Global warming said to have catastrophic effect on Great Barrier Reef

The extended marine heatwave of 2016, which is said to be the result of global warming, has had a catastrophic effect on the Great Barrier Reef, scientists have revealed. According to a study published online in Nature, 30 per cent of the corals in the northern Great Barrier Reef were lost in the months following the marine heat wave from March to November 2016. For the study scientists mapped the geographical pattern of heat exposure from satellites, and measured coral survival along the 2,300-km length of the Great Barrier Reef following the extreme marine heatwave of 2016. The amount of coral death they measured was …

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Biodegradable shoes using mushrooms, chicken feathers and textile waste manufactured

Biodegradable shoes using mushrooms, chicken feathers and textile waste have been developed by a team of scientists at the University of Delaware (UD). Scientists believe that their invention could pave way for more sustainable fashion. The shoes have been created using a bio-composite material they sourced sustainably from common regional products. This material forms the sole of their prototype shoe. The project began in 2015, when researchers made fabric from mushroom mycelium, the interlocking root system from which the part of the mushroom that we eat on our pizza grows. The researchers then experimented with growing different species of mushrooms and using different …

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Monstrous marine reptile ichthyosaur was the biggest ever marine animal

In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists have revealed discovery of a jawbone fossil that is said to be of ichthyosaur that scientists estimated at up to 85 feet (26 meters) long—approaching the size of a blue whale. The fossil was found on a rocky English beach. Scientists say that ichthyosaur, which appears to be the largest marine reptile ever discovered, lived 205 million years ago at the end of the Triassic Period, dominating the oceans just as dinosaurs were becoming the undisputed masters on land. The bone, called a surangular, was part of its lower jaw. The marine reptile’s length was …

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Honeycomb-inspired 3D porous material could fight pollutants and viruses

Researchers have developed a new fast and safe method to develop a honeycomb-inspired 3D porous material that has immense potential in filtering that could help us fight pollutants as well as viruses. Honeycombs and specifically their lattices as well as symmetry of a diatom have been an inspiration for scientists for quite some time now. One recent application is to develop artificial hierarchical porous materials that are stable, yet have a large surface area and the ability to selectively extract materials. It has been difficult however to build these structures at the nanoscale due to their complexity and pattern repeatability …

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Compelling evidence that some supernovas originate in double-star systems found

Scientists have found the most compelling evidence till date that that some supernovas originate in double-star systems. The base of the study and its findings can be said to be a supernova that went off 40 million light-years away in the galaxy called NGC 7424, located in the southern constellation Grus, the Crane. In the fading afterglow of that explosion, NASA’s Hubble has captured the first image of a surviving companion to a supernova. The companion to the supernova’s progenitor star was no innocent bystander to the explosion. It siphoned off almost all of the hydrogen from the doomed star’s …

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Water could be present in Earth’s lower mantle

Oceans are very deep – at least what has been measured – at 7 miles and it is known through studies that water is known to exist well below the oceans; however, there have been no studies to ascertain the depths at which water could be found inside Earth. Researchers have shown through a new study that water may be more common at extreme depths than believed or thought. According to the study published in journal Science water could be present at up to 400 miles inside Earth and possibly beyond – within Earth’s lower mantle. Scientist have arrived at …

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Nitrogen researchers imagine a world free of fossil fuels

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences gathered Utah State University biochemist Lance Seefeldt and 16 other top scientists to discuss the current field of nitrogen activation chemistry and its future directions. “This gathering was a ‘Who’s Who’ of nitrogen research,” says Seefeldt, professor in USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, an American Academy for the Advancement of Science Fellow and a co-chair of the gathering. “Our group included Nobel Laureate Robert Schrock and the culmination of our efforts is truly a tour de force. No one of us, individually, could have written this report.” The motivation behind this …

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Breakthrough paves way for cheaper and sustainable plastic semiconductors

Scientists at University of Waterloo have devised a new method to produce cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors. The team at the University developed a way to make conjugated polymers, plastics that conduct electricity like metals, using a simple dehydration reaction the only byproduct of which is water. The team has successfully applied this reaction to create poly(hetero)arenes, one of the most studied classes of conjugated polymers which have been used to make lightweight, low- cost electronics such as solar cells, LED displays, and chemical and biochemical sensors. Dehydration is a common method to make polymers, a chain of repeating …

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Graphene squeezes light to one atom

Researchers at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain have managed to reach the ultimate level of light confinement by confining light down to a space one atom, the smallest possible thereby paving way for ultra-small optical switches, detectors and sensors. Light as a means of communication channel is proven to be the fastest and while there is a lot of potential of using light in computations, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to bring light as a means of communication in ultra-sensitive sensors or on-chip nanoscale lasers. New techniques searching for ways to confine light …

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InSight mission heading towards Mars

NASA has revealed that its InSight mission team has carried out the first course-correction as it heads towards the red planet. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is currently encapsulated in a protective aeroshell, which launched on top of an Atlas V 401 rocket on May 5 from California, US. As a part of the course-correcting move, the spacecraft fired its thrusters for the first time. This activity, called a trajectory correction maneuver, will happen a maximum of six times to guide the lander to Mars. “This first maneuver is the largest we’ll conduct,” …

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