans. The findings published in Brain suggest that traumatic microbleeds are a form of injury to brain blood vessels and may predict worse outcomes. The study was conducted in part by...

How mucus tames microbes

New research reveals that glycans -- branched sugar molecules found in mucus -- can prevent bacteria from communicating with each other and forming infectious biofilms, effectively rendering the microbes harmless.

How to control friction in topological insulators

Topological insulators are innovative materials that conduct electricity on the surface, but act as insulators on the inside. Physicists have begun investigating how they react to friction. Their experiment shows that the heat generated through friction is significantly lower than in conventional materials. This is due to a new quantum mechanism, the researchers report.

The nano-guitar string that plays itself

Scientists have created a nano-electronic circuit which vibrates without any external force. Just as a guitar string vibrates when plucked, the wire -- 100,000 times thinner than a guitar string -- vibrates when forced into motion by an oscillating voltage. The surprise came when they repeated the experiment without the forcing voltage. Under the right conditions, the wire oscillated of its own...

Dementia spreads via connected brain networks

Scientists used maps of brain connections to predict how brain atrophy would spread in individual patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), adding to growing evidence that the loss of brain cells associated with dementia spreads via the synaptic connections between established brain networks.

Shipment tracking for 'fat parcels' in the body

Without fat, nothing works in the body: These substances serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks -- including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in the fat metabolism, such as obesity or cancer. Researchers are now demonstrating how the fat metabolism can be monitored down to the individual liver cell of a mouse with the greatest...

Evolutionary history of oaks

Oaks have a complex evolutionary history that has long eluded scientists. New research, however, provides the most detailed account to date of the evolution of oaks, recovering the 56-million-year history that has made the oaks one of the most diverse, abundant and important woody plant groups to the ecology and economy of the northern hemisphere.

Unique sticky particles formed by harnessing chaos

New research shows that unique materials with distinct properties akin to those of gecko feet - the ability to stick to just about any surface -- can be created by harnessing liquid-driven chaos to produce soft polymer microparticles with hierarchical branching on the micro- and nanoscale.