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Is this article about Parenting?

Tanya Frank's son Zach has lived with mental illness since he was a teenager. But after years journeying through the traditional healthcare system, could radical alternatives save him from an endless cycle of hospital stays and drugs?


There are nights when I wake up and, in the disorientation of those first conscious moments, I am right back there. Los Angeles, 2009. Winter. Zach has entered my room, perched on the edge of my bed, and begged: "Mum. What is going to happen to me? You must know."

I see him in all his anguish – my younger son in his last teenage year. He has just been discharged from hospital after having what the doctors had called a psychotic break, when he thought that his friends weren't his friends but were out to harm him, that our house was bugged and that helicopters were instruments of surveillance, trained on him. Years before, it would have been called a nervous breakdown. I don't like either term much, but I think the connotations of a nervous breakdown feel more apt. It was this sense of nervousness that I witnessed on the night I first took my boy to the psychiatric hospital.

Continue reading…
Is this article about Cell?
A new study explores the interplay between the serotonin system and estradiol in the brain, showing that the central nervous system in patients with 
premenstrual dysphoric disorder
 (PMDD) seems to increase serotonin transporter density from the periovulatory phase (when estradiol levels are high) to premenstrual cycle phase (when both estradiol and progesterone are decreasing). The findings have the potential to advance the clinical treatment of PMDD.


Hyperbolic band topology with non-trivial second Chern numbers

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36767-8

To date, studies of topological band theory have mostly dealt with Euclidean space. Here, the authors use classical electric-circuit networks to realize topological insulators in 2D negatively-curved (hyperbolic) space with non-trivial second Chern number.
Anion-enrichment interface enables high-voltage anode-free lithium metal batteries

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36853-x

The implementation of Li metal anode with high-voltage Ni/Co rich cathode is plagued by low coulombic efficiency and inferior cycling stability. Here authors propose an anion-enriched interface to facilitate the columnar-structure of Li deposits to solve this issue.
Long non-coding RNA-derived peptides are immunogenic and drive a potent anti-tumour response
Is this article about Cell?

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36826-0

Long noncoding RNA molecules are RNA transcripts long thought to remain untranslated. In this study, the authors demonstrate that certain lncRNA can be translated into peptides that are immunogenic to CD8+ T cells and promote anti-tumour responses when delivered as vaccine vectors in mice.
Is this article about Cell?

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36793-6

The energy content of non-aqueous lithium batteries is limited by the electrochemical stability window of the electrolyte solution. Here, the authors report a monofluoride ether-based electrolyte to stabilize high-voltage lithium metal batteries at high current rates and low temperatures.
Climate-induced range shifts drive adaptive response via spatio-temporal sieving of alleles
Is this article about Animals?

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36631-9

The interplay of migration and adaptation was key in shaping species' responses to Quaternary climate change. Illustrating this, Luqman et al. show that adaptive responses in a plant species emerged from climate-induced range shifts due to heterogenous sieving of adaptive alleles across space and time.

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36813-5

Fluorescence imaging in the near-infrared region yields high-quality images that overcome the current depth limitations. Here, the authors report a Tm3 + -based nanoprobe for NIR-IIb/c imaging, providing references to future bioimaging beyond 1700 nm.
A variational algorithm to detect the clonal copy number substructure of tumors from scRNA-seq data
Is this article about Cell?

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36790-9

The inference of clonal architectures in 
 using single-cell RNA-seq data remains challenging. Here, the authors develop SCEVAN, a variational algorithm for copy number-based clonal structure inference in single-cell RNA-seq data that can characterise evolution and heterogeneity in the tumour and the microenvironment.
Membrane phospholipids control gating of the mechanosensitive potassium leak channel TREK1

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36765-w

Tandem pore (K2P) potassium channels set the cellular resting membrane potential in tissues throughout the body. Here, authors show how the composition of phospholipid within the bilayer may directly alter gating in this family of ion channels.
Mid-infrared single-pixel imaging at the single-photon level

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36815-3

The authors present an implementation of mid-infrared single-photon computational imaging with a single-element silicon detector. In addition to unique features of single-pixel simplicity and room-temperature operation, the infrared imager offers a superior sensitivity at the single-photon level.
Single-cell quantification and dose-response of cytosolic siRNA delivery

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36752-1

Endosomal escape and subsequent cytosolic delivery of siRNA therapeutics is inefficient, and quantification is difficult. Here the authors report a confocal microscopy-based method to quantify cytosolic delivery of fluorescently labelled siRNA during lipid-mediated delivery.
Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors containing P1' 4-fluorobenzothiazole moiety highly active against SARS-CoV-2

Nature Communications, Published online: 25 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36729-0

Effective antivirals are critical for combatting 
-CoV-2 infections. Here, the authors develop two orally available small molecules, which specifically inhibit the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease and potently block the infectivity and replication of various SARS-CoV-2 strains in cells and mice.
Archiving your mind, mentality and voice after death. Tell me how you feel about this.

The concept of archiving human feelings and voices after death with code is a relatively new one, but it has gained attention as technology has advanced. Essentially, the idea is to use digital technology to create a record of a person's voice and personality, which can then be used to simulate interactions with that person even after they have passed away.

One way this is being done is through chatbots and conversational AI.

Another approach is to create a digital avatar of the person, which can be used to create virtual reality experiences that allow people to interact with a simulation of the deceased.

There are both ethical and practical concerns with this kind of technology. Some people may find the idea of interacting with a simulation of a deceased loved one comforting, while others may find it creepy or disrespectful.

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Explore Our National Magazine Awards Finalists

Spend your weekend with a cup of warm coffee and our National Magazine Award–nominated articles.

But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.

Yesterday, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the finalists for this year's National Magazine Awards, and The Atlantic was recognized for a range of work. The magazine received nominations for five individual stories, as well as a nomination for the General Excellence award, a finalist place in the Best Digital Illustration category, and a win in the Best Print Illustration category. (Winners in other nominated categories will be announced in March.)

These nominations highlight a range of exceptional stories, including a rigorous yearslong investigation, two illuminating political profiles, and an unforgettable personal account of fleeing Afghanistan and leaving everything behind. Spend time with this collection of our finalists and winners over the weekend.

Your Weekend Reads

Illustration by Sally Deng

I Smuggled My Laptop Past the Taliban So I Could Write This Story

By Bushra Seddique

My escape from Afghanistan (Winner, Best Print Illustration, by Sally Deng)

The Betrayal

By George Packer

America's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan added moral injury to military failure. But a group of soldiers, veterans, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save Afghan lives and salvage some American honor. (Finalist, Reporting)

Monuments to the Unthinkable

By Clint Smith

America still can't figure out how to memorialize the sins of our history. What can we learn from Germany? (Finalist, Columns and Essays)

We Need to Take Away Children

By Caitlin Dickerson

The secret history of the U.S. government's family-separation policy (Finalist, Public Interest)

Absolute Power

By Graeme Wood

Asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed bin Salman said, "If that's the way we did things, Khashoggi would not even be among the top 1,000 people on the list." (Finalist, Profile Writing)

American Rasputin

By Jennifer Senior

Steve Bannon is still scheming. And he's still a threat to democracy. (Finalist, Profile Writing)

They Called Her 'Black Jet'

By Keisha N. Blain

Joetha Collier, a young Black woman, was killed by a white man in 1971, near the Mississippi town where Emmett Till was murdered. Why isn't her case known nationally today? (Finalist, Best Digital Illustration, by Esiri Essi)

Today's News

  1. The White House warned that Russia may be planning to give fighter jets to Iran.
  2. An independent analysis of EPA data collected in the weeks following the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, found elevated levels of nine different air pollutants in the area.
  3. Hundreds of warm daily-temperature records were set this week across the eastern U.S., in addition to numerous cold-weather records in western states.


Explore all of our newsletters here.

Evening Read

Four couples and one single man sit on couches in an amphitheater.
James Clark / ABC

The Parent Test Stokes American Parenting's Worst Impulses

By Lydia Kiesling

If you are an American parent, you are mired in contradiction wherever you look: Children are too coddled, a strident Facebook post might shout at you, right before you read an article about the dangers of letting kids go outside alone. It takes a village, you are told, but also, everyone hates it when you bring your toddler on a plane or into a restaurant. You read that modern American parenting is uniquely isolating and expensive, then watch in befuddlement while Congress lets the expanded child tax credit expire.

The Parent Test, a new reality-TV show on ABC, promises to throw confused parents a lifeline and identify "today's most effective parenting style." The show is hosted by Adolph Brown—a clinical psychologist, motivational speaker, and father of eight—and the actor Ali Wentworth, mother of two. It follows 12 families, each embodying a different style of parenting, and assesses each style for its likelihood of producing eventual adults who are "emotionally whole," and able to have "healthy relationships" and "navigate today's world." Each family is filmed doing a series of parenting challenges, and the rest of the parents analyze the footage, voting one style out after every round. In the finale, the families choose one parenting style to rule them all. It's American Gladiators gone domestic, set in a cozy amphitheater. But the battle metaphor ripples outward, painting a lonely picture of American parents fighting for their children's success and safety in a dangerous world while everyone watches, judges, and weighs in.

Read the full article.

More From The Atlantic

Culture Break

Caroline Polachek performing
Matthew Baker / Getty

Read. These books can help you come to terms with death.

Watch. In theaters, Return to Seoul is a story of adoption and belonging that resists easy sentimentality.

On TV, Apple TV+'s Hello Tomorrow! is a show about mistaking hype for progress.

And there's always Titanic, which feels different 25 years after its release.

Listen. Caroline Polachek's new album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, is pure magic.


Our final recommendation for the weekend: Take a break from the screen and listen to audio versions of our articles. We've got a selection of stories now available in the Hark app, including my Daily colleague Tom Nichols's exploration of the narcissism of some angry young men and Jennifer Senior's etiquette guide for loved ones dealing with long COVID.

Whichever stories, movies, or books you choose to spend your weekend with, I hope you enjoy them.

— Isabel

Kelli María Korducki contributed to this newsletter.

First At-Home Test for Flu and Covid Is OK'd by the FDA
Feedly AI found 1 Regulatory Changes mention in this article
  • First At-Home Test for Flu and Covid Is OK'd by the FDA
But the company that created the 30-minute, over-the-counter test has filed for bankruptcy, so the product's eventual availability to consumers remains unclear.
Digital markers near-perfect for predicting dementia in older drivers
Using ensemble learning techniques and longitudinal data from a large naturalistic driving study, researchers have developed a novel, interpretable and highly accurate algorithm for predicting mild cognitive impairment and 
 in older drivers. Digital markers refer to variables generated from data captured through recording devices in the real-world setting. These data could be processed to measure driving behavior, performance and tempo-spatial pattern in exceptional detail.
3D printing with bacteria-loaded ink produces bone-like composites
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?
Researchers have published a method for 3D-printing an ink that contains calcium carbonate-producing bacteria. The 3D-printed mineralized bio-composite is unprecedentedly strong, light, and environmentally friendly, with a range of applications from art to biomedicine.
Wireless, soft e-skin for interactive touch communication in the virtual world
Sensing a hug from each other via the internet may be a possibility in the near future. A research team recently developed a wireless, soft e-skin that can both detect and deliver the sense of touch, and form a touch network allowing one-to-multiuser interaction. It offers great potential for enhancing the immersion of distance touch communication.
Deer protected from deadly disease by newly discovered genetic differences
Is this article about Agriculture?
It was the height of summer 2022 when the calls started coming in. Scores of dead deer suddenly littered rural properties and park preserves, alarming the public and inconveniencing landowners. According to officials at the Urbana Park District, it was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a midge-borne viral illness that pops up in white-tailed deer populations around the state every few years. And when susceptible deer are infected, they die within days. Now, scientists have found gene variants in deer associated with the animals' susceptibility to EHD.
A molecular machine's secret weapon exposed
Is this article about Cell?
RNAs can wreak havoc on cells if they aren't removed at the right time. Dis3L2 is a molecular 'machine' that untangles and chews up RNAs, but scientists have been unable to explain how. Biochemists have now pieced together the answer. By shape-shifting, the machine unsheathes a lethal wedge that pries open and chews up RNA molecules, a behavior previously unseen.
Leptin helps hungry mice choose sex over food
To eat or to mate — that is the question (and the answer is: moderately hungry mice choose to mate). Researchers show that hungry mice prioritize interacting with members of the opposite sex over eating and drinking when their brains are stimulated with leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.
New design for lithium-air battery could offer much longer driving range compared with the lithium-ion battery
Scientists have built and tested for a thousand cycles a lithium-air battery design that could one day be powering cars, domestic airplanes, long-haul trucks and more. Its energy storage capacity greatly surpasses that possible with lithium-ion batteries.


