Nature

In March, with its doors closed, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, let its Rockhopper penguins explore the place. Nature media maestro Tom Houghton (who illuminates the Nature Briefing) was inspired to enrich your day by hiding a Rockhopper in a scientifically fascinating location. Thus was born the legend that is Leif Penguinson and the
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has stretched health-care systems, disrupted economies and frayed the fabric of societies around the globe. Nation states have responded differently to the crisis, and only a few countries have managed to achieve continued control of coronavirus transmission. Writing in Nature, Pullano et al.1 report their study of SARS-COV-2 infections in France
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Regan will be the first Black man to lead the EPA.Credit: N.C. Department of Environmental Quality US president-elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan, North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, to lead the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — and scientists and environmentalists are optimistic. Regan, who will now need to be confirmed by the US
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Cemetery workers wear personal protective equipment to prepare graves for those who have died from COVID-19 in Juárez, Mexico.Credit: Mario Tama/Getty The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread — and Why They Stop Adam Kucharski Wellcome Collection (2020) COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One Debora Mackenzie
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The Kuril-Kamchatka Trench which is found in the Pacific Ocean is a microplastics trap. A new study led by Senckenberg Research Institute & Natural History Museum researchers Serena Martina Abel and Dr. Angelika Brandt looked at samples of sediment from the trench to look for microplastics. The results of their study were published recently in the journal Environmental Pollution. The study demonstrated that a single kilo of the sediment has
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Winter weather mayhem is to be expected next week until Christmas. Meteorologists warn that weather issues may occur in the region of the Northwest up to December 24. A storm may develop in the Central US states and cause trouble by mid-week. There may also be small weather troublemakers which are a cause for monitoring, according to forecasters.
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GHANA: We are building capacity Gordon Awandare In Ghana, the pandemic has not been severe, and deaths have been very low compared with those in other parts of the world. Our group was among the first to sequence SARS-CoV-2 in Africa. We achieved this because we are building capacity for next-generation sequencing for other research
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The 305-metre radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico survived decades of hurricanes, including Hurricane Maria in 2017, and earthquakes, including unusually strong ones in early January 2020. It also survived attempts by its owner, the US National Science Foundation, to reduce its funding. But in the early morning of 1 December 2020,
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The molluscs called giant feathery shipworms use their long siphons (pictured) to wrestle for the chance to mate. Credit: Dr Reuben Shipway/University of Portsmouth Animal behaviour 18 December 2020 First footage of ‘pseudocopulation’ shows the lengths certain molluscs go to to mate. Researchers have captured videos of acrobatic styles of sex in shipworms, molluscs that
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The world’s ugliest orchid has just been discovered by scientists, and its scientific name is Gastrodia agnicellus. It is a native of Madagascar. A new species of orchid (Photo : Burian, R. Curtis’s Bot. Mag., 2020)The flower of Gastrodia agnicellus, showing the stem and part of the rhizome.Ranomafana September 2019. British botanists from the UK
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Rivers in the United States tend to be either yellow or, like the Tennessee River (pictured), green. Credit: J. R. Gardner et al./Geophys. Res. Lett. Hydrology 18 December 2020 In the past 35 years, some US waterways have become greener and others yellower, providing clues to ecosystem health. One-third of large rivers in the United
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The Northeastern snowstorm blanketed much of Pennsylvania, New York, and New England with residents waking up to 40 inches of snow on some areas, creating treacherous road conditions on Thursday. Authorities reported 600 car accidents and two storm-related deaths, prompting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency for 18 counties due to the
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Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker and Traci Watson discuss some of 2020’s most significant coronavirus research papers. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 In the final Coronapod of 2020, we dive into the scientific literature to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers have discovered so much about SARS-CoV-2 – information that has
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A huge winter storm passed through the region of the Mid Atlantic as it proceeded to the Northeast, which brought freezing rain, heavy snowfall, and hazardous roads. The storm is among the biggest in East Coast cities since the crippling blizzard in 2016 It resulted in pileups of dozens of vehicles in Clinton, Pa., with two dead. New York had a multi-car
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Some members of Noam Shomron’s lab on a day trip in December 2019.Credit: Shomron lab Once a year, around the time that Christians celebrate Easter, Muslims celebrate Ramadan and Jews celebrate Passover, I invite my 24-person team to a festive dinner at my place. To accommodate the needs of all my students, the food I
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Lions are the kings of the jungle. According to CBS News, these feline animals are number 15 of the world’s most dangerous animals, causing over 100 fatalities every year.  Aside from its physique, one thing that makes lions scary is the infamous lion’s roar. Study shows that the lion’s roar can actually have an effect on humans,
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1. Rollison, D. E., Viarisio, D., Amorrortu, R. P., Gheit, T. & Tommasino, M. An emerging issue in oncogenic virology: the role of beta human papillomavirus types in the development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. J. Virol. 93, e01003-18 (2019). CAS  Article  Google Scholar  2. Strickley, J. D. et al. Immunity to commensal papillomaviruses protects
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The burning of Madagascar forests intensified this year since the pandemic lockdown started to clear forests to grow food crops and fell trees for firewood. Hunting also intensified as the critically-endangered Madagascar lemur became food.  An article from National Geographic describes how the world is losing the critically-endangered Madagascar lemur in the face of the pandemic lockdown.
