PhysOrg (348)

Shocking gaps in basic knowledge of deep sea life

Human interference in the deep sea could already be outpacing our basic understanding of how it functions.

New climate change report likely to be ignored to death

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially confirmed last week that 2016 was the Earth's hottest year on record, surpassing 2015, which surpassed 2014. The NOAA had reported this unofficially back in January. What made last week's announcement noteworthy is that the NOAA is now ...

GE's Immelt among finalists in Uber CEO search

Two people briefed on Uber's search for a new CEO say former General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt is among the finalists under consideration. But they say there's no clear consensus on Uber's board about a front-runner.

Researchers find an alternative mode of bacterial quorum sensing

Whether growing in a puddle of dirty water or inside the human body, large groups of bacteria must coordinate their behavior to perform essential tasks that they would not be able to carry out individually. Bacteria achieve this coordination through a process called quorum sensing in which the ...

Clean energy scores a small victory

Government scientists worried that their long-in-the-works assessment of climate change would be suppressed. The concern hardly rates as overwrought. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global ...

Hackers hit Malaysian sites over Indonesia flag gaffe

Indonesian hackers on Monday claimed responsibility for attacking more than 30 Malaysian websites following a gaffe that saw Indonesia's flag printed upside-down in a Southeast Asian Games commemorative magazine.

Google to serve next version of Android as 'Oreo'

An upcoming update to Google's Android software finally has a delectable name. The next version will be known as Oreo, extending Google's tradition of naming each version after a sweet treat.

Get Started: FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms—scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

Virus reprograms ocean plankton

A virus which infects ocean plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients - potentially changing how carbon is stored in the ocean, new research shows.

Dino-killing asteroid could have thrust Earth into 2 years of darkness

Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to ...

Analysis of a 'rusty' lunar rock suggests the moon's interior is dry

The moon is likely very dry in its interior according to a new study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, published August 21, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Polarization for controversial scientific issues increases with more education

A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education.

Chile rejects iron mine to protect penguins

Chile on Monday rejected plans for a $2.5 billion iron-mining project in order to protect thousands of endangered penguins.

Evolutionary arms 'chase'

In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and ...

Targeted forest regeneration: A blueprint for conserving tropical biological diversity?

Tropical forests contain more than one-half of all plant and animal species on Earth. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at the highest rate of any forests worldwide. Furthermore, many of the most threatened tropical species are restricted to 20 or so biodiversity hotspots, which are sites that ...

Chemicals from gut bacteria maintain vitality in aging animals

A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, scientists have discovered.

Walmart expands grocery service with Uber to 2 more markets

Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber to two more markets—Dallas and Orlando, Florida.

Historic eclipse turns day into night across the US

Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

Mars weather: 'Cloudy, chance of nighttime snowstorm'

Mars is buffeted by turbulent snowstorms that occur only at night, according to a study released Monday that revises our understanding of Red Planet weather.

People favor highly reviewed products, even when they shouldn't

When we're trying to decide which cell phone case to buy or which hotel room to book, we often rely on the ratings and reviews of others to help us choose. But new research suggests that we tend to use this information in ways that can actually work to our disadvantage.

Biofuels from bacteria

You might not cook with this sugar, but from a biofuels standpoint, it's pretty sweet. A Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is ...

A good read: AI evaluates quality of short stories

The idea that artificial intelligence will someday be able to understand and even generate narratives has inspired and motivated researchers for years. A question inextricably bound to both lines of research remains unresolved, however: Can AI recognize a good story if it sees one?

Plants under heat stress must act surprisingly quickly to survive

In new results reported in The Plant Cell, molecular biologist Elizabeth Vierling at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues in India and China report finding a crucial mechanism that plants need to recover from heat stress.

Warmer waters from climate change will leave fish shrinking, gasping for air

Fish are expected to shrink in size by 20 to 30 per cent if ocean temperatures continue to climb due to climate change.

Understanding brittle crack behaviors to design stronger materials

In a paper published in Nature Physics, Northeastern University Department of Physics Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Alain Karma, in collaboration with his postdoctoral research associate Chih-Hung Chen and Professor Eran Bouchbinder of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Chemical Physics ...

aCar—the electric 'all-rounder'

An electric car for Africa, custom-designed for the needs of the population there, that strengthens rural structures and helps drive the economy: Scientists at the Technical University of Munich and partners have been working intensively towards this goal for four years. They will present their new ...

Satellite watches remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey near Honduras

NOAA's GOES-East satellite has been watching the remnants for former Tropical Storm Harvey as it tracks west across the Caribbean Sea. Early on Aug. 21 the remnants were just off the coast of eastern Honduras.

NASA sees major Hurricane Kenneth in Eastern Pacific

Former Tropical Depression 13E has strengthened into a Major Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Kenneth and captured an image that showed a well-developed storm with a visible eye.

