Science

  • Public health officials expect COVID-19 cases to spike like never before
    by Claire Maldarelli on November 30, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    As coronavirus cases spike across the country, the US could be in for its worst three months yet. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Chinese submarine reaches the deepest place on Earth
    on November 30, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    The Chinese submarine Fendouzhe has completed a months-long expedition to the deepest part of the ocean, a feat matched by only James Cameron, a hobbyist investor and the U.S. Navy.

  • Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger is convenient but pricey
    by Stan Horaczek on November 30, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    This $129 charging solution doesn't include a power brick.

  • The solar system follows the galactic standard—but it is a rare breed
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have investigated more than 1000 planetary systems orbiting stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and have discovered a series of connections between planetary orbits, number of planets, occurrence and the distance to their stars. It turns out that our own solar system in some ways is very rare, and in others very ordinary.

  • Business closures, partial reopenings due to COVID-19 could cost the US $3-5 trillion in GDP over 2 years
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    The COVID-19 pandemic could result in net losses from $3.2 trillion and up to $4.8 trillion in U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the course of two years, a new USC study finds.

  • New study shows how methan breaks through icy barriers on the sea floor
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Methane, the main component of natural gas, is the cleanest-burning of all the fossil fuels, but when emitted into the atmosphere it is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. By some estimates, seafloor methane contained in frozen formations along the continental margins may equal or exceed the total amount of coal, oil, and gas in all other reservoirs worldwide. Yet, the way methane escapes from these deep formations is poorly understood.

  • Magnetic vortices come full circle
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Magnets often harbor hidden beauty. Take a simple fridge magnet: Somewhat counterintuitively, it is 'sticky' on one side but not the other. The secret lies in the way the magnetisation is arranged in a well-defined pattern within the material. More intricate magnetization textures are at the heart of many modern technologies, such as hard disk drives. Now, an international team of scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, ETH Zurich, the University of Cambridge, the Donetsk Institute for […]

  • Simulations open a new way to reverse cell aging
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Research findings by a KAIST team provide insight into the complex mechanism of cellular senescence and present a potential therapeutic strategy for reducing age-related diseases associated with the accumulation of senescent cells.

  • Astronomical instrument hunts for ancient metal
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Researchers created a new astronomical instrument that has successfully aided in estimating the abundance of metals in the early universe. The WINERED instrument allows for better observations of astronomical bodies like quasars in the early universe, billions of years ago. Researchers hope this deeper level of exploration could help answer questions about the origins not only of metals in the universe but also of the stars themselves.

  • Microfluidic system with cell-separating powers may unravel how novel pathogens attack
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    To develop effective therapeutics against pathogens, scientists need to first uncover how they attack host cells. An efficient way to conduct these investigations on an extensive scale is through high-speed screening tests called assays.

  • Even razor clams on sparsely populated Olympic Coast can't escape plastics, study finds
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Portland State University researchers and their collaborators at the Quinault Indian Nation and Oregon State University found microplastics in Pacific razor clams on Washington's sparsely populated Olympic Coast—proof, they say, that even in more remote regions, coastal organisms can't escape plastic contamination.

  • Researching on-chip erbium-doped lithium niobate microcavity lasers
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    As a complement to silicon-based photonic chips, lithium niobate thin film (LNOI) has become a research hotspot in the field of optoelectronic integration due to its outstanding nonlinear, electro-optic, acousto-optic, piezoelectric and other physical properties. On-chip integrated frequency multipliers, modulators, and filters based on lithium niobate thin films have been developed, but the on-chip integrated communication band light source is still in urgent need of development. Recently, […]

  • Seismic guidelines underestimate impact of 'The Big One' on metro Vancouver buildings
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Scientists examining the effects of a megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest say tall buildings across Metro Vancouver will experience greater shaking than currently accounted for by Canada's national seismic hazard model.

  • The wily octopus: King of flexibility
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Octopuses have the most flexible appendages known in nature, according to a new study in Scientific Reports. In addition to being soft and strong, each of the animal's eight arms can bend, twist, elongate and shorten in many combinations to produce diverse movements. But to what extent can they do so, and is each arm equally capable? Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) filmed 10 octopuses over many months while presenting them with a variety of challenges, and recorded 16,563 […]

  • Researchers explore population size, density in rise of centralized power in antiquity
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Early populations shifted from quasi-egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies to communities governed by a centralized authority in the middle to late Holocene, but how the transition occurred still puzzles anthropologists. A University of Maine-led group of researchers contend that population size and density served as crucial drivers.

