How the pandemic has impacted environmental field research

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Field stations and marine laboratories (FSMLs) serve as great drivers of research, monitoring, and learning about our world. However, FSMLs across the globe are facing major cutbacks and even closure due to COVID-19 pandemic-driven budget cuts. UConn’s Gene E. Likens and David L. Wagner, professors in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, have written an editorial in Science outlining the importance of these vital “sentinels” while calling attention to the dangers we face if these global observatories are to be closed. They met with UConn Today to explain the issues. The conversation has been edited

Machine-learning tool performs stereochemical assignments on SPM images | Research

Software that labels chiral centres on scanning probe microscopy (SPM) images of molecules has been developed by scientists in Singapore. Knowing the chirality of molecules is fundamental for many applications including heterogeneous catalysis, chiral separation, drug development and anything that relies on surface recognition. Manually determining chirality from SPM images can take up to a few days for complex systems, making an automated system desirable. Now, scientists from an artificial intelligence group and an atomic imaging group at the National University of Singapore have collaborated to create a machine-learning algorithm that does just that. They tested it on two densely

Did Longer Days Help Fuel the Growth of Life on Earth?

Our atmosphere is about 20 percent oxygen, which life on our planet needs to survive. It’s thought that billions of years ago, photosynthesizing bacteria generated that oxygen, slowly turning Earth into an environment that animals would be able to inhabit. But researchers are still learning about the details of that transformation. “We do not fully understand why it took so long and what factors controlled Earth’s oxygenation,“ said geomicrobiologist Judith Klatt of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. “But when studying mats of cyanobacteria in the Middle Island Sinkhole in Lake Huron in Michigan, which live

Google to Use Its Own Chip ‘Tensor’ In New Pixel Phone

Almost five years after it launched the Pixel series of smartphones, Google has announced that it will ditch conventional chipmakers and power its next Pixel phone with a chip that it has built on its own. This shift in policy is much like Apple, which after using self-built chips for its iPhones will now also use them for its Macs. To know how good Google’s chip is, we just need to wait for fall, when Pixel 6 is available.  Google announced the debut of its chip, Google Tensor, in a blog post. Authored by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of

How Did People Find the Fundamental Charge With Drops of Oil?

Right now, you can probably just ask your smartphone to tell you the charge of a single electron—the fundamental unit of charge. (It has a magnitude of 1.6 x 10–19 coulombs, the common unit for electric charge.) But in 1909, things weren’t so simple. Back then, physicists Robert Millikan and Harvey Fletcher figured it out using oil. Their “oil drop” experiment wasn’t the first method to find this value, but it’s perhaps the most famous, and it led to Millikan receiving the Nobel Prize in 1923. This historic experiment illustrates some important physics concepts, and it’s not too terribly complicated,

Measuring nitrogen in green manures

A crimson clover plant, which is generally recommended to grow in a mixture of grasses, which was used in this study. Credit: Sandra Wayman Both chemical fertilizers and cover crops can help build the nitrogen content in soil. But cover crops come with many other benefits, like improving soil structure and boosting beneficial microbes. Researchers at Cornell University are looking at ways to help breed better cover crops, also known as green… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

Best Lego sets for adults: NASA, Star Wars, Architecture and more

If youth is wasted on the young, then so are certain Lego sets. Whether you need a screen break or a hit of nerdy nostalgia, there are few things more satisfying than taking time, as a fully-grown adult, to sit down and build a spaceship out of tiny plastic bricks. Lego realised a long time ago that grown-ups were just as keen to play – sorry, build – as children and its range now includes a spectrum of mature designs aimed squarely at big kids. The best Lego sets for adults aren’t just the ones with 7,000 pieces that require

Double Venus Flyby! Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo Set To Make Space History

BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter fly by Venus on August 9 and 10, 2021. Credit: ESA Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo are set to make space history with two Venus flybys just 33 hours apart on August 9 and 10, 2021. The two spacecraft need the gravitational swingby to help them lose a little orbital energy in order to reach their destinations towards the center of the Solar System. The double flyby also offers an unprecedented opportunity to study the Venus environment from different locations at same time and, moreover, in locations that are not typically visited by a dedicated planetary orbiter.

Breath test to determine correct treatment for epilepsy

Fig. 1: Overview of the study pipeline. a The procedure begun with a patient performing five-to-six simple exhalations into a SESI–HRMS analytical platform located in the hospital premises. The breath metabolomics fingerprint was acquired in positive and negative-ion mode (5, 6 exhalations per mode). Shortly before the breath test, blood was drawn to evaluate blood/serum concentrations of ASMs. b SESI–HRMS is a real-time, noninvasive, and fast breath-metabolome analysis method. The whole breath test (i.e., positive- and negative-ion mode), lasts typically 10–15 min per patient. Positive-mode TIC from two patients, one receiving VPA and another one receiving LEV, is shown as an

Particles from paints, pesticides can have deadly impact

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Hundreds of thousands of people around the world die too soon every year because of exposure to air pollution caused by our daily use of chemical products and fuels, including paints, pesticides, charcoal and gases from vehicle tailpipes, according to a new CU Boulder-led study. The new work, led by former CIRES postdoctoral researcher Benjamin Nault and CIRES Fellow Jose-Luis Jimenez, calculated that air pollution caused… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org