122 articles from FRIDAY 11.10.2019

Hydrologic models that simulate and predict water flow are used to estimate how natural systems respond to different scenarios such as changes in climate, land use, and soil management. The output from these models can inform policy and regulatory decisions regarding water and land management practices. Numerical models have become increasingly easy to employ with advances in computer technology and software with graphical user interface (GUI). While these technologies make the models more accessible, problems can arise if they are used by inexperienced modelers.

Research on energy production from biomass usually focuses on the amount of energy generated. But it is also important to consider how much energy goes into the process, a component that is often neglected. A study from the University of Illinois takes a look at the bioconversion efficiency of two products often used as biomass for energy production, miscanthus giganteus and sugarcane bagasse.

Researchers use long-term survey data sets and climate models to help fishing communities plan for a warmer ocean. Researchers have developed a tool that incorporates projected changes in ocean climate onto a geographic fishery management area. Now fishermen, resource managers, and policy-makers can use it to plan for the future sustainability of the lobster fishery in Nova Scotia and Canadian waters of the Gulf of Maine.

Controlling the interactions between light and matter has been a long-standing ambition for scientists seeking to develop and advance numerous technologies that are fundamental to society. With the boom of nanotechnology in recent years, the nanoscale manipulation of light has become both, a promising pathway to continue this advancement, as well as a unique challenge due to new behaviors that appear when the dimensions of structures become comparable to the wavelength of light.

The Soviet cosmonaut almost didn’t make it back into his capsule in 1965, when his suit inflated in the space vacuum

Alexei Leonov, the legendary Soviet cosmonaut who became the first human to walk in space 54 years ago, has died in Moscow at 85.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos announced the news on its website on Friday, but gave no cause of death. Leonov had health issues for several years, according to Russia media.

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The total amount of opioids dispensed per new opioid prescription decreased by 22% in Penn Medicine outpatient practices in New Jersey after the state passed a law limiting prescriptions to a five-day supply for new opioid prescriptions. Penn Medicine implemented an electronic health record (EMR) alert, or 'nudge,' to notify clinicians if that limit had been reached.

Engineers have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, making them easy to integrate with small electronic components. As a proof of concept, engineers used the new actuators to build an untethered, battery-powered, walking soft robot and a soft gripper.

Humankind first started farming in Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Subsequently, the practices of cultivating crops and raising livestock emerged independently at perhaps a dozen other places around the world, in what archaeologists call the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. It's one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory—but a new paper in the Journal of Political Economy shows that most explanations for it don't agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.

Fossil fuel companies have worked for decades to shape attitudes and undermine science. The crisis dictates that they must now be confronted

The huge differences in the voting records of MPs on climate issues, revealed in the Guardian’s rankings today, should immediately disabuse anyone of the notion that Britain’s elected politicians are united – apart from a handful of contrarians – in their efforts to limit global heating.

True, a consensus exists in the UK and most of Europe with regard to the necessity of cutting emissions. That is in stark contrast to countries such as the US and Australia, where leading politicians deny climate science and promote fossil fuel extraction. But acceptance of the evidence that shows the next decade will be crucial for efforts to restrict global temperature rises to 1.5C is the basis for action, not a substitute for it. Politicians should be judged on what they do. And our research shows that the voting record of most Conservative MPs over the past decade, on 16 parliamentary divisions ranging from fracking to renewable energy subsidies and vehicle emissions, is abysmal. They are five times more likely to vote against climate measures than MPs from other parties, with the prime minister, Boris Johnson, among several dozen MPs to get the lowest possible score of zero.

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Anthropogenic noise pollution (ANP) is a globally invasive phenomenon impacting natural systems, but most research has occurred at local scales with few species. Researchers in this study investigated continental-scale breeding season associations with ANP for 322 bird species to test whether local-scale predictions are consistent at broad spatial extents for an extensive group of North American bird species in the continental United States.