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Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives
Exclusive: In leaked emails, Matt Hancock's adviser says there is 'urgent need for decisions' on asymptomatic testing Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Senior government officials have raised "urgent" concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, su
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Whitest-ever paint could help cool heating Earth, study shows
New paint reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat into space, reducing need for air conditioning The whitest-ever paint has been produced by academic researchers, with the aim of boosting the cooling of buildings and tackling the climate crisis. The new paint reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat through the atmosphere into space. In tests, it cooled surf
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SETI Research Director Warns of "Malevolent" Alien Civilizations
Unfriendly Skies While many scientists are trying their hardest to make first contact, or at least find evidence of an extraterrestrial civilization, others are asking a crucial question: Are we sure we would really want aliens to find us? "We have no reason to believe that technological advancement and altruism or morality are somehow linked," SETI researcher Andrew Siemion told Inverse . "There
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The obscure maths theorem that governs the reliability of Covid testing
There's been much debate about lateral flow tests – their accuracy depends on context and the theories of a 18th-century cleric Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Maths quiz. If you take a Covid test that only gives a false positive one time in every 1,000, what's the chance that you've actually got Covid? Surely it's 99.9%, right? No! The correct answer is: you have no
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Weed Absolutely Wrecks Your Vision, According to New Research
It turns out that smoking weed can utterly mess with your vision, according to a new study by University of Granada scientists. Maybe that's not a surprise to the average drug-doer , but it still might come as shock to many who think they're still operating at 100 percent. While smoking impaired volunteers' visual acuity, depth perception, and ability to focus, a surprisingly high percentage of v
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The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying
For weeks, Americans looked on as other countries grappled with case reports of rare, sometimes fatal blood abnormalities among those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. That vaccine has not yet been authorized by the FDA, so restrictions on its use throughout Europe did not get that much attention in the United States. But Americans experienced a rude awakening this week w
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Parents Are Sacrificing Their Social Lives on the Altar of Intensive Parenting
Over the past few decades, American parents have been pressured into making a costly wager: If they sacrifice their hobbies, interests, and friendships to devote as much time and as many resources as possible to parenting, they might be able to launch their children into a stable adulthood. While this gamble sometimes pays off , parents who give themselves over to this intensive form of child-rea
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NASA has selected SpaceX's Starship as the lander to take astronauts to the moon
Later this decade, NASA astronauts are expected to touch down on the lunar surface for the first time in decades. When they do, according to an announcement made by the agency, they'll be riding inside SpaceX's Starship vehicle. NASA's award of a $2.9 billion contract to build Starship, first reported by the Washington Post on April 16 and later confirmed by NASA, is a huge achievement for the sp
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Two Die in Fiery Tesla Wreck, Seemingly in Self-Driving Mode
A Tesla Model S crashed into a tree and burst into flames on Saturday evening in Spring, Texas, not far from Houston — but investigators of the wreck found neither of its occupants in the driver's seat. Following the fatal crash, two bodies were removed from the wreck, neither of which was actually behind the wheel. One person was in the front passenger seat, while the other body was found in the
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Hubble watches cosmic light bend
This extraordinary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of the galaxy cluster Abell 2813 (also known as ACO 2813) has an almost delicate beauty, which also illustrates the remarkable physics at work within it. The image spectacularly demonstrates the concept of gravitational lensing.