A molecular machine's secret weapon exposed
Is this article about Cell?
RNAs can wreak havoc on cells if they aren't removed at the right time. Dis3L2 is a molecular 'machine' that untangles and chews up RNAs, but scientists have been unable to explain how. Biochemists have now pieced together the answer. By shape-shifting, the machine unsheathes a lethal wedge that pries open and chews up RNA molecules, a behavior previously unseen.
Tens of Thousands of Animals Died for Miles Around Toxic Spill, Officials Admit
Is this article about Animals?
In spite of government reassurances, things are starting to look scary in East Palestine, Ohio, where a new tally puts the fish death toll at over 43,000.

Fish Food

In spite of government reassurances, things are starting to look freakier than ever in East Palestine, Ohio, where a new official tally puts the animal death toll at over 43,000 following the catastrophic train derailment there.

As News 5 Cleveland reports, state officials said that more than 43,000 fish and other aquatic animals were found dead in rivers and streams in the waterways surrounding East Palestine where a Norfolk Southern train carrying a bunch of toxic chemicals derailed, resulting in both a chemical spill and a controlled burn of the noxious compounds aboard to avoid explosion.

"Do not feel they've been upfront," local resident John Hammer told CBS News, "not from day one."

Keep Calm

Just last week, the head of the Ohio Department of Agriculture attempted to reassure residents that "there's nothing that we've seen with the livestock that poses any concerns," the Washington Post notes in its reporting on the updated animal death toll.

News 5 Cleveland notes that so far, the government has not reported any land-walking mammal deaths — but folks who live near the disaster site have said that their animals, including chickens, cats, and foxes, have become sick and died in the wake of the derailment.

Residents of the region are understandably concerned about their health and safety in the wake of the derailment in, spite of official reassurances that the one-time evacuation zone is safe.

Distrust in government fortitude following the Norfolk Southern crash is so high, in fact, that many are convinced that an Environmental Protection Agency official who drank the water in East Palestine didn't actually imbibe.

As of right now, it's far too early to say what the long-term effects of the catastrophic accident will be — but if this latest fish death toll is any indication, there's reason to be concerned.

More on the East Palestine derailment: There's a Super Bizarre Coincidence Surrounding the Ohio Train Disaster

The post 


 of Thousands of Animals Died for Miles Around Toxic Spill, Officials Admit appeared first on Futurism.

Biologists use current and historical bird surveys to reveal how land use change has amplified — and in some cases mitigated — the impacts of climate change on bird populations in Los Angeles and the Central Valley over the past century. The study found that urbanization and much hotter and drier conditions in L.A. have driven declines in more than one-third of bird species in the region.
Successful cure of HIV infection after stem cell transplantation, study suggests
Is this article about Pharma?
Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of severe blood cancers is the only medical intervention that has cured two people living with HIV in the past. An international group of physicians and researchers has now identified another case in which 
HIV infection
 has been shown to be cured in the same way. The successful healing process of this third patient was for the first time characterized in great detail virologically and immunologically over a time span of ten years.
An object near the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy has drawn the interest of scientists because it has evolved dramatically in a relatively short time. A new study suggests that the object, called X7, could be a cloud of dust and gas that was created when two stars collided. The researchers believe it will eventually be drawn toward the black hole and will disintegrate.
Strangely Shaped Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth
NASA has gotten a close-up look at a mysteriously-shaped asteroid, which was once believed to be in danger of colliding with the Earth, as it whizzed by.

Empire State Asteroid

NASA has gotten a close-up look at a mysteriously-shaped asteroid, once identified as a potential danger for colliding with the Earth, as it whizzed by our planet.

The asteroid, dubbed 2011 AG5 and which came within just 1.1 million miles earlier this year, is unusually oblong and shares the same rough proportions as the Empire State Building at 1,600 feet in length and approximately 500 feet in width.

"Of the 1,040 near-Earth objects observed by planetary radar to date, this is one of the most elongated we've seen," said Lance Benner, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, who led the observations, in a statement.

Space Junkie

While the asteroid was first discovered over a decade ago, we've finally been able to get a detailed look at its shape and orbit.

Using the Goldstone Solar System Radar antenna dish at the Deep Space Network's facility in California, astronomers were also able to confirm that the asteroid slowly rotates around its own axis every nine hours.

Astronomers were also able to refine the path the asteroid takes as it orbits the Sun. A full orbit takes roughly 621 days, and it won't make a close pass of Earth until 2040.

The asteroid was once deemed a potential threat.

"Interestingly, shortly after its discovery, 2011 AG5 became a poster-child asteroid when our analysis showed it had a small chance of a future impact," said Paul Chodas, the director of NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, in the statement.

Fortunately, for now, we can gaze upon the strange Empire State Building in the sky without having to worry about an imminent collision.

"Continued observations of this object ruled out any chance of impact, and these new ranging measurements by the planetary radar team will further refine exactly where it will be far into the future," he added.

More on asteroids: Baby Asteroid Photobombs James Webb On Accident

The post Strangely Shaped Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth appeared first on Futurism.

Astronomers Detect First-Ever Dwarf Galaxy Mergers By Pinpointing Black Holes
Is this article about Tech?

A team of astronomers has used some of the most powerful telescopes on (and orbiting) Earth to make a first-of-its-kind observation. They've spotted a pair of dwarf galaxies containing supermassive black holes on a collision course. Then, they did it again. Yes, two pairs of colliding dwarf galaxies, both extremely distant but at different phases of merging. Scientists hope this discovery can help shed light on how large galaxies like the Milky Way came to be.

A dwarf galaxy is one with less than 3 billion solar masses, about one-twentieth of the Milky Way's mass. There are plenty of those drifting around in our corner of the universe, including several orbiting the Milky Way. None of them are about to collide, though. The current scientific consensus holds that the large galaxies common today arose from the merger of smaller ones, but ancient galactic mergers are difficult to observe because of their distance. The team, led by astrophysicist Marko Micic from the University of Alabama, got around that by combining data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, infrared observations from NASA's Wide Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and optical data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).

The orbiting Chandra observatory was particularly valuable in this study as it revealed the black holes, which are becoming more active as the galaxies move toward each other. The disk of super-heated material spiraling toward the event horizon heats up to millions of degrees, causing it to emit X-ray energy. This data pinpointed the colliding dwarf galaxies, and the visible and infrared data showed how the galaxies are interacting as they approach each other.

In the image above, the left composite shows a merger in galaxy cluster Abell 133, about 760 million light-years from Earth. Since the galaxies are in the late stages of merging, it's been given a single name: Mirabilis, after an endangered species of hummingbird. On the right are the dwarf galaxies Elstir and Vinteuil, which are a reference to the Proust novel "In Search of Lost Time." These galaxies are still separate, but a bridge of stars and gas has started to form between them. These objects are located in the Abell 1758S cluster some 3.2 billion light-years away.

With these objects identified, astronomers will be able to conduct follow-up observations that will reveal the processes taking place as they merge. In time, both pairs of galaxies will become larger dwarf galaxies with even bigger central black holes. This could cause more draw more small galaxies toward them, resulting in more mergers. Given the time scales involved, we can't just stare at Elstir and Vinteuil until that happens, but astronomers have other sources of data. The James Webb Space Telescope recently revealed the Sparkler Galaxy, which appears to be a mirror image of a young Milky Way, studded with glowing globular clusters. This, too, could offer insight into how our galaxy evolved over the eons.

Now read:

How birds got their wings
Is this article about Animals?
Modern birds capable of flight all have a specialized wing structure called the propatagium without which they could not fly. The evolutionary origin of this structure has remained a mystery, but new research suggests it evolved in nonavian dinosaurs. The finding comes from statistical analyses of arm joints preserved in fossils and helps fill some gaps in knowledge about the origin of bird flight.
Evolution of dinosaur body size through different developmental mechanisms
The meat-eating dinosaurs known as theropods that roamed the ancient Earth ranged in size from the bus-sized T. rex to the smaller, dog-sized Velociraptor. Scientists puzzling over how such wildly different dinosaur sizes evolved recently found — to their surprise — that smaller and larger theropod dinosaurs like these didn't necessarily get that way merely by growing slower or faster.
MAGA Is the Mullet of Politics

After a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3, national attention was slow to turn to the crash. That has now changed decisively. In the past 10 days, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, former President Donald Trump, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg have all visited the town. A lively national political debate has also emerged, but it's one that, like the burning rail cars, has produced a lot of heat, but not a great deal of light.

The disaster has become a proxy battle where existing political divides are playing out—and where the failings of both of the contemporary parties are on clear display. The Democratic Party struggles to respond effectively to a crisis with empathy rather than technocratic policy lectures. The Trump-era Republican Party, meanwhile, says all the right things and advocates for all the wrong ones.

The conversation on the right is especially revealing. Some factions of conservative media have accused the mainstream press and Democratic establishment of ignoring the story, though in fact Fox News was just as late as its competitors. Nonetheless, Trump and other MAGA-minded Republicans, like Ohio's newly elected senator, J. D. Vance, have embraced East Palestine as an example of how the Democratic Party has abandoned white working-class areas of the industrial Midwest. Tucker Carlson has gone farther, arguing that the response has been slow because the town is conservative and largely white.

[Read: Could Positive Train Control have prevented the Washington wreck?]

The derailment is a curious type of crisis, because the material effects are so unclear. Unlike some other recent rail catastrophes, no one died in the initial derailment and fire—contrast that with the 47 people who died in a 2013 wreck in Quebec, near the U.S. border. The longer-term environmental effects are still uncertain. State and federal authorities claim that the water is safe to drink and that the chemicals that burned shouldn't have long-term health harms. Many residents, who were evacuated, experienced odors and rashes, and saw the flames, are understandably not convinced.

Both the diagnosis and policy ideas that the MAGA Republicans have advanced offer little hope. Speaking in East Palestine on Wednesday, Trump claimed that the Biden administration had offered assistance only because he had come to visit. "They were intending to do absolutely nothing for you," he said. Vance made a similar charge. But Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, though not close to Trump, said he had declined federal assistance: "Look, the president called me and said, 'Anything you need.' I have not called him back after that conversation. We will not hesitate to do that if we're seeing a problem or anything, but I'm not seeing it." The EPA did eventually move to take over the disaster response, likely in part because of pressure from Trump—but that's different from ignoring the situation.

Vance has offered a more interesting perspective, describing a disaster that "stands at the intersection of corporate power and government power." He's right, and he's also right that many residents of the region don't trust the federal government. But these points run into the fundamental paradox of MAGA, which is the mullet of politics: populist in the front, corporatist in the back. Vance has said he wants to see higher fines for corporations like Norfolk Southern, the railroad whose train crashed. Yet when Trump was in office (as the Biden White House has been eager to point out), his signature initiatives included rolling back environmental regulations, cutting fines to corporate wrongdoers, and reducing government oversight. That even extended to eliminating rules around safety for trains transporting chemicals.

[David A. Graham: The art of the dealer]

Trump has discovered that he can get away with taking actions that don't actually help if he's able to show up and make people feel he's on their side. His ability to do that is one reason that East Palestine twice voted heavily for Trump. Democrats seem incapable of communicating effectively to voters in places like East Palestine, despite having the better arguments about corporate accountability and environmental safety.

And neither party has much to offer after the initial cleanup, though the intense attention on the wreck might help produce some immediate assistance to East Palestine. The town depends on the railroad, which produces some inherent risk even with good safety rules. The prospects for new economic development are dim. Trump peddles resentment, racial and otherwise, as a salve. Biden's enormous stimulus plans may reshape the American economy but are unlikely to make much of a dent in small, depressed towns like East Palestine. "We are here and will stay here for as long as it takes to ensure your safety and to help East Palestine recover and thrive," Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw wrote in a statement over the weekend. That's a promise he probably can't keep. Recovery may be possible, but thriving is remote.

