155 articles from MONDAY 4.10.2021

Team measures the breakup of a single chemical bond

The team used a high-resolution atomic force microscope (AFM) operating in a controlled environment at Princeton's Imaging and Analysis Center. The AFM probe, whose tip ends in a single copper atom, was moved gradually closer to the iron-carbon bond until it was ruptured. The researchers measured the mechanical forces applied at the moment of breakage, which was visible in an image captured by the...

NASA Invites Media to Launch of Double Asteroid Redirection Test

Portal origin URL: NASA Invites Media to Launch of Double Asteroid Redirection TestPortal origin nid: 474470Published: Monday, October 4, 2021 - 16:19Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Media accreditation is open for the upcoming launch of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, an evaluation of technologies for preventing a hazardous...

Our DNA is becoming the world's tiniest hard drive

Our genetic code is millions of times more efficient at storing data than existing solutions, which are costly and use immense amounts of energy and space. In fact, we could get rid of hard drives and store all the digital data on the planet within a couple hundred pounds of DNA.

A look back into record-breaking 2020 mei-yu rainfall and flooding throughout China

During summer 2020, heavy precipitation affected a significant portion of China and East and South Asia. The Yangtze River basin bore the brunt of extensive flooding, which caused loss of lives, considerable property damage and prompted millions of people to move to higher ground. To better understand why annual "mei-yu" conditions began earlier and ended later than normal, Dr. Ambrogio Volonté...

Exposure to deadly urban heat worldwide has tripled in recent decades, says study

A new study of more than 13,000 cities worldwide has found that the number of person-days in which inhabitants are exposed to extreme combinations of heat and humidity has tripled since the 1980s. The authors say the trend, which now affects nearly a quarter of the world's population, is the combined result of both rising temperatures and booming urban population growth.

Cell 'quakes' may help cells respond to the outside world

New computer simulations reveal that sudden restructuring of the cytoskeleton, or scaffolding, inside animal cells is caused by the slow buildup and rapid release of mechanical energy. Called cytoquakes, these disturbances may help the cell respond rapidly to signals from the outside environment, like chemicals produced by other cells or hormones in the bloodstream.

Weddell seal count: Fewer seals than previously thought

A research team has completed a global population estimate of Weddell seals in Antarctica, showing that there are significantly fewer seals than previously thought. Documenting the seals' population trends over time will help scientists better understand the effects of climate change and commercial fishing.

Supercomputers reveal how X chromosomes fold, deactivate

Using supercomputer-driven dynamic modeling based on experimental data, researchers can now probe the process that turns off one X chromosome in female mammal embryos. This new capability is helping biologists understand the role of RNA and the chromosome's structure in the X inactivation process, leading to a deeper understanding of gene expression and opening new pathways to drug treatments for...

Exposure to deadly urban heat worldwide has tripled in recent decades, says study

A new study of more than 13,000 cities worldwide has found that the number of person-days in which inhabitants are exposed to extreme combinations of heat and humidity has tripled since the 1980s. The authors say the trend, which now affects nearly a quarter of the world's population, is the combined result of both rising temperatures and booming urban population growth. The study was published...

Cell 'quakes' may help cells respond to the outside world

Animal cells get their structural integrity from their cytoskeleton, a shapeshifting mesh of filaments inside a cell that helps the cell organize its structure and communicate with its environment. A few years ago, scientists noticed that parts of the cytoskeleton would occasionally rearrange very rapidly, causing an earthquake-like disturbance in part of the cell. They named these disturbances...

Tuning chemical reactions with light

The chemical industry consumes a lot of energy, not only to initiate reactions but also to separate products from by-products. In a promising emerging field of research, scientists worldwide are trying to use nanoscale antennas to capture and concentrate light into tiny volumes in order to initiate chemical reactions more efficiently and sustainably.

Team engineers bioenergy-friendly fungi

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory team has successfully introduced a poplar gene into switchgrass, an important biofuel source, that allows switchgrass to interact with a beneficial fungus, ultimately boosting the grass's growth and viability in changing environments.

New 'risk triage' platform pinpoints compounding threats to US infrastructure

Over a 36-hour period in August, Hurricane Henri delivered record rainfall in New York City, where an aging storm-sewer system was not built to handle the deluge, resulting in street flooding. Meanwhile, an ongoing drought in California continued to overburden aquifers and extend statewide water restrictions. As climate change amplifies the frequency and intensity of extreme events in the United...

'Think twice' campaign could reduce risk of UK opioid epidemic

'Think twice' campaign could reduce risk of UK opioid epidemic. A pilot campaign that urged GPs (family doctors) to 'think-twice' before putting a patient on opioid medicines was effective in reducing opioid prescribing in primary care, according to the findings of a major study. Although the reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions issued by individual GPs was small, when aggregated...