Problems with reproduction in birds

In birds and other species alike, pairs can face considerable difficulties with reproduction. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have now shown in an extensive analysis of 23,000 zebra finch eggs that infertility is mainly due to males, while high embryo mortality is more a problem of the females. Inbreeding, age of the parents and conditions experienced when growing up had surprisingly little influence on reproductive failures.

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Coral’s resilience to warming may depend on iron

How well corals respond to climate change could depend in part on the already scarce amount of iron available in their environment, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. The study reveals that the combination of hot water temperatures and low iron levels compromises the algae that live within coral cells, suggesting that limited iron levels—which could decline with warming ocean waters—could exacerbate the effects of climate change on corals.

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Colloidal quantum dot light emitters go broadband in the infrared

Broadband light emission in the infrared has proven to be of paramount importance for a large range of applications that include food quality and product/process monitoring, recycling, environmental sensing and monitoring, multispectral imaging in automotive as well as safety and security. With the advent of IoT and the increasing demand in adding more functionalities to portable devices (such as smart watches, mobile phones etc.) the introduction of on-chip spectrometers for health monitoring, allergen detection food quality inspection, to name a few, is expected to happen soon. But in order to have such functionalities easily integrated and implemented in mass production consumer electronics, several prerequisites need to be met. More specifically, the light source needs to be compact, highly efficient and ideally CMOS integrated to guarantee low-cost and high volume manufacturing.

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Stellar explosion in Earth’s proximity

When the brightness of the star Betelgeuse dropped dramatically a few months ago, some observers suspected an impending supernova—a stellar explosion that could also cause damage on Earth. While Betelgeuse has returned to normal, physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have found evidence of a supernova that exploded near the Earth around 2.5 million years ago.

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How a toxic chromium species could form in drinking water

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, brought much-needed attention to the problem of potentially toxic metals being released from drinking water distribution pipes when water chemistry changes. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have investigated how hexavalent chromium, known as Cr(VI), can form in drinking water when corroded cast iron pipes interact with residual disinfectant. Their findings could suggest new strategies to control Cr(VI) formation in the water supply.

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New gas giant exoplanet discovered by NGTS survey

An international team of astronomers has discovered a new gas giant alien world as part of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). The newly found exoplanet, designated NGTS-12b, is about the size of Jupiter, but more than four times less massive than the solar system’s biggest planet. The finding is reported in a paper published September 22 on arXiv.org.

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