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FSU engineering researchers harness wind data to help meet energy needs in Florida
A new study from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering shows how upcoming technological advances could make wind energy a hot commodity in the Sunshine State. (2020-07-30)

Astronomers pinpoint the best place on Earth for a telescope: High on a frigid Antarctic plateau
Dome A, the highest ice dome on the Antarctic Plateau, could offer the clearest view on Earth of the stars at night, according to new research by an international team from China, Australia and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The challenge? The location is one of the coldest and most remote places on Earth. (2020-07-29)

University of Cincinnati ergonomics expert says work smarter at home
Millions of office workers have been sent home to work remotely in the midst of COVID-19. But how many of them have gotten in guidance or equipment to support good ergonomics. Static posture or position could lead to back, neck and shoulder injury. (2020-07-28)

European and American maize: Same same, but different
German researchers decoded the European maize genome. In comparison to North American maize lines, they discovered variations that underlie phenotypic differences and may also contribute to the heterosis effect. A better understanding of the effect could impact breeding for higher yields. For cultivation of maize in areas with low yields and for challenges imposed by the climate change these observations might be of particular importance. (2020-07-27)

Site-directed mutagenesis in wheat via haploid induction by maize
Site-directed mutagenesis facilitates the experimental validation of gene function and can speed up plant breeding by producing new biodiversity or by reproducing previously known gene variants in other than their original genetic backgrounds. However, its application is challenging in wheat owing to high genomic redundancy and highly genotype-dependent DNA transfer methods. (2020-07-21)

Race and ethnicity did not affect outcomes for new moms with COVID-19, finds study
Hispanic mothers had higher rates of COVID-19 than other groups of women, but ethnicity had no effect on outcomes among women with COVID-19 who delivered at two hospitals in northern Manhattan. (2020-07-21)

Does a child's height affect their future risk of obesity?
Children who are relatively tall for their age have a higher risk of developing obesity, according to a new study published in Obesity. (2020-07-08)

Climate change may cause extreme waves in Arctic
Extreme ocean surface waves with a devastating impact on coastal communities and infrastructure in the Arctic may become larger due to climate change, according to a new study. (2020-07-07)

Real-time monitoring of proteins in the nuclear pore complex
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Biomaterials a high-speed atomic-force microscopy study of protein filaments in the nuclear pore complex. The visualization in real-time of the filaments' dynamics is an important step in our understanding of molecular transport mechanisms between a cell nucleus and its surrounding medium. (2020-07-06)

Roadside hedges protect human health at the cost of plant health
Roadside hedges take a hit to their health while reducing pollution exposure for humans. (2020-06-30)

Research in land plants shows nanoplastics accumulating in tissues
As concern grows among environmentalists and consumers about micro- and nanoplastics in the oceans and in seafood, they are increasingly studied in marine environments, say Baoshan Xing at UMass Amherst and colleagues in China. But little was known about nanoplastics in agricultural soils. Xing and collaborators at Shandong University, China, say that now they have direct evidence that nanoplastics are internalized by terrestrial plants. (2020-06-22)

Which factors control the height of mountains?
Which forces and mechanisms determine the height of mountains? A group of researchers from Münster and Potsdam has now found a surprising answer: It is not erosion and weathering of rocks that determine the upper limit of mountain massifs, but rather an equilibrium of forces in the Earth's crust. This finding, published in Nature, is fundamentally new and important for the earth sciences. (2020-06-11)

A new mechanism improves the efficiency of antibacterial surfaces
Universitat Rovira i Virgili researchers have developed a nanometric-scale theoretical model to create structures that kill bacteria by using elastic forces. The results of this study pave the way to creating new antibacterial materials. (2020-06-09)

Boosting energy efficiency of 2D material electronics using topological semimetal
SUTD researchers discover a new way to boost the energy efficiency of 2D semiconductor electronics by synergizing 2D materials and topological semimetals. (2020-06-02)

