231 articles from MONDAY 6.7.2020

Atomic 'Swiss Army knife' precisely measures materials for quantum computers

It images single atoms. It maps atomic-scale hills and valleys on metal and insulating surfaces. And it records the flow of current across atom-thin materials subject to giant magnetic fields. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel instrument that can make three kinds of atom-scale measurements simultaneously. Together, these measurements can...

Running in Tarahumara culture

"Running in Tarahumara (Rarámuri) Culture," just published in Current Anthropology (v61, no. 3 (June 2020): 356-379) studies the Tarahumara Native Americans of northern Mexico.

New high proton conductors with inherently oxygen deficient layers open sustainable future

Over the past few years, fuel cells have become a focal point of research in eco-friendly technology because of their superior abilities to store and produce renewable energy and clean fuel. A typical type of fuel cell gaining ground is the proton-conducting fuel cell, which is primarily made of materials through which hydrogen ions (protons: H+), can easily move. Proton-conducting materials...

Study shows great specificity of action by enzymes to correct double-strand DNA breaks

Our cells are constantly dividing, and as they do, the DNA molecule—our genetic code—sometimes gets broken. DNA has twin strands, and a break in both is considered especially dangerous. This kind of double-strand break can lead to genome rearrangements that are hallmarks of cancer cells, said James Daley, Ph.D., of the Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at...

Researchers develop novel approach to modeling yet-unconfirmed rare nuclear process

Researchers from the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) Laboratory at Michigan State University (MSU) have taken a major step toward a theoretical first-principles description of neutrinoless double-beta decay. Observing this yet-unconfirmed rare nuclear process would have important implications for particle physics and cosmology. Theoretical simulations are essential to planning and...

Sorting and secreting insulin by expiration date

A study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry describes a new way to determine the age of insulin-storage parcels, known as granules, and sheds light on how their age affects their release into the bloodstream. The findings could help experts better understand diabetes and fine-tune therapies for it.

Yellow pond-lily prefers cyclic flowers to spiral ones

Biologists from Lomonosov Moscow State University and HSE University have studied the patterns of flower development in yellow water-lily (Nuphar lutea). They found out that all the floral organs are arranged in cycles (whorls) rather than inserted sequentially in a spiral, as is the case in some other basal angiosperms. The ancestors of yellow pond-lily were among the first to diverge from the...

Researchers foresee linguistic issues during space travel

It lacks the drama of a shape-shifting alien creature, but another threat looms over the prospect of generations-long, interstellar space travel: Explorers arriving on Xanadu could face problems communicating with previous and subsequent arrivals, their spoken language having changed in isolation along the way.

Leap in lidar could improve safety, security of new technology

Whether it's on top of a self-driving car or embedded inside the latest gadget, Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) systems will likely play an important role in our technological future, enabling vehicles to 'see' in real-time, phones to map three-dimensional images and enhancing augmented reality in video games.

Clearview AI will stop offering facial recognition software in Canada, privacy officials say

Clearview AI, the controversial U.S.-based technology firm, will no longer make its facial recognition software available in Canada, according to federal and provincial privacy authorities. A statement issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on Monday said Clearview had advised officials of the move in response to an ongoing investigation by privacy...

A tiny ancient relative of dinosaurs and pterosaurs discovered

Dinosaurs and pterosaurs may be known for their remarkable size, but a newly described species that lived around 237 million years ago suggests that they originated from extremely small ancestors. The fossil reptile, named Kongonaphon kely, or 'tiny bug slayer,' would have stood just 10 centimeters tall. The study may help explain the origins of flight in pterosaurs, the presence of 'fuzz' on both...

First direct evidence of ocean mixing across the Gulf Stream

A new study provides first direct evidence for Gulf Stream blender effect, identifying a new mechanism of mixing water across the swift-moving current. The results have important implications for weather, climate and fisheries because ocean mixing plays a critical role in these processes. The Gulf Stream is one of the largest drivers of climate and biological productivity from Florida to...

