207 articles from TUESDAY 17.12.2019

Scientists discover how proteins form crystals that tile a microbe's shell

Many microbes wear beautifully patterned crystalline shells, which protect them from a harsh world and can even help them reel in food. Studies at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have revealed this food-reeling process and shown how shells assemble themselves from protein building blocks.

Skin cancer mystery revealed in yin and yang protein

It starts off small, just a skin blemish. The most common moles stay just that way—harmless clusters of skin cells called melanocytes, which give us pigment. In rare cases, what begins as a mole can turn into melanoma, the most serious type of human skin cancer because it can spread throughout the body.

High-def mapping of moisture in the soil

Soil moisture is easy to see when your favorite Little Leaguer slides into second base the day after a big summer storm. The mud splattered on that little hustler's uniform tells the story.

Plantwatch: What is that wildflower? And why don't we know?

Few can identify our common plants amid a lack of education and more focus on animals and birds on natural history showsHow many people know our common wildflowers? The charity Plantlife commissioned a poll by YouGov two years ago to find out if people could identify wildflowers and discovered a shocking lack of knowledge. Most could not identify, or mis-identified, the common dog-violet, one of...

Sexual harassment may be reduced at fun work events, study finds

The office holiday party loses its luster in light of new study findings from researchers at Penn State and Ohio State demonstrating that incidences of unwanted sexual attention are increased at these and other "fun" work events. This sexual harassment may be reduced, however, when these events are held during normal office hours, when attendance is optional and when employees are allowed to bring...

Scientists correlate photon pairs of different colors generated in separate buildings

Particles can sometimes act like waves, and photons (particles of light) are no exception. Just as waves create an interference pattern, like ripples on a pond, so do photons. Physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their colleagues have achieved a major new feat—creating a bizarre "quantum" interference between two photons of markedly different colors,...

Fatty meal interrupts gut's communication with the body, but why?

Gut cells that normally tell the brain and the rest of the body what's going on after a meal shut down completely for a few hours after a high-fat meal, a team of researchers discovered in zebrafish. Enteroendocrine cells normally produce at least 15 different hormones to send signals to the rest of the body. The finding could be a clue to insulin resistance that leads to Type 2 diabetes.

Effects of natural gas assessed in study of shale gas boom in Appalachian basin

A new study estimated the cumulative effects of the shale gas boom in the Appalachian basin in the early 2000s on air quality, climate change, and employment. The study found that effects on air quality and employment followed the boom-and-bust cycle, but effects on climate change will likely persist for generations to come. The study, which also considered how to compensate for these effects,...

Applying physics principle yields grim prediction on hurricane destruction in era of global warming

Global warming could well lead to hurricanes more powerful than meteorologists currently forecast. A physicist noticed that one of the principles of physics -- phase transition -- did not appear in the scientific literature of meteorology. Using 60 years of published data, he demonstrated that the destructive power of tropical hurricanes increased linearly and rapidly as water temperature...

Research yields potential bioblendstock for diesel fuel

The NREL scientists, along with colleagues at Yale University, Argonne National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are part of the Department of Energy's Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative. Co-Optima's research focuses on improving fuel economy and vehicle performance while also reducing emissions.

Scientists seeking cause of huge freshwater mussel die-off

On a recent late fall afternoon at Kyles Ford, the white branches of sycamore trees overhung the banks of the Clinch River, leaves slowly turning yellow. Green walnuts covered the ground. The shallow water ran fast and cold over the rocky bottom, but it was littered with the white shells of dead mussels.