Texas officials on Saturday lifted a warning for all but one Houston-area community to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe. [...]

Firefighters and officials at California's largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones. [...]

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have found that although male and female birds have an almost identical set of genes, they function differently in each sex through a mechanism called alternative splicing. [...]

Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks—some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge. One of those was the August Complex Fire, which reportedly began as 37 distinct fires caused by lightning strikes in northern California on Aug. 17. That fire is still burning over a month later. [...]

Nearly 30 years after recording a temperature of minus 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 69.6 Celsius) in Greenland, the measurement has been verified by the World Meteorological Organization as the coldest recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere. [...]

Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have made new discoveries on the effects of temperature on sustainable polymers. Their findings may help the industry to produce plastics that are better for the environment. [...]

Future moon explorers will be bombarded with two to three times more radiation than astronauts aboard the International Space Station, a health hazard that will require thick-walled shelters for protection, scientists reported Friday. [...]

A new 3-D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. Researchers at UC San Diego show that by controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, or LCE, they can control the material's degree of stiffness and ability to contract—also known as degree of actuation. What's more, they are able to change the stiffness of different areas in the same material by exposing it to heat. [...]

Can a small American aerospace company get to Venus before NASA returns to our superheated planetary neighbor? [...]

Keisha Allen and Kindel Nash research how kids learn to read and prepare future teachers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. They are also raising children of their own. Here, they answer five questions many families and teachers may have about what they are seeing with virtual learning for early childhood education. [...]

Quantum technologies—simulators and computers specifically—have the potential to revolutionize the 21st century, from improved national defense systems to drug discovery to more powerful sensors and communication networks. [...]

When colleges and universities assign roommates instead of letting students pick and choose their own, the idea is often to increase the chance that students will live with someone from a different racial or ethnic background. It's also to help them create a more diverse network of friends. [...]

Estimating fitness variation among microorganisms, meaning their aptitude to survive and reproduce in given conditions, allows researchers to predict their infection trajectories in single hosts and transmission in host populations. Among two viral strains, which will be the one to win against the host's immune response, or upon administration of drugs and vaccines? In virus dynamics, understanding such scenarios in detail is crucial, given the increase in resistance to antivirals and other evolutionary changes. Today, this understanding is enhanced via mathematical models, but the majority of current approaches describe limited scenarios, focusing on competitive exclusion, where one strain of the virus always wins over another because it has higher fitness. [...]

Antiferromagnets contain orderly lattices of atoms and molecules, whose magnetic moments are always pointed in exactly opposite directions to those of their neighbors. These materials are driven to transition to other, more disorderly quantum states of matter, or 'phases,' by the quantum fluctuations of their atoms and molecules—but so far, the precise nature of this process hasn't been fully explored. Through new research published in EPJ B, Yoshihiro Nishiyama at Okayama University in Japan has found that the nature of the boundary at which this transition occurs depends on the geometry of an antiferromagnet's lattice arrangement. [...]

Frequent high-intensity exercise entails cardiac remodeling both in humans and animals. In dogs, especially those used for top-level competition, it is of great interest to learn whether they develop the so-called athletic heart syndrome. In order to improve the clinical monitoring on behalf of the veterinarians who tend to these animals, professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University (CEU UCH) of Valencia, Milagros Benito, has proposed a cardiac assessment protocol based on an electrocardiographic and echocardiographic examination of these dogs before and after a racing effort, seeking an early detection of the cardiac indicators that differentiate athletic heart syndrome from other cardiac diseases. [...]

An article in 2011 shocked many by suggesting that up to 187 million people could be forced to leave their homes as a result of two meters of sea level rise by 2100. Almost a decade on, some of the latest estimates suggest that as many as 630 million people may live on land below projected annual flood levels for the end of the century. [...]

Three hundred and fifty square kilometers of Turkey's coastline has been brought under environmental protection in a recent announcement by the Turkish government. This new area represents a significant expansion of the existing marine protected area network along the country's Mediterranean coast and firmly establishes Turkey as a leader in marine conservation in the most overfished sea on the planet. [...]