Reintroduction of wolves tied to return of tall willows in Yellowstone National Park
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is tied to the recovery of tall willows in the park, according to a new Oregon State University-led study. (2020-05-28)

Caves tell us that Australia's mountains are still growing
Research shows Buchan Caves to be about 3.5 million years old and that Victoria's East Gippsland has remained tectonically active for long times, even into the present-day, which is why residents occasionally report earthquakes. Basically, the uplifting Southern Alps in New Zealand have made stress and strain on the Australian tectonic plate, stress that is then expressed as earthquakes and rising landscapes in Victoria. It's rather amazing that the caves recorded this geological signal all the way from NZ. (2020-05-20)

NASA's ICESat-2 measures arctic ocean's sea ice thickness, snow cover
Arctic sea ice helps keep Earth cool, as its bright surface reflects the Sun's energy back into space. (2020-05-14)

Researchers identify most powerful gene variant for height known to date
Newly discovered gene variant in Peruvian populations is powerfully linked with height. Five percent of Peruvians carry the variant, which originates exclusively from Native American populations. The variant occurs on a gene that, when mutated, causes Marfan syndrome, a condition marked by connective tissue abnormalities, including serious cardiovascular problems. The newly discovered variant is not associated with disease and may confer adaptive evolutionary advantage to populations that carry it. (2020-05-13)

Why the 'uplift of the Tibetan plateau' is a myth
Spicer and colleagues combine stable isotope and fossil paleoaltimetry to chart the growth of Tibet, the Himalaya and the Hengduan mountains through time and show the plateau is young, less that 15 million years old, and evolved not just by the collision of India with Eurasia but through multiple earlier mountain-building events and the infilling of deep ancient lowlands hosting subtropical monsoon-adapted biotas. This contradicts the idea of an old 'high and dry' proto-plateau. (2020-05-09)

Variance in tree species results in the cleanest urban air
What kind of an effect do trees have on aerosol particle concentrations in cities? Modelling carried out at the University of Helsinki revealed that the air was cleanest on the street level with three rows of trees of variable height situated along boulevard-type city street canyons. (2020-05-07)

Bermudagrass harvest management options with poultry litter fertilization
Managing Harvests of 'Russell' and 'Tifton 44' Bermudagrass Receiving Broiler Litter for Phosphorus Removal and Nutritive Value (2020-04-30)

Data from 2 space lasers comprehensively estimate polar ice loss and sea level rise
Ice sheet losses from Greenland and Antarctica have outpaced snow accumulation and contributed approximately 14 millimeters to sea level rise over 16 years (2003 to 2019), a new analysis of data from NASA's laser-shooting satellites has revealed. (2020-04-30)

Common soil fungus could be ally in organic corn growers' fight against pests
A common soil fungus might be enlisted as a powerful partner by corn producers to suppress pests and promote plant growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest promoting the fungus could be an especially valuable strategy for organic growers who struggle with insect control. (2020-04-23)

Solar power plants get help from satellites to predict cloud cover
Cloud cover is often characterized in simple terms, such as cloudy, partly cloudy or clear. This does not provide accurate information for estimating the amount of sunlight available for solar power plants. In this week's Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, a new method is reported for estimating cloud optical properties using data from recently launched satellites. This new technique is known as Spectral Cloud Optical Property Estimation, or SCOPE. (2020-04-14)

Scientists use the Tokyo Skytree to test Einstein's theory of general relativity
In another verification of the validity of Einstein's theory of general relativity, published in Nature Photonics, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics and Cluster for Pioneering Research, with colleagues, have used two finely tuned optical lattice clocks, one at the base and one on the 450-meter observatory floor of Tokyo Skytree, to make new ultraprecise measurements of the time dilation effect predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. (2020-04-09)

Excess weight during pre-school linked to higher bone fracture risk
Pre-school children who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of bone fractures during childhood than normal weight preschoolers, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. (2020-04-08)

