213 articles from WEDNESDAY 25.3.2020

Nasa moon mission plans set back by coronavirus crisis

Work on the Orion capsule and the Space Launch System suspended until Covid-19 outbreak has passedWelcome to a new semi-regular column about Nasa’s progress towards landing astronauts on the moon during 2024.This challenging schedule, which was mandated by the White House, has now been made more difficult by the coronavirus outbreak. On 19 March, the Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine announced...

Video game experience, gender may improve VR learning

Students who used immersive virtual reality (VR) did not learn significantly better than those who used two more traditional forms of learning, but they vastly preferred the VR to computer-simulated and hands-on methods, a new Cornell study has found.

Scientists seek to establish community-driven metadata standards for microbiomes research

"We are living through an explosion in the availability of microbiome data," according to JP Dundore-Arias, assistant professor of plant pathology at California State University, Monterey Bay. "In agricultural systems, the proliferation of research on plant and soil microbiomes has been coupled with excitement for the potential that microbiome data may have for the development of novel,...

Solving a 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing

The same engineers, who announced the solution to a 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing last fall, have followed up with more research results. The engineers say their new algorithm is more useful and just as fast as the one previously used.

An aspirin a day does not keep dementia at bay

Taking a low-dose aspirin once a day does not reduce the risk of thinking and memory problems caused by mild cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer's disease, nor does it slow the rate of cognitive decline, according to a large study.

A small forage fish should command greater notice, researchers say

A slender little fish called the sand lance plays a big role as 'a quintessential forage fish' for puffins, terns and other seabirds, humpback whales and other marine mammals, and even bigger fish such as Atlantic sturgeon, cod and bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Maine and northwest Atlantic Ocean. But scientists say right now they know far too little about its biology and populations to inform...

Bats depend on conspecifics when hunting above farmland

Common noctules -- one of the largest bat species native to Germany -- are searching for their fellows during their hunt for insects above farmland. Scientists show that bats forage on their own in insect-rich forests, but hunt collectively in groups over insect-poor farmland.

Eclectic rocks influence earthquake types

New Zealand's largest fault is a jumble of mixed-up rocks of all shapes, sizes, compositions and origins. According to research from a global team of scientists, this motley mixture could help explain why the fault generates slow-motion earthquakes known as 'slow slip events' as well as destructive, tsunami-generating tremors.

A Booth, Showcase and Professional Development Workshops

NASA Capacity Building Program Area at the Esri Federal GIS Conference A showcase for U.S. federal agencies that use geographic information systems (GIS) technology occurred in February 2020 and the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Capacity Building program area was front and center. The Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC was likely the largest gathering of representatives from...

UK coronavirus: tests prioritised for NHS workers, 'not available on the internet next week' – as it happened

Rolling updates on all the UK developments, as they happened. This blog is now closed, please follow the global coronavirus liveblog 6.20pm GMT For more coronavirus updates, do read our global coronavirus live blog. Related: Coronavirus live news: global death toll passes 20,000, as Spain overtakes China as second worst-hit country 6.18pm GMT Here are the main points from Boris Johnson’s press...

Ultrasound solves an important clinical problem in diagnosing arrhythmia

Researchers have used an ultrasound technique they pioneered a decade ago -- electromechanical wave imaging (EWI) -- to accurately localize atrial and ventricular cardiac arrhythmias in adult patients in a double-blinded clinical study. They evaluated the accuracy of EWI for localization of various arrhythmias in all four chambers of the heart prior to catheter ablation: the results showed that...

Computational human cell reveals new insight on genetic information processing

Researchers have developed the first computational model of a human cell and simulated its behavior for 15 minutes -- the longest time achieved for a biological system of this complexity. In a new study, simulations reveal the effects of spatial organization within cells on some of the genetic processes that control the regulation and development of human traits and some human diseases.

Too much salt weakens the immune system

A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system. Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to suffer from much more severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers who consumed additional six grams of salt per day also showed pronounced immune deficiencies. This amount corresponds to the salt content of two fast food meals.

Peru saves bats blamed for coronavirus

Authorities called Wednesday for worried Peruvians to stop killing bats after rescuing 200 that were going to be burnt by peasants believing them to be spreading the coronavirus.