Early human ancestors one million years older than thought
243,007 articles from PhysOrg
Virgin Orbit rocket launches 7 US defense satellites
The fossils of our earliest ancestors found in South Africa are a million years older than previously thought, meaning they walked the Earth around the same time as their East African relatives like the famous "Lucy", according to new research.
Researchers use AI to detect new family of genes in gut bacteria
A Virgin Orbit rocket carrying seven U.S. Defense Department satellites was launched from a special Boeing 747 flying off the Southern California coast and streaked toward space Friday night.
Waterways in Brazil's Manaus choked by tons of trash
Using artificial intelligence, UT Southwestern researchers have discovered a new family of sensing genes in enteric bacteria that are linked by structure and probably function, but not genetic sequence. The findings, published in PNAS, offer a new way of identifying the role of genes in unrelated species and could lead to new ways to fight intestinal bacterial infections.
Satellite-tracking of whale sharks offered insight into their migratory and feeding behavior
In Manaus, the largest city in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, tons of stinking trash fill the canals and streams, giving one the feeling that they're visiting a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The largest fish in the ocean is a globe-trotter that can occasionally be found basking in the coastal waters of the Panamanian Pacific. However, little more is known about the habits of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the region. By satellite-tracking the whereabouts of 30 of them, scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life...
FRIDAY 1. JULY 2022
UN urges ambitious action to protect the oceans
Keeping the energy in the room
World leaders must do more to protect the oceans, a major United Nations conference concluded on Friday, setting its sights on a new treaty to protect the high seas.
Study: How placentas evolved in mammals
It may seem like technology advances year after year, as if by magic. But behind every incremental improvement and breakthrough revolution is a team of scientists and engineers hard at work.
Environmental justice advocates slam Supreme Court ruling
The fossil record tells us about ancient life through the preserved remains of body parts like bones, teeth and turtle shells. But how to study the history of soft tissues and organs, which can decay quickly, leaving little evidence behind?
White rhinos return to Mozambique park after 40 years
The Supreme Court decision to limit how the Environmental Protection Agency regulates carbon dioxide emissions from power plants could make an already grave situation worse for those affected most by climate change and air pollution, advocates say.
Brazil sets new six-month Amazon deforestation record
A Mozambican park welcomed its first white rhinos in 40 years on Friday after 19 of the threatened animals completed a 1,600-kilometre (thousand-mile) truck ride from South Africa, conservationists said.
Research shows need to improve prediction of Arctic melt ponds
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon reached a record level during the first half of 2022, the INPE national space agency said Friday.
New method boosts the study of regulation of gene activity
New research shows two widely used computer models that predict summer melt pond formation on sea ice greatly overestimate their extent, a key finding as scientists work to make accurate projections about Arctic climate change.
Hidden in genetics: The evolutionary relationships of two groups of ancient invertebrates revealed
One way cells can control the activities of their genes is by adding small chemical modifications to the DNA that determine which genes are turned on or off. Methyl groups are one of these chemical modifications or tags. Researchers have found that in bacteria DNA methylation plays a role in regulating virulence, reproduction and gene expression. In other organisms, including humans, DNA...
'Soft' CRISPR may offer a new fix for genetic defects
Kamptozoa and Bryozoa are two phyla of small aquatic invertebrates. They are related to snails and clams (collectively called mollusks), bristleworms, earthworms, and leeches (collectively called annelids), and ribbon worms (nemertea). But their precise position on the tree of life, and how closely related they are to these other animals, has always puzzled evolutionary biologists. Previous...
Dinosaurs took over amid ice, not warmth, says a new study of ancient mass extinction
Curing debilitating genetic diseases is one of the great challenges of modern medicine. During the past decade, development of CRISPR technologies and advancements in genetics research brought new hope for patients and their families, although the safety of these new methods is still of significant concern.
Mining's effect on fish warrants better science-based policies
Many of us know the conventional theory of how the dinosaurs died 66 million years ago: in Earth's fiery collision with a meteorite, and a following global winter as dust and debris choked the atmosphere. But there was a previous extinction, far more mysterious and less discussed: the one 202 million years ago, which killed off the big reptiles who up until then ruled the planet, and apparently...
Advocating a new paradigm for electron simulations
A new paper published in Science Advances synthesizes the impact of metal and coal mines on salmon and trout in northwestern North America, and highlights the need for more complete and transparent science to inform mining policy.
