167 articles from WEDNESDAY 18.8.2021

Humans managed shellfish and their predators for millennia, study finds

Due to their protected status, sea otter populations have rebounded across the Pacific Northwest Coast following their near elimination during the historic maritime fur trade. But the recovery of these shellfish predators and the federal laws now protecting them challenge local Indigenous communities who hold constitutionally protected rights to harvest those same shellfish but who are legally...

New research analyzes investor reaction to robo-advisors: Some investors miss opportunities

Believe it nor not, more and more lending companies are turning to human-robot interaction to help with investment advice. But how do people react and what's the result of an investment decision when robots use algorithms to make suggestions? New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research finds that investors who could benefit most from robo-advisors (RAs) aren't using them. And...

Smartphone cameras offer smallholder farmers promising new access to soil health knowledge

The lack of adequate access to effective soil fertility testing in India, and much of the subtropical and tropical world, has led a group of scientists to explore how a smartphone camera might be transformed into a powerful and readily available alternative. Recently published in the Elsevier journal Biosystems Engineering, the research team describes important advances in the area of image-based...

New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

Digital badges used as emblems to indicate an accomplishment or skill is a concept familiar to online learners seeking advanced knowledge in their profession. For many learners, digital badges have been used as a motivation to continue along a prescribed path—often through workshop attendance or completion of required online learning modules.

Cooperation under pressure: Lessons from the COVID-19 swab crisis

A major crisis that accompanied the rise of the pandemic was lack of availability of the nasopharyngeal swab -- necessary for testing for COVID-19, which in turn, was necessary to get a grip on the pandemic. An account of how one group addressed that crisis is published this week Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Developing enhanced fish vaccines with nanocellulose

Scientists are developing new fish vaccines using nanocellulose produced from Maine's wood pulp industry. Nanocellulose poses no known harmful effects to fish tissue and is unlikely to cause cellular damage. Fish vaccines made with nanocellulose may also be more effective and less expensive to produce than current vaccines made with adjuvants that are water and oil based, according to researchers....

Mystery of the seadragon solved

The genome of the seadragon, a very unusual fish, has been decoded. Seadragons (Phyllopetryx taeniolatus) live off the coast in western and southern Australia. Evolutionary biologists have now found the genetic basis for some external characteristics of the seadragon, like its lack of teeth and its distinct leaf-like appendages. The team also localized the sex-determination gene in the seadragon...

The case for onboard carbon dioxide capture on long-range vehicles

A research team offers a practical way to make ships CO2 neutral -- or even CO2 negative -- with CO2-capturing solid oxide fuel cells. After 'burning' traditional carbon-based fuels, the fuel cell generates concentrated CO2 that can be stored on-board the ship. From there, the CO2 can either be sequestered or recycled into a renewable hydrocarbon fuel.

What if our history was written in our grammar?

Humans have been always on the move, creating a complex history of languages and cultural traditions dispersed over the globe. An international team has now traced families of related languages over more than 10,000 years by combining data from genetics, linguistics and musicology using novel digital methods. Their findings: grammar reflects best the common prehistory of a population and therefore...

‘Shadow waveguide’ casts complex acoustic patterns to control particles

Engineers have devised a new approach to using sound waves to conduct complex manipulations of tiny particles suspended in liquid. Dubbed a 'shadow waveguide,' the technique uses only two sound sources to create a tightly confined, spatially complex acoustic field inside a chamber without requiring any interior structure. The technology offers acoustic tweezers abilities with applications in...

Key mechanisms behind synapse degeneration in Alzheimer’s brain discovered

Neurobiologists have uncovered the long-sought-after mechanisms behind the maintenance and decline of key synapses implicated in brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The researchers identified the main components driving amyloid beta-associated synapse degeneration, which is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. The findings suggest an alternative approach to addressing...

Researchers bioprint an entire active glioblastoma tumor using a 3D printer

The 3D print of glioblastoma -- the deadliest type of brain cancer -- is printed from human glioblastoma tissues containing all components of the malignant tumor. Researchers say the breakthrough will enable much faster prediction of best treatments for patients, accelerate the development of new drugs and discovery of new druggable targets.

Magnets could offer better control of prosthetic limbs

Researchers have developed a new strategy that could offer much more precise control of prosthetic limbs. After inserting small magnetic beads into muscle tissue, they can accurately measure the length of a muscle as it contracts, and this measurement can be relayed to a robotic prosthesis within milliseconds.

Emberometer could gauge threat of wildfire-spreading embers

As wildfire fronts advance through landscapes or communities on the ground, they also attack from above, launching volleys of glowing embers into the air. Also known as firebrands, these specks of burning debris can glide for up to 40 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) before landing and can cause up to 90% of home and business fires during wildfires.

'Triangle singularity' is responsible for transformation in the particle zoo

An international study led by the University of Bonn has found evidence of a long-sought effect in accelerator data. The so-called "triangle singularity" describes how particles can change their identities by exchanging quarks, thereby mimicking a new particle. The mechanism also provides new insights into a mystery that has long puzzled particle physicists: Protons, neutrons and many other...

An emberometer could gauge the threat of wildfire-spreading embers

As wildfire fronts advance through landscapes or communities on the ground, they also attack from above, launching volleys of glowing embers into the air. Also known as firebrands, these specks of burning debris can glide for up to 40 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) before landing and can cause up to 90% of home and business fires during wildfires.