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Health - Life Sciences - 23.07.2020
Vikings had smallpox and may have helped spread the world's deadliest virus
Vikings had smallpox and may have helped spread the world’s deadliest virus
Scientists have discovered extinct strains of smallpox in the teeth of Viking skeletons - proving for the first time that the killer disease plagued humanity for at least 1400 years.  Just as people travelling around the world today quickly spread COVID-19, it is likely Vikings spread smallpox. Only back then, they travelled by ship rather than plane.

Religions - 23.07.2020
Mother Teresa and Albanian Christianity are intertwined - study
Mother Teresa's life and the history of Albania - especially its people's relationship with Roman Catholicism - are intertwined, with the humanitarian icon epitomising her nation's cultural and spiritual DNA, the new study Mother Teresa: The Saint and Her Nation reveals. Its author, Dr Gëzim Alpion , from the University of Birmingham, claims that personal tragedies and Albanian origins helped shape Mother Teresa into the most influential religious personality of our times.

Health - Mathematics - 23.07.2020
If relaxed too soon, physical distancing measures might have been all for naught
If physical distancing measures in the United States are relaxed while there is still no COVID-19 vaccine or treatment and while personal protective equipment remains in short supply, the number of resulting infections could be about the same as if distancing had never been implemented to begin with, according to a UCLA-led team of mathematicians and scientists.

Health - Physics - 23.07.2020
New CT scan method lowers radiation exposure
A CT scan technique that splits a full X-ray beam into thin beamlets can deliver the same quality of image at a much reduced radiation dose, according to a new UCL study. The technique, demonstrated on a small sample in a micro CT scanner, could potentially be adapted for medical scanners and used to reduce the amount of radiation millions of people are exposed to each year.

Environment - Chemistry - 23.07.2020
New technique to capture CO2 could reduce power plant greenhouse gases
Metal-organic frameworks are highly porous, making them ideal for absorbing gases and liquids. This graphic shows the interior of a MOF based on the metal magnesium (green balls), and has added molecules - tetraamines (blue & gray) - added to the pores to more efficiently absorb carbon dioxide from power plant emissions.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.07.2020
Scientists outline potential of soil-free farming which could see crops grown in the desert
Scientists outline potential of soil-free farming which could see crops grown in the desert
Vertical farming is a type of indoor agriculture where crops are cultivated in stacked systems with water, lighting and nutrient sources carefully controlled and supported by artificial intelligence in which machines are taught to manage day-to-day horticultural tasks. Part of a rapidly growing sector, vertical farming is set to grow by 21 per cent by 2025 according to recent forecasts 1 .

Computer Science - Materials Science - 23.07.2020
Technology that makes it feel like you're touching virtual objects
Adding to the richness of virtual reality, EPFL researchers have created soft actuators that can simulate the feeling of touching a virtual object with your fingers.  In the virtual world, the objects you pick up do not exist: you can see that cup or pen, but it does not feel like you're touching them.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.07.2020
Key to restricting antibiotic resistant bacteria | University of Oxford
Key to restricting antibiotic resistant bacteria | University of Oxford
Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to human health on a global scale. It has been predicted that resistant infections will cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Given that antibiotics are crucial in many areas of medicine, it is important to understand how antibiotic use influences the likelihood that resistance will emerge in response to treatment.  Researchers from the 's Department of Zoology have discovered that moderate doses of antibiotics restrict the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.07.2020
Gene-controlling mechanisms play key role in cancer progression
Gene-controlling mechanisms play key role in cancer progression
Study finds "epigenomic" alterations evolve as lung tumors become more aggressive and metastasize. As cancer cells evolve, many of their genes become overactive while others are turned down. These genetic changes can help tumors grow out of control and become more aggressive, adapt to changing conditions, and eventually lead the tumor to metastasize and spread elsewhere in the body.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.07.2020
The genetic basis of bats’ superpowers revealed
For the first time, the raw genetic material that codes for bats' unique adaptations and superpowers such as the ability to fly, to use sound to move effortlessly in complete darkness, to survive and tolerate deadly diseases, to resist ageing and cancer - has been fully revealed and published in Nature .

