294 articles from WEDNESDAY 4.11.2020

Study finds environmentally-friendly' tableware harms marine animals

A new Tel Aviv University study compares the effects of two types of disposable dishes on the marine environment—regular plastic disposable dishes and more expensive bioplastic disposable dishes certified by various international organizations—and determines that the bioplastic dishes had a similar effect on marine animals as regular plastic dishes. Moreover, the study finds that bioplastic...

NYC first responders have high COVID-19 rates; public surfaces may hold clues to virus spread

Compared to the general public, New York City firefighters and emergency medical workers were 15 times more likely to be infected with the new coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic, researchers reported on Thursday in ERJ Open Research. Compared to the firefighters, the EMTs and paramedics were more likely to contract the virus and to develop severe COVID-19. Everyone in the study...

Vote count livestreams are here to stay

As the US election process wore on from Tuesday evening into Wednesday, multiple counties across the country are broadcasting the ballot counting process. What it is: Given the closeness of the election, it’s not surprising that voters and candidates alike are nervous about how votes are being tallied. So officials across the country have taken a note from Twitch and Instagram by installing a...

Ancient Remains in Peru Reveal Young, Female Big-Game Hunter

The discovery of a 9,000-year-old female skeleton buried with what archaeologists call a "big-game hunting kit" in the Andes highlands of Peru has challenged one of the most widely held tenets about ancient hunter gatherers -- that males hunted and females gathered.Randy Haas, an archaeologist at the University of California, Davis, and a group of colleagues, concluded in a paper...

Mimicking moth eyes to produce transparent anti-reflective coatings

The eyes of moths have a biological nanostructure that grants them anti-reflective properties. Though researchers have managed to mimic this structure to produce anti-reflective coatings, current techniques are not easily scalable. Now, researchers have devised a strategy to produce large area moth-eye transparent films that greatly reduce reflectance and improve transmittance. These films could...

The Guardian view on Tory lockdown sceptics: a dangerous trend | Editorial

It is right that MPs represent a spectrum of opinion, but there is precedent for Conservative governments being hijacked by a factional minorityIt is unusual for prime ministers to apologise for their policies the way Boris Johnson seeds his lockdown announcements with regret and reluctance. Some of that tone is understandable, but it too often shades into evasion of responsibility. He sounds...

Brain region tracking food preferences could steer our food choices

Researchers discovered that a specific brain region monitors food preferences as they change across thirsty and quenched states. By targeting neurons in that part of the brain, they were able to shift food choice preferences from a more desired reward (think: chocolate cake) to a less tasty one (think: stale bread).

Local cooking preferences drove acceptance of new crop staples in prehistoric China

The food preparation preferences of Chinese cooks -- such as the technological choice to boil or steam grains, instead of grinding or processing them into flour -- had continental-scale consequences for the adoption of new crops in prehistoric China, according to new research. The authors drew on data from the bones of nearly 2,500 humans to map patterns of changing cuisines over the course of...

Bronze Age travel routes revealed using pioneering research method

Archaeologists have reconstructed the ancient seasonal migration routes of Bronze Age herders in Xinjiang, north-western China. Their research was the result of innovative methodology. To determine snow cover and vegetation cycles, crucial to the survival of Bronze Age people and their flocks, they examined both satellite imagery and archaeological evidence, as well as interviewing modern-day...

'Environmentally-friendly' tableware harms marine animals

A new study compares the effects of two types of disposable dishes on the marine environment -- regular plastic disposable dishes and more expensive bioplastic disposable dishes certified by various international organizations -- and determines that the bioplastic dishes had a similar effect on marine animals as regular plastic dishes.

A crowded mountain can make silverback gorillas more violent

A crowded mountain can make silverbacks more violent, scientists say. Mountain gorillas spend most of their time sleeping, chomping leaves and wild celery stalks, and grooming each other’s fur with long, dexterous fingers. Researchers who analyzed 50 years of demographic and behavioral data from Rwanda found that as the number of gorilla family groups living in a habitat increased, so did the...