Earth

Heavy seasonal rainfall has recently caused flooding in Kenya and NASA analyzed and estimated the total rainfall using data from a suite of satellites and gauges.

The heavy rainfall has resulted in the displacement of over 244,000 people. This deluge follows the severe drought that afflicted East Africa in 2017. The estimated death toll from flooding and mudslides has recently been increased to about 100 people.

New Oxford University research has called for an 'open-skies policy' around the availability of high resolution satellite imagery of Israel and Palestine.

Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have created new superconductors made of layers of bismuth sulfide (BiS2) and a high entropy rare earth alloy oxyfluoride, containing five different rare earth (RE) elements at the same crystallographic site. The new material retains superconducting properties over a wider range of lattice parameters than materials without high-entropy-alloy states. Their work promises an exciting new strategy for designing new layered superconductors, a potentially key development in the search for high-temperature superconductors.

A new study of chemical reactions that occur when organic matter decomposes in freshwater lakes has revealed that the debris from trees suppresses production of methane - while debris from plants found in reed beds actually promotes this harmful greenhouse gas.

As vegetation in and around bodies of water continues to change, with forest cover being lost while global warming causes wetland plants to thrive, the many lakes of the northern hemisphere - already a major source of methane - could almost double their emissions in the next fifty years.

LAWRENCE -- In education circles, it is widely accepted that minorities are overrepresented in special education. New research from the University of Kansas has found, in terms of autism, minorities are widely underrepresented in special education. The underrepresentation varies widely from state to state and shows that students from all backgrounds are not being identified accurately, resulting in many students, especially those from minority backgrounds, not receiving services that are crucial to their education.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have developed a highly elastic biodegradable hydrogel for bio-printing of materials that mimic natural human soft tissues. Bio-printing uses live cells within the scaffolding of the new tissues and could potentially transform cell printing.

A provisional patent application has been filed on this new material, which will be able to generate multiple types of human soft tissues, including skin, skeletal muscles, blood vessels and heart muscles.

Boulder, Colo., USA: Over the last 5000 years, Mount Taranaki volcano, located in the westernmost part of New Zealand's North Island, produced at least 16 Plinian-scale explosive eruptions, the latest at AD 1655. These eruptions had magnitudes of 4 to 5, eruptive styles, and contrasting basaltic to andesitic chemical compositions comparable to the eruptions of Etna, 122 BC; Vesuvius, AD79; Tarawera, 1886; Pelée, 1902; Colima, 1910; Mount Saint Helens, 1980; Merapi, 2010; and Calbuco, 2015.

In the zebra finch, an extra chromosome exists in the reproductive, or germline, cells. (Songbirds have 40 chromosomes and 41 with the extra chromosome.) Known as the germline-restricted chromosome, its sequence is largely unknown and none of its genes have been identified, until now. Using sophisticated genome-sequencing techniques, American University researchers have identified the first gene of the GRC. This finding could pave the way for further research into what makes a bird male or female.

WACO, Texas (May 3, 2018) - Using an innovative initiative, Latin American researchers from academia, government agencies and businesses leaders identified priority research questions for the region to tackle pressing environmental quality issues.

In an amazing achievement akin to adding solar panels to your body, a Northeast sea slug sucks raw materials from algae to provide its lifetime supply of solar-powered energy, according to a study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick and other scientists.