Daily briefing: The quest to find an ‘impossible’ natural quasicrystal #Daily_Briefing

Daily briefing: The quest to find an ‘impossible’ natural quasicrystal #Daily_Briefing

January 11, 2019 0 By NewsTakers

The wolves of Isle Royale, Michigan, have been studied by scientists since 1958.Credit: ZUMA Press/Alamy
The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Science Foundation are among the US science agencies that have stopped processing grant applications, cut off access to key data sets and temporarily shuttered federal labs and offices thanks to the government shutdown that began on 22 December.
Nature examines how the ongoing dispute means spacecraft are at risk, early-career scientists are facing financial meltdown and some data have now been lost forever.
Early data from the California coast indicates that the western monarch butterfly population has crashed by 86% compared to last year, reaching an all-time low.
The species has declined by 97% since the 1980s.
Monarchs depend on milkweed plants, which have been declining because of pesticide use, urban development, droughts and wildfires.
The same geological processes that formed the oldest continents gave shape to what some consider the youngest: Zealandia.
The region (home to New Zealand and New Caledonia, among others) is a mostly submerged landmass in the southwest Pacific Ocean that some researchers claim is the planet’s eighth continent.
In the United States, a coalition is growing around an ambitious Green New Deal to remake the economy without a reliance on fossil fuels.
A new book from theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt relates his bold quest to find a natural quasicrystal, a form of matter with an arrangement of atoms once thought impossible for a crystal.

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