167 articles from TUESDAY 22.11.2022

Scientists say chemicals could undercut global plastics treaty

Next week the United Nations intergovernmental negotiating committee will meet in Uruguay to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. There is concern brewing among scientists that the negotiations will overlook the diversity and complexity of chemicals present in plastics. This would severely undermine the treaty's effectiveness, according to a new article...

Green stormwater control measures clean up urban streams

Catching urban runoff in raingardens and rainwater capture tanks improves the water quality of nearby streams and rivers and lowers water temperatures that have risen in the region due to climate change and the urban heat island effect, according to a new report spanning two decades in the greater Melbourne metropolitan area of Australia.

Researchers introduce a Persian language tool for evaluating aesthetic responsiveness

Some people have strong reactions to art and music, others hardly any. In 2020, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, developed a method that scientists can use to predict the general receptivity of potential study participants to aesthetic stimuli. Initially, the Aesthetic Responsiveness Assessment (AReA) was available only in...

Researchers working to improve and simplify models for how PFAS flow through ground

As a growing number of communities are forced to confront PFAS contamination in their groundwater, a key hurdle in addressing this harmful group of chemicals lies in unraveling how they move through a region of the environment called the unsaturated zone—a jumble of soil, rock and water sandwiched between the ground's surface and the water table below.

Opinion: COP27 will be remembered as a failure—here's what went wrong

Billed as "Africa's COP", the 27th UN climate change summit (otherwise known as COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, was expected to promote climate justice, as this is the continent most affected but least responsible for the climate crisis. Negotiations for a fund that would compensate developing countries for the loss and damage that climate change has wrought dominated the negotiations. In the...

New insights into how long-banned PCBs unleash their toxicity inside the body

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been widely used in industrial and commercial products including plastics, paints, electronic equipment and insulating fluids. Their manufacture was extensively banned from the late 1970s onwards due to their toxicity, but large amounts still remain in our environment and accumulate inside animals' bodies.

New way to synthesize mRNAs could enhance effectiveness of mRNA drugs and vaccines

A team of synthetic biologists at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has recently discovered a way that could increase synthetic mRNA's protein production efficiency by up to 10 times, which means the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines and drugs—such as those used against cancer, COVID-19 or other genetic diseases, will be greatly boosted with even less dosage of the mRNAs.

It is still too early to use artificial intelligence for criminal justice, claims new paper

Artificial intelligence is poised to reshape our world in countless ways and in almost every field. This includes the criminal justice system. Algorithm-based, data-driven decision-making is being increasingly used in pre-trial risk assessments in the United States as a tool to calculate a defendant's risk of reoffending. Proponents argue that this removes inherent bias present in criminal justice...

NOAA's GOES-U completes thermal vacuum testing

NOAA's GOES-U, the final satellite in the GOES-R Series of advanced geostationary environmental satellites, recently completed thermal vacuum (TVAC) testing as part of a rigorous assessment program to ensure the satellite can withstand the harsh conditions of launch and orbiting 22,236 miles above Earth's equator. The testing is taking place at Lockheed Martin Space's Littleton, Colorado,...

NASA, ESA reveal tale of death, dust in Orion constellation

A new image combining previously released data from three telescopes shows a region that includes the Orion Nebula, named after the mighty hunter from Greek mythology who was felled by a scorpion's sting. But the story of how this dusty region came to be is just as dramatic.

Limiting global warming now can preserve valuable freshwater

Snowcapped mountains not only look majestic, they're also vital to a delicate ecosystem that has existed for tens of thousands of years. Mountain water runoff and snowmelt flows down to streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans—and today, around a quarter of the world depends on these natural "water towers" to replenish downstream reservoirs and groundwater aquifers for urban water supplies,...

New study brings personalized immunotherapy prescriptions a step closer

In a step likely to advance personalized cancer treatment, scientists have for the first time shown in patients that levels of biomarkers are not enough to tell which patients are likely to respond best to immunotherapy. Instead, clinicians need to understand how immune cells and tumors are interacting within a patient, rather than simply the levels of each associated proteins present, to...

Quantum algorithms save time in the calculation of electron dynamics

Quantum computers promise significantly shorter computing times for complex problems. But there are still only a few quantum computers worldwide with a limited number of so-called qubits. However, quantum computer algorithms can already run on conventional servers that simulate a quantum computer. A team has succeeded in calculating the electron orbitals and their dynamic development using an...

Birth choices after previous cesarean and risk of pelvic floor surgery

Vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section is associated with an increased risk of pelvic floor surgery compared with planning another cesarean, according to a new study. The findings provide useful information to help women who have had a previous cesarean section when planning how to give birth in their next pregnancy.

Challenging guidelines on pregnancy interval following miscarriage or abortion

Conception within three months of a miscarriage or an abortion is not associated with increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to new research. The study suggests that, contrary to current advice, women could attempt pregnancy after a previous miscarriage or induced abortion without elevated perinatal risks and reassures those who want to try again sooner than guidelines recommend....