273 articles from THURSDAY 26.3.2020

Quantum effect triggers unusual material expansion

You know how you leave space in a water bottle before you pop it in the freezer—to accommodate the fact that water expands as it freezes? Most metal parts in airplanes face the more common opposite problem. At high altitudes (low temperatures) they shrink. To keep such shrinkage from causing major disasters, engineers make airplanes out of composites or alloys, mixing materials that have...

Empty shelves not an indicator of a broken supply chain

For the millions of Americans concerned about shortages of vital supplies like toilet paper, food basics and other items vital to getting us through an unprecedented global health crisis, there is some encouraging news, according to researchers at Northern Arizona University.

Reducing reliance on nitrogen fertilizers with biological nitrogen fixation

Crop yields have increased substantially over the past decades, occurring alongside the increasing use of nitrogen fertilizer. While nitrogen fertilizer benefits crop growth, it has negative effects on the environment and climate, as it requires a great amount of energy to produce. Many scientists are seeking ways to develop more sustainable practices that maintain high crop yields with reduced...

Covid-19 self-test could allow return to work, say health officials

NHS England medical director tells MPs tests may be available within a couple of weeksCoronavirus – latest updatesAll our coronavirus coverageSelf-testing at home to find out whether somebody has had Covid-19 is an efficient way to find out if they are safe to return to work, a senior health official has said.Prof Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of NHS England, told the health select...

Paired with super telescopes, model Earths guide hunt for life

Astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet's evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth's own geologic epochs. The models will be spectral templates for astronomers to use in the approaching new era of powerful telescopes, and in the hunt for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems.

Coral tells own tale about El Niño's past

Scientists use data from ancient coral to build a record of temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last millennium. The data question previous links between volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.

Neanderthals ate mussels, fish, and seals too

Over 80,000 years ago, Neanderthals fed themselves on mussels, fish and other marine life. The first evidence has been found by an international team in the cave of Figueira Brava in Portugal. The excavated layers date from 86,000 to 106,000 years ago, the period when Neanderthals settled in Europe. Sourcing food from the sea at that time had only been attributed to anatomically modern humans in...

What can be learned from the microbes on a turtle's shell?

Researchers have found that a unique type of algae, usually only seen on the shells of turtles, affects the surrounding microbial communities. It is hoped that these findings can be applied to support the conservation of turtles. Previous research has shown that a diverse microbiome can protect animals against infections.

Designing lightweight glass for efficient cars, wind turbines

A new machine-learning algorithm for exploring lightweight, very stiff glass compositions can help design next-gen materials for more efficient vehicles and wind turbines. Glasses can reinforce polymers to generate composite materials that provide similar strengths as metals but with less weight.