242 articles from MONDAY 1.6.2020

Study shows today's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels greater than 23 million-year record

A common message in use to convey the seriousness of climate change to the public is: "Carbon dioxide levels are higher today than they have been for the past one million years!" This new study by Brian Schubert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and coauthors Ying Cui and A. Hope Jahren used a novel method to conclude that today's carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are actually higher than they have...

New biosensor visualizes stress in living plant cells in real time

Plant biologists have long sought a deeper understanding of foundational processes involving kinases, enzymes that catalyze key biological activities in proteins. Analyzing the processes underlying kinases in plants takes on greater urgency in today's environment increasingly altered by climate warming.

Conserving biodiverse 'slow lanes' in a rapidly changing world

The notion of conserving climate change refugia—areas relatively buffered from current climate change that shelter valued wildlife, ecosystems, and other natural resources—is only about 10 years old, but the field has matured enough that a leading journal has prepared a special issue on the topic.

COVID-19 outbreak lasts days longer for each day's delay in social distancing

A new analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks in 58 cities has found that places that took longer to begin implementing social distancing measures spent more time with the virus rapidly spreading than others that acted more quickly. Epidemiological researchers have published research finding every day a city delayed implementing social distancing measures after the appearance of a first case added 2.4 days...

Scientists shed light on growth of black holes

Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and the Black Hole Initiative (BHI), have shed light on how black holes grow over time by developing a new model to predict if growth by accretion or by mergers is dominant, according to the results of a study presented today at the virtual 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society and published simultaneously in The...

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14

Researchers have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.

A boost for cancer immunotherapy

MIT engineers have found a way to boost the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. They showed that if they treated mice with these drugs along with new nanoparticles that stimulate the immune system, the therapy became more powerful than checkpoint inhibitors given alone.

Loss of land-based vertebrates is accelerating

Analysis of thousands of vertebrate species reveals that extinction rates are likely much faster than previously thought. The researchers call for immediate global action, such as a ban on the wildlife trade, to slow the sixth mass extinction.

New biosensor visualizes stress in living plant cells in real time

Plant biologists have developed a new nanosensor that monitors foundational mechanisms related to stress and drought. The new biosensor allows researchers to analyze changes in real time as they happen involving kinases, enzymes that catalyze key biological activities in proteins. Certain kinases are essential since they are known to be activated in response to drought conditions, triggering the...

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14

Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.

The human factor limits hope of climate fixes

Engineering the climate can help lower temperatures and reduce climate change impacts. New research shows that when accounting for human behavior, climate engineering leads to significant economic and social risks. In a first-of-its-kind laboratory experiment, researchers found that both rational and irrational factors in the decision to fix the climate leads to welfare losses and increased...

A remote control for neurons

A team led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has created a new technology that enhances scientists' ability to communicate with neural cells using light. Tzahi Cohen-Karni, associate professor of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering, led a team that synthesized three-dimensional fuzzy graphene on a nanowire template to create a superior material for...

Loss of land-based vertebrates is accelerating, study finds

In 2015, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich coauthored a study declaring the world's sixth mass extinction was underway. Five years later, Ehrlich and colleagues at other institutions have a grim update: the extinction rate is likely much higher than previously thought and is eroding nature's ability to provide vital services to people.

Study finds gender differences in active learning classrooms

Men participated more in an active learning course in science, technology, engineering and math, while women reported lower perceptions of their scientific abilities, were more aware of gender identity and more likely to feel judged based on gender, a new Cornell-led study has found.

Across the cell membrane

Aquaporins and glucose transporters facilitate the movement of substances across biological membranes and are present in all kingdoms of life.Biophysicists used a supercomputer to explore the atomic behavior of these proteins. The research suggests glucose transporters function by using a gate on the extracellular side that opens and closes based on body temperature.

Class of stellar explosions found to be galactic producers of lithium

A team of researchers, led by astrophysicist Sumner Starrfield of Arizona State University, has combined theory with both observations and laboratory studies and determined that a class of stellar explosions, called classical novae, are responsible for most of the lithium in our galaxy and solar system.