174 articles from FRIDAY 1.5.2020

Window to another world: Life is bubbling up to seafloor with petroleum from deep below

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that we move through a world shaped by unseen life. Bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms regulate the Earth's vital functions and resources, from the air we breathe to all our food and most of our energy sources. An estimated one-third of the Earth's microbes are literally hidden, buried in sediments deep below the ocean floor. Now,...

NASA’s Biggest Space Launch in Years Is Coming Up — But It Wants You to Stay Home to Watch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged everyone to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic. Top officials warned the public against traveling to Florida for the May 27 launch of two NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station. It will be the first launch of astronauts from...

New timeline for ancient magnetic field on Mars

Mars had a global magnetic field much earlier -- and much later -- than previously known. Analysis of new satellite data found clear evidence of a magnetic field coming from a lava flow that formed less than 3.7 billion years ago, half a billion years after many people thought the Martian dynamo had ceased. The researchers also detected low-intensity magnetic fields over the Borealis Basin,...

Sustainable structural material for plastic substitute

Plastic gives us a lightweight, strong and inexpensive material to use, but it has also caused the plastic apocalypse. Much of the unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth's last sink. Broken down by waves, sunlight and marine animals, a single plastic bag can become 1.75 million microplastic fragments. Those microplastics might finally end up in our bodies through the fish we eat or...

First direct look at how light excites electrons to kick off a chemical reaction

The first step in many light-driven chemical reactions, like the ones that power photosynthesis and human vision, is a shift in the arrangement of a molecule's electrons as they absorb the light's energy. This subtle rearrangement paves the way for everything that follows and determines how the reaction proceeds. Now scientists have seen for the first time how the molecule's electron cloud...

Understanding the initial immune response after dengue virus infection

This study sheds new light on the body's initial response to dengue virus infection, describing the molecular diversity and specificity of the antibody response. These results identify an unappreciated role for DENV-reactive IgA antibodies and set the stage for future work to fully characterize the body's immune response to DENV, understand risk factors to severe dengue and ultimately could be...

NASA begs spectators for astronaut launch: Please stay home!

NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged spectators to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic. Top officials warned the public against traveling to Florida for the May 27 launch of two NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station. It will be the first launch of astronauts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in...

Natural fires help native bees, improve food security

Native bees that boost food crops are in decline but changing fire management policies could help them. A new study finds these native bees are better able to survive harsh climate events, like drought, in areas where naturally occurring fires are allowed to burn.