163 articles from FRIDAY 17.7.2020

When Scott Morrison muses about crossroads, he's really pondering his own prime ministership

With close to a million Australians unemployed, the government’s next run of decisions will need to be right, or at least right enoughScott Morrison has been musing out loud about crossroads. The brief foray into symbolism was prompted by the cluster of coronavirus infections at the Crossroads hotel in Casula in New South Wales. So far, state authorities seem to be on top of that outbreak....

A call to arms: Enlisting private land owners in conservation

In 1872 the United States created Yellowstone, the first National Park in the world. Since then many more parks, monuments, preserves, wildernesses and other protected areas have been created in the USA. Protected areas, like Yellowstone, are invaluable, but are they actually effective at preserving endangered species? And if not, how can future protected areas do better?

The Guardian view on the government’s coronavirus gamble: winter will come | Editorial

Boris Johnson suggested that England could see something like normality by Christmas. Don’t count on itCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn Aesop’s fable, the ant uses summer to prepare for the bleak months to come, while the grasshopper idles its time away, only to regret it as temperatures plummet. England must hope Boris Johnson remembers the tale, since as of...

Scientists achieve major breakthrough in preserving integrity of sound waves

In a breakthrough for physics and engineering, researchers from the Photonics Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY (CUNY ASRC) and from Georgia Tech have presented the first demonstration of topological order based on time modulations. This advancement allows the researchers to propagate sound waves along the boundaries of topological metamaterials...

Study reveals intricate details about Huntington's disease protein

The research focuses on axonal transport -- the way in which vital materials travel along pathways called axons inside nerve cells, or neurons. Scientists found that HTT sometimes journeys along these roadways in cellular vehicles (called vesicles) that also carry freight including a protein called Rab4. The research also identified other materials that may be present in these shipments.

Pesticides speed the spread of deadly waterborne pathogens

Widespread use of pesticides can speed the transmission of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis, while also upsetting the ecological balances in aquatic environments that prevent infections, finds a new study. The infection, which can trigger lifelong liver and kidney damage, affects hundreds of millions of people every year and is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases, in terms of...

Scientists count all the tiny snails in the Arctic

Shell-bearing microgastropods are snails whose size is less than five millimeters. They represent one of the least studied groups of metazoan living organisms in the oceans. Ivan Nekhaev is a senior research associate at the Department of Applied Ecology at St Petersburg University, and Ekaterina Krol is a doctoral student. They have summarized and analyzed the currently known information on the...

Image: Hubble spies sparkling galaxy

As beautiful as the surrounding space may be, the sparkling galaxy in the foreground of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope undeniably steals the show.

Released Siamese crocodile found nesting in the wild

A Siamese crocodile that was released into the wild in 2018 has been recorded nesting in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains. The female crocodile was identified by her tail scute markings as one that had previously been cared for at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center and this finding provides evidence that released Siamese crocodiles are not only surviving in the wild, but are also able to nest.

Where is water distributed during a drought?

In low precipitation periods, where and how is the limited available water distributed, and what possibilities are there for improving retention in the soil and the landscape? Dörthe Tetzlaff and her team from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) have discovered that vegetation has a major influence on this. The researchers are investigating the storage,...

How well do you know your bumblebees?

A citizen science collaboration, of which the University of Aberdeen is part of, launched a new tool this week to help members of the public learn more about bumblebees.

New explosive materials to bring nontoxic ammunition

Every time a gun fires, lead leaches into the air. A scientific advancement could provide a comparable replacement for lead-based explosive materials found in ammunition, protecting soldiers and the environment from potential toxic effects.

Separating gamma-ray bursts

By applying a machine-learning algorithm, scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have developed a method to classify all gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), rapid highly energetic explosions in distant galaxies, without needing to find an afterglow—by which GRBs are presently categorized. This breakthrough, initiated by first-year B.Sc. students, may prove key in finally...

The Anthropocene signature on Mount Elbrus, Caucasus

Researchers of the Institute of Polar Sciences of the Italian National Research Council and of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice analyzed fragrances deriving from personal care products and consumer goods in an ice core from Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus. The concentration profile of such fragrances from the 1930s to 2005 follows the trend of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that originate from...