Nature

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Scientists have found the genetic basis of ornaments in male swordtail fishes.  Males of many species have striking and beautiful ornamentation, which are, aside from helping find female mates, otherwise impractical. Scientists mapped these ornaments’ genetic bases in fish. Nature has innumerable examples of ornaments from mostly the males of various species. Such examples include peacock tail feathers, male rhinoceros beetle
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Life triumphant. Agnese Abrusci (Media editor). Since the coronavirus pandemic broke, we have seen a tremendous amount of hospital pictures evoking death, but this one — celebrating life, for a change — really caught my eye. With mesmerising chiaroscuro worthy of sixteenth-century Italian painter Caravaggio, this photo of a nurse handing a premature newborn child
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A team of scientists found 20 new species and recorded 1,204 plants and animals in the misty forests of Zongo Valley Bolivia in an expedition done in March 2017. The expedition was organized by an international conservation organization, Conservation International, and was called the Rapid Assessment Program of the organizations. [embedded content] Trond Larsen, the
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The Hayabusa2 capsule that landed in the desert in South Australia.Credit: AP/Shutterstock 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 spacecraft Hayabusa2, which landed in the Australian desert last week, contained black grains from asteroid Ryugu. “The confirmation
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Just inside France’s border with Germany, enclosed between the Rhine River and the Grand Canal of Alsace, lies an island that is becoming a haven for biodiversity. The site, to the north of Basel, Switzerland, is being made into a conservation area in a joint project between the National Nature Reserve of the Petite Camargue
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Human activities are damaging our marine environment, and ocean pollution threatens human health, a study revealed.  The research was conducted by an international research team that published their results in the journal Annals of Global Health. They wrote about the widespread damage inflicted upon the oceans by the actions of humans, which in turn also cause damage to human health. The researchers
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Living cells can harbour protein aggregates with the properties of soft glasses. Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SPL Biophysics 14 December 2020 Odd protein droplets that behave like liquids make a smooth shift to having the properties of a solid. Some living cells contain protein clusters that behave like liquid droplets. But these droplets gradually stiffen with
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Black vultures have been settling a town in southeastern Pennsylvania in astonishing numbers, settling on roofs and trees, defecating profusely, and causing substantial damage to properties in the tune of thousands of dollars. Resident John Enterline said the vultures were regular visitors in the previous years but this year the problem has become more extreme
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The National Weather Service reminds everyone not to just think about tornadoes and severe storms but winter weather this holiday season. National Weather Service’s Krissy Hurley said that it is important to not let our guard down and make sure that we have winter weather safety kits. This important stuff maybe winter’s weather safety kits, battery-operated
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A special military-grade infrared camera has been utilized to visualize the risks of the airborne spread of the COVID-19 virus. Winter is approaching while the United States continues to deal with the huge surge in new infections of COVID-19. So far, over 288,000 people in the US have already succumbed to the viral infection which public health officials are now saying is
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here Xinhua/Shutterstock) China has successfully launched a twin-satellite mission to investigate the most-energetic events in the cosmos. The National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched its Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor
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The environmental authorities of Denmark are investigating the possibility that the millions of decomposing mink that were buried in dirt pits used as mass graves in the nationwide culling of mink farms could result in contaminated groundwater and be a threat to adjacent natural protected areas. The Environmental Protection Agency of Denmark fears that the contamination in the groundwater can affect lakes and streams nearby.The Danish Parliament
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Credit: Getty If you’re an academic researcher, you must work on building meaningful relationships, also known as networking. Over time, as you show that you are a trustworthy colleague and can share ideas, skills and expertise, opportunities beyond collaborations can open to you. Building professional relationships can make the difference between staying professionally stagnant and
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Mass extinctions in vertebrate terrestrial or land-dwelling animals such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds occur at a cycle lasting approximately 27 million years. This figure coincides with reported mass extinctions in ocean life in previous studies, as reported by a new publication by researchers in the Historical Biology journal. In addition, the study also found that the mass extinctions
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Credit: Douglas Sacha/Getty Without easy access to our laboratories during lockdowns this year, I and other PhD students have shifted our focus towards data analysis and literature reading. But I struggled with that: I started my PhD programme in September last year and so didn’t have a lot of old data and work to catch
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The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize an emergency rollout of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.Credit: Hugh Hastings/Getty A panel of experts has recommended that US regulators authorize the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now expected to swiftly grant an emergency-use authorization that will allow the country’s
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Rivers are a major source of renewable water, and provide food, jobs and a sense of place and cultural identity for people living in the vicinity. For many Indigenous peoples, rivers are central to how they understand themselves, their origins and their relationships to the rest of nature. As a citizen of the Penobscot Nation
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Scientists have determined that for the first time in Earth’s history, the manmade mass of materials may now be outweighing all other life forms on Earth. They revealed their findings last Wednesday in a research that details this “crossover point” wherein the footprint of humanity is much heavier compared to the natural world. According to
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here Dams are just one type of infrastructure that can cause environmental damage.huseyintuncer/iStock/Getty The mass of human-made things just exceeded Earth’s total living biomass. Researchers compared the estimated dry weight of all living things on our planet
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Many US regions have drinking water exposed to high amounts of arsenic. The national study on public water systems in the country discovered that levels of arsenic are not the same, despite the latest implemented national regulatory standard. Study assessed the differences in the arsenic content of public drinking water, separating them by subgroups geographically. It was conducted by scientists of
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Children rarely show symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are infected.Credit: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Young children account for only a small percentage of COVID-19 infections1 — a trend that has puzzled scientists. Now, a growing body of evidence suggests why: kids’ immune systems seem better equipped to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 than are adults’. “Children are very much
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South Africa’s publication-incentive scheme offers cash rewards when researchers publish journal papers.Credit: Shutterstock A survey of nearly 1,000 academic researchers in South Africa suggests that the majority are in favour of keeping a government scheme that offers cash rewards for publishing research papers in accredited journals, even though they agree that this can promote unethical
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1. Renard, D. & Tilman, D. National food production stabilized by crop diversity. Nature 571, 257–260 (2019). CAS  Article  Google Scholar  2. Mehrabi, Z. & Ramankutty, N. Synchronized failure of global crop production. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 3, 780–786 (2019). Article  Google Scholar  3. Cottrell, R. S. et al. Food production shocks across land and sea.
