Top Stories

Graphene on silicon carbide can store energy

By introducing defects into the perfect surface of graphene on silicon carbide, researchers at LiU have increased the capacity of the material to store electrical charge. This result, which has been published in the scientific journal Electrochimica Acta, increases our knowledge of how this ultrathin material can be used.

The thinnest material ever produced, graphene, consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. They form a chicken-wire structure one atom thick, with unique properties. It is around 200 times stronger than steel, and highly flexible. It is transparent, but gases and liquids cannot pass through it. In addition, it is an excellent conductor of electricity. There are many ideas about how this nanomaterial can be used, and research into future applications is intense.

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Going with the flow: The forces that affect species' movements in a changing climate

A new study published in Scientific Reports provides novel insight into how species’ distributions change from the interaction between climate change and ocean currents.

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Secret weapon of smart bacteria tracked to "sweet tooth"

Researchers have figured out how a once-defeated bacterium has re-emerged to infect cotton in a battle that could sour much of the Texas and U.S. crop.

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Scientists gain better understanding of how Ebola disables people's immune defenses

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists have unlocked mysteries of how the Ebola virus hampers the body’s natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and its accompanying lethal disease, according to a new report in PLOS Pathogens. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Microhabitats enhance butterfly diversity in nature's imitation game

The spectacular variety of colours and patterns that butterflies use to ward off potential predators may result from highly localised environmental conditions known as “microhabitats”, researchers have found.

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Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale

Nanometric-sized water drops are everywhere - in the air as droplets or aerosols, in our bodies as medication, and in the earth, within rocks and oil fields. To understand the behavior of these drops, it is necessary to know how they interact with their hydrophobic environment. This interaction takes places at the curved droplet interface, a sub-nanometric region that surrounds the small pocket of water. Researchers from EPFL, in collaboration with the institute AMOLF in the Netherlands, were able to observe what was going on in this particular region. They discovered that molecules on the surface of the drops were much more ordered than expected. Their surprising results have been published in Nature Communications. They pave the way to a better understanding of atmospheric, biological and geological processes.

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Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger

“I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach!” said Popeye the Sailor Man.

While you may not gulp spinach by the can-fuls, if you love spanakopita or your go-to appetizer is spinach artichoke dip, then you’ll be excited to know that new research out of Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) will make it even easier to improve this nutritious and delicious, leafy green.

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Fall Calving Season May Yield Higher Returns for Tennessee Beef Producers - Risk and returns evaluated

The vast majority of cow-calf producers in Tennessee and the Southeast using a defined calving season have long favored spring calving; however, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have evaluated the risk and returns for a fall calving season, proving once again that timing is everything.

Selecting an optimal calving season involves a complex set of factors including nutritional demands of brood cows, forage availability, calf weaning weights, calving rates, seasonality in cattle, and feed prices and labor availability.

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Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations

Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded to the detriment of a balanced ecosystem.

That’s the main finding of a study appearing May 23 in Nature Communications that analyzed the relationship between top predators on three different continents and the next-in-line predators they eat and compete with. The results were similar across continents, showing that as top predators’ ranges were cut back and fragmented, they were no longer able to control smaller predators.

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VLA Reveals New Object Near Supermassive Black Hole in Famous Galaxy

Pointing the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array (VLA) at a famous galaxy for the first time in two decades, a team of astronomers got a big surprise, finding that a bright new object had appeared near the galaxy’s core. The object, the scientists concluded, is either a very rare type of supernova explosion or, more likely, an outburst from a second supermassive black hole closely orbiting the galaxy’s primary, central supermassive black hole.

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