62 articles from FRIDAY 3.7.2020

First evidence of snake-like venom glands found in amphibians

Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers describe specialized glands found along the teeth of the ringed caecilian (Siphonops annulatus), which have the same biological origin and possibly similar function to the venom glands of snakes. As such, caecilians may represent the oldest...

Scientific 'red flag' reveals new clues about our galaxy

Figuring out how much energy permeates the center of the Milky Way—a discovery reported in the July 3 edition of the journal Science Advances—could yield new clues to the fundamental source of our galaxy's power, said L. Matthew Haffner of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

UK buys £400m stake in bankrupt satellite rival to EU Galileo system

Investment with India made in US firm OneWeb after Brexit locks UK out of Europe’s satellite navigation systemThe UK government has pledged to invest $500m (£400m) in bankrupt satellite company OneWeb, giving it a stake in a business that provides broadband from space.The government, which has proven so far unwilling to take stakes in major British companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic,...

'Fang'tastic: Biologists report snake-like dental glands in amphibians

Utah State University biologist Edmund 'Butch' Brodie, Jr. and colleagues from São Paulo's Butantan Institute report the first known evidence of oral venom glands in amphibians. Their research, supported by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, appears in the July 3, 2020, issue of iScience.

Toward super-fast motion of vortices in superconductors

An international team of scientists from Austria, Germany, and Ukraine has found a new superconducting system in which magnetic flux quanta can move at velocities of 10 to 15 km/s. This opens access to investigations of the rich physics of non-equilibrium collective systems and renders a direct-write Nb-C superconductor as a candidate material for single-photon detectors. The results are published...

Histone H3-H4 tetramer found to be a copper reductase enzyme

A team of researchers at the University of California has found that the histone H3-H4 tetramer is a copper reductase enzyme. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes two experiments they carried out that showed that histones are involved in reducing copper inside of cells. Johannes Rudolph and Karolin Luger with the University of Colorado at Boulder have published a...

Researchers propose novel method for plasmonic structural color generation

A research group led by Prof. Cao Hongtao at the Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering (NIMTE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has developed a novel direct growth method of vertically orientated nanocavity arrays to generate plasmonic structural colors, which feature wide gamut, improved color saturation, excellent stability in ambient condition and mass-production...

The sixth sense of animals: An early warning system for earthquakes?

Even today, nobody can reliably predict when and where an earthquake will occur. However, eyewitnesses have repeatedly reported that animals behave unusually before an earthquake. In an international cooperation project, researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz/Radolfzell and the Cluster of Excellence Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior at the...

Is coronavirus really in retreat in the UK?

Key questions about Covid-19 answered as lockdowns ease across the four nationsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEngland is approaching a significant relaxation of lockdown on Saturday, while in Scotland, outdoor cafes and beer gardens will begin to reopen from Monday. But with rises in infection cropping up around the UK is Covid-19 really on the wane? Continue...

Wiring a new path to scalable quantum computing

Last year, Google produced a 53-qubit quantum computer that could perform a specific calculation significantly faster than the world's fastest supercomputer. Like most of today's largest quantum computers, this system boasts tens of qubits—the quantum counterparts to bits, which encode information in conventional computers.

Heatwave trends accelerate worldwide

The first comprehensive worldwide assessment of heatwaves down to regional levels has revealed that in nearly every part of the world heatwaves have been increasing in frequency and duration since the 1950s.

Making food beautiful—and toxic

Toxic chemicals are being used by food sellers across sub-Saharan Africa to improve the look of meat and fish, scientists and food inspectors say, putting the health of millions at risk.