258 articles from MONDAY 12.7.2021

Crystal clear: Lepidopterans have many ways of being transparent

Butterflies and moths have beautiful wings: The bright flare of an orange monarch, the vivid stripes of a swallowtail, the luminous green of a Luna moth. But some butterflies flutter on even more dramatic wings: Parts of their wing, or sometimes the entire wing itself, are actually transparent.

US drilling approvals increase despite Biden climate pledge

Approvals for companies to drill for oil and gas on U.S. public lands are on pace this year to reach their highest level since George W. Bush was president, underscoring President Joe Biden's reluctance to more forcefully curb petroleum production in the face of industry and Republican resistance.

Childhood lead exposure may adversely affect adults' personalities

A study sampled more than 1.5 million people in 269 U.S. counties and 37 European nations. Researchers found that those who grew up in areas with higher levels of atmospheric lead had less adaptive personalities in adulthood -- lower levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness and higher levels of neuroticism.

Symbionts sans frontieres: Bacterial partners travel the world

This pandemic year has restricted international travel for humans. Not so for some microscopic bacteria in the ocean: They partner up with clams living in the sand beneath the shimmering waters of coastal habitats throughout the globe. According to research by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and the University of Vienna now published in PNAS, the...

Quantum phase transition discovered in a quasi-2D system consisting purely of spins

Pure quantum systems can undergo phase transitions analogous to the classical phase transition between the liquid and gaseous states of water. At the quantum level, however, the particle spins in states that emerge from phase transitions display collective entangled behavior. This unexpected observation offers a new avenue for the production of materials with topological properties that are useful...

Despite less rain, the torrentiality of Mediterranean watercourses has increased

Ana Camarasa, professor of physical geography at the University of Valencia, has compared the rainfall registered in the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation between 1989 and 2018. By analyzing more than 800 rainfalls and more than 140 floods in four Valencian boulevards (including the ravines of Poyo and Carraixet, at the south and north of València) the expert concludes that in the final part of...

Study highlights media's important role in debunking COVID-19 misinformation

A study by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found that as the type of COVID-19 misinformation rectified by Singapore's mainstream news media evolved over the course of the pandemic, the role played by the media in debunking those myths became increasingly important to citizens in the nation's fight to manage the outbreak.

Mapping extreme snowmelt and its potential dangers

Snowmelt—the surface runoff from melting snow—is an essential water resource for communities and ecosystems. But extreme snow melt, which occurs when snow melts too rapidly over a short amount of time, can be destructive and deadly, causing floods, landslides and dam failures.