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206,413 articles from PhysOrg

Researchers examine food supply chain resiliency in the Pacific during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes weaknesses in the supply chain when countries go into lockdown. Some are small, such as the toilet paper shortages early on, that, while annoying, were eventually resolved. But what happens when the effects of the pandemic reach the food systems of countries highly reliant on food imports and income from abroad, and commerce slows to a halt?

Head back to school with '4 Be's' for mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much stress and uncertainty for students, parents, teachers and staff. "For students and the adults who care for them, the desire is so strong to have our lives return to normal, which also involves schooling," says Craig Sawchuk, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist. "School is one of the most important places that we learn and grow intellectually, socially and...

Bay Area coastal flooding triggers regionwide commute disruptions

For decades, the low-lying neighborhoods along the San Francisco Bay have experienced coastal flooding and the subsequent traffic disruptions. But a new computational model by Stanford researchers reveals that, due to the nature of road networks in the region, commuters living outside the areas of flooding may experience some of the largest commute delays.

New study reveals lower energy limit for life on Earth

An international team of researchers led by Queen Mary University of London have discovered that microorganisms buried in sediment beneath the seafloor can survive on less energy than was previously known to support life. The study has implications for understanding the limit of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere.

Plate tectonics goes global

Today, the entire globe is broken up into tectonic plates that are shifting past each other, causing the continents to drift slowly but steadily. But this has not always been the case.

Satellite images reveal land productivity changes in protected areas worldwide

Satellite observations suggest that protected areas may help conserve stable levels of land productivity. However, productivity has dropped or risen in nearly half of the total land under protection worldwide, pointing to potentially detrimental factors. Begoña de la Fuente of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, and colleagues from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission,...

Molecular forces: The surprising stretching behavior of DNA

When large forces act on a heavy beam, for example, in bridge construction, the beam will be slightly deformed. Calculating the relationship between forces, internal stresses and deformations is one of the standard tasks in civil engineering. But what happens when you apply these considerations to tiny objects—for example, to a single DNA double helix?

New Guinea has the world's richest island flora

New Guinea is the most floristically diverse island in the world, an international collaboration led by the University of Zurich has shown. The study presents a list of almost 14,000 plant species, compiled from online catalogs and verified by plant experts. The results are invaluable for research and conservation, and also underline the importance of expert knowledge in the digital era.

Ammonia-rich hail sheds new light on Jupiter's weather

New Juno results suggest that the violent thunderstorms taking place in Jupiter's atmosphere may form ammonia-rich hail, or 'mushballs,' that play a key role in the planet's atmospheric dynamics. This theory, developed using data from Juno's microwave radiometer by the Juno team, is described in two publications led by a researcher at the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte...

The universe is the same everywhere we look—even more than cosmologists predicted

No matter which direction you look in the universe, the view is basically the same if you look far enough. Our local neighborhood is populated with bright nebulae, star clusters and dark clouds of gas and dust. There are more stars toward the center of the Milky Way than there are in other directions. But across millions and billions of light-years, galaxies cluster evenly in all directions, and...

Scientists find how clock gene wakes up green algae

A team of researchers from Nagoya University, Japan, has found the mechanism of the night-to-day transition of the circadian rhythm in green algae. The findings, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, could be applied to green algae to produce larger amounts of lipids, which are a possible sustainable source of biofuel.

Manifestation of quantum distance in flat band materials

The geometry of an object indicates its shape or the relationship of its parts to each other. Did you know that the electrons in solids also have geometric structures? In quantum mechanics, an electron in solids takes the form of a wave with periodicity so that the periodic electronic state, so-called the Bloch state, can be characterized by specifying its energy and crystal momentum which is...

Algal symbiosis could shed light on dark ocean

New research has revealed a surprise twist in the symbiotic relationship between a type of salamander and the alga that lives inside its eggs. A new paper in Frontiers in Microbiology reports that the eggs compete with the algae to assimilate carbon from their surroundings—a finding that could inform similar processes in the dark ocean.

High-sensitivity atomic force microscopy opens up for photosensitive materials

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) brought the atomic scale imaging resolution of scanning tunneling microscopy, a technique that won the Nobel Prize in Physics, to non-conducting surfaces. However, limitations remain when trying to use the technique at its most sensitive with photosensitive samples in liquids. Now researchers at Kanazawa University show how to overcome these constraints, by driving a...

