Engineers test a powered 'ankle exoskeleton' to make running easier

engadget.com – Ankle exoskeletons could help you run longer and faster and even serve as a new mode of transportation, according to a team of Stanford University engineers. The engineers tested a motorized exoskeleton rig that attaches around the ankle and foot and found that it made running 15 percent easier. They explained that when the exoskeleton's motor is switched on, it reduces the energy cost of running and allows the user to run longer than they're usually capable of. The device can also boost a...

Source: Kirby A. Witte, Pieter Fiers, Alison L. Sheets-Singer, Steven H. Collins. Improving the energy economy of human running with powered and unpowered ankle exoskeleton assistance. Science Robotics, 2020.

Trees in forests all over the world are getting younger, shorter

upi.com – Trees in forests around the world are getting younger and shorter as a result of human-caused climate change.

Source: Nate G. McDowell, et al. Pervasive shifts in forest dynamics in a changing world. Science, 2020.

Weeds get a bad rap, but many are crucial to the ecosystem

cbc.ca – In this week's issue of our environment newsletter, we look at the benefits of weeds, the benefits of 'forest bathing' and whether the current drop in carbon emissions is likely to last.

Source: Yuli Shan, Qi Huang, Dabo Guan, Klaus Hubacek. China CO2 emission accounts 2016–2017. Scientific Data, 2020.

Why attempts to use antiviral drugs to fight COVID-19 are so different from the early days of HIV

cbc.ca – Doctors are exploring how to attack COVID-19 with antiviral treatments repurposed from HIV and Ebola.

Source: John H. Beigel, et al. Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.

Hurricane Season Will Be Above Average, NOAA Warns

npr.org – Federal forecasters expect 3 to 6 major hurricanes during the 2020 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 1. Rising seas and a warmer climate make storms of all sizes more damaging.

Source: James P. Kossin, Kenneth R. Knapp, Timothy L. Olander, Christopher S. Velden. Global increase in major tropical cyclone exceedance probability over the past four decades. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Bumblebees speed up flowering

eurekalert.org – When pollen is in short supply, bumblebees damage plant leaves in a way that accelerates flower production, as an ETH research team headed up by Consuelo De Moraes and Mark Mescher has demonstrated.

Source: Foteini G. Pashalidou, Harriet Lambert, Thomas Peybernes, Mark C. Mescher, Consuelo M. De Moraes. Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce. Science, 2020.

Half the matter in the universe was missing. We found it hiding between galaxies.

popsci.com – The whole time it was in WHIM, the million-degree plasma that's permeated through the universe since the Big Bang.

Source: J.-P. Macquart, et al. A census of baryons in the Universe from localized fast radio bursts. Nature, 2020.

New data indicates the Mississippi Delta is on borrowed time

arstechnica.com – The tipping point has come and gone, according to new analysis.

Source: Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, Krista L. Jankowski, Yong-Xiang Li, Juan L. González. Tipping points of Mississippi Delta marshes due to accelerated sea-level rise. Science Advances, 2020.

Precise Measurements of Nearest Earth-Sized Exoplanet

nextbigfuture.com – Breakthrough measurements of exoplanet Proxima B were made with radial velocity measurements of unprecedented precision using ESPRESSO, the Swiss-manufactured spectrograph – the most accurate... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Source: A. Suárez Mascareño, et al. Revisiting Proxima with ESPRESSO. arXiv, 2020.

Climate change: 'Stunning' seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreat

bbc.com – Scientists are learning just how fast the ice margin of Antarctica can retreat in a warming world.

Source: J. A. Dowdeswell, et al. Delicate seafloor landforms reveal past Antarctic grounding-line retreat of kilometers per year. Science, 2020.

New study finds cannibalism in predatory dinosaurs

eurekalert.org – Big theropod dinosaurs such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus ate pretty much everything -- including each other, according to a new study.

Source: Stephanie K. Drumheller, et al. High frequencies of theropod bite marks provide evidence for feeding, scavenging, and possible cannibalism in a stressed Late Jurassic ecosystem. PLOS ONE, 2020.