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Parker Solar Probe sees Venus orbital dust ring in first complete view
NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission has given scientists the first complete look at Venus' orbital dust ring, a collection of microscopic dust particles that circulates around the Sun along Venus' orbit. Though earlier missions have made some observations of Venus' orbital dust ring, Parker Solar Probe's images are the first to show the planet's dust ring for nearly its entire 360-degree span around
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NASA's Mars Helicopter Achieves Flight on Red Planet
NASA's Mars helicopter has made history. Ingenuity , a small, four-pound rotorcraft that was dropped off by the agency's Perseverance rover earlier this year, became the first manmade object to achieve powered, controlled flight on the surface of another planet earlier this morning. It's a feat that could revolutionize the way we explore the surface of other planets, including Mars, in the medium
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Forskare: Plasten vi använder i vardagen gör oss mer infertila
Ungefär var tionde kvinna i världen kämpar nu med infertilitet i minst 12 månader samtidigt som mängden och kvaliteten på spermier drastiskt minskat de senaste årtiondena. Enligt forskare är en av bovarna bakom våra fertilitetsproblem hormonstörande tillsatser i den plast som vi använder i vardagen. – All plast innehåller tillsatsämnen och all plast är ett problem, säger Pauliina Damdimopoulou, se
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Absolute abundance and preservation rate of Tyrannosaurus rex
Although much can be deduced from fossils alone, estimating abundance and preservation rates of extinct species requires data from living species. Here, we use the relationship between population density and body mass among living species combined with our substantial knowledge of Tyrannosaurus rex to calculate population variables and preservation rates for postjuvenile T. rex . We estimate that
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The Interior Lives of Hoarders
Tomas Schuler / EyeEm / Getty I cannot remember whether I knew what compulsive hoarding was before 2009. Likely not. That year, the TV network A&E put the disorder on the cultural radar in an unparalleled way with its show Hoarders. The series introduced a public audience to a sometimes-private struggle—the obsessive need to acquire objects, coupled with the fear of letting them go—and offered it
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Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?
Last week, I covered my nose and mouth with close-fitting fabric like a good citizen and walked to a restaurant in Washington, D.C., where I de-masked at a patio table to greet a friend. I sat with my chair facing the entrance and watched dozens of people perform the same ritual, removing a mask they'd worn outside and alone. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world. Until, suddenly, it
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Materials challenges and opportunities for quantum computing hardware
Quantum computing hardware technologies have advanced during the past two decades, with the goal of building systems that can solve problems that are intractable on classical computers. The ability to realize large-scale systems depends on major advances in materials science, materials engineering, and new fabrication techniques. We identify key materials challenges that currently limit progress
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Research investigates radio galaxy 3C 84
An international team of astronomers has conducted a detailed kinematic study of a radio galaxy known as 3C 84. The research sheds more light on the properties of this source and its connection to gamma-ray emission. The study was detailed in a paper published April 7 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
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NASA's New Horizons reaches a rare space milestone
In the weeks following its launch in early 2006, when NASA's New Horizons was still close to home, it took just minutes to transmit a command to the spacecraft, and hear back that the onboard computer received and was ready to carry out the instructions.
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Scientists generate human-monkey chimeric embryos
Researchers have injected human stem cells into primate embryos and were able to grow chimeric embryos for a significant period of time — up to 20 days. The research, despite its ethical concerns, has the potential to provide new insights into developmental biology and evolution. It also has implications for developing new models of human biology and disease.
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Activity-regulated synaptic targeting of lncRNA ADEPTR mediates structural plasticity by localizing Sptn1 and AnkB in dendrites
Activity-dependent structural plasticity at the synapse requires specific changes in the neuronal transcriptome. While much is known about the role of coding elements in this process, the role of the long noncoding transcriptome remains elusive. Here, we report the discovery of an intronic long noncoding RNA (lncRNA)—termed ADEPTR—that is up-regulated and synaptically transported in a cAMP/PKA-de
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Punctuated ecological equilibrium in mammal communities over evolutionary time scales
The study of deep-time ecological dynamics has the ability to inform conservation decisions by anticipating the behavior of ecosystems millions of years into the future. Using network analysis and an exceptional fossil dataset spanning the past 21 million years, we show that mammalian ecological assemblages undergo long periods of functional stasis, notwithstanding high taxonomic volatility due t
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The SARS-CoV-2 Spike variant D614G favors an open conformational state
The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic underwent a rapid transition with the emergence of a dominant viral variant (from the "D-form" to the "G-form") that carried an amino acid substitution D614G in its "Spike" protein. The G-form is more infectious in vitro and is associated with increased viral loads in the upper airways. To gain insight into the molecular-level underpinnings of thes
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Good dental health may help prevent heart infection from mouth bacteria
Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are the most important ways to reduce risk of a heart infection called infective endocarditis caused by bacteria in the mouth. There are four categories of heart patients considered to be at highest risk for adverse outcomes from infective endocarditis, and only these patients are recommended to receive preventive antibiotic treatment prior to invasive den
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America Has Pandemic Senioritis
On February 25, I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine bright and early, picked up a breakfast burrito on the walk home, and spent the rest of the day sitting in my desk chair, doing what can only be described as vibing. I felt a little bit stoned, like I had taken a low-grade edible instead of being shot up with cutting-edge technology that would help end a year-long global disaster. This acu
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Tinnitus helpline reports a surge in calls since start of the coronavirus pandemic
Scientists are concerned virus or medication used for treating Covid-19 is causing ear damage Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage More people are complaining of developing tinnitus for the first time or have found their symptoms have worsened since the start of the pandemic, according to scientists and other leading experts who specialise in the condition. The British Ti
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A Lawsuit Over Frozen Embryos
Elaine Meyer and Barry Prizant had given up on having more than one child. Then, in their 60s, they got a letter from the hospital where they'd long ago had IVF treatment.
