332 articles from THURSDAY 21.5.2020

NASA’s Citizen Science Experts Live on Reddit

Eyebrow: Citizen Science NewsBody: May 22nd, 1-3pm EST to Answer Questions from the Public! You can do real NASA science right now, from your own home. We are here to answer your questions! Link: Learn...

NASA’s Citizen Science Experts Live on Reddit, May 22nd, 1-3pm EST to Answer Questions from the Public!

You can do real NASA science right now, from your own home. Just join one of NASA’s citizen science projects! From projects designed to study our planet’s biodiversity, to studying the sun, comets, and finding planets outside of our solar system, our citizen science projects harness the collective strength of the public to analyze data and conduct scientific research. NASA-funded citizen...

Low-severity fires enhance long-term carbon retention of peatlands

High-intensity fires can destroy marshy peatlands and cause them to emit huge amounts of their stored carbon into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, but a new study finds low-severity fires spark the opposite outcome. By creating a decay-inhibiting crust on clumps of moist soil particles within the peatland, the smaller surface fires help protect the stored carbon and enhance peatlands' long-term...

CRISPR a tool for conservation, not just gene editing

The gene-editing technology CRISPR has been used for a variety of agricultural and public health purposes -- from growing disease-resistant crops to, more recently, a diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19. Now a study involving fish that look nearly identical to the endangered Delta smelt finds that CRISPR can be a conservation and resource management tool, as well. The researchers...

NOAA selects Univ. of Washington to host regional institute for climate and ocean research

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected the University of Washington to host a Pacific Northwest research institute focusing on climate, ocean and coastal challenges, supported by a five-year award worth up to $300 million. The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, or CICOES, will be a collaboration involving UW as well as the University of Alaska...

Capturing the coordinated dance between electrons and nuclei in a light-excited molecule

Using a high-speed "electron camera" at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists have simultaneously captured the movements of electrons and nuclei in a molecule after it was excited with light. This marks the first time this has been done with ultrafast electron diffraction, which scatters a powerful beam of electrons off materials to pick up tiny molecular...

NASA Snow campaign wraps 2020 survey

As spring and summer temperatures return to the Northern Hemisphere, winter's snow is melting, releasing precious fresh water into Earth's streams, rivers and oceans. This annual change provides liquid water for drinking, agriculture and hydropower for more than one billion people around the world. In the future, NASA plans to use a satellite mission to measure how much water the world's winter...

‘Science by press release’: Sudden rise of vaccine developer Moderna rankles some in scientific establishment

Moderna Inc., a nearly 10-year-old Massachusetts-based biotech company, is suddenly the talk of the scientific community after they announced this week "positive" indications from their early work on a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus. In April, Moderna received $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the government agency charged with...

The European viper uses cloak-and-dazzle to escape predators

Research demonstrates that the characteristic zig-zag pattern on a viper's back performs opposing functions during a predation event. At first, the zig-zag pattern helps the snake remain undetected. But upon exposure, it provides a conspicuous warning of the snake's dangerous defense. Most importantly the zig-zag can also produce an illusionary effect that may hide the snake's movement as it...

Scientists finally crack nature's most common chemical bond

The carbon-hydrogen bond -- 2/3 of all bonds in hydrocarbons -- has defied chemists' attempts to open it up and add new chemical groups. A team has now cracked the strongest of C-H bonds, those on a molecule's terminal carbon. The reaction catalyst is an iridium atom to break the bond and a methyl group to add a boron compound. Boron is easily exchanged for other groups, allowing additions to...

Scientists identify chemicals in noxious weed that 'disarm' deadly bacteria

Scientists have identified specific compounds from the Brazilian peppertree -- a weedy, invasive shrub in Florida -- that reduce the virulence of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. This research demonstrates that triterpenoid acids in the red berries of the plant ''disarm'' dangerous staph bacteria by blocking its ability to produce toxins.

Researchers boost microwave signal stability a hundredfold

Researchers have used state-of-the-art atomic clocks, advanced light detectors, and a measurement tool called a frequency comb to boost the stability of microwave signals 100-fold. This marks a giant step toward better electronics to enable more accurate time dissemination, improved navigation, more reliable communications and higher-resolution imaging for radar and astronomy.

Brain's 'updating mechanisms' may create false memories

New research is one of the first comprehensive characterizations of poorly formed memories and may offer a framework to explore different therapeutic approaches to fear, memory and anxiety disorders. It may also have implications for accuracy of some witness testimony.