Last-resort life support option helped majority of critically ill COVID-19 patients survive, global study shows

It saved lives in past epidemics of lung-damaging viruses. Now, the life-support option known as ECMO appears to be doing the same for many of the critically ill COVID-19 patients who receive it. Patients in a new international study faced a staggeringly high risk of death, as ventilators failed to support their lungs. But after they were placed on ECMO, their actual death rate was less than 40%.

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Plants without cellular recycling systems get creative in the dark

Deprived of sunlight, plants are unable to transform carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars. They are essentially starved of one of their most important building blocks. New research with maize shows that plants that lack the core components for autophagy have to get creative about recycling nutrients like carbon when they’re left in the dark.

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Coldest Northern Hemisphere temperature, first recorded by UW–Madison, officially confirmed

Nearly 30 years after recording a temperature of minus 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 69.6 Celsius) in Greenland, the measurement has been verified by the World Meteorological Organization as the coldest recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere. The measurement was first recorded by a University of Wisconsin–Madison Antarctic Meteorological Research Center Automatic Weather Station in December 1991.

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Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. By controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, researchers have shown they can control the material’s stiffness and ability to contract.

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