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America Is Not Ready for Omicron
Updated at 12:00 p.m. on December 16, 2021 America was not prepared for COVID-19 when it arrived . It was not prepared for last winter's surge. It was not prepared for Delta's arrival in the summer or its current winter assault. More than 1,000 Americans are still dying of COVID every day, and more have died this year than last. Hospitalizations are rising in 42 states. The University of Nebraska
8h
Humans reached remote North Atlantic islands centuries earlier than thought
New evidence from the bottom of a lake in the remote North Atlantic Faroe Islands indicates that an unknown band of humans settled there around 500 AD—some 350 years before the Vikings, who up until recently have been thought to have been the first human inhabitants. The settlers may have been Celts who crossed rough, unexplored seas from what are now Scotland or Ireland. The findings appear today
4h

LATEST

NASA's Probe Took a Video as It "Touched the Sun" and Wow
Touching the Sun NASA's Parker Solar Probe made history by becoming the first spacecraft to have "touched the Sun " earlier this year, the agency has now confirmed. The tiny probe made its way through the star's upper atmosphere, taking important readings of its surroundings. It even took the time to capture tons of images during its amazing stunt, which scientists stitched together for an incred
5h
Astronomers detect new brown dwarf orbiting an M-dwarf star
Astronomers from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and elsewhere have detected a massive brown dwarf orbiting an M dwarf known as TOI-2119. The newly found object is nearly 70 times more massive than Jupiter and orbits its host star on an eccentric orbit. The finding is reported in a paper published December 7 on arXiv.org.
5h
Sensor detects toxins in drinking water sources
University of Cincinnati researchers have developed a sensor that detects toxins from algal blooms that taint surface water such as rivers, lakes and streams. Early detection of these toxins can aid water treatment plants to adjust the treatment strategy to keep the dangerous substances from contaminating drinking water.
8h
Sexual Assault Is Already Happening in the Metaverse
Formerly-known-as-Facebook megacorporation Meta's virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds has barely made it out to the public, and users are already being sexually harassed and even assaulted, The Verge reports . "Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular internet, but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense," the user wrote in Facebook's official Horizon group, as quo
3h
Elon Musk Mocks NFTs as Sign of Mental Illness
Musk Mocking Once again, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to mock a group of crypto fanatics — and this time, he's targeting NFT lovers. On Wednesday, the mercurial entrepreneur tweeted a meme showing a patient lying on a therapist's couch. "These 'NFTs' — are they in the room with us right now?" the therapist appears to be asking. Crypto Cryptic Even setting aside the fact tha
2h
Elon Musk Moans About His Student Loan Debt
Fan Service When tweeting in response to an adoring fanboy, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk accidentally made the case for canceling student loan debt. "I came to the US with no money and graduated with over $100k in debt, despite scholarships and working 2 jobs while at school," Musk wrote . Rags to Rockets Naturally, this narrative serves Musk's up-by-his-cyber-bootstraps narrative, and as such,
3h
Crypto Site Glitch Makes Some Users Temporary Quadrillionaires
Going Haywire Cryptocurrency prices went completely haywire on several crypto exchanges on Tuesday, spiking to ludicrous new heights. The price of Bitcoin briefly hit $789 billion on the exchange, for example, a hilarious error that led to several investors attempting to get away with billions, Benzinga reports . Mainstream exchanges Coinbase and CoinMarketCap were affected by the mysterious glit
5h
Billionaire Space Tourist Basically Says "Let Them Eat Cake"
A Japanese billionaire who spent tens of millions of dollars to take a leisurely trip to the International Space Station doesn't care that his vacation among the cosmos is only accessible due to his obscene wealth. In an interview with the Associated Press conducted from his $80 million vacation aboard the ISS, fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa mused that "those who criticize are perhaps those who ha
6h
Beware Prophecies of Civil War
I n January 1972 , when I was a 13-year-old boy in Dublin, my father came home from work and told us to prepare for civil war. He was not a bloodthirsty zealot, nor was he given to hysterical outbursts. He was calm and rueful, but also grimly certain: Civil war was coming to Ireland, whether we wanted it or not. He and my brother, who was 16, and I, when I got older, would all be up in Northern I
8h
Many Covid hospital patients do not feel fully recovered year later – study
Researchers find fewer than third of patients show much improvement 12 months after discharge Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Fewer than one in three patients who have ongoing Covid symptoms after being hospitalised with the disease say they feel fully recovered a year later, according to a study that offers new insights into potential treatments. As the pandemic has
20h
US Navy Uses Laser Weapon to Destroy "Floating Target"
Laser Strike The Associated Press reports that the US Navy has fired a laser weapon at a floating target in the Mideast and destroyed it — a show of force that demonstrates the potential of laser-based weapon systems. Such a system could ward off drone boats armed with bombs sent by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the AP reports. The region has been embroiled in a deadly war since Houthi re
22h
Darwin's lost microscope: the auction of a history-making 'box of brass' – video
The first microscope used by Charles Darwin was up for auction at Christie's this week, and this video tells the story of its discovery and importance. This intricate and rather beautiful 'box of brass' contains the microscope used by Darwin at university in Edinburgh and Cambridge as he studied botany, fine-tuning his microscopy skills prior to and during his Beagle voyage. The auctioneer descri
11h
Go out, catch Covid, ignore the science. Or trust in Chris Whitty | John Crace
People are wising up to Boris Johnson and choosing to listen to unelected experts over those paid to make bad decisions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage You can tell who the country trusts. People no longer look at Boris Johnson on TV and ask themselves why is this liar lying to me. They already know why. Boris lies because he knows no other way of interacting. Deceit
2h
What Does It Mean for AI to Understand?
