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Thursday, December 14, 2017

A single sand grain harbors up to 100,000 microorganisms from thousands of species

Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers. Between 10,000 and 100,000 microorganisms live on each single grain of sand, as revealed in a new study. This means that an individual grain of sand can have twice as many residents as, say, the city of Fairbanks, Alaska!

Night-flyers or day-trippers? Study sheds light on when moths, butterflies are active

Butterflies fly during the day while moths travel at night - or so you might think. In reality, their behavior is much more complicated. A new study offers the first comprehensive overview of the surprisingly complex question of when butterflies and moths are active.

Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boar

Growing populations of wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) are causing more and more damage to agricultural land in Europe, requiring hundreds of thousands of Euros in compensation. A new drone-based method allows estimating crop damage in a fast, standardized and objective manner.

How fires are changing the tundra’s face

Climate change takes a heavy toll on the tundra, increasing the probability of extreme droughts. As a result, the frequency of fires in forests, bogs and even wetlands continues to rise. In addition, the northern areas of the tundra have also become more accessible and negatively impacted by human activities in recent years.

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Engineers have developed a realistic proposition for creating a water cloak that moves water around an object by applying forces on dissolved ions through a carefully designed electromagnetic field.

How do you track a secretive hawk? Follow the isotopes

A study has found that the rare Henst's goshawk of Madagascar hunts lemurs in low-lying areas that are most at risk to deforestation. Researchers could use this isotope analysis to study the habitat and prey needs of other threatened species that are difficult to track.

Single-dose vaccine could provide faster protection in cholera epidemics

Each year there are more than three million cases of cholera worldwide. Research now shows that giving a stronger single-dose of a live oral vaccine could be an effective tool in controlling outbreaks more quickly.

Producing hydrogen from methane in a cleaner, cheaper way

A ceramic membrane makes it possible to produce compressed hydrogen from methane with near-zero energy loss.

Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration, ion transport into cells

Nanometer-scale pores etched into layers of graphene can provide a simple model for the complex operation of ion channels, researchers have demonstrated.

Sandy claws: Like holiday enthusiasts, majoid crabs decorate their shells

Majoid crabs -- known as decorator crabs -- adorn themselves with items secured from their surroundings such as sponges, algae and other marine debris. Scientists are exploring what factors drive this behavior.

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May heads to Brussels after EU vote loss

The EU summit comes after a Tory rebellion defeats the government in a key vote on Brexit. Source: BBC

Royals to attend Grenfell fire memorial at St Paul’s

PM will also join victims of the blaze for a multi-faith service at St Paul's Cathedral in London. Source: BBC

New U.S. embassy in London cost more than $1B

The special relationship between the U.S. and Britain apparently requires a very special U.S. embassy in London. The new one, opening next month, cost more than $1 billion. Charlie D'Agata takes a look.