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208,577 articles from PhysOrg


FRIDAY 18. SEPTEMBER 2020


Massive damage of rare plants probed at Nevada mine site

State and federal authorities are investigating the mysterious loss of a significant swath of a rare desert wildflower that's being considered for federal protection at a contentious mine site in Nevada with some of the largest untapped lithium deposits in the world.

Aqua satellite helps confirm Subtropical Storm Alpha

Subtropical Storm Alpha has formed near the coast of Portugal, becoming the first named storm using the Greek Alphabet list, now that the annual list of names is exhausted. NASA's Aqua satellite obtained visible imagery of the new storm.

Like humans, chimpanzees can suffer for life if orphaned before adulthood

Researchers observed three chimpanzee communities of the Tai National Park. They kept full demographic records and collected fecal samples to conduct paternity tests on all new community members, for up to 30 years. Catherine Crockford, the lead author, says: "When we study our closest living relatives, like chimpanzees, we can learn about the ancient environmental factors that made us human. Our...

Indian monsoon can be predicted better after volcanic eruptions

Large volcanic eruptions can help to forecast monsoons over India. This seasonal rainfall is key for the country's agriculture and thus for feeding 1 billion people. As erratic as they are, volcanic eruptions improve the predictability, an Indian-German research team finds. What seems to be a paradox is, in fact, due to a stronger coupling between the monsoon over large parts of South and...

New design principles for spin-based quantum materials

As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology—whether supporting communication while working remotely or streaming our favorite show—so too does our reliance on the data these devices create. Data centers supporting these technology ecosystems produce a significant carbon footprint—and consume 200 terawatt hours of energy each year, greater than the annual energy consumption...

VLBA makes first direct distance measurement to magnetar

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) have made the first direct geometric measurement of the distance to a magnetar within our Milky Way Galaxy—a measurement that could help determine if magnetars are the sources of the long-mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs).

Biologists create new genetic systems to neutralize gene drives

In the past decade, researchers have engineered an array of new tools that control the balance of genetic inheritance. Based on CRISPR technology, such gene drives are poised to move from the laboratory into the wild where they are being engineered to suppress devastating diseases such as mosquito-borne malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever and West Nile. Gene drives carry the power to...

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 and published September 18 in the journal One Earth, 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...

Melting glacier floods Arctic coal mine, highlighting climate change irony

On July 26, Svalbard's only active coal mine, Gruve 7, was reported to be flooded by its operators, Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani. It had been shut down earlier this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; now plans to reopen the mine will now be delayed even further as a result. Glacial meltwater entered the mine through a crevasse at the junction between the overlying ice cap and...

Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water

Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic's meager summer fizzles out and sea ice begins to grow once more. This point is known as the annual sea ice minimum extent. It has declined consistently over the past 15 years, and 2019 was the second lowest after 2012 in 42 years of continuous satellite records. This year's minimum is imminent, and there is already even...

Hot Stuff: Unusual thermal diode rectifies heat in both directions

You can feel it on your laptop and mobile phone. It's behind your refrigerator and office copy machine. While heat is desirable for appliances like a coffee maker, it can jeopardize the reliability and safety of electronic systems in other devices, causing premature failure at best and explosions at worst.

Chimpanzees in volatile habitats evolved to behave more flexibly

One of the reasons humans are so resilient is our ability to mold our behavior to ever changing situations. It wasn't so long ago that many of us hugged when we met. In the middle of a pandemic, in which close contact between people can help spread a deadly virus, we now stand (often awkwardly) two meters apart. This is just one example of our ability to adapt to changing circumstances that can...