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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Changing Vegetation, Key Driver of Global Temperatures Over Last 10,000 Years

Washington, 17 Apr (ONA) --- Follow the pollen. Records from past plant life tell the real story of global temperatures, according to research from a climate scientist at Washington University in St. Louis.Warmer temperatures brought plants — and then came even warmer temperatures, according to new model simulations published in Science Advances.Alexander Thompson, a postdoctoral research associate in earth and planetary sciences in Arts and Sciences, updated simulations from an important climate model to reflect the role of changing vegetation as a key driver of global ...

Scientists Map Caribbean Coral Reefs to Tackle Climate Change

Washington, 14 Apr (ONA) --- Scientists have mapped coral reefs in the Caribbean to identify those most likely to survive climate change. Corals with the highest potential to escape destruction from marine heat waves are predominantly located along the northern shoreline of Cuba. And other promising sites are clustered around the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, eastern Jamaica, and the US state of Florida. Coral reefs are wonders of the ocean. Made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny creatures, they are one of the most threatened ecosystems on the ...

Scientists Discover Brain Circuit That Boosts Math's Skills in Children

Washington, 12 Apr (ONA) --- Scientists have discovered a brain circuit that boosts math's skills in children and could even be targeted to improve learning.The circuit triggers an area near the back of the head known as the IPS (intraparietal sulcus), which is involved in processing figures, and is linked to the hippocampus where memories are stored.Before children can learn to add and subtract, they must learn which abstract symbol, like '4' or '6', represents which quantity, a skill also known as 'number sense'.Experts know the IPS plays a role in number processing but the ...

Researchers Create 3D-Printed Fingertip That Has Sense of Touch Like Human Skin

London, 6 Apr (ONA) --- Researchers have created a new 3D-printed fingertip that has a sense of touch like human skin and could help improve .While machines might be able to beat the world's best chess player, they lack the ability to pick up a chess piece even as well as a child.This is partly because the artificial grippers on robots do not have the same feel as a human fingertip, and this is used to guide human hands as objects are handled.However, the new fingertip was able to produce artificial nerve signals that looked like those produced by signals from various human nerve ...

Rare Glimpse of Giant Planet, Nine Times the Mass of Jupiter

Washington, 5 Apr (ONA)--- Scientists have observed an enormous planet about nine times the mass of Jupiter at a remarkably early stage of formation – describing it as still in the womb – in a discovery that challenges the current understanding of planetary formation. The researchers used the Subaru telescope, near the summit of an inactive Hawaiian volcano, and the orbiting Hubble space telescope to detect and study the planet called AB Aurigae b, a gas giant orbiting unusually far from its young host star. Gas giants are planets, like our solar system’s largest ones ...

Covid-19 Pandemic Impacted Kids’ Writing, Social Skills: Study Finds

London, 5 Apr (ONA) --- A study published by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) of the United Kingdom (UK) has found that children continue to struggle with basic skills such as writing and speech in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. These were among the findings of a series of reports published by Ofsted, which were based on evidence from around 280 inspections of educational institutions across different age groups, as well as focus groups. In the “early years” group, Ofsted found that education providers had noted delays in young children’s development ...

UN Panel to Release Highly Anticipated Report on Global Efforts to Curb Climate Change

Geneva, 4 Apr (ONA) --- A UN-backed panel will release a highly anticipated scientific report today detailing international efforts to curb climate change before global temperatures reach dangerous levels.Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are considered the most authoritative assessments of the state of global warming, its impacts and the measures being taken to tackle it. This is the third of three studies issued by the UN panel in the last eight months.The first looked at the causes of global warming, determining it is "unequivocal" that human ...

Green Steel Heating up in Sweden’s Frozen North

Lulea, Sweden, 4 Apr (ONA) --- For hundreds of years, raging blast furnaces, fed with coking coal, have forged steel used in cars, railways, bridges and skyscrapers.But the puffs of coal-fired smoke are a big source of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas that’s driving climate change.According to the World Steel Association, every metric ton of steel produced in 2020 emitted almost twice that much carbon dioxide (1.8 tons) into the atmosphere. Total direct emissions from making steel were about 2.6 billion tons in 2020, representing around 7% of global CO2 emissions.In Sweden, a ...