Remember IBM's Watson, the AI Jeopardy! champion? A 2010 promotion proclaimed, "Watson understands natural language with all its ambiguity and complexity." However, as we saw when Watson subsequently failed spectacularly in its quest to "revolutionize medicine with artificial intelligence," a veneer of linguistic facility is not the same as actually comprehending human language. Source
5h
The metaverse has a groping problem already
Last week, Meta (the umbrella company formerly known as Facebook) opened up access to its virtual-reality social media platform, Horizon Worlds. Early descriptions of the platform make it seem fun and wholesome, drawing comparisons to Minecraft. In Horizon Worlds, up to 20 avatars can get together at a time to explore, hang out, and build within the virtual space. But not everything has been warm
9h
Man With Wingsuit Flies Inside Mouth of Active Volcano
Into the Volcano In Red Bull-sponsored stunt news, a daredevil wingsuit pilot became the first person to fly in and back out of an active volcano, CNN reports . The best part about the story? It has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic or the surging Omicron variant. And for that, we're grateful. Facing the Fear The pilot, Chilean daredevil Sebastián Álvarez, plunged towards the Villarrica vo
1h
Hurricane-Like Storms That Raged in the Midwest Caused by Climate Change, FEMA Says
Hurricanes in Iowa A series of record breaking, hurricane-force storms blew across the Midwest on Wednesday, destroying homes, toppling trucks, and causing sweeping power outages — and experts say climate change is a driving factor. The storms generated almost 20 tornadoes across Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, CNN reports . One twister that hit southeastern Minnesota was even the first ever repor
4h
Mask Up
The COVID-19 pandemic is not done with us yet. We are still in the middle of the delta surge, and while delta will eventually pass, the omicron variant is right on its heels. In the US we just passed the milestone of 800,000 people dead from COVID with over 50 million cases. More Americans died of COVID in 2021 than in 2020, although in 2021 most deaths were among the unvaccinated. The vaccines r
7h
Why NASA Is Trying to Dodge the Moon
The biggest, most powerful space telescope in history is currently sitting on top of a rocket in French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America, awaiting its blazing departure from this planet. The James Webb Space Telescope is designed to point its 18 gold-coated mirrors into the darkness and reveal hidden wonders in the universe. But its last few months on Earth have been a little st
21h
Procrastinate This, Not That
" How to Build a Life " is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life . A re you putting something off by reading this article? Maybe it's finishing your Christmas shopping. Or making a confrontational phone call. Or writing your fall term papers. Social scientists
9h
Study Finds That Trans Youth Who Get Gender-Affirming Hormones Are Less Depressed
Content warning: This article contains references to suicide. You can click here for a list of resources from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. New research suggests that gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) is directly connected to lower rates of depression and suicide attempts in transgender youths. The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on Tuesday, came from research
11min
The Lawlessness That Cops Ignore
A glimpse of my phone's photo roll: cherubic child proudly displaying the treats he snuck into the grocery basket; black sedan with no license plates; kid in restaurant sticking his tongue out; red Nissan Altima with Florida plates blocking crosswalk; child posing with friend on Coney Island boardwalk; white Chevy Suburban with New York City Transit Authority parking placard blocking fire hydrant
9h
Fox Hosts Knew—And Lied Anyway
According to right-wing media figures, the January 6 sacking of the Capitol that disrupted the counting of the 2020 electoral votes was " a false-flag operation ." It was just "politicians" having their "jobs disrupted for two hours." It was " mostly peaceful ." It was a " setup ," or perhaps it was the work of " antifa ," but those who were arrested and prosecuted are definitely " political pris
1h
A quantum view of 'combs' of light
Unlike the jumble of frequencies produced by the light that surrounds us in daily life, each frequency of light in a specialized light source known as a "soliton" frequency comb oscillates in unison, generating solitary pulses with consistent timing.
4h
Scientists send robot boats into the eye of hurricanes
A fleet of modified Saildrones is sending back video and data to help understand extreme weather Sending a small sailing boat to explore the interior of a hurricane may seem like a bad idea, but that is exactly what meteorologists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did in October . There was no danger though because the seven-metre vessel was crewless. Saildrones are robo
11h
Millipedes Have Been Living a Lie
Greek mythology tells us that not long after a young and incautious Persephone was first taken into the underworld by Hades, she made a gaffe of epic proportions by sampling the cuisine. Down in the dirt, she munched on a pomegranate, binding herself eternally to a subterranean life. In this way, Persephone is basically a millipede. Bear with me. Millipedes' primary goal in life (other than repro
3h
'I Always Think of Poetry as Home for Me'
Seven years ago, I did a poetry reading at New Roads School, in Santa Monica, California. The students were incredible. They were funny, they were incredibly smart, and they asked the sorts of questions I had not been asked before. But one student stood out in particular. She was ebullient and curious and thoughtful. One of her teachers shared with me that she had recently been named the Los Ange
8h
How we drained California dry
The wind finally blew the other way last night and kicked out the smoke from the burning Sierra. Down here in the flatland of California, we used to regard the granite mountain as a place apart, our getaway. But the distance is no more. With all those dead pine trees in thrall to wildfire, the Sierra, transmuted into ash, is right outside our door. We have learned to watch the sky with an uncanny
8h
No 10 parties raise questions about whether PM will follow Covid science
Analysis: After a steady stream of reports, how likely is it that Boris Johnson will take advice about imposing tougher restrictions? • Boris Johnson joined No 10 party during May 2020 lockdown, say sources Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Cast your minds back to 15 May 2020. Matt Hancock, the then health secretary before he quit for breaking restrictions by having an
4h
Flies navigate using complex mental math
The treadmills in Rachel Wilson's laboratories at Harvard Medical School aren't like any you'll find at a gym. They're spherical, for one, and encased in bowling ball–sized plastic bubbles. They're also built for flies.
