222 articles from FRIDAY 18.6.2021

Memory helps us evaluate situations on the fly, not just recall the past

Scientists have long known the brain's hippocampus is crucial for long-term memory. Now a new study has found the hippocampus also plays a role in short-term memory and helps guide decision-making. The findings shed light on how the hippocampus contributes to memory and exploration, potentially leading to therapies that restore hippocampal function, which is impacted in memory-related aging and...

Animals' ability to adapt their habitats key to survival amid climate change

Birds build nests to keep eggs and baby nestlings warm during cool weather, but also make adjustments in nest insulation in such a way the little ones can keep cool in very hot conditions. Mammals, such as rabbits or groundhogs, sleep or hibernate in underground burrows that provide stable, moderate temperatures and avoid above-ground conditions that often are far more extreme outside the burrow.

Tropical system to bring heavy rain, flooding to Gulf Coast

Threats of heavy wind and rain from a tropical weather system spinning Friday in the Gulf of Mexico prompted the closure of Louisiana coastal oyster beds, forced postponement of weekend Juneteenth celebrations in Mississippi and Alabama and could tamp down Father's Day tourism on the northern Gulf Coast.

Researchers find optimal way to pay off student loans

After graduating or leaving college, many students face a difficult choice: Try to pay off their student loans as fast as possible to save on interest, or enroll in an income-based repayment plan, which offers affordable payments based on their income and forgives any balance remaining after 20 or 25 years.

In the visual thalamus, neurons are in contact with both eyes but respond to only one

The visual thalamus is classically known to relay visual stimuli coming from the retina to the cerebral cortex. Researchers now show that although neurons in the mouse visual thalamus connect to both eyes, they establish strong functional connections only with one retina. These results settle partly contradictory results of earlier studies and demonstrate how important it can be to complement...

New therapeutic target for C. difficile infection

A new study paves the way for the development of next generation therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), the most frequent cause of healthcare-acquired gastrointestinal infections and death in developed countries.

Earlier flood forecasting could help avoid disaster in Japan

Researchers have revealed that a newly developed forecasting system can accurately predict flood locations 32 hours in advance. Extreme rainfall events are occurring increasingly frequently; such accurate and timely flood warnings will help to minimize their impact by providing time for measures to protect people and property.

Dragonflies: Species losses and gains in Germany

Over the past 35 years, there have been large shifts in the distributions of many dragonfly species in Germany. Those of standing water habitats have declined, probably due to loss of habitat. Running-water species and warm-adapted species have benefited from improved water quality and warmer temperatures. The study highlights the importance of citizen science and natural history societies for...

How childhood exercise could maintain and promote cognitive function in later life

People who are physically active during childhood have higher cognitive functions in later life. Participants who exercised when they were children did better on cognitive tests regardless of their current age. However, no such relationship was found between task performance and post-childhood exercise -- suggesting that exercise during childhood is particularly important for brain development and...

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world

Properties of materials are often defined by imperfections in their atomic structure, especially when the material itself is just one atom thick, such as graphene. Researchers have now developed a method for controlled creation of such imperfections into graphene at length scales approaching the macroscopic world. These results, confirmed by atomically resolved microscope images, serve as an...