Heavy snow hits southern California
Heavy snow fell in southern California on Friday, as the first blizzard in a generation pounded the Los Angeles area, with heavy rains threatening flooding in other places.
The coexistence of race and anti-racism in Geoffrey Morant's anti-Nazi anthropology
As the Nazi party rose to power in 1930s Germany, anthropologists in both England and the United States struggled to respond to Hitler's theories of pure races, Aryan-Nordic ascendancy, and the threat of racial mixing. Though most anthropologists saw the ideology as "nonsense," there was little consensus in the field on the definition of race and many scholars did not voice their opposition, hoping to keep science and politics separate.
Clues about the northeast's past and future climate from plant fossils
Ancient climates can help us understand the past, but also the future. 23 million years ago, in a time called the Miocene Epoch, Connecticut was around five to six degrees warmer than today and located roughly where Long Island is now. By the end of the Miocene, around five million years ago the earth had gradually cooled, Antarctica was glaciated, and there was some Arctic ice as well.
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?
The boundaries between biology and technology are becoming blurred. Researchers have now successfully grown electrodes in living tissue using the body's molecules as triggers. The result paves the way for the formation of fully integrated electronic circuits in living organisms.
Why and Where Snakes Hibernate
Is this article about Animals?
Snakes are cold-blooded animals, or ectothermic, because they get their temperature from their surroundings and cannot generate their own body heat. While this can come in handy, the downside of being a cold-blooded animal is the struggle to survive in cold environments. Incidentally, if the outside temperature rapidly drops, their physical temperature can drop to temperatures that are life-threatening, too. Species that live in habitats where winter months are inhospitable stay safe in the form of hibernation. Although reptilian hibernation is different from mammal hibernation on a physiological level — in fact, it is often referred to by scientists with the term "brumation," instead — it follows almost all the same principles: If it's too cold to prey and mate, you need to rest. "Why waste energy? If you're not able to feed and you're not mating, you might as well take advantage of the fact that you're an ectotherm and that you can get really cold and still survive," says Matt Goode, an assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Read More: These 3 Prehistoric Snakes Are the Stuff of Nightmares Snakes Hibernate According to Their Habitat and Geography Not all species of snakes must go into hibernation — it depends on where they live. Species living in tropical areas don't usually hibernate, according to Goode, although they might have periods of lower activity and dormancy associated with other environmental factors such as droughts or dry seasons. That's the case for anacondas, for instance, who are native to warm, tropical climates. "But in temperate areas, snakes can spend many, many months underground," says Goode. His first research focused on prairie rattlesnakes in Wyoming, where temperatures can drop to 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and the ground can freeze solid 5 feet deep. "Snakes have to get below that," Goode says. "If they don't, they could freeze and not survive through the winter." Tiger rattlesnakes start brumation from late October to early December, while Western diamondback rattlesnakes, which are slightly larger, will go into their dens a little later than that. How do Snakes Hibernate? Since snakes get their warmth from external factors, like sunshine, when temperatures start to drop, they will physiologically experience a drop in their body temperature, too. As colder days become more frequent, snakes will start eating less and will slow their metabolism and heart rate to save up on energy expenditure. They'll move less and stay as still and relaxed as possible, almost grinding their body to a halt. "Because snakes spend so much time completely not moving around, their heart rates go way, way down, and their respiration rates, of course, go way down," says Goode. Read More: Why Do Snakes Eat Themselves? Then, they find a spot to stay safe and warm throughout the cold and take a nap for as long as the frost continues. In fact, they take more of a rest and a nap than a deep slumber, because they might still make appearances outside the den if needed – like basking in the sun to warm up or fight an infection. Their internal storage of glucose will help them spring back into action if needed in case of an emergency. Where do Snakes Hibernate? Snakes usually hibernate in what scientists call a hibernaculum, aka a den. "[A snake is] hiding anywhere that has the ability to buffer those cold temperatures on the outside," says Goode. That is usually in burrows deep underground, under the frost and the portion of the ground that is frozen. But snakes can also hibernate in tree hollows and rotting logs, tree roots, sinkholes, tunnel systems excavated by other animals, railroad embankments, water-filled cisterns, houses, basements and sheds meant for humans. Smaller snakes might like to spend the winter deeper underground than larger snakes in some cases, and some snakes like to return to their den over the years. Oftentimes, these dens can house hundreds, if not thousands, of snakes at the same time throughout the winter — adult snakes and baby snakes alike, sometimes even from different species. In Canada, for example, Goode explains, garter snakes are known to hide out in dens with over 20,000 garter snakes in one spot. "It's a limiting feature of their environment to find that really good place that allows them to get under the ground and avoid freezing," says Goode. It's also helpful to hibernate in large groups because that helps produce heat, since a bunch of snakes intertwine and retain warmth in the group. Scientists Speculate Dens Serve a Social Function, too "There may be some social function to [hibernating in a den] as well," says Goode. He argues that the evolution of snake social systems, for example, might have come from the fact that large groups of snakes are essentially forced together under the ground. "It's not like snakes want to hang out with each other, right," says Goode. "But some species actually, when they emerge from the den, they remain at the den site above ground, and then you'll see social interactions happen." Read More: Almost 4,000 Snakes Rule This Brazilian Island Diamondback rattlesnakes do this, for example. But other snakes, like tiger rattlesnakes, overwinter completely in solitary. They have no interaction with other species or other individuals of their species until later, after they've moved away from the den. Especially for snakes that live in places where it gets frigid for a long time, hibernation becomes a crucial part of their lifecycle. It underlies many of the hormonal mechanisms that later allow them to reproduce successfully (that's why snake breeders will put their snakes in brumation too, even if they don't necessarily need to). For instance, brumation comes as an advantage for ectotherms' longevity. The rattlesnakes Goode studies are long-lived compared to their body size especially because they've evolved to be great at conserving energy. "Being able to go down for extended periods of time like that really allows them to live longer lives and to reproduce more," says Goode. "If we were ectotherms, with our large body sizes, we probably would live to be a couple 100 years old."
How one of Saturn's moons ejects particles from oceans beneath its surface
Enceladus, the sixth largest of Saturn's moons, is known for spraying out tiny icy silica particles — so many of them that the particles are a key component of the second outermost ring around Saturn. Scientists have not known how that happens or how long the process takes. A study now shows that tidal heating in Enceladus' core creates currents that transport the silica, which is likely released by deep-sea hydrothermal vents, over the course of just a few months.
Electrodes grown in the brain — paving the way for future therapies for neurological disorders
The boundaries between biology and technology are becoming blurred. Researchers have now successfully grown electrodes in living tissue using the body's molecules as triggers. The result paves the way for the formation of fully integrated electronic circuits in living organisms.
Why do Earth's hemispheres look equally bright when viewed from space?
When seen from space, Earth's hemispheres — northern and southern — appear equally bright. For years, the brightness symmetry between hemispheres remained a mystery. In a new study, researchers reveal a strong correlation between storm intensity, cloudiness and the solar energy reflection rate in each hemisphere. They offer a solution to the mystery, alongside an assessment of how climate change might alter the reflection rate in the future.
The quantum twisting microscope: A new lens on quantum materials
One of the striking aspects of the quantum world is that a particle, say, an electron, is also a wave, meaning that it exists in many places at the same time. Researchers make use of this property to develop a new type of tool — the quantum twisting microscope (QTM) — that can create novel quantum materials while simultaneously gazing into the most fundamental quantum nature of their electrons.
Children's lung capacity improved in cleaner air
Is this article about Biopharma Industry?
As air pollution in Stockholm has decreased, so has the lung capacity of children and adolescents has improved, a new study reports. The researchers consider the results important, since the lung health of the young greatly affects the risk of their developing chronic lung diseases later in life.
Is this article about Animals?


During aging, environmental stressors and mutations along with reduced DNA repair cause germ cell 
 and genome instability, which limits fertility and embryo development. Benevolent commensal microbiota and dietary plants secrete indoles, which improve healthspan and reproductive success, suggesting regulation of germ cell quality. We show that indoles prevent aneuploidy and promote DNA repair and embryo viability, which depends on age and genotoxic stress levels and affects embryo quality across generations. In young animals or with low doses of radiation, indoles promote DNA repair and embryo viability; however, in older animals or with high doses of radiation, indoles promote death of the embryo. These studies reveal a previously unknown quality control mechanism by which indole integrates DNA repair and cell death responses to preclude germ cell aneuploidy and ensure transgenerational genome integrity. Such regulation affects healthy aging, reproductive senescence, cancer, and the evolution of genetic diversity in invertebrates and vertebrates.


Melting of solids is a fundamental natural phenomenon whose pressure dependence has been of interest for nearly a century. However, the temporal evolution of the molten phase under pressure has eluded measurements because of experimental challenges. By using the shock front as a fiducial, we investigated the time-dependent growth of the molten phase in shock-compressed germanium. In situ x-ray diffraction measurements at different times (1 to 6 nanoseconds) behind the shock front quantified the real-time growth of the liquid phase at several peak stresses. These results show that the characteristic time for melting in shock-compressed germanium decreases from ~7.2 nanoseconds at 35 gigapascals to less than 1 nanosecond at 42 gigapascals. Our melting kinetics results suggest the need to consider heterogeneous nucleation as a mechanism for shock-induced melting and provide an approach to measuring melting kinetics in shock-compressed solids.


van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures formed by two-dimensional (2D) magnets and semiconductors have provided a fertile ground for fundamental science and spintronics. We present first-principles calculations finding a proximity exchange splitting of 14 meV (equivalent to an effective Zeeman field of 120 T) in the vdW magnet-semiconductor heterostructure MoS /CrBr , leading to a 2D spin-polarized half-metal with carrier densities ranging up to 10 13 cm −2 . We consequently explore the effect of large exchange coupling on the electronic band structure when the magnetic layer hosts chiral spin textures such as skyrmions. A flat Chern band is found at a "magic" value of magnetization
Please refer to original article for complete formulae.
for Schrödinger electrons, and it generally occurs for Dirac electrons. The magnetic proximity–induced anomalous Hall effect enables transport-based detection of chiral spin textures, and flat Chern bands provide an avenue for engineering various strongly correlated states.


Consecutive guanine RNA sequences can adopt quadruple-stranded structures, termed RNA G-quadruplexes (rG4s). Although rG4-forming sequences are abundant in transcriptomes, the physiological roles of rG4s in the central nervous system remain poorly understood. In the present study, proteomics analysis of the mouse forebrain identified 
 as an RNA binding protein with high affinity and selectivity for rG4s. We found that DNAPTP6 coordinates the assembly of stress granules (SGs), cellular phase-separated compartments, in an rG4-dependent manner. In neurons, the knockdown of DNAPTP6 diminishes the SG formation under oxidative stress, leading to synaptic dysfunction and neuronal cell death. rG4s recruit their mRNAs into SGs through DNAPTP6, promoting RNA self-assembly and DNAPTP6 phase separation. Together, we propose that the rG4-dependent phase separation of DNAPTP6 plays a critical role in neuronal function through SG assembly.
Is this article about Food Science?


Thermogenesis by 
uncoupling protein 1
 (UCP1) is one of the primary mechanisms by which brown adipose tissue (BAT) increases energy expenditure. UCP1 resides in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM), where it dissipates membrane potential independent of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase. Here, we provide evidence that phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) modulates UCP1-dependent proton conductance across the IMM to modulate thermogenesis. Mitochondrial lipidomic analyses revealed PE as a signature molecule whose abundance bidirectionally responds to changes in thermogenic burden. Reduction in mitochondrial PE by deletion of phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (PSD) made mice cold intolerant and insensitive to β3 adrenergic receptor agonist–induced increase in whole-body oxygen consumption. High-resolution respirometry and fluorometry of BAT mitochondria showed that loss of mitochondrial PE specifically lowers UCP1-dependent respiration without compromising electron transfer efficiency or ATP synthesis. These findings were confirmed by a reduction in UCP1 proton current in PE-deficient mitoplasts. Thus, PE performs a previously unknown role as a temperature-responsive rheostat that regulates UCP1-dependent thermogenesis.


Cells sense a wide variety of signals and respond by adopting complex transcriptional states. Most single-cell profiling is carried out today at cellular baseline, blind to cells' potential spectrum of functional responses. Exploring the space of cellular responses experimentally requires access to a large combinatorial perturbation space. Single-cell genomics coupled with multiplexing techniques provide a useful tool for characterizing cell states across several experimental conditions. However, current multiplexing strategies require programmatic handling of many samples in macroscale arrayed formats, precluding their application in large-scale combinatorial analysis. Here, we introduce StimDrop, a method that combines antibody-based cell barcoding with parallel droplet processing to automatically formulate cell population × stimulus combinations in a microfluidic device. We applied StimDrop to profile the effects of 512 sequential stimulation conditions on human dendritic cells. Our results demonstrate that priming with viral ligands potentiates hyperinflammatory responses to a second stimulus, and show transcriptional signatures consistent with this phenomenon in myeloid cells of patients with severe COVID-19.
Is this article about Semiconductors?


There is widespread interest in reaching the practical efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar cells, which suffer from open-circuit voltage loss due to high surface recombination velocity and Schottky barrier at the back contact. Here, we focus on back contacts in the superstrate configuration with the goal of finding new materials that can provide improved passivation, electron reflection, and hole transport properties compared to the commonly used material, ZnTe. We performed a computational search among 229 binary and ternary tetrahedrally bonded structures using first-principles methods and transport models to evaluate critical material design criteria, including phase stability, electronic structure, hole transport, band alignments, and p-type dopability. Through this search, we have identified several candidate materials and their alloys (AlAs, AgAlTe , ZnGeP , ZnSiAs , and CuAlTe ) that exhibit promising properties for back contacts. We hope that these new material recommendations and associated guidelines will inspire new directions in hole transport layer design for CdTe solar cells.


Boosting dielectric permittivity representing electrical polarizability of dielectric materials has been considered a keystone for achieving scientific breakthroughs as well as technological advances in various multifunctional devices. Here, we demonstrate sizable enhancements of low-frequency dielectric responses in oxygen-deficient oxide ceramics through specific treatments under humid environments. Ultrahigh dielectric permittivity (~5.2 × 10 at 1 Hz) is achieved by hydrogenation, when Ni-substituted BaTiO ceramics are exposed to high humidity. Intriguingly, thermal annealing can restore the dielectric on-state (exhibiting huge polarizability in the treated ceramics) to the initial dielectric off-state (displaying low polarizability of ~10 in the pristine ceramics after sintering). The conversion between these two dielectric states via the ambient environment–mediated treatments and the successive application of external stimuli allows us to realize reversible control of dielectric relaxation characteristics in oxide ceramics. Conceptually, our findings are of practical interest for applications to highly efficient dielectric-based humidity sensors.
Is this article about Food Science?


