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Seasonal variation in daylight influences brain function
A Finnish research group has studied how seasons influence the function of the brain. Researchers at the Turku PET Centre showed that the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. (2021-02-23)

Binary stars are all around us, new map of solar neighborhood shows
A UC Berkeley doctoral student has mined the most recent Gaia survey for all binary stars near Earth and created a 3D atlas of 1.3 million of them. The last local survey included about 200 binary pairs. With such census data, astronomers can conduct statistical analyses on binary populations. For pairs that contain white dwarfs, it's possible to determine the age of their main-sequence companion, and thus of any exoplanets around them. (2021-02-22)

Colorful connection found in coral's ability to survive higher temperatures
A coral's color can tell of its resilience to climate change, and a new study from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University has shed light on the underlying genetic factors that may be at work behind this. (2021-02-21)

Data show lower daily temperatures lead to higher transmission of COVID-19
Understanding the impact of seasonal temperature changes on transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is an important factor in reducing the virus's spread in the years to come. Researchers compared daily low temperature data and logged cases of COVID-19 in 50 countries in the Northern Hemisphere between Jan. 22 and April 6, 2020. Their research, published this week in PLOS ONE, showed that as temperatures rose, the rate of new cases of COVID-19 decreased. (2021-02-19)

Sounding rocket CLASP2 elucidates solar magnetic field
Cooperative operations between a solar observation satellite and a sounding-rocket telescope have measured the magnetic field strength in the photosphere and chromosphere above an active solar plage region. This is the first time that the magnetic field in the chromosphere has been charted all the way up to its top. This finding brings us closer to understanding how energy is transferred between layers of the Sun. (2021-02-19)

First black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought
An international team, including researchers from National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), found that the first black hole, Cygnus X-1, contains a stellar-mass black hole with 21 solar mass and rotates at a speed close to the speed of light. (2021-02-18)

Poor swelter as urban areas of U.S. Southwest get hotter
As climate change accelerates, low-income districts in the Southwestern United States are 4 to 7 degrees hotter in Fahrenheit -- on average -- than wealthy neighborhoods in the same metro regions. (2021-02-18)

Handcuffing the culprit cancer: Immunotherapy for cold tumors with trispecific antibody
The recent discovery of ''bispecific antibodies'' has led to the development of effective immunotherapies against various cancers. Researchers have constructed a protein made up of anti-CD16, -IL-15, and -CD19 motifs, specifically designed to capture CD19-positive cancer cells and redirect them to natural killer (NK) cells. This protein also enhances the proliferation, homeostasis, activation, and survival of NK cells. This concoction has shown to induce killing of cancer cells in both cell cultures and in mouse models. (2021-02-18)

First test for all known human coronaviruses, including new SARS-CoV-2 variants
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and SunYat-Sen University in China have set the stage for the development of highly sensitive antibody tests for infection with all known human coronaviruses, including new variants of SARS-CoV-2. These tests should also allow differentiation of immune responses due to infection and vaccination. The research is published in Communications Biology, a Nature journal. (2021-02-16)

Challenge of the summer rainfall forecast skill in China: A possible solution
The Mongolian Cyclone is a major meteorological driving force across southeast Asia. This cyclone is known for transporting aerosols, affecting where precipitation develops. Meteorologists are seeking ways to improve seasonal prediction of the relationship between the Mongolian cyclone and South Asia high. These features are major components of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the corresponding heavy rain events. New research suggests that analyzing these phenomena in the upper-level atmosphere will enhance the summer rainfall forecast skill in China. (2021-02-16)

The comet that killed the dinosaurs
In a study published in Scientific Reports, Avi Loeb puts forth a new theory that could explain the origin and journey of the comet that killed the Chicxulub impactor and others like it. (2021-02-15)

The vertical evolution of volatile organic compounds vary between winter and summer
Scientists have discovered that pollution concentration varies between seasons. A new study, conducted in the North China Plain, determined where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are distributed within the vertical layers of the atmosphere, and found notable changes from winter to summer. (2021-02-15)

Quantum leaps in understanding how living corals survive
A new imaging technique has been developed to improve our ability to visualize and track the symbiotic interactions between coral and algae in response to globally warming sea surface temperatures and deepening seawaters. (2021-02-15)

Limited transmission of Covid-19 from open schools but teachers were affected
In Sweden, upper-secondary schools moved online while lower-secondary schools remained open during the spring of 2020. A comparison of parents with children in the final year of lower-secondary and first year of upper-secondary school shows that keeping the former open had limited consequences for the overall transmission of the virus. However, the infection rate doubled among lower-secondary teachers relative to upper-secondary ones. (2021-02-12)

Here comes the new generation of climate models: the future of rainfall in the Alps
Learning about the future of extreme events thanks to very high-resolution climate simulations. Understanding how their distribution will change in limited areas at hourly scale. This is frontier research: the new generation of climate models. A study of precipitation in the Alpine region conducted by the CMCC Foundation. (2021-02-12)

Young planets with teenage sun give space studies a lift
Researchers find a new planetary system made up of at least three neighboring planets, ranging in size between that of Earth and Neptune, that orbit the same sun. (2021-02-12)

Astronomers confirm solar system's most distant known object is indeed Farfarout
With the help of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed ''Farfarout'' is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. The object has just received its designation from the International Astronomical Union. (2021-02-11)

Research reveals why plant diversity is so important for bee diversity
A study in southern England reveals why bumble bees and honey bees thrive despite foraging on the same flowers. (2021-02-10)