Group genomics drive aggression in honey bees

Researchers often study the genomes of individual organisms to try to tease out the relationship between genes and behavior. A new study of Africanized honey bees reveals, however, that the genetic inheritance of individual bees has little influence on their propensity for aggression. Instead, the genomic traits of the hive as a whole are strongly associated with how fiercely its soldiers attack.

Desert algae shed light on desiccation tolerance in green plants

Deserts of the U.S. Southwest are extreme habitats for most plants, but, remarkably, microscopic green algae live there that are extraordinarily tolerant of dehydration. These tiny green algae (many just a few microns in size) live embedded in microbiotic soil crusts, which are characteristic of arid areas and are formed by communities of bacteria, lichens, microalgae, fungi, and even small...

Group genomics drive aggression in honey bees

Researchers often study the genomes of individual organisms to try to tease out the relationship between genes and behavior. A new study of Africanized honey bees reveals, however, that the genetic inheritance of individual bees has little influence on their propensity for aggression. Instead, the genomic traits of the hive as a whole are strongly associated with how fiercely its soldiers attack.

A tiny ancient relative of dinosaurs and pterosaurs discovered

Dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs may be known for their remarkable size, but a newly described species from Madagascar that lived around 237 million years ago suggests that they originated from extremely small ancestors. The fossil reptile, named Kongonaphon kely, or "tiny bug slayer," would have stood just 10 centimeters (or about 4 inches) tall. The description and analysis of this fossil and its...

Behind the dead-water phenomenon

What makes ships mysteriously slow down or even stop as they travel, even though their engines are working properly? This was first observed in 1893 and was described experimentally in 1904 without all the secrets of this 'dead water' being understood. An interdisciplinary team from the CNRS and the University of Poitiers has explained this phenomenon for the first time: the speed changes in ships...

First direct evidence of ocean mixing across the Gulf Stream

New research provides the first direct evidence for the Gulf Stream blender effect, identifying a new mechanism of mixing water across the swift-moving current. The results have important implications for weather, climate and fisheries because ocean mixing plays a critical role in these processes. The Gulf Stream is one of the largest drivers of climate and biological productivity from Florida to...

Herpesvirsuses hedge their bets to optimize survival

When investors hedge a bet, they divvy their money between risky investments, which might make a large profit, and safe investments, which help ensure that not everything is lost in a market crash. The herpesvirus cytomegalovirus, Gladstone researchers have discovered, takes a similar approach to infecting the human body.

Team obtained high-level control of spin qubit lifetime based on silicon quantum dots

By tuning the direction of the external magnetic field with respect to the crystallographic axis of the silicon wafer, an improvement of spin lifetime (relaxation time) by over two orders of magnitude was reported in silicon quantum dots. This breakthrough was carried out by a team led by academician Guo Guangcan from CAS Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, USTC, in which Prof. Guo Guoping,...

Owner behavior affects effort and accuracy in dogs' communications

Human communication has evolved mechanisms that can be observed across all cultures and languages, including the use of communication history and the principle of least effort. These two factors enable us to use shared information about the past and present and to conserve energy, making communications as effective and efficient as possible. Given the remarkable sensitivity of dogs to human...

Norman Conquest of 1066 did little to change people's eating habits

Archaeologists have combined the latest scientific methods to offer new insights into life during the Norman Conquest of England. Until now, the story of the Conquest has primarily been told from evidence of the elite classes of the time. But little has been known about how it affected everyday people's lives.

Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a novel cell-based therapeutic approach.

White dwarfs reveal new insights into the origin of carbon in the universe

A new analysis of white dwarf stars supports their role as a key source of carbon in galaxies. Every carbon atom in the universe was created by stars, but astrophysicists still debate which types of stars are the primary source of the carbon in our galaxy. Some studies favor low-mass stars that blew off their envelopes in stellar winds and became white dwarfs, while others favor massive stars that...