Culture

The concentration of mercury in the fish in Alaska's Yukon River may exceed the EPA's human health criterion by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are not constrained, according to scientific research funded in part by NASA. This first of its kind research estimates potential releases of mercury from thawing permafrost under high and low carbon emissions scenarios. The researchers predict that by 2200, the mercury emitted into both the atmosphere and water annually by thawing permafrost will compare with current global anthropogenic mercury emissions.

In everyday life, measuring temperature is pretty straightforward. But in the quantum world, which deals with the super small and the ultra-cold, determining how hot or cold something is starts to get more challenging. Now, in a collaboration between the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, researchers have described a quantum process that uses a single atom as a thermometer to sensitively measure the temperature of an ultra-cold gas.

WASHINGTON -- Researchers have developed an advanced spectrometer that can acquire data with exceptionally high speed. The new spectrometer could be useful for a variety of applications including remote sensing, real-time biological imaging and machine vision.

Spectrometers measure the color of light absorbed or emitted from a substance. However, using such systems for complex and detailed measurement typically requires long data acquisition times.

Perfectionists often have high standards, not only for themselves but for their children. Yet, in their quest for perfection, they might find themselves with a less-than-ideal label: helicopter parent.

So-called helicopter parents engage in what's known as "over-parenting" - hovering over their young adult children and taking care of tasks that the children should be able to do themselves, such as cooking, cleaning or paying bills.

Along three scenic drives through Colorado's Rocky Mountains in fall, tourists will see less of a brilliant golden tree in the next 100 years, researchers from North Carolina State University projected in a new study.

Using computer modeling, researchers simulated how the distribution of quaking aspen, or Populus tremuloides, a native tree known for its brilliant yellow and orange foliage in fall and the sound of its trembling leaves, will change amid rising temperatures over the next 100 years.

When viruses, parasites and other pathogens spread, humans and other animals tend to hunker down with immediate family and peer groups to avoid outsiders as much as possible. But could these instincts, developed to protect us from illnesses, generalize into avoidance of healthy individuals who simply look, speak or live differently?

Jessica Stephenson, an assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences, coauthored a paper exploring the answer, which was recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B.

In the first research of its kind, a new University of California, Davis, study suggests that for the most part, people formulate goals consistent with their personality traits -- and an individual's goals are related to how their personality subsequently changes over time.

The amount of synthetic microfiber we shed into our waterways has been of great concern over the last few years, and for good reason: Every laundry cycle releases in its wastewater tens of thousands of tiny, near-invisible plastic fibers whose persistence and accumulation can affect aquatic habitats and food systems, and ultimately our own bodies in ways we have yet to discover.

Diversity in many biological communities is a sign of an ecosystem in balance. When one species dominates, the entire system can go haywire. For example, the uncontrolled overgrowth of certain oceanic algae species causes toxic red tides that kill fish and other sea life, and sicken humans. On a more individual level, the human gut hosts a large community of different bacteria that is crucial for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

JUPITER, FL -- Failures in a quality control system that protects protein-building fidelity in cells can lead to motor neuron degeneration and related diseases, according to a new study from an international team co-directed by Scripps Research molecular biologist Claudio Joazeiro, PhD.

In the popular imagination, Vikings were fearsome blonde-haired warriors from Scandinavia who used longboats to carry out raids across Europe in a brief but bloody reign of terror. But the reality is more complex, says SFU Archaeology Prof. Mark Collard.

Collard is a member of an international team of researchers that has just published the results of the world's largest DNA sequencing of Viking skeletons, in this week's edition of Nature.

In the first week of the coronavirus pandemic, people living in the United States underestimated their chances of catching the virus, or of getting seriously ill from the virus, according to a recently published Caltech-led study. But as the days progressed, those same people became more worried about their personal risk, and, as a result, began to increase protective behaviors such as washing hands and social distancing.

WASHINGTON -- Researchers have developed an automated 3D printing method that can produce multicolor 3D microstructures using different materials. The new method could be used to make a variety of optical components including optical sensors and light-driven actuators as well as multimaterial structures for applications such as soft robotics and medical applications.

In another fascinating snapshot from deep time, an international team of paleontologists has reported the discovery of specimens of a minuscule crustacean that dates back to the Cretaceous (about 100 million years ago), conserved in samples of amber from Myanmar. The most spectacular find is a single female, which turns out on closer examination to contain giant sperm cells in its reproductive tract. In fact, this is the oldest fossil in which sperm cells have been conclusively identified.

Slower growing broiler chickens are healthier and have more fun than conventional breeds of birds, new evidence from an independent commercial scale farm trial has shown. The study carried out by researchers from FAI Farms, the University of Bristol and The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, is published today [16 September], in Scientific Reports.