333 articles from MONDAY 7.6.2021

Correcting misperceptions about, and increasing empathy for, migrants

Many mainstream depictions of immigration at the southern border of the United States paint a dark picture, eliciting imagery of violent gang members and child trafficking. But how many undocumented immigrants are really involved in this kind of activity? Many people may be surprised to learn the answer is far fewer than they think.

Visualizing cement hydration on a molecular level

The concrete world that surrounds us owes its shape and durability to chemical reactions that start when ordinary Portland cement is mixed with water. Now, MIT scientists have demonstrated a way to watch these reactions under real-world conditions, an advance that may help researchers find ways to make concrete more sustainable.

Climate change a bigger threat to landscape biodiversity than emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle native to Southeast Asia, threatens the entire ash tree population in North America and has already changed forested landscapes and caused tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue to the ash sawtimber industry since it arrived in the United States in the 1990s. Despite the devastating impact the beetle has had on forests in the eastern and midwestern...

New connector for sustainable structures on Earth and in space

As part of his Master's degree in civil engineering, an EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) student developed a connector for use in building sustainable structures. His initial project has expanded into an online program for designing bamboo furniture that's stylish, modular and customizable. And now his connector is being looked at for use by astronauts in outer space.

This forest has stayed wild for 5,000 years -- the soil shows it

Parts of the Amazon have been cultivated by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years, and mere centuries ago were the sites of cities and farmland, but other parts are 'untouched.' By examining microscopic bits of plant remains and charcoal in the soil, scientists learned that the Putumayo region of Peru's plant life hasn't changed much in 5,000 years, meaning that the people who have lived there...

Innovative batteries put flying cars on the horizon

Jet packs, robot maids and flying cars were all promises for the 21st century. We got mechanized, autonomous vacuum cleaners instead. Now a team of Penn State researchers are exploring the requirements for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and designing and testing potential battery power sources.

Arctic rotifer lives after 24,000 years in a frozen state

Bdelloid rotifers are multicellular animals so small you need a microscope to see them. Despite their size, they're known for being tough, capable of surviving through drying, freezing, starvation, and low oxygen. Now, researchers have found that not only can they withstand being frozen, but they can also persist for at least 24,000 years in the Siberian permafrost and survive.

Antarctica: How have temperatures varied since the last glacial period?

Antarctica has experienced significant temperature changes, especially since the last glacial period. An international collaboration has now challenged previously accepted estimates of these variations, using new measurements. Their study highlights differences in behavior between East and West Antarctica, connected in particular to differing variations in their altitude.

Researchers find toxin from maple tree in cow's milk

Cows can pass on the hypoglycin A toxin through their milk, a study shows. The substance can cause severe symptoms in humans and animals. Small amounts of the toxin were detected in the raw milk of cows that grazed in a pasture exposed to sycamore maple. The team calls for further investigations to realistically assess the potential dangers.

Carbon dioxide sensors in two urban areas registered big drop in emissions during COVID-19 pandemic

Carbon dioxide emissions in Los Angeles and the Washington DC/Baltimore regions fell roughly 33 percent in April of 2020 compared with previous years, as roads emptied and economic activity slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. But while the emissions reductions are significant, the method that scientists used to measure them may have the greater long-term impact.