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Invasive ticks are spreading without any males

The invasive population of Asian longhorned ticks in the United States likely began with three or more self-cloning females from northeastern Asia, according to a new study. Asian longhorned ticks outside the US can carry debilitating diseases. In the US and elsewhere they can threaten livestock and pets. The new study in the journal Zoonoses and Public...

Expert: Fraud via voting by mail is very unlikely

The current controversy over voting by mail offers a chance to examine the benefits and drawbacks of mail-in ballots, says political scientist Anthony Fowler. There is a bitter partisan debate unfolding on whether more Americans should cast their votes through the mail during a time when going out may be hazardous to people’s health. The debate is...

These messages boost preschool learning activities at home

When early childhood education centers communicate well with parents, those parents are more likely to engage in learning activities with their children at home, research finds. COVID-19 has temporarily shuttered many early childhood education centers across the country, shifting full-time childcare and teaching responsibilities largely to parents....

21st century Texas climate will rival ‘megadroughts’

The future climate of Texas will feature drier summers and decreasing water supplies for much of the state for the remainder of the 21st century, researchers report. These factors will likely result in the driest conditions the state has endured in the last 1,000 years, according to the new study. The message is clear: Texas is getting hotter and...

Opposition to HPV vaccine finds traction on Facebook

Facebook has allowed anti-vaxxers to gain a stronger voice against the HPV vaccine, a new study finds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 80 million Americans have an HPV (human papillomavirus) infection, and 14 million new cases occur annually. HPV is associated with genital warts and six types of cancer in...

Venom-spitting dinosaur wasn’t actually like ‘Jurassic Park’

Though you may know the Dilophosaurus as the small, frilled, acid-spitting beast from Jurassic Park, a new comprehensive fossil analysis sets the record straight. Far from the small lizard-like dinosaur in the movies, the actual Dilophosaurus was the largest land animal of its time, reaching up to 20 feet in length, and it had much in common with modern...

99% of ‘forever chemicals’ can’t survive surprising catalyst

Researchers have discovered a catalyst that can destroy PFAS, also known as “forever” chemicals, where they least expected. “It was the control,” says Michael Wong, a professor in and chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department in the Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, referring to the part of a scientific experiment...

These are the best and worst materials for face masks

While research has shown masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19, not all masks or mask materials are equally effective, according to new research. “We knew that masks work, but we wanted to know how well and compare different materials’ effects on health outcomes.” In a study in the Journal of Hospital Infection, researchers assessed...

Method makes plastic transparent and conductive

A method to make plastic conductive and more transparent could improve large touchscreens, LED light panels, and window-mounted infrared solar cells, say researchers. They provide a recipe to help other researchers find the best balance between conductivity and transparency by creating a three-layer anti-reflection surface. The conductive metal layer...

Voting Rights Act led to fewer racially biased arrests

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 not only enabled more Black Americans to vote, but also dramatically decreased the rate of Black Americans arrested in many places, according to a new study. The working paper’s findings suggest that fighting for enfranchisement for historically marginalized groups could play a major role in improving racial equality in...

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