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New study reveals cracks beneath giant, methane gushing craters

A paper published in Science in 2017 described hundreds of massive, kilometer-wide craters on the ocean floor in the Barents Sea. Today, more than 600 gas flares have been identified in and around these craters, releasing the greenhouse gas steadily into the water column. Another study, published the same year in PNAS, mapped several methane mounds, some 500 meters wide, in the Barents Sea. The mounds were considered to be signs of impending methane expulsions that created the craters.

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Physicists create quantum-inspired optical sensor

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, joined by a colleague from Argonne National Laboratory, U.S., have implemented an advanced quantum algorithm for measuring physical quantities using simple optical tools. Published in Scientific Reports, their study takes us a step closer to affordable linear optics-based sensors with high performance characteristics. Such tools are sought after in diverse research fields, from astronomy to biology.

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Uncovering the tricks of game changer antibiotic teixobactin

Utrecht scientists have discovered how the powerful antibiotic teixobactin kills bacteria. Heralded as a breakthrough drug, the discovery of teixobactin marked a milestone for combating drug-resistant superbugs. However, the way teixobactin binds to its target was hitherto unknown. An international group, led by Dr. Markus Weingarth of Utrecht University, presents the structure of teixobactin 5 June in Nature Communications.

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Replacement for PFAS found in soil in New Jersey

A team of researchers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has found evidence of chloroperfluoropolyether carboxylates (ClPFPECAs) in New Jersey soils. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their efforts to test for PFAS replacements and to identify the compounds they have found. Steve Gold and Wendy Wagner with Rutgers Law School have published a Policy Forum piece in the same journal issue outlining the history of PFAS use, its discontinuance, and the work by the team in New Jersey.

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‘Whispering gallery’ effect controls electron beams with light

When you speak softly in one of the galleries of St Paul’s cathedral, the sound runs so easily around the dome that visitors anywhere on its circumference can hear it. This striking phenomenon has been termed the ‘whispering gallery’ effect, and variants of it appear in many scenarios where a wave can travel nearly perfectly around a structure. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now harnessed the effect to control the beam of an electron microscope by light. The results were published in Nature.

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