Optical seismometer survives 'hellish' summit of Caribbean volcano

The heights of La Soufrière de Guadeloupe volcano can be hellish, sweltering at more than 48 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) and swathed in billows of acidic gas. Researchers would like to monitor gas and steam eruptions at its summit, to learn more about the volcano's explosive potential, but conventional seismometers are destroyed quickly in the hostile environment.

May the force be with you: Detecting ultrafast light by its force

A McGill research team has developed a new technique to detect nano-sized imperfections in materials. They believe this discovery will lead to improvements in the optical detectors used in a wide range of technologies, from cell phones to cameras and fiber optics, as well as in solar cells.

Researchers capture X-ray images with unprecedented speed and resolution

Researchers have demonstrated a new high-resolution X-ray imaging technique that can capture the motion of rapidly moving objects and quickly changing dynamics. The new method could be used for non-destructive imaging of moving mechanical components and to capture biological processes not previously available with medical X-ray imaging.

An inventory providing information on more than 200 viruses that infect plants in Brazil

A Brazilian scientist has produced an inventory of 219 pathogens that infect plants in Brazil, including many agriculturally important species. The annotated list, published in Biota Neotropica, is the largest compilation of information on plant viruses ever produced in Brazil. It presents descriptions of the microorganisms, data on the diseases they cause, and information on their occurrence in...

Sustainable chemistry at the quantum level

Developing catalysts for sustainable fuel and chemical production requires a kind of Goldilocks Effect—some catalysts are too ineffective while others are too uneconomical. Catalyst testing also takes a lot of time and resources. New breakthroughs in computational quantum chemistry, however, hold promise for discovering catalysts that are "just right" and thousands of times faster than standard...

Consumers, quats and COVID-19: Are disinfectant products safe?

In the face of a persistent global pandemic, disinfectants are more important than ever. These products sometimes rely on quaternary ammonium compounds, or "quats," to kill bacteria and viruses on surfaces. However, some scientists have started to examine these compounds for their possible toxicity in cells and animals. A new story in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the...

How microbes in 'starter cultures' make fermented sausage tasty

Microbes in "starter cultures" impart a distinctive tang and longer shelf life to food like sourdough bread, yogurt and kimchi through the process of fermentation. To get a better grasp of how microbes do this in fermented sausages, such as chorizo and pepperoni, researchers reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry carefully show that these tiny organisms change the composition...

Climate change may melt the 'freezers' of pygmy owls and reduce their overwinter survival

Ecologists at the University of Turku, Finland, have discovered that the food hoards pygmy owls collect in nest-boxes ("freezers") for winter rot due to high precipitation caused by heavy autumn rains if the hoarding has been initiated early in the autumn. The results of the study show that climate change may impair predators' foraging and thus decrease local overwinter survival. The study has...

Silk scaffolds and magnetism to generate bone tissue and be able to use it in implants

The journal Materialia has recently published the outcome of research conducted by a group of researchers including several from the Department of Physical Chemistry at the UPV-EHU's Faculty of Science and Technology and BCMaterials, and others from centers at the University of Minho (Portugal). In this work the research group developed a new composite material that can be used for tissue...

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space

A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird.

Carbon footprinting and pricing under climate concerns

Researchers from Esade, University of St. Gallen, HEC Paris, and Columbia University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explores the conundrum faced by firms that want to reduce their impact on the climate: Green products and their popularity with consumers can lead to an increase in sales and, with it, an increased carbon footprint for the organization as a whole.

The three strategic priorities of marketing excellence

Researchers from University of Mannheim and University of Texas—Austin published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines the nature and effectiveness of marketing excellence as a business strategy. The study addresses two fundamental questions: How do managers understand and exercise marketing excellence? and How do investors evaluate marketing excellence?

Cloudsat takes a slice from tropical storm Isaias

NASA's CloudSat passed over Tropical Storm Isaias as it was strengthening back into a hurricane on Aug. 3, and before it made landfall in North Carolina. CloudSat revealed areas of heavy rain and ice particles in high, powerful clouds.

Increase in immigration has little impact on the wages of US citizens

A new study in Review of Economic Studies suggests that a large increase in the stock of immigrants to the United States would have little impact on the wages of native US citizens. Allowing for more high-skill immigration could be detrimental to some highly skilled workers in the country, but disproportionately beneficial to low skilled workers.

Tracking humanity's latest toxins in stranded whales and dolphins

As humanity develops new types of plastics and chemicals, researchers are constantly trying to keep up with understanding how these contaminants affect the environment and wildlife. A new study gives a first look at the presence and potential effects of these pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales along the coast of the southeastern United States.