145 articles from WEDNESDAY 25.5.2022

Toward customizable timber, grown in a lab

Each year, the world loses about 10 million hectares of forest—an area about the size of Iceland—because of deforestation. At that rate, some scientists predict the world's forests could disappear in 100 to 200 years.

Diatoms are under threat of decline due to ocean acidification, study shows

While calcifying organisms like oysters and corals have difficulty forming their shells and skeletons in more acidic seawater, diatoms have been considered less susceptible to the effects of ocean acidification—a chemical change triggered by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2). The globally widespread tiny diatoms use silica, a compound of silicon, oxygen and hydrogen, as a building material for...

Highly efficient acousto-optic modulation using non-suspended thin-film lithium niobate-chalcogenide hybrid waveguides

Traditional acousto-optic (AO) devices based on bulk crystal materials have weak energy confinement abilities for both photons and phonons, leading to a low AO interaction strength. Compared with bulk materials, photonic integrated circuits (PICs) allow surface acoustic waves (SAWs) to be well confined within the thin film used to disturb the guided light waves, exhibiting a high energy overlap...

Researchers use CRISPR technology to modify starches in potatoes

Humble potatoes are a rich source not only of dietary carbohydrates for humans, but also of starches for numerous industrial applications. Texas A&M AgriLife scientists are learning how to alter the ratio of potatoes' two starch molecules—amylose and amylopectin—to increase both culinary and industrial applications.

Researchers use CRISPR technology to modify starches in potatoes

Humble potatoes are a rich source not only of dietary carbohydrates for humans, but also of starches for numerous industrial applications. Scientists are learning how to alter the ratio of potatoes' two starch molecules -- amylose and amylopectin -- to increase both culinary and industrial applications.

How mice choose the best escape route

Escaping imminent danger is essential for survival. Animals must learn a new environment fast enough for them to be able to choose the shortest route to safety. But how do they do this without ever having experienced threat in the new environment?

Addressing racial gaps in NIH grant funding

In 2020, a commentary published in Cell urged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address long-standing funding disparities between Black and white researchers. According to a 2011 study, Black applicants were 10 percentage points less likely to receive NIH funding than white applicants. A feature article in Chemical & Engineering News, an independent news outlet of the American Chemical...

Review identifies gaps in our understanding of how machine learning can aid stock valuation

Over the past two decades, researchers have used big data and machine learning (ML) methods to provide insight relevant for equity valuation. Many of these studies either use or inform on accounting variables. In a paper published in KeAi's The Journal of Finance and Data Science, Doron Nissim, a Professor of Accounting at Columbia Business School in the U.S., has reviewed a selection of these...

Protein nanoparticle vaccine shows potential for broader, safe SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

A nanoparticle vaccine that combines two proteins that induce immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that has caused the global pandemic, has the potential to be developed into broader and safe SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, according to researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

How the universe got its magnetic field

When we look out into space, all of the astrophysical objects that we see are embedded in magnetic fields. This is true not only in the neighborhood of stars and planets, but also in the deep space between galaxies and galactic clusters. These fields are weak—typically much weaker than those of a refrigerator magnet—but they are dynamically significant in the sense that they have profound...

Tiny robotic crab is smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot

Engineers have developed the smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot -- and it comes in the form of a tiny, adorable peekytoe crab. Just a half-millimeter wide, the tiny crabs can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. Although the research is exploratory at this point, the researchers believe their technology might bring the field closer to realizing micro-sized robots that can...

Cryogenic electron microscopy reveals drug targets against common fungus

Most people carry the fungus Candida albicans on their bodies without it causing many problems. However, a systemic infection with this fungus is dangerous and difficult to treat. Few antimicrobials are effective, and drug resistance is increasing. An international group of scientists, including Albert Guskov, associate professor at the University of Groningen, have used single-particle cryogenic...

Finding superconductivity in nickelates

The study of superconductivity is littered with disappointments, dead ends, and serendipitous discoveries, according to Antia Botana, professor of physics at Arizona State University.