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The New Face of Trumpism in Texas
I n 2015, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, the fates of two very different Texans collided. One was 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a precocious kid in a NASA T-shirt who had built a clock out of spare parts and brought it to school in a pencil case. His English teacher decided it might be a bomb, and the school called the police, who arrested Mohamed for bringing in a " hoax bomb ." Because Mohamed's
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This Theory Could Explain Many Military UFO Sightings
A fascinating clip of what appeared to be triangular or "pyramid" shaped UFOs flying over a US Navy warship circulated online earlier this month. The footage, obtained by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, shows the mysterious objects caught on a night vision camera aimed at the skies over the warship. "I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel," Department of Defens
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Add India to UK travel ban list to stop Covid variant, urges scientist
Indian coronavirus variant has potential to 'scupper' lockdown easing, says professor of immunology Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage India should be placed on the UK's "red list" for travel after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, according to a leading scientist. Prof Danny Altmann, from Imperial College London, said it was "mystifying" and "confounding" tha
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Japanese Prime Minister Challenged to Drink Radioactive Water Before Dumping It Into the Ocean
Shots Shots Shots Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the government could no longer delay its plan to dump radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean. The Japanese government has repeatedly insisted that the plan won't put biodiversity or people in the area at risk, but plenty of residents of Japan and neighboring countr
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Dogecoin Is Spiking and People Are Losing Their Minds
At first, it was meant to be a joke. But now the market capitalization of Dogecoin, a popular altcoin, has spiked to $40 billion, CNBC reports , after values skyrocketed and added $20 billion in value in just 24 hours. The shiba inu-emblazoned token was created as a "fun" alternative to Bitcoin back in 2013. But thanks to a massive surge in interest, led by communities on Reddit — and some promin
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Artist Sells NFT of Single Pixel for $1.7 Million
The Pixel The NFT isn't dead. A single pixel, a part of an NFT by digital artist Pak, sold for $1.36 million worth of Ether, Reuters reports , at the famed auction house Sotheby's. The work was part of a larger series of digital artworks that sold for a whopping $16.8 million combined. Most notable among them was "The Pixel," which as its name suggests, was an image of a single grey block. Three
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NASA Reportedly Chooses SpaceX to Develop Moon Lander
NASA Leak NASA officially announced that it's going to announce who it will choose to build a rocket capable of bringing the first astronauts to the Moon's surface since the Apollo missions. But news of the decision may have just leaked to The Washington Post a little early. According to documents obtained by the newspaper, NASA has officially chosen Elon Musk's SpaceX to to build a lunar lander
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Restoring the 'Soul of the Nation' Means Taking in Refugees
One of the Trump administration's early priorities was engineering a whiter America through immigration restrictions. We know this because it told us so. "U.S. demographics have been changing rapidly—and undesirably in the eyes of top Trump aides, including his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and domestic policy advisor Stephen Miller," the Los Angeles Times reported in February 2017. The tr
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'Like hunting for unicorns': Australians on the search for adequate, affordable mental healthcare
Countless inquiries have found the same problems afflicting the mental health system, but cost and access barriers still leave those seeking and providing care in despair 'The worst it's ever been': Guardian readers tell us about Australia's mental health system Many Australians experience the country's mental health system as inadequate, dangerous and financially punishing, saying they often fee
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Wilhelm Reich: the strange, prescient sexologist who sought to set us free
He believed orgasms could be a healing force and coined the term 'sexual revolution'. Reich's understanding of the body is vital in our age of protests and patriarchy, writes Olivia Laing There are certain people who speak directly into their moment, and others who leave a message for history to decipher, whose work gains in relevance or whose life becomes uncannily meaningful decades after their
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Study: Humanity Has Ravaged All But 3 Percent of The Land on Earth
Global Domination New research shows that humanity's influence has already altered about 97 percent of the land on the planet. Very little of the land surface on the Earth — just 2.8 percent — can still be considered "functionally intact," according to a study published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change . Therefore, the study's authors, who hail from a long list of un
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Oldest piece of writing ever found in Israel identified on ancient shard of pottery
A team of researchers from the Austrian Academy of Science's, Austrian Archaeological Institute, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archeology, has identified a piece of writing on a shard of pottery unearthed in 2018 at the Lachish archaeological site as the oldest piece of writing ever found in Israel. In their paper published in Cambridge University Press's, Antiquity, the gr
