Earth

Long ago, all the continents were crammed together into one large land mass called Pangea. Pangea broke apart about 200 million years ago, its pieces drifting away on the tectonic plates -- but not permanently. The continents will reunite again in the deep future. And a new study, presented today during an online poster session at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union, suggests that the future arrangement of this supercontinent could dramatically impact the habitability and climate stability of Earth. The findings also have implications for searching for life on other planets.

The onset of any physical exercise program causes muscle pain that can hinder movements as simple as getting up from a sofa. With time and a little persistence, the muscles become accustomed to the effort, developing more strength and endurance. Researchers affiliated with Harvard University in the United States and the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil describe the cellular mediator that makes this adaptation to exercise possible in the journal Cell.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Widespread forest management and protections against deforestation can help mitigate climate change - but will come with a steep cost if deployed as broadly as policymakers have discussed, new research suggests.

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Tobacco control efforts have reduced cigarette smoking for many, but those efforts have disproportionately helped white smokers, while other racial and ethnic groups are still struggling, an Oregon State University researcher's analysis found.

The study, published recently in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, compared cigarette use among racial and ethnic groups. Across all groups, the number of cigarettes consumed per day dropped roughly 30% between 1992 and 2019.

Ammonia is the second most commonly produced chemical in the world and an important component of most fertilizers, but current industrial processes to make ammonia produce several millions of tons of carbon dioxide-a potent greenhouse gas-each year.

Now, researchers led by Meenesh Singh, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering, describe a new process to produce ammonia with a potentially much lower carbon footprint. They report their findings in the journal ACS Catalysis.

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the tiny particles responsible for hazy air pollution, are detrimental to children's health even inside the classroom. Mounting evidence has linked chronic exposure with poor academic performance in K-12 students. Until now, no research had examined the impact of "peak" air pollution events, the 24-hour spikes of extremely high PM2.5 levels.

Urban legends about the origins of canal grass in Panama abound, but the Smithsonian has new evidence that puts the question to rest. Canal grass is an invasive weed, native to Asia. Because its tiny seeds blow in the wind, it readily invades clearings and spreads to form impenetrable stands by budding from tillers and rhizomes. Once established, canal grass is challenging to eliminate. Fire burns the tops and stimulates the roots. Glassy hairs edging its leaf blades cut skin and dull machetes.

AURORA, Colo. (Dec. 1, 2020) - One of world's earliest examples of art, the enigmatic `Venus' figurines carved some 30,000 years ago, have intrigued and puzzled scientists for nearly two centuries. Now a researcher from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believes he's gathered enough evidence to solve the mystery behind these curious totems.

Tsukuba, Japan - Cooked, fresh, sun-dried, or juiced, whichever way you prefer them, tomatoes are arguably one of the most versatile fruits on the planet--and yes, despite mainly being used in savory dishes, tomatoes really are a fruit.

BINGHAMTON, NY -- In the lizard world, flashy colors attract the interest of females looking for mates. But they can make colorful males desirable to other eyes, too -- as lunch.

While the mesmerizing blobs in a classic lava lamp may appear magical, the colorful shapes move in response to temperature-induced changes in density and surface tension. This process, known as liquid-liquid phase separation, is critical to many functions in living cells, and plays a part in making products like medicines and cosmetics.

WASHINGTON--The number of wildfires and the amount of land they consume in the western U.S. has substantially increased since the 1980s, a trend often attributed to ongoing climate change. Now, new research finds fires are not only becoming more common in the western U.S. but the area burned at high severity is also increasing, a trend that may lead to long-term forest loss.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Imagine seeing an image of a cat in front of a wide scene of mountains and being told just to remember the mountains if you saw them in a later picture. As an adult, that's not hard to do.

But a new study shows that, even when told to pay attention to the mountain, preschool children focus so much on the cat that they won't later recognize the same mountain.

Bees and humans are about as different organisms as one can imagine. Yet despite their many differences, surprising similarities in the ways that they interact socially have begun to be recognized in the last few years. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, building on their earlier studies, have experimentally measured the social networks of honey bees and how they develop over time.