  • Covid-19 shutdowns disproportionately affected low-income black households
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    The alarming rate at which COVID-19 has killed Black Americans has highlighted the deeply embedded racial disparities in the U.S. health care system.

  • Hitting the quantum 'sweet spot': Researchers find best position for atom qubits in silicon
    on November 30, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Researchers from the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) working with Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) have located the 'sweet spot' for positioning qubits in silicon to scale up atom-based quantum processors.

  • Cyber Monday: try these 10 training bundles on sale for a limited time
    by Stack Commerce on November 30, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Cyber Monday: try these 10 training bundles on sale for a limited time. The Complete 2020 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle, more on sale.

  • New study shows strong links between music and math, reading achievement
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Music educator Martin J. Bergee thought that if he could just control his study for the myriad factors that might have influenced previous ones—race, income, education, etc.—he could disprove the notion of a link between students' musical and mathematical achievement.

  • Caribbean coral reefs under siege from aggressive algae
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Human activity endangers coral health around the world. A new algal threat is taking advantage of coral's already precarious situation in the Caribbean and making it even harder for reef ecosystems to grow.

  • Experimental vaccine for deadly tickborne virus effective in cynomolgus macaques
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    An experimental vaccine developed in Europe to prevent infection by Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) has protected cynomolgus macaques in a new collaborative study from National Institutes of Health scientists. The animals received the DNA-based candidate vaccine through intramuscular injection immediately followed by electroporation—a process in development for human vaccines that helps cells absorb DNA. The study, published in Nature Microbiology, comes about three years after […]

  • Could private investment finance conservation?
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Most of the money for protecting and conserving wildlife and habitat comes from government programs, philanthropic organizations, or the public. But conserving Earth's ecosystems and species requires hundreds of billions dollars more than what is currently spent. Fortunately, there might be another way. A new report called Innovative Finance for Conservation: Roles for Ecologists and Practitioners, explores how private investment could boost conservation in a big way. The report, which has just […]

  • Study reveals new findings on nature's UV sunscreens
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    Swansea University research has provided a new insight into the behavior of nature's own UV sunscreens when they are exposed to other parts of the light spectrum.

  • Unexpected similarity between honey bee and human social life
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Bees and humans are about as different organisms as one can imagine. Yet despite their many differences, surprising similarities in the ways that they interact socially have begun to be recognized in the last few years. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, building on their earlier studies, have experimentally measured the social networks of honey bees and how they develop over time. They discovered that there are detailed similarities with the social […]

  • Bacteria in iron-deficient environments process carbon sources selectively
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    When humans have low iron levels, they tend to feel weak, fatigued and dizzy. This fatigue prevents patients with iron-deficient anemia from exercising or exerting themselves in order to conserve energy.

  • Fingerprints' moisture-regulating mechanism strengthens human touch: study
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Human fingerprints have a self-regulating moisture mechanism that not only helps us to avoid dropping our smartphone, but could help scientists to develop better prosthetic limbs, robotic equipment and virtual reality environments, a new study reveals.

  • Deep-sea volcanoes: Windows into the subsurface
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Hydrothermally-active submarine volcanoes account for much of Earth's volcanism and are mineral-rich biological hotspots, yet very little is known about the dynamics of microbial diversity in these systems. This week in PNAS, Reysenbach and colleagues, show that at one such volcano, Brothers submarine arc volcano, NE of New Zealand, the geological history and subsurface hydrothermal fluid paths testify to the complexity of microbial composition on the seafloor, and also provide insights into […]

  • New tech can get oxygen, fuel from Mars's salty water
    on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    When it comes to water and Mars, there's good news and not-so-good news. The good news: there's water on Mars! The not-so-good news?

  • Gifts for people with terrible quarantine hair
    by Sandra Gutierrez G. on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Maybe it was a failed attempt at DIY bangs, or an at-home buzzcut. It’s ok. In the meantime, here are some gifts to hide your shame.

  • Recycled concrete could be a sustainable way to keep rubble out of landfills
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Results of a new five-year study of recycled concrete show that it performs as well, and in several cases even better, than conventional concrete.

