181 articles from MONDAY 8.11.2021

How prolonged radiation exposure damages nuclear reactors

New research from Texas A&M University scientists could help in boosting the efficiency of nuclear power plants in the near future. By using a combination of physics-based modeling and advanced simulations, they found the key underlying factors that cause radiation damage to nuclear reactors, which could then provide insight into designing more radiation-tolerant, high-performance materials.

Hunting for alien planets with a new solar telescope

Thousands of alien worlds are known to orbit stars beyond our solar system. And many more worlds, possibly harboring life, lie waiting to be discovered. A new astronomical instrument called NEID, the NN-explore Exoplanet Investigations with Doppler spectroscopy, has come online in 2021 to help scientists hunt for new alien worlds.

Blood plasma protein fibrinogen interacts directly with nerve cells to cause brain inflammation

Before soluble fibrinogen, a blood plasma protein, is converted into insoluble fibrin molecules that can toxically accumulate outside blood vessels in the brain, fibrinogen connects directly with neurons and can cause a damaging inflammatory reaction, a research team reports. Their discovery may help identify new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and...

Diet restricted size of hunter-gatherer societies

Short growing seasons limited the possible size of hunter-gatherer societies by forcing people to rely on meat, according to a recent study. After looking at population size for the roughly 300 hunter-gatherer societies which existed until quite recently, the researchers found that many of these groups were much smaller than might have been expected from the local ecosystem productivity. In...

Why nitrous oxide emissions should factor into climate change mitigation

A newly published study found that a range of agricultural soils produce nitrous oxide emissions in sufficient quantities to contribute to climate change. The researchers compared soils with various moisture content and found agricultural soils are capable of high nitrous oxide emissions across a wide range of environmental conditions.

COVID-19 has a negative influence on prosocial behavior, finds study

COVID-19 has particularly negative effects on people who come from economically weaker and less educated backgrounds, especially when we look at health, job security and education—this is shown by figures and studies from recent months. How the coronavirus pandemic affects prosocial behavior, on the other hand, is still largely unknown. A group of economic researchers led by Matthias Sutter has...

Planetologists investigate origin of heavy bombardment of the moon 3.9 billion years ago

The moon was exposed to a heavy bombardment of asteroids 3.9 billion years ago. The origin of this bombardment, however, was previously unclear. Planetologists at Münster University have now tested these hypotheses with very precise isotope measurements of lunar rocks. Their conclusion: The bombardment of the moon goes back to continuous impacts of asteroids left over from the main phase of the...

New research informs treatment of sudden oak death, a killer of millions of trees

Sudden oak death is one of the most ecologically devastating forest diseases in North America and particularly California, where it has killed millions of oaks and tanoaks along the coast. The disease has altered species composition and impacted carbon pools and fire risk. To curb the impact of this disease, scientists need to better understand the basic biology of the causal pathogen...

In a laboratory experiment, researchers simulate alternative hydrocarbon formation through reduction of acetic acid

Hydrocarbons, which are an essential component of crude oil and natural gas, form under pressure and high temperatures in the deep ocean floor. In the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California, researchers have detected hydrocarbon gas patterns that could not have been generated by known formation pathways. In their study, which has now been published in the journal Proceedings of the National...

Latin American rice breeding gets a boost from genomic tools

How do you like your rice? Sticky, fluffy, brown, or white? These qualities, in addition to grain length, width, appearance, and other traits, are hugely important predictors of rice sales and consumption worldwide. And region matters. Rice preferences in Latin America, for example, are very different from those in West Africa, Japan, India, and elsewhere.

Air quality in Eindhoven, Netherlands significantly improves with 'Lungs of the City'

The air quality in many parts of Europe and the Netherlands does not meet the advisory values of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the smart integration of air purification technology at polluting hotspots in public spaces can substantially reduce fine dust concentrations in cities. This is the conclusion of the Eindhoven University of Technology, ENS Clean Air, Air Liquide, and the...

Researchers discover first dinosaur species that lived on Greenland 214 million years ago

The two-legged dinosaur Issi saaneq lived about 214 million years ago in what is now Greenland. It was a medium-sized, long-necked herbivore and a predecessor of the sauropods, the largest land animals ever to live. It was discovered by an international team of researchers from Portugal, Denmark and Germany, including the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The name of the new...

Scientists issue new climate adaptation 'scorecard'

A new study, co-authored by researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Forestry, offers a "scorecard" for climate adaptation projects—a set of 16 criteria that can be used to evaluate climate adaptation projects and inform their design. The scientists recently published their findings in the journal Environmental Science & Policy.

Livestock antibiotics and rising temperatures disrupt soil microbial communities

Soils are home to diverse microbial communities that cycle nutrients, support agriculture, and trap carbon—an important service for climate mitigation. Globally, around 80% of Earth's terrestrial carbon stores are found in soils. Due to climate warming and other human activities that affect soil microorganisms, this important carbon sink is at risk.