6h
The Spectacular Vindication of BTS
For 20 months, I was haunted by two fears: that some things (the pandemic, isolation, anxiety) would last forever, and that others (dreams, loved ones, entire years) would be lost forever. Time warped around me, as it did for so many people. Some days, it moved like molasses. On others, like when I saw family and friends, it seemed to flow like a river that I couldn't stop or outrun. Then, for tw
1h
Secret embraces of stars revealed by Alma
Unlike our Sun, most stars live with a companion. Sometimes, two come so close that one engulfs the other—with far-reaching consequences. When a team of astronomers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, used the telescope Alma to study 15 unusual stars, they were surprised to find that they all recently underwent this phase. The discovery promises new insight on the sky's most dramatic
3h
Lethal pulsing inside pyroclastic surges
Pyroclastic surges are lethal hazards from volcanoes that exhibit enormous destructiveness through large dynamic pressures of 100–102 kilopascal inside flows that are capable of obliterating reinforced buildings. These hot, fast and turbulent gas-and-ash clouds create far greater devastation to life and infrastructure than can currently be explained scientifically. But why are they so destructive?
5h
Swarm and Cluster missions get to the bottom of geomagnetic storms
The notion of living in a bubble is usually associated with negative connotations, but all life on Earth is dependent on the safe bubble created by our magnetic field. Understanding how the field is generated, how it protects us and how it sometimes gives way to charged particles from the solar wind is not just a matter of scientific interest, but also a matter of safety. Using information from ES
6h
The climate crisis and devastating drought in eastern Africa
For three consecutive rainy seasons, the eastern Horn of Africa has experienced poor rainfall. Confounded by Covid-19 and desert locust invasions, millions are now facing starvation across parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Already, livestock and wildlife are dying of thirst and hunger in large numbers. And at the heart of it all is the worsening climate crisis. Madeleine Finlay asks climate r
15h
Filth, Automobiles, and Our Misguided Obsession With Traffic
Since the 1950s, efforts to ease traffic congestion have often contributed to urban decline. Instead of pouring money into new and wider roads in the hope of speeding our commutes, we should build places where people want to slow down and get out of their cars — places worth waiting in traffic to get to.
10h
The recent killer tornado's track is visible from space
During the night of December 10, 2021, severe weather tore through several US states, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. At least 70 tornado-like events were reported, and one storm cell was tracked on radar for approximately four hours as it traveled for more than 400 km (250 miles.)
7h
The Joyful Pandering of Spider-Man: No Way Home
Superhero movies often evoke the feeling of childhood play, of breaking out a couple of action figures and thrilling in imaginary team-ups and surprise villain cameos. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, a staggering piece of storytelling that shows no sign of abating after 27 films, has figured out how to bottle that feeling and sell it to grown-ups and kids alike, provoking cheers every time Iron Ma
8h
Journal retracts 122 papers at once
A SAGE journal has retracted 122 papers because of "clear indicators that the submission and/or peer review process for these papers was manipulated." Those indicators, according to The International Journal of Electrical Engineering & Education: include but are not limited to submission patterns consistent with the use of paper mills, collusion between authors and reviewers … Continue reading
19h
EPA details push to tighten rules for lead in drinking water
The Biden administration took steps Thursday aimed at reducing lead in drinking water, releasing $2.9 billion in infrastructure bill funds for lead pipe removal and announcing plans by the Environmental Protection Agency to impose stricter rules to limit exposure to the health hazard.
7min
Place cells may simply be memory cells: Memory compression leads to spatial tuning and history dependence [Neuroscience]
The observation of place cells has suggested that the hippocampus plays a special role in encoding spatial information. However, place cell responses are modulated by several nonspatial variables and reported to be rather unstable. Here, we propose a memory model of the hippocampus that provides an interpretation of place cells…
12min
Dynamic rupture initiation and propagation in a fluid-injection laboratory setup with diagnostics across multiple temporal scales [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Fluids are known to trigger a broad range of slip events, from slow, creeping transients to dynamic earthquake ruptures. Yet, the detailed mechanics underlying these processes and the conditions leading to different rupture behaviors are not well understood. Here, we use a laboratory earthquake setup, capable of injecting pressurized fluids,…
12min
Bacteriophage self-counting in the presence of viral replication [Microbiology]
When host cells are in low abundance, temperate bacteriophages opt for dormant (lysogenic) infection. Phage lambda implements this strategy by increasing the frequency of lysogeny at higher multiplicity of infection (MOI). However, it remains unclear how the phage reliably counts infecting viral genomes even as their intracellular number increases because…
12min
Systems biology analysis of human genomes points to key pathways conferring spina bifida risk [Medical Sciences]
Spina bifida (SB) is a debilitating birth defect caused by multiple gene and environment interactions. Though SB shows non-Mendelian inheritance, genetic factors contribute to an estimated 70% of cases. Nevertheless, identifying human mutations conferring SB risk is challenging due to its relative rarity, genetic heterogeneity, incomplete penetrance, and environmental influences…
12min
Trident cold atmospheric plasma blocks three cancer survival pathways to overcome therapy resistance [Cell Biology]
Therapy resistance is responsible for most cancer-related death and is mediated by the unique ability of cancer cells to leverage metabolic conditions, signaling molecules, redox status, and other pathways for their survival. Interestingly, many cancer survival pathways are susceptible to disturbances in cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and may therefore…
12min
Amphiphilic proteins coassemble into multiphasic condensates and act as biomolecular surfactants [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Cells contain membraneless compartments that assemble due to liquid–liquid phase separation, including biomolecular condensates with complex morphologies. For instance, certain condensates are surrounded by a film of distinct composition, such as Ape1 condensates coated by a layer of Atg19, required for selective autophagy in yeast. Other condensates are multiphasic, with…
12min
EIN3 and RSL4 interfere with an MYB-bHLH-WD40 complex to mediate ethylene-induced ectopic root hair formation in Arabidopsis [Plant Biology]
The alternating cell specifications of root epidermis to form hair cells or nonhair cells in Arabidopsis are determined by the expression level of GL2, which is activated by an MYB–bHLH–WD40 (WER–GL3–TTG1) transcriptional complex. The phytohormone ethylene (ET) has a unique effect of inducing N-position epidermal cells to form root hairs….