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Like national presidencies, European Union framework research programmes have a fixed term in which they can execute their agenda — bolstering the economy, improving sustainability and so on. How well they do is best assessed in retrospect. The current scheme, Horizon 2020, is the world’s biggest multinational research programme, having distributed €74 billion (US$90 billion)
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Scientists have found the genetic basis of ornaments in male swordtail fishes.  Males of many species have striking and beautiful ornamentation, which are, aside from helping find female mates, otherwise impractical. Scientists mapped these ornaments’ genetic bases in fish. Nature has innumerable examples of ornaments from mostly the males of various species. Such examples include peacock tail feathers, male rhinoceros beetle
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A team of scientists found 20 new species and recorded 1,204 plants and animals in the misty forests of Zongo Valley Bolivia in an expedition done in March 2017. The expedition was organized by an international conservation organization, Conservation International, and was called the Rapid Assessment Program of the organizations. [embedded content] Trond Larsen, the
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The Hayabusa2 capsule that landed in the desert in South Australia.Credit: AP/Shutterstock Japan’s mission to bring asteroid dust back to Earth has succeeded. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed on 14 December that a capsule from spacecraft Hayabusa2, which landed in the Australian desert last week, contained black grains from asteroid Ryugu. “The confirmation
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Human activities are damaging our marine environment, and ocean pollution threatens human health, a study revealed.  The research was conducted by an international research team that published their results in the journal Annals of Global Health. They wrote about the widespread damage inflicted upon the oceans by the actions of humans, which in turn also cause damage to human health. The researchers
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Living cells can harbour protein aggregates with the properties of soft glasses. Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SPL Biophysics 14 December 2020 Odd protein droplets that behave like liquids make a smooth shift to having the properties of a solid. Some living cells contain protein clusters that behave like liquid droplets. But these droplets gradually stiffen with
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When Ebola ripped through communities in West Africa between 2014 and 2016, Tolbert Nyenswah saw at first hand how health workers extinguished the epidemic by finding and quarantining contacts of those who caught the disease. The former director of Liberia’s public-health institute thought contact-tracers would again rise to the challenge this year, keeping COVID-19 in
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Black vultures have been settling a town in southeastern Pennsylvania in astonishing numbers, settling on roofs and trees, defecating profusely, and causing substantial damage to properties in the tune of thousands of dollars. Resident John Enterline said the vultures were regular visitors in the previous years but this year the problem has become more extreme
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The National Weather Service reminds everyone not to just think about tornadoes and severe storms but winter weather this holiday season. National Weather Service’s Krissy Hurley said that it is important to not let our guard down and make sure that we have winter weather safety kits. This important stuff maybe winter’s weather safety kits, battery-operated
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A special military-grade infrared camera has been utilized to visualize the risks of the airborne spread of the COVID-19 virus. Winter is approaching while the United States continues to deal with the huge surge in new infections of COVID-19. So far, over 288,000 people in the US have already succumbed to the viral infection which public health officials are now saying is
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here Xinhua/Shutterstock) China has successfully launched a twin-satellite mission to investigate the most-energetic events in the cosmos. The National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched its Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor
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The environmental authorities of Denmark are investigating the possibility that the millions of decomposing mink that were buried in dirt pits used as mass graves in the nationwide culling of mink farms could result in contaminated groundwater and be a threat to adjacent natural protected areas. The Environmental Protection Agency of Denmark fears that the contamination in the groundwater can affect lakes and streams nearby.The Danish Parliament
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Credit: Getty If you’re an academic researcher, you must work on building meaningful relationships, also known as networking. Over time, as you show that you are a trustworthy colleague and can share ideas, skills and expertise, opportunities beyond collaborations can open to you. Building professional relationships can make the difference between staying professionally stagnant and
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Credit: Douglas Sacha/Getty Without easy access to our laboratories during lockdowns this year, I and other PhD students have shifted our focus towards data analysis and literature reading. But I struggled with that: I started my PhD programme in September last year and so didn’t have a lot of old data and work to catch
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Mass extinctions in vertebrate terrestrial or land-dwelling animals such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds occur at a cycle lasting approximately 27 million years. This figure coincides with reported mass extinctions in ocean life in previous studies, as reported by a new publication by researchers in the Historical Biology journal. In addition, the study also found that the mass extinctions
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Rivers are a major source of renewable water, and provide food, jobs and a sense of place and cultural identity for people living in the vicinity. For many Indigenous peoples, rivers are central to how they understand themselves, their origins and their relationships to the rest of nature. As a citizen of the Penobscot Nation
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The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize an emergency rollout of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.Credit: Hugh Hastings/Getty A panel of experts has recommended that US regulators authorize the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now expected to swiftly grant an emergency-use authorization that will allow the country’s
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here Dams are just one type of infrastructure that can cause environmental damage.huseyintuncer/iStock/Getty The mass of human-made things just exceeded Earth’s total living biomass. Researchers compared the estimated dry weight of all living things on our planet
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