Oogenesis is influenced by multiple environmental factors. In the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster , nutrition and mating have large impacts on an increase in female germline stem cells (GSCs). However, it is unclear whether these two factors affect this GSC increase interdependently. Here, we report that dietary sugars are crucial for the GSC increase after mating. Dietary glucose is required for mating-induced release of neuropeptide F (NPF) from enteroendocrine cells (EECs), followed by NPF-mediated enhancement of GSC niche signaling. Unexpectedly, dietary glucose does not directly act on NPF -positive EECs. Rather, it contributes to elevation of hemolymph fructose generated through the polyol pathway. Elevated fructose stimulates the fructose-specific gustatory receptor, Gr43a, in NPF -positive EECs, leading to NPF secretion. This study demonstrates that circulating fructose, derived from dietary sugars, is a prerequisite for the GSC increase that leads to enhancement of egg production after mating.
Is this article about Cell?


Dysfunction of collecting lymphatic vessel pumping is associated with an array of pathologies. S-(−)-Bay K8644 (BayK), a small-molecule agonist of L-type calcium channels, improves vessel contractility ex vivo but has been left unexplored in vivo because of poor lymphatic access and risk of deleterious off-target effects. When formulated within lymph-draining nanoparticles (NPs), BayK acutely improved lymphatic vessel function, effects not seen from treatment with BayK in its free form. By preventing rapid drug access to the circulation, NP formulation also reduced BayK's dose-limiting side effects. When applied to a mouse model of lymphedema, treatment with BayK formulated in lymph-draining NPs, but not free BayK, improved pumping pressure generated by intact lymphatic vessels and tissue remodeling associated with the pathology. This work reveals the utility of a lymph-targeting NP platform to pharmacologically enhance lymphatic pumping in vivo and highlights a promising approach to treating lymphatic dysfunction.


Antarctic bottom water (AABW) production is a key factor governing global ocean circulation, and the present disintegration of the Antarctic Ice Sheet slows it. However, its long-term variability has not been well documented. On the basis of high-resolution chemical scanning of a well-dated marine ferromanganese nodule from the eastern Pacific, we derive a record of abyssal ventilation spanning the past 4.7 million years and evaluate its linkage to AABW formation over this period. We find that abyssal ventilation was relatively weak in the early Pliocene and persistently intensified from 3.4 million years ago onward. Seven episodes of markedly reduced ocean ventilation indicative of AABW formation collapse are identified since the late Pliocene, which were accompanied by key stages of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. We suggest that the interpolar climate synchronization within these inferred seven collapse events may have intensified global glaciation by inducing poleward moisture transport in the Northern Hemisphere.
Chevron's Jet Fuel Made From Plastic Very Likely to Cause Cancer, EPA Documents Say
Is this article about ESG?
The process to create Chevron's "biofuels" from plastic waste would be so toxic, it could quite literally cause cancer — and the EPA approved it knowingly.

Surprise! It turns out that the process to create "biofuels" from plastic waste — a hallmark of 


's "climate-friendly" fuel pledge — would be so toxic, it could literally cause 



As The Guardian reports in tandem with ProPublica, records obtained by the news outlets reveal that, per the 

Environmental Protection Agency

's calculations, pollution from the plastic-derived jet fuel Chevron intends to start making would carry a one-in-four risk of cancer for anyone living near facilities that manufacture it.

Yet for some reason, the EPA signed off on the Chevron project, according to the reporting — and even skipped some key steps that would normally bar this sort of risky chemical from being produced.

Proposed as part of the Biden Administration's response to the global climate crisis, plastic-derived biofuels seem, on their face, to provide both a solution to petroleum's greenhouse gases and a way to tackle the overwhelming plastic waste problem to boot.

But the reality is far darker because, as this investigation and other big ones have found, the process by which plastic is broken down can produce emissions that could actually be worse for the environment than the burning of fossil fuels.

To add insult to injury, Pascagoula, the Mississippi town where Chevron plans to make the plastic-derived fuel — with the permission of the EPA, in spite of the known risks — is home to a primarily Black community. Given the increasingly well-documented realities of environmental racism, experts that the news outlets spoke to have expressed serious misgivings.

The one-in-four risk of cancer from the smoke stack pollution the Chevron facility will carry is, as the joint reporting notes, a whopping 250,000 times higher than what the EPA normally allows when approving new chemicals.

But as records obtained by The Guardian and ProPublica show, the agency not only approved the Chevron jet fuel while being aware of that staggering cancer risk, but also skipped a number of key tests that would normally be undertaken with such a seemingly-toxic chemical.

When asked why those tests weren't done, an EPA spokesperson told the news outlets that the agency "does not believe these additional test results would change the risks identified nor the unreasonable risks finding."

But when the outlets' reporters asked Maria Doa, a veteran EPA official who is now the senior director of chemical policy at the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, if the jet fuel should be allowed to be produced, her answer was a resounding "no."

"EPA should not allow these risks in Pascagoula or anywhere," Doa said.

As toxicologist and former National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences director Linda Birnbaum told the news outfits, the move seems like bad news.

"That kind of risk is obscene," Birnbaum said. "You can't let that get out."

More on the environment: A Shocking Amount of US "Recycling" Goes Straight to the Landfill

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The far-reaching consequences of child abuse
Adverse childhood experiences in mothers can affect their children's mental and physical health, as researchers report. The study found that maltreatment during a mother's childhood is associated with a higher risk of health problems such as asthma, autism, and depression in the next generation. Early intervention to support affected mothers might help to counter this effect.
'Cocaine Bear' Is a Buzz Kill
Is this article about Animals?
The movie seems destined for internet infamy but doesn't live up to the promise of its viral trailer.
Venice Looks Pretty Alarming With Its Canals Drained
An unusually dry winter is causing Venice's world-famous canals to dry up, as seen in alarming new images — a growing climate crisis rearing its head.

Venetian Drought

An unusually dry winter in Europe is causing Venice, Italy's world-famous canals to dry up, as seen in alarming new images — a growing climate crisis rearing its head.

It's been a perfect storm: a winter heatwave, as well as a severe lack of rain and snow, have caused major waterways in Europe to plummet to shockingly low levels.

The timing couldn't be worse, considering the continent had already experienced severe droughts last year.

Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images

Dry Canals

Italy in particular has been hit hard, with its longest river Po bringing in a shocking 61 percent less water than usual at this time of year, CNN reports.

Venice is suffering in a particularly concrete way, with gondolas and other water taxis grinding to a halt due to drying canals.

The UNESCO World Heritage site, which dates back to the fifth century, has in many areas been reduced to a mud pit, to the shock of the city's many visitors.

Photos show long stretches of the city's canals reduced to a puddle, exposing the mud and the adjacent buildings' foundations.

Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images

Not just tourists are affected by the water level drop. The city relies on water ambulances, which use the canals as a way to get around, according to Agence France-Presse.

It's a grimly peculiar situation since Venice is usually dealing with high, not low, water levels, especially between October and January, when it's not uncommon for central parts like the city's main square to be partially submerged.

City officials are now praying for some much-needed rain — roughly 50 days of it — as experts told AFP, to reverse a crisis that has been building since the winter of 2020.

READ MORE: 'Never-ending drought emergency': Italy's iconic Venice canals have dried up [USA Today]

More on droughts: Earth Should Brace Itself For Multi-Decade "Mega-Droughts"

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A new neutrino laboratory at the bottom of the Mediterranean for probing sea and sky
The Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Méditerranée (LSPM) lies 40 km off the coast of Toulon, at a depth of 2,450 m, inaccessible even to sunlight. Through this national research platform run by the CNRS in collaboration with Aix-Marseille University (AMU) and IFREMER, scientists will investigate undersea unknowns while scanning the skies for neutrinos. These elementary particles of extraterrestrial origin know few obstacles and can even traverse our planet without bumping into a single atom.
A year since Russia invaded Ukraine, new research shows global financial impact
Is this article about Geopolitics?
On February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine escalated a dramatic conflict, with devastating effects both in human costs on the ground and international impact. Beyond the immediate reaction of world stock markets, newly published research from five UK-leading finance academics details how the global economy is still enduring the war's consequences a year later.
Breakthrough in tin-vacancy centers for quantum network applications
Quantum entanglement refers to a phenomenon in quantum mechanics in which two or more particles become linked such that the state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when they are separated by a large distance. The principle, referred to by Albert Einstein as "spooky action at a distance," is now utilized in quantum networks to transfer information. The building blocks of these networks—quantum nodes—can generate and measure quantum states.
Deportation risk hasn't been the same for all undocumented Mexican immigrants
A group of people walk across a bridge away from the camera.

No matter the US political climate, young, single, and less educated men seemed to be at higher risk for deportation than other undocumented Mexican immigrants from 2001 to 2019, according to a new study.

For the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers analyzed deportation and voluntary return migration data encompassing the administrations of US Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

"Even through the Trump administration's anti-immigrant rhetoric advocated deporting all undocumented immigrants, particularly from Mexico, the characteristics of Mexican immigrants deported during the Trump years were not dramatically different from previous administrations," says lead author Heeju Sohn, assistant professor of sociology at Emory University.

The researchers examined trends in socio-demographic characteristics of undocumented  immigrants from Mexico deported by the US along with those who chose to return to Mexico.

While the study does not predict or offer any absolute probabilities, it provides insight into relative potential risks. On average, each administration annually deported about 893,000 people with the majority of them Mexican citizens.

"Despite each administration's differing approach and rhetoric, who was actually being deported or deciding to leave didn't change all that much," Sohn says. "Just because an undocumented person voluntary leaves the US doesn't always mean they felt they had a choice in that decision either."

Fewer immigrants were deported annually during the Trump administration than under Obama or Bush who had the highest number of deportations. During Obama's first term, there was an increase in deportation of Mexican immigrants with criminal convictions but that percentage decreased in the last two years of his presidency.

While Trump's administration prioritized all undocumented immigrants for deportation, the result shows deportation focused more on young adults and those with less education, groups which already face higher deportation risks.

"Policy makers and the public need to understand the consequences of the immigration policies that are implemented—whether they work or not," says coauthor Anne Pebley, a faculty fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Population Research.

"While the Trump administration's anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies had many negative effects on immigrants and Americans, they did not do what they were apparently intended to in terms of deporting a larger and more diverse group of undocumented immigrants."

The Trump administration's anti-immigrant rhetoric and heightened enforcement didn't appear to motivate a more diverse group of undocumented immigrants to leave voluntarily. Rather, voluntary return migration to Mexico was a trend that began early in the Obama administration after the great recession of 2007-2009, according to the study.

"People who are leaving or being deported do not exist in a vacuum," Sohn says. "You can't isolate them separately from the social and family connections they have interwoven in US society. So, what happens to undocumented people that society has neglected has a direct effect on the well-being of US citizens. We have a duty to not discriminate and there is a need for additional research."

The experiences of undocumented children living in the US is a blind spot in national data; the youngest age group in this study is 18 to 31.

"Moving across countries is a disruptive life event," Sohn says. "This is an age group where people take major steps as adults—finding a partner, having children, or establishing a career. This can have reverberating consequences for the rest of their lives."

For the study, Sohn and colleagues combined deportees' and voluntary returnees' data from both sides of the border—the Migration Survey on the Borders of Mexico-North (EMIF-N) and US Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). It's the first time these two major sets of data were combined for research purposes and studied in a novel way.

"It was critical that we understood the nuances of the data and sampling strategy. We took a lot of time and effort making sure our method accounted for the differences," Sohn says.

"This is part of a bigger desire to make sure the lives of underrepresented groups have adequate representation," she adds. "A lot of the research in social sciences are based on large data sets that don't put much focus on the smaller groups or ones that are harder to measure. I hope getting this important topic published will get visibility to a wider audience."

Additional coauthors are from UCLA and Princeton University. The NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded the work.

Source: Emory University

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Filling an editorial policy hole

"Mind the gap."

A short while ago we published a blog post discussing the rate of modernization of our energy supply with updated, superior replacements for fossil fuel combustion. Given the point of the piece it attracted a good deal of attention and careful scrutiny. That review process exposed a material error, now corrected. The sequence of events illustrates the virtues of "peer review" (peers here meaning similar range of general competencies) and especially how owning errors and transparently repairing them is the best way forward. 

More importantly, the experience exposed an editiorial policy hole. We're not going to let this insight go to waste. 

By way of background, our central editiorial policy has been extremely simple: before we publish a new rebuttal or other "just the facts" treatment, we practice an internal review process which is sometimes very arduous and energetic— similar in general features to reviews of academic publications but with the added challenge of everybody being crystal clear on who's saying what. 

