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Complex causes behind Arctic greening, researchers say

Complex causes behind Arctic greening, researchers say

Science
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The greening of the Arctic is one of the most visible effects of climate change, but new research suggests the reasons for the phenomena are surprisingly varied and complex. As satellite images have revealed, snow is melting earlier each year, allowing the plants that comprise the Arctic tundra to put out leaves earlier in the spring. Plants are getting thicker and taller, and vegetation is expanding into previously barren pars of the Arctic. Early efforts to document the phenomena were relatively crude, but new satellite and drone technologies have helped scientists analyze Arctic greening in greater detail. "New technologies including sensors on drones, planes and satellites, are enabling scientists to track emerging patterns of greening found within satellite pixels t...
Oak leaves contain ‘potential cure’ for citrus greening disease, researchers say

Oak leaves contain ‘potential cure’ for citrus greening disease, researchers say

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Scientists in Florida have confirmed what some citrus growers suspected for years -- that oak trees could inhibit citrus greening disease, which has brought the once-thriving Florida industry to the brink of collapse. Oak leaves represent "the first potential organic cure" for the destructive tree sickness, said Lorenzo Rossi, a University of Florida biologist and co-author of a study published in the January issue of the journal Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. Research over the past year at a University of Florida greenhouse in Fort Pierce showed that citrus trees recovered from citrus greening when sprayed and drenched with treated water twice a week for two months. The water was treated by steeping chopped oak leaves in it overnight, allowing leaf co...
Wolf puppies unexpectedly play fetch with researchers

Wolf puppies unexpectedly play fetch with researchers

Science
Jan. 16 (UPI) -- To the surprise of scientists, wolf puppies learned to play fetch in response to verbal cues from a human researcher. The unexpected phenomenon was described this week in the journal iScience. Dogs are thought to be unique in their propensity to interpret and respond to human cues, but while testing and observing the behavior of wolf pups, researchers were surprised to find the untrained puppies spontaneously retrieved a ball in response to verbal commands. "I watched the test in real time from another room. In the first two litters the two first years of the study, none of the wolves showed interest in the ball," lead researcher Christina Hansen Wheat, a behavioral ecologist at Stockholm University in Sweden, told UPI in an email. "I did not think much of it at the time...
Researchers: Are we on the cusp of an ‘AI winter’?

Researchers: Are we on the cusp of an ‘AI winter’?

Technology
The last decade was a big one for artificial intelligence but researchers in the field believe that the industry is about to enter a new phase. Hype surrounding AI has peaked and troughed over the years as the abilities of the technology get overestimated and then re-evaluated. The peaks are known as AI summers, and the troughs AI winters. The 10s were arguably the hottest AI summer on record with tech giants repeatedly touting AI's abilities. AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio, sometimes called one of the "godfathers of AI", told the BBC that AI's abilities were somewhat overhyped in the 10s by certain companies with an interest in doing so. There are signs, however, that the hype might be about to start cooling off. ...
Researchers find fast way to deliver radiation therapy to cancer patients

Researchers find fast way to deliver radiation therapy to cancer patients

Health
Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy typically come in for treatment multiple times over several weeks -- making what is already both a physically and mentally taxing process even more challenging. Researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania may have found a safe and effective way to deliver an entire course of radiation therapy in less than a second. They report the findings in an article published Thursday in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics. "This is the first time anyone has published findings that demonstrate the feasibility of using protons -- rather than electrons -- to generate FLASH doses, with an accelerator currently used for clinical treatments," study co-senior author James M. Metz, ...