218 articles from THURSDAY 23.3.2023

New report: How the pandemic compounds education pipeline challenges

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has released new analysis based on updated data that suggests potentially greater long-term public school enrollment challenges, as well as recommendations for educational leaders and policymakers as they continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 on the K-12 pipeline. This new analysis focuses on public school enrollment changes...

Closed loop for circular economy: New polymer recycling strategy ensures both high stability and complete recyclability

The ever-increasing generation of plastic solid waste has resulted in global plastic pollution both on land and in the oceans. Projections show that plastic waste will double in the next 20 years, causing further environmental problems. Large amounts of plastic waste are, at present, incinerated or deposited in landfills. This not only degrades the environment but also depletes valuable resources.

New study uncovers unprecedented declines in iconic kelp forests along Monterey Peninsula

A new study published in PLOS ONE provides novel documentation of kelp forest decline along the west coast of the U.S. and Mexico in response to the 2014–2016 record-breaking marine heatwave, along with evidence of regional recovery. Using Kelpwatch.org, an open-source web tool used to visualize and analyze nearly 40 years of kelp canopy dynamics data derived from satellite imagery, the study...

Hard-right social media activities lead to civil unrest, says paper

Does activity on hard-right social media lead to civil unrest? With the emergence and persistent popularity of hard-right social media platforms such as Gab, Parler, and Truth Social, it is important to understand the impact they are having on society and politics. Previous research on the relationship between social media use and subsequent offline behavior has been ambiguous. While some studies...

Dairy sector boasts 100 years of successful herd data collection

The U.S. dairy industry operates a comprehensive data collection program that records herd production information from farmers nationwide. The program provides crucial input for cattle breeding and genetics, and its cooperative structure ensures benefits for producers and scientists alike. A new study from the University of Illinois explores the program's century-old history, highlighting its...

Study: SARS-CoV-2 can alter genome structure of our cells

People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may experience genome structure changes that not only may explain our immunological symptoms after infection, but also potentially link to long COVID, according to a new study by researchers at UTHealth Houston.

Hubble monitors changing weather and seasons of Jupiter and Uranus

Ever since its launch in 1990, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been an interplanetary weather observer, keeping an eye on the largely gaseous outer planets and their ever-changing atmospheres. NASA spacecraft missions to the outer planets have given us a close-up look at these atmospheres, but Hubble's sharpness and sensitivity keeps an unblinking eye on a kaleidoscope of complex activities over...

Eco-friendly foam can insulate buildings without warming the globe

Rigid foam boards used to insulate buildings can prevent energy loss, making homes more efficient at keeping warm or cool. The advantages in energy efficiency, however, are undercut by environmental concerns over polystyrene products. Blowing agents used in foam production, such as hydrocarbons and hydrofluoroolefins, end up in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

New reports outline bold goals for U.S. bioeconomy

On March 22, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a series of five reports authored by federal agencies, including the U.S. National Science Foundation, outlining bold research and development goals for the U.S. bioeconomy.

How salt can taste sweet: The myriad mechanisms of taste perception

Humans perceive five basic taste sensations: sweet, umami, bitter, salty, and sour. Specific foods trigger taste recognition of these sensations through the activation of different receptors in our taste buds. In the case of table salt, the concentration is also an important factor in determining taste.