A new method to search for potentially habitable planets
Imaging planets orbiting around nearby stars, which could potentially harbour life, has become a possibility thanks to the progress made in observational methods by an international team of astronomers, including Olivier Absil and Anne-Lise Maire, astrophysicists at the STAR Institute of ULi├Ęge. First candidate: Alpha Centauri, a system similar to ours, ''only'' 4.3 light years away. This study is the subject of a publication in the journal Nature Communications. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers confirm orbit of most distant object ever observed in our solar system
A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

'Farfarout'! Solar system's most distant planetoid confirmed
Astronomers have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

Relaxed precautions, not climate, the biggest factor driving wintertime COVID-19 outbreaks
Wintertime outbreaks of COVID-19 have been largely driven by whether people adhere to control measures such as mask wearing and social distancing, according to a study by researchers affiliated with the Climate Change and Infectious Disease initiative based in Princeton University's High Meadows Environmental Institute. Climate and a lack of population immunity are playing smaller roles during the pandemic phase of the virus, but will become more impactful as infections slow. (2021-02-09)

An interdecadal decrease in extreme heat days in August over Northeast China around the early 1990s
An interdecadal decrease in extreme heat days in August over Northeast China around the early 1990s. (2021-02-08)

Tourism mainly responsible for marine litter on Mediterranean beaches
A study by the ICTA-UAB warns that tourism generates 80% of the marine litter accumulating on the beaches of the Mediterranean islands in summer. For researchers, the global COVID19 pandemic may be an opportunity to rethink the model of sustainable tourism. (2021-02-08)

In a desert seared by climate change, burrowers fare better than birds
In the Mojave Desert, small mammals are weathering the hotter conditions triggered by climate change much better than birds, finds a new study in Science. Using computer models, the study team showed that small mammals' resilience is likely due to their ability to escape the sun in underground burrows and their tendency to be more active at night. This gives small mammals lower ''cooling costs'' than birds, which have less capacity to escape the heat. (2021-02-04)

Dynamic 3D printing process features a light-driven twist
The speed of light has come to 3D printing. Northwestern University engineers have developed a new method that uses light to improve 3D printing speed and precision while also, in combination with a high-precision robot arm, providing the freedom to move, rotate or dilate each layer as the structure is being built. The method introduces the 'on-the-fly' ability to manipulate the original design layer by layer and pivot the printing direction without recreating the model. (2021-02-03)

As climate warms, summer monsoons to produce less streamflow
A new study led by Desert Research Institute scientist Rosemary Carroll, Ph.D., point to both the importance of monsoon rains in maintaining the Upper Colorado River's water supply and the diminishing ability of monsoons to replenish summer streamflow in a warmer future with less snow accumulation (2021-02-01)

Local emissions amplify regional haze and particle growth
A Finnish-Chinese research team performed simultaneous measurements of aerosol composition and particle number size distributions at ground level and at 260 m in central Beijing, China, during a total of 4 months in 2015-2017. The team found concentration of both primary and secondary particles in the accumulation mode would decrease drastically, and the haze formation would be reduced if the emission cuts are higher than 30%. (2021-01-29)

Reconstruction shows increased global warming trends since 1850s
To better understand how temperatures have increased, an international team led by researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in China has released a newly merged global surface temperature dataset, including reconstructed land and marine measurements from the 1850s to 2018. The study provides evidence that there was a consistent increased warming trend compared with previous estimations. (2021-01-28)

How climate caprices can trigger plants
Climate change may challenge organismal responses through not only extreme cues. An uncommon combination of benign cues - warm and short days - can also trigger reactions such as misregulations of leaves. (2021-01-27)

Rates of skin cancer have increased dramatically over recent decades
Incidence rates of skin cancer (cutaneous malignant melanoma) have increased more than 550% in males and 250% in females since the early 1980s in England - according to a new study by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). (2021-01-26)

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionised particles in the hot outer atmosphere. (2021-01-22)

Breakthrough in understanding 'tummy bug' bacteria
Scientists have discovered how bacteria commonly responsible for seafood-related stomach upsets can go dormant and then ''wake up''. (2021-01-20)

Sunbathing after menopause may be harmful
UV-radiation can affect hormone levels of postmenopausal women negatively and this may contribute to several health issues, according to new research from Kai Triebner, University of Bergen, and colleagues. (2021-01-20)

Oldest carbonates in the solar system
A meteorite that fell in northern Germany in 2019 contains carbonates which are among the oldest in the solar system; it also evidences the earliest presence of liquid water on a minute planet. The high-resolution Ion Probe - a research instrument at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University - provided the measurements. (2021-01-20)

Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
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. (2021-01-19)

NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures
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. (2021-01-19)

US fishing and seafood industries saw broad declines last summer due to COVID-19
The US fishing and seafood sector years generated more than $200 billion in annual sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in recent years. It experienced broad declines in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, according to a new NOAA Fisheries analysis released today. (2021-01-15)

Study: Many summer camps don't require childhood immunizations
Nearly half of summer camps surveyed by researchers didn't have official policies requiring campers be vaccinated, and just 39% mandated staffers be vaccinated. (2021-01-13)

When galaxies collide: Hubble showcases six beautiful galaxy mergers
To celebrate a new year, the NASA/ESA Space Telescope has published a montage of six beautiful galaxy mergers. Each of these merging systems was studied as part of the recent HiPEEC survey to investigate the rate of new star formation within such systems. These interactions are a key aspect of galaxy evolution and are among the most spectacular events in the lifetime of a galaxy. (2021-01-07)

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