Our review convention has worked well for us, for the purpose of creating climate myth rebuttals and other writing serving as a straight conduit for conveying "there's the best we know," sourced in peer reviewed academic literature. 

The Gap:

But we need a bit more policy. Why? Here's the gist:

  • Skeptical Science's main purpose is illumination of "here's the best we know" as reflected in academic research findings, by making densely technical reports digestible for a general readership. 
  • Given the broad scope of Skeptical Science's view of climate science and climate change, we may also serve a useful role by offering articles including synthesis, putting facts together to help people see and understand larger concepts, emerging progress or lack of it. This follows a general trajectory of improvement in the formal scientific community toward interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects.
  • Given the passion needed to contribute energy to our work, it is inhumane to expect Skeptical Science authors to  behave as though we have no thoughts or opinions or contributions of our own to offer. 
  • Perhaps most importantly, mixing commentary or opinion with straight delivery of scientific information to our readers— without distinguishing that we're in this mode— will inevitably cost us credibility, whether by error or by losing our usual neutral tone.

How to address these factors, in editorial policy? We need invent nothing new but only emulate what's known to work well elsewhere, farther down the scientific communications food chain where primary producers are found.

Policy outcome:

We'll henceforth be clearly indicating when a blog post is the equivalent of an academic journal's inclusion of commentary or synthesis articles. 

Google Instructs Workers to Share Desks to Cut Costs
Is this article about Business?
As the company's AI war woes (spoiler: it's losing) build, CNBC reports that Google has officially commanded its employees to start sharing desks.

No Desk for You

The rise and fall of the Bean Bag Empire continues. Amid 


's mounting AI war woes — spoiler: it's losing — CNBC now reports that the company has officially commanded its loyal Googlers to start sharing desks.

"Most Googlers will now share a desk with one other Googler," reads the internal memo, according to CNBC. "Through the matching process, they will agree on a basic desk setup and establish norms with their desk partner and teams to ensure a positive experience in the new shared environment."

The decision, per CNBC, is being chalked up to "real estate efficiency" in a hybrid-work world. In a fluid office environment, no one needs all that space — especially not a company that lost a cool $100 billion after its AI screwed up very publicly.

According to CNBC, the model — internally dubbed "Cloud Office Evolution" or "CLOE" and reportedly described in a separate internal document as a company effort to "[combine] the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with the flexibility" of hybrid work — will be implemented at Google Cloud's five biggest campuses.

Some buildings, that same document reportedly noted, will ultimately be "vacated." Oof.

So 2014

If it's any consolation, CNBC reports that the Googlers were told that deskmates can alternate office days. And this time around, they weren't warned by any managers that there would be "blood on the streets" if productivity doesn't increase. So, you know, small wins.

Still, the change is yet another blow to Googlers everywhere who, until recently, have long enjoyed the cushy perks of the ping-pong-happy, pre-pandemic Silicon Valley work culture — a culture that, in the wake of several high-profile industry layoffs and widespread cost-cutting measures, increasingly feels like a soon-to-be-relic of the tech industry's past.

"Not every cost-cutting measure needs to be word mangled into sounding good for employees," one employee fumed on an internal messaging platform, according to CNBC. "A simple 'We are cutting office space to reduce costs' would make leadership sound more believable."

For the Kids

For its part, Google says the change has everything to do with their Googlers' happiness, actually.

"Our data show Cloud Googlers value guaranteed in-person collaboration when they are in the office," a Google spokesperson told CNBC, "as well as the option to work from home a few days each week."

"With this feedback," they added, "we've developed our new rotational model, combining the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with the flexibility and focus we've all come to appreciate from remote work, while also allowing us to use our spaces more efficiently."

In any case, at least the Googlers are still better off than their peers at Tesla.

READ MORE: Google asks some employees to share desks amid office downsizing [CNBC]

More on Google: Google Denies Using AI to Pick Which Employees to Fire

The post Google Instructs Workers to Share Desks to Cut Costs appeared first on Futurism.

Google Claims Quantum Computing Breakthrough: More Power Without More Errors

We've heard about quantum computers for years, but no one has made one better at crunching numbers than a binary machine. 


's Quantum Engineering team may be on the right track, though. For the first time, the team built a larger quantum computer that didn't become less accurate. In a few years, we might consider this a significant turning point in the quest to make quantum computers useful.

The promise of a practical quantum computer is alluring — a bit of quantum information (a qubit) can encode more data than just 0 or 1 like a traditional binary computer. That means a quantum computer can, in theory, be much more powerful. However, qubits are sensitive to interference, even from light and temperature variations. This leads to higher error rates that make the output of quantum computers untrustworthy. And the more qubits you add, the higher the error rate.

However, Google's quantum engineering team says there may be light at the end of the tunnel. In the latest experiment, engineers have used quantum error correction to reduce the error rate while also making the quantum array larger. Google's engineers group individual qubits in arrays of 49 to form a single logical qubit. In the past, Google worked with groups of 17 qubits, but the new 49-qubit design demonstrated a lower error rate.

According to Google, this is the first time anyone has scaled a logical qubit without increasing the error rate. This could be an important milestone on the way to a practical quantum computer. Google cites potential use cases like modeling new molecules for medical uses, refining battery technology, and designing power-generating fusion reactors.

Creating a larger logical qubit with a lower error rate is a big step in that direction, but the hardware and software that goes into quantum computing must first improve. Google is looking toward upgrades in control electronics and cryogenics to move us in the right direction, and the materials that go into the company's Sycamore 2 quantum chips will be refined. That could get us to a place where quantum computing has real-world uses, and Google says it's already planning for that day. The company is working with government agencies and the larger security community to ensure that internet traffic and Google's cloud services remain secure in a world of robust, scalable quantum computers.

Now read:

Conserving nature's biodiversity is one of the great challenges of our time. To develop strategies and effective measures, well-founded scientific analyses, and concrete information for the actors in nature conservation are needed. The field of biodiversity genomics can make an important contribution here: genomic data of species, species communities and entire ecosystems provide insight into characteristics, adaptive abilities, relationships and evolutionary developments.

Again, an idea I read in a fictional book: The mental illnesses we all know today are basically not changed from Freud's time, for approximately a century. The BIG 3 group of psychotic disorders, schizophreniaparanoia, and manic-depressive psychosis existed back in those early days of the psychoanalysis movement and persisted to this very day. Yes, there were some new contenders added to the list in the past 100 years, like ADHD, Borderline Syndrome, or PTSP, but I am not talking about "small stuff". And I am also not talking about things like the alienation of millennials and Gen Z or their addiction to mobile phones and technology either.

What I am talking about is the new "major player" that has been added to the "big three" list. This player is already among us and is much more sinister or dangerous than its "big three" siblings. Schizophrenia, for instance, distorts reality, allowing the person to cope with it and find some hope and comfort. Paranoia does the same, as the person feels they are being followed by the entire world, which can be comforting in a way. This new "player" is the complete opposite; it leaves the person out in the cold providing no methods of living that could give them any solace.

Classifying this new mental illness and its importance will be the next big breakthrough in Psychology as a science. And it is coming sooner than you think.

Again, I want to be fair to the book and the author and not spoil the plot or reveal anything crucial, so, that was everything I could reveal. The book is a fine-grained psychological horror, 'Piaget's Last Fear', but it's not for everybody, that's for sure. Anyway, it's an interesting idea to wrap your head around, isn't it?

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Biological Circuits 101 💡| Biotech Central

Biological Circuits 101

P.S. This video covers some cutting-edge biocircuit research using machine learning and speculates a little on the future of biocircuits – so I think it should appeal to people interested in our scientific future! But if this is the wrong place to post this kind of link, let me know and if possible please point me to somewhere you think would be more appropriate for people to engage with it 🙂

Hey everyone! First time posting here – I'm running a (very early days!) channel with myself and a few friends focussing on educational content creation in the biotech sector. The aim is to take cutting edge research and present it in a more accessible way than specialist papers; thereby helping to spread the message and spread the interest in the work done. The eventual goal is to try and build up a community where specialists and the general enthusiastic public alike can talk about some of the really awesome stuff that biotech can offer – and we'd like to kick this all off with biological circuits and synthetic biology!

Whether you're a student, researcher, or simply curious about biotechnology, we'd love to get your feedback, so let us know what you all think 🙂

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Please stop saying *No One* is doing anything about Climate Change
Is this article about ESG?

I know we all are frustrated that more is not being done to combat climate change, however saying that *no one* is doing anything to work on climate change is actively discrediting those people who are and claiming that we are all doomed and the world will end is not a motivating statement to actually work on fixing climate change.

I actively work on climate change, I have taken a reduced salary that I could have working on getting oil onto the market to instead help fix the climate change problem and there are hundreds of thousands of others (or millions if you include people working overtime manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines, and EVs and such, and even billions we expand it globally to those funding solar projects through taxes and other investments in climate initiatives).

As someone working overtime and earning less than I could be to help solve climate change its infuriating to just hear how kids in school and people elsewhere are being told that *no one* is doing anything to solve it.

If you want to actually help, then bring attention to those who are standing in the way but give credit to those who are working on the problem. Bring attention to the wealthy NIMBYs who are blocking renewable projects like offshore wind, or mass transit projects (through the use of B.S. environmental lawsuits), or those blocking higher density housing which has a far lower carbon footprint than sprawling suburbs, or those blocking research projects or brainwashing others claiming that climate change isn't real, etc… Be angry at those people, but don't say that *no one* is working on it.

In spite of those people standing in the way we have beaten all of our renewable energy goals and dramatically reducing costs of deployment (it's now cheaper than coal and natural gas), we are dramatically reducing the cost for carbon capture technologies (still have a ways to go with this and need a carbon tax to fund it, but progress is progress and takes a lot of hard work and money), we are even making significant breakthroughs in technologies like nuclear fusion energy (see commonwealth fusion and others) which would easily make mass scale desalination and water transport feasible, GMOs are enabling crops to be resilient for climate change to prevent famines, we're working global monitoring satellite systems to rapidly detect oil spills (and enforce environmental fines) as well as other carbon emissions, people are working hard on developing carbon neutral building materials, we're adopting EVs faster than most projected, battery technology is booming with massive investments in building supply, and there's a ton of other stuff happening to, we just passed a 3 huge bills that each work on climate change in their own ways funding over $600 billion to combat it and reduce costs to implement solutions everywhere.

TL:DR – There are tons of people working hard on combating climate change and investing massive sums of money into the problem and they deserve credit. Point out the bad actors, but don't say that *no one* is working on the problem, its discrediting to those who are and unmotivating to the future generation. We aren't doomed, we just need to keep working hard, humans have survived worse with less countless times in the past.

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Tiny eye motions help us see a steady world
A painted mural shows a woman's eye and hair in bright colors on a brick wall.

Involuntary, fixational eye movements play a bigger role in vision than researchers previously thought, according to a new study.

Our eyes are never at rest. Instead, they remain in motion, even between our voluntary gaze shifts, through fixational eye movements—small, continuous movements that we are not aware of making.

Scientists have long sought to understand how we humans can perceive the world as stable as our eyes are constantly moving.

Past research has suggested that, in the intervals between voluntary gaze shifts, the human visual system builds a picture of a stable world by relying solely on sensory inputs from fixational eye movements.

According to the new study, however, there may be another contributing factor.

The researchers report that the visual system not only receives sensory inputs from fixational eye movements but also possesses knowledge of the motor behavior involved in those movements.

"The human brain has a very precise knowledge of how the eyes move, even if humans are not aware of moving them, and they use this knowledge to infer spatial relations and perceive the world not as blurry but as stable," says Michele Rucci, a professor in the brain and cognitive sciences department and Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester.

The results of the research reveal that spatial representations—that is, the locations of objects in relation to other objects—are based on a combination of sensory and motor activity from both voluntary and involuntary eye movements, which is contrary to the prevailing understanding, Rucci explains.

"It was already clear that the visual system uses sensory and motor knowledge from large voluntary movements, either gaze shifts we perform to look at different parts of a scene, or tracking movements for following moving objects," he says.

"But scientists didn't think smaller, involuntary movements like fixational eye movements could be used to convey information through motor signals."

Instead, the research shows the visual system continually monitors motor activity, even when people believe they are maintaining a steady gaze. The research also shows that vision has computational strategies similar to other senses, such as touch and smell, where motor behavior profoundly affects incoming sensory signals.

The results have important implications in future studies of visual perception and will help in better understanding visual impairments that involve abnormal eye movements.

"Our study unveils that involuntary eye movements, which are widely discarded as motor noise, make major contributions to spatial representations of the world," says Zhetuo Zhao, a PhD student in Rucci's lab and the study's first author. "As we show, studying spatial representations without considering motor activity—as is often done in current neuroscience—is severely limiting."

The study appears in Nature Communications.

Source: University of Rochester

The post Tiny eye motions help us see a steady world appeared first on Futurity.