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India Covid variant found in UK specimens taken in February
Researchers worry that 'variant under investigation' contains mutations that could help it evade immune response Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The first of the 77 cases of the India variant of coronavirus found in the UK were detected in specimens dating back to February, the Guardian has learned. On Thursday Public Health England (PHE) revealed that 77 cases of a
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'That's a lot of teeth': 2.5 billion T rex walked the earth, researchers find
Experts calculate the total number of the dinosaurs that lived over 127,000 generations One Tyrannosaurus rex seems scary enough. Now picture 2.5 billion of them. That's how many of the fierce dinosaur king probably roamed Earth over the course of a couple of million years, a new study finds. Using calculations based on body size, sexual maturity and the creatures' energy needs, a team at the Uni
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Researchers establish the first entanglement-based quantum network
A team of researchers from QuTech in the Netherlands reports realization of the first multi-node quantum network, connecting three quantum processors. In addition, they achieved a proof-of-principle demonstration of key quantum network protocols. Their findings mark an important milestone toward the future quantum internet and have now been published in Science.
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Nuclear DNA from sediments helps unlock ancient human history
The field of ancient DNA has revealed important aspects of human evolutionary past, including relationships with Denisovans and Neandertals. These studies have relied on DNA from bones and teeth, which store DNA and protect it from the environment. But such skeletal remains are exceedingly rare, leaving large parts of human history inaccessible to genetic analysis.
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Special Ops Soldier With Jetpack Boards Ship in Amazing Video
Special Jet Suit Ops In a new video released by jetpack maker Gravity Industries, a jetsuit-wearing special ops soldier from the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force can be seen boarding a ship — by flying there from a nearby pursuit vessel. It's a spectacular demonstration of Gravity Industries' flying technology. Rather than having to pursue and approach the ship in the tailing vessel,
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Nasa's Mars helicopter in first powered, controlled flight on another planet
Ingenuity successfully takes flight, hovering at height of about 3 metres before touching back down Nasa is celebrating the first powered, controlled flight on another planet after its Ingenuity helicopter rose into the Martian sky, hovered for a moment, and then gently returned to the dusty surface. The robotic craft climbed to an altitude of about 3 metres on its maiden flight on Monday morning
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Photos: The Culture Of Whales
Belugas play, a sperm whale nurses, and orcas teach their pups to hunt in a series of photographs from National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry. (Image credit: Brian Skerry/National Geographic)
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FAQ: America's New Promise On Climate
The U.S. is planning to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is America's return to the international climate stage. We break it down for you. (Image credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
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UK Covid news: Boris Johnson cancels trip to India as pressure grows for it to be added to travel red list
Latest updates: PM's forthcoming trip to India cancelled as country's total cases reach 15m 'If we catch Covid, we die': UK shielders reflect on still feeling unsafe Oxford trial to study effect of immune system on reinfection Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.29am BST Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is making a statement to MPs on coronavirus at 3.30pm. Two maj
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Mars helicopter Ingenuity: Nasa about to try historic flight
If all goes to plan, craft will ascend to 10 feet above the surface of Mars, hover for 30 seconds, then rotate before descending Nasa on Monday will attempt to fly a miniature helicopter above the surface of Mars in what would be the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. If all goes to plan, the 1.8kg helicopter will slowly ascend to an altitude of three metres above
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OPINION: Doctors Should Be More Candid With Their Patients
As a doctor, I was eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in December, but I also was pregnant, and there wasn't yet much data to inform my decision. What I needed was a different kind of information. (Image credit: DrAfter123/Getty Images)
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A Distinctly American Problem Needs Systematic Investigation
Aviation deaths once looked like an intractable problem. Then the federal government began probing every plane crash with an eye toward preventing future loss of life. Our skies got much safer as a result. A similar approach could reduce police killings. A federal agency should investigate every single killing and significant injury caused by American police officers, who have long killed people
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Så minskar du riskerna med plast i ditt hem
Hormonstörande tillsatser i plast har flera negativa effekter för vår hälsa. Men genom att dra ned på mängden plast som kommer i kontakt med din mat, använda oparfymerade hygienprodukter och vädra dina nya möbler kan du dra ned på din exponering för kemikalierna.
