Science and Technology

Will we enjoy work more once routine tasks are automated? - Not necessarily, a study shows

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Research suggests that when routine work tasks are being replaced with intelligent technologies, the result may be that employees no longer experience their work as meaningful.

Identified: A mechanism that protects plant fertility from stress

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
As temperatures rise due to global warming the need to protect plants from stressful conditions has increased, as stress can cause a loss in yield and cause further impact economically. Researchers have successfully identified two proteins that protect crops from stress, which is key in safeguarding food production.

Could our immune system be why COVID-19 is so deadly?

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
By analyzing over 5,000 scientific studies to find those containing immune response data from patients, researchers show that SARS-CoV-2 has a unique tendency of halting the rise of specific cytokines in certain patients, when compared to other similar viruses.

Researchers watch anti-cancer drug release from DNA nanostructures in real time

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Researchers have found a way to study the endonuclease-driven digestion of drug-loaded DNA nanostructures in real time. As the team investigated the binding of Dox to the DNA structures in great detail, they discovered that the majority of previous studies have vastly overestimated the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin loading capacity of DNA origami.

Searching for novel targets for new antibiotics

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Ribosome formation is viewed as a promising potential target for new antibacterial agents. Researchers have gained new insights into this multifaceted process. The formation of ribosomal components involves multiple helper proteins which, much like instruments in an orchestra, interact in a coordinated way. One of these helper proteins - protein ObgE - acts as the conductor, guiding the entire process.

To sustain a thriving café culture, we must ditch the disposable cup.

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Takeaway coffees - they're a convenient start for millions of people each day, but while the caffeine perks us up, the disposable cups drag us down, with nearly 300 billion ending up in landfill each year. While most coffee drinkers are happy to make a switch to sustainable practices, new research shows that an absence of infrastructure and a general 'throwaway' culture is severely delaying sustainable change.

New skills of Graphene: Tunable lattice vibrations

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Technological innovation in the last century was mainly based on the control of electrons or photons. Now, in the emerging research field of phononics, phonons or vibrations of the crystal lattice attract attention. A team showed a graphene-based phononic crystal whose resonant frequency can be tuned over a broad range and has used a helium-ion microscope to produce such a crystal. This is a real breakthrough in the field of phononics.

Protein kinases significantly contribute to the immunodeficiency in HIV patients

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
A new study indicates that protein kinases, which initiate the process that erodes the body's immunity, significantly contribute to the immunodeficiency in HIV patients. Drugs that block these protein kinases may offer a solution to treating HIV patients whose immunity is not restored by antiretroviral therapy.

Staying in the shade: How cells use molecular motors to avoid bright light

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
A team has discovered a key component of the molecular motors that drive motility in cells, such as sperm cells or unicellular algae that swim using flagella. A novel protein, named DYBLUP, is part of the linkage between the motor complexes and cellular microtubules that produce movement in flagella, and is also centrally involved in cell responses to blue light.

Wrasses dazzle: How fairy wrasses got their flamboyant colors

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
With their exuberant colors, fiery personalities and captivating courtship displays, the fairy wrasses are one of the most beloved coral reef fish. Despite this, the evolutionary history of its genus was not well understood - until now. Fairy wrasses diverged in form and color after repeated sea level rises and falls during the last ice age, finds a new study. It employed a novel genome-wide dataset to make this discovery.

New treatment unlocks potential for baking raspberries

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Scientists have figured out a way to treat raspberries before they're frozen so that they maintain their structure when thawed. They describe their method of reducing syneresis, or the leaking out of liquid.

Rocket launches reveal water vapor effect in upper atmosphere

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Results of a 2018 multirocket launch will help scientists better understand the impact of more water vapor accumulating near the fringe of the Earth's atmosphere.

Climate change threatens European forests

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Well over half of Europe's forests are potentially at risk from windthrow, forest fire and insect attacks.

Scoot over! Study reveals E-scooter use in Washington D.C.

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Researchers examined e-scooter use in Washington, D.C. and found that built environment and demographics both matter. Tourist attractions, hotels and metro stops are all predictive of higher destinations. Scooter traffic is almost all in the downtown area, near the Mall, the White House and Congress. Younger median age, percentage of bachelor's degrees and population density each were positive predictors for both trip origins and destinations. This model will help transportation planners figure out what drives e-scooter use.

Bottling the world's coldest plasma

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Physicists have discovered a way to trap the world's coldest plasma in a magnetic bottle, a technological achievement that could advance research into clean energy, space weather and solar physics.

How 'great' was the great oxygenation event?

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Around 2.5 billion years ago, our planet experienced what was possibly the greatest change in its history: According to the geological record, molecular oxygen suddenly went from nonexistent to becoming freely available everywhere. Evidence for the 'great oxygenation event' (GOE) is clearly visible, for example, in banded iron formations containing oxidized iron. The GOE, of course, is what allowed oxygen-using organisms - respirators - and ultimately ourselves, to evolve.

Visiting water bodies worth billions to economies

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Europeans spend more than £700 billion (€800bn) a year on recreational visits to water bodies - but perceived poor water quality costs almost £90 billion (€100bn) in lost visits, a new study has found.

The right '5-a-day' mix is 2 fruit and 3 vegetable servings for longer life

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death in men and women, according to data representing nearly 2 million adults. Five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, eaten as 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables, may be the optimal amount and combination for a longer life. These findings support current U.S. dietary recommendations to eat more fruits and vegetables and the simple public health message '5-a-day.'

Single cell sequencing opens new avenues for eradicating leukemia at its source

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Cancer stem cells that elude conventional treatments like chemotherapy drive long-term cancer growth and relapse. These cells are difficult to isolate and study because of their low abundance and similarity to other stem cells. Researchers have created a new method that can distinguish cancer stem cells, mature cancer cells and otherwise healthy stem cells based on their genetics and gene expression. The findings open new avenues for cancer research personalised medicine.

Microplastic sizes in Hudson-Raritan Estuary and coastal ocean revealed

Science Daily - 01/03/2021
Scientists for the first time have pinpointed the sizes of microplastics from a highly urbanized estuarine and coastal system with numerous sources of fresh water, including the Hudson River and Raritan River.

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