PanGu drug model: Learn a molecule like a human
Is this article about Neuroscience?
A recent study published in the journal Science China Life Sciences was led by Dr. Nan Qiao (Laboratory of Health Intelligence, Huawei Cloud Computing Technologies), Dr. Hualiang Jiang (Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Mingyue Zheng (Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences).
Study explores conversion therapy practices in Ireland
Researchers from Trinity's School of Nursing and Midwifery have found indications that conversion therapy practices take place in Ireland. The research, commissioned by the Irish government will inform plans to ban the practice. Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman recently launched the report.
Is this article about Energy Industry?
An increasing number of natural disasters, the rising share of renewable energies and the current gas crisis—these factors are putting a strain on the electricity networks. Experts are increasingly concerned about the stability of the electricity networks and point to an increased risk of large-scale, long-lasting power outages, so-called blackouts. These can have serious consequences for the population: Communication networks, water supply and health care systems could collapse.
People with IBS face higher rates of anxiety, depression
Is this article about Healthcare IT?
A young woman sits on her bed doubled over in pain while holding her stomach.

New research establishes a link between irritable bowel syndrome and mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

The research highlights the need for health professionals to evaluate and treat associated psychiatric comorbidities in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients to improve their overall health and quality of life.

IBS is a chronic disorder of the stomach and intestines affecting up to 15% of the population. It causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

For the new study, researchers looked at more than 1.2 million IBS patient hospitalizations from 4,000 US hospitals over a three-year period and found that more than 38% had anxiety and more than 27% had depression. Both figures were double the rate of anxiety and depression found in those without IBS.

The prevalence of psychiatric problems including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal attempt/ideation, and eating disorders was significantly higher in the IBS patient population when compared to the general adult population.

"One possible explanation is the so-called brain-gut axis," says lead researcher Zahid Ijaz Tarar, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Missouri. "We've long suspected that dysfunction of the brain-gut axis is bidirectional, such that IBS symptoms influence anxiety and depression, and on the other hand, psychiatric factors cause IBS symptoms. Medical professionals need to treat both ends of the axis."

Untreated psychiatric disorders among IBS patients also puts additional strain on health care systems through increased frequency of hospital admissions and longer stays. Chronic diseases like IBS are also known to be associated with stress, work impairment, and associated economic burdens on patients and their families.

"I frequently tell my patients who have IBS, that if they have any type of psychologic stress, it will get expressed in some form or the other," says senior author Yezaz Ghouri, assistant professor of clinical medicine and gastroenterology.

"The mesentery membrane that holds the intestines together has one of the largest collections of nerve cells in the body. When those nerves start firing impulses, that can lead to the state of nervousness in and around the GI tract, resulting in IBS symptoms. The resulting decline in patient quality of life can lead to poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking. Early evaluation and treatment of both IBS and associated psychiatric conditions is essential."

The study appears in the Irish Journal of Medical Science. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest related to the study.

Source: University of Missouri

The post People with IBS face higher rates of anxiety, depression appeared first on Futurity.

Cultural burns can help protect koalas
Research into koala numbers before and after cultural burns on the world's second largest sand island has fueled a push to merge Aboriginal knowledge with cutting-edge science to mitigate the dangers of bushfires across Australia.
Genomic analyses provide important insights for conservation management
Conserving nature's biodiversity is one of the great challenges of our time. To develop strategies and effective measures, well-founded scientific analyses, and concrete information for the actors in nature conservation are needed. The field of biodiversity genomics can make an important contribution here: genomic data of species, species communities and entire ecosystems provide insight into characteristics, adaptive abilities, relationships and evolutionary developments.
Hubble observes gravitational lens of a massive galaxy cluster
Is this article about Space?
A massive galaxy cluster in the constellation Cetus dominates the center of this image from the NASA/ESA 
Hubble Space Telescope
. This image is populated with a serene collection of elliptical and spiral galaxies, but galaxies surrounding the central cluster—which is named SPT-CL J0019-2026—appear stretched into bright arcs, as if distorted by a gargantuan magnifying glass.
Algorithms were supposed to reduce bias in criminal justice, but do they?
Is this article about Political Science?
Algorithms were supposed to remake the American justice system. Championed as dispassionate, computer-driven calculations about risk, crime, and recidivism, their deployment in everything from policing to bail and sentencing to parole was meant to smooth out what are often unequal decisions made by fallible, biased humans.
NASA to launch Israel's first space telescope
NASA will launch Israel's first space telescope mission, the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT). ULTRASAT, an ultraviolet observatory with a large field of view, will investigate the secrets of short-duration events in the universe, such as supernova explosions and mergers of neutron stars.
MAVEN status update
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft entered safe mode on Feb. 16 after encountering an issue with its Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which measures the spacecraft rate of rotation for use in determining its pointing. The IMU had been powered up in preparation for a minor maneuver targeted to reduce eclipse durations in 2027.
More Big Bangs Could Be Coming Up, Scientists Say
Researchers suggest the universe may never actually end, but instead lead to future Big Bangs, much like the one that brought our universe into being.

Big Bounce

Researchers suggest the universe may never actually end, but instead lead to future 

Big Bangs

, much like the one believed to have brought the whole mess into being in the first place.

As detailed in a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed paper, first spotted by LiveScience's Paul Sutter, two theoretical physicists at the University of Portsmouth suggest that dark energy, the mysterious stuff suspected to be behind the accelerating expansion of the universe, may simply switch on and off, a process that could eventually lead to the next Big Bang.

Contract Obligations

There's a lot surrounding our theory of how the universe began that is still not fully understood, including a "singularity" following the Big Bang, which suggests a point of "infinite density where the math breaks down," as Sutter explains, as well as a period of "inflation," a rapid expansion of the universe during its earliest stages.

The authors of the new paper suggest that dark energy may have always been a part of this push-and-pull dynamic, and that the Big Bang was simply one in an infinite line of other Bangs, a theory known as the "Big Bounce" — which effectively means a singularity never had to happen in the first place.

In other words, dark energy could lead to a "Big Crunch," causing the universe to contract and eventually "Bang" again, rinse and repeat.

Making Up Numbers

But the dark energy model comes with some drawbacks. As the researchers admit in their paper, they had to insert an artificial value to explain the current rate of the universe's expansion, as predicted by quantum mechanics.

However, that doesn't mean the research is completely useless.

"Nonetheless, our qualitative analysis serves as a basis for the construction of more realistic models with realistic quantitative behavior," the paper reads.

In short, we still don't know the ultimate fate of our universe, but we might be getting closer to an answer.

READ MORE: Dark energy could lead to a second (and third, and fourth) Big Bang, new research suggests [LiveScience]

More on the Big Bang: Scientists Say Stuff Might Have Been Happening Before the Big Bang

The post More Big Bangs Could Be Coming Up, Scientists Say appeared first on Futurism.

Scientist Says He's Invented a Cure for Hiccups
Thanks to a Texan scientist, tere appears to finally be a medically-backed cure for hiccups — and yes, there is a purchase required.

There appears to finally be a cure for 


 — and yes, there is a purchase required.

In an interview with The Atlantic, University of Texas at San Antonio professor and hiccup expert Ali Seifi sings the praises of his patented device, the HiccAway.

While humanity has long been plagued by these phantom spasms, medical science still struggles to explain their cause. We do know, however, what happens to the body when hiccups occur — and it's treating those symptoms that Seifi is after.

The gist goes like this: our diaphragms spasm, which causes both a rapid inhalation of air and a sudden closing of the glottis, which is the medical term for the space between vocal cords — that "hic" sound that accompanies hiccups comes from the glottis, The Atlantic notes — and then the lengthy vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the chest and diaphragm, makes the spasms repeat.

Seifi's device, which is admittedly a fancy straw that he says provides the exact right amount of pressure to stop hiccups, was created after the neurointensivist (say that five times fast and it may just cure your hiccups) studied existing remedies to see which ones worked best.

"All of the current home remedies have science behind them," the good doctor told The Atlantic. "All of them are valid!"

The $14 HiccAway straw, which has a small hole at the bottom and a larger one at the top, builds on those home remedies by using a physics trick known as Bernoulli's Principle, The Atlantic notes, but in reverse.

"Imagine you have a water hose and you open the faucet," Seifi told the magazine. "If you put half your thumb in front of the hose, the flow stays the same, but by changing the diameter the speed of the fluid changes; it ejects more."

As the patent application for the HiccAway notes, the exact science at play with the magic straw requires a lot of physics and diaphragm pressure language best left to the experts.

"The creator of HiccAway has already figured out all of the details, you just have to use this groundbreaking hiccup treatment to understand that it doesn't matter how it works," the patent application reads, "just that it works."

The product has already picked up some high-profile boosters. Last year, Seifi appeared on "Shark Tank" and convinced Mark Cuban to pony up an investment of $250,000.

Until someone sends us a HiccAway straw to test for ourselves, we'll have to take their word for it — but as with anyone else who's ever suffered a maddening bout of hiccups, we'll try anything.

More on body hacks: Scientists Growing Skin That Can Be Slipped on Like a Glove

The post Scientist Says He's Invented a Cure for Hiccups appeared first on Futurism.

Epiphytes are a distinct group in the Earth's carbon cycling ecosystems. Most vascular epiphytes are from the particularly species-rich orchid family (Orchidaceae), with about 70% of Orchidaceae species being epiphytes. Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) is a water-conserving carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation pathway, and Epiphytes with CAM photosynthesis are widespread in vascular plants.
Epiphytes are a distinct group in the Earth's carbon cycling ecosystems. Most vascular epiphytes are from the particularly species-rich orchid family (Orchidaceae), with about 70% of Orchidaceae species being epiphytes. Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) is a water-conserving carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation pathway, and Epiphytes with CAM photosynthesis are widespread in vascular plants.
Theoretical support for reality of pressure mode pulsations on a white dwarf
Researchers from the Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have conducted a detailed asteroseismic analysis on an extremely low-mass white dwarf (WD) that exhibits suspected pressure mode (p-mode) pulsations. They not only detect the abundance profiles inside the WD, but also provide theoretical support for the reality of the p-modes.
Is this article about Animals?
It was April in 1981 when a party of four camped for two days and nights on the forested slopes of Mount Evermann, the central peak of Socorro, a volcanic island in the Pacific some 400 kilometers southwest of Baja California, Mexico. Their fruitless search confirmed their suspicions: the Socorro dove, an endearingly tame bird unique to the island, had disappeared, eaten by the cats of Spanish colonists, pushed out by grazing sheep and shot from the sky by hunters.

Nature Communications, Published online: 24 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36844-y

Author Correction: Massively parallel interrogation of protein fragment secretability using SECRiFY reveals features influencing secretory system transit
How Should We Teach the Story of Our Country?
Feedly AI found 1 Regulatory Changes mention in this article
  • Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has passed sweeping laws that limit what schools can teach about topics such as gender, sexuality, and race .

The past few years have seen an intensifying of the ways politics can intervene in education, including the censorship of books. Lawmakers in Texas have made repeated pushes to restrict the books that kids can access in schools. Leaders in other states across the country have done the same, including in Tennessee, where one local school board infamously banned Maus, a graphic novel that brutally—but honestly—depicts the Holocaust. Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has passed sweeping laws that limit what schools can teach about topics such as gender, sexuality, and race. In January, the state even opposed a whole course, AP African American Studies. (The class's curriculum has since been revised; Florida has not yet said whether it will actually impose the ban.)

The central issue in many of the recent restrictions is how to teach our country's history. Although memorizing dates and names can lead students to believe that the subject comprises a series of simple facts about clear-cut events, the truth about the past is much more tangled. Textbooks have long been skewed or have contained errors: In his book Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen analyzes the flaws in a dozen major U.S. history textbooks and provides a sharper retelling of the moments those textbooks distorted. DeSantis also clings to his own version of our past. Take his book, Dreams From Our Founding Fathers, which minimizes the role of slavery in America's founding and idealizes the men who first governed the country. As David Waldstreicher writes, DeSantis seems to advocate for "never bringing up slavery or race except to praise those who ended it."

Florida professors are already beginning to worry about how restrictions on what they can teach might threaten their syllabi, whether they cover the Harlem Renaissance or William Faulkner; at least one professor has canceled two of his courses entirely. What students are—and aren't—taught influences the world in ways that ripple far beyond any one seminar discussion. As the historian Carter G. Woodson put it in his book The Mis-education of the Negro, "There would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom."

Every Friday in the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas. Know other book lovers who might like this guide? Forward them this email.

When you buy a book using a link in this newsletter, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

What We're Reading

photo of several copies of the book "Maus" on a shelf

Roger Ressmeyer / Corbis / VCG / Getty

Book bans are targeting the history of oppression

"What these bans are doing is censoring young people's ability to learn about historical and ongoing injustices."

📚 Maus, by Art Spiegelman

archival photo of a street in America

Marion Doss / Flickr

History class and the fictions about race in America

"In history class students typically 'have to memorize what we might call "twigs." We're not teaching the forest—we're not even teaching the trees,' said [James] Loewen, best known for his 1995 book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. 'We are teaching twig history.'"