Social Sciences - 23.07.2020
Young people "withdrawn" in the bedroom are less socially isolated than previous thought
Technology and online networks play a vital role to help marginalised or "hidden youth" feel connected in the digital age, a University of Glasgow academic has found. Dr Mark Wong, a lecturer in Social and Public Policy, has been looking at the so-called "hidden youth" phenomenon, where teenagers hid away in the bedrooms for months or years and communicate only online.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.07.2020
Predicting the unpredictable
Researchers combined avalanche physics with ecosystem data to create a computational method for predicting extreme ecological events. The method may also have applications in economics and politics. A black swan event is a highly unlikely but massively consequential incident, such as the 2008 global recession and the loss of one-third of the world's saiga antelope in a matter of days in 2015.

Earth Sciences - 23.07.2020
Reduction in human-induced seismic noise during the pandemic lockdown
Reduction in human-induced seismic noise during the pandemic lockdown
A team of 76 seismologists, including several French scientists from the CNRS, the Paris Institute of Earth Physics (IPGP), Université de Paris, Université de Strasbourg and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) 1 discovered that the lockdown measures used in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 have led to a 50% reduction in seismic noise due to human activity across the globe between January-June 2020.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.07.2020
Science sweetens native honey health claims
Science sweetens native honey health claims
Science has once again validated Indigenous wisdom by identifying a rare, healthy sugar in native stingless bee honey that is not found in any other food. University of Queensland organic chemist Associate Professor Mary Fletcher said Indigenous peoples had long known that native stingless bee honey had special health properties.

Environment - History / Archeology - 23.07.2020
Flood data from 500 years: Rivers and climate change in Europe
Flood data from 500 years: Rivers and climate change in Europe
A major international research project led by TU Wien (Vienna) shows for the first time that flooding characteristics in recent decades are unlike those of previous centuries Overflowing rivers can cause enormous problems: Worldwide, the annual damage caused by river floods is estimated at over 100 billion dollars - and it continues to rise.

Health - 23.07.2020
Limiting TV time to 2 hours per day could minimise health risks from TV
If adults spent no more than two hours watching TV each day, they could minimise their exposure to the health risks associated with TV. New research, led by the University of Glasgow and published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings , studied UK Biobank data and found that the majority of health risks associated with too much TV time could be reduced if people limited their viewing time to two hours a day, or less.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.07.2020
Iron deficiency during infancy reduces vaccine efficacy
About 40 percent of children around the globe suffer from anaemia because they do not consume enough iron. Now, studies by ETH researchers show that iron deficiency also reduces the protection provided by vaccinations. Despite the fact that global immunisation programmes are now reaching more people than ever, about 1.5 million children still die every year from diseases that vaccination could have prevented.

Earth Sciences - 23.07.2020
COVID-19 pandemic causes a seismic noise quiet period in 2020
Research published in the journal Science has shown that lockdown measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 led to a 50% reduction in seismic noise observed around the world in early to mid 2020. By analyzing months-to-year-long datasets from over 300 seismic stations around the world, the study was able to show seismic noise reduced in many countries and regions, making it possible to visualize the resulting "wave" moving through China, then to Italy, and around the rest of the world.

Environment - 23.07.2020
New reintroduction tactics boost eastern quoll survival rate
New reintroduction tactics boost eastern quoll survival rate
An experimental research project led by researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) has found a new way to boost the survival rates of eastern quolls reintroduced to the Australian Capital Territory.

Environment - 22.07.2020
Restoring Nature
Restoring Nature
An abandoned space in the middle of Münster: in the historic medicinal plant garden, which hasn't been in use since 2016, nature can pretty much do what it likes. At least, it almost can - anyone who fights their way through an overgrown meadow between Einsteinstraße and Schlossgräfte will come across a clearing, about 50 square metres in size, on which meadow plants are arranged in rows of pots standing on black groundsheets.
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