327 articles from TUESDAY 25.8.2020

Researchers uncover unusual glassy behavior in a disordered protein

When UC Santa Barbara materials scientist Omar Saleh and graduate student Ian Morgan sought to understand the mechanical behaviors of disordered proteins in the lab, they expected that after being stretched, one particular model protein would snap back instantaneously, like a rubber band.

Demographers put COVID-19 death toll into perspective

With over 170,000 COVID-19 deaths to date, and 1,000 more each day, America's life expectancy may appear to be plummeting. But in estimating the magnitude of the pandemic, demographers have found that COVID-19 is likely to shorten the average US lifespan in 2020 by only about a year.

Memory protein: Researchers uncover unusual glassy behavior in a disordered protein

When researchers sought to understand the mechanical behaviors of disordered proteins in the lab, they expected that after being stretched, one particular model protein would snap back instantaneously, like a rubber band. Instead, this disordered protein relaxed slowly, taking tens of minutes to relax into its original shape -- a behavior that defied expectations, and hinted at an inner structure...

Researchers reveal molecular structures involved in plant respiration

All plants and animals respire, releasing energy from food. At the cellular level, this process occurs in the mitochondria. But there are differences at the molecular level between how plants and animals extract energy from food sources. Discovering those differences could help revolutionize agriculture.

Measuring the sensitivity of COVID tests with new material from NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have produced synthetic gene fragments from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This material, which is non-infectious and safe to handle, can help manufacturers produce more accurate and reliable diagnostic tests for the disease.

Study reveals two major microbial groups can't breathe

A new scientific study has revealed unique life strategies of two major groups of microbes that live below Earth's surface. A publication in Frontiers in Microbiology reports that these groups, originally thought to rely on symbiotic relationships with other organisms, may also live independently and use an ancient mode of energy production.

Researchers use fossilized teeth to reveal dietary shifts in ancient herbivores and hominins

A new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documents dietary shifts in herbivores that lived between 1-3 million years ago in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley. The research team, led by Enquye Negash, a postdoctoral researcher in the George Washington University Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, examined stable isotopes in the...

NASA gathers nighttime images of Laura becoming a Hurricane

Tropical Storm Laura strengthened to a hurricane in the morning hours of Aug. 25, and NASA provided infrared imagery that showed the structure, temperature and rainmaking capabilities of the storm. When NASA's Terra satellite and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead, both provided different images of Laura as it was about to exit the Caribbean Sea and move into the Gulf of Mexico.

Pinpointing Tropical Forests with High Ecological 'Quality'

Portal origin URL: Pinpointing Tropical Forests with High Ecological 'Quality'Portal origin nid: 463932Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 15:00Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: High-resolution NASA satellite data have made it possible for scientists to develop maps showing the "quality" of tropical forests.Portal image: Map of...

Weather aids firefighters battling California blazes

Three massive blazes in the San Francisco Bay Area grew slightly overnight, but their containment ticked up as crews arrived from out of state and over 14,000 firefighters fought two dozen major conflagrations across California. Authorities say California is in a "megafire era," with two of the state's largest-ever wildfires burning simultaneously and climate change blamed for blazes in...

Israeli phone hacking company faces court fight over sales to Hong Kong

Human rights advocates filed a new court petition against the Israeli phone hacking company Cellebrite, urging Israel’s Ministry of Defense to halt the firm’s exports to Hong Kong where security forces have been using the technology in crackdowns against dissidents as China takes greater control of Hong Kong. Hong Kong police documents show the use of Cellebrite to hack and unlock phones of...

Weather aids firefighters battling California blazes

Three massive blazes in the San Francisco Bay Area grew slightly overnight, but their containment ticked up as crews arrived from out of state and over 14,000 firefighters fought two dozen major conflagrations across California. Authorities say California is in a "megafire era," with two of the state's largest-ever wildfires burning simultaneously and climate change blamed for blazes in...

Nottinghamshire woman, 75, may be first known UK Covid victim

Scientific analysis suggests coronavirus was spreading in UK weeks earlier than thoughtCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageScientists believe a 75-year-old woman from Nottinghamshire was the first known person to catch coronavirus in the UK and the earliest to die from it, as research shows the disease was circulating widely in communities in early February.Samples...