233 articles from FRIDAY 25.9.2020

Bird genes are multitaskers, say scientists

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have found that although male and female birds have an almost identical set of genes, they function differently in each sex through a mechanism called alternative splicing.

What Australia needs to do to avoid a third Covid wave

Lessons from other parts of the world show we should lock down early, rely on evidence – and get used to wearing masksVictoria and Melbourne trend mapVic hotspots list; Australia interactive; NSW trend mapMelbourne’s stage 4 rules; Victoria’s ‘step 3’ rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s Covid emailAs Victoria reaches the end of its second wave of the coronavirus, the focus is now on...

NASA astronaut plans to cast her ballot from space station

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins told The Associated Press on Friday that she plans to cast her next vote from space – more than 200 miles above Earth. Rubins is just outside Moscow in Star City, Russia, preparing with two cosmonauts for a mid-October launch and a six-month stay at the International Space Station. “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins...

NASA observations aid efforts to track California's wildfire smoke from space

Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks—some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge. One of those was the August Complex Fire, which reportedly began as 37 distinct fires caused by lightning strikes in northern California on Aug. 17. That fire is still burning over a month later.

Researchers help develop sustainable polymers

Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have made new discoveries on the effects of temperature on sustainable polymers. Their findings may help the industry to produce plastics that are better for the environment.

New measurements show moon has hazardous radiation levels

China’s lander on the far side of the moon is providing the first full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, vital information for NASA and others aiming to send astronauts to the moon, the study noted. “This is an immense achievement in the sense that now we have a data set which we can use to benchmark our radiation" and better understand the potential risk to people on...

Materials scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

A new 3-D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. Researchers at UC San Diego show that by controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, or LCE, they can control the material's degree of stiffness and ability to contract—also known as degree of actuation. What's more, they are able to...

Teaching kids to read during the coronavirus pandemic: 5 questions answered

Keisha Allen and Kindel Nash research how kids learn to read and prepare future teachers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. They are also raising children of their own. Here, they answer five questions many families and teachers may have about what they are seeing with virtual learning for early childhood education.

A better alternative to phthalates?

Researchers analyzed urine samples from pregnant women to look for the presence of DINCH, which is short for di(isononyl)cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate. They found concentrations of DINCH in most of the urine samples but no evidence of effects in lab assays on two hormones, progesterone and estrogen.

U.S. hospital admissions for non-COVID-19 have only partially rebounded from initial decline

While declines in U.S. hospital admissions during the onset of COVID-19 has been well-documented, little is known about how admissions during the rebound varied by age, insurance coverage and socioeconomic groups. The decline in non-COVID-19 admissions was similar across all demographic subgroups but the partial rebound that followed shows that non-COVID-19 admissions for residents from Hispanic...

Not letting students choose their roommates can make college a drag

When colleges and universities assign roommates instead of letting students pick and choose their own, the idea is often to increase the chance that students will live with someone from a different racial or ethnic background. It's also to help them create a more diverse network of friends.

New, Exciting Experiments Headed to the International Space Station

Portal origin URL: New, Exciting Experiments Headed to the International Space StationPortal origin nid: 464892Published: Friday, September 25, 2020 - 13:40Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: New, Exciting Experiments Headed to the International Space StationPortal image: View of the Cygnus spacecraft at the International Space Station with the...

How to better understand what makes a virus win during transmission?

Estimating fitness variation among microorganisms, meaning their aptitude to survive and reproduce in given conditions, allows researchers to predict their infection trajectories in single hosts and transmission in host populations. Among two viral strains, which will be the one to win against the host's immune response, or upon administration of drugs and vaccines? In virus dynamics,...

Antiferromagnet lattice arrangements influence phase transitions

Antiferromagnets contain orderly lattices of atoms and molecules, whose magnetic moments are always pointed in exactly opposite directions to those of their neighbors. These materials are driven to transition to other, more disorderly quantum states of matter, or 'phases,' by the quantum fluctuations of their atoms and molecules—but so far, the precise nature of this process hasn't been fully...

New method helps detect heart damage in top-level competition dogs

Frequent high-intensity exercise entails cardiac remodeling both in humans and animals. In dogs, especially those used for top-level competition, it is of great interest to learn whether they develop the so-called athletic heart syndrome. In order to improve the clinical monitoring on behalf of the veterinarians who tend to these animals, professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the CEU...