The speed of the planet’s rotations depends on the frequently complex motion of the innermost molten core along with its oceans, atmosphere, natural satellites, and other celestial bodies. (Photo : Photo from NASA) Because of the constant changes in the conditions that aid in determining the speed that the planet spins, scientists have enough reasons to
The emission spectrum of helium. Laser pulses can expose quantum aspects of pairs of helium atoms. Credit: Dept. of Physics, Imperial College/SPL Atomic and molecular physics 06 January 2021 Zapping helium ‘dimers’ with lasers allows a glimpse into a fleeting relationship. Helium atoms are stand-offish, rarely interacting with atoms of other elements or with one
Restaurants and pubs closed in London as part of an effort to halt a spike in COVID-19 cases.Credit: Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Stay-at-home orders do little to curb covid spread An analysis of COVID-19 data from 41 countries has identified 3 measures that each substantially cut viral transmission: school and university closures, restricting gatherings to no
Before 2020 ended, Pinkfong, the company behind the song Baby Shark, partnered up with EcoDrive Hong Kong and released a new rendition of the song Baby Shark. Still, the lyrics are about the harmful consequences of single-use plastics. The song, which is appropriately titled ”No More Single-Use Plastic!” to educate young children about how these pollutants destroy
NASA’s VIPER rover will be equipped with a one-metre-long drill to mine for ice below the Moon’s surface.Credit: Daniel Rutter/NASA Ames With its lunar sample-return mission last month, China kicked off a new surge in visitors to the Moon. At least eight spacecraft from nations including Russia, India, China, Japan and the United States are
A CrossFit gym owner, along with the South African Animal Sanctuary that condoned her action, is experiencing the internet community’s heated fury. She pulled a stunt that caused a tremendous amount of uproar from many concerned citizens. Emma Roberts, an adventurer, health enthusiast, lifestyle coach, and gym owner, is under fire after doing a pull-up
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union — signs the Brexit trade deal with the EU, struck on 24 December.Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Researchers reacted with relief to the news that the United Kingdom and the European Union had reached a last-minute trade deal on 24 December —
As a wildlife ecologist, I study many species, but the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is my speciality. I’ve worked with these duck-billed monotremes, which are indigenous to eastern Australia, for 13 years. So much remains unknown about them — as solitary animals, they are very hard to capture. The males have a venomous spur on each
Most plants can perceive and react to a broader spectrum of light compared to some other organic lifeforms. New research under Prof. Nitzan Shabek’s laboratory in the University of California, Davis (UC DAVIS) ‘s Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences, has been published, focusing on how the plants respond to specific light waves,
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Since more and more people and organizations, advocate and spread awareness regarding the dreadful risks of global warming and climate change, the arctic’s dire troubling state is close to being general knowledge by now. The Arctic is in big trouble. Despite the overwhelming evidence, there are still those who do not believe in what’s happening
The strangely bright star J005311 (artificially coloured X-ray image, pictured) will eventually collapse into a neutron star. Credit: XMM-Newton/ESA, L. Oskinova/Univ. Potsdam, Germany Astronomy and astrophysics 04 January 2021 A strange and unstable astronomical object seems to have formed from the merger of two white dwarfs. Unusual X-ray emissions from a star called J005311 suggest
Dragging nets and other fishing gear across the sea floor can cut the amount of carbon stored in sediments. Credit: Alamy Ocean sciences 04 January 2021 Bottom trawling not only erodes the sea bed, but also reduces its carbon-storage capacity. A common fishing method called bottom trawling causes potentially irreversible erosion of the sea floor
Catnip (Nepeta cataria), also known as catmint, catswort, and catwort, is a plant famously known for its ability to intoxicate felines, putting them in a state resembling getting high or drunk. It’s like a drug but for cats! From Egyptian royalties to modern cat ladies, this plant has been used by cat owners for decades,
