183 articles from THURSDAY 2.12.2021

Forty percent of North Atlantic right whale population using Gulf of Saint Lawrence as seasonal habitat

Researchers have identified 187 individual North Atlantic right whales—about 40 percent of the catalogued population—in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence during the summer. They used photographs of North Atlantic right whales collected during surveys conducted between 2015 and 2019. Many of the right whales remain in the area through the summer and autumn, feeding and socializing primarily in...

Most dog breeds highly inbred

Dog breeds are often recognized for distinctive traits—the short legs of a dachshund, wrinkled face of a pug, spotted coat of a Dalmatian. Unfortunately, the genetics that give various breeds their particular attributes are often the result of inbreeding.

Most dog breeds highly inbred

The majority of dog breeds are highly inbred, contributing to an increase in disease and health care costs throughout their lifespan, according to new research.

Researchers attacking menacing ‘superbug’

Scientists around the world have been working in earnest to improve understanding of an increasingly virulent superbug, Clostridium difficile. The highly contagious hospital-acquired pathogen, designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the five most urgent threats to the U.S. healthcare system, causes more than 500,000 infections and 29,000 deaths each year at a total...

Shaping up nicely: Adjusting the plasma edge can improve the performance of a star on Earth

While trying out a new device that injects powder to clean up the walls of the world's largest stellarator, a twisty fusion device known as Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) in Greifswald, Germany, scientists were pleased to find that the bits of atoms confined by magnetic fields within the device got temporarily hotter after each injection. Researchers led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's...

How does the climate crisis affect the Antarctic fur seal?

The climate crisis is limiting the availability of krill—small crustaceans that are vital in the marine food chain—during summer in some areas of the Antarctica. This involves a decrease in the food abundance for female Antarctic fur seals in summer and a decrease in their reproductive success. Moreover, the predation of pups by the leopard seal has also increased due to a lower abundance of...

Twisting elusive quantum particles with a quantum computer

While the number of qubits and the stability of quantum states are still limiting current quantum computing devices, there are questions where these processors are already able to leverage their enormous computing power. Scientists used a quantum processor to simulate the ground state of a so-called toric code Hamiltonian -- an archetypical model system in modern condensed matter physics, which...

Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets spintronics

When two superconducting regions are separated by a strip of non-superconducting material, a special quantum effect can occur, coupling both regions: The Josephson effect. If the spacer material is a half-metal ferromagnet, novel implications for spintronic applications arise. An international team has now, for the first time, designed a material system that exhibits an unusually long-range...

Researchers receive patent for identifying viable embryos

Since 1978 when the first test tube baby was born, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a reasonable option for couples that have trouble getting pregnant. Originally developed to help women with obstructed tubes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as of 2018, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) such as IVF account for as many as four million births each year,...

Scientists use quantum processor to simulate 2D states of quantum matter

What would it be like if we lived in a flat two-dimensional world? Physicists predict that quantum mechanics would be even stranger in that case, resulting in exotic particles—so-called "anyons"— that cannot exist in the three-dimensional world we live in. This unfamiliar world is not just a curiosity but may be key to unlocking quantum materials and technologies of the future.

Researchers develop novel 3D printing technique to engineer biofilms

Anne S. Meyer, an associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester, and her collaborators at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently developed a 3D printing technique to engineer and study biofilms—three-dimensional communities of microorganisms, such as bacteria, that adhere to surfaces. The research provides important information for creating synthetic materials...

Molecular device turns infrared into visible light

Light is an electromagnetic wave: It consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields propagating through space. Every wave is characterized by its frequency, which refers to the number of oscillations per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). Our eyes can detect frequencies between 400 and 750 trillion Hz (or terahertz, THz), which define the visible spectrum. Light sensors in cell phone cameras...

Boosting thermopower of oxides via artificially laminated metal/insulator heterostructure

Thermoelectric materials have the ability to generate electricity when a temperature difference is applied to them. Conversely, they can also generate a temperature gradient when current is applied to them. Therefore, these materials are expected to find use as power generators of electronic devices and coolers or heaters of temperature control devices. To develop these applications, a...