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Earth Climate News

Earth Science News. From earthquakes and hurricanes to global warming and energy use, read the latest research news here.

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Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages
Theorists find that flexoelectric effects in double-walled carbon nanotubes could be highly useful for photovoltaic applications.

In Earth's largest extinction, land animal die-offs began long before marine extinction
Because of poor dates for land fossils laid down before and after the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, paleontologists assumed that the terrestrial extinctions from Gondwana occurred at the same time as the better-documented marine extinctions. But a new study provides more precise dates for South African fossils and points to a long, perhaps 400,000-year period of extinction on land before the rapid marine extinction 252 million years ago.

Copper boosts pig growth, and now we know why
Pigs have better feed conversion rates with copper in their diets, but until now, scientists didn't fully understand why. Existing research from the University of Illinois shows copper doesn't change fat and energy absorption from the diet. Instead, according to new research, the element seems to enhance pigs' ability to utilize fat after absorption, resulting in increased energy utilization of the entire diet.

Seafloor of Fram Strait is a sink for microplastic from Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean
Working in the Arctic Fram Strait, scientists have found microplastic throughout the water column with particularly high concentrations at the ocean floor.

Standardizing COVID-19 data analysis to aid international research efforts
Researchers have launched a new database to advance the international research efforts studying COVID-19. The publicly-available, free-to-use resource can be used by researchers from around the world to study how different variations of the virus grow, mutate and make proteins.

COVID-19 linked to cardiac injury, worse outcomes for patients with heart conditions
COVID-19 can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease and cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions, according to a new review.

Scientists predict the size of plastics animals can eat
A team of scientists has, for the first time, developed a way of predicting the size of plastics different animals are likely to ingest.

Animals keep viruses in the sea in balance
A variety of sea animals can take up virus particles while filtering seawater for oxygen and food. Sponges are particularly efficient.

Forgotten tale of phage therapy history revealed
In the current situation when the fear of virus infections in the public is common, it is good to remember that some viruses can be extremely beneficial for humankind, even save lives. Such viruses, phages, infect bacteria. Recent research shed some light on the phage therapy history. It revealed that Brazil was a strong user and developer of phage therapy in 1920-40's.

Disasters can affect cervical cancer screening for years
Screening is important for the early detection of cervical cancer, but rates were significantly affected, in some areas for years, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Biophysics: Lifting the lid on beta-barrels
The interaction between biotin and streptavidin is a well-established experimental tool in bionanotechnology. Physicists have now shown that the mechanical stability of the complex is dependent on the precise geometry of the interface.

Highly efficient and stable double layer solar cell developed
A research team has developed a new type of solar cell that can both withstand environmental hazards and is 26.7% efficient in power conversion.

Control of anthropogenic atmospheric emissions can improve water quality in seas
A new research highlighted the importance of reducing fossil fuel combustion not only to curb the trend of global warming, but also to improve the quality of China's coastal waters.

Some COVID-19 patients still have coronavirus after symptoms disappear
Researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared.

Completely new antibiotic resistance gene has spread unnoticed to several pathogens
Aminoglycoside antibiotics are critically important for treating several types of infections with multi-resistant bacteria. A completely new resistance gene, which is likely to counteract the newest aminoglycoside-drug plazomycin, was recently discovered.

Scientists identify microbe that could help degrade polyurethane-based plastics
One of the most widely used oil-based plastics, polyurethane, is particularly hard to recycle or destroy safely. It also releases toxic chemicals into landfills. However, some microorganisms are capable of metabolizing these compounds and degrading the plastic waste in the process. Scientists have identified one such bacterium that could be used to help break down polyurethane-based plastics for future bio-recycling.

Longer lives not dependent on increased energy use
Growing consumption of energy and fossil fuels over four decades did not play a significant role in increasing life expectancy across 70 countries. New research has quantified the importance of different development factors to improvements in physical health on an international scale.

How to identify factors affecting COVID-19 transmission
Professors describe potential transmission pathways of COVID-19 and their implications.

Mechanisms to prevent Crohn's disease unveiled
In a series of four studies published today, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) researchers describe the identification of predictive tools and a new understanding of environmental factors that trigger IBD.

Coral tells own tale about El Niño's past
Scientists use data from ancient coral to build a record of temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last millennium. The data question previous links between volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.