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219,885 articles from PhysOrg

Climate-friendly microbes chomp dead plants without releasing heat-trapping methane

The tree of life just got a little bigger: A team of scientists from the U.S. and China has identified an entirely new group of microbes quietly living in hot springs, geothermal systems and hydrothermal sediments around the world. The microbes appear to be playing an important role in the global carbon cycle by helping break down decaying plants without producing the greenhouse gas methane.

Fossils of 'giant cloud rats' discovered in Philippine caves

Rats, by and large, aren't terribly popular animals. But while you don't want an infestation of common black rats living in your house, their distant cousins in the Philippines are downright cuddly. These "giant cloud rats" live in the treetops of misty mountain forests, and they fill an ecological role occupied by squirrels in the US. And, it turns out, we have new evidence that they've been...

Finding new life for wine-grape residue

California produces nearly 4 million tons of world-class wine each year, but with that comes thousands of tons of residue like grape skins, seeds, stems and pulp. What if scientists could harness that viticultural waste to help promote human health?


THURSDAY 22. APRIL 2021


Study paves the way for new photosensitive materials

Photocatalysts are useful materials, with a myriad of environmental and energy applications, including air purification, water treatment, self-cleaning surfaces, pollution-fighting paints and coatings, hydrogen production and CO2 conversion to sustainable fuels.

Ancient Indigenous forest gardens promote a healthy ecosystem, says study

A new study by Simon Fraser University historical ecologists finds that Indigenous-managed forests—cared for as "forest gardens"—contain more biologically and functionally diverse species than surrounding conifer-dominated forests and create important habitat for animals and pollinators. The findings are published today in Ecology and Society.

Scientists uncover structure of light-driven enzyme with potential biofuel applications

Although many organisms capture and respond to sunlight, enzymes—proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions—are rarely driven by light. Scientists have identified only three types of natural photoenzymes so far. The newest one, discovered in 2017, is fatty acid photodecarboxylase (FAP). Derived from microscopic algae, it uses blue light to catalyze the conversion of fatty acids, found in...

Expedition hauls tons of plastic out of remote Hawaii atolls

A crew returned from the northernmost islands in the Hawaiian archipelago this week with a boatload of marine plastic and abandoned fishing nets that threaten to entangle endangered Hawaiian monk seals and other animals on the uninhabited beaches stretching more than 1,300 miles north of Honolulu.

What does a 1.5-degree warming limit mean for China?

As part of the Paris Agreement, nearly all countries agreed to take steps to limit the average increase in global surface temperature to less than 2 degrees C, or preferably 1.5 degrees C, compared with preindustrial levels. Since the Agreement was adopted, however, concerns about global warming suggest that countries should aim for the "preferable" warming limit of 1.5 degrees C.

Transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in looking inside materials using the method of transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays at SwissFEL. The experiment at PSI is a milestone in observing processes in the world of atoms. The researchers are publishing their research results today in the journal Nature Photonics.