Earth

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - There are many reasons that an intranasal vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus would be helpful in the fight against COVID-19 infections, University of Alabama at Birmingham immunologists Fran Lund, Ph.D., and Troy Randall, Ph.D., write in a viewpoint article in the journal Science.

A network of over 100 herbaria spread out across the southeastern United States recently completed the herculean task of fully digitizing more than three million specimens collected by botanists and naturalists over a span of 200 years. The project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, is part of a larger, ongoing effort by natural history institutions worldwide to make their biological collections easily accessible to researchers studying broad patterns of evolution, extinction, range shifts, and climate change.

The discovery of a Roman road submerged in the Venice Lagoon is reported in Scientific Reports this week. The findings suggest that extensive settlements may have been present in the Venice Lagoon centuries before the founding of Venice began in the fifth century.

During the Roman era, large areas of the Venice Lagoon which are now submerged were accessible by land. Roman artefacts have been found in lagoon islands and waterways, but the extent of human occupation of the lagoon during Roman times has been unclear.

Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (228 to 66 million years ago). Due to the rarity of fossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos, and difficulties distinguishing between hatchlings and small adults, it has been unclear whether newly-hatched pterosaurs were able to fly.

In the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, sulphur-crested cockatoos routinely loot lidded household waste bins to scavenge for food. In a new study, researchers document the emergence and geographic spread of innovative bin-opening behaviors in urban parrot populations, revealing the presence of a complex social learning culture in these birds. What's more, this behavior appears to have emerged as a direct response to land-use change and urbanization, demonstrating how animal cultures could allow for local adaptation of urban animal populations in the Anthropocene.

Based on the analysis of marsquakes recorded by NASA's InSight mission, the structure of Mars's crust has now been determined in absolute numbers for the first time. Beneath the InSight landing site, the crust is either approximately 20 or 39 kilometres thick. That is the result of an international research team led by geophysicist Dr Brigitte Knapmeyer-Endrun at the University of Cologne's Institute of Geology and Mineralogy and Dr Mark Panning at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a new study.

Pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (228 to 66 million years ago). Due to the rarity of fossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos, and difficulties distinguishing between hatchlings and small adults, it has been unclear whether newly-hatched pterosaurs were able to fly.

The building sector in the U.S. accounts for 39 percent of energy use, with commercial buildings responsible for about half of that. As cities grapple with climate change, making commercial buildings more efficient is a key part of the solution.

More than 820 million people in the world don't have enough to eat, while climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further raising concerns about the future balance between food demand and supply. The results of a new IIASA-led study can be used to benchmark global food security projections and inform policy analysis and public debate on the future of food.

An international team of scientists has reported strong indications of freshened groundwater offshore the coastline between Valletta and Marsascala, in the south-east of Malta.

This discovery is based on an oceanographic expedition carried out in 2018.

Seismic reflection profiles acquired during this expedition were used to generate a geological model of the seafloor offshore the Maltese Islands, whereas electromagnetic surveying was carried out to identify resistivity anomalies, or high values of electromagnetic resistivity beneath the seafloor.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a recognized treatment option for certain blood and bone marrow cancers as well as some autoimmune and hereditary disorders. Performed to replace or modulate the body's malfunctioning hematopoietic system (which produces blood cells) or a compromised immune system following a medical condition or treatment, HCT can be autologous or allogenic. In autologous HCT, a patient's own stem cells are injected into the bloodstream, while in allogenic HCT donor stem cells are used.

Since early 2019, researchers have been recording and analysing marsquakes as part of the InSight mission. This relies on a seismometer whose data acquisition and control electronics were developed at ETH Zurich. Using this data, the researchers have now measured the red planet's crust, mantle and core - data that will help determine the formation and evolution of Mars and, by extension, the entire solar system.

Mars once completely molten

TROY, N.Y. -- An innovative testing platform that more closely mimics what cancer encounters in the body may allow for more precise, personalized therapies by enabling the rapid study of multiple therapeutic combinations against tumor cells. The platform, which uses a three-dimensional environment to more closely mirror a tumor microenvironment, is demonstrated in research published in Communications Biology.

Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life: they are lightweight, cheap and adaptable. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics are simply not sustainable, and pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. Eco-friendly processing of reusable and recyclable plastics derived from plant-based raw materials would be an ideal solution. So far, the technological challenges have proved too great.

Irvine, Calif., July 22, 2021 - To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California's policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem's ability to perform this service.