315 articles from THURSDAY 19.12.2019

Scientists find iron 'snow' in Earth's core

The Earth's inner core is hot, under immense pressure and 'snow'-capped, according to new research that could help scientists better understand forces that affect the entire planet. The snow is made of tiny particles of iron that fall from the molten outer core and pile on top of the inner core.

Forecast to help shellfish growers weather toxicity

The same technology that powers facial recognition and self-driving cars may soon help Maine's shellfish industry protect people from the dangerous effects of harmful algal blooms. A recent paper reports how researchers can use these deep learning algorithms to forecast shellfish toxicity, just like meteorologists forecast the weather.

When good plants go bad

A study out of the University of Florida offers a comparison between introduced species that attempt to outcompete native plants within an ecosystem and certain native plant species that mimic that behavior to create similar undesirable results. Lyn Gettys explored this phenomenon within aquatic ecosystems to reveal the consequences of excessive aquatic plant growth, regardless of the origin of...

385-million-year-old forest discovered

While sifting through fossil soils in the Catskill region near Cairo, New York, researchers uncovered the extensive root system of 385-million-year-old trees that already appeared to have leaves and wood. The finding is the first piece of evidence that the transition toward forests as we know them today began earlier in the Devonian Period than typically believed.

Why your first battle with flu matters most

Analyzing public health records from Arizona to study how different strains of the flu virus affect people of different ages, researchers found that the first strain we encounter during childhood sets the course of how our immune system responds to exposures later in life.

Finding your way in the dark depends on your internal clock

Surprising results show how circadian rhythm changes the way mammals can see. Mice can accomplish a vision task better at night than during day. The researchers expected the body's internal clock to alter how strong nerve signals were at night, but discovered that the animal's behavior changed depending on the time of day instead. This opens interesting lines of inqury into how circadian rhythm...

Bacteria spread by ticks affected by humidity and mutual competition

No specific environment or temperature favorable to all of the most common pathogens borne by ticks was found in an international study, since different bacterial species thrive in different conditions. Depending on the species, bacteria found inside ticks can either compete with each other or promote each other's distribution.

Form of severe malnutrition linked to DNA modification

Researchers identified significant differences at the epigenetic level -- the chemical tags in DNA that help regulate gene expression -- between two clinically distinct forms of acute childhood malnutrition known as edematous severe acute malnutrition (ESAM) and non-edematous SAM (NESAM).

Improving efficiency, effectiveness of security X-ray technology

The smuggling of contraband is a threat in airport security and risks have increased in modern times with the uptick in parcel delivery, but security inspection methods have not seen any significant improvements. Researchers propose a technique for efficient detection of contraband items. Typically, airport security uses X-ray imaging to quickly scan baggage, but this suffers limitations. To...