5,993 articles from JUNE 2020

Geologists identify deep-earth structures that may signal hidden metal lodes

If the world is to maintain a sustainable economy and fend off the worst effects of climate change, at least one industry will soon have to ramp up dramatically: the mining of metals needed to create a vast infrastructure for renewable power generation, storage, transmission and usage. The problem is, demand for such metals is likely to far outstrip currently both known deposits and the existing...

Mathematical noodling leads to new insights into an old fusion problem

A challenge to creating fusion energy on Earth is trapping the charged gas known as plasma that fuels fusion reactions within a strong magnetic field and keeping the plasma as hot and dense as possible for as long as possible. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have gained new insight into a common type of hiccup known as the...

Microscope allows gentle, continuous imaging of light-sensitive corals

Corals are "part animal, part plant, and part rock—and difficult to figure out, despite being studied for centuries," says Philippe Laissue of University of Essex, a Whitman Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Many corals are sensitive to bright light, so capturing their dynamics with traditional microscopes is a challenge.

SwRI's SLED-W algorithms detect crude oil on water

Southwest Research Institute has developed computer-based techniques to accurately detect crude oil on water using inexpensive thermal and visible cameras. This machine learning-based solution can detect and monitor oil leaks before they become major threats to lakes, rivers and coastal areas.

New winter squash decline research paves the way for understanding the disease

Winter squash is an important crop grown in the Willamette Valley, and the most important processing cultivar, Golden Delicious, has been grown in Oregon since the 1970s. Over the last two decades, however, growers have noticed yield declines throughout the valley. Agriculture specialists have identified an association between yield decline and disease symptoms such as stunting, vascular...

How a protein's small change leads to big trouble for cells

In molecular biology, chaperones are a class of proteins that help regulate how other proteins fold. Folding is an important step in the manufacturing process for proteins. When they don't fold the way they're supposed to, it can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer.

Scientists investigate epigenetic impact across whole genome

All life depends on a genome, which acts as an instruction manual for building all the products essential for development and survival. But knowing which of these individual instructions—or genes—need to be read, and when, is key for a properly functioning organism: so how does life get this right?

Terrawatch: unearthing snow's 'Fukushima layer'

Chinese glaciologists have found the freeze-thaw process has concentrated discharge from the disasterThe Fukushima nuclear accident has added a distinctive signature to snow and ice across the northern hemisphere, new research published in Environmental Research Letters shows. Triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan on 11 March 2011, the disaster resulted in a...

Microscope allows gentle, continuous imaging of light-sensitive corals

Many corals are sensitive to bright light, so capturing their dynamics with traditional microscopes is a challenge. To work around their photosensitivity, researchers developed a custom light-sheet microscope (the L-SPI) that allows gentle, non-invasive observation of corals and their polyps in detail over eight continuous hours, at high resolution.

Going lean: How vendor consolidation creates big gains

The second quarter of 2020 launched many digital transformation projects that didn’t necessarily happen at the behest of chief innovation officers, but because of the wrecking ball of disruption known as covid-19. Even if companies did succeed at rapidly orienting operations and services to digital, the transformation journey is far from over—and that means procurement and vendor management...

Chemist adds details of 'cold collisions of hot molecules' to theories of molecular interactions

When two cars collide at an intersection -- from opposite directions -- the impact is much different than when two cars -- traveling in the same direction -- 'bump' into each other. In the laboratory, similar types of collisions can be made to occur between molecules to study chemistry at very low temperatures, or 'cold collisions.' A team of scientists has developed a new experimental approach to...

There’s not one reason California’s covid-19 cases are soaring—there are many

It’s troubling, though not surprising, to see covid-19 cases spiking across the American South and Southwest, where public officials delayed lockdowns, rushed to reopen businesses, or refused to require people to wear masks. But what’s the matter with California? The nation’s most populous state was the first to enact statewide shelter-in-place rules, took decisive steps to build up the...

US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug

No other country will be able to buy remdesivir, which can help recovery from Covid-19, for next three months at leastCoronavirus – latest US updatesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe US has bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of one of the two drugs proven to work against Covid-19, leaving none for the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the...

Rising coronavirus infections in pockets of UK raise fears of further local lockdowns

Leicester is unlikely to be the only place to return to tight restrictions, say scientistsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageParts of Kent, London, north Wales and Scotland are still battling significant Covid-19 outbreaks, sparking fears from scientists and public health directors that Leicester’s return to lockdown is set to be repeated.Bars and restaurants are...

