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Meteorological silk road pattern may take a toll on Eurasian climate in north-jet years
The Silk Road pattern in meteorology is a wave-like teleconnection pattern in the summer propagating eastward under the wave guidance of the upper-tropospheric Asian westerly jet stream. It shows up as alternate southerly and northerly anomalies along the jet, and is the leading mode of the interannual variability of upper-tropospheric meridional winds. It is interesting that this meteorological teleconnection pattern covers most domains along the ancient Silk Road, and exerts significant influences on climatic anomalies over a broad area of the Eurasian continent.
New mutant coral symbiont alga able to switch off symbiosis
Researchers in Japan have identified the first spontaneous mutant coral symbiont alga that doesn't maintain a symbiotic relationship with its host. They have devised a system in which the simple addition or depletion of a nutrient can experimentally switch the symbiosis on and off. The mutant symbiont alga enables development of a genetic transformation system, which will be a powerful tool for studying coral-algal endosymbiosis. This indicates that the simple addition or depletion of the nutrient can be used as a switch for controlling symbiosis.
BMW looking at Chinese-made electric MINI
BMW Group says it is talking with a Chinese automaker about a possible partnership to produce electric versions of its MINI cars for the world's biggest auto market. BMW's announcement Friday adds to increasing competition in China's market for electrics as global automakers spend billions of dollars into developing models to meet official sales quotas. BMW said it signed a letter of intent with Great Wall Motor Co and needs to work out a cooperation agreement and investment details.
Playing both ends: Amphibian adapted to varied evolutionary pressures
The limbless amphibians, related to frogs and salamanders, favor tropical climates of Africa, Asia and the Americas. The Brazilian caecilian, grayish in color and measuring about 18 inches in length, is a surprisingly rapid burrower, he says. We know of no other amphibian with this high concentration of mucous glands, Brodie says. In addition to chemical defense, the tail acts as a 'plug,' blocking the tunnel and further deterring predators.
Japan confirms oil from wrecked tanker hitting its beaches
We are not aware of any other maritime accident in the region that resulted in oil leaks, he told AFP. We have concluded that it is highly likely that the oil that reached is connected with Sanchi, he said. Oil samples from other islands showed different characteristics, but the tanker could have used various kinds of heavy oil in different tanks and equipment, Matsumoto added. We believe it is premature to reach any conclusion about the oil coming to other islands, he said.
'Fishing continued' at China oil spill site
Fishing activities continued at the site of massive oil spill in the East China Sea for days after the incident, a BBC investigation suggests. The BBC obtained satellite images and data showing the presence of fishing boats in the area following the event. The spill occurred after an oil tanker collided with another cargo ship on January 6 before sinking more than a week later. It was transporting 136,000 tonnes or almost one million barrels of ultra-light crude oil, known as condensate, to South Korea.
Applebee's and IHOP's new recipe for success: technology, takeout and takeovers
Casual dining restaurants began to lose their appeal for millennial-generation foodies, and in 2016, Applebee's tried to update its image. We lost a little relevance with our customers, said Stephen P Joyce, chief executive of DineEquity Inc., the Glendale company that owns IHOP and Applebee's. The company is adding technology to make ordering more convenient, Joyce said, and is paying more attention to off-premise dining-that is, takeout orders, often handled by food-delivery services.
Chicago winters don't bug these insects, thanks to that natural antifreeze
A bonus of the sometimes brutal Midwest winters is the absence of creepy crawlies that take a bite out us during the summer months. (If) you didn't have insects and some invertebrates doing that, you'd just have rivers jammed full of leaves and sticks all the time. You have large numbers of insects in the stream, you can take these mass of leaves and they're pretty much gone by March or April.
In China's eSport schools students learn it pays to play
At a school in eastern China it is mandatory, part of a drive to train eSport champions and tap into the booming industry. Once associated with teenagers stuck in their bedrooms, eSports-where players square off in lucrative video game tournaments-are growing fast. In fact, it's not the case, eSport is developing to a very high degree and it's become an economic growth driver. League of Legends At the school in Jinan, students focus on improving their skills in some of the most popular eSport games.