Exploring how adding UV treatment to water chlorination can actually increase toxic trihalomethane production
Although most fundamental mathematical equations that describe electronic structures are long known, they are too complex to be solved in practice. This has hampered progress in physics, chemistry and the material sciences. Thanks to modern high-performance computing clusters and the establishment of the simulation method density functional theory (DFT), researchers were able to change this...
Photon-controlled diode: An optoelectronic device with a new signal processing behavior
Halobenzoquinones (HBQs), as new emerging disinfection by-products (DBPs), are frequently detected in potable and swimming pool waters. In fact, HBQs are also precursors of other DBPs such as currently regulated trihalomethanes (THMs), which pose a high risk to the public health and the environment. When UV is applied during the chlorination process, the DBPs formation may be quite different from...
Highly-sensitive SERS probes developed to detect the PD-L1 biomarker
A photodetector is a kind of optoelectronic device that can detect optical signals and convert them into electrical signals. These devices include photodiodes, phototransistors and photoconductors.
Americans more likely than those in the UK to feel threatened by China's development as a world power, survey shows
Recently, a team led by Prof. Huang Qing at the Institute of Intelligent Machines, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has reported the fabrication of ultrasensitive biosensors based on Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) to detect the cancer metastasis related programmed death ligand (PD-L1) biomarker.
The case is building that colliding neutron stars create magnetars
Americans were more likely than people living in the UK to feel threatened by China's growth as a world power, a new survey shows.
Review of technologies that boost potential for carbon dioxide conversion to useful products
Magnetars are some of the most fascinating astronomical objects. One teaspoon of the stuff they are made out of would weigh almost one billion tons, and they have magnetic fields that are hundreds of millions of times more powerful than any magnetic field that exists today on Earth. But we don't know much about how they form. A new paper points to one possible source—mergers of neutron stars.
UK bird reserves closed after suspected avian flu outbreak
The excessive emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, is rapidly raising the average global temperature. Capturing the carbon dioxide and converting it to useful fuels and chemicals can be an ideal way to reduce carbon dioxide concentration and ease this serious environmental problem.
New study reveals impact of plastic on small mammals, as four out of seven species identified as 'plastic positive'
Seabird reserves in northeast England and Scotland have been closed to visitors after a suspected outbreak of bird flu, officials said on Friday.
Study reveals an unprecedented change in Europe's fire regime
Researchers investigating the exposure of small mammals to plastics in England and Wales have found traces in the feces of more than half of the species examined.
Triply eclipsing stellar systems
A study reveals an unprecedented change in the fire regime in Europe which is related to climate change. The affected areas are in Southern, Central and Northern Europe but this historical change in Europe's fire regime is more intense in the Mediterranean area. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, is led by Jofre Carnicer, lecturer of Ecology at the Faculty of Biology, and...
A step on the way to better therapies against viruses
Stars with the mass of the sun or larger are typically accompanied by one or more orbiting companion stars. The system forms when gravity contracts the gas and dust of an interstellar cloud until clumps develop that are dense enough to coalesce into stars. Multiple stellar systems develop, according to one model, when the cloud has a slight spin. That generates a disk that then fragments to...
'Not all is lost' in climate change fight after Supreme Court limits EPA's regulatory power
Most cells can defend themselves against viruses after they have been activated by the body's own messenger substances (interferons). This happens with the help of proteins that recognize invading virus components and interfere with virus replication. One of these proteins is the myxovirus resistance protein B (MxB). It can inhibit many viruses, for example HIV and herpes viruses. But until now it...
Scientists investigate temperature effect on semiconductor optical amplifiers
The Supreme Court Thursday issued a ruling limiting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.
Tidal heating could make exomoons much more habitable (and detectable)
The effect of temperature on the performance of the semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) is an important research point. Amer Kotb and his colleagues from the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have for the first time investigated the effect of high temperatures on the performance of various SOAs, including conventional SOAs, carrier...
What the end of Roe v. Wade means for reproductive rights and privacy
Within the solar system, most of our astrobiological research is aimed at Mars, which is considered to be the next-most habitable body beyond Earth. However, future efforts are aimed at exploring icy satellites in the outer solar system that could also be habitable (like Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and more). This dichotomy between terrestrial (rocky) planets that orbit within their a system's...
Historical irrigation leaves long-lasting legacies on the prairie
On June 24, the Supreme Court released a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, upholding the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court also ruled 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that protects pregnant people's right to privacy without excessive government restriction.
