159 articles from TUESDAY 27.7.2021

Australia Covid live update: Sydney lockdown to be extended as millions in Victoria and SA awake to eased restrictions

Gladys Berejiklian expected to announce four-week extension as single bubbles, rapid testing and accelerated vaccination rollout considered. Follow all the day’s news 10.34pm BST Chris Minns: We have offered bipartisan support for the health advice over the last four weeks and we will do as well going forward. At the moment what New South Wales needs to hear is a united front from the political...

Global dementia cases forecasted to triple by 2050

Positive trends in global education access are expected to decrease dementia prevalence worldwide by 6.2 million cases by the year 2050. Meanwhile, anticipated trends in smoking, high body mass index and high blood sugar are predicted to increase prevalence by nearly the same number: 6.8 million cases.

The pulse of the Dead Sea

Researchers have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the decrease in the Dead Sea's water table, evaporation and land subsidence.

Plastic, the Trojan Horse

A new study has found plastic accumulation in foods may be underestimated. There is also concern these microplastics will carry potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, which are commonly found in coastal waters, up the food chain.

More than just walking: A new role for core brain region

For decades, a key brain area has been thought to merely regulate locomotion. Now, a research group has shown that the region is involved in much more than walking, as it contains distinct populations of neurons that control different body movements. The findings could help to improve certain therapies for Parkinson's disease.

A naturally inspired, reusable system that purifies water and builds itself

In nature, the interaction of molecules at the boundary of different liquids can give rise to new structures. These self-assembling molecules make cell formation possible and are instrumental to the development of all life on Earth. They can also be engineered to perform specific functions -- and now, a team of researchers has leveraged this opportunity to develop a material that could remove...

Fruit fly offers lessons in good taste

The fruit fly has multiple taste organs throughout its body to detect chemicals, called tastants, that signal whether a food is palatable or harmful. It is still unclear, however, how individual neurons in each taste organ act to control feeding. To explore this question, a team used the fly pharynx as a model to study whether taste information regulates sugar and amino acid consumption at the...

Selenium may support deep microbial life in Earth's continental crust

International drilling efforts over the last decades into the seafloor have provided increasing evidence for the existence of an extensive deep biosphere below the seafloor. There, circulating fluids in the sub-seafloor deliver chemical compounds from which energy is produced to fuel microbial life in such deep ecosystems. Our understanding of the role of such chemolithotrophic microbes in the...

Improving soil health starts with farmer-researcher collaboration

Ask a farmer, a scientist, and a conservation professional to define soil health, and you might come up with three rather different answers. That mismatch may be at the root of lower-than-ideal adoption of soil conservation practices, according to a new study from the University of Illinois and The Ohio State University.

Want to reduce cockroach sex? Block an enzyme

It's not the look in her compound eyes or the shape of her carapace that really attracts the male cockroach to his mate. Instead, it's all those 29-carbon hydrocarbons in her cuticle that drive him wild. How the female cockroach regulates production of these contact sex pheromones, and what happens when she produces too few, is the subject of a new study publishing on July 27th in the open-access...

New strategy for drug design: Keeping copper atoms closer to keep bacteria away

The discovery of antibiotics was a huge breakthrough in medicine, which helped save countless lives. Unfortunately, their widespread use has led to the rapid evolution of highly resistant bacterial strains, which threaten to take humanity back to square one in the fight against infectious diseases. Even though researchers are seeking new design concepts for antibacterial drugs, the overall...