Not even soaking rain can ease fire risk in a California hit by record heat, dry landscape

by Hayley Smith and Alexandra E. Petri Credit: CC0 Public Domain A summer of drought, extreme heat and deadly wildfires will end with much-needed rain this week in parts of California, but it is unlikely to douse the threat of wind-driven fires this fall in a state scarred by record-setting heat waves and bone-dry landscapes. … Read more

Study on plant enzyme shows that proteins can change their structural arrangement with surprising ease

A comparison of rubisco assemblies from different species, illustrating a wide range of structures including a dimer, tetramer, hexamer, octamer, and hexadecamer (16 unit protein). Credit: Shih Lab/Berkeley Lab When you think of proteins—the enzymes, signaling molecules, and structural components in every living thing—you might think of single strands of amino acids, organized like beads … Read more

Tiny and alternate houses can help ease Australia’s rental affordability crisis

Credit: Shutterstock Rental housing in Australia is less affordable than ever before. It is no exaggeration to call the situation a crisis, with vacancy rates at record lows. But there are some relatively affordable, easy-to-implement and cost-effective things that can be done to ease rentalability pressures. These include relaxing planning restrictions on small and non-traditional … Read more