Study suggests men more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they go through puberty early
Boys who enter puberty at an early age are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as adults than later developing boys, irrespective of their weight in childhood, according to an observational study following more than 30,600 Swedish men born between 1945 and 1961, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). (2020-03-23)

Unstable rock pillars near reservoirs can produce dangerous water waves
In many coastal zones and gorges, unstable cliffs often fail when the foundation rock beneath them is crushed. Large water waves can be created, threatening human safety. In this week's Physics of Fluids, scientists reveal the mechanism by which these cliffs collapse, and how large, tsunami-like waves are created. Few experimental studies of this phenomenon have been carried out, so this work represents valuable new data that can be used to protect from impending disaster. (2020-03-03)

For 'blade runners' taller doesn't necessarily mean faster
The governing body for the Paralympics recently lowered the allowable height for sprinters who use prosthetic legs, or blades, during competition. The rules are based on the assumption that the taller you are the faster you run. But a new study has found otherwise. (2020-02-20)

Differences in airway size develop during puberty, new study finds
Sex differences in airway size are not innate, but likely develop because of hormonal changes around puberty, reports a new study by the University of Waterloo. (2020-02-14)

Study suggests taller young men may have lower dementia risk
Men who are taller in young adulthood, as an indicator of early-life circumstances, may have a lower risk of dementia in old age, suggests a study published today in eLife. (2020-02-11)

Becoming less active and gaining weight: Downsides of becoming an adult
Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity, while becoming a mother is linked to increased weight gain, conclude two reviews published today and led by researchers at the University of Cambridge. (2020-01-19)

Plant life expanding in the Everest region
Plant life is expanding in the area around Mount Everest, and across the Himalayan region, new research shows. (2020-01-09)

2D materials: arrangement of atoms measured in silicene
Silicene consists of a single layer of silicon atoms. In contrast to the ultra-flat material graphene, which is made of carbon, silicene shows surface irregularities that influence its electronic properties. Now, physicists from the University of Basel have been able to precisely determine this corrugated structure. As they report in the journal PNAS, their method is also suitable for analyzing other two-dimensional materials. (2019-12-23)

Children allergic to cow's milk smaller and lighter
Children allergic to cow's milk are smaller and weigh less, according to the first published study to characterize growth trajectories from early childhood to adolescence in children with persistent food allergies. (2019-12-16)

For the first time: Mapping the winds of mars' upper atmosphere with MAVEN
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has allowed researchers to map the winds that blow high above the red planet's surface, reports a new study, which measures the global circulation of Mars' upper atmosphere for the first time. (2019-12-12)

How much will we eat in the future?
The amount of food needed to feed the world's population in the future is of vital importance. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have now analysed how much extra food people are likely to eat taking into account bigger bodies as well as a rising population. They modelled increases in body size by looking at data on increasing BMI in Mexico and height in the Netherlands. The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE. (2019-12-05)

Southern Arizona once looked like Tibet
The study determined that the Earth's crust in southern Arizona was once almost 60 kilometers thick, which is twice as thick as it is today -- and comparable to how thick the crust is in parts of the Himalayas. (2019-12-03)

Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise. Recent research suggested that the growth of supermarkets contributes to obesity in Africa. However, previous studies looked at data from adults. New research shows that supermarkets are not linked to obesity in children, instead contributing to a reduction in child undernutrition. The results were recently published in the journal Global Food Security. (2019-12-02)

Simulations suggest embryo selection based on traits like height or IQ is still far off
The recent live births resulting from human embryonic CRISPR editing have heightened global concerns regarding 'designer babies.' Currently, the most practical approach to genetic 'enhancement' is preimplantation genetic screening of IVF embryos. According to a study publishing Nov. 21 in the journal Cell, the ability to select for traits that are brought about by multiple genes -- rather than genetic diseases caused by a single mutation -- is more far off and complicated than most people realize. (2019-11-21)

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