It takes three: The genetic mutations that made rice cultivation possible
A hallmark of environmental science is understanding how ecosystems respond to global change. Much of this research focuses on short-term ecosystem responses, such as how an ecosystem responds to a sudden onset of drought. But previous conditions can modify that response. In the same way a formative childhood experience might change how an adult responds to stress, legacy effects can change the...
Coronavirus pandemic has led to more 'microworking,' study shows
Rice has a long history as a staple food in Japan and other parts of Asia. The results of a new study by an international research collaboration suggest that the emergence of cultivated rice from wild rice plants is the result of three gene mutations that make the seeds (i.e. the grains of rice) fall from the plant less easily.
A ceramic aerogel made with nanocrystals and embedded in a matrix for use in thermal insulation applications
The coronavirus pandemic has led to more people choosing to become "microworkers," a new study shows.
A new method for predicting the 11-year solar cycle strength
A team of researchers at the Harbin Institute of Technology, in China, working with a colleague in the U.S., has developed a new kind of aerogel for use in flexible thermal insulation material applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes how they made their aerogel and how well it worked when extreme heat was applied.
Rare wild ancestors of feral pigeons found living on British and Irish islands
Scientists from Skoltech and their colleagues from the University of Graz & the Kanzelhöhe Observatory (Austria), Hvar Observatory (Croatia), and the Belgian Solar-Terrestrial Center of Excellence—SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium presented a new method to predict the strength of the 11-year solar cycle. The results are important for anticipating and mitigating space weather effects on...
Overturning Roe disproportionately burdens marginalized groups
Researchers led by members of Oxford University's Department of Biology have found rare colonies of the wild ancestors of common domestic and feral pigeons.
How managers of social media platforms could slow the spread of misinformation
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, not only did it abolish the constitutional right to an abortion, but it also triggered restrictions in 13 states, more than half of which are in the Southern United States.
Where do the ingredients for your chocolate, smartphone and clothes come from?
A team of researchers at the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public has found social media platform managers could dramatically reduce the spread of misinformation on their sites by combining just a few simple measures. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group used Twitter data associated with the 2020 presidential election to create a model...
Wildfire risk has grown nearly everywhere, but we can still influence where and how fires strike
A bar of chocolate in the U.S. might have been made in Belgium, with cocoa from the Ivory Coast, almonds from Morocco, vanilla from Madagascar and sugar from Brazil. Were forests cut down for it? Were forced or child laborers involved in the harvest? Were toxins used or rivers polluted?
How changing your diet can help fight the climate crisis
Humans have raised CO₂ levels in the atmosphere to 50% above what they were before the industrial revolution. As a result, the world has already warmed by 1.1°C over the past century and reports indicate that it could reach 2.7°C of warming by the end of this century.
Universal optothermal micro/nanoscale rotors
Climate change is driven by and impacts the world's food systems.
Below-average harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie
The fundamental rotation of micro and nano-objects is crucial for the functionality of micro and nanorobotics, as well as three-dimensional imaging and lab-on-a-chip systems. These optical rotation methods can function fuel-free and remotely, and are therefore better suited for experiments, while current methods require laser beams with designed intensity profiles or objects with sophisticated...
Ibuprofen tablets with flavor added survive better in space
NOAA and its research partners are forecasting that western Lake Erie will experience a smaller-than-average harmful algal bloom (HAB) this summer, which would make it less severe than 2021 and more akin to what was seen in the lake in 2020.
Study begins to unravel the mysterious evolution of fatherless male insects
Ibuprofen tablets modified to survive in space have returned to Earth and shown that those with added flavor survived better with less degradation than those with no added taste.
Companies have a simple and legal way to help their workers living in anti-abortion states—expanding paid time off
It's not often that you see genetic systems described as "bizarre" in the title of a scientific research paper. That is unless it's from the lab of San Francisco State University Associate Professor of Biology Scott Roy, who has a particular penchant for weird genetics.
Scientists decipher, catalog the diverse origins of Earth's minerals
Employers looking for ways to support their workers seeking abortions in states where it's now illegal or soon will be don't have it easy.
A 15-year study led by the Carnegie Institution for Science details the origins and diversity of every known mineral on Earth, a landmark body of work that will help reconstruct the history of life on Earth, guide the search for new minerals and ore deposits, predict possible characteristics of future life, and aid the search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.