The vital role of ventilation in the spread of COVID-19 has been quantified by researchers, who have found that in poorly-ventilated spaces, the virus spreads further than two meters in seconds, and is far more likely to spread through prolonged talking than through coughing. [...]

Trapped in amber for ~100 million years, an exceptionally well-preserved, light-producing beetle sheds light on the diversification of bioluminescent beetles in the Cretaceous period and provides the missing fossil link between fireflies' living relatives. [...]

The number of western monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast has plummeted precipitously to a record low, putting the orange-and-black insects closer to extinction, researchers announced Tuesday. [...]

Images of two iconic planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new information about how they develop their dramatic features. Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, Jan. 15. [...]

New high-resolution structures of the bacterial ribosome determined by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago show that a single water molecule may be the cause—and possible solution—of antibiotic resistance. [...]

Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed "plumelets," could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind. [...]

Tiny amounts of gender bias in employee hiring decisions contribute to concerning rates of discrimination and productivity losses that together represent significant costs, financial and otherwise, for employers, a new study from Oregon State University has found. [...]

Large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors, intended to improve global food security, had little to no benefit, increasing crop production in some areas while simultaneously threatening local food security in others, according to researchers who studied their effects. [...]

A Velcro-like fastener with a microscopic design that looks like tiny mushrooms could mean advances for everyday consumers and scientific fields like robotics. [...]

Even if you weren't a physics major, you've probably heard something about the Higgs boson. [...]

Reforestation and cover cropping should be on the front lines of Minnesota's fight to reduce greenhouse gases, and could cut up to one-fifth of the state's heat-trapping emissions. [...]

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed self-healing elastomers that demonstrated unprecedented adhesion strength and the ability to adhere to many surfaces, which could broaden their potential use in industrial applications. [...]

Oak Ridge National Laboratory contributed to an international study that found almost 300 novel types of microbes living near a deep sea volcano. These microbes, which could be used in biotechnology, reveal new insights about their extreme underwater environment. [...]

A four-year study recently published in Ecology and Evolution concludes that the fungal disease, white-nose syndrome, poses a severe threat to many western North American bats. [...]

For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species. [...]

Just like on Earth, water on other planets, satellites, and even comets comes in a variety of forms depending on multiple factors such as pressure and temperature. Aside from the gaseous, liquid, and solid states we are accustomed to, water can form a different type of crystalline solid called clathrate hydrate. Although they look similar to ice, clathrate hydrates have actually small water-based cages in which smaller molecules are trapped. These trapped "guest" molecules are essential for preserving the crystalline structure of clathrate hydrates, which would otherwise "collapse" into regular ice or water. [...]

Butterflies have evolved to produce a strongly scented chemical in their genitals that they leave behind after sex to deter other males from pursuing their women—scientists have found. [...]

NASA is considering a second firing of its moon rocket engines after a critical test came up short over the weekend, a move that could bump the first flight in the Artemis lunar-landing program into next year. [...]

The Messina Strait, a submarine bridge separating the island of Sicily from the Italian Peninsula, is the area with the largest marine litter density worldwide—more than a million objects per square kilometer in some parts–as reported in a new review paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Also, over the next thirty years, the volume of rubbish in the sea could surpass three billion metric tons (Mt), as cited in the study, whose corresponding authors are the experts Miquel Canals, from the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona, and Georg Hanke from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), where scientists carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policies. [...]

An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method. [...]

The tropical plant genus Phyllanthus has been the subject of debate in the taxonomic world for years. About fifteen years ago it became clear that the genus with nearly 900 plant species, contains plants that are considered separate groups. "Many subgroups were created to better distinguish the diversity of the large number of species," according to Ph.D. candidate Roderick Bouman, who conducted the research. "But some groupings that were created based on similar appearances turned out not to be directly related." Since previous studies had only investigated a small portion of all Phyllanthus species, this prompted to take a closer look at the entire genus. This resulted in Bouman's doctoral research at the Hortus botanicus in Leiden. [...]

Exploiting nostalgia is a well-worn emotive approach to enticing customers to purchase a product or service. New work in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, has looked at how a person's character affects whether or not they are susceptible to what is commonly referred to as nostalgia marketing. One of the main findings from the work is that given a high-quality product nostalgia marketing will be successful even given a concomitant high price, the team has found. [...]

'What goes in, must come out' is a familiar refrain. It is especially pertinent to the challenges facing UBC researchers who are investigating methods to remove chemicals and pharmaceuticals from public water systems. [...]

Mass spectrometers (MS) have become essential tools in chemistry and biology laboratories. The ability to quickly identify the chemical components in a sample allows them to take part in a diverse array of experiments, including radiocarbon dating, protein analysis, and monitoring drug metabolism. [...]

It is early in the morning. Ebi and his colleagues try not to twitch as they stare intently at a rectangular box filled with sugary treats. These aren't for them, but for the honey bees that they study. The tiny buzzers toggle between the sugar 'feeder' and the hive, which are a few meters apart. Interestingly, the bees that visit the feeder aren't secretive about this new found food source. They graciously advertise its location to their nest mates and over time more bees are seen buzzing to the feeder. [...]

Every year around 734 million tons of wheat straw are produced worldwide, a large amount of waste, which is cheap and has had no well-defined use until now. Recently, the RNM-271 Chemical Engineering and FQM-383 NANOVAL Organic Chemistry research groups at the University of Córdoba have been able to give a new use to this agricultural excess material, by using it as the foundation in order to manufacture polyurethane foams. [...]

Topologically tailored photonic crystals (PhC) have opened up the possibility for attaining robust unidirectional transport of classical and quantum systems. The demand for unprecedented guiding capabilities that support unhindered transport around imperfections and sharp corners at telecom wavelengths, without the need for any optimization, is fundamental for efficient distribution of information through dense on-chip photonic networks. However, transport properties of experimental realizations of such topologically non-trivial states have been inferred by transmission measurements and even though robustness has been attested in the linear and nonlinear regimes, its exact quantification remains challenging. [...]

With the global student community taking online courses as a result of the anti-Covid-19 measures, a study led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) reveals that online courses deepen inequalities between gifted and less gifted students by 5%. The results of the study, which was based on data collected in 2016-2017 prior to the anti-Covid lockdown initiatives, are published in the Journal of the European Economic Association. They indicate that this learning gap between different student profiles is mainly due to their behavior and motivation. The study gives higher education establishments worldwide practical ways to deal with lockdown or the chronic lack of space in lecture theaters, including via co-educational curricula. [...]

An Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC) study has found greater rates of authorship of open access (OA) research articles among scholars at more prestigious institutions with greater access to resources and job security. "The open access publishing model is growing, and open access successfully democratizes the results of research projects, but it's clear now that some scholars are more likely to be represented in the open access literature" said AARC director and lead author of the study Anthony Olejniczak, Ph.D. [...]

What makes breast milk so good for babies? [...]

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