263 articles from TUESDAY 25.5.2021

Asthma medication use and exacerbations

How does the switch to a high-deductible health plan affect children with asthma? A new study suggests that enrollment in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) may not be associated with changes in asthma medication use or asthma exacerbations when medications are exempt from the deductible.

Candid cosmos: eROSITA cameras set benchmark for astronomical imaging

A team of scientists has developed the cameras for an astronomical instrument built to perform all-sky surveys in the x-ray wavelength regime. They highlight the features of the cameras, a key part of a telescope called eROSITA, describing the hardware development and ground testing, and report the performance aboard the satellite, opening doors to a deeper understanding of our cosmos.

SARS-CoV-2: Estimating infectiousness

Researchers have analyzed the PCR samples of more than 25,000 persons with COVID-19. The team determined the viral loads of each individual sample and used their results to estimate levels of infectiousness. The research provides a clear idea of the infectiousness of the disease in different age groups and at different levels of disease severity.

A COVID-fighter's guide to T cells

A new paper brings together research findings from COVID-19 researchers around the world. The results are striking: human T cells can target more than 1,400 sites on the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Does cold wildfire smoke contribute to water repellent soils in burned areas?

After a wildfire, soils in burned areas often become water repellent, leading to increased erosion and flooding after rainfall events - a phenomenon that many scientists have attributed to smoke and heat-induced changes in soil chemistry. But this post-fire water repellency may also be caused by wildfire smoke in the absence of heat, according to a new article.

Non-hallucinogenic psychedelic analog reverses effects of stress in mouse study

A novel compound similar in structure to the psychedelic drug ibogaine, but lacking its toxic and hallucinogenic effects, has been found to rapidly reverse the effects of stress in mice. Researchers found that a single dose of tabernanthalog (TBG) can correct stress-induced behavioral deficits, including anxiety and cognitive inflexibility, and also promotes the regrowth of neuronal connections...

Holograms increase solar energy yield

Researchers recently developed an innovative technique to capture the unused solar energy that illuminates a solar panel. They created special holograms that can be easily inserted into the solar panel package. This method can increase the amount of solar energy converted by the solar panel over the course of a year by about five percent.

Does cold wildfire smoke contribute to water repellent soils in burned areas?

After a wildfire, soils in burned areas often become water repellent, leading to increased erosion and flooding after rainfall events—a phenomenon that many scientists have attributed to smoke and heat-induced changes in soil chemistry. But this post-fire water repellency may also be caused by wildfire smoke in the absence of heat, according to a new paper from the Desert Research Institute...

Dimensions of invasive plant success

Invasive alien plants are plant species that grow in an environment outside their native habitat. If they successfully establish self-sustaining populations in these new environments—an event called "naturalization"—they can have considerable negative impacts on local ecosystems, economies, and societies. But not all alien plant species are equally effective in invading new habitats....

The Guardian view on ‘rules’ for Covid hotspots: another fine mess

The government’s shambolic presentation of new guidelines for certain areas undermines the fight to control the B.1.617.2 variantDuring the first phase of the Covid pandemic, councils were driven to despair by the government’s failure to consult with them adequately or utilise local public health expertise. Last May, for example, as infection rates spiralled in the north-east, numerous...

How to view the super blood moon tonight

Here are the times the lunar eclipse-supermoon will be visible in Australia – and if skies are cloudy, where you can see the livestreamA total lunar eclipse coinciding with a supermoon will be visible in Australian skies on Wednesday night for the first time in more than three years.The last total lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon, was in January 2019, but one has not been visible in...

Probing deeper into origins of cosmic rays

Cosmic rays are high-energy atomic particles continually bombarding Earth's surface at nearly the speed of light. Our planet's magnetic field shields the surface from most of the radiation generated by these particles. Still, cosmic rays can cause electronic malfunctions and are the leading concern in planning for space missions.

PUNCH mission passes important milestone

On May 20, 2021, the Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission achieved an important milestone, passing NASA's Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of its spacecraft and payload experiments. Southwest Research Institute is leading PUNCH, a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX) mission that will integrate understanding of the Sun's corona, the outer atmosphere visible during total solar...