Climate Tipping Points From The Past Can Help Better Predict What May Happen Next

A tipping point in climate computer estimates is a threshold where large and perhaps irreversible...

Literal Touch Screens Let You Feel Before You Buy

A research team is working to better define how the finger interacts with a device to create technology...

White Patients Significantly Less Likely To Be Sent To A Skilled Nursing Facility After Surgery

Even if insurance and household incomes are similar, white people are more likely than people of...

Do Mennonite Kids Have Fewer Allergies? If So, Pathogens In Breast Milk May Be Why

It used to be that allergies were somewhat rare but if you go to an allergist today, you are almost...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

News Releases From All Over The World, Right To You... Read More »

Just like people, trees can die of thirst, especially during a drought, but a recent field study found that a rapid collapse in the hydraulic system of trees is happening more rapidly than previously thought.

The heatwave of summer 2018 was exceptional and that can be hard on trees but it was an opportunity for researchers at the University of Basel to closely study the reaction of trees to this weather phenomenon. In 2018, the Norway spruce suffered most as a result of the drought. It is the most important conifer both in Switzerland and in central Europe. The results of the study are representative of northern Switzerland as a whole, and can also be applied to other conifer species. 
Though it is common to complain that advertising is following you everywhere and algorithms control our news, it is instead the case that the more tedious or challenging a task becomes, the more humans trust computers instead. Not many people listen to 4,000 songs to create a playlist they like, they make a playlist with a few and let Spotify do the rest.

A recent study involved 1,500 individuals evaluating photographs. The team asked volunteers to count the number of people in a photograph of a crowd and supplied suggestions that were generated by a group of other people and suggestions generated by an algorithm. 
Some people believe that marijuana can be medical but almost no marijuana users think it impairs their vision.

Though over 90 percent of users believe that cannabis has no effect on their vision, or perhaps a slight effect, smoking cannabis significantly alters key visual functions such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, three-dimensional vision (stereopsis), the ability to focus, and glare sensitivity, according to research.
Though modern humans and our closest evolutionary relatives, the great apes, shared a common ancestor millions of years ago, most similarities stop there. We live on the ground, walk on two legs and have much larger brains. 

That doesn't mean the larger brains evolved first. 

The first populations of the genus Homo emerged in Africa about 2.5 million years ago and though they already walked upright, their brains were only about half the size of today's humans. These earliest Homo populations in Africa had primitive ape-like brains - just like their extinct ancestors, the australopithecines.

Micronutrient deficiencies pose health problems for a third of the world's population. Worldwide, zinc deficits are more problematic in the rural areas of developing countries, where diets are largely limited to vegetable products grown in soils suffering from low nutrient availability.

Biofortification, the process of bolstering the nutritional value of crops by increasing the concentration of vitamins and minerals in them, has arisen as a remedy for this problem.  Recent trials determined that foliar application, applying liquid fertilizer directly to leaves instead of the soil, boosted the zinc content of wheat grain by up to 50 percent.
Eucalyptus trees are a pest-resistant evergreen that produce good lumber and oil that wealthy elites in the "wellness" marketplace buy - they are also an invasive species.

A new paper shows how scientists used CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out LEAFY, the master gene behind flower formation, so the trees will not reproduce sexually. The greenhouse study involved a hybrid of two species, Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla, that is widely planted in the Southern Hemisphere; there are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, most of them native to Australia.