2020 was a year filled with mourning as death counts due to the unexpected occurrence of a global pandemic caused by the SARS-Cov-2 or most commonly known as Covid-19. However, the fatality rate was not exclusive to humans, as many animal species have also perished during the year. The current global virus might not have
The entire year of 2020 was nothing short of bizarre, especially with the idea that a single Asian Bat caused a global lockdown. To call it weird would be an understatement. But, it’s not just the pandemic causing mammal that shook the world; there’s a plethora of freakishly weird natural stories and scenarios that happened
Last 2018, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed two missions designed to take solar exploration close to the actual Sun than any space study ever did in the past. Their Parker Solar Probe, which launched in the same year, announced and the 2020 follow-up, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the
2020 might not have been the best year for humans, but the same could also be said for animals. From massive Murder Hornets to the Asian Bat that is said to have started the pandemic, many wildlife species have had the spotlight shone upon them, for all the wrong reason, throughout the year. It would
Credit: Adapted from Getty In March, every single aspect of my scientific working life shut down. This was incredibly disruptive. But looking back, it has given me an opportunity to look at different parts of my job in isolation. Taking everything away and then rebuilding from scratch, piece by piece, has allowed me to appreciate
To say that 2020 was a bizarre year is an understatement. From making memes about the possibility of World War III, an infestation of murder hornets, to an actual global pandemicIt has been weird, to say the least. However, it’s not all gloom and sadness. Because of the many changes in people’s lifestyles, there have been
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The world’s most massive iceberg named A-68a was dangerously headed into an island populated by a penguin colony. It broke into two pieces, scientists who have been monitoring its journey reported on Friday. The enormous chunk of ice first broke off from the Antarctic ice shelf in 2017 and has been drifting since. The size
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Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted on Sunday, prompting Hawaii county Civil Defense Agency to warn residents to stay indoors. The eruption occurred in Halema’uma’u crater, where a new lava flow and a pool of water interacted inside the crater leading to a short-lived but fairly vigorous eruption. A steam cloud shot up at about 30,000 feet
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When you hear an animal speaking, the first thing that comes into your mind is a parrot, right? However, scientists confirmed that this bird is not the only one capable of learning human speech. (Photo : Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)A chimpanzee looks out from an enclosure after the official opening ceremony of Sydney Zoo
The Hayabusa2 capsule that landed in the desert in South Australia.Credit: AP/Shutterstock Asteroid dust recovered from Hayabusa2 Japan’s mission to bring asteroid dust back to Earth has succeeded. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed on 14 December that a capsule from the spacecraft Hayabusa2, which landed in an Australian desert last week, contained black
A platypus whisperer from Tasmania surprises experts with his citizen science. The man has bonded with a platypus, an animal that is known to be very elusive. The man, Pete Walsh, comes from Hobart, the capital city of Australia’s island Tasmania state. Vonna Keller, his partner, named him “platypus whisperer” due to his special relationship with a platypus, whom they called Zoom.
Hear our reporters’ top podcast segments of 2020. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 In this episode: 00:32 Following the Viking footprint across Europe In September, we heard about the researchers mapping ancient genomes to better understand who the Vikings were, and where they went. Nature Podcast: 16 September 2020 Research
replying to K. Soltesz et al. Naturehttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-3025-y (2020) The accompanying Comment1 concerns our original paper, Flaxman et al.2, in which we introduced a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the transmission intensity (in terms of the time-varying reproduction number, Rt) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from observed counts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related deaths.
