276 articles from MONDAY 22.6.2020

Massive prehistoric circle near Stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered a major new prehistoric monument only a short distance away from Stonehenge. Fieldwork and analysis have revealed evidence for 20 or more massive, prehistoric shafts, measuring more than 10 metres in diameter and 5 metres deep. These shafts form a circle more than 2 kilometres in diameter and enclose an area greater than 3 square kilometres around the Durrington...

Scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst's activity

Replacing the expensive metals that break down exhaust gases in catalytic converters with cheaper, more effective materials is a top priority for scientists, for both economic and environmental reasons. Catalysts are required to perform chemical reactions that would otherwise not happen, such as converting polluting gases from automotive exhaust into clean compounds that can be released into the...

Research in land plants shows nanoplastics accumulating in tissues

As concern grows among environmentalists and consumers about micro- and nanoplastics in the oceans and in seafood, they are increasingly studied in marine environments, say Baoshan Xing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues in China. But "little is known about the behavior of nanoplastics in terrestrial environments, especially agricultural soils," they add.

New class of precision medicine strips cancer of its DNA defenses

A new precision medicine targeting cancer's ability to repair its DNA has shown promising results in the first clinical trial of the drug class. The new study, designed to test the drug's safety, found that half of patients given the new drug either alone or with platinum chemotherapy saw their cancer stop growing, and two patients saw their tumours shrink or disappear completely.

US beekeepers reported lower winter losses but abnormally high summer losses

Beekeepers across the United States lost 43.7% of their managed honey bee colonies from April 2019 to April 2020, according to preliminary results of the 14th annual nationwide survey conducted by the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership (BIP). These losses mark the second highest loss rate the survey has recorded since it began in 2006 (4.7 percentage points higher than the average annual loss rate...

Oil forecasting technique adapted for spreadsheets may cut shale operator costs

Porous rock containing oil and natural gas are buried so deep inside the earth that shale operators rely on complex models of the underground environment to estimate fossil fuel recovery. These simulations are notoriously complex, requiring highly-skilled operators to run them. These factors indirectly impact the cost of shale oil production and ultimately, how much consumers pay for their fuel.

The 2016 US presidential election coverage a 'game changer' for reporters

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is considered a "game changer" for journalists covering the U.S. presidential elections by causing them to dramatically reconsider how they view their role—either as neutral disseminators of information or impassioned advocates for the truth—according to researchers at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism.

Nanoplastics accumulate in land-plant tissues

As concern grows among environmentalists and consumers about micro- and nanoplastics in the oceans and in seafood, they are increasingly studied in marine environments. But little was known about nanoplastics in agricultural soils. Researchers now have direct evidence that nanoplastics are internalized by terrestrial plants.

Eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano linked to period of extreme cold in ancient Rome

Scientists and historians have found evidence connecting an unexplained period of extreme cold in ancient Rome with an unlikely source: a massive eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano, located on the opposite side of the Earth. A new study uses an analysis of tephra (volcanic ash) found in Arctic ice cores to link this period of extreme climate in the Mediterranean with the caldera-forming eruption...

Social and behavioral factors most closely associated with dying

Smoking, divorce and alcohol abuse have the closest connection to death out of 57 social and behavioural factors analyzed in this study. The researchers analyzed data collected from 13,611 adults in the U.S. between 1992 and 2008, and identified which factors applied to those who died between 2008 and 2014. They intentionally excluded biological and medical factors.

Oil forecasting technique adapted for spreadsheets may cut shale operator costs

Porous rock containing oil and natural gas are buried so deep inside the earth that shale operators rely on complex models of the underground environment to estimate fossil fuel recovery. These simulations are notoriously complex, requiring highly-skilled operators to run them. These factors indirectly impact the cost of shale oil production and ultimately, how much consumers pay for their fuel.

Scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst's activity

A study identified which pairs of atoms in a catalyst nanoparticle are most active in a reaction that breaks down a harmful exhaust gas in catalytic converters. The most active particles contained the biggest proportion of one particular atomic configuration -- one where two atoms, each surrounded by seven neighboring atoms, form pairs to carry out the reaction steps. The results are a step toward...