141 articles from MONDAY 2.8.2021

Spanish cave art was made by Neanderthals, study confirms

Study says pigments on cave stalagmites were applied through ‘splattering and blowing’ more than 60,000 years agoNeanderthals, long perceived to have been unsophisticated and brutish, really did paint stalagmites in a Spanish cave more than 60,000 years ago, according to a study published on Monday.The issue had roiled the world of paleoarchaeology ever since the publication of a 2018 paper...

Trapped saltwater caused mangrove death after Hurricane Irma

When Hurricane Irma hit southern Florida in September of 2017, the storm buffeted coastal mangrove forests with winds over 116 mph—strong enough to rip off leaves, break branches, and snap tree trunks in half. Of the mangrove forest damaged by Hurricane Irma, about 83% recovered after the first year. But the rest didn't, leaving scientists wondering why some trees didn't bounce back.

Deep learning and holography create a better point-of-care sensor

Agglutination assays are widely used immunological sensors based on antigen-antibody interactions that result in clumping of antibody-coated microscopic particles. Once the sample—for example, a patient's serum—is introduced, the corresponding target antigens in the sample rapidly attach to the antibody binding sites and the particles start to form clusters due to the target antigen's...

Thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gas from depth

Geologists compared the spatial and temporal distribution of methane concentrations in the air of northern Siberia with geological maps. The result: the methane concentrations in the air after last year's heat wave indicate that increased gas emissions came from limestone formations.

Researchers identify approach for potential nontypeable haemophilus influenzae vaccine

Scientists have identified two proteins that could be used for a potential vaccine against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Working in a mouse model, the investigators found that administering two bacterial adhesive proteins that play a key role in helping the bacteria to latch on to respiratory cells and initiate respiratory tract infection stimulated protective immunity against diverse...

Seeing better by looking away

When we fixate an object, its image does not appear at the place where photoreceptors are packed most densely. Instead, its position is shifted slightly nasally and upwards from the cellular peak. Researchers observed such offsets in both eyes of 20 healthy subjects, and speculate that the underlying fixation behavior improves overall vision.

How headless hydra feel, react to prodding

Researchers identify redundant neural networks in jellyfish-like, freshwater hydra. The work is a step toward modeling how internal states and external stimuli shape the behavior of an organism with a highly dynamic neural architecture.

Neanderthals indeed painted Andalusia’s Cueva de Ardales

The origin and date of appearance of prehistoric cave art are the subjects of ongoing debate. Spain's Cueva de Ardales is one point of discussion. There a flowstone formation is stained red in places. This coloring is apparently almost 65,000 years old but until now, a part of the scientific community attributed it to a natural coating of iron oxide deposited by flowing water. However, that...

Finding the cause of a fatal problem in rocket engine combustors

Rocket engines contain confined combustion systems, which are essentially combustion chambers. In these chambers, nonlinear interactions among turbulent fuel and oxidizer flows, sound waves, and heat produced from chemical reactions cause an unstable phenomenon called "combustion oscillations." The force of these oscillations on the body of the combustion chamber—the mechanical stress on the...

How we see better by 'looking away'

When we fixate an object, its image does not appear at the place where photoreceptors are packed most densely. Instead, its position is shifted slightly nasally and upwards from the cellular peak. This is shown in a recent study conducted at the University of Bonn (Germany), published in the journal Current Biology. The researchers observed such offsets in both eyes of 20 healthy subjects, and...

New model tracks carbon in agroecosystems

Carbon is everywhere. It's in the atmosphere, in the oceans, in the soil, in our food, in our bodies. As the backbone of all organic molecules that make up life, carbon is a very accurate predictor of crop yields. And soil is the largest carbon pool on earth, playing an important role in keeping our climate stable.

Researchers use virtual reality to demonstrate effectiveness of 3D visualization as a learning tool

Researchers from the Neuroimaging Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Wisconsin Institute for the Discovery at University Wisconsin-Madison have developed the UW Virtual Brain Project, producing unique, interactive, 3D narrated diagrams to help students learn about the structure and function of perceptual systems in the human brain. A new study exploring how students responded to these lessons on...

Why is this weird, metallic star hurtling out of the Milky Way?

About 2,000 light-years away from Earth, there is a star catapulting toward the edge of the Milky Way. This particular star, known as LP 40−365, is one of a unique breed of fast-moving stars—remnant pieces of massive white dwarf stars—that have survived in chunks after a gigantic stellar explosion.

Overfishing and other human pressures are severely harming marine protected areas worldwide

A new study by Tel Aviv University reveals significant ecological damage to many MPAs around the world. The study findings point to a strong "edge effect" in MPAs, i.e. a sharp 60% reduction in the fish population living at the edges of the MPA (up to a distance of 1-1.5 km within the MPA) compared to core areas. The "edge effect" significantly diminishes the effective size of the MPA, and largely...