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Så kyler trädens gaser ner planeten
Att träd binder koldioxid är välkänt. Men träd håller även ner temperaturen på fler sätt än många tidigare har trott. Träd släpper ifrån sig gaser och de gaserna har en nedkylande effekt på atmosfären. – Den ljuvliga doften av en tallskog är just sådana gaser, säger klimatforskaren Catherine Scott vid Leeds universitet.
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Who Wants to Watch Black Pain?
Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET on April 17, 2021. In the trailer for Amazon's new horror series, Them , Diana Ross's "Home" soundtracks a tender scene: A Black husband and wife in the 1950s survey their new house in wonder and dance in the living room with their two daughters. "When I think of home / I think of a place where there's love overflowing," Ross sings. But, as in the song, the tenor of the tr
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Walking or running in nature with a therapist is helping people heal
Outdoor therapy can help people to become reflective and their body language while moving gives clues to their feelings Covid has transformed the way many of us work and that includes the people who look after our mental health. For much of lockdown, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists have all had to venture into the world of online therapy, tackling their clients' iss
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AI ethicist Kate Darling: 'Robots can be our partners'
The MIT researcher says that for humans to flourish we must move beyond thinking of robots as potential future competitors Dr Kate Darling is a research specialist in human-robot interaction, robot ethics and intellectual property theory and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab . In her new book, The New Breed , she argues that we would be better prepared for the fu
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Pandemic made 2020 'the year of the quiet ocean', say scientists
Human-generated sounds faded substantially at height of Covid lockdown, studies show Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Covid-19 lockdown has produced the quietest year for the world's oceans in recent memory, according to a group of scientists working on a global map of underwater soundscapes. Noise pollution from ship engines, trawling activities, oil platforms, s
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Nasa picks Elon Musk's SpaceX to build spacecraft to return humans to moon
Space agency breaks with tradition by awarding $2.9bn contract to single company in 'big step' for moon-to-Mars strategy Nasa has chosen SpaceX to build the next-generation spacecraft that will return humans to the moon, further strengthening Elon Musk's grip on the burgeoning public-private space industry. The $2.9bn contract to build the lunar lander that will spearhead the Artemis program , Na
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What are the new Covid variants and what do they mean for the pandemic?
From Doug to Nelly and Eeek, we look at how mutations are affecting the battle against the virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage From the moment public health officials started to track new variants of coronavirus, it became clear that the same mutations were cropping up time and again and making the virus more troublesome. What are these mutations, what do they do,
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Pfizer CEO Says You'll "Likely" Need a Third Dose of COVID Vaccine
Getting both shots of the Pfizer vaccine may not be enough to permanently protect you against the coronavirus. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC yesterday that we may eventually need a third injection of the vaccine to serve as a booster when its protective benefits start to wane, or if the company reworks its formula to better protect against new variants of the coronavirus. "A likely scenario
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87 Neanderthal footprints found on an ancient Iberian shoreline
A team of researchers from Spain, Argentina and France has identified 87 Neanderthal footprints found on an ancient shoreline on the Iberian Peninsula. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group describes their study of the footprints and what they learned about them.
