146 articles from APRIL 2020

Cats can infect each other with coronavirus, Chinese study finds

Feline transmission to humans not shown but infected pet owners warned to be carefulCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCat owners may wish to be more cautious about contact with their pets as a study from China has revealed Covid-19 can be transmitted between cats.The team, at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, found that cats are highly susceptible to...

Coronavirus live news: Italy records lowest daily increase in deaths in a week

Germany and Italy extend lockdowns; Spain cases pass 100,000; global cases near 900,000; record daily fatalities in UKUS coronavirus - latest updatesAt a glance: summary of key events Wimbledon cancelled due to coronavirus crisisBrazil state governors ignore Bolsonaro amid anger over handling of crisis See all our coronavirus coverage 7.00pm BST The Scottish government has significantly increased...

Physical force alone spurs gene expression, study reveals

Cells will ramp up gene expression in response to physical forces alone, a new study finds. Gene activation, the first step of protein production, starts less than one millisecond after a cell is stretched—hundreds of times faster than chemical signals can travel, the researchers report.

Skull scans reveal evolutionary secrets of fossil brains

Scientists have long been able to measure and analyze the fossil skulls of our ancient ancestors to estimate brain volume and growth. The question of how these ancient brains compare to modern human brains and the brains of our closest primate cousin, the chimpanzee, continues to be a major target of investigation.

Homo naledi juvenile remains offers clues to how our ancestors grew up

A partial skeleton of Homo naledi represents a rare case of an immature individual, shedding light on the evolution of growth and development in human ancestry, according to a study published April 1, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Debra Bolter of Modesto Junior College in California and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and colleagues.

Pausing the World to Fight Coronavirus Has Carbon Emissions Down—But True Climate Success Looks Like More Action, Not Less

Runaway exponential growth. Unprecedented economic impacts. Untold deaths and suffering, especially among the poor and vulnerable. All these superlatives are sadly apt descriptors for the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in front of our eyes. They also apply to climate change. But while the slowdown in activity due to COVID-19 has led to a temporary fall in China’s carbon dioxide emissions by up...

BESSY II: Ultra-fast switching of helicity of circularly polarized light pulses

At the BESSY II storage ring, a joint team of accelerator physicists, undulator experts and experimenters has shown how the helicity of circularly polarized synchrotron radiation can be switched faster—up to a million times faster than before. They used an elliptical double-undulator developed at HZB and operated the storage ring in the so-called two-orbit mode. This is a special mode of...

Chemistry education goes online

With colleges and universities around the world shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, chemistry teachers are navigating the shift to online learning. There are several factors to consider in this effort, from technology to accessibility. Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, asked chemistry teachers with online learning experience to...

NHS rules hampering coronavirus testing drive, say scientists

Strict standardisation of chemical brands and suppliers said to be a factor in delaysCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe introduction of mass testing for coronavirus is being hampered by health officials enforcing strict rules around what chemical brands and suppliers can be used to produce the tests, scientists warn.Procedures drawn up by the NHS describe the precise...

Tiny fly from Los Angeles has a taste for crushed invasive snails

As part of their project BioSCAN - devoted to the exploration of the unknown insect diversity in and around the city of Los Angeles—the scientists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (USA) have already discovered numerous insects that are new to science, but they are still only guessing about the lifestyles of these species.

Possible lives for food waste from restaurants

More than a third of the food produced ends up being wasted. This situation creates environmental, ethical and financial issues, that also affect food security. Negative effects from waste management, such as bad smells or the emission of greenhouse gases, make the bioeconomy one of the best options to reduce these problems.

Surprising hearing talents in cormorants

Many aquatic animals like frogs and turtles spend a big part of their lives under water and have adapted to this condition in various ways, one being that they have excellent hearing under water.

Stable perovskite LEDs one step closer

Researchers at Linköping University, working with colleagues in Great Britain, China and the Czech Republic, have developed a perovskite light-emitting diode (LED) with both high efficiency and long operational stability. The result has been published in Nature Communications.

Fish have diverse, distinct gut microbiomes

The rich biodiversity of coral reefs even extends to microbial communities within fish, according to new research. The study reports that several important grazing fish on Caribbean coral reefs each harbor a distinct microbial community within their guts, revealing a new perspective on reef ecology.

Understanding brain tumors in children

The causes of 40% of all cases of certain medulloblastomas -- dangerous brain tumors affecting children -- are hereditary. A genetic defect that occurs in 15% of these children plays a key role by destabilizing the production of proteins. The researchers suspect that protein metabolism defects could be a previously underestimated cause of other types of cancer.