Judge: Ads can run in Uber, Lyft vehicles in New York City
A judge gave the green light Thursday to a Minnesota company that wants to put advertising in vehicles driven for companies like Uber and Lyft in New York City. Vugo Inc sued New York City in 2015 after the Taxi and Limousine Commission prohibited the ads in vehicles that were not medallion taxis or street hail liveries. Abrams wrote that the city was being unreasonable, in part, because large swaths of the vehicles it regulates are permitted to display advertisements.
Glitches or not, Nissan starts testing semi-autonomous rides
In the future Nissan envisions, driverless cars will pick up children from school and recommend restaurants to tourists in various languages. Nissan Motor Co says feedback from people who try it will be used to fine-tune its robo-vehicle mobility service. The automaker said Friday that 300 people have already signed up to try out Easy Ride next month.
NIST expertise helps protect Emancipation Proclamation at African American History Museum
This month, two seminal documents in American history-the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution-went on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). They are preserved in sealed encasements that were custom-designed, fabricated and outfitted with environmental sensors by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It's convenient to have continuously updated monitoring data stored on a cloud server and be able to plot the data over time, Ricker said.
Wildlife secrets of Nigeria's wilderness
The park is regarded as a national treasure, but its wildlife is under threat from pressures such as poaching. Researchers from Chester Zoo, working with the Nigeria National Park Service, surveyed over 1,000 square kilometres of the national park. The cameras captured more than 50,000 images of the park's wildlife between 2015 and the end of 2017. The wildlife within the park is officially protected but some animals are at risk of poaching.
UPS adding to electric truck fleet
UPS says it will soon start using electric delivery trucks that cost the same as conventional diesel- or gas-fueled ones. The company has been developing the trucks with Ohio-based truck maker Workhorse Group Inc for four years. UPS says it will deploy 50 of the trucks by the end of this year in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas. UPS wants 25 percent of its global fleet to be alternative fuel vehicles by 2020.
New crystal structures reveal mysterious mechanism of gene regulation by the 'magic spot'
In 1969, our coauthor, Michael Cashel, discovered that a new molecule appeared in E coli when the bacteria were starved of key nutrients. Cashel called this molecule, which showed up as a new spot on a chromatogram, the 'magic spot,' because of its appearance from seemingly nowhere when bacteria were starved. The magic spot subsequently was shown to be guanosine tetraphosphate, or ppGpp, a chemically modified analog of the G nucleotide in the ATCG alphabet of the genome.
Airbnb expands offerings with new upscale categories
Home-share titan Airbnb on Thursday took aim at more upscale travelers with new categories including premium lodging and properties for trips of a lifetime. Airbnb said its Plus offerings would be inspected for comfort, cleanliness, and design, and were said to be intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind. Airbnb also unveiled a collections categories that will offer venues for occasions ranging from work to weddings.
Improved Hubble yardstick gives fresh evidence for new physics in the universe
Intriguingly, the results are forcing astronomers to consider that they may be seeing evidence of something unexpected at work in the universe. Those measurements are used to calculate how fast the universe expands with time, a value known as the Hubble constant. The new Hubble measurements help reduce the chance that the discrepancy in the values is a coincidence to 1 in 5,000. This means that the acceleration itself might not have a constant value in the universe but changes over time in the universe.
Few Chicagoland wetlands left without non-native species, study finds
The wetlands in and around Chicago are overwhelmingly invaded by non-native plants, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. The study, which pulls together species occurrence data from over 2,000 wetlands in the urban region, is the first to describe wetland invasion patterns on such a large scale in the Chicagoland area. The main question had to do with the degree of invasion by non-native plants in Chicagoland wetlands.
Toenail fungus gives up sex to infect human hosts
The fungus that causes athlete's foot and other skin and toenail infections may have lost its ability to sexually reproduce as it adapted to grow on its human hosts. Scientists analyzed samples of this tenacious organism, called Trichophyton rubrum, and found that nearly all belonged to a single mating type. Don't expect toenail fungus to appear on the endangered species list anytime soon.

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