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A rich marine algal ecosystem existed 600 million years earlier than previously thought
The first photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms on Earth were cyanobacteria. Their evolution dramatically changed the Earth allowing oxygen to accumulate into the atmosphere for the first time and further allowing the evolution of oxygen-utilizing organisms including eukaryotes. Eukaryotes include animals, but also algae, a broad group of photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms that now domi
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A Huge New Kroger Warehouse Is Staffed by 1,000 Grocery-Picking Robots
With the pandemic at long last starting to wind down, many of us are beyond eager to get back to "the way things used to be," that is, being able to interact with other humans, spending time in public places, and getting some measure of joy out of life. But some of our habits may be permanently changed , like doing meetings over Zoom, working from home, and shopping online. One grocery store chai
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How The U.S. Could Halve Climate Emissions By 2030
Environmental groups and business leaders are pushing President Biden to cut U.S. emissions 50% by 2030. The question is: what kind of climate policies will work that fast? (Image credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL)
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Women in England almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed opiate painkillers
Experts worried about high use of drugs such as codeine and tramadol after prescriptions rose during Covid pandemic 'I was told to live with it': women tell of doctors dismissing their pain Women in England are almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers, prompting experts to warn that female pain is overly medicated and not properly invest
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The universe is expanding – but what is it expanding into?
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers' questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts Scientists and astronomers tell us that the universe is expanding. But what is it expanding into, ie what's beyond the universe? Phil Town, Lisbon Post your answers (and new questions) below or send them to nq@theguardian.com
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La Soufrière Volcano: A Growing Humanitarian Crisis
Between 16,000 and 20,000 people were evacuated from the area around the volcano on St. Vincent. Some evacuees are with family and friends; others are fleeing the island entirely. (Image credit: Orvil Samuel/AP)
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US Spies Warn That China Is Building Space Weapons
Weaponizing Space The US intelligence community issued a dire warning that China, perceived to be "the top threat" to America's dominance in space, is taking steps to weaponize space. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a new Global Risk Assessment report last week in which it details an upswing in China's military and commercial activity in Earth's orbit. Chief am
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Winners of the 2021 World Press Photo Contest
The winning entries of the annual World Press Photo Contest ​have just been announced. This year, according to organizers, 74,470 images were submitted for judging, made by 4,315 photographers from 130 different countries. Winners in eight categories were announced, including Contemporary Issues, Environment, General News, Long-Term Projects, Nature, Portraits, Sports, and Spot News. World Press
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While species come and go, their ecosystems persist over millions of years
Mammal communities underwent long periods of so-called functional stability despite the waxing and waning of their constituent species over tens of millions of years, even persisting through several environmental crises. This is the main conclusion of a new study published in the journal Science by an interdisciplinary team from Spain and Germany.
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Under-30s less compliant with Covid rules, UK data shows
While most followed restrictions, one in seven admitted to decreasing levels of compliance Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage People under 30 were less compliant with Covid rules over the past year, according to survey data from more than 50,000 adults in the UK. While the still to be peer-reviewed analysis suggests most people followed lockdown and social distancing ru
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Microbes are 'unknown unknowns' despite being vital to all life, says study
Understanding these tiny organisms could be crucial to tackling threats such as coronavirus, but new research shows how little we know A new study has highlighted how little is known about microbes – the hidden majority of life on Earth. Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms. They generate oxygen, keep soils healthy and regulate the climate.
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Covid: trial to study effect of immune system on reinfection
Oxford scientists will track whether participants are reinfected when re-exposed to coronavirus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The immune response needed to protect people against reinfection with the coronavirus will be explored in a new human challenge trial, researchers have revealed. Human challenge trials involve deliberately exposing healthy people to a diseas
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New Warp Drive Research Dashes Faster-Than-Light Travel Dreams—but Reveals Stranger Possibilities
In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a radical technology that would allow faster-than-light travel: the warp drive , a hypothetical way to skirt around the universe's ultimate speed limit by bending the fabric of reality. It was an intriguing idea—even NASA has been researching it at the Eagleworks laboratory—but Alcubierre's proposal contained problems that seemed insurmountable. Now,
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Readers reply: the universe is expanding – but what is it expanding into?
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers' questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts Scientists and astronomers tell us that the universe is expanding. But what is it expanding into, ie what's beyond the universe? Phil Town, Lisbon Please email new questions to nq@theguardian.com Continue reading…
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Vodka, toothpaste, yoga mats … the new technology making items out of thin air
An exhibition at London's Science Museum shows how far carbon capture research has come Tackling climate change may bring unexpected benefits, London's Science Museum will reveal next month. A special exhibition on carbon capture, the fledgling technology of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and emissions from factories, will display bottles of vodka, tubes of toothpaste, pens and y
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Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the cretaceous
Tarantulas are among the most notorious spiders, due in part to their size, vibrant colors and prevalence throughout the world. But one thing most people don't know is that tarantulas are homebodies. Females and their young rarely leave their burrows and only mature males will wander to seek out a mate. How then did such a sedentary spider come to inhabit six out of seven continents?
