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October 07 2019

20:43

Modified quantum dots capture more energy from light and lose less to heat

Scientists have synthesized magnetically-doped quantum dots that capture the kinetic energy of electrons created by ultraviolet light before it's wasted as heat.
19:35

Costs of natural disasters are increasing at the high end

While the economic cost of natural disasters has not increased much on average, averages can be deceptive. The costs of major disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Maria and Dorian or the massive tornado swarms in the Midwest have increased to a disproportionately larger extent than those of lesser events, and these major disasters have become far more expensive, according to an international team of researchers.
19:34

Ancient Maya canals and fields show early and extensive impacts on tropical forests

New evidence in Belize shows the ancient Maya responded to population and environmental pressures by creating massive agricultural features in wetlands, potentially increasing atmospheric CO2 and methane through burn events and farming, according to geographical research.
19:34

Early humans evolved in ecosystems unlike any found today

To understand the environmental pressures that shaped human evolution, scientists must reconstruct the ecosystems in which they lived. Because putting together the puzzle of millions-of-years-old ecosystems is a difficult task, many studies draw analogies with present-day African ecosystems, such as the Serengeti. A new study calls into question such approaches and suggests that the vast majority of human evolution occurred in ecosystems unlike any found today.
18:16

Traffic experts, parents don't always see eye to eye on safe cycling routes for children

Parents often disagree with transportation experts over what streets are safe for children to ride bikes, a new study finds.
17:10

Electrode-fitted microscope points to better designed devices that make fuel from sunlight

Using an atomic-force microscope fitted with an electrode tip 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, researchers have identified in real time how nanoscale catalysts collect charges that are excited by light in semiconductors. It's a discovery that could help efforts to design devices that can store solar power for later use.
16:32

Was early stick insect evolution triggered by birds and mammals?

Stick and leaf insects are a strikingly bizarre group of insects with a worldwide distribution. They are famous for their impressively large body size and their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves as twigs, leaves or bark in order to hide from potential predators. A team of international researchers has now generated the first phylogenomic tree of these insects.
16:32

Was early stick insect evolution triggered by birds and mammals?

Stick and leaf insects are a strikingly bizarre group of insects with a worldwide distribution. They are famous for their impressively large body size and their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves as twigs, leaves or bark in order to hide from potential predators. A team of international researchers has now generated the first phylogenomic tree of these insects.
16:32

Nodulation connected to higher resistance against powdery mildew in legumes

Scientists have long known that nodulation is important to plant health. Nodulation occurs when nodules, which form on the roots of plants (primarily legumes), form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that deliver nutrients to the plant. This process is a key part of sustainable agriculture and makes legumes an important source of protein for much of the world. However, recent research shows that nodulation might positively impact the plant's microbiome in other ways.
16:32

Early hunter-gatherers interacted much sooner than previously believed

A nearly 4,000-year-old burial site found off the coast of Georgia hints at ties between hunter-gatherers on opposite sides of North America, according to new research.
15:58

New method gives first global picture of mutual predictability of atmosphere and ocean

Scientists have carried out a novel statistical analysis to determine for the first time a global picture of how the ocean helps predict the low-level atmosphere and vice versa. They observed ubiquitous influence of the ocean on the atmosphere in the extratropics, which has been difficult to demonstrate with dynamic models of atmospheric and oceanic circulation.
15:33

Early breeding season for some Arctic seabirds due global warming

The breeding season of some seabirds in Arctic regions takes place earlier as a result of the temperature rise caused by climate change, according to a new article.
15:33

How to make conservation initiatives more contagious

New research shows conservation initiatives often spread like diseases, helping scientists and policymakers design programmes more likely to be taken up.
15:33

China is on track to meet its emissions goals for 2020

Polluting emissions from Chinese thermal power plants declined significantly between 2014 and 2017, according to new research. The study analyzed data from 2014, when China introduced the ambitious Ultra-Low Emissions (ULE) Standards Policy for renovating coal-fired power stations to limit air pollutant emissions, to 2017.
15:33

The benefits of updating agricultural drainage infrastructure

The massive underground infrastructure that allows farmers to cultivate crops on much of the world's most productive land has outlived its design life and should be updated, according to a new study. Installing higher-capacity pipes and conservation practices would yield a wide range of production and environmental benefits.
15:33

Genome-edited bull passes on hornless trait to calves

For the past two years, researchers have been studying six offspring of a dairy bull, genome-edited to prevent it from growing horns. Scientists report that none of the bull's offspring developed horns, as expected, and blood work and physical exams of the calves found they were all healthy. The researchers also sequenced and analyzed the genomes of the calves and their parents looking for any unexpected changes.
15:33

Pressure may be key to fighting climate change with thermoelectric generators

Pressure improves the ability of materials to turn heat into electricity and could potentially be used to create clean generators, according to new work.
14:36

Another casualty of climate change? Recreational fishing

Another casualty of climate change will likely be shoreline recreational fishing, according to new research. The study finds some regions of the U.S. may benefit from increasing temperatures, but those benefits will be more than offset by declines in fishing elsewhere.
14:04

Disappearing Peruvian glaciers

It is common knowledge that glaciers are melting in most areas across the globe. The speed at which tropical glaciers in the Peruvian Andes are retreating is particularly alarming, however. In the first detailed investigation of all Peruvian mountain ranges, a research team has ascertained a drastic reduction of almost 30 percent in the area covered by glaciers between 2000 and 2016.
14:04

Proximity to paths and roads is a burden for white-tailed sea eagles

A research team has now measured concentrations of the hormone corticosterone and its metabolic products in white-tailed sea eagles in northern Germany and correlated these values with potential causes of stress. They found that the levels of corticosterone in the birds' urine are higher the closer a breeding pair's nest is to paths or roads.
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