12min
Volumetric compression develops noise-driven single-cell heterogeneity [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Recent studies have revealed that extensive heterogeneity of biological systems arises through various routes ranging from intracellular chromosome segregation to spatiotemporally varying biochemical stimulations. However, the contribution of physical microenvironments to single-cell heterogeneity remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that a homogeneous population of non–small-cell lung carcin
12min
Cell-type-specific neuromodulation guides synaptic credit assignment in a spiking neural network [Neuroscience]
Brains learn tasks via experience-driven differential adjustment of their myriad individual synaptic connections, but the mechanisms that target appropriate adjustment to particular connections remain deeply enigmatic. While Hebbian synaptic plasticity, synaptic eligibility traces, and top-down feedback signals surely contribute to solving this synaptic credit-assignment problem, alone, they appea
12min
Lattice defects induced by microtubule-stabilizing agents exert a long-range effect on microtubule growth by promoting catastrophes [Cell Biology]
Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that spontaneously switch between phases of growth and shrinkage. The probability of transitioning from growth to shrinkage, termed catastrophe, increases with microtubule age, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we set out to test whether microtubule lattice defects formed during polymerization can affect…
12min
Recurrent high-impact mutations at cognate structural positions in class A G protein-coupled receptors expressed in tumors [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of human proteins. They have a common structure and, signaling through a much smaller set of G proteins, arrestins, and effectors, activate downstream pathways that often modulate hallmark mechanisms of cancer. Because there are many more GPCRs than effectors, mutations in different…
12min
Decoupling between Shockley partials and stacking faults strengthens multiprincipal element alloys [Engineering]
Mechanical properties are fundamental to structural materials, where dislocations play a decisive role in describing their mechanical behavior. Although the high-yield stresses of multiprincipal element alloys (MPEAs) have received extensive attention in the last decade, the relation between their mechanistic origins remains elusive. Our multiscale study of density functional theory,…
12min
Direct visualization of a static incommensurate antiferromagnetic order in Fe-doped Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+{delta} [Physics]
In cuprate superconductors, due to strong electronic correlations, there are multiple intertwined orders which either coexist or compete with superconductivity. Among them, the antiferromagnetic (AF) order is the most prominent one. In the region where superconductivity sets in, the long-range AF order is destroyed. Yet the residual short-range AF spin…
12min
Symmetric activation and modulation of the human calcium-sensing receptor [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
The human extracellular calcium-sensing (CaS) receptor controls plasma Ca2+ levels and contributes to nutrient-dependent maintenance and metabolism of diverse organs. Allosteric modulation of the CaS receptor corrects disorders of calcium homeostasis. Here, we report the cryogenic-electron microscopy reconstructions of a near–full-length CaS receptor in the absence and presence of allosteric…
12min
A halogen budget of the bulk silicate Earth points to a history of early halogen degassing followed by net regassing [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Halogens are important tracers of various planetary formation and evolution processes, and an accurate understanding of their abundances in the Earth's silicate reservoirs can help us reconstruct the history of interactions among mantle, atmosphere, and oceans. The previous studies of halogen abundances in the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) are based…
12min
Adult mouse and human organoids derived from thyroid follicular cells and modeling of Graves' hyperthyroidism [Cell Biology]
The thyroid maintains systemic homeostasis by regulating serum thyroid hormone concentrations. Here we report the establishment of three-dimensional (3D) organoids from adult thyroid tissue representing murine and human thyroid follicular cells (TFCs). The TFC organoids (TFCOs) harbor the complete machinery of hormone production as visualized by the presence of colloid…
12min
Research team takes important step in quantum computing with error correction
Researchers at QuTech—a collaboration between the TU Delft and TNO—have reached a milestone in quantum error correction. They have integrated high-fidelity operations on encoded quantum data with a scalable scheme for repeated data stabilization. The researchers report their findings in the December issue of Nature Physics.
19min
Research group isolates reaction step that describes energetics of catalysis on materials
New research published in Nature Materials from Associate Professor Tanja Cuk and colleagues sheds light on a fundamental chemical reaction—the breaking apart of water to produce a molecular fuel such as hydrogen. Cuk is faculty in the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Chemistry and the Materials Science and Engineering Program (MSE) and is a Fellow in the Renewable and Sustainable Ener
19min
Enterprise service management—from back office to the forefront
Thank you for joining us on "The cloud hub: From cloud chaos to clarity." Traditionally, the IT service catalog focused on handling IT-related issues. That has now evolved to enhance business functions like customer service management and HR. The focus has shifted to delivering better value that will enhance user experience and support business performance and growth. Click here to continue.
25min
Brain study on how to slow down climate change
When it comes to climate-friendly behavior, there is often a gap between what we want and what we actually do. Although most people want to see climate change slowed down, many do not behave in an appropriately sustainable way. Researchers have now used brain stimulation to demonstrate that the ability to sympathize with the future victims of climate change encourages sustainable behavior.
54min
Despite cleaner air, pollution disparities for people of color remain across the US
Researchers investigated disparities in exposure to six major air pollutants in 1990, 2000 and 2010 by comparing models of air pollution levels to census data. While overall pollutant concentrations have decreased since 1990, people of color are still more likely to be exposed to all six pollutants than white people, regardless of income level, across the continental United States.