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Elon Musk Takes Cybertruck for Off-Road Joyride
Off-Road Joyride During a recent visit to Tesla's factory in Austin, Texas, CEO Elon Musk decided to take a prototype of the company's long-awaited electric pickup, the Cybertruck, out for a spin. Videos of the event showed the brutalist truck drive over the site's dirt-covered grounds. Cybertruck at Gigafactory Texas! $TSLA #Tesla #Cybertruck #EV @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/g90Ml0NWTF — Tesla New
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What the Pandemic Has Done to the Class of 2020
Nina Berman / NOOR / Redux Noah Baumbach's 1995 film, Kicking and Screaming , opens at a college-graduation party. Students dressed in boxy suits and flouncy dresses mill around campus, savoring their final moments of collegiate aimlessness: Today I am a student, an English major. Tomorrow these identities will fall away and I will have no idea who or what I am anymore. A group of friends gathers
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Laos jars are slowly revealing their secrets
In the rugged province of Xieng Khoaung in upper northern Laos are scattered more than 2,000 large carved stone jars. They vary in size, with the biggest standing at just over 2.5 meters tall and weighing in at 30 tons. The jars are believed to have been used for funerary purposes, with human remains (including teeth) found buried around some of the jars.
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'They Just Feel That They've Been Violated'
People come to Shelly Hughes to get better. Most patients at the Washington State long-term-care facility she works at are there for the express purpose of getting well enough to go home. In a typical year, she would rarely see cases of "failure to thrive," the technical term for a sharp and sudden decline in health. But last year, multiple people who were expected to make a full recovery went in
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Surrendering Our Cities to Cars Would Be a Historic Blunder
Amid the devastation caused by the pandemic, an urban awakening occurred. It would have been international news on its own, had the health crisis not overshadowed it. As businesses and offices closed their doors, cities opened their streets for residents and restaurants hungry for space and socially distant outdoor activity—a radical transformation of asphalt into active places at an astonishing
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Geoffrey Hinton has a hunch about what's next for AI
Back in November, the computer scientist and cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Hinton had a hunch. After a half-century's worth of attempts—some wildly successful—he'd arrived at another promising insight into how the brain works and how to replicate its circuitry in a computer. "It's my current best bet about how things fit together," Hinton says from his home office in Toronto, where he's been se
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NYPD Robodog Involved in Arrest of Man With Gun
To the dismay of local residents, the New York City police department rolled out its newest toy earlier this week: a four-legged robot dog. The robot, a modified Spot model manufactured by Boston Dynamics, made an appearance at a public housing building . Videos taken at the scene show the robot dog entering and exiting the building's lobby. Now, new details are emerging about the incident. Polic
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Terrifying Mutated-Looking "Creature" Turns Out to Be a Croissant
Pastry Panic A mysterious creature caught in a tree caused residents in Krakow, Poland, to shut their windows and hunker down. "People aren't opening their windows because they're afraid it will go into their house," a woman recalled, as quoted by the BBC . The putative creature spent two days in the tree worrying onlookers. Eventually the Krakow Animal Welfare Society was called in, not sure wha
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Is it good for you? According to Nietzsche, it's better to ask, "Does it dance?"
