Quantifying the effectiveness of facemasks

AU College of Engineering and Computer Science researchers use flow visualization to qualitatively test facemasks and social distancing.

Flushing may create plumes of coronavirus aerosols

SARS-CoV-2 can survive the human digestive tract, and new research shows that flushing toilets could be a means of transmitting the virus.

One in five people worldwide at risk of severe COVID-19

A new study estimates that one in five people worldwide have an underlying health condition that could increase their risk of severe COVID-19 if infected.

What we can learn from the social nature of COVID-19 and climate change?

COVID-19, like climate change, is a complex social problem that will require social scientific knowledge to understand its full and lasting impact impact.

UN: Falling clean energy costs can provide opportunity to boost climate action during COVID-19 recovery

If governments take advantage of the ever-falling price tag of renewables to put clean energy at the heart of COVID-19 economic recovery, they can take a big step towards a healthy world, which is the best insurance policy against global pandemics.

Research highlights

This month in pictures

There is art in science and science in art — here we’ve put together some of the most inspiring science images published in our journals this month.

MOF boxes

What might look good as a minimalist shelving unit wouldn’t be able to store much; these metal-organic framework (MOF) crystals are barely a micrometer across. What they can do, though, is serve as useful precursor materials before annealing with Co@N‐doped carbon composites.

Intestinal organoids

This stunning image shows a differentiated organoid with immunofluorescent staining for F-actin (green), nuclei (blue), and paneth cells (red), a marker of intestinal gland, or crypt, formation. Understanding of the mechanical dependence of crypt architecture is necessary to instruct homogenous, reproducible organoids for clinical applications.

Filter forests

What looks like morning dew on a tree branch are in fact particulate matter from smoke captured on the nanofibers of a renewable air filter material.The innovation here isn’t the ability to filter particulate matter, but to make the filters themselves sustainable and renewable, using less energy-intensive manufacturing processes and raw materials.

Imaging a broken heart

This image is a computer-generated 3D reconstruction based on CT scans of a mouse heart. Researchers developed computer‐assisted cardiac cavity tracking (CACCT), which can detect the connections between cardiac cavities and identify complicated cardiac malformations in mouse hearts automatically.

Micro mazes

f you’re privileged enough to have an exceptionally large garden, the image above might not be a bad design for your hedge maze. Thankfully, though, some advances in science can be a great social leveler, as this particular maze is only a few hundred micrometers in size.

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