54min
An Uber driver was murdered. His family is pleading for the company's help.
Ahmad Fawad Yusufi, 31, was sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a San Francisco playground around 5 a.m. on November 28 when someone walked up to the car, attempted to steal his wallet, and shot him to death. Yusufi, an Afghan immigrant who had arrived in the United States on a special visa after serving as a translator for the US military, had come into the city from his home in Sacramento
1h
A new way to find genetic variations removes bias from human genotyping
Since the first sequencing of the human genome more than 20 years ago, the study of human genomes has relied almost exclusively on a single reference genome to which others are compared to identify genetic variations. Scientists have long recognized that a single reference genome cannot represent human diversity and that using it introduces a pervasive bias into these studies. Now, they finally ha
1h
Solar probe reveals clues to one of the sun's greatest mysteries
Data from NASA's Parker Solar Probe bolster theories about one of the sun's greatest mysteries: why its outer atmosphere is hotter than its fiery surface. Two years ago , researchers predicted when the probe would pass a constantly moving, invisible barrier in the sun's upper atmosphere called the Alfven point. They also anticipated a strange phenomenon beyond that point, which heats elements to
1h
Swimming With Orcas During Polar Nights
In late November, Olivier Morin, a photographer with Agence France-Presse, visited the village of Skjervøy in northern Norway to spend time whale-watching and swimming in frigid fjords with a group of orcas as they hunted for herring. From October through February, orcas and humpback whales hunt for the fish to build up their stock of protein. The temperature of the water was 41 degrees Fahrenhei
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Researchers describe 70 new species in 2021
In 2021, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 70 new plant and animal species to the tree of life, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions. The new species include 14 beetles, 12 sea slugs, nine ants, seven fish, six scorpions, five sea stars, five flowering plants, four sharks, three spider
2h
New research finds supermarket business model is on knife edge
In the run-up to Christmas, supermarkets and their supply chains will be top-of-mind for many consumers. A new report from the Food Research Collaboration, based on analysis by Professor Lisa Jack from the University of Portsmouth, shows that the supermarkets' business model is surprisingly fragile.
2h
A pioneering visual system for assessment of student competencies
When a student obtains a university qualification, they are deemed to have acquired with a set of skills, abilities and knowledge learned throughout the courses and years. But what exactly do they know? What competencies lie behind that qualification? To what degree have they acquired them? The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is taking a leap forward in competency-based assessment by launchi
2h
How do flies know where they are in space?
A new study makes significant headway in solving the mystery of how the brain calculates an animal's direction of travel when the head is pointing one way and the body is moving in another. Navigation doesn't always go as planned—a lesson that flies learn the hard way, when a strong headwind shunts them backward in defiance of their forward-beating wings. Fish swimming upriver, crabs scuttling si
2h
COVID-19 lockdowns lessened global lightning activity
Global lightning activity dropped almost 8% during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, according to new research being presented at the AGU Fall Meeting 2021 in New Orleans. The cause of the drop appears to be a connection between lightning and air pollution.
3h
Concurrent heatwaves seven times more frequent than in 1980s
Multiple large heatwaves the size of Mongolia occurred at the same time nearly every day during the warm seasons of the 2010s across the Northern Hemisphere, according to a new study. Using ERA5 climate data from 1979 to 2019, the researchers found that the number of heatwaves occurring simultaneously in the mid- to high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere was seven times greater in the 2010s tha
3h
Gallic acid and stretching decrease osteoarthritis markers in cartilage cells
Researchers used gallic acid, an antioxidant found in gallnuts, green tea and other plants, and applied a stretching mechanism to human cartilage cells taken from arthritic knees that mimics the stretching that occurs when walking. The combination not only decreased arthritis inflammation markers in the cells but improved the production of desired proteins normally found in healthy cartilage. Whil
3h
An enemy within: Pathogens hide in tissue
Antibiotics cure many bacterial infections. However, some patients suffer a relapse. A research group has now discovered why some bacteria can survive antibiotic therapy. The team uncovered where the bacteria hide in the body and how the body's own immune system also plays an important role.
3h
Create Your Next Project with the Best 3D Printing Software of 2022
The rise of affordable consumer 3D printers makes 3D printing more accessible than ever, and paired with the best 3D printing software, you can create almost anything from the comfort of home. 3D printers use a process called additive manufacturing (most often referred to as 3D printing) to create three-dimensional items, layer by layer. Essentially, they take the 3D data from a digital file and
4h
Nanoparticle therapeutic enhances cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have discovered that a nanoparticle therapeutic enhances cancer immunotherapy and is a possible new approach in treating malignant pleural effusion (MPE). MPE is the accumulation of fluid between the chest wall and lungs and is accompanied by malignant cells and/or tumors.
4h
Robots use fear to fight invasive fish
The invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) chews off the tails of freshwater fishes and tadpoles, leaving the native animals to perish while dining on other fishes' and amphibians' eggs. In a study published December 16 in the journal iScience, researchers engineered a robot to scare mosquitofish away, revealing how fear alters its behavior, physiology, fertility—and may help turn the tide aga
4h
Siri, Alexa, Google … what comes next? | Karen Lellouche Tordjman
From Siri to Alexa to Google, virtual assistants already permeate our lives. What will the next generation of these digital helpers look and sound like? Customer experience professional Karen Lellouche Tordjman gives us a glimpse of where they're headed — and breaks down the two key challenges engineers need to crack in order to usher in a new age of truly smart voice assistants.
