352 articles from TUESDAY 12.1.2021

No-till practices in vulnerable areas significantly reduce soil erosion

Soil erosion is a major challenge in agricultural production. It affects soil quality and carries nutrient sediments that pollute waterways. While soil erosion is a naturally occurring process, agricultural activities such as conventional tilling exacerbate it. Farmers implementing no-till practices can significantly reduce soil erosion rates, a new study shows.

Beating the 'billion-dollar bug' is a shared burden

A lurking threat that has stymied US corn growers for decades is now returning to the forefront: western corn rootworm. Sometimes referred to as the "billion-dollar bug," the species' tiny larvae chew through the roots of corn plants, causing devastating yield losses. In 2003, farmers began planting a genetically engineered variety of corn known as "Bt," which produces a protein toxic to the pest...

Killing cancer by unleashing the body's own immune system

The body's immune system is the first line of defense against infections like bacteria, viruses or cancers. Some cancers, however, have developed the art of molecular deception to avoid destruction by the body's immune system. Now, a researcher might have found a new way to help the body's immune system get past that deception and destroy the cancer.

New study reveals how fences hinder migratory wildlife in Western US

Wildlife biologists combined GPS location data of tagged mule deer and pronghorn antelope with satellite imagery of Wyoming fences to find out just how often these animals encounter fences, and what happens when they do. The results help pinpoint which fences pose the biggest barrier to ungulates trying to access their ideal habitat.

Hunters and busybodies: Researchers use Wikipedia to measure different types of curiosity

Curiosity has been found to play a role in our learning and emotional well-being, but due to the open-ended nature of how curiosity is actually practiced, measuring it is challenging. Psychological studies have attempted to gauge participants' curiosity through their engagement in specific activities, such as asking questions, playing trivia games, and gossiping. However, such methods focus on...

"Boomerang" performance is on par with internal employees who never left the firm, new paper finds

Organizations seeking to fill internal roles traditionally have two options: promote from within or hire externally. Internal promotions benefit from being vetted talent who possess firm-specific skills while outside hires harbor external knowledge that can infuse an organization with new energy. Though this dichotomy is often accepted as unavoidable, there is a third option: boomerang employees.

Non-classical photosynthesis by earth's inorganic semiconducting minerals

Photosynthesis, the process by which plants and other organisms convert sunlight into chemical energy, has been a major player during the evolution of life and our planet's atmosphere. Although most of the ins and outs of photosynthesis are understood, how the necessary mechanisms evolved is still a topic of debate. The answer to this question, however, may actually lie buried in the mineral...

New Horizons spacecraft answers the question: How dark is space?

How dark is the sky, and what does that tell us about the number of galaxies in the visible universe? Astronomers can estimate the total number of galaxies by counting everything visible in a Hubble deep field and then multiplying them by the total area of the sky. But other galaxies are too faint and distant to directly detect. Yet while we can't count them, their light suffuses space with a...