Tiny Teeth Lead Scientists to Discover New Shark Species

Tiny Teeth Lead Scientists to Discover New Shark SpeciesColumbia, US, 3 Apr (ONA) --- A team of scientists from the US South Carolina and Alabama have discovered a new shark species that lived nearly 30 million years ago.The discovery came after they found the animal’s teeth that are so small one could fit on the tip of a pencil. The shark was likely less than 2 feet long.It was named Scyliorhinus weemsi after esteemed geologist and paleontologist Dr. Robert Weems of the United States Geological Survey.The scientists say there are about 15 similar species of sharks living today.The ...

Nostalgia Can Reduce Perception of Pain: Study

Washington, 28 Mar (ONA) --- The next time you feel pain, you might consider skipping the ibuprofen and reaching instead for an old photo.Nostalgia; that sentimental feeling of longing for the past, can reduce pain perception, according to new research published in the journal JNeurosci.Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Liaoning Normal University asked study participants to rate their level of pain from heat stimulation while looking at pictures that were nostalgic, depicting old cartoons, childhood games or retro candy, compared with more modern pictures. During ...

Orchards Vanishing from the Landscape: UK National Trust

London, 24 Mar (ONA) --- Orchards are vanishing from the landscape with an area the size of the Isle of Wight lost since 1900, according to research carried out by the National Trust. The disappearance of more than half of orchards across England and Wales is having an impact on flora and fauna, the organisation said. Orchards have been torn down to make way for houses and farming. Annie Reilly of the National Trust said, "Many of the orchards which were once on the peripheries of our towns and cities in the 18th and 19th centuries have been lost with urban expansion and ...

More Than 5,000 Confirmed Planets Beyond Our Solar System: NASA

Washington, 22 Mar (ONA) --- The latest addition of 65 exoplanets to the NASA Exoplanet Archive contributed to the scientific milestone.This archive is the home to exoplanet discoveries from peer-reviewed scientific papers that have been confirmed using multiple methods of detecting the planets."It's not just a number," said Jessie Christiansen, science lead for the archive and a research scientist with the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a statement. "Each one of them is a new world, a brand-new planet. I get excited ...

Omani Research Optimizes Performance of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

Muscat, 15 Mar (ONA) --- A research project titled ‘Operational modifications of a full-scale experimental vertical flow constructed wetland with effluent recirculation to optimize total nitrogen removal’ by principal investigator Dr. Buthaina Al Wahaibi was among the 13 winning projects at the 8th National Research Award. The award was organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The project won in the category of Environmental and Biological Resources field. Dr. Buthaina Al Wahaibi from Oman Water and Wastewater Services Company (OWWSC), said ...

NEC Inaugurates Smart Environment Device Project

Muscat, 14 Mar (ONA) --- The National Energy Center (NEC) launched a smart environment device project as part of the Oman Sustainability Week. The inauguration ceremony was held under the patronage of Dr. Ali Amer Al Shedhani, Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology. The project was launched within the context of the memorandum of cooperation between the NEC and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology. The project aims to develop smart city technologies by adopting and applying modern technologies and Internet ...

Taiwanese Firms Supplying Apple Affected by Covid Lockdown in China

Taipei, 14 Mar (ONA) —— Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group said today that operation of its Shenzhen plant in China has been suspended after a seven-day Covid lockdown policy was imposed there."The date of factory resumption is to be advised by the local government," Foxconn said in a statement sent to the media."Due to our diversified production sites in China, we have adjusted the production line to minimize the potential impact," the statement said further.Authorities in the sprawling tech hub of Shenzhen have imposed a one-week lockdown on the 9 million inhabitants ...

