302 articles from TUESDAY 7.7.2020

Physicist optimizes DNA microscopy technique to improve imaging speed, add color

Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy can be used to visualize structures smaller than 200 nanometers, i.e., below the diffraction limit of light. One of the microscopy techniques, called DNA-PAINT, was developed by Ralf Jungmann, research group leader at the MPI of Biochemistry and Professor for Experimental Physics at LMU, together with colleagues. The technique uses short 'imagers',...

Using sound to study underwater volcanoes

Imagine placing a rock on a piece of suspended cardboard. If the cardboard is strong and hearty, like the cover of a hardback book, the rock can sit there for a long time and the board will barely flex due to the weight of the rock. But if the cardboard is flimsy, more like poster board, it will start to give beneath the weight of the rock, distorting in shape and structure.

How to tackle climate change, food security and land degradation

How can some of world's biggest problems -- climate change, food security and land degradation -- be tackled simultaneously? Some lesser-known options, such as integrated water management and increasing the organic content of soil, have fewer trade-offs than many well-known options, such as planting trees, according to a new study.

Scientists put forward plan to create universal species list

Single classification system could end centuries of disagreement and improve global efforts to tackle biodiversity loss A plan to create the first universally recognised list of species on Earth has prompted hopes of an end to centuries of disagreement and confusion over how to classify the world’s library of life.The 10-point plan aims to finally bring order with an authoritative list of the...

Making a list of all creatures, great and small

A paper published July 7, 2020 in the open access journal PLOS Biology outlines a roadmap for creating, for the first time, an agreed list of all the world's species, from mammals and birds to plants, fungi and microbes.

Predicting fire risk

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a method that uses machine learning to predict seasonal fire risk in Africa, where half of the world's wildfire-related carbon emissions originate.

Strange bedfellows: How butterfly caterpillars sustain their association with cocktail ants

The spectacular leaps of gazelles, group living in deer and monkeys, and fast flight in many insects are all linked by a common phenomenon—predation. In its various forms, predation has driven the evolution of a plethora of specialized structures (morphology) and behaviors among organisms. Insects, being especially vulnerable because of their small size, have evolved various strategies to avoid...

Conservation agriculture increases carbon sequestration in extensive crops

Agricultural activity is responsible for about 12% of the total emissions of greenhouse gases in Spain. Nevertheless, adopting good agricultural practices can help reverse this situation, by increasing the sequestration of organic carbon in soil. With the goal of compensating for CO2 emissions produced by agricultural activity by means of fixing organic carbon in soil, the 4perMille initiative...

On-chip spin-Hall nanograting for simultaneously detecting phase and polarization singularities

A plasmonic spin-Hall nanograting structure that simultaneously detects both the polarization and phase singularities of the incident beam is reported. The nanograting is symmetry-breaking with different periods for the upper and lower parts, which enables the unidirectional excitation of the SPP depending on the topological charge of the incident beam. Additionally, spin-Hall meta-slits are...

Curiosity Mars rover's summer road trip has begun

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has started a road trip that will continue through the summer across roughly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of terrain. By trip's end, the rover will be able to ascend to the next section of the 3-mile-tall Martian (5-kilometer-tall) mountain it's been exploring since 2014, searching for conditions that may have supported ancient microbial life.

For cleaner air, water, and soil

The air around us is getting more and more polluted. No wonder many scientists strive to find a way to purify it. Thanks to the work of an international team led by prof. Juan Carlos Colmenares from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, we are a big step closer to achieving this goal. The team found a way to make an efficient reactive adsorbent able to purify air from...

Agriculture: A climate villain? Maybe not!

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain. This conclusion, however, is based on a paradigm that can be questioned, writes Per Frankelius, Linkoping University, in an article in Agronomy Journal.

A chemical cocktail of air pollution in Beijing, China during COVID-19 outbreak

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads rapidly around the world, and has limited people's outdoor activities substantially. Air quality is therefore expected to be improved due to reduced anthropogenic emissions. However, in some megacities it has not been improved as expected and severe haze episodes still occurred during the COVID-19 lockdown.

To protect threatened beetle, entomologists hope new colony takes hold

As thousands of hopeful coronavirus shut-ins look forward to heading to Atlantic beaches for the July 4 holiday, University of Massachusetts Amherst entomologist Rodger Gwiazdowski and colleagues are also heading to the beach—but they'll visit the last quiet natural one protected by the National Park Service at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

A new understanding of protein movement

Many of the most promising medicines under development are proteins, often antibodies, to help patients fight disease. These proteins must be purified as part of the manufacturing process—a task that can be tricky and result in costly waste.