4h
Stretchy semiconductor detects very low levels of light
Researchers have shown a new level of stretchability for a photodetector. Photodetectors are devices made from a synthetic polymer and an elastomer that absorbs light to produce an electrical current. Semiconductors are moving away from rigid substrates, which are cut or formed into thin discs or wafers, to more flexible plastic material and even paper thanks to new material and fabrication disco
4h
SpaceX CRS-24 launching multiple life science investigations to the International Space Station
The microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS) has a profound impact on cells and tissues, allowing researchers to conduct life sciences research in ways not possible on the ground. SpaceX's 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting laboratory will deliver a variety of life science payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory. From stem cell resear
4h
Greenland's nutrients changing, with global impact
Scientists have discovered the availability of carbon in Greenland's waters is shifting poleward and appearing earlier than in previous decades. This finding will enhance understanding of carbon cycling and nutrient availability in this rapidly warming and changing environment.
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NASA scientist discusses Parker's journey to the sun
Sixty years ago, NASA set an out-of-this-world goal: to touch our sun. Sending a spacecraft to the fiery star at the center of our solar system is no small feat. From engineering a spacecraft that could hurtle 430,000 mph through space to agreeing on what kinds of data it would capture, there was a lot to sort out. A half-century in the making, Parker Solar Probe finally launched in 2018. Now, thr
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How to successfully implement digital strategies
In our digital age, companies need more than just a digital footprint to get ahead of the game. Increasingly, many companies—both large and small, established or start-ups—are implementing digital strategies. In implementing a digital strategy, the top management's vision, and direction matter, but those, who participate in the implementation of the strategy, are crucial—that is, all employees.
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Snow drought research finds predictability in uncertainty
Periods of record low snow levels over the past decade have increased the urgency of snow research. As snow studies expand, usage of the term "snow drought" to describe seasons of abnormally low snowpack has become common. But disagreements still exist over how to measure snow depth and how to define snow drought.
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Ned Seeman (1945–2021)
Nature, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03709-7 Nanotechnologist who built the first self-assembling DNA structures.
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Healthier tapioca starch is on the way
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have recently created a healthier form of starch in the cassava plant. Published in the scientific journal Plant Molecular Biology, the study shows how reducing levels of starch branching enzymes (SBEs) in cassava plants changes the composition of tapioca starch, making it more resistant to digestion and healthier for
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As flooding amplifies along the East Coast, Buddhist and Jewish faith leaders join the climate fight
By Ayurella Horn-Muller (Climate Central) . With reporting and news segment by Amber Strong (Newsy). Just two hours north of New York city is the Chuang Yen Monastery, a serene site of Buddhist worship sheltered by more than 200 acres of dense woodland. Image Credit: Andrew Shafer/ Newsy This is the second story in Faith for Earth. First story: 'Preach now or mourn in the future': How Key West fa
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Blood from active mice can benefit brains of couch potatoes
A new study shows it's possible to transfer the brain benefits marathon-running mice enjoy to their couch-potato peers. The new research shows that blood from young adult mice that get lots of exercise benefits the brains of same-aged, sedentary mice. A single protein in the blood of exercising mice seems largely responsible for the benefit. The discovery could open the door to treatments that—by
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Taking swine medicine education into the virtual world
Faculty at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine are laying the groundwork to teach students swine-medicine skills using virtual telehealth technology, a method that could reinforce biosecurity while allowing students to see more cases than they would using traditional approaches to teaching veterinary skills.
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Good mental health in young adults born after assisted reproduction
Use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) does not lead to poorer mental health in children across adolescence and young adulthood, according to a large observational study. The study found a slightly higher risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder for those born after ART but this was explained by parental background factors.
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There Are Black Widows in Our Cave! | Naked and Afraid
Stream Naked and Afraid on discovery+ ► https://www.discoveryplus.com/show/naked-and-afraid About Naked and Afraid: What happens when you put two complete strangers – sans clothes – in some of the most extreme environments on Earth? Each male-female duo is left with no food, no water, no clothes, and only one survival item. #NakedAndAfraid #Discovery #Survival Subscribe to Discovery: http://bit.l
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Scientists Counted 20 Billion Ticks of an Extreme Galactic Clock to Test Einstein's Theory of Gravity
For more than 100 years, Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity has been our best description of how the force of gravity acts throughout the universe. General relativity is not only very accurate, but ask any astrophysicist about the theory and they'll probably also describe it as "beautiful." But it has a dark side too: a fundamental conflict with our other great physical theory, quantu
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Homogeneous hydrogenolysis with molecular palladium
Tritium 3H, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, is commonly used in medicinal chemistry as a label to follow the course of a drug in the human body. Chemists like to use the technique to evaluate drug candidates and their metabolism. A team led of researchers at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mühlheim, Germany, has now found a new way to label complex small molecules with tritium. I
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Kitesurfing the white wilderness for polar science
In an astonishing feat of endurance, explorers Justin Packshaw and Jamie Facer Childs are a quarter of the way through a 3600-km kitesurf trek that takes them across the desolate heart of Antarctica. They are not pushing their physical and mental limits to the brink, facing howling gales and temperatures of –55°C just for the sake of adventure. They are gathering information to help scientists bet
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Inaugural Space Resources Challenge for driving and walking rovers
Driving and walking rovers competed to survey a shadowy analog of the south polar lunar surface for useable resources during the inaugural ESA-ESRIC Space Resources Challenge. Some 13 teams from across Europe and Canada took part in last month's field test, with the winners due to be announced shortly.
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Why too many walkers cause bridges to wobble and sway
Researchers have uncovered a surprising new explanation for why pedestrian bridges can suddenly start to wobble and sway: too many people crossing at once and simply trying not to fall over. In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications , researchers show how a bridge—even one as highly engineered as the Golden Gate or the Brooklyn Bridge—can become suddenly unstable. If enough pe
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From ground to orbit, sensors check air to improve quality
From high-profile wildfires in the American West over the last several years, to visibly cleaner air during pandemic slowdowns, air quality is returning to the forefront of environmental concern. The air we breathe has direct impacts on human health and quality of life—especially for people with respiratory concerns.
