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214,750 articles from PhysOrg

How fellow students improve your own grades

Better grades thanks to your fellow students? A study conducted by the University of Zurich's Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics has revealed that not only the grade point average, gender and nationality peers can influence your own academic achievement, but so can their personalities. Intensive contact and interaction with persistent fellow students improve your own performance, and...

The idea of an environmental tax is finally gaining strength

An extra 290,000 pounds a year for lighting and cleaning because smog darkens and pollutes everything: with this cost estimate for the industrial city of Manchester, the English economist Arthur Cecil Pigou once founded the theory of environmental taxation. In the classic "The Economics of Welfare," the first edition of which was published as early as 1920, he proved that by allowing such...

Early breeding reduced harmful mutations in sorghum

When humans first domesticated maize some 9,000 years ago, those early breeding efforts led to an increase in harmful mutations to the crop's genome compared to their wild relatives, which more recent modern breeding has helped to correct.

Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms

Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week.

Stickiness is a weapon some plants use to fend off hungry insects

Imagine the texture of a plant. Many may come to mind—the smooth rubberiness of many tropical houseplants, the impossibly soft lamb's ear, the sharp spines of cacti, or the roughness of tree bark. But stickiness, in the flypaper-stick-to-your-fingers sense, probably isn't at the top of your list.

Biden administration must act fast to save migratory birds

On January 5, 2021, the day before the world watched in horror as the U.S. Capitol was assaulted, the Trump administration laid siege to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The revision is a major blow to conservation efforts, lifting penalties for industries that accidentally cause harm to birds protected under the act.

How South Africa can prepare for a data-driven education system

There are significant disparities in South Africa's education system. Schools are divided into quintiles, from one to five; the poorest, in quintile one, struggle enormously with a lack of resources and support. They also tend to have poorer educational outcomes. That has a direct effect on university admission and outcomes.

A closer look at how immune cells attack and heal

Macrophages—immune cells that both fight infections and fix the damage they cause—are often placed into two categories: those that increase inflammation (known as "M1") to attack, and those that decrease inflammation to begin the healing process ("M2").

Juno maps water ice across northern Ganymede

Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest planetary satellite in the solar system. It's also one of the most intriguing: Ganymede is the only moon with its own magnetic field, it is the most differentiated of all moons, and it likely possesses a subsurface ocean of liquid water. It was studied by the early Jupiter flybys made by the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft, but our understanding today rests...

Defects may help scientists understand the exotic physics of topology

Real-world materials are usually messier than the idealized scenarios found in textbooks. Imperfections can add complications and even limit a material's usefulness. To get around this, scientists routinely strive to remove defects and dirt entirely, pushing materials closer to perfection. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have turned this problem around and shown...

How clicks on a job platform can reveal bias

Scientists at ETH Zurich have leveraged big data from recruitment platforms and machine learning to study hiring discrimination. They show that discrimination against immigrants depends, among other things, on the time of day; and that both men and women face discrimination.

A breakthrough in chiral polymer thin films research could enable a new generation of devices

The 10,000th paper published by Diamond Light Source could fundamentally change the technology landscape by enabling a new generation of devices. This study presents a new way of looking at chirality in thin polymer films that are important for electronics. It presents disruptive insights into chiral polymer films, which emit and absorb circularly polarized light, and offers the promise of...

Astronomers see whirlwind around possible exoplanet in the making

An international team of astronomers led by researchers from the Netherlands has discovered a whirlwind of dust and debris in orbit around a young star. It is possible that a planet is forming within the debris. The scientists made the discovery during the time that designers and developers of an astronomical instrument get as a reward for their work. They will soon publish their findings in the...

Antibiotic resistance may spread even more easily than expected

Pathogenic bacteria in humans are developing resistance to antibiotics much faster than expected. Now, computational research at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows that one reason could be significant genetic transfer between bacteria in our ecosystems and to humans. This work has also led to new tools for resistance researchers.

Cancer can be precisely diagnosed using a urine test with artificial intelligence

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. Patients are determined to have prostate cancer primarily based on PSA, a cancer factor in blood. However, as diagnostic accuracy is as low as 30%, a considerable number of patients undergo additional invasive biopsy and thus suffer from resultant side effects, such as bleeding and pain.