301 articles from TUESDAY 7.7.2020

High-throughput sequencing tracks historical spread of grapevine viruses

Grapevine is infected by more than 90 viruses, with new viral species discovered yearly as a result of the newer technology introduced by High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS). Within the last decade, HTS is used for virome identification (the assemblage of viral genomes), which in turn helps plant pathologists with future research.

New collection of stars, not born in our galaxy, discovered in Milky Way

Astronomers can go their whole career without finding a new object in the sky. But for Lina Necib, a postdoctoral scholar in theoretical physics at Caltech, the discovery of a cluster of stars in the Milky Way, but not born of the Milky Way, came early—with a little help from supercomputers, the Gaia space observatory, and new deep learning methods.

Contest between superconductivity and insulating states in 'magic angle' graphene

If you stack two layers of graphene one on top of the other, and rotate them at an angle of 1.1º (no more and no less) from each other—the so-called 'magic-angle,' experiments have proven that the material can behave like an insulator, where no electrical current can flow, and at the same can also behave like a superconductor, where electrical currents can flow without resistance.

The cosmic commute towards star and planet formation

The molecular gas in galaxies is organized into a hierarchy of structures. The molecular material in giant molecular gas clouds travels along intricate networks of filamentary gas lanes towards the congested centers of gas and dust where it is compressed into stars and planets, much like the millions of people commuting to cities for work around the world.

Research reveals regulatory features of maize genome during early reproductive development

Growth and development of all organisms depends on coordinated regulation of gene expression in time and space, and this is largely controlled by non-coding sequences in the genome. A major challenge in genomics-enabled crop improvement is functional annotation of cis-regulatory elements in crop genomes and the ability to harness these sequences, either through breeding or biotechnology, to...

Fauci: US is ‘still knee-deep in first wave’ of pandemic as it nears 130,000 deaths

Top public health expert urges further action as new cases surge to record highs of around 50,000 a day across countryThe United States is “still knee-deep in the first wave” of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the country’s top public health experts has warned, as the country approaches 130,000 Covid-19 deaths and new polling indicates Donald Trump’s approval rating over his handling of...

Who might the government seek to blame for the UK's Covid-19 failings?

Ministers have been accused of trying to shift the narrative over response to pandemicCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhile ministers insist that it is too early to fully consider what lessons might be learned from the coronavirus outbreak, the UK’s death toll – the highest in Europe – is expected to prompt an inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.In recent...

Several pubs in England close after positive coronavirus tests

At least four premises say they will shut after staff or customers contract virusCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt least four pubs in England that reopened their doors for the first time on Saturday have been forced to close again after customers or staff tested positive for Covid-19.The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said a customer had...

Our animal inheritance: Humans perk up their ears, too, when they hear interesting sounds

Many animals move their ears to better focus their attention on a novel sound. That humans also have this capability was not known until now. A research team now has demonstrated that we make minute, unconscious movements of our ears that are directed towards the sound want to focus our attention on. The team discovered this ability by measuring electrical signals in the muscles of the vestigial...

1.5 billion people will depend on water from mountains

Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions. In 30 years, almost a quarter of the world's lowland population will strongly depend on runoff from the mountains. Only sustainable development can ensure the important function of mountain areas as Earth's ''water...

Dopamine neurons mull over your options

Researchers have found that dopamine neurons in the brain can represent the decision-making process when making economic choices. As monkeys contemplated whether or not to choose an item, a subset of dopamine neurons transitioned from indicating the item's value to indicating the monkey's ultimate decision. Encoding of the decision into these dopamine neurons happened earlier than it did in other...

Excitation of robust materials

So-called topological materials have special electronic properties, which are very robust against external perturbations. In tungsten ditelluride such a topologically protected state can be ''broken up'' using special laser pulses within picoseconds and thus change its properties. This could be a key requirement for realising extremely fast, optoelectronic switches. For the first time, physicists...