NASA Apollo Mission Photographs Sold for Over USD 171k

Washington, 10 Mar (ONA) --- Original Buzz Aldrin moon walk photo sells for $7,700 at an auction series of original NASA photographs from the Apollo missions, which sold for a total of 1.16 million Danish crowns (USD 171,831) in an auction in Copenhagen. The 74 privately-owned photographs from the Apollo 8-17 missions included the famous one of Buzz Aldrin's moon walk during the first manned lunar landing in July 1969, which sold for 52,000 crowns ($7,703). The photograph of Buzz Aldrin in full astronaut suit, with Neil Armstrong glimpsed in the reflection on Aldrin’s visor, ...

Twitter Launches Privacy-Protected Site on Dark Web to Bypass Russia’s Block

San Francisco, 10 Mar (ONA) --- Twitter has launched a privacy-protected version of its site to bypass surveillance and censorship after Russia restricted access to its service in the country. Russia has blocked access to Facebook and has limited Twitter in an attempt to try to restrict the flow of information about its war in Ukraine. Both companies have said they are working on restoring access to people inside Russia even as they restrict the country’s state media from their services, the British Guardian newspaper reported. Known as an “onion” service, users ...

Playing Video Games Can Improve Your Reading Skills, Surprising Study Reveals

Ottawa, 9 Mar (ONA) --- A new research suggested that playing video games could have a surprising benefit – improving your reading skills.Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan of Canada, said that gaming may improve peripheral attention skills, which are essential for reading ability.'Attention is an important part of successful reading,' explained Shaylyn Kress, who led the study.In the study, the researchers set out to understand how gaming affects reading skills.Firstly, the team analyzed the most popular video games to determine the number of objects placed ...

Netflix, TikTok Block Services in Russia

New York, 7 Mar (ONA) --- Netflix and TikTok suspended most of their services in Russia on Sunday. This move comes after a growing number of multinational businesses have cut off Russia from vital financial services, technology and a variety of consumer products in response to Western economic sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. U.S. credit card companies Visa, Mastercard and American Express all said over the weekend they would cut service in Russia. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, a leading supplier of both smartphones and computer chips, said it ...

Fossil Reveals Secrets of Nature’s Most Mysterious Reptiles

Washington, 6 Mar (ONA) --- New Zealand’s tuataras look like somber iguanas. But these spiny reptiles are not actually lizards. Instead, they are the last remnant of a mysterious and ancient order of reptiles known as the Rhynchocephalians that mostly vanished after their heyday in the Jurassic period.And they truly are the oddballs of the reptile family. Tuataras can live for more than a century, inhabit chilly climates and are able to slide their jaws back and forth to shear through insects, seabirds and each other. They even possess a rudimentary third eye below the scales on ...

Artificial Faeces Could Revive Ocean Ecosystem

London, 6 Mar (ONA) --- A scientific experiment hopes to restore vital nutrients to the ocean by using fake excrement that would once have been produced by the endangered mammal. In a few weeks, an international group of scientists will launch an unusual marine research project. They will dust the surface of the Indian Ocean with artificial whale faeces. The aim of this excremental experiment is straightforward. It is to determine if it is possible to reboot marine ecosystems that have been starved of nutrients and in the process restore dwindling fish populations. It is ...

Higher Education, Advanced Language Skills May Protect Against Dementia

Ottawa, Canada, 3 Mar (ONA) --- New research has found that people with mild cognitive impairment may not inevitably develop dementia and, in fact, having higher education and advanced language skills more than doubles their chances of returning to normal.The study, led by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, may reassure those with mild cognitive impairment as it contradicts a common assumption that the condition is simply an early stage of dementia. People with mild cognitive impairment show signs of cognitive decline, but not enough to prevent them from performing ...