Engineers predict how flowing fluid will bend tiny hairs that line blood vessels and intestines

Our bodies are lined on the inside with soft, microscopic carpets of hair, from the grassy extensions on our tastebuds, to fuzzy beds of microvilli in our stomachs, to superfine protein strands throughout our blood vessels. These hairy projections, anchored to soft surfaces, bend and twist with the ...

Scientists create 'diamond rain' that forms in the interior of icy giant planets

In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists were able to observe "diamond rain" for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions. Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these ...

Antarctic salt-loving microbes provide insights into evolution of viruses

UNSW Sydney scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way that the microbes can share DNA that could help them grow and survive.

A holodeck for flies, fish and mice

How do people orient themselves when they are in a new area? How do we use street signs or houses, for instance, to estimate the distance we have traveled? Put simply: how do we update our mental map? Neuroscientists have been studying such questions in animals to learn about the basic principles of ...

First integrated atlas of microRNA expression in human primary cells

The human body consists of hundreds of different cell types with very different functions and behaviors, despite the fact that the genome sequence of almost all cells of an individual person is identical. The variation in functional roles of cells is accomplished by an intricate regulatory network ...

Before the flood: What drives preparedness?

A new study across Austria, England, and Romania finds room for improvement in both public and private schemes that could help encourage risk reduction behaviors and reduce losses in future disasters.

UK promises to prosecute online hate crimes vigorously

British authorities are promising to prosecute hate crimes committed online as vigorously as those that take place face-to-face, recognizing the growth of hate speech on social media and the potential for such crimes to affect large numbers of people.

Post-whaling recovery of Southern Hemisphere

By 2100 some Southern Hemisphere whale species will not have reached half their pre-whaling numbers, while other species are expected to recover by 2050.The findings are part of new CSIRO and UQ research, which looks at the interaction of historical whaling, food availability and future climate ...

Both chimpanzees and humans spontaneously imitate each other's actions 

Copying the behaviour of others makes us effective learners and allow skills, knowledge and inventions to be passed on from one generation to the next. Imitation is therefore viewed as the key cognitive ability that enabled human culture to grow and create such things as language, technology, art ...

'Lost city' used 500 years of soil erosion to benefit crop farming

Researchers at the University of York working on a 700-year old abandoned agricultural site in Tanzania have shown that soil erosion benefited farming practices for some 500 years.

Cold-tolerant yeast strains for cider and wine makers to improve product quality

The new cold-tolerant hybrid strains developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland enable fermentation at lower and higher temperatures than before. Production at lower temperature reduces the risk of contamination and possibly allows reduction of the use of sulphates. Modulating ...

2.7-million-year-old ice core pulled from Antarctica

A team of researchers from Princeton University, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Maine and Oregon State University has drilled and retrieved a 2.7-million-year-old ice core from a spot in Antarctica. The team presented their findings at this year's Goldschmidt Conference ...

UAE nuclear programme edges toward 2018 launch

At first glance, the long hallway seems abandoned. But behind glass walls, in soundproof offices, engineers and physicists are putting the final touches to the Arab world's first nuclear programme.

Better odour recognition in odour-colour synaesthesia

People who see colours while perceiving smells are better at distinguishing between different smells and different colours, and are better at naming odours, compared to a group without synaesthesia. Researchers from Radboud University have found this result.

Set the initial price discount right to turn new customers into loyal ones

A study, recently accepted for publication at Journal of Marketing, reports nonlinear relationship between initial price discounts and customer retention.

Wireless motion capture device with widespread applications in fitness, health

A new "Fitbit for biomechanics" designed by researchers from Deakin University's School of Engineering has potential for industries from healthcare to sport.

Growing more plants and trees can cut down the heat in Nigerian cities

Nigeria is regarded as a hot country. Average maximum temperature can reach 38℃ - one of the hottest in sub Saharan Africa. In the last few years extreme heat and intense heatwaves have become a common experience in both rural and urban areas, showing that the country is getting hotter. This ...

X-ray observations reveal new details about the solar-type star HD 209458

—By analyzing sets of data obtained by two X-ray space observatories, a team of German researchers has learned new insights into the nature of a solar-type star known as HD 209458. The new study, published Aug. 15 in a paper on arXiv.org, uncovers X-ray properties of the star.

Revolutionary electric delivery vehicle tech prototyped

A technology demonstrator for a new type of electric delivery vehicle that could make the courier industry greener and more efficient has been developed by WMG at the University of Warwick and Warwickshire-based design company Astheimer Ltd.

Urban butterflies under threat of extinction

According to an EPFL study, butterflies living in urban areas face the threat of consanguinity and potential extinction. The research drew on the fields of genetics and urban development to quantify the trend across an entire city.

Physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called "structure-less" transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors.

The Alaskan tsunami that created waves as high as Seattle's Space Needle

Six-hundred-foot waves crashed down on the coasts of Taan Fiord, Alaska after a massive landslide sent more than 100 million tons of rocks into the water on Oct. 17, 2015.