Shortly after the World Health Organization visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology on 3 February, a reporter from an international newspaper asked me whether China’s censorship would present an ‘insurmountable’ barrier to reaching an impartial conclusion on COVID-19’s origins. At the same time, my phone displayed headlines from a nationalist Chinese newspaper proclaiming that the
Choosing a dog can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. After all, you’re taking on the burden of caring for a living, breathing being who will depend on you for the remainder of his life! When it comes to having a new puppy, you have a lot of questions: “What kind of dog do I get?”
Natural soundscapes have always called to me. As an eco- and electro-acoustics researcher, with a background in sound engineering and electronic music composition, I have always tried to strike a balance between art and science in my work. In 1998, when I first heard about the extinction crisis — more than 35,500 species of flora
The photos of a Tasmanian tiger family that has been long anticipated for has been released and the man who took them says he is very confident that at least one is a living Tasmanian tiger (thylacine). A video was released last week by Neil Waters teasing fans about the photos which he professed to
To the untrained eye, a circuit built with IBM’s online Quantum Experience tool looks like something out of an introductory computer-science course. Logic gates, the building blocks of computation, are arrayed on a digital canvas, transforming inputs into outputs. But this is a quantum circuit, and the gates modify not the usual binary 1 or
Cetaceans are the longest-living animals in general, with some whale species surviving to over 200 years old. Given their size, their bodies contain much more cells than the human body. It’s a wonder how this is possible. (Photo : Pexels on Pixabay) “The more cells you have, the more likely one of those cells will
Police clash with protesters in Chicago after the death of George Floyd.Credit: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto/Getty Days after police killed George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, last May, physicist Philip Phillips was in his garden in Champaign, Illinois, incensed and racking his brain over how his scientific community could respond. Scientific institutions had not done enough to
KAPA’A, HAWAII – the Laysan albatross retreating each fall to the Refuge at Midway Atoll National Wildlife, she could be any of a million, a team of three small islands created from coral reefs in North Pacific. One thousand miles north of Honolulu, marks of gorgeous seabirds sprinkle the islands’ uncovered fields, soda-size can egg,
DARPA was part of a collaboration that developed the autonomous ship Sea Hunter, seen here on an unmanned voyage from California to Hawaii.Credit: APFootage/Alamy The UK government has released more information about its plans to launch an independent research agency that will focus on funding high-risk, high-reward science. Researchers and science-policy experts have welcomed the
Wildlife project research, particularly those centered on measuring the excess and densities of huge mammals, are resource and time-extensive. Huge carnivores like leopards have some ranges that last several square kilometers. To execute good research to deduce their numbers, the number in a particular region must be recorded without losing track or making a lot
A gel (white) that becomes stronger when vibrated regains its shape (far right) after being squashed. Credit: Z. Wang et al./Nature Mater. Materials science 26 February 2021 Inside a composite structure, mechanical energy is transformed into an electron flow that powers a chemical reaction. Many materials collapse when shaken or squished, but scientists have engineered
The discovery of a ‘space hurricane’ high above Earth might mean that more such storms whirl away at other planetary bodies. Credit: Qing-He Zhang Space physics 26 February 2021 Earth’s upper atmosphere cooks up a storm. Satellite observations have revealed an unprecedented ‘space hurricane’ in Earth’s upper atmosphere, hinting that such events could occur on
As reported by a global stocktake, the world will become hotter by more than 1.5C except that nations produce tougher policies. Governments must bisect emissions by 2030 if they want the Earth to stay within the “safe” threshold of 1.5C. But the recent set of national policies tabled to the United Nations showed emissions will
West Nile virus (artificially coloured) can invade the central nervous system more easily in the presence of parasitic worms. Credit: Science VU, Visuals Unlimited/Science Photo Library Immunology 26 February 2021 With its effect on the gut lining, a parasite aids another infectious agent. Parasitic worms residing in the gut can make viral infections more deadly.
For kukri blade-toothed snakes, the spiciest facets of a frog are its organs, while it’s still alive, the body cavity is been cut off and eaten by snakes. After observing this dismal habit for the initial time in Thailand, researchers have sighted the feast on the organs of livings toads and frogs. (Photo : Pixabay)
Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the latest COVID-19 news. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 To answer the big questions in the pandemic, researchers need access to data. But while a wealth has been collected, much of it isn’t collated or accessible to the people who need it.
