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Social distancing laws cause only small losses of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scandinavia

Social distancing laws cause only small losses of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scandinavia

Edited by Jose A. Scheinkman, Columbia University, New York, NY, and approved July 16, 2020 (received for review May 19, 2020)Social distancing laws that restrict the activities of private businesses are often seen as sacrificing the economy to save lives from COVID-19. Indeed, many countries have experienced massive reductions in consumer spending around the time they began to shut down. We show that these restrictions are, in fact, responsible for only a small portion of the drop in consumer spending. This suggests that the virus itself is responsible for the majority of the economic...

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6d ago
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The creative cliff illusion

The creative cliff illusion

Edited by Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved July 4, 2020 (received for review April 3, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Creativity research across the social sciences seeks to elucidate factors that enhance and stifle creativity. We demonstrate that people systematically misunderstand their own creativity across an ideation session. Eight studies found that people expect their creativity to decline...

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6d ago
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Multiple origins of green coloration in frogs mediated by a novel biliverdin-binding serpin

Multiple origins of green coloration in frogs mediated by a novel biliverdin-binding serpin

Edited by David M. Hillis, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, and approved June 5, 2020 (received for review April 16, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Green coloration of vertebrates is normally attributed to pigments and structural components inside skin chromatophores cells. However, these components do not account for the vivid blue-green colors of hundreds of species of frogs with sparse chromatophores. Our study shows...

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Jul 10
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Wheat yield potential in controlled-environment vertical farms

Wheat yield potential in controlled-environment vertical farms

Edited by Dieter Gerten, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Hans J. Schellnhuber June 19, 2020 (received for review February 11, 2020)Wheat is the most important food crop worldwide, grown across millions of hectares. Wheat yields in the field are usually low and vary with weather, soil, and crop management practices. We show that yields for wheat grown in indoor vertical farms under optimized growing conditions would be several hundred times higher than yields in the field due to higher yields, several harvests per year,...

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Jul 23
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Interdependence and the cost of uncoordinated responses to COVID-19

Interdependence and the cost of uncoordinated responses to COVID-19

Edited by Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved July 10, 2020 (received for review May 12, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.As local governments relax shelter-in-place orders worldwide, policy makers lack evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other regions and the consequences of uncoordinated regional policies adopted in the presence of such spillovers. Our...

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Jul 30
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Correlations between social dominance orientation and political attitudes reflect common genetic underpinnings

Correlations between social dominance orientation and political attitudes reflect common genetic underpinnings

Edited by Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved July 22, 2019 (received for review October 31, 2018)Deciphering the underlying psychology of societal attitudes and prejudices is important in times of political unpredictability. We focus on the foundational construct of preference for (or against) hierarchies between groups, as reflected in the 2 subdimensions of social dominance orientation (SDO). Studying SDO with a large-sample twin design, we show that both its sub-dimensions are heritable, share common genetic influences, and overlap genetically with 6...

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Sep 3
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COVID-19 lockdowns cause global air pollution declines

COVID-19 lockdowns cause global air pollution declines

Edited by Akkihebbal R. Ravishankara, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, and approved July 9, 2020 (received for review April 10, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented reductions in economic activity. We find that, after accounting for meteorological variations, lockdown events have reduced the population-weighted concentration of nitrogen dioxide and...

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Jul 28
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In climate news, statements from large businesses and opponents of climate action receive heightened visibility

In climate news, statements from large businesses and opponents of climate action receive heightened visibility

Edited by Arild Underdal, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, and approved June 12, 2020 (received for review December 9, 2019)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Scholars and political commentators have often argued that business interests have privileged status in policy debates, particularly around questions of environmental degradation. However, few studies have been able to systematically compare business and advocacy organizations’...

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Jul 23
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The carbon footprint of household energy use in the United States

The carbon footprint of household energy use in the United States

Edited by M. Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, and approved June 4, 2020 (received for review December 18, 2019)This study uses data on ∼93 million individual homes to perform the most comprehensive study of greenhouse gases from residential energy use in the United States. We provide nationwide rankings of carbon intensity of homes in states and ZIP codes and offer correlations between affluence, floor space, and emissions. Scenarios demonstrate this sector cannot achieve the Paris Agreement 2050 target by decarbonizing electricity production alone. Meeting this...

