135 articles from MONDAY 1.4.2024

In a bold bid to avoid open-access fees, Gates foundation says grantees must post preprints

The world’s largest philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, last week took a radical step aimed at giving preprints—freely available draft manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed—a much more prominent role in science. Starting in 2025, the foundation will require grantees to post as preprints all manuscripts that result from research it funds. It will also stop...

Just-departed head of DOE science wing discusses successes and barriers

Last week, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe stepped down as the director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) basic research wing, the Office of Science. An unexpected choice in many quarters, Berhe is a soil scientist and was the first person of color to lead the office, which has an annual budget of $8.2 billion and is the nation’s largest funder of the physical sciences. It is also the...

A chance of flocculence

Dan Crowson, taken from Rancho Hidalgo, Animas, New Mexico NGC 4274 is a barred spiral galaxy roughly 45 million light-years away in Coma Berenices with flocculent dust lanes and outer spiral arms that overlap to form a ring. This LRGB image represents 13.6 hours of exposure with a 12-inch f/8 scope. The post A chance of flocculence appeared first on Astronomy...

AI improves monsoon rainfall predictions

Every year, the South Asian monsoon season brings heavy rain to over a billion people in the Indian subcontinent between June and September. The rain falls in oscillations: Some weeks see 1 to 4 inches of water, while other weeks are mostly dry. Predicting when these dry and wet periods will occur is critical for agricultural and urban planning, enabling farmers to know when to harvest crops and...

A novel liquid crystal-based tunable dielectric metasurface

Dielectric metasurfaces represent one of the cutting-edge research and application directions in optics. They not only possess the advantage of low loss but also enable the realization of device thicknesses at subwavelength scales. Moreover, they can freely modulate light in multiple dimensions, such as amplitude, phase, and polarization.

New 'Eclipse Watch' tool shows eclipses from space any time

Do you wish you could see a total solar eclipse every day? With a new online tool called Eclipse Watch, you can observe the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, in real time with eclipse-like images from space as we count down to the next total solar eclipse on Earth.

Fungal resources: Eleven new species of Trichoderma from China

Trichoderma spp. are globally distributed and are considered significant fungal resources. They are widely studied and applied due to their economic and ecological importance, offering numerous benefits, such as producing enzymes and antibiotics, aiding in plant growth, and protecting them from pathogens.

Rare wooden artifacts showcase the smarts of early Neanderthals

About 300,000 years ago, bands of early hominins visited the shores of an ancient lake to hunt, sometimes dropping tools and weapons in the shallow water and mud. Fast forward to 1995, when workers at an open-face coal mine in northern Germany discovered 2-meter-long spruce spears and other wooden artifacts embedded in the former lakeshore. By showing that these ancient...

Study suggests taking an aggressive stance in crisis communications costs companies money

A new public relations and crisis communications study tracked 10 years of data and used big data analytic tools to capture shifts in how corporate interests and the public discussed a complex legal situation regarding a widely used herbicide—and how those dynamics related to stock price. The bottom line? When the company took an aggressive stance, its stock price dropped.

Team creates cooperative exciton-polariton condensate

Superfluorescence (SF), as a cooperative radiation effect originating from vacuum quantum fluctuations, is an ideal platform for studying many-body correlation mechanisms in an exciton ensemble, and for developing optically ultrafast techniques on bright quantum light sources. Recently, the observations of superfluorescence effects based on different radiative materials or under different working...

Research team realizes magnonic frequency comb

The optical frequency comb, a spectrum of optical radiation composed of evenly spaced and phase-coherent narrow spectral lines, was initially developed for precise time and frequency measurements. Over the past two decades, it has shown broad application prospects in fields such as astronomy, cosmology, optical atomic clocks and quantum key distribution. However, the implementation of magnonic...

Leaves of three, let it be? Wide variability among poison ivy plants makes identification more challenging

We've all heard the classic saying "leaves of three, let it be," which means don't touch the poison ivy. But just how accurate is that timeless phrase? While this specific mnemonic device exists to deter people from touching poison ivy, it turns out there are also many harmless three-leaf native plants. How is one to tell the difference between itchy poison ivy and those harmless three-leaf native...

The uneven results of anticorruption efforts across countries

When fighting corruption, countries often rely too much on repression and forget about prevention measures, which are frequently inadequate or nonexistent. Furthermore, despite the progress made in implementation of the main international anticorruption treaties, substantial challenges persist. There are even indications of regression across various domains, including criminalization and law...