Man given 'almost zero chance' of Covid-19 survival due to return home

Mal Martin, 58, from Cardiff, spent 11 weeks in intensive care and could still lose fingers due to diseaseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA woman allowed to see her husband to say goodbye when told he had “almost zero chance” of surviving coronavirus, said he could shortly be home after more than 11 weeks in intensive care, much of it on a ventilator.Sue Martin,...

Happy Asteroid Day! Why we’re going out to space rocks before they come for us

Today's 112th anniversary of a close brush with a cosmic catastrophe serves as a teachable moment about the perils and prospects posed by near-Earth asteroids. Asteroid Day is timed to commemorate a blast from space that occurred over a Siberian forest back on June 30, 1908. The explosion, thought to have been caused by the breakup of an asteroid or comet, wiped out millions of acres of trees...

Smiling in the masked world of COVID-19

With faces covered to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, some of the facial cues that people rely on to connect with others—such as a smile that shows support—are also obscured.

Evidence found of Natufian people eating snakes and lizards 15,000 years ago

A trio of researchers at the University of Haifa's Zinman Institute of Archaeology has found evidence of Natufian people eating snakes and lizards approximately 15,000 years ago. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Ma'ayan Lev, Mina Weinstein-Evron and Reuven Yeshurun describe their study of squamate bones found in caves at the el-Wad Terrace dig site in Israel and what...

It's big, but it's not a 'murder hornet'

Since the release of information about Asian giant hornets, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are being inundated with cicada killers and other lookalike insects submitted for identification as a possible "murder hornet," which thus far has only been found in Washington state in the U.S.

Beyond covid-19 lies a new normal—and new opportunities

The covid-19 pandemic has unleashed changes that seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. In February, it seemed unthinkable the entire white-collar workforce of many countries would soon be working solely from home. It seemed unthinkable air travel would plummet by 96%, or millions of migrant workers in India would be forced to undertake a herculean exodus, walking thousands of miles to their...

Wild bees depend on the landscape structure

Sowing strips of wildflowers along conventional cereal fields and the increased density of flowers in organic farming encourage bumblebees as well as solitary wild bees and hoverflies. Bumblebee colonies benefit from flower strips along small fields, but in organic farming, they benefit from large fields.

Plant tissue engineering improves drought and salinity tolerance

After several years of experimentation, scientists have engineered thale cress, or Arabidopsis thaliana, to behave like a succulent, improving water-use efficiency, salinity tolerance and reducing the effects of drought. The tissue succulence engineering method devised for this small flowering plant can be used in other plants to improve drought and salinity tolerance with the goal of moving this...

COVID-19 causes 'hyperactivity' in blood-clotting cells

Changes in blood platelets triggered by COVID-19 could contribute to the onset of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications in some patients who have the disease, according to scientists. The researchers found that inflammatory proteins produced during infection significantly alter the function of platelets, making them 'hyperactive' and more prone to form dangerous and potentially...

Glowing dye may aid in eliminating cancer

When a solid cancer is surgically removed, any small piece that is left behind increases the chance of a local recurrence or spread. In a pilot study of dogs with mammary tumors, a disease very similar to human breast cancer, a team found that an injectable dye, which glows under near-infrared light, illuminated cancerous growth in the primary tumor as well as in lymph nodes.

Researchers identify multiple molecules that shut down SARS-Cov-2 polymerase reaction

Researchers have identified a library of molecules that shut down the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase reaction, a key step that establishes the potential of these molecules as lead compounds to be further modified for the development of COVID-19 therapeutics. Five of these molecules are already FDA-approved for use in the treatment of other viral infections including HIV/AIDS, cytomegalovirus, and hepatitis...

The psychology of being a better ally in the office – and beyond

In recent interviews, the American soccer player Crystal Dunn expressed the joy and fear she felt when her teammate Megan Rapinoe decided to take a knee against police brutality and racism in 2016. While Dunn wanted to join her teammate she worried "they could rip up [her] contract" and as a result chose not to.

Light from inside the tunnel

Steering and monitoring the light-driven motion of electrons inside matter on the time-scale of a single optical cycle is a key challenge in ultrafast light wave electronics and laser-based material processing. Physicists from the Max Born Institute in Berlin and the University of Rostock have now revealed a so-far overlooked nonlinear optical mechanism that emerges from the light-induced...

Emergence of chirality and structural complexity in single crystals at the molecular and morphological levels

Imagine trying to build a Colosseum-type edifice—including arches, vaults and various protrusions—while abiding by two strict rules: Only one type of brick may be used, and these bricks are required to be placed precisely, one against another, in a symmetrical arrangement. Not even a bit of mismatching is allowed. At best, you would be able to erect a chambered high-rise tower. Nature has...