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Jul 20
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Deep-sea mussels still show biological rhythms tracking sunlight, tides | National Academy of Sciences

Deep-sea mussels still show biological rhythms tracking sunlight, tides | National Academy of Sciences

ROV Victor6000 samples mussels under red light at 1688 meters depth. Researchers found that deep-sea mussels follow rhythms of the tides and can perceive light. Image credit: Ifremer/Victor6000/Momarsat 2017Like many land animals, marine organisms follow daily and seasonal clocks—in the water, those clocks are set by the cadence of the sun and the moon. But researchers hadn’t known if deep-sea creatures also exhibit biological rhythms, tucked away in remote and sunless environments. They do, confirms a in Nature Communications. Observations of deep-sea mussels, both at depth and in the lab,...

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Jul 25
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BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Contributed by Carolina Barillas-Mury, June 9, 2020 (sent for review May 1, 2020; reviewed by Serap Aksoy and Rita R. Colwell)The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating in recent history. The bacillus Calmette−Guérin (BCG) vaccine against tuberculosis also confers broad protection against other infectious diseases, and it has been proposed that it could reduce the severity of COVID-19. This epidemiological study assessed the global linkage between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality. Signals of BCG vaccination effect on COVID-19 mortality are influenced by social, economic, and...

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Jul 9
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Integrative structural, functional, and transcriptomic analyses of sex-biased brain organization in humans

Integrative structural, functional, and transcriptomic analyses of sex-biased brain organization in humans

Edited by Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, and approved June 12, 2020 (received for review November 1, 2019)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Sex differences in brain organization are theoretically important for our understanding of sex differences in human cognition and behavior. However, neurobiological sex differences have been easier to characterize in mice than in humans. Recent murine work has...

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Jul 15
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Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States

Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States

Edited by Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved June 19, 2020 (received for review April 18, 2020)COVID-19 has created a mortality shock throughout the world, and it may yield a second wave of population health concerns tied to bereavement and social support reductions. We created the COVID-19 bereavement multiplier, an indicator that clarifies one downstream impact of COVID-19 mortality and can be applied to different epidemiological projections of death counts: How many people are at risk for losing a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, or child for each...

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Jul 9
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Greater flood risks in response to slowdown of tropical cyclones over the coast of China

Greater flood risks in response to slowdown of tropical cyclones over the coast of China

Edited by Kerry A. Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and approved May 6, 2020 (received for review October 30, 2019)Torrential rains induced by tropical cyclones (TCs) are a major trigger of catastrophic flood hazards. Devastating TCs causing unprecedented floods in recent years were usually characterized with low translation speeds. We find that both observations and numerical simulations show a significant slowdown of TCs over the coast of China. Our analyses of long-term observations exhibit a significant increase in extreme rainfall amounts induced by TCs,...

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Jun 30
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Tumor cell lysate-loaded immunostimulatory spherical nucleic acids as therapeutics for triple-negative breast cancer

Tumor cell lysate-loaded immunostimulatory spherical nucleic acids as therapeutics for triple-negative breast cancer

Contributed by Chad A. Mirkin, May 26, 2020 (sent for review March 30, 2020; reviewed by Darrell J. Irvine and Liangfang Zhang)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.In mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer, we show that the oxidation of tumor cells prior to lysate generation, coupled with their compartmentalization in the core of liposomal spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) comprised of adjuvant DNA, yields a powerful immunotherapeutic that...

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Jul 15
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Pencil–paper on-skin electronics

Pencil–paper on-skin electronics

Edited by James M. Tour, Rice University, Houston, TX, and accepted by Editorial Board Member John A. Rogers June 4, 2020 (received for review May 5, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.On-skin electronics are usually fabricated by patterning conventional inorganic materials, novel organic materials, or emerging nanomaterials on flexible polymer substrates. Consequently, the state-of-the-art on-skin electronics usually suffer from...

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Jul 10
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Nix alone is sufficient to convert female Aedes aegypti into fertile males and myo-sex is needed for male flight

Nix alone is sufficient to convert female Aedes aegypti into fertile males and myo-sex is needed for male flight

Edited by Michael R. Strand, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, and approved June 12, 2020 (received for review January 20, 2020)The presence of a dominant male-determining locus (M-locus) in one of a pair of autosomes establishes the male sex in the dengue fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. The Ae. aegypti M-locus contains 30 genes, including Nix, a previously reported male-determining factor. Here we show that the Nix transgene alone was sufficient to convert females into fertile males, which continued to produce sex-converted progeny. We also show that a second M-locus gene named myo-sex was...