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At 8 a.m. on 1 December, the Arecibo telescope’s instrument platform crashed into the dish below, tearing more gashes into an already damaged structure.Credit: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Arecibo telescope collapses in gut-wrenching display The iconic radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has collapsed, leaving astronomers and the Puerto Rican scientific community
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Last Monday, the EPA or US Environmental Protection Agency finalized its decision for setting limits on the amount of a certain type of air pollutant known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5. This limit, which is previously set, will now remain officially unchanged, despite the scientific research findings which say that more stringent limits or standards need to be imposed for it to save
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Giant pandas have thick coats but sometimes don an extra outer layer against the winter’s chill. Credit: Fuwen Wei Animal behaviour 08 December 2020 A steaming pile holds allure for giant pandas, especially at one time of year. Wild giant pandas sometimes mess up their neat black and white outfits by rolling in horse manure
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Salmon raised in factory farms and indoor tanks are now trending, with factory farms using inland tanks in the US are an alternative solution against the decreasing stocks of wild Atlantic salmon. Wild Atlantic salmon have been threatened by polluting textile, saw, and paper mills as well as the dams constructed by the hundreds for power generation. Alternative farming methods
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An intense windstorm in Melbourne over the weekend flooded the suburb town of Hillside with almost waist-deep tumbleweed, stunning the residents with amazement and inconvenience.  The windstorm and tumbleweed flooding led to more than 200 calls to the State Emergency Service in the span of seven hours.  Other than a storm of tumbleweed, residents also reported downed
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I have just spent six months in the Great Barrier Reef on the research vessel Falkor. Every cruise tackles cutting-edge science and, as lead technician, I’ve been able to witness so many firsts: the RV Falkor is the first ship to map much of this area at high resolution, and to put a remotely operated
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The Great Barrier Reef, or GBR in Australia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, now has an IUCN status of “critical” because of climate change. This is the most spectacular and biggest coral reef system globally, which used to have a health status of “significant concern.” This status is based on the classification system set by the IUCN or the International Union for Conservation of
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The Prime Minister (PM) of UK has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 68% by the year 2030, which is based on 1990 levels. According to the NAO or National Audit Office, this will affect our travel, our work, and our home heating, and our meat production. According to an NAO report, cutting carbon dioxide emissions is uncertain, although allowing temperature rise
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A common component chemical of tires has recently been discovered as the cause of the mysterious deaths of Coho salmon. Mysterious deaths It has been observed for several decades how coho salmon in urban streams living in the Pacific Northwestern region have been dying. Seattle started restoring the habitats of salmon during the 1990s and found that a maximum of 90 percent
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Made, not born: blood-making stem cells (pictured) originate from cells that line the blood vessels. Credit: Steve Gschmeissner/SPL Stem cells 03 December 2020 Sugars ‘write’ a signal that helps embryonic cells to transition to a vital new job. A ‘sugar code’ on the cells that pave the inside of blood vessels plays an important part
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A team of conservationists, government officials, and local community members braved crocodile-infested waters and pulled off a successful rescue operation of a giraffe named Asiwa from a shrinking island in Kenya, the first of the eight giraffes that are due for rescue in the succeeding days.  The rescue operation entailed the construction of a giraffe-safe barge to
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Farmers who work in fields in India are especially at risk of getting bitten by snakes such as the Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) shown here.Credit: John Benjamin Owens, MEFGL Bangor University/Captive & Field Herpetology Snakebites annually cost India’s citizens the equivalent of 3 million years of health and productivity. That figure, reported at a meeting