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Demonstrating Feshbach resonances between a single ion and ultracold atoms
A team led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz, Professor of Atomic and Quantum Physics at the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg, Dr. Pascal Weckesser, Fabian Thielemann and colleagues, demonstrate magnetic Feshbach resonances between a single barium ion and lithium atoms at near absolute zero temperature. The researchers found that depending on the strength of the external magnetic field,
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Sea level fall led to the decline of pre-Columbian societies 2,000 years ago
Sea level changes caused the decline of one of the longest pre-Columbian coastal societies of the Americas 2,000 years ago, known as Sambaqui. This is demonstrated in a study carried out in Brazil by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and the Department of Prehistory of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, recently published in the journal Scientifi
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Stem cells organize themselves into embryoid
Researchers at the University of Bonn have developed a method to generate embryo-like cell complexes from the stem cells of mice. The method provides new insights into embryonic development. In the medium term, it might also be suitable for developing tests for substances that could be harmful to fertility. The study is published in Nature Communications.
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School bullying occurs mostly among students of the same gender
A study by the universities of Valencia (UV) and the Catholic University of Valencia finds that the harassment and the response it provokes is different among high school students depending on gender. It concludes that school bullying is not cross-cutting and that the reaction as a witness to the aggression is different: girlstend to seek outside help and boys either get involved at the time or do
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'Drink your peas!' Benefits of supplementing cow milk with plant protein
Scientists from the Department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio, U.S.) have developed a novel method of supplementing cow milk with vegetable protein using readily available current dairy processing equipment. A new report in the January 2022 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science presents the study, which may open opportunities to create new functional, m
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Are marine protected areas helping marine mammals and birds? Maybe, but more can be done
Our oceans are under pressure like never before, with over 60% struggling from the increasing impact of fishing, coastal activities and climate change. The harsh truth is that as we move towards 2022 only 3% of oceans are totally free from the pressure of human activity. The greatest impact appears to be on large-bodied animals such as marine mammals and birds, which cannot reproduce as quickly as
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Analyzing mushroom DNA to study mutation epistasis
A team of researchers from Skoltech and their Russian and U.S. colleagues have gathered two dozen mushrooms of the species Schizophyllum commune and analyzed their DNA, gaining insights into mutations that cancel the negative effects of other mutations. This phenomenon applies to all organisms but is way more prominent in the extremely genetically variable mushroom than in humans. The mutation int
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Report: Climate change contributed to some of 2020's worst weather
Failed monsoon rains that reignited the southwestern U.S. drought. A spring heat wave in western Europe. Intense Siberian wildfires. Scientists say human-caused climate change made these extreme weather events more likely, according to new research published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).
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Commodities and cryptocurrencies in the time of COVID-19
What relationships might we extract from an examination of the changes in values of cryptocurrencies and commodities before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. New work published in the International Journal of Business Performance Management, looks at the relationship and causality between cryptocurrencies, commodities, currencies, indexes and web search results over this period. The team demonstra
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The jet stream took a sharp turn, and the US got unprecedented tornado weather in December
Extremely powerful winds swept across a large part of the U.S. on Dec. 15, 2021, hitting several states with hurricane-force gusts. Record temperatures helped generate tornadoes in Iowa, winds spread grass fires and dust clouds in Kansas, and wind damage was reported from northern New Mexico and Colorado into the Midwest. The National Weather Service described it as a "historical weather day" with
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Gen påverkar förmågan att bryta ner bröd
Äta mycket bröd – kan det vara en riskfaktor för typ 2-diabetes? Ja kanske om om du har vissa varianter av en gen som kallas AMY1, som har betydelse för hur våra kroppar tar hand om stärkelserik mat. Inlägget dök först upp på forskning.se .
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Trove of Kafka's drawings reveals his 'cheerful side'
More than 100 unpublished drawings by the German writer Franz Kafka are now available in a new book. Most people know Franz Kafka for his written works such as The Metamorphosis , The Trial , and The Castle , yet he also drew vigorously. Until recently, only 40 of Kafka's drawings had come to light. When in 2019 a safe deposit box from a vault on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse was opened after years of
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The emergence and perils of polarization
We can't understand polarization unless we analyze it as a complex system, argue SFI External Professor Scott Page (University of Michigan) and co-author Delia Baldassarri in a commentary for a special feature on the dynamics of political polarization in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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New DNA sequencing technique preserves cells' locations within tissues
Within complex tissues such as cancer tumors, individual cells can vary widely from each other. Internally, cancer cells can develop unique DNA mutations and genomic changes, potentially leading to drug resistance, metastasis, or relapse. Externally, the cells' specific locations within the tissue also matter, since the local structure of a tumor and its surrounding tissues can affect cell state a
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Polarization, diversity, and democratic robustness
Polarization is dangerous for democracy. Though the U.S. Constitution was designed to harness rivalry with a diverse, redundant, and modular set of institutions, if that rivalry curdles into the belief that your competitors are your enemies, those institutions may not be strong enough to hold a nation together.
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Stepping up for clinical research
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27389-z Since its inception 10 years ago Nature Communications has strived to publish papers of high quality and relevance to communities of researchers across the whole of the natural sciences. In more recent years, we have happily seen an increase in the submission and publication of clinical research studies. To
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Daily briefing: Thwaites Glacier closer to collapse
Nature, Published online: 15 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03776-w Huge cracks in an Antarctic glacier could shatter part of it within five years. Plus, a NASA probe has travelled into the Sun's corona for the first time and a guide to the US trial of a Harvard chemist.