📚 Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen

illustration of Ron DeSantis peeking through two piles of books

Octavio Jones / Getty; The Atlantic

The forgotten Ron DeSantis book

"His entire reading of American history is enveloped in both unquestioning fealty to the Founders and an insistence that the role of slavery, and race more broadly, in that history does not seriously change anything about how we should understand the birth and development of our country."

📚 Dreams From Our Founding Fathers, by Ron DeSantis

Florida's state flag with a book on top

Tyler Comrie / The Atlantic

'Most important, we must not upset DeSantis'

"DeSantis isn't trying to expunge ideology from education, only ideologies he dislikes, ones that see racism as woven through American institutions or that emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion instead of merit and color-blindness."

📚 Go Down, Moses, by William Faulkner

photo illustration of a child reading a book

Getty; The Atlantic

The book that exposed anti-Black racism in the classroom

"What does it mean to base the education of Black students on an interpretation of human experience and a set of philosophies and ethics that justified the plunder of Africa and the enslavement of Black people?"

📚 The Mis-education of the Negro, by Carter G. Woodson

About us: This week's newsletter is written by Kate Cray. The book she's reading next is The Rabbit Hutch, by Tess Gunty.

Comments, questions, typos? Reply to this email to reach the Books Briefing team.

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It was April in 1981 when a party of four camped for two days and nights on the forested slopes of Mount Evermann, the central peak of Socorro, a volcanic island in the Pacific some 400 kilometers southwest of Baja California, Mexico. Their fruitless search confirmed their suspicions: the Socorro dove, an endearingly tame bird unique to the island, had disappeared, eaten by the cats of Spanish colonists, pushed out by grazing sheep and shot from the sky by hunters.
Ecosystem collapse 'inevitable' unless wildlife losses reversed

Scientists studying the Permian-Triassic mass extinction find ecosystems can suddenly tip over

The steady destruction of wildlife can suddenly tip over into total ecosystem collapse, scientists studying the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history have found.

Many scientists think the huge current losses of biodiversity are the start of a new mass extinction. But the new research shows total ecosystem collapse is "inevitable", if the losses are not reversed, the scientists said.

Continue reading…
Is this article about Weather?
Hurricanes are becoming more intense due to the climate crisis. Therefore, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany and Swansea University in the United Kingdom have studied the wind speeds that different seabird species can withstand. The team was able to show that the individual species are well adapted to the average wind conditions in their breeding grounds, but use different strategies to avoid flying through the storm. Within their research, one behavior of the albatrosses particularly surprised the scientists.
Is this article about Weather?
Hurricanes are becoming more intense due to the climate crisis. Therefore, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany and Swansea University in the United Kingdom have studied the wind speeds that different seabird species can withstand. The team was able to show that the individual species are well adapted to the average wind conditions in their breeding grounds, but use different strategies to avoid flying through the storm. Within their research, one behavior of the albatrosses particularly surprised the scientists.
Eyes on Hera: Asteroid mission's cameras ready
ESA's Hera asteroid mission for planetary defense is about to gain its sight. Two complete and fully tested Asteroid Framing Cameras have reached OHB in Germany for integration aboard Hera's payload module. This instrument will provide the very first star-like view of Hera's target for the mission to steer towards the Dimorphos asteroid, which last year had its orbit altered by an impact with NASA's DART mission.
Prospecting for copper with machine learning and zircons
Is this article about Mining?
Zircons are common, hardy minerals that can be found in rocks up to 4 billion years old. Their structure and texture can reflect the conditions in which they formed, earning them a reputation as nature's time capsules. And according to new research, with the power of machine learning, scientists can mine zircon textures to identify valuable mineral deposits.
Why UK supermarkets are rationing food and how to prevent future shortages
Is this article about Grocery Retail Industry?
Calls for the government to provide better support to U.K. food producers have intensified recently as supermarkets have been forced to ration sales of some fresh produce. Weather-related disruption has caused supply shortages of vegetables from places including Spain and North Africa.
'Dune Messiah' Feels Like a First Draft
The sequel to Frank Herbert's classic novel revisits young hero Paul Atreides, who is now not so young—and not so heroic.
What women athletes need to unlock their full potential | Kate Ackerman
As a sports scientist, athlete and director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children's Hospital, Kate Ackerman understands that women athletes need more than pretty sports bras or new sneakers to achieve peak performance — they need true investment committed to their health and well-being. Ackerman advocates for a long overdue sports medical system that's dedicated to the study and development of women athletes, supporting lifelong success on and off the field.
Scientists Find Gigantic Planet a Quarter the Size of Its Star
Astronomers have discovered a highly unusual "forbidden" gas giant exoplanet, which is so big, it defies our current models.

Gigantic Gas Giant

Astronomers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered a highly unusual "forbidden" gas giant exoplanet — a cosmic monster so comically gigantic, at a quarter the size of its host star, that it defies our current classification system.

The baffling discovery could even challenge what we know about how planets are formed.

"Based on our nominal current understanding of planet formation, TOI-5205b should not exist; it is a 'forbidden' planet," said Shubham Kanodia, team lead, and Carnegie astronomer, in a statement.

Size XXL

As detailed in a new paper published in The Astronomical Journal, the planet in question orbits a tiny red dwarf star called TOI-5205, one of the most common types of stars in our galaxy.

While these hot and long-lasting stars are known to host planets, they're typically unlikely to host gas giants of any considerable size.

But the researchers' discovery, the star's gas giant dubbed TOI 5205b, is simply far bigger than it ought to be, at roughly a quarter the size of its host star.

The researchers were taken aback by the planet, first identified by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

"The host star, TOI-5205, is just about four times the size of Jupiter, yet it has somehow managed to form a Jupiter-sized planet, which is quite surprising!" said Kanodia in a statement.

Katherine Cain, courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science

Blocking Light

It's not the first gas giant to have been discovered orbiting a red dwarf star of this size. But TOI-5025b is simply far bigger than anything found previously, defying our existing models.

In fact, it blocks a whopping seven percent of its star when passing in front of it, which also happens to make it the perfect candidate to be observed by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

"TOI-5205b's existence stretches what we know about the disks in which these planets are born," Kanodia said. "In the beginning, if there isn't enough rocky material in the disk to form the initial core, then one cannot form a gas giant planet."

"And at the end, if the disk evaporates away before the massive core is formed, then one cannot form a gas giant planet," he added.

READ MORE: "Forbidden" planet orbiting small star challenges gas giant formation theories [Carnegie]

More on planets: NASA Scientist Calls for Exploration of Uranus

The post Scientists Find Gigantic Planet a Quarter the Size of Its Star appeared first on Futurism.

Why Do We Have Eyebrows and Other Types of Facial Hair?
We humans seem to have an on-again, off-again relationship with facial hair. Prehistoric cave drawings reveal the myriad tools our ancient ancestors used to shave: shark's teeth, sharpened flints and even clam shells. Nowadays, beards are back in style and people are taking a razor to their brows, instead. But is there a reason we evolved to have these hairy baubles in the first place? And, if so, what evolutionary advantage might we be throwing away for the sake of staying on trend?  Turns out, researchers have a lot to say on the matter. Get their answers to why we have eyebrows, what eyelashes are for and why we grow beards. Why Do We Have Eyebrows? Let's start with those fuzzy caterpillars at the top of the face. Eyebrows do a great job of preventing moisture like rain and sweat from running into our eyes. Everything from the angle at which these hairs grow to the shape of the brow's arch are designed to direct moisture away, to the side of the face. Of course, while protecting our peepers may have been their original purpose, eyebrows found themselves playing a secondary role somewhere along the line: conveying emotion. What Are Eyebrows For? A 2018 study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution parsed why early hominins' brow ridges were so much larger and more rigid than modern humans' ridges. They found that — contrary to some prevailing theories that the ridges structurally reinforced the skull or aided in biting mechanics — having more mobile eyebrows likely helped our ancestors to form relationships and ensure survival in groups. Read More: What Did Ancient Humans Look Like? Eyebrow hair, the researchers say, simply increased the visibility of this form of communication. Funnily enough, evolutionary psychologists say dog eyebrows underwent a similar journey; centuries of domestication "transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans," write the authors of a 2019 study published in PNAS. As if we needed yet another reason to love our canine companions. What Are Eyelashes For? The same goes for eyelashes, which have the added task of blocking solid particles like dust. And, according to a 2019 study that looked at lashes from a chemical engineering perspective, they may even help prevent dry eyes by limiting unwanted evaporation. For those who are curious, the research team determined the "optimal eyelash length" to be around 15 to 30 percent of the eye's width — resulting in an up to 30 percent reduction in evaporation. Time to throw away those eye drops and get out the measuring tape, perhaps? When it comes to the lower half of the face, theories abound. Why Do We Grow Beards? In his Descent of Man, Charles Darwin suggested a reason for why we grow beards. He said that beards were an example of sexual selection and may have evolved "to charm or excite the opposite sex" — while also intimidating the competition. Researchers tend to think the same, for example, of lion's manes, which may signal to other lions that the mane-bearer is in good health and a formidable opponent.  Read More: It's Rare, But a Lioness Can Grow a Mane But does this theory hold up in the modern age?  A 2019 study published in Psychological Science suggests it's possible; the researchers found that "the presence of a beard increased the speed and accuracy with which participants recognized displays of anger." The same could not be said of displays of happiness or sadness, emotions which definitely do not serve to intimidate. Are Beards For Protection? But don't assume that this means beards are all bark and no bite. Research recently published in Integrative Organismal Biology proposes that a fuzzy face protects vulnerable regions of the jaw from damaging strikes during combat.  By crafting a fiber epoxy composite to serve as a faux bone and covering it with thick, wooly skin dissected from sheep, the researchers found that this model absorbed 37 percent more energy from a blunt impact than utterly hairless samples. Furthermore, the furred models "failed" — in other words, broke a bone — only around half the time, compared to nearly 100 percent of hair-free composites. (They note that results may vary, however, depending on just how thick a beard can get.) Now that you know why we have eyebrows, what eyelashes are for and why we grow beards, you may be wondering then do we lose the hair on our heads. Read More: Why Do Humans Go Bald?
Restless Days on the Alaska Peninsula
A little over 110 years ago, the remote wilderness of the Alaska Peninsula experienced what was likely the largest, more explosive eruption of the 20th century. This eruption covered the region with tens of meters of volcanic ash and debris, creating the aptly-named Valley of the 10,000 Smokes. Multiple volcanoes not eEven today, when the winds pick up during the late summer and fall, ash from this blast can be whipped up and lofted high into the air, sometimes even making people think an eruption has started. Funny thing about the 1912 blast is that it came from a volcano that wasn't even on the map before the eruption. Not only that, but volcanoes that weren't even source of all this volcanic material collapsed during the eruption. Katmai saw a ~1.6 by 2.3 mile caldera form during June 1912 even though the eruption itself was coming from what would be named Novarupta, just to the west. If you want to read all about those fateful days in Alaska, I wrote about it during the 100th anniversary. What's Happened Since 1912 Of the volcanoes in the vicinity of Novarupta (Katmai, Griggs, Mageik, Martin and Trident), only two have erupted since 1912. The furthest of the bunch — Martin — had two small eruptions in 1951 and 1953. Trident, the volcano closest to the Novarupta action, saw 14 eruptions between 1949 and 1974. Some of these have been relatively good sized, reaching VEI 3. However, it has been silent ever since. Flash forward to August 2022. Since then, volcanologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have noticed earthquakes coming in swarms underneath Trident. Back during last summer, the earthquakes were numerous but started relatively deep, focused around 16 miles beneath the volcano. Over the course of a few days, those earthquakes became shallower and shallower, reaching as close to the surface as 3 miles. Since the start of January, the earthquakes have remained at roughly that depth with dozens of earthquakes every week. Not only that, but there have been some earthquakes under the nearby volcanoes of Martin and Mageik. Things are definitely in a state of unrest in the Novarupta-Katmai area. On February 22, the rate of earthquakes under Trident spiked, so the Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the alert status to Yellow (the second of four alerts). This was mostly to give people ample time to consider what might happen if Trident or one of the other volcanoes erupts again. What's Going on at Trident? The current evidence doesn't seem to point to an eruption in the immediate future, but whenever volcanologists see (1) an increase in earthquakes under a volcano, (2) those earthquakes persisting for months and (3) the depth of the earthquakes decreasing over time, then they know it is time to start watching closely. That's because this pattern is likely caused by magma rising from deep in the crust up into the volcano's shallow magmatic system. In a sense, the volcano is priming for … something. Now, whether then something is a new eruption or just a replenishment of magma without any blast is not known at this moment. Volcanologists would want some more signs, like deformation of the volcano or increased gas emissions or an even more intense earthquake swarm. None of that has happened yet at Trident. If Trident does erupt, we're not likely talking about another enormous eruption like the 1912 Novarupta blast. When Trident was busy erupting in the 1940s-70s, most of its activity were moderate explosions that sent ash upwards 30,000 feet with accompanying lava and pyroclastic flows. Luckily, in such a remote location, the biggest hazard is for aircraft from all the potential ash. So, Trident has joined Great Sitkin, Aniakchak, Semisopochnoi and Takawangha on elevated alert across the Aleutian volcanoes of Alaska. It wouldn't be shocking for something new to happen at Trident, especially after almost 50 years of quiet. The question will be whether this current unrest is a precursor to new eruptions.
Largest Ever Penguin Fossil Discovered in New Zealand
Is this article about Animals?
Archaeologists in New Zealand have recently uncovered nine new penguin specimens from the Paleocene Epoch, which occurred between 66 million years ago and 56 million years ago. Researchers have assigned the largest of these nine specimens to a new species known as Kumimanu fordycei.  According to the study published by Cambridge University Press, based on humerus length and humerus proximal width, K. fordycei weighed anywhere between 148 kilograms (326 pounds) and 159.7 kilograms (352 pounds).  A Large Penguin Ancestor  K. fordycei's size is not the penguin's only surprising detail. According to researchers, K. fordycei sits incredibly close to the root of the modern-day penguin evolution tree.   Researchers found one fossil of K. fordycei that weighed the bird in at 300+ pounds. For reference, emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) — the largest penguins that exist today — typically weigh around 50 pounds when fully grown.  The massive size of K. fordycei and its location in the penguin's evolutionary tree suggests that penguins likely hit their evolutionary size limit early on. This would explain why, like many other animals on Earth, they have become smaller over millions of years.  "Given that the earliest giant New Zealand penguin fossils pre-date the occurrence of penguins on other continents, it is tempting to speculate that penguins approached the peak of their known body size distribution while still restricted to their Zealandian center of origin," researchers wrote in the study.   However, researchers also acknowledge that this hypothesis remains unproven, since there are "untested gaps" in the Paleocene marine record of the Southern Hemisphere.   Other Large Animal Ancestors  While the discovery of K. fordycei has broken records for penguins, it's far from the first ancestor of a modern-day animal that has made headlines.  In 2015, two giant rhino fossils were found in China. Giant rhinos were the largest land animals to ever live, and according to fossil records, they could stand up to 20 feet tall and weigh as much as 20 tons. These specific fossils were around 22 million years old, and discrepancies in bone structure allowed researchers to classify them as a new species.  Other modern-day animals with giant ancestors include sloths, eagles and even bears.   Read More: 5 Of The Biggest Animals To Ever Live On Earth Megatherium is an extinct genus of ground sloth that could grow up to 9 feet long and weigh up to 550 pounds. Unlike modern-day sloths, they did not live in trees, instead they maneuvered on the ground and used their length to reach leaves.  Haast's eagle, meanwhile, was the largest eagle ever to live. Its wingspan could get up to 10 feet in length and it weighed up to 33 pounds. For reference, the Harpy eagle — the largest eagle on Earth today — grows up to just 20 pounds.  Finally, the short-faced bear is the largest bear to have ever existed on Earth. Before going extinct around 11,000 years ago, the short-faced bear terrorized smaller creatures in its habitat, as they could reach well over 11 feet in height when standing upright. Today's largest bears, Kodiak brown bears, can reach up to 10 feet in height while standing. 
The history of teaching black history
Although Black History Month wasn't established until the 1970s, Black teachers in the segregated Jim Crow South, particularly women, had been teaching Black history for decades prior, and were vital to its accuracy and preservation.
Dynamic NASA-built weather sensors enlisted to track tropical cyclones
NASA recently built two weather instruments to test the potential of small, low-cost sensors to do some of the work of bulkier, pricier satellites. Both instruments have exceeded expectations as trial runs, and they are already delivering useful forecast information for the most devastating of storms, tropical cyclones.
Finding the right approach to socializing cats
Whether they are a purring housecat or a prowling neighborhood cat, felines react differently to new experiences depending on how they were socialized. Owners can choose to increase their cat's comfort level in new experiences but should first consider different socialization strategies.
Kidney cancer mutations could predict recurrence risk
Is this article about Medical Devices Industry?
A pink plastic model of two kidneys on a white background.

