Two particularly tenacious species of bacteria have colonized the potable water dispenser aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but a new study suggests that they are no more dangerous than closely related strains on Earth. Aubrie O'Rourke of the J. Craig Venter Institute and colleagues report these findings in a new paper published February 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
To develop futuristic technologies like quantum computers, scientists will need to find ways to control photons, the basic particles of light, just as precisely as they can already control electrons, the basic particles in electronic computing. Unfortunately, photons are far more difficult to manipulate than electrons, which respond to forces as simple as the sort of magnetism that even children understand.
A secret to survival amid rising global temperatures could be dwelling in the tidepools of the U.S. West Coast. Findings by University of California, Irvine biologists studying the genome of an unusual fish residing in those waters offer new possibilities for humans to obtain dietary protein as climate change imperils traditional sources. Their paper appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Although many new technologies offer the promise to improve human welfare, they can also produce unintended environmental consequences. And while applying the principles of life cycle assessment (LCA) early in technology development can provide important insights about how to avoid damage to the environment, existing methods focus on products or processes that are already commercially established.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists developed Ice-tethered Acoustic Buoys to monitor the acoustic and oceanographic environment in the changing Arctic. The buoys provide critical oceanographic data to improve prediction capabilities of ocean and climate models.
Fresh produce is a major vehicle for noroviruses, a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, the viruses are quite resistant to cold pasteurization treatments such as irradiation, which are used to destroy bacteria, moulds, parasites, and insects. The irradiation process uses gamma rays or X-rays to destroy these viruses but at the dose needed to eliminate them, it can affect the physicochemical properties of fresh produce.
A group of Russian and German palaeontologists have described a previously unknown genus and species of prehistoric salamanders. The new amphibian is named Egoria malashichevi—in honor of Yegor Malashichev a talented scientist and associate professor of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at St Petersburg University, who passed away at the end of 2018.