128 articles from THURSDAY 1.6.2023

For sheds in wildfire zones, researchers determine how close is too close to home

It may seem obvious that a flammable structure placed next to a house poses a fire hazard, especially if it's in a wildfire-prone community. What has been less clear, though, is how far away these items, such as sheds, need to be located to significantly limit fire spread to homes. New research led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has begun to provide important answers.

Researchers show mobile elements monkeying around the genome

Baboons (Papio) are found across the continent of Africa, from the west to the east and all the way south. They have doglike noses, impressive teeth and thick fur that ranges widely in color between the six species, which are olive, yellow, chacma, Kinda, Guinea and hamadryas. Their habitats vary from savannas and bushlands to tropical forests and mountains.

Couples' social networks took long-lasting hit during COVID

Following the lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings in the early days of COVID-19, the social networks of white, Black and Latino couples all shrank, UCLA psychologists report. But these networks shrank most significantly among lower-income and Latino and Black couples and didn't fully recover even after vaccines became available and the most severe restrictions were lifted.

Industrially applied and relevant transformations of 1,3-butadiene using homogeneous catalysts

The use of 1,3-butadiene as a cheap and abundant raw material for new applications has attracted more interest in recent decades, specifically in the chemical industry. A recently published review covers several important homogeneously catalyzed processes and technologies that are currently used or have the potential to produce fine and bulk chemicals from 1,3-butadiene. This article focuses...

Tiny sensor could guide needles through the body, monitor health from afar

Go for a biopsy these days and chances are your doctor will have to knock you out, slice part of you open, and fish around for the needed tissue. But what if a tiny sensor could guide a needle instead, mapping out your insides as it goes, all while you (and your doctor) watch on a video screen? That’s the promise of a new device, the size of a grain of sand, that can transmit a...

Symbiotic and pathogenic fungi may use similar molecular tools to manipulate plants

Symbiotic and pathogenic fungi that interact with plants are distantly related and don't share many genetic similarities. Comparing plant pathogenic fungi and plant symbiotic fungi, scientists at the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) have discovered that these remote relatives are using a similar group of proteins to manipulate and live within plants.

Machine learning-based protein annotation tool predicts protein function

Microbes drive key processes of life on Earth. They affect global elemental cycles—the movement of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements. They also promote plant growth and affect the development of diseases. These roles are essential in every ecosystem. Research constantly expands the database of microbial DNA sequences but does not provide all the biological information about proteins.

Shared modeling can help schools predict, avert dropouts

A research team co-led by Cornell found that for schools without the resources to conduct learning analytics to help students succeed, modeling based on data from other institutions can work as well as local modeling, without sacrificing fairness.

Preventing truck crashes needs to take 'dashcam' approach to driver 'microsleeps'

Researchers using dashcam footage of real-world collisions involving large trucks to analyze driver and vehicle behavior has found that anti-drowsiness alarms or similar technologies to prevent falling asleep at the wheel need to go beyond a focus on monitoring the drivers' eyes, and consider other microsleep behaviors including a relaxation of back and neck muscles and abnormal activity of the...

Record 19.31% efficiency with organic solar cells

Researchers have achieved a breakthrough power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 19.31% with organic solar cells (OSCs), also known as polymer solar cells. This remarkable binary OSC efficiency will help enhance applications of these advanced solar energy devices.

Ultrasound breaks new ground for forearm fractures in children

Portable ultrasound devices could provide an alternative to x-ray machines for diagnosing forearm fractures in children in a move that could alleviate waiting times for families in hospital emergency departments (ED). Researchers compared functional outcomes in children given an ultrasound and those who received an x-ray on a suspected distal forearm fracture. The team treated 270 children, aged...

Finally solved! The great mystery of quantized vortex motion

Scientists investigated numerically the interaction between a quantized vortex and a normal-fluid. Based on the experimental results, researchers decided the most consistent of several theoretical models. They found that a model that accounts for changes in the normal-fluid and incorporates more theoretically accurate mutual friction is the most compatible with the experimental results.

Flat fullerene fragments attractive to electrons

Researchers have gained new insights into the unique chemical properties of spherical molecules composed entirely of carbon atoms, called fullerenes. They did it by making flat fragments of the molecules, which surprisingly retained and even enhanced some key chemical properties.