95 articles from TUESDAY 4.1.2022

Mass die-off of Magellanic penguins seen during 2019 heat wave

In 2019, researchers witnessed the consequences of an extreme heat event at Punta Tombo in Argentina, one of the world's largest breeding colonies for Magellanic penguins. On Jan. 19, temperatures at the site spiked in the shade to 44 C, or 111.2 F, killing at least 354 penguins. Nearly three-quarters of the penguins that died were adults, many of which likely died of dehydration, based on...

California imposes water restrictions as drought drags on

Californians won't be able to water their lawns for 48 hours after rainstorms or let their sprinklers run onto the sidewalk under mandatory water restrictions state regulators adopted Tuesday as a drought continues despite heavy December rain and snow.

Study finds fertilization affects soil microbial biomass and residue distribution by changing root biomass

Increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) input is one of the major contributors to anthropogenic climate change, which can regulate the sequestration and storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) by changing microbial communities and their residues, the significant component of stable SOC. However, it remains unclear how N and P fertilization influence aggregate-associated microbial communities and...

Parts of NHS may be overwhelmed by Covid wave, admits Boris Johnson

PM says England can ‘ride out’ Omicron without lockdown but acknowledges service is under huge pressureCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageParts of the NHS may be overwhelmed in the coming weeks, Boris Johnson has admitted for the first time as he insisted England can “ride out” its biggest ever Covid wave “without shutting down our country once again”.The...

Researchers identify new bacteria and viruses on human skin

Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and colleagues have identified new bacterial and fungal species, as well as viruses in the human skin microbiome.

Mass die-off of Magellanic penguins seen during 2019 heat wave

In June 2021, an unprecedented heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest and Canada, killing an estimated 1,400 people. On June 28, Seattle reached 108 F—an all-time high—while the village of Lytton in British Columbia recorded Canada's highest-ever temperature of 121.3 F on June 29, the day before it was destroyed by a heat-triggered wildfire.

Gravitational action of sun and moon influences behavior of animals and plants, study shows

The rhythms of activity in all biological organisms, both plants and animals, are closely linked to the gravitational tides created by the orbital mechanics of the sun-Earth-moon system. This truth has been somewhat neglected by scientific research but is foregrounded in a study by Cristiano de Mello Gallep at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and Daniel...

Plasma-based engineering creates contact-killing, antifouling, drug-release surfaces

Conventional wet-chemistry methods used to create biocidal materials are complex, time-consuming, and expensive. Researchers present a tutorial in which they explore a promising alternative called plasma-enabled surface engineering. The technology relies on nonequilibrium plasma that produces chemical reactions to change the properties at the material surface. Reactions can be manipulated by...

Custom finger clip offers a new way to measure blood pressure, other vitals

Monitoring a person's blood pressure on a regular basis can help health care professionals with early detection of various health problems such as high blood pressure, which has no warning signs or symptoms. However, many things can alter an accurate blood pressure reading, including a patient's nervousness about having their blood pressure taken at a doctor's office, otherwise known as 'white...

Coughing downward reduces spread of respiratory droplets: study

With many people heading indoors for the winter months and respiratory droplets acting as a major contributor to COVID-19 spread, the scientific community has renewed interest in the dynamics behind how they spread. Modeling such behavior in a variety of scenarios for particles that range from less than 1 micrometer in size to 1,000 micrometers proves challenging.

Orion's fireplace: New image of the Flame Nebula

Orion offers you a spectacular firework display to celebrate the holiday season and the new year with this new image from the European Southern Observatory (ESO). But no need to worry, this iconic constellation is neither exploding nor burning. The "fire" you see in this holiday postcard is Orion's Flame Nebula and its surroundings captured in radio waves—an image that undoubtedly does justice...