  • Customized programming of human stem cells
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) have the potential to convert into a wide variety of cell types and tissues for drug testing and cell replacement therapies. However, the "recipes" for this conversion are often complicated and difficult to implement. Researchers at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at TU Dresden, Harvard University (U.S.) and the University of Bonn have found a way to systematically extract hundreds of different cells quickly and easily from iPS using […]

  • Family pigs prefer their owner's company as dogs do, but they might not like strangers
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Researchers at ELTE Department of Ethology in Budapest compared how young companion dogs and companion pigs seek human proximity in a novel environment. It turned out that both dogs and pigs stay close to their owner if no other person is present; but if a stranger is also there, only dogs stay near humans, pigs prefer to stay away. The study reveals that while living in a human family is not enough for early developing a general human preference in companion animals, species differences weigh […]

  • Mystery of Siberian freshwater seal food choice solved
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Through video tracking and examination of museum specimens, scientists have discovered why Siberia's Lake Baikal seals are thriving when so many other seal populations are suffering from human-caused environmental stresses.

  • Biodiesel made from discarded cardboard boxes
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Automobile exhaust emitted by fossil-fuel-based vehicles, especially those operating on diesel, is known to be a major source of fine dust and greenhouse gases. Using biodiesel instead of diesel is an effective way of coping with climate change caused by greenhouse gases while reducing fine dust emission. However, the current method of producing biodiesel by chemically processing vegetable oil or waste cooking oil-such as palm or soybean oil-is limited because of the unreliable availability of […]

  • Developing an AI solution to 50-year-old protein challenge
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    In a major scientific advance, the latest version of DeepMind's AI system AlphaFold has been recognized as a solution to the 50-year-old grand challenge of protein structure prediction, often referred to as the 'protein folding problem', according to a rigorous independent assessment. This breakthrough could significantly accelerate biological research over the long term, unlocking new possibilities in disease understanding and drug discovery among other fields.

  • Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is highly effective, final analysis shows
    on November 30, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    New data from Moderna's phase 3 trial confirm that the vaccine is highly effective and protects against severe disease.

  • North America’s biggest salmon run may no longer be in danger
    by By Alex Robinson/Outdoor Life on November 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    There has been a long-fought battle over the proposed Pebble Mine, with both sport anglers and commercial fishers opposing the project. But the permit was officially denied last week.

  • Escaped mink could spread the coronavirus to wild animals
    on November 30, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    More than 100 SARS-CoV-2 infected mink may have escaped from Danish farms, raising the risk that these escapees could spread the novel coronavirus to wild animals.

  • Save 53% on AncestryDNA testing kit for Cyber Monday
    on November 30, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    AncestryDNA may be the perfect holiday present. And right now, Amazon is selling the kit for $47.00, which is 53% off the normal list price.

  • Mouthwash won’t stop you from spreading COVID-19
    by Rachael Zisk on November 30, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Even if household mouthwash does kill off the virus in your saliva temporarily, that doesn’t mean your daily gargle is enough to prevent you from catching—or spreading—COVID-19.

  • Electric propulsion makes this French submarine concept extra sneaky
    by Christina Mackenzie on November 30, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    It could stay down for two months, which is on par with a nuclear sub.

  • Save up to 40% on Osmo Genius Kits for Cyber Monday
    on November 30, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    These Osmo kits can turn screen time into tactile time, helping kids to learn about numbers, shapes, coding and more. And right now, Amazon has several great deals to get you started.

  • Climate change is affecting fall foliage, but not in the way you think
    by Ula Chrobak on November 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    The arboreal shift from green to gold marks the beginning of autumn for many in temperate climes, a color change that goes hand in hand with pumpkin spice lattes and cozying up as the weather cools. But, like countless natural processes, this much-loved seasonal indicator is subject to disruption as the Earth’s temperature steadily warms.

  • Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates
    on November 30, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Among the top news today: Moderna plans on filing for an Emergency Use Authorization for its coronavirus vaccine today.

  • Pandemic board game is 44% off this Cyber Monday
    on November 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Combat a deadly virus or mastermind your own outbreak with these strategic board games

  • Alligators can regrow their tails, surprising scientists
    on November 30, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Baby alligators can regrow their tails and they do it in a novel way.

  • Is the Boeing 737 Max safe enough to fly?
    on November 30, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    The Boeing 737 Max began flying commercially in May 2017 but has been grounded for over a year and a half following two crashes within five months. Is it safe enough for liftoff?

  • Our solar system will disintegrate sooner than we thought
    on November 30, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Although the ground beneath our feet feels solid and reassuring (most of the time), nothing in this universe lasts forever.

  • Dangerous 'naked' black holes could be hiding in the universe
    on November 30, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Black holes shorn of event horizons could lurk throughout the universe.

  • The best Cyber Monday deals on binoculars for travel, skywatching and nature
    on November 30, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Whether you love watching nature or can't get enough of the moon and stars, check out our top pick of binoculars