341 articles from THURSDAY 13.8.2020

Big dogs face more joint problems if neutered early

Heavier mixed-breed dogs have higher health risks if neutered or spayed early, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis. The study found mixed-breed dogs weighing more than 44 pounds as adults are at higher risk for one or more joint disorders if neutered before 1 year of age. Dogs weighing up to 43 pounds had no increased risk for joint problems. The study...

New catalyst efficiently turns carbon dioxide into useful fuels and chemicals

As levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide continue to climb, scientists are looking for new ways of breaking down CO2 molecules to make useful carbon-based fuels, chemicals and other products. Now, a team of Brown University researchers has found a way to fine-tune a copper catalyst to produce complex hydrocarbons—known as C2-plus products—from CO2 with remarkable efficiency.

Cover crop roots are an essential key to understanding ecosystem services

To judge the overall effectiveness of cover crops and choose those offering the most ecosystem services, agricultural scientists must consider the plants' roots as well as above-ground biomass, according to Penn State researchers who tested the characteristics of cover crop roots in three monocultures and one mixture.

Embracing remote research can benefit postdocs and their research teams

As the uncertainty around reopening college and university campuses this fall continues, those who work, study, teach and conduct research are navigating the uncertain terrain of the "new normal." They are balancing physical distancing and other COVID-19 prevention practices with productivity, creating home workspaces and mastering communications and teamwork across time and space.

Researchers discover new phase of nanoconfined water

Researchers at MIPT Laboratory of Terahertz Spectroscopy together with their Russian and international colleagues discovered a new phase of nanoconfined water; separate water molecules that are confined within nanocavities formed by ions of cordierite crystal lattice. The first reliable experimental observation of a phase transition in a network of dipole-dipole coupled water molecules is, in and...

How a protein stops cells from attacking their own DNA

Viruses multiply by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Once it enters the intracellular fluid, this foreign material triggers a defense mechanism known as the cGAS-STING pathway. The protein cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS), which is also found inside the fluid, binds to the invading DNA to create a new molecule. This, in turn, binds to another protein called Stimulator of Interferon Genes...

Busting Up the Infection Cycle of Hepatitis B

Researchers have gained new understanding of the virus that causes hepatitis B and the 'spiky ball' that encloses its genetic blueprint. They looked at how the capsid -- a protein shell that protects the blueprint and also drives the delivery of it to infect a host cell -- assembles itself. The capsid is an important target in developing drugs to treat hepatitis B, a life-threatening and incurable...

Bacterial enzymes hijacked to create complex molecules normally made by plants

Chemists have efficiently created three families of complex, oxygen-containing molecules that are normally obtainable only from plants. These molecules, called terpenes, are potential starting points for new drugs and other high-value products -- marking an important development for multiple industries. In addition, the new approach could allow chemists to build many other classes of compounds.

Academia from home

As the uncertainty around reopening college and university campuses this fall continues, those who work, study, teach and conduct research are navigating the uncertain terrain of the 'new normal.' They are balancing physical distancing and other COVID-19 prevention practices with productivity, creating home workspaces and mastering communications and teamwork across time and space.

Hepatitis B: Natural controllers shed light on immunity mechanisms

To improve our understanding of the antibody response conferring protection against HBV infection, scientists have produced and characterized human monoclonal antibodies specific to viral envelope antigens, referred as HBsAg, from blood memory B cells isolated from HBV vaccinees and natural controllers.

COVID-19 symptom tracker ensures privacy during isolation

An online COVID-19 symptom tracking tool developed by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center ensures a person's confidentiality while being able to actively monitor their symptoms. The tool is not proprietary and can be used by entities that are not able to develop their own tracking systems.

Efficient low-cost system for producing power at night

Researchers have designed an off-grid, low-cost modular energy source that can efficiently produce power at night. The system uses commercially available technology and could eventually help meet the need for nighttime lighting in urban areas or provide lighting in developing countries.

Reconstructing global climate through Earth's history

Accurate temperature estimates of ancient oceans are vital because they are the best tool for reconstructing global climate conditions in the past. While climate models provide scenarios of what the world could look like in the future, paleoclimate studies (study of past climates) provide insight into what the world did look like in the past.