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131,939 articles from ScienceDaily


FRIDAY 18. SEPTEMBER 2020


Connecting the dots on food access

A new study simultaneously examined the preferences of community members and compared those with the community-based programs and resources available to identify the most viable strategies for addressing disparities in healthy food consumption.

Biologists create new genetic systems to neutralize gene drives

Addressing concerns about gene drive releases in the wild, scientists have developed two new genetic systems that halt or eliminate gene drives after release. Created in fruit flies, the e-CHACRs and ERACRs are powerful gene drive control mechanisms that were meticulously developed and tested at the genetic and molecular levels.

Mapping the 1.6 billion people who live near forests

Global maps of places where people and forests coexist show that an estimated 1.6 billion people live within 5 kilometers of a forest. The assessment, based on data from 2000 and 2012, showed that of these 1.6 billion 'forest-proximate people,' 64.5 percent were located in tropical countries, and 71.3 percent lived in countries classified as low or middle income by the World Bank.

Raids and bloody rituals among ancient steppe nomads

Traces of violence on 1700 year old skeletons allow researchers to reconstruct warfare and sacrifices of nomads in Siberia. An international and interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, archaeologists and specialists in forensic sciences performed a detailed and revealing analysis of the traumas found on the skeletal remains.

Nose's response to odors more than just a simple sum of parts

Based on highly sensitive recordings of neuron activity in the noses of mice, researchers have found that olfactory sensory neurons can exhibit suppression or enhancement of response when odors are mixed, overturning a long-standing view that the response is a simple sum with more complex processing only happening at later stages.

Promising computer simulations for stellarator plasmas

The turbulence code GENE (Gyrokinetic Electromagnetic Numerical Experiment), has proven to be very useful for the theoretical description of turbulence in the plasma of tokamak-type fusion devices. Extended for the more complex geometry of stellarator-type devices, computer simulations with GENE now indicate a new method to reduce plasma turbulence in stellarator plasmas. This could significantly...

How researchers look at the bird brain in action

How do birds make decisions and which brain regions are particularly active when they solve tasks? Researchers are investigating these questions. So far, only anesthetized birds and therefore passive experiments could be examined using the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thus, the examination of brain processes during active tasks was not possible. Now the researchers have...

VLBA makes first direct distance measurement to magnetar

Using the VLBA, astronomers have made the first direct geometric measurement of the distance to a magnetar. This precision measurement to one of the most magnetic objects in the Universe could help scientists determine if such objects are responsible for generating the mysterious Fast Radio Bursts.

Self-induced ultrafast demagnetization limits the amount of light diffracted from magnetic samples at soft x-ray energies

Free electron X-ray lasers deliver intense ultrashort pulses of x-rays, which can be used to image nanometer-scale objects in a single shot. When the x-ray wavelength is tuned to an electronic resonance, magnetization patterns can be made visible. When using increasingly intense pulses, however, the magnetization image fades away. The mechanism responsible for this loss in resonant magnetic...

Ecologists sound alarm on plastic pollution

Ecologists examining plastic pollution entering oceans, rivers and lakes around the world annually, outline potential impacts of various mitigation strategies over the coming decade. The researchers estimate the scale of human response needed to reduce future emissions and manage what's already floating around out there and recommend a fundamental shift to a framework based on recycling where...

A scientific first: How psychedelics bind to key brain cell receptor

For the first time, scientists solved the high-resolution structure of these compounds when they are actively bound to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor on the surface of brain cells. This discovery is already leading to the exploration of more precise compounds that could eliminate hallucinations but still have strong therapeutic effects. Psilocybin - the psychedelic compound in mushrooms - has...

Curve at tip of shoes eases movement but may lead to weaker muscles, problems

The scientists found that the more curved a toe spring is, the less power the foot inside the shoe has to exert when pushing off from the ground while walking. That means foot muscles are doing less work, and this, the researchers hypothesize, may have consequences such as less endurance and make people more susceptible to medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.

Scientists 'scent train' honeybees to boost sunflowers' seed production

If you want a dog to hunt something down, it helps to let them sniff an item to pick up the scent. Now, researchers have found that scent training honeybees might work in a similar way -- and that this approach could make bees more efficient in pollinating crops. The findings show that honeybees given food scented with sunflower odors led to a significant increase in sunflower crop production.

Quizzes improve academic performance

Students who are quizzed over class material at least once a week tend to perform better on midterm and final exams compared to students who did not take quizzes, according to a new meta-analysis. The researchers found in addition to frequency, immediate feedback from instructors also seemed to positively impact student performance.

New mathematical tool can select the best sensors for the job

In the 2019 Boeing 737 Max crash, the recovered black box from the aftermath hinted that a failed pressure sensor may have caused the ill-fated aircraft to nose dive. This incident and others have fueled a larger debate on sensor selection, number and placement to prevent the reoccurrence of such tragedies. Researchers have now developed a comprehensive mathematical framework that can help...

Genetic adaptation to climate change is swift in crop pests

By comparing genetic variants differing in the two fly populations, researchers found that polygenic traits led to the quickness of adaptation; many genes, each with very small effects, worked together to determine the rate of development. The research illustrates that crop pests and insect disease vectors with similar biology may rapidly respond to changing climates by a similar genetic...

Algorithms uncover cancers' hidden genetic losses and gains

Limitations in DNA sequencing technology make it difficult to detect some major mutations often linked to cancer, such as the loss or duplication of parts of chromosomes. Now, methods developed by computer scientists will allow researchers to more accurately identify these mutations in cancerous tissue, yielding a clearer picture of the evolution and spread of tumors than was previously possible.


THURSDAY 17. SEPTEMBER 2020


Shedding light on the development of efficient blue-emitting semiconductors

Scientists have discovered a new alkali copper halide, Cs5Cu3Cl6I2, that emits pure blue light. The combination of the two halide ions, chloride and iodide, gives the material a crystalline structure made of zigzag chains and peculiar properties that result in highly efficient photoluminescence. This novel compound could be readily used to produce relatively inexpensive and eco-friendly white LEDs...

Curbing land clearing for food production is vital to reverse biodiversity declines

Preserving terrestrial biodiversity requires more ambitious land-conservation targets to be established and met. At the same time, 'bending the curve' on biodiversity loss needs more efficient food production, and healthier and less wasteful consumption and trade. If undertaken with 'unprecedented ambition and coordination,' these efforts provide an opportunity to reverse terrestrial biodiversity...

Sugar promotes sperm longevity in pig reproductive tract

For many livestock species, artificial insemination (AI) is standard. But it can be tricky to achieve success the first time, thanks to variability in ovulation timing across the herd. A new study identifies a naturally occurring sugar that slows the maturation of sperm in pigs, opening up the possibility of extending sperm storage time within the female reproductive tract and increasing the...