AI, Machine Learning Show Promise in Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment

Washington, 3 Mar (ONA) --- Artificial Intelligence (AI), deep learning (DL), and machine learning (ML) have transformed many industries and areas of science.Now, these tools are being applied to address the challenges of cancer biomarker discovery, where the analysis of vast amounts of imaging and molecular data is beyond the ability of traditional statistical analyses and tools. In a special issue of Cancer Biomarkers, researchers propose various approaches and explore some of the unique challenges of using AI, DL, and ML to improve the accuracy and predictive power of biomarkers ...

Green Light for Historic Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution

Nairobi, 2 Mar (ONA) --- Nearly 200 countries have agreed to start negotiations on an international agreement to take action on the "plastic crisis".UN members are tasked with developing an over-arching framework for reducing plastic waste across the world.There is growing concern that discarded plastic is destroying habitats, harming wildlife and contaminating the food chain.Prof. Steve Fletcher of the University of Portsmouth advises the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on plastics issues.He said the plastics problem spans international borders and boundaries."One country ...

Omani Student Invents New Type of Bioplastic

A'Rustaq, 2 Mar (ONA) --- Neeam Al Harrasi, a school student from the Wilayat of A'Rustaq in the Governorate of South Al Batinah, has invented a new type of bioplastic using natural materials available in the Sultanate of Oman, such as rice water and fish scales, to make the mass production of bioplastics more affordable. The school project in which Do’aa Al Hashmi, a student also took part, aims to develop a decomposable plastic that is of similar quality to industrial plastic and to meet the challenges arising from the growing bans on single-use plastics in the Sultanate of ...

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Teaching-Less Robot System Technology

Tokyo, 28 Feb (ONA) --- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced it has developed a teaching-less robot system technology to enable robots to perform tasks, such as sorting and arrangement as fast as humans without having to be taught by specialists. The system incorporates Mitsubishi artificial intelligence (AI) technologies including high-precision speech recognition, which allows operators to issue voice instructions to initiate work tasks and then fine-tune robot movements as required. The technology is expected to be applied in facilities such as food-processing factories ...

UN Report to Show True Scale of Climate Change Impacts

Geneva, 28 Feb (ONA) --- A new UN report on the impacts of climate change is set to be the gravest assessment yet of how rising temperatures are affecting every living thing.The study, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), summarises several years of research. The report will likely say that the world is fast approaching the limits of adapting to climate change.This assessment, to be published later, will be the second of three major reports from the IPCC and its first since November's COP26 summit. The IPCC carries out these large-scale reviews of the latest ...

China Launches New Land-Observation Satellite

Beijing, 27 Feb (ONA) --- China today launched a Long March-4C rocket to place a new land-observation satellite in space.The rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China and soon sent the L-SAR 01B satellite into its preset orbit.The satellite will be used to monitor Earth's geological environment, landslides and earthquakes.The mission marked the 408th flight of the Long March carrier rockets, according to the launch center.China's L-SAR 01 is a satellite group composed of two satellites equipped with L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), namely the ...

Coronavirus Pandemic Began in Animals in Wuhan Market: Studies

Phoenix, Arizona, 27 Feb (ONA) --- Two preprint posted studies offer further evidence that the coronavirus originated in animals and spread to humans in late 2019 at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China.One of the studies, neither of which has been peer-reviewed or published in a professional journal, used spatial analysis to show that the earliest known Covid-19 cases, diagnosed in December 2019, were centered on the market.The researchers also report that environmental samples that tested positive for the virus, SARS-CoV-2, were strongly associated with live-animal ...

Soot Is Accelerating Snow Melt in Popular Parts of Antarctica

Washington, 23 Feb (ONA) --- Soot pollution is accelerating climate-driven melting in Antarctica, a new study suggested, raising questions about how to protect the delicate continent from the increasing number of humans who want to visit.Researchers estimate that soot, or black carbon, pollution in the most popular and accessible part of Antarctica is causing an extra inch of snowpack shrinkage every year.The number of tourists visiting each year has ballooned from fewer than 10,000 in the early 1990s to nearly 75,000 people during the austral summer season that began in 2019, ...