173 articles from WEDNESDAY 29.6.2022

Bad news for Paxlovid? Coronavirus can find multiple ways to evade COVID-19 drug

Prescriptions for Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Paxlovid have skyrocketed in recent weeks. That’s good news for many COVID-19 patients, as the pill has been proven to reduce severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 infections. But a bevy of new lab studies shows the coronavirus can mutate in ways that make it less susceptible to the drug, by far the most widely used of the two oral antiviral drugs...

Team reassesses greenhouse gas emissions from African lakes

The emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)—the most potent greenhouse gases—into the atmosphere from African lakes are reassessed in a study undertaken by the Laboratory of Chemical Oceanography (FOCUS research unit / Faculty of Science). While it was previously assumed that these lakes were significant CO2 sources, it has since been discovered that they really emit very little...

Pentagon UFO study led by researcher who believes in the supernatural

When the U.S. government released a much-anticipated report on UFOs a year ago, many were perplexed that it couldn’t explain 143 of the 144 sightings it examined. (In the single closed case, the report concluded the mystery object was a large, deflating balloon.) "Where are the aliens?" cracked one headline. The truth was still out there. So was...

Laser writing may enable 'electronic nose' for multi-gas sensor

Environmental sensors are a step closer to simultaneously sniffing out multiple gases that could indicate disease or pollution, thanks to a Penn State collaboration. Huanyu "Larry" Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of chemistry in Eberly College of Science, and their teams combined laser writing and...

Cooking up a conductive alternative to copper with aluminum

In the world of electricity, copper is king—for now. That could change with new research from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that is serving up a recipe to increase the conductivity of aluminum, making it economically competitive with copper. This research opens the door to experiments that—if fully realized—could lead to an ultra-conductive aluminum alternative to copper that...

Being mindful can improve your interactions with co-workers, new study finds

Although mindfulness originates within an individual, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher has found the benefits do not end with this person. The real payoffs emerge when an individual's mindfulness is translated into mindful interactions and relationships. Such interactions—infused with intentionality, compassion and presence—can bring about more harmonious and healthy...

Capturing an elusive shadow: State-by-state gun ownership

In a new study, researchers describe a spatio-temporal model to predict trends in firearm prevalence on a state-by-state level by fusing data from two available proxies -- background checks per capita and suicides committed with a firearm in a given state. Calibrating their results with yearly survey data, they determined that the two proxies can be simultaneously considered to draw precise...

Shining some light on the obscure proteome

Mass-spectrometry based proteomics is the big-data science of proteins that allows the monitoring of the abundance of thousands of proteins in a sample at once. Therefore, it is a particularly well-suited readout for discovering which proteins are targeted by any small molecule. An international research team has investigated this using chemical proteomics.

Changes in oceanographic fronts affect the gene flow among marine crab populations

In the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, the intensity and location of the oceanographic fronts that limit the gene connectivity among populations of marine crabs vary over time. These dynamic changes, described in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports, alter the gene structure of the populations of marine crabs of commercial and gastronomic interest.

How the world's rivers are changing

The way rivers function is significantly affected by how much sediment they transport and where it gets deposited. River sediment—mostly sand, silt, and clay—plays a critical ecological role, as it provides habitat for organisms downstream and in estuaries. It is also important for human life, resupplying nutrients to floodplain agricultural soils, and buffering sea level rise caused by...

Humans tamed the microbes behind cheese, soy, and more

The burst of flavor from summer’s first sweet corn and the proud stance of a show dog both testify to the power of domestication. But so does the microbial alchemy that turns milk into cheese, grain into bread, and soy into miso. Like the ancestors of the corn and the dog, the fungi and bacteria that drive these transformations were modified for human use. And their genomes have...

Enzyme of bacterial origin promoted the evolution of longhorned beetles

Larvae of longhorned beetles develop primarily in woody tissue, which is difficult for most organisms to digest. However, longhorned beetle larvae possess special enzymes to break down the various components of the plant cell wall. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now taken a closer look at a group of digestive enzymes found only in this beetle...

A new design of sustainable cropping diversifications

Cropping systems are one of the most important components in the crop production system, which is intensified to feed a growing global population. Previous studies focused on high yield with less attention to production of nutrients and vitamins for human diet. Since the Green Revolution, a winter wheat-summer maize double cropping system has dominated the North China Plain (NCP), with the...