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47 articles from PhysOrg

Why are the offspring of older mothers less fit to live long and prosper?

The offspring of older mothers don't fare as well as those of younger mothers, in humans and many other species. They aren't as healthy, or they don't live as long, or they have fewer offspring themselves. A longstanding puzzle is why evolution would maintain this maternal effect in so many species, since these late-born offspring are less fit to survive and reproduce.

New light-based method for faster 'green' production of building blocks for medicines

In industry, gaseous hydrocarbons such as ethane and methane are frequently changed into molecules that can act as building blocks for pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Typically, these processes take place at high temperatures and pressures, and can also produce large amounts of pollutants. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a new method for the immediate...

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

In a new meta-study, experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have published groundbreaking findings on the effects of climate change for fish stocks around the globe. As they report, the risks for fish are much higher than previously assumed, especially given that in certain developmental stages, they are especially sensitive to rising water...

Anaplasmosis bacterium tinkers with tick's gene expression to spread to new hosts

For the first time, scientists have shown that the bacterium that causes the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis interferes with tick gene expression for its survival inside cells and to spread to a new vertebrate host. Girish Neelakanta of Old Dominion University and colleagues report these findings in a study published July 2nd in PLOS Genetics.

Scientists dissociate water apart efficiently with new catalysts

University of Oregon chemists have made substantial gains in enhancing the catalytic water dissociation reaction in electrochemical reactors, called bipolar membrane electrolyzers, to more efficiently rip apart water molecules into positively charged protons and negatively charged hydroxide ions.

How that preprint about a 'more contagious strain' of coronavirus changed in peer review

On May 5, 2020, news broke about a reportedly more contagious variant of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—based on a preliminary paper posted to the preprint server bioRxiv. The preprint stated that a variant of the virus with a particular mutation leading to an amino acid change, D614G, in its spike protein was "more transmissible" than other forms and represented an "urgent concern"...

Researchers examine refugee children's academic, social, and emotional learning outcomes

Researchers at Global TIES for Children, an international research center based at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York, examined a variety of post-migration risks faced by Syrian refugee children enrolled in Lebanese public schools and found that students being older than expected for the grade in which they were placed was most consistently and strongly associated with developmental and learning...

Algae as living biocatalysts for a green industry

Many substances that we use every day only work in the right 3-D structure. Natural enzymes could produce these in an environmentally friendly way—if they didn't need a co-substrate that is expensive to produce to date. A research team at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has discovered exactly the necessary enzymes in unicellular green algae. Better still: living algae can be used as biocatalysts...

Scientists detect rapid changes in a black hole that may explain gamma-ray bursts

Some of the most massive and distant black holes in the universe emit an enormous amount of extraordinarily energetic radiation called gamma rays. This type of radiation occurs, for example, when mass is converted into energy during fission reactions that run nuclear reactors on Earth. But in the case of black holes, gamma radiation is even more energetic than that produced in nuclear reactors and...

New candidate for raw material synthesis through gene transfer

Cyanobacteria hardly need any nutrients and use the energy of sunlight. Bathers are familiar with these microorganisms—often incorrectly called "blue-green algae"—as they often occur in waters. A group of researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has discovered that the multicellular species Phormidium lacuna can be genetically modified by natural transformation and could thus...

Magnonic nano-fibers opens the way towards new type of computers

Magnetism offers new ways to create more powerful and energy-efficient computers, but the realization of magnetic computing on the nanoscale is a challenging task. A critical advancement in the field of ultralow power computation using magnetic waves is reported by a joint team from Kaiserslautern, Jena and Vienna in the journal Nano Letters.

New method measures temperature within 3-D objects

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography. The method may be useful in applications where traditional temperature probes won't work, like monitoring semiconductor performance or next-generation nuclear reactors.

Moss protein corrects genetic defects of other plants

Almost all land plants employ an army of molecular editors who correct errors in their genetic information. Together with colleagues from Hanover, Ulm and Kyoto (Japan), researchers from the University of Bonn have now transferred one of these proofreaders from the moss Physcomitrium patens (previously known as Physcomitrella patens) into a flowering plant. Surprisingly, it performs its work there...