150 articles from WEDNESDAY 19.1.2022

Study finds that heavy metal-contaminated leafy greens turn purple

Some might say you look a little green when you are sick. Leafy greens actually turn purple—although not obvious to the human eye, it can be seen through advanced hyperspectral imaging (different than purple varieties of some vegetables). Purdue researchers discovered this color change in kale and basil stressed by cadmium, a heavy metal toxic to human and animal health.

Just what is a 'resilient' forest, anyway?

What does a "resilient" forest look like in California's Sierra Nevada? A lot fewer trees than we're used to, according to a study of frequent-fire forests from the University of California, Davis.

Kombucha water filters can resist clogging better than commercial options

Commercially available ultrafiltration membranes that purify water are expensive and get clogged easily by particles and microorganisms. Recently, living filtration membranes were reported as an alternative sieving material. Grown from kombucha cultures, the filters are dense, stacked sheets of bacterial cellulose. Now, researchers reporting in ACS ES&T Water show that these living membranes are...

New study on freemium marketing strategies demonstrates their limits for creating revenue

Freemium strategies dominate software product markets, with many if not most applications enticing new users with a free version, then requiring payment for more advanced features. The strategy thrives at attracting users, but there's very little empirical evidence showing how it impacts a company's bottom line. New research published in the Strategic Management Journal in November changes that,...

Kombucha water filters can resist clogging better than commercial options

Commercially available ultrafiltration membranes that purify water are expensive and get clogged easily by particles and microorganisms. Recently, living filtration membranes were reported as an alternative sieving material. Grown from kombucha cultures, the filters are dense, stacked sheets of bacterial cellulose. Now, researchers show that these living membranes are more resistant to clogging...

There are 40 billion billions of black holes in the universe

How many black holes are out there in the Universe? A new study has investigated the demographics of stellar mass black holes, which are black holes with masses between a few to some hundred solar masses, that originated at the end of the life of massive stars. According to the new piece of research, a remarkable amount around 1% of the overall ordinary matter of the Universe is locked up in...

The role of ribosomes in age-related diseases

Aging leads to a decline in cellular fitness and loss of optimal protein function. Many age-related ailments, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, are caused by protein aggregation, a result of errors in protein folding. Yet, the mechanisms underlying how aging causes proteins to aggregate has largely remained a black box. In new research published Jan. 19 in Nature, researchers at...

California marijuana growers can't take much to the bank

Legalization of marijuana in California has helped some financial institutions in the state increase their assets at the same time many banks, feeling stifled by federal regulations, deny services to licensed growers, manufacturers and retailers, a new study shows.

Researchers use electrically responsive fluid to make eye-like adaptive lens

Researchers have developed an adaptive liquid lens based on a new electrically responsive fluid called dibutyl adipate (DBA) that changes focal length when a voltage is applied. The lens is lightweight, compact and simple to fabricate, which makes it ideal for mobile phone cameras, endoscopes, eyeglasses and machine vision applications.

A volcanic eruption in 2020 led to hours-long thunderstorm

A study conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Vaisala Inc., published yesterday in the Geological Society of America's journal Geology, discusses how advances in global lightning detection have provided novel ways to characterize explosive volcanism. Lead author Alexa Van Eaton says, "It's the perfect storm—explosive...

New structure prediction model has mapped 500 previously unsolved proteins

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have recently published work that lays the foundation for new ways of thinking about pathogen evolution. "Our research highlights that template-free modeling that uses machine learning is indeed superior to template-based modeling for the secreted proteins of the destructive fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae," said Kyungyong Seong, first...

Hubble finds a black hole igniting star formation in a dwarf galaxy

Black holes are often described as the monsters of the universe—tearing apart stars, consuming anything that comes too close, and holding light captive. Detailed evidence from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, however, shows a black hole in a new light: Fostering rather than suppressing star formation. Hubble imaging and spectroscopy of the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 clearly show a gas...

Weathering rocks hold clues to Earth's Great Oxidation Event

About 2.4 billion years ago, Earth's atmosphere underwent what is called the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). Prior to the GOE, early Earth had far less molecular oxygen than we have today. After the GOE, molecular oxygen began to increase in abundance, eventually making life like ours possible.

Review reports improved transparency in antidepressant drug trials

New research suggests manufacturers of newly developed antidepressant drugs have become more forthcoming about clinical trials that don't pan out. While the new findings are encouraging, they still hint at a fundamental shortcoming in medicine: A reliance of studies selectively reported in scientific literature, as opposed to the unvarnished results of clinical trials reported to the Food and Drug...

Camels’ noses inspire a new humidity sensor

Researchers describe a humidity sensor inspired by the structure and properties of camels' noses. In experiments, they found this device could reliably detect variations in humidity in settings that included industrial exhaust and the air surrounding human skin.