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Jul 13
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Physical limits of flight performance in the heaviest soaring bird

Physical limits of flight performance in the heaviest soaring bird

Edited by Robert E. Ricklefs, University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, and approved June 8, 2020 (received for review May 3, 2019)Flapping flight is extremely costly for large birds, yet little is known about the conditions that force them to flap. We attached custom-made “flight recorders” to Andean condors, the world’s heaviest soaring birds, documenting every single wingbeat and when and how individuals gained altitude. Remarkably, condors flapped for only 1% of their flight time, specifically during takeoff and when close to the ground. This is particularly striking as the birds...

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Jul 10
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Transcriptome profiling reveals signaling conditions dictating human spermatogonia fate in vitro

Transcriptome profiling reveals signaling conditions dictating human spermatogonia fate in vitro

Edited by Janet Rossant, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, and approved June 17, 2020 (received for review February 5, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.The ability to culture human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) in vitro is critical to develop SSC therapeutic approaches to treat male infertility. To achieve this goal, it is important to define molecular pathways in human SSCs. Toward this end, we...

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Jul 13
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Working memory capacity predicts individual differences in social-distancing compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Working memory capacity predicts individual differences in social-distancing compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Edited by Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved June 16, 2020 (received for review May 5, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Before vaccination and other intervention measures become available, successful containment of an unknown infectious disease critically relies on people’s voluntary compliance with the recommended social-distancing guidelines. This involves a decision process of prioritizing the merits...

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Jul 9
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Auditory representation of learned sound sequences in motor regions of the macaque brain

Auditory representation of learned sound sequences in motor regions of the macaque brain

Edited by Peter L. Strick, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, and approved May 7, 2020 (received for review September 9, 2019)Nonhuman primates have a rich repertoire of species-specific calls, but they do not show vocal learning. The usefulness of nonhuman primate models for studies of speech and language has, therefore, been questioned. This study shows that macaques can learn to produce novel sound sequences with their hands by pressing levers on a keyboard. Using awake functional MRI, we find activation of motor cortex and putamen, when the monkeys are listening to the same sound...

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Jun 30
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Biologically inspired flexible photonic films for efficient passive radiative cooling

Biologically inspired flexible photonic films for efficient passive radiative cooling

Edited by David A. Weitz, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved May 7, 2020 (received for review January 30, 2020)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Some biological creatures have astonishing photonic structures to exhibit a thermal regulation ability. Taking inspiration from the brilliantly golden longicorn beetles, we demonstrate a bioinspired design of flexible hybrid photonic films for achieving efficient passive radiative...

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Jun 30
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Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water

Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water

Edited by Bruce Lanphear, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Susan Hanson May 27, 2020 (received for review February 13, 2020)In the United States, 13% of households depend on an unregulated private well for their water. Compared with children in houses served by a regulated water utility, children in these homes have a 25% increased risk of elevated blood lead. Because lead is a neurotoxin, these children are at greater risk of experiencing irreversible cognitive damage, which can decrease their performance in school and increase their...

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Jul 2
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A tiny ornithodiran archosaur from the Triassic of Madagascar and the role of miniaturization in dinosaur and pterosaur ancestry

A tiny ornithodiran archosaur from the Triassic of Madagascar and the role of miniaturization in dinosaur and pterosaur ancestry

Edited by Paul E. Olsen, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, and approved May 20, 2020 (received for review September 24, 2019)This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.Reptiles of the Mesozoic Era are known for their remarkable size: dinosaurs include the largest known land animals, and their relatives, the pterosaurs, include the largest creatures to ever fly. The origins of these groups are poorly understood, however. Here, we present a species...

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Jul 2
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Inner Workings: Was Jupiter born beyond the current orbits of Neptune and Pluto?

Inner Workings: Was Jupiter born beyond the current orbits of Neptune and Pluto?

Ancient people named the planet Jupiter well. Both its brilliance and its slow, regal movement across the sky evoked a king among gods. Today we know much more about the influence of Jupiter, a planet boasting more than twice as much mass as the solar system’s other planets put together. Jupiter’s tremendous gravity stunted the growth of newborn Mars, sculpts the asteroid belt today, and may even help protect Earth from catastrophic comet impacts.A new theory suggests that Jupiter formed its core far from the Sun, then moved inward. Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope – NASA, ESA, and Amy...

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Jul 1
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