>Tablecloths improve food taste
If you're hoping to impress a date with a romantic home-cooked meal, don't forget the tablecloth.
Diners eat more and for longer, and rate the food as tasting better when seated with tablecloth, according to a study published in the journal "Food Quality and Preference."
Professor Nanette Strobele-Benschop, the lead researcher in the study, said the findings could be useful in encouraging people in retirement homes, hospitals or schools to eat.
While it could be difficult to improve the ambience in such settings, staff could do something as simple as choosing colorful plates, she suggested.
"It's the combination of decorative aspects," she said. "Any ambient factors could promote more enjoyment."
>Material kills flu virus
Scientists hope a material which they say can kill bacteria and viruses could be used in face masks to help tackle the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The material features nanosilver, which has antibacterial properties, and was made using a process known as melt blowing.
This makes polypropylene microfibers with a diameter of one micron, explained Alexander Zhanovich Medvedev, who works on the project and leads a lab at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SBRAS).
Researchers tested the mask against the influenza A virus as well as the staphylococcus and E coli bacteria, according to Nikolai Zakharovich Lyakhov, chief researcher at the Institute of Chemistry and Technology at the SBRAS.
When the team compared the new material with that of regular masks, ten thousand times more viruses passed through the latter.
The team believes the material could protect people against influenza A for up to 10 hours, compared to regular masks which need to be changed every one to two hours.
Lyakhov is in close contact with partners in China, Medvedev said, and is willing to send samples there for testing.
>UK eyes high-skilled workers
Britain will prioritize access for high-skilled workers from around the world in its post-Brexit, points-based immigration system, the government said on Tuesday, setting out its plans to put an end to a reliance on "cheap labor from Europe".
The new system will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries, professions or the ability to speak English, and only give visas to those who have enough points.
It will come into force from Jan 1, 2021, and will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same.
There will be no specific entry route for low-skilled workers, something the government hopes will help reduce the number of migrants.
The Migration Advisory Committee estimated the impact of the government's planned salary and skills thresholds would mean around 70% of European Economic Area citizens who have arrived in Britain since 2004 would not have been eligible for a visa.
>Folding screens face questions
Foldable phones are once again facing questions about their durability.
The Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr are now both available to buy in the US - but early reports suggest the screens are easily damaged.
三星Galaxy Z Flip手机和摩托罗拉Razr手机目前在美国均有售，但是早期报告指出，这两款手机的屏幕都很容易损坏。
One outlet published photos of two layers of the Razr's display separating, affecting the touch screen.
The Galaxy Z flip, meanwhile, boasts a "flexible glass" display - but tests appear to show it scratching as easily as plastic.
与此同时，三星Galaxy Z Flip手机据称拥有"柔性玻璃"显示屏，但是测试显示，这种"玻璃"和塑料一样容易留下刮痕。
It's not yet clear how widespread the issues might be.
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