Most people have heard about antibiotic-resistant germs. But how about antibiotic-resistant dust? A new Northwestern University study has found that an antimicrobial chemical called triclosan is abundant in dust—and linked to changes in its genetic makeup. The result is dust with organisms that could cause an antibiotic-resistant infection. “There is this conventional wisdom that says

About 2.6 million years ago, an oddly bright light arrived in the prehistoric sky and lingered there for weeks or months. It was a supernova some 150 light years away from Earth. Within a few hundred years, long after the strange light in the sky had dwindled, a tsunami of cosmic energy from that same

Something peculiar is happening in the azure waters off the rocky cliffs of Ischia, Italy. There, streams of gas-filled volcanic bubbles rising up to the surface are radically changing life around them by making seawater acidic. Stanford researchers studying species living near these gassy vents have learned what it takes to survive in acidic waters,

Home energy storage systems might save you money, but under current policies, they would also often increase carbon emissions. That is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego in a study published recently in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Conventional wisdom may suggest that these storage

Most lasers emit photons of exactly the same wavelength, producing a single color. However, there are also lasers that consist of many frequencies, with equal intervals in between, as in the teeth of a comb; thus, they are referred to as “frequency combs.” Frequency combs are perfect for detecting a variety of chemical substances. At

A terahertz laser designed by MIT researchers is the first to reach three key performance goals at once—high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning—and could thus be valuable for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging. The optimized laser can be used to detect interstellar elements in an

How atoms arrange themselves at the smallest scale was thought to follow a ‘drum-skin’ rule, but mathematicians have now found a simpler solution. Atomic arrangements in different materials can provide a lot of information about the properties of materials, and what the potential is for altering what they can be used for. However, where two

The future of the world’s coral reefs is uncertain, as the impact of global heating continues to escalate. However, according to a study published today in Nature Climate Change, the response of the Great Barrier Reef to extreme temperatures in 2017 was markedly different to one year earlier, following two back-to-back bouts of coral bleaching.

Most malaria drugs are designed to reduce symptoms after infection. They work by blocking replication of the disease-causing parasites in human blood, but they don’t prevent infection or transmission via mosquitoes. What’s worse, the malaria parasite is developing resistance to existing drugs. “In many ways, the search for new malaria drugs has been a search

Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of Southwest Research Institute and José Manuel Vaquero of the University of Extremadura have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the Sun’s past and future as well as whether solar activity

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