A new population of blue whales was discovered by an international team of researchers in the western Indian Ocean. In a paper published in the Endangered Species Research journal, the researchers report that the newly reported blue whale song were recorded from Arabian Sea coast of Oman, crossing the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian
arising from S. Flaxman et al. Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2405-7 (2020) Flaxman et al.1 took on the challenge of estimating the effectiveness of five categories of non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI)—social distancing encouraged, self isolation, school closures, public events banned, and complete lockdown—on the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On the basis of mortality data
The rainforest is teeming with life, and are precious ecosystems that harbor 80% of the world’s entire terrestrial biodiversity of animals, plants, and other organisms. This article features some of the most amazing rainforest animals that are currently being protected due to threats to their existence. The mountain gorilla These primates are the largest extant primates and are our closest animal relatives together with
The European Parliament in Strasbourg, one of the EU bodies that oversees research funding in the bloc.Credit: Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock The end of this year marks the close of the European Union’s massive 2014–20 research programme, Horizon 2020. Over the past 6 years, more than 150,000 participants — including research institutes, companies and individual scientists —
Climate comeback 2021 looks set to be a pivotal year for the fight against climate change. US president-elect Joe Biden has made clear that he will move to restore the country’s leadership in that regard, including by rejoining the Paris climate agreement to fight global warming. (President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of
Climate change is impacting the yields of the ‘red gold‘ saffron crop from Kashmir this year. The saffron fields that were once lush in bright purple now only have the bedraggled and thin flowers that farmers woefully harvest this year. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Pampore, south from Srinagar city, is
A Philippine pangolin pup nuzzles close to its mother, who is curled into a protective ball. Credit: Gregg Yan (CC BY-SA 4.0) Conservation biology 22 December 2020 The expertise of local people could help to protect an extremely rare Philippine species. The Philippine pangolin is a mammal of mystery: poorly understood, except that it is
Scientists have seen how the Colorado potato beetle earns its reputation as a notorious pest because of its capability of resisting various kinds of pesticides. These beetles can overcome any poison thrown at them, including DDT, mercury, dieldrin, lead arsenate, and more than 50 other pesticide chemicals. They develop resistance against each of these within only several years. How can they
As an emergency physician, Megan Ranney is used to dealing with hard questions about injury and illness. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, she has found herself scrambling for answers. “I kept getting asked by people whether it was safe to do certain activities,” says Ranney. “‘Is it safe to go to the beach, or to
In March, with its doors closed, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, let its Rockhopper penguins explore the place. Nature media maestro Tom Houghton (who illuminates the Nature Briefing) was inspired to enrich your day by hiding a Rockhopper in a scientifically fascinating location. Thus was born the legend that is Leif Penguinson and the
A new study has found evidence that exposure to metals may cause pre-term birth and low weight babies. Metals can change the concentrations of prenatal hormone composition during pregnancy, according to a study by Rutgers researchers and colleagues. Examples of such metals include arsenic, nickel, lead, and cobalt. They can disrupt the hormones of a pregnant woman while she is
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has stretched health-care systems, disrupted economies and frayed the fabric of societies around the globe. Nation states have responded differently to the crisis, and only a few countries have managed to achieve continued control of coronavirus transmission. Writing in Nature, Pullano et al.1 report their study of SARS-COV-2 infections in France
Two people, including a baby three months old, died in Cyclone Yasa, a category five storm that brought devastation in Vanua Levu, the second largest island of the nation Fiji, last Thursday evening. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by Yasa, causing damages amounting to hundreds of millions in dollars. The full damage report is yet to
Climate scientist Kim Cobb speaks at a women’s empowerment event in Atlanta, Georgia.Credit: Lorikay Stone As the world hopes for swift roll-outs of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, researchers’ ambitions are likely to still be constrained by the continuing pandemic and its effects. Amid shifting career priorities, Nature asked scientists for their advice to colleagues and
Regan will be the first Black man to lead the EPA.Credit: N.C. Department of Environmental Quality US president-elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan, North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, to lead the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — and scientists and environmentalists are optimistic. Regan, who will now need to be confirmed by the US
The world’s ugliest orchid has just been discovered by scientists, and its scientific name is Gastrodia agnicellus. It is a native of Madagascar. A new species of orchid (Photo : Burian, R. Curtis’s Bot. Mag., 2020)The flower of Gastrodia agnicellus, showing the stem and part of the rhizome.Ranomafana September 2019. British botanists from the UK