[embedded content] You’ve probably heard of quantum computers – but what about the quantum internet? Entangling qubits across large distances to form a quantum internet could be one of the most exciting developments in quantum technology, and now a group of researchers claim to have taken one of the first steps to make this possible
According to the just-released autumn weather outlook by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), there could be sights of summer-like weather in the forthcoming season, but what is more likely to happen is more wretched and drought conditions. (Photo : Ralph W. Lambrecht) Tropical Pacific The climate driver in La Nina has seen moisture shoved on
Chinese health workers test frozen food and packaging for traces of SARS-CoV-2.Credit: Sipa Asia/Shutterstock Momentum is growing for the suggestion that the coronavirus can spread from infected frozen wildlife. A World Health Organization (WHO) fact-finding mission in China did not rule out the idea that this mode of transmission contributed to early outbreaks of COVID-19
According to the team led by researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Paris Sciences and Letters University, the open water proved crucial in computer simulations, estimations that deemed Alaska’s previous weather data and predictions of future sea-ice cover and temperature conditions. (Photo : Frank Cone) The increase in Air Tempreture Colorado National Center
Robin Aguilar is a PhD candidate in genomic sciences.Credit: Riley Miller As my intro slide transitioned into view before the audience, I felt distant. My footsteps creaked as I walked to the podium to introduce myself at my department’s annual ‘get to know you’ and networking retreat. “Hey, some of you might remember me as
This webcast, from Nature’s webinar programme, is now available to view on demand. Over two sessions, Sarah Blackford, an academic careers adviser at BioScience Careers, runs through some top techniques for developing a CV and targeting specific job applications, before assessing and giving feedback on some example CVs. “You have to use these keywords that
A fall in carbon dioxide levels might have enabled sauropodomorphs, initial relatives of the biggest animal to ever walk this world, thousands of kilometers migrate north about 214 million years ago over once-forbidding deserts. (Photo : Innermost Limits) The Mysterious Dinosaurs Migration The National Academy of Sciences disclosed that researchers indicated the period of the
1. Nielsen, M. A. & Chuang, I. L. Quantum Computation and Quantum Information 2nd edn (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010). 2. Gottesman, D. & Chuang, I. L. Demonstrating the viability of universal quantum computation using teleportation and single-qubit operations. Nature 402, 390–393 (1999). ADS CAS Google Scholar 3. Duan, L.-M., Lukin, M. D., Cirac, J. I.
40 long-finned pilot whales deserted on a remote beach were successfully refloated by hundreds of people in New Zealand who worked together. They carried the animals back to the open water. The whales didn’t glide out into the deeper ocean, still, some conservationists are nervous that the animals may bring themselves back to the beach
Listen to the latest from the world of science, with Nick Petrić Howe and Shamini Bundell. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 In this episode: 00:45 Probing the proton’s interior Although studied for decades, the internal structure of the proton is still throwing up surprises for physicists. This week, a team
The hypothetical ninth planet (illustration).Credit: Shutterstock No sign of Planet Nine? For some years, scientists have debated the existence of an unseen planet at least five times the mass of Earth in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Now, the hypothesis has been dealt a blow by a new analysis of distant, icy objects.
An almost life-size image of a kangaroo with practical genitalia included – is the most ancient known rock paintings in Australia. Researchers lately assume it age to 17,300 years ago using a technique that has never been employed on Australian old art before, assessing radioactive carbon in wasp nest from rocks close to the artwork.
