WashU Expert: The architecture of virus transmission

WashU Expert: The architecture of virus transmission

The built environment often shapes the spread of disease. Many early cases of COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus, centered on a seafood market in Wuhan City, China. Airports, hospitals and other gathering points can easily become sites of virus transmission. But as the world grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak, Hongxi Yin, associate professor in advanced building systems and architectural design at Washington University in St. Louis, is exploring whether using portable furnaces to sterilize contaminated building exhaust might help to stem the contagion.
Hot time in the city: Urban lizards evolve heat tolerance

Hot time in the city: Urban lizards evolve heat tolerance

Faced with a gritty landscape of metal fences, concrete walls and asphalt pavement, lizards that moved into cities in Puerto Rico rapidly and repeatedly evolved better tolerance for heat than their forest counterparts, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Birds of a feather better not together

Birds of a feather better not together

Diversity plays a key role in maintaining the stability of plant and animal life in an area. But it’s difficult to scale up smaller experiments to understand how changes will impact larger ecosystems. A new study of North American birds from biologists in Arts & Sciences reveals the importance of both total numbers and variation in species identities.
Walking the wire: Real-time imaging helps reveal active sites of photocatalysts

Walking the wire: Real-time imaging helps reveal active sites of photocatalysts

Nanoscale photocatalysts are small, man-made particles that harvest energy from sunlight to produce liquid fuels and other useful chemicals. A new imaging solution developed at Washington University in St. Louis reveals the significance of a particular structural feature — clusters of oxygen vacancies — in achieving high photocatalytic activity.
Arrokoth close-up reveals how planetary building blocks were constructed

Arrokoth close-up reveals how planetary building blocks were constructed

William B. McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, led one of three new studies that together provide a far more complete picture of the composition and origin of Arrokoth. The new research published in Science points to the resolution of a longstanding scientific controversy about how such primitive planetary building blocks called planetesimals were formed.
Predicting chaos using aerosols and AI

Predicting chaos using aerosols and AI

Using aerosols as ground truth, researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a deep learning method that accurately simulates chaotic trajectories — from the spread of poisonous gas to the path of foraging animals.