A first-of-its-kind study led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that rock weathering and water storage appear to follow a similar pattern across undulating landscapes where hills rise and fall for miles. [...]

The fact that the human body is made up of cells is a basic, well-understood concept. Yet amazingly, scientists are still trying to determine the various types of cells that make up our organs and contribute to our health. [...]

Antibiotics on the cocoon protect the offspring of beewolves, a group of digger wasps, from detrimental fungi. These protective substances are produced by symbiotic bacteria of the genus Streptomyces, which live in these insects. In a new study in PNAS, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Mainz, together with an international team, showed that these beneficial bacteria are losing genetic material that is no longer needed. The genome of these bacteria is of great interest for understanding the process of genome erosion and elucidating how the cooperation and the mutual benefit between bacteria and their host insects have evolved over long periods of time. [...]

A new type of collective behavior in ants has been revealed by an international team of scientists, headed by biologist Professor Iain Couzin, co-director of the Cluster of Excellence "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior" at the University of Konstanz and director at the co-located Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, and Matthew Lutz, a postdoctoral researcher in Couzin's lab. Their research shows how ants use self-organized architectural structures called 'scaffolds' to ensure traffic flow on sloped surfaces. Scaffold formation results from individual sensing and decision-making, yet it allows the colony as a whole to adjust dynamically to unpredictable environmental challenges. [...]

Diversity in diet plays a role in the complexity of venom in pit vipers such as rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. [...]

What keeps some plants squatting close to the soil while others—even those closely related—reach high for the skies? [...]

New research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that land use by human societies has reshaped ecology across most of Earth's land for at least 12,000 years. The research team, from over ten institutions around the world, revealed that the main cause of the current biodiversity crisis is not human destruction of uninhabited wildlands, but rather the appropriation, colonization, and intensified use of lands previously managed sustainably. [...]

Our planet's worst mass extinction event happened 252 million years ago when massive volcanic eruptions caused catastrophic climate change. The vast majority of animal species went extinct, and when the dust settled, the planet entered the early days of the Age of Dinosaurs. Scientists are still learning about the patterns of which animals went extinct and which ones survived, and why. In a new study in PNAS, researchers found that while extinctions happened rapidly in the oceans, life on land underwent a longer, more drawn-out period of extinctions. [...]

NASA conducted its first flight on another planet early Monday morning, a short hop for a small chopper named Ingenuity which demonstrated technology that could prove critical to the future of space exploration. [...]

Boston College seismologist John Ebel and his colleagues have noted a pattern for some large California earthquakes: magnitude 4 or larger earthquakes occur at a higher rate along a fault in the two decades or more prior to a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake on the fault. [...]

Airbnb hosts in college towns increase their listing prices much more than hotels when there are home football games against rival teams. Hosts experience a 78 percent reduction in rental income by listing prices too high, according to a new study by the University of California San Diego's Rady School of Management. [...]

A new study finds a naturally occurring "earthquake gate" that decides which earthquakes are allowed to grow into magnitude 8 or greater. [...]

Inside your body, cell movement plays a crucial role in many significant biological processes, including wound healing, immune responses and the potential spread of cancer. [...]

NASA has made history by successfully flying the mini helicopter Ingenuity on Mars, the first powered flight on another planet. [...]

A once-prized coffee species, rediscovered in West Africa decades after it was thought to have disappeared, is just as tasty as high-end Arabica and more resilient to climate change, scientists said Monday, adding that the forgotten bean could help future-proof quality coffee. [...]

Data from a GPS network in Colombia have revealed a shallow and fully locked part on the Caribbean subduction zone in the country that suggests a possible large earthquake and tsunami risk for the northwest region. [...]

The first time people here saw a sinkhole, they thought a small asteroid had slammed into the Dead Sea's salt-encrusted shore. [...]

2021 must be the year of action for protecting people against the "disastrous" effects of climate change, the United Nations said on Monday ahead of a crucial US-convened summit. [...]

A new study outlines the need for materials advances in the hardware that goes into making quantum computers if these futuristic devices are to surpass the abilities of the computers we use today. [...]

Hydrogen will be needed in large quantities as an energy carrier and raw material in the energy system of the future. To achieve this, however, hydrogen must be produced in a climate-neutral way, for example through so-called photoelectrolysis, by using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. As photoelectrodes, semiconducting materials are needed that convert sunlight into electricity and remain stable in water. Metal oxides are among the best candidates for stable and inexpensive photoelectrodes. Some of these metal oxides also have catalytically active surfaces that accelerate the formation of hydrogen at the cathode or oxygen at the anode. [...]

Someday, scientists believe, tiny DNA-based robots and other nanodevices will deliver medicine inside our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help manufacture increasingly smaller electronics. [...]

A new study classifies different types of wildlife traffickers and sellers in two of Central Africa's growing urban centers, providing new insight into the poorly understood urban illegal wildlife trade. The findings can help conservation and law enforcement authorities prioritize their efforts on professional criminals, identify patterns among repeat offenders, and determine if wildlife offenders are engaging in other types of crime. [...]

Scientists have sequenced ancient DNA from soil for the first time and the advance will transform what is known about everything from evolution to climate change. [...]

Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. In the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba corals also have exceptionally high tolerance to increasing seawater temperatures, now occurring as a consequence of global warming. This characteristic led coral reef scientists to designate this region as a potential coral reef refuge in the face of climate change—a reef where corals may survive longer than others that are being lost at an alarming rate due to human pressures. [...]

Researchers are blurring the lines between science and art by showing how a laser can be used to create artistic masterpieces in a way that mirrors classical paints and brushes. The new technique not only creates paint-like strokes of color on metal but also offers a way to change or erase colors. [...]

Due to global warming, not only the temperatures in the atmosphere and in the ocean are rising, but also winds and ocean currents as well as the oxygen distribution in the ocean are changing. For example, the oxygen content in the ocean has decreased globally by about 2% in the last 60 years, particularly strong in the tropical oceans. However, these regions are characterized by a complex system of ocean currents. At the equator, one of the strongest currents, the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC), transports water masses eastwards across the Atlantic. The water transport by the EUC is more than 60 times larger than that of the Amazon river. [...]

Researchers used platinum and aluminum compounds to create a catalyst which enables certain chemical reactions to occur more efficiently than ever before. The catalyst could significantly reduce energy usage in various industrial and pharmaceutical processes. It also allows for a wider range of sustainable sources to feed the processes, which could reduce the demand for fossil fuels required by them. [...]

Making space in high street shops for people to repair clothes could mend the damage caused by fast fashion and transform sewing into a wellbeing activity, experts say. [...]

A micro-sized polymeric net wrapping around brain tumors, just like a fishing net around a shoal of fish: this is microMESH, a new nanomedicine device capable of conforming around the surface of tumor masses and efficiently delivering drugs. It has been described by the researchers of the IIT—Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) in Nature Nanotechnology. The new biomedical implant has been validated in preclinical studies that demonstrate its effectiveness for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. [...]

Solid-matrix catalysts called heterogeneous catalysts are among the most widespread industrial applications in reducing toxic gases, unburned fuel, and particulate matter in the exhaust stream from the combustion chamber. They are also used in energy, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors, i.e., production of biodiesel, polymers, biomass/waste conversion into valuable products, and many others processes. All thanks to their active sites and high surface. Nevertheless, their high efficiency is limited by the astronomic price of noble metals, So, cost-effective substitutes with comparable effectivity seem to be a holy grail for the industry. A recent paper presented by scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences led by dr. eng. Izabela S. Pieta faces the challenge of presenting novel nanostructural bimetallic composite for catalysis. [...]

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