162 articles from MONDAY 6.3.2023

Light-to-energy conversion in many aquatic microbes more complex than was previously known, researchers discover

Plants convert light into a form of energy that they can use—a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—through photosynthesis. This is a complex process that also produces sugar, which the plant can use for energy later, and oxygen. Some bacteria that live in the light-exposed layers of water sources can also convert light to ATP, but the process they use is simpler and less efficient...

Metal contamination causes metabolic stress in environmental bacteria, shows study

Pollution of the soil and water with multiple heavy metals is a common problem. However, most studies on the effects of heavy metals on bacteria living in these environments have only focused on one metal at a time. In a recent study, researchers found that exposing bacteria to a mixture of metals caused their metabolism to change. The researchers did not observe this change when bacteria grew...

Drones and deep learning: Researchers develop a new technique to quantify rice production

Rice, a major food crop, is cultivated on nearly 162 million hectares of land worldwide. One of the most commonly used methods to quantify rice production is rice plant counting. This technique is used to estimate yield, diagnose growth, and assess losses in paddy fields. Most rice counting processes across the world are still carried out manually. However, this is extremely tedious, laborious,...

New framework on honest behavior suggests it is a process that goes beyond not lying

Most people value honesty while also recognizing that it is sometimes beneficial to be dishonest. This tension leads individuals to engage in behaviors that stretch the boundaries of honest behavior, such as strategically avoiding information, dodging questions, and making misleading statements. In a new article, researchers reviewed work from a range of disciplines to develop a framework that...

Does more money correlate with greater happiness?

Reconciling previously contradictory results, researchers find that for most people, there's a steady link between higher happiness and more money. The exception is people who are financially well-off but unhappy; for them, more money does not help.

The universe may have started with a dark Big Bang

The Big Bang may have not been alone. The appearance of all the particles and radiation in the universe may have been joined by another Big Bang that flooded our universe with dark matter particles. And we may be able to detect it.

Astronomers go hunting for mysterious q-balls

Our universe may feature large, macroscopic clumps of dark matter known as q-balls. These q-balls would be absolutely invisible, but they may reveal their presence through tiny magnifications of starlight.

COVID-19 lockdowns 'turned India greener'

India's drastic COVID-19 lockdowns had a silver lining. With polluting industries and vehicular movement halted, urban dwellers were treated to bright, blue skies and views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, long obscured by thick smog.

Purification of DNA nanostructures from hydrophobic aggregates

Researchers in Japan have developed a new method for purifying cholesterol-modified DNA nanostructures that could be used to functionalize molecular robot bodies (lipid vesicles). The study was a collaboration between Yusuke Sato of Kyushu Institute of Technology and Shin-ichiro M. Nomura of the Tohoku University, and the work was published in ChemBioChem.

A mixture of trees purifies urban air best, shows study

Conifers are generally better than broadleaved trees at purifying air from pollutants. But deciduous tree may be better at capturing particle-bound pollution. A new study led by the University of Gothenburg shows that the best trees for air purification depend on the type of pollutant involved.

Bee and butterfly numbers are falling, even in undisturbed forests

Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and other human impacts are often blamed for the well-documented decline of insects in recent decades. But even in forests where few humans tread, some bees and butterflies are declining, researchers have found. Over the past 15 years, populations of bees shrank 62.5% and those of butterflies dropped 57.6% in a forest in the U.S....