Category Archives: Research

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – August 18, 2022

Volume 608 Issue 7923

The cover captures the morning mist at Kaeng Krachan National Park in Thailand. Like every other aspect of life on Earth, forests are facing increased challenges posed by climate change. A collection of papers in this week’s issue probes the vulnerabilities and potential resilience of forests in a warming world. Three studies focus on North America: one examining the response of boreal species to warming and drought, another analysing the timing of stem growth in temperate deciduous forests, and a third revealing migration of white spruce (Picea glauca) into the Arctic tundra. In the tropics, one paper investigates the 

impact of phosphorus availability in the Amazon, while another assesses the reasons for increased mortality of tropical trees. Finally, a sixth paper shows how satellite imaging can be combined with machine learning to identify declining resilience in the world’s forests.

Preview: New Scientist Magazine – August 20, 2022

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In this week’s issue: How a strange system of eight-dimensional numbers could provide the mathematical framework to describe the entire universe.

  • CULTURE – Stray review: A game that lets you live your best cat life
  • FEATURES – Octonions: The strange maths that could unite the laws of nature
  • FEATURES – The secrets in our sewers helping protect us from infectious diseases

Cover Preview: Scientific American – September 2022

New Solutions to Black Holes, Snake Phobia and Forecasting Atmospheric Rivers

New Solutions to Black Holes, Snake Phobia and Forecasting Atmospheric Rivers

These fun stories show progress from the scale of quantum effects to that of snakes and from Earth to the edge of the universe

Monkeypox Explained: Transmission, Symptoms, Vaccines and Treatment

Tanya Lewis

AI Can Help Indigenous People Protect Biodiversity

Wai Chee Dimock

CLIMATE CHANGE

What Megafires Can Teach Us about California Megafloods

Chelsea Harvey and E&E News

Preview: New Scientist Magazine – August 13, 2022

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In this week’s issue: How the healing power of silence can improve our mental and physical health.

  • FEATURES – What Earth’s mysterious infancy tells us about the origins of life
  • FEATURES – The power of quiet: The mental and physical health benefits of silence
  • FEATURES – 5 mind-bending numbers that could reveal the secrets of the universe
  • NEWS – How weevils have become weapons in UK’s fight against invasive plants

Cover Previews: Science Magazine – August 12, 2022

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Death’s-head moths correct course based on an internal “compass,” a new study finds, revealing insights into how insects traverse such long distances during seasonal migrations.

Scientists scramble to set up monkeypox vaccine trials

Logistical and ethical challenges are complicating the design of efficacy studies

Harassment researchers decry proposed reporting rule

U.S. Title IX law update requiring mandatory reporting of sexual misconduct would cause harm, they say

Star’s midlife crisis illuminates our Sun’s history—and future

Long magnetic lull mimics Maunder Minimum, when sunspots largely disappeared 400 years ago

Star marine ecologist guilty of misconduct, university says

University of Delaware finding vindicates whistleblowers

Webb reveals early universe’s galactic bounty

Star formation after the big bang appears much faster than models had forecast

Read that research and more this week in Science. https://fcld.ly/zebukkw

Cover Preview: Nature Magazine – August 11, 2022

Volume 608 Issue 7922

Cover Preview: Science Magazine – August 5, 2022

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The unrecognized value of grass

Marram grass, or beachgrass, grows on and stabilizes coastal sand dunes on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula. Grasses, whether terrestrial or submarine, tend to be undervalued but have influenced the trajectory of human history through their domestication as food staples, as well as natural ecosystems worldwide. If restored and conserved appropriately, grasslands can benefit climate change mitigation efforts. See the special section beginning on page 590.

A new special issue of Science explores the unrecognized value of grass: https://fcld.ly/bo80dpr

Cover Preview: Nature Magazine – August 4, 2022

Volume 608 Issue 7921

Capital gains

An individual’s social network and community — their ‘social capital’ — has been thought to influence outcomes ranging from earnings to health. But measuring social capital is challenging. In two papers in this week’s issue, Raj Chetty and his colleagues use data on 21 billion friendships from Facebook to construct a Social Capital Atlas containing measures of social capital for each ZIP code, high school and college in the United States. The researchers measure three types of social capital: connectedness between different types of people, social cohesion and civic engagement. They find that children who grow up in communities where people of low and high socio-economic status interact more have substantially greater chances of rising out of poverty. The team then examines what might limit social interactions across class lines, finding a roughly equal contribution from lack of exposure — because children in different socio-economic groups go to different schools, for example — and friending bias, the tendency for people to befriend people similar to them.

Covid-19: Heart Disease Risks Rise After Infection

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In December 2020, a week before cardiologist Stuart Katz was scheduled to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine, he came down with a fever. He spent the next two weeks wracked with a cough, body aches and chills. After months of helping others to weather the pandemic, Katz, who works at New York University, was having his own first-hand experience of COVID-19.

On Christmas Day, Katz’s acute illness finally subsided. But many symptoms lingered, including some related to the organ he’s built his career around: the heart. Walking up two flights of stairs would leave him breathless, with his heart racing at 120 beats per minute. Over the next several months, he began to feel better, and he’s now back to his normal routine of walking and cycling. But reports about COVID-19’s effects on the cardiovascular system have made him concerned about his long-term health. “I say to myself, ‘Well, is it really over?’” Katz says.

In one study1 this year, researchers used records from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to estimate how often COVID-19 leads to cardiovascular problems. They found that people who had had the disease faced substantially increased risks for 20 cardiovascular conditions — including potentially catastrophic problems such as heart attacks and strokes — in the year after infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers say that these complications can happen even in people who seem to have completely recovered from a mild infection.

Some smaller studies have mirrored these findings, but others find lower rates of complications. With millions or perhaps even billions of people having been infected with SARS-CoV-2, clinicians are wondering whether the pandemic will be followed by a cardiovascular aftershock. Meanwhile, researchers are trying to understand who is most at risk of these heart-related problems, how long the risk persists and what causes these symptoms.

Read more

Cover Previews: Science Magazine – July 29, 2022

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Surprise virus tied to pediatric hepatitis cases

Two viruses plus a child’s genetic background may explain a recent surge in the United Kingdom

NSF grant decisions reflect systemic racism, study argues

Success rates for white scientists far exceed the NSF average, whereas Black and Asian researchers do worse

Ancient Europeans farmed dairy—but couldn’t digest milk

Giant study of ancient pottery and DNA challenges common evolutionary explanation for lactase persistence

A small marine isopod plays a role in fertilizing red seaweed, according to a new report that presents evidence of animal-mediated “pollination” in the marine environment. Read that study and more this week in Science: https://fcld.ly/fhhe8ba