A bone fragment excavated in Southeast Alaska belonged to one of the earliest known domestic dogs in the Americas. Credit: Douglas Levere/University at Buffalo Genomics 24 February 2021 To scientists’ surprise, a 10,000-year-old bone found in an Alaskan cave belonged to a domestic dog — one of the earliest known from the Americas. The first
Geese portrayed in an old Egyptian tomb were not of any species alive presently, a thorough examination confirms. Rather, there are valid reasons to think they were an honest indication of an extinct species, providing us an insight into how birds appeared we would never achieve any other way. (Photo : Tobias Bjorkli) Egypt’s Meidum
Thunderstorms spew out gamma rays — these scientists want to know why, read by Benjamin Thompson Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 Gamma rays – the highest-energy electromagnetic radiation in the universe – are typically created in extreme outer space environments like supernovae. But back in the 1980s and 1990s, physicists
On 5 December last year — the eve of traditional Christmas gift-giving in Belgium — residents of the Hemelrijck care home near Antwerp were treated to a visit by Sinterklaas, or Santa. But the festive event, intended to spread cheer, turned tragic. Forty staff members and more than 100 residents — at least 26 of
Snowmen were all-around the state capitol in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 21. 2021 with many holding signs asking for a price on carbon to rescue their “Endangered species.”Though there wasn’t much snow in the Utah Skies on Sunday, hundreds of snowmen made it to the grounds at the state Capitol at Salt Lake
Black carbon emitted by power plants and other sources in Asia wafts to the Arctic, where the pollution accelerates the melting of ice and snow. Credit: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg/Getty Atmospheric science 23 February 2021 Black carbon from fuel combustion in South Asia bolsters the effects of climate change on northern ice and snow. Airborne pollutants from
Scientists at the University of Queensland have developed an ultraviolet ‘television’ display, fashioned to help researchers understand better how animals see the world. So far, standard monitors on devices like televisions or computer screens have been used to show visual stimuli in animal vision studies, but none of them has been able to test ultraviolet
The gut bacterium Prevotella copri (artist’s impression) has been linked to a reduction in the health benefits of a diet that skimps on red meat in favour of fish and vegetables. Credit: Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library Microbiology 22 February 2021 The composition of a person’s microbiome could influence the health effects of swapping steak for
I’m a business developer at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) in Barcelona, Spain. My job is to help scientists to market their ideas and inventions. Lately, most of those ideas involve graphene, a layer of carbon that is just one atom thick. Graphene is as hard as a diamond but very flexible.
Uncommon warming of the surface waters in the tropical Pacific OceanENSO or El Niño Southern Oscillation is popular for producing extraordinary weather patterns around the world. A related, albeit little known circulation structure, affects a vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean, is the Atlantic El Niño. The sensational Atlantic is identical to the cycles that
Research printed in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry has found out that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico has long-term impacts on the immune function of bottlenose dolphins. As part of health assessment programs, bottlenose dolphins from a place that received lengthened and heavy oiling were temporarily captured, tested, and freed.
Cuba has hosted relatively small numbers of tourist groups given its size, which might have helped to keep invasive plants at bay. Credit: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Getty Ecology 18 February 2021 Cuba’s relatively closed economy could explain why it has fewer invasive plant species per unit area than other Caribbean islands. For more than 60 years,
Some areas will get wetter as change in climate takes hold across the Americas while others will get drier and hotter. Recent research of the yellow warbler, a broad migrating songbird, indicates that individuals carry the exact climatic preferences across their migratory capacity. University of California’s assistant professor Rachael Bay in the Department of Evolution
The hypothetical ninth planet (illustration).Credit: Shutterstock Planet Nine is dead; long live Planet Nine? For some years, scientists have debated the existence of an unseen planet at least five times the mass of Earth in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Now, the hypothesis has been dealt a blow by a new analysis of
Credit: Adapted from Getty Sometimes, all that’s left to do is to laugh. Stories from the First World War are riddled with gallows humour. In one apocryphal tale from the trenches, a bagpiper starts to pipe to raise morale. Fearing that the skirling sound of the pipes signals an imminent attack, the enemy shoot from
The dispersion of vegetation is regularly used to categorize climate areas globally, still whether these areas are suitable for other organisms is unknown. Umeå experimenters have verified climate area based on the distribution of vertebrate species in recent research released by eLife. They discovered that while elevated energy climate regions are alike across the plant
Vaccines that can block viral transmission will help control the pandemic.Credit: Andrea Fasani/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock As countries roll out vaccines that prevent COVID-19, studies are under way to determine whether shots can also stop people from getting infected and passing on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccines that prevent transmission could help to bring the pandemic under control if
An organization in Los Angeles with animal experimentation is suing the University of Southern California (USC) over alleged abuse of animals in the university’s research. USC is being charged with animal brutality after unofficial staff members allegedly chopped off the ears of multiple mice in acts that were not related to scientific experiments, excessive dose of
Electrons (red; illustration) need only 13–34 femtoseconds to excite and redistribute their energy when hit with laser light. Credit: Shutterstock Atomic and molecular physics 19 February 2021 Physicists fire lasers at electrons to understand how the particles gain and shed energy. Physicists have observed with record precision how electrons, when excited by light, gain and
Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker and Nicky Phillips discuss the latest COVID-19 news. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 What’s the endgame for the COVID-19 pandemic? Is a world without SARS-CoV-2 possible, or is the virus here to stay? A recent Nature survey suggests that the majority of experts expect the virus