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Reinforcing the supply chain of umifenovir and other antiviral drugs with retrosynthetic software
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27547-3 COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of supply chains, particularly for goods that are essential or may suddenly become essential, such as repurposed pharmaceuticals. Here the authors develop a methodology to provide routes to pharmaceutical targets that allow low-supply starting materials or intermediates to
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Stochastic fluctuations of bosonic dark matter
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27632-7 Direct dark matter searches need to take into account whether the total observation time is lower than the characteristic coherence time of the DM field. Analysing this generally overlooked scenario, here the authors quantify the impact on DM limits of the stochastic nature of the virialised ultralight field
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Structure-guided bifunctional molecules hit a DEUBAD-lacking hRpn13 species upregulated in multiple myeloma
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27570-4 Rpn13 is a substrate receptor of the 26S proteasome and an anti-cancer drug target. Here, the authors identify and characterize XL5, a lead compound that binds to the N-terminal Pru domain of human Rpn13 (hRpn13), solve the NMR structure of XL5-ligated hRpn13 Pru and develop XL5-PROTACs that preferentially t
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R-loop proximity proteomics identifies a role of DDX41 in transcription-associated genomic instability
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27530-y Transcription can pose a threat to genomic instability through the formation of R-loops, which are RNA–DNA hybrids with a displaced non-template DNA strand. Here the authors mapped the R-loop proximal proteome in human cells and identified a role of the tumor suppressor DDX41 in opposing R-loop and double st
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Bedform segregation and locking increase storage of natural and synthetic particles in rivers
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27554-4 Here the authors show that hyporheic flow, bed morphology, and bed stability are intimately related, and that this relationship is expressed as distinct locked and segregated states of bedform dynamics, which carries implications for river system behavior in general and the storage of carbon, nutrients, and
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Face detection in untrained deep neural networks
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27606-9 Face-selective neurons are observed in the primate visual pathway and are considered as the basis of face detection in the brain. Here, using a hierarchical deep neural network model of the ventral visual stream, the authors suggest that face selectivity arises in the complete absence of training.
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Brödstudie undersöker genernas betydelse för att bryta ner mat
Det finns mycket forskning om vilken kost som minskar risken för typ 2-diabetes, men det behövs mer kunskap om hur våra gener påverkar vår förmåga att bryta ner mat. Nu ger en ny studie som har letts av forskare vid Lunds universitet ökat stöd för att variationer i en gen som kallas AMY1 har betydelse för hur våra kroppar tar hand om stärkelserik mat.
10h
The Experiment Podcast: In Between Pro-life and Pro-choice
Listen and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Rebecca Shrader had always thought that abortion was morally wrong. As a devout Baptist Christian, she volunteered at a clinic designed to discourage women from getting abortions. And when she got pregnant for the first time, she knew she would carry the baby to term, no matter what. But when Rebecca's pregnancy didn't go
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Powerful typhoon hits Philippines, nearly 100,000 evacuated
A powerful typhoon slammed into the southeastern Philippines on Thursday and was blowing across island provinces where nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated from high-risk areas that could be devastated by flash floods, landslides and tidal surges, officials said.
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French bulldogs have higher risk of 20 common health disorders
French Bulldogs have significantly higher odds of being diagnosed with 20 common disorders compared to other dog breeds, reports a study published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics. To reduce the risks of breathing disorders associated with the typical shorter muzzle and flat head of French Bulldogs, the authors propose a shift to focus breeding towards more moderate characteristics.
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Why futuristic technologies are bad?
Do you know what drones, AI-type robots, general advanced AI, self-driving vehicles, genetic engineering on humans, etc all have in common? They're all futuristic technologies, and are destined to go wrong. I'm worried that, not only jobs could be lost (which would be bad since we all need jobs to get paid), but the world will most likely end due to futuristic technologies, as they may be weaponi
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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #50, 2021
89 articles in 45 journals by 574 contributing authors Observations of climate change, effects Ubiquity of human-induced changes in climate variability Rodgers et al. Earth System Dynamics Open Access pdf 10.31223/x5gp79 Surface Water Dynamics and Rapid Lake Drainage in the Western Canadian Subarctic (1985-2020) Travers?Smith et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 10.1029/2021jg00
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How COVID vaccines shaped 2021 in eight powerful charts
Nature, Published online: 16 December 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-03686-x The extraordinary vaccination of more than four billion people, and the lack of access for many others, were major forces this year — while Omicron's arrival complicated things further.
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He Did Right by Animals. And Didn't Take Bull from Anyone. – Issue 109: Excavation
Well into the 1980s, doctors would perform open-heart surgery on infants without giving them pain-relieving drugs. This is hard to believe: By the standards of contemporary medicine, not to mention common sense, the practice is akin to torture. Yet then-conventional wisdom held that babies did not feel pain, at least not in any meaningful way. Their brains and nervous systems were considered unde
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The Beloved Mesolithic Girl – Issue 109: Excavation
Ten thousand years ago, a mother clutched her growing belly. A month earlier, the pregnancy had become difficult—something was wrong. The mother's stress was the baby's stress too, and the baby was due to be born in a few weeks. The mother rested by the Neva River as it flowed down the mountains on its way to the sea. She lived in the Ligurian region of northwest Italy. People in her community we
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The Worth of an Angry God – Issue 109: Excavation
A god who knows everything, is everywhere, and wields impossible power, is a potent fantasy. Allegiance to it animates the lives of billions worldwide. But this "Big God," as psychologists and anthropologists refer to it, wasn't dreamt from scratch but pieced together, over thousands of years, paralleling humanity's move from small- to large-scale societies. One burning question researchers want
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