Studying the mutations in kidney cancer after surgery could help to better predict the risk of the disease coming back, according to the latest results of a decade-long international study.

The research is the largest to link the genetic changes that occur in kidney cancer to patient outcomes.

More than 400,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year globally, including 8,100 in Canada and 81,800 in the United States.

"Our research shows that it may be possible to improve the way we determine risk in each patient by looking at the genetic mutations present in their cancer," says Yasser Riazalhosseini, assistant professor of human genetics and head of cancer genomics at the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine at McGill University.

"Mutation analysis using DNA sequencing is already being used to help patients with other types of cancer and could be readily applied to patients with kidney cancer," he adds.

For the study in Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers looked at changes in the DNA of more than 900 of kidney cancer samples, and identified four groups of patients based on the presence of mutations in 12 specific genes within the DNA. The team also looked at whether the cancer had recurred in each of these patients.

The researchers found some 91% of patients in one mutation group remained disease-free five years after surgery, meaning patients in this group may potentially avoid unnecessary treatment.

Meanwhile, the percentage of patients in a different mutation group who remained disease-free at five years was much lower, at 51%. This identified them as requiring more aggressive treatment.

Currently, doctors assess the risk of kidney cancer returning by looking at features like the size of the tumor and how aggressive it appears under a microscope. With up to 30% of localized 

kidney cancers

 returning after surgery, more accurate methods of assessing this risk are needed, so patients who do not need further treatment can be spared it, say the researchers.

"Accurately determining the risk of cancer 


 is very important. It helps us identify how often patients need to be seen by their doctors and decide who to treat with immunotherapy," says Naveen Vasudev, associate professor in medical oncology at the University of Leeds Institute of Medical Research.

"This treatment has recently been shown to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back but can cause side-effects. The danger currently is that some patients may be over-treated, so being able to better identify patients at low risk of recurrence is important."

The results of this research mean that tumor DNA sequencing may provide a more effective way to predict a patient's risk of kidney cancer recurrence. This could, in the future, lead to more personalized treatment for kidney cancer.

"Development of new treatments for kidney cancer has lagged behind other 


 and we largely continue to adopt a 'one size fits all' approach," Vasudev says.

"Genomics—the study of genes and how they interact with each other—is a key area of development in patient care. Here we show how genomics might be applied to patients with kidney cancer, potentially creating more personalized treatment options for thousands of patients each year," he says.

Additional coauthors are from the University of Leeds and McGill.

Source: McGill University

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New insights into coral symbiosis after bleaching
New research led by a team from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has uncovered a complex picture of both loss and gain within the microalgal communities of corals after the 2016 Great Barrier Reef mass coral bleaching.
A pair of natural science researchers from Marymount Manhattan College has found that high levels of dog feces landing on sidewalks in New York city has resulted in high levels of bacteria in homes and businesses. In their paper published in the journal Indoor and Built Environment, Alessandra Leri and Marjan Khan describe collecting and testing environmental samples from a large number of sites on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Scientific Reports, Published online: 24 February 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-30146-5

Two-year outcomes of treat-and-extend regimen with intravitreal brolucizumab for treatment-naïve neovascular age-related macular degeneration with type 1 macular neovascularization
Obamacare has helped farm workers get and stay healthy
Feedly AI found 2 Regulatory Changes mentions in this article
A farm worker bends down to tamp down some soil in a field.

A new study finds that the Affordable Care Act helps agricultural workers get better medical care—and avoid the ER.

More than 2.5 million agricultural workers help maintain the United States' abundant food supply. They play a vital role in the economy, but their job is hard and often dangerous.

"Everything from the heavy machinery they use to the pesticides and other chemicals that they're exposed to make it easy to get hurt on the job," says Kwabena B. Donkor, an assistant professor of marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

This low-income, largely immigrant workforce has some of the worst health outcomes in the US. Traditionally, farm workers have had difficulty getting routine preventive care because they're often itinerant, working for a succession of employers who don't provide health benefits.

"By the time they get to a physician, whatever health problems they're dealing with are often far along," Donkor says.

Farm workers who don't seek treatment until their symptoms are too severe to ignore often check into emergency rooms, which are required under federal law to treat anyone, even if they are uninsured.

Fewer workers skip health care

The Affordable Care Act, (ACA) the sweeping package of health care reforms signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, was designed to bring health insurance and medical care to millions of people who previously could not access them.

"If you want a poster child for the sort of person that the ACA is intended to help, that would be a seasonal farm worker," Donkor says.

Donkor wanted to find out what effect the ACA has had on the health of this chronically underserved group. As he explains, one of the key unanswered empirical questions about the ACA was how its benefits would affect the behavior of previously uninsured people.

Would they visit ERs less because they were receiving preventive care, as the law's authors had hoped? Or would they go to the ER more often because they would assume that their insurance would cover the cost? Both scenarios were plausible, Donkor notes.

In the new paper, Donkor and colleagues conclude that Obamacare is helping farmworkers in a significant way—while also reducing economic stress on the health care system. The researchers found Obamacare has not only substantially raised the share of seasonal farm workers with medical insurance, it also has increased their use of preventive medical care and decreased their use of hospitals, including emergency care.

The study looked at 2,265 adult farm workers from 2010 to 2016. Donkor and coauthor Jeffrey M. Perloff, a professor in the agricultural and resource economics department at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that a quarter had preexisting conditions that might have made it difficult for them to afford coverage before health care reform.

"One of the main selling points of the ACA was that before it was passed, insurance companies could charge you a different premium depending on your health status," Donkor says. "If you had a preexisting condition, you best believe that you were going to have to pay a really high premium." For low-income farm workers, that often put coverage—and preventive care—out of reach.

The study found that farm workers who were eligible for Medicaid, which some states expanded under Obamacare, were around 11% less likely to be uninsured than ineligible workers. Those eligible to buy insurance on Obamacare-sponsored exchanges were 5.5% less likely to lack insurance. The ACA's tax penalty for not having coverage reduced the probability of being uninsured by as much as 8.6%. (Congress eliminated the penalty in 2019.)

The ACA also reduced the likelihood of a farm worker forgoing medical care. Medicaid-eligible farm workers were nearly 19% less likely to go without care; those eligible for an insurance subsidy under the law were nearly 9% less likely. Hospital use, including emergency room visits, decreased by 4.4% for Medicaid-eligible farm workers and 1.5% for those eligible for subsidies.

These effects didn't significantly differ between people with and without preexisting conditions, which suggests that the ACA has benefited farm workers' health across the board.

Good for farm workers, good for all

Getting an accurate picture of the ACA's effect on farm workers was a complex endeavor, which may be why relatively little research had been done on the subject.

"There are a lot of moving parts to the ACA," Donkor says. "And depending upon which state you were in, the law might be applied differently." The law required states to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income households, yet a 2012 Supreme Court decision allowed some states to opt out of this mandate.

The researchers also had to factor in how the ACA applies to different people. The law requires citizens and legal residents to maintain health insurance but provides subsidies for people who make less than a certain income. "If you have a green card, for example, depending upon how long you've been in the US, you may not qualify for the premium subsidy," Donkor explains.

Donkor would like to see additional research that builds upon these findings. For example, he thinks it's important to take a closer look at farm workers with preexisting conditions to see how they fare over time. Additionally, he'd like to see whether having access to preventive care reduces the percentage of farm workers with chronic health issues—potentially a big win for both the workers and the system that takes care of them.

What's good for farm workers ultimately benefits all of society, Donkor says.

"This has a direct impact on how we manage hospitals," he says. "If you want to lower the burden on our ERs, this could help. If we provide people with what they need, what we're paying in taxes might actually be lower."

Source: Patrick J. Kiger for Stanford University

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Technique captures and separates benzene air pollution
Led by scientists at the University of Manchester, a series of new stable, porous materials that capture and separate benzene have been developed. Benzene is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and is an important feedstock for the production of many fine chemicals, including cyclohexane. But it also poses a serious health threat to humans when it escapes into the air and is thus regarded as an important air pollutant.
New study reveals biodiversity loss drove ecological collapse after the 'Great Dying'
The history of life on Earth has been punctuated by several mass extinctions, the greatest of these being the Permian-Triassic extinction event, also known as the Great Dying, which occurred 252 million years ago. While scientists generally agree on its causes, exactly how this mass extinction unfolded—and the ecological collapse that followed—remains a mystery.
Is this article about Agriculture?
A team of geologists, paleontologists and environmental scientists from Jiangsu Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Science, working with a colleague from Coastal Carolina University, has found that human attempts to keep the Yellow River in China from flooding over the past 1,000 years only made things worse.
Locking and unlocking molecular structures on demand
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Angewandte Chemie International Edition how the formation and deformation speed of interlocked molecular structures called rotaxanes can be tuned—a discovery that may lead to an enhanced functionality of rotaxanes as building blocks for molecular machines.