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Aujourd’hui — 8 avril 2020Infos - Sciences - English

Even as COVID-19 Poses Huge Challenges to Responders, the Risks for Natural Disasters Are Rising

Abnormally warm sea temperatures are raising the risks for hurricanes, while the central and southeastern U.S. face flooding, and parts of the West are forecast to see heightened wildfire activity.

Urine test can predict how much a baby will grow in six months’ time

Metabolites from urine or blood samples can be used to predict how much a baby will grow six months ahead of time, which could improve interventions for chronic malnutrition

X-ray vision through the water window

Physicists have developed the first high-repetition-rate laser source that produces coherent soft x-rays spanning the entire 'water window'. That technological breakthrough should enable a broad range of studies in the biological, chemical and material sciences as well as in physics.

Aligning biological clock with day-night cycles

Scientists studying bacteria have identified the roots of a behavior that is regulated by the circadian clock. The research provides a striking example of the importance of keeping the internal biological clock aligned with the external environment so that key processes occur at the right time of day.

What do soap bubbles and butterflies have in common?

A unique butterfly breeding experiment gave researchers an opportunity to study the physical and genetic changes underlying the evolution of structural color, responsible for butterflies' iridescent purples, blues and greens. Using helium ion microscopy, the scientists discovered that a 75% increase in thickness of the chitin lamina of wing scales turned iridescent gold to shiny blue. They showed that knocking out a gene called optix achieves the same result: a bluer Common Buckeye.

Public policies push schools to prioritize creating better test-takers over better people

Personal growth and job skills have taken a backseat to an increased focus on standardized test scores in schools across the nation, according to new research.

Whether marijuana helps with pain is unclear

Medical marijuana users who say they have high levels of pain are more likely than those with low pain to say they use cannabis three or more times a day, a new study finds. However, daily marijuana users with severe pain also reported their health had become worse in the past year.

Babies in popular low-riding pushchairs are exposed to alarming levels of toxic air pollutants

Parents who are using popular low-riding pushchairs could be exposing their babies to alarming levels of air pollution, finds a new study.

Exploring mechanisms of resistance to HIV in people with sickle cell disease

A new analysis supports prior reports that people with sickle cell disease have lower rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but follow-up cell studies did not reveal a mechanism to explain the reduced risk.

Correlation between MBI and Alzheimer's

New research has found that the presence and severity of mild behavioral impairment (MBI) in cognitively healthy individuals is strongly associated with the presence of amyloid plaques deposits in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Drug shows promise in reversing kidney damage caused by lupus

A drug used for cancer therapy has shown promise in reversing kidney damage caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus), according to a Yale-led study published April 8 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

New fossil from Brazil hints at the origins of the mysterious tanystropheid reptiles

A new species of Triassic reptile from Brazil is a close cousin of a mysterious group called tanystropheids.

Origins of Earth's magnetic field remain a mystery

The existence of a magnetic field beyond 3.5 billion years ago is still up for debate.

Belle II yields first results in search of the Z' boson

The Belle II experiment started about one year ago. The work deals with a new particle in the context of dark matter, which accounts for about 25 percent of the universe.

Modifiable risk factors could play a role in Alzheimer's disease

Amyloid is a key feature of Alzheimer's disease, but the accumulation of these sticky proteins may not be the only risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

How effective is quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A new review summarizes evidence available from modelling studies that show how quarantining affects the spread of COVID-19. The studies included in the review consistently conclude that quarantine can play a role in controlling the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. While early implementation of quarantine and its combination with other public health measures may reduce spread of the disease, key uncertainties remain as to how these measures can best be adopted and when they can be relaxed.

Experimental anti-malarial drug shows promise in first clinical trial

Malaria is a leading killer of children worldwide, and new drugs are needed. New research reports encouraging early clinical results with a new compound.

Revolutionary new method for dating pottery sheds new light on prehistoric past

A team has developed a new method to date archaeological pottery using fat residues remaining in the pot wall from cooking. The method means prehistoric pottery can be dated with remarkable accuracy, sometimes to the window of a human life span. Pottery found in Shoreditch, London proven to be 5,500 years old and shows the vibrant urban area was once used by established farmers who ate cow, sheep and goat dairy products as a central part of their diet.

Harnessing the power of electricity-producing bacteria for programmable 'biohybrids'

Someday, microbial cyborgs -- bacteria combined with electronic devices -- could be useful in fuel cells, biosensors and bioreactors. But first, scientists need to develop materials that not only nurture the microbes, but also efficiently and controllably harvest the electricity or other resources they make. Now, researchers have developed one such material that enabled them to create a programmable 'biohybrid' system that conducts electrons from electricity-producing (exoelectrogenic) bacteria.

New 'refrigerator' super-cools molecules to nanokelvin temperatures

Physicists have found a way to cool molecules of sodium lithium down to 200 billionths of a Kelvin, just a hair above absolute zero. They did so by applying a technique called collisional cooling, in which they immersed molecules of cold sodium lithium in a cloud of even colder sodium atoms. The ultracold atoms acted as a refrigerant to cool the molecules even further.

Revolutionary light-emitting silicon

Emitting light from silicon has been the 'Holy Grail' in the microelectronics industry for decades. Solving this puzzle would revolutionize computing, as chips will become faster than ever. Researchers have now succeeded: they have developed an alloy with silicon that can emit light. The team will now start creating a silicon laser to be integrated into current chips.

Promising advance in depression research

Despite their effectiveness, only 40% of patients respond to the first antidepressant they try. A recent article strongly suggests that a particular protein, GPR56, is involved in the biology of depression and the effect of antidepressants. The research team believes that this protein could offer a novel target for new antidepressant drugs.

Earliest humans in the Amazon created thousands of 'forest islands' as they tamed wild plants

The earliest human inhabitants of the Amazon created thousands of artificial forest islands as they tamed wild plants to grow food, a new study shows.

Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide

A warming global climate could cause sudden, potentially catastrophic losses of biodiversity in regions across the globe throughout the 21st century, finds a new study.

Can Coal Survive the Coronavirus?

Diminished energy demand and the high price of coal is putting pressure on the struggling industry

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Coal mine near Mahagama, in the Indian state of Jharkhand.

iPads Are Crucial Health Care Tools in Combating Covid-19

Hospitals are deploying tablets and smartphones to protect staff, preserve protective equipment, and help patients connect with loved ones.

Coronavirus latest: Lockdown in Wuhan, China is lifted

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Periodic physical distancing for COVID-19 control: New modelling study

A new modelling article, using data from Ontario, indicates that dynamic physical distancing and other measures could help maintain health system capacity and prevent intensive care units (ICUs) from becoming overwhelmed because of COVID-19, while allowing periodic psychological and economic breaks from restrictions.

Brain discovery suggests source of lifelong behavioral issues

The finding also could have important implications for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Premature birth linked to the mother's vaginal microbiome

Pregnant women who deliver early are more likely to have a varied vaginal microbiome, especially in their first trimester. Combining data from several studies, the researchers analyzed information across a wide range of women in terms of ethnicity and stage of pregnancy and also highlight the specific bacteria associated with premature births. The authors hope these findings could help identify women at higher risk of giving birth prematurely.
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