Research published in the International Journal of Management in Education has sought to ascertain whether there is a relationship between the psychological characteristics of cynicism, autonomy, and job satisfaction in teachers. Navaneethakrishnan Kengatharan of the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka has integrated the theories of conservation of resources, reasoned action and affective events to see whether this is a valid hypothesis. [...]

A novel optical switch makes it possible to precisely control the lifespan of genetic copies. These are used by the cell as building instructions for the production of proteins. The method was developed by researchers from the universities of Bonn and Bayreuth. It may significantly advance the investigation of dynamic processes in living cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications. [...]

Scientists at the University of Warwick have demonstrated that a potential diagnostic tool for detecting COVID-19 using sugars will work with a virus rather than just its proteins, a significant step in making it a viable test in future. [...]

The term 'quantum materials' was introduced to highlight the exotic properties of unconventional superconductors, heavy-fermion systems (materials with unusual electronic and magnetic properties) and multifunctional oxides. More recently, the definition has broadened to cover all the materials that allow scientists and engineers to explore emergent quantum phenomena and their potential applications. [...]

ITMO University scientists have conducted several experiments to investigate polymeric quasicrystals that ultimately confirmed their initial theory. In the future, the use of quasicrystals may open up new possibilities for laser and sensor design. This paper was published in Advanced Optical Materials. [...]

Consumers always look for good quality products, above all in fresh food like vegetables. But how do we measure the quality of fresh spinach before it gets on the market nowadays? The most commonly used methods to analyze vegetable quality are slow, costly and destructive. They require choosing several samples from the same batch, to be analyzed later at a laboratory. In order to carry out different kinds of analyses, the product must be destroyed, so an entire harvest cannot be used. [...]

NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Post-Tropical Cyclone Beta as it continued moving slowly through the Tennessee Valley. Clouds associated with the low-pressure area looked like a large white blanket draped across much of the southeastern U.S. [...]

The relationship between the income levels of parents and their children once they reach adulthood is complex, but education could be one of the factors that influence Canadian intergenerational mobility. This according to a study recently published by INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) professor Xavier St-Denis and Statistics Canada researcher Gaëlle Simard Duplain in Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques. The study looks at the role education levels play in intergenerational income mobility in Canada. [...]

Gravitational wave detectors have opened a new window to the universe by measuring the ripples in spacetime produced by colliding black holes and neutron stars, but they are ultimately limited by quantum fluctuations induced by light reflecting off of mirrors. LSU Ph.D. physics alumnus Jonathan Cripe and his team of LSU researchers have conducted a new experiment with scientists from Caltech and Thorlabs to explore a way to cancel this quantum backaction and improve detector sensitivity. [...]

NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared view of Tropical Storm Lowell that revealed the effects of outside winds battering the storm. [...]

Lifestyles in China are changing rapidly, and ordering food online is an example. However, those billions of delivery meals produce an enormous amount of plastic waste from packaging, but also from food containers and cutlery; in one year, some 7.3 billion sets of single-use tableware accompany the food. Around one-third of the 553 kilotons of municipal solid waste that is generated each day comes from packaging. That is why a group of scientists analyzed whether using paper alternatives or reusable tableware could reduce plastic waste and associated life cycle emissions. [...]

A researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has developed a unique method to improve class participation in a graduate-level thermodynamics course by incorporating theater improvisation activities in the classroom. Erin Lavik, associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering at UMBC, wanted to find a way to encourage better participation in a thermodynamics seminar, and thought that allowing students to warm up to each other through theater exercises might improve their confidence when discussing complex topics. Based on her case studies of class participation on days when improv activities were conducted and also on anonymous survey feedback from students, Lavik confirmed that the improv activities led to a higher rate of engagement and participation. The findings are published in Biomedical Engineering Education. [...]

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a high-performance reusable ruthenium-based catalyst for the production of primary amines. Their method represents a major advance for the development of efficient catalysts that enable selective conversion of alcohols into primary amines under mild reaction conditions. [...]

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