Moisture main reason for deterioration of "The Scream" | Oldest fluid in solar system detected in meteorite pieces | Astronomers chart heartbeats of 60 pulsating stars
May 18, 2020
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Moisture main reason for deterioration of "The Scream"
(Bas Czerwinski/AFP via Getty Images)
Edvard Munch's 1910 painting "The Scream" is fading mostly due to moisture rather than light, according to a chemical analysis of the work published by Science Advances. The finding may help museum staff better care for the fragile painting and allow it to be displayed in public again.
Full Story: Science News (5/15) 
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Science in the News
Researchers studying fragments of an ancient meteorite that exploded over Earth 20 years ago have detected chemical traces of fluid, thought to be the solar system's oldest at about 4.5 billion years, according to findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists used atom probe tomography to take an extremely close-up view of structures within the pieces, which they say could only have formed in an alkaline fluid environment rich in sodium.
Full Story: ScienceAlert (Australia) (5/16) 
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The pulsation patterns of 60 Delta Scuti stars have been detected for the first time using data from the TESS mission and the information is helping astronomers learn more about these stars. "Our results show that this class of stars is very young and some tend to hang around in loose associations," says lead author Tim Bedding.
Full Story: CNN (5/15) 
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Type 2 diabetes, but not prediabetes, was associated with a poorer memory and thinking skills three to six months after a stroke, according to a study published in the journal Stroke. The findings, based on combined data from seven studies involving over 1,600 people who had a stroke, revealed that those with diabetes scored significantly lower on tests that measured attention, memory, the ability to copy or draw lines and shapes, language skills, information processing speed, mental flexibility and executive functioning, compared with those normal blood glucose levels or prediabetes.
Full Story: HealthDay News (5/14) 
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A major cooling event that affected climates around the world about 4,200 years ago may have been key to the evolution of rice, according to a genomic analysis of the plant published in Nature Plants. "Armed with knowledge of the pattern of rice dispersal and environmental factors that influenced its migration, we can examine the evolutionary adaptations of rice as it spread to new environments, which could allow us to identify traits and genes to help future breeding efforts," says Rafal Gutaker, the study's lead author.
Full Story: Earth (5/16) 
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A review and meta-analysis of 65 studies, published in the journal Gastroenterology, found a higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease among patients with celiac disease, compared with a control group, and a higher risk of celiac disease among patients with IBD. Researchers said it was not clear whether patients with IBD should be screened for celiac disease and whether celiac disease patients should be screened for IBD.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (5/14) 
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Ants use collective cognition to move safely around their environments, according to findings published in eLife. "Cooperation is a common means by which animals can increase their cognitive capacity, and we were intrigued as to whether this cooperation allows ants to extend the range of environments in which they can efficiently collect food," says Aviram Gelblum, a study author.
Full Story: United Press International (5/12) 
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Funding Watch
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $150,000 grant to the University of Kentucky to develop a membrane face mask to try to deactivate the virus behind COVID-19. Principal investigator Dibakar Bhattacharyya said the mask proposes to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and could be used against other viruses.
Full Story: Newsweek (5/17) 
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Sigma Xi News
"We are in this together," people say about our collective distancing efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Just as the current physical distancing disrupts our natural state of work, higher education has been experiencing a longer period of distancing, one of discipline distancing. The arts, humanities, science, mathematics, and engineering studies have been more specialized and disconnected. Sigma Xi has devoted its 2020 Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference to symposia that illustrate the benefits of interdisciplinary research collaborations and share best practices for carrying them out.
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Sigma Xi is bringing back the STEM Art and Film Festival! After it's debut last year, the festival will continue to be the final event of our Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference and take place for the public on November 8 in Alexandria, Virginia. All scientists, artists, engineers, and filmmakers are invited to submit their work by July 31. Visual and performing arts related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research and education are welcome.
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One is always a long way from solving a problem until one actually has the answer.
Stephen Hawking,
theoretical physicist, cosmologist, writer
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