Friedrich Nietzsche's body of work is notoriously difficult to navigate. He wrote in multiple styles, including essays, aphorisms, poems, and fiction. He introduced idiosyncratic concepts such as the free spirit, the Übermensch , eternal recurrence, ressentiment , the ascetic ideal, the revaluation of values, and the affirmation of life. He shifted allegiances: writing books, for example, in supp
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The $1 billion Russian cyber company that the US says hacks for Moscow
The hackers at Positive Technologies are undeniably good at what they do. The Russian cybersecurity firm regularly publishes highly-regarded research, looks at cutting edge computer security flaws, and has spotted vulnerabilities in networking equipment, telephone signals, and electric car technology. But American intelligence agencies have concluded that this $1 billion company—which is headquar
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Russia Is Planning a Moon Landing Later This Year
Luna 25 Russia is planning to launch a mission to the Moon's south pole — and it's scheduled for launch this October, Space.com reports . The mission, dubbed Luna 25, could be the first Russian moon landing since Luna 24, the country's third lunar sample return mission, which launched in 1976. The goal of the mission is to investigate ice deposits suspected to be buried beneath the Moon's south p
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Deciduous trees offset carbon loss from Alaskan boreal fires, new study finds
More severe and frequent fires in the Alaskan boreal forest are releasing vast stores of carbon and nitrogen from burned trees and soil into the atmosphere, a trend that could accelerate climate warming. But new research published this week in the journal Science shows that the deciduous trees replacing burned spruce forests more than make up for that loss, storing more carbon and accumulating it
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Watch Humanity Mold the Planet in Amazing Google Earth Time-Lapse
Fast Forward Google Earth just unveiled its biggest update in several years, a tool that shows 35 years of satellite footage to create a 3D time-lapse of how the planet has changed between 1984 and 2020 in a matter of seconds. The tool (you can access it here and yes, you can look up your house) represents a major upgrade over the existing Google Earth time-lapse feature, Gizmodo reports , which
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Study uses plankton genomes as global biosensors of ocean ecosystem stress
By analyzing gains and losses in the genes of phytoplankton samples collected in all major ocean regions, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created the most nuanced and high-resolution map yet to show where these photosynthetic organisms either thrive or are forced to adapt to limited quantities of key nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and iron.
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Is the 'new muon' really a great scientific discovery? For now, I'm cautious | Carlo Rovelli
Physicists are always looking for eureka moments – but we should be careful with headline-grabbing announcements There is something curious about the great experiments and discoveries in fundamental physics from the past few decades. They have covered black holes , gravitational waves , the Higgs particle and quantum entanglement . They have led to Nobel prizes, reached the front pages of newspap
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4,000 to attend FA Cup semi-final as live sport cautiously reopens
Largest crowd at a major British stadium for more than a year will aid research into events reopening this summer Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A sporting record will be broken on Sunday when 4,000 football fans gather at Wembley to watch the FA Cup semi-final between Leicester City and Southampton. It will be the largest crowd to have watched a football match in a
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Left-Behind Suburbs Are a Civil-Rights Battleground
The death of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist killed by police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, is a window into the future of civil-rights conflict in America. That Black Lives Matter was launched after a police shooting in a similar community outside St. Louis—Ferguson, Missouri—is not a coincidence. Both Brooklyn Center and Ferguson are small, older suburbs. Both have be
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The Danger of a 'Dudes Only' Vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson shot is teetering on the precipice of becoming America's "dudes only" vaccine. On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA advised halting the vaccine's nationwide rollout to investigate six cases of a rare blood-clotting disorder that's occurred in people within about two weeks of receiving the vaccine—all of them women under the age of 50. In an emergency meeting convened Wednesday by the
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Tesla Helps Cops Catch Man Who Committed Racial Hate Crime
Hello There A federal court charged 44-year-old Dushko Vulchev with repeatedly setting fire to a predominately Black church in Massachusetts thanks, in part, to video footage captured by a nearby Tesla's cameras . Vulchev reportedly set the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church on fire several times and slashing the tires of cars in the area, according to Gizmodo . Vukchev, who was
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NASA rocket to survey the solar system's windshield
Eleven billion miles away—more than four times the distance from us to Pluto—lies the boundary of our solar system's magnetic bubble, the heliopause. Here the Sun's magnetic field, stretching through space like an invisible cobweb, fizzles to nothing. Interstellar space begins.
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Most-Vaccinated Country on Earth Has "Pretty Much Eradicated" COVID
According to a new paper published in the journal Nature today, the evidence is overwhelming: COVID-19 vaccines work, and they work well. In fact, Israel's vaccination program — the most expansive on Earth — has been so successful that it has "pretty much eradicated COVID-19 from Israel, at least for the time being," Weizmann Institute researcher and co-author of the new paper Eran Segal wrote in
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Astronomers Surprised to Find That Stars Compete With Each Other
Gas Guzzlers In a new study, Japanese scientists found that a star's final size doesn't depend on how big its initial core was but rather how successful it was at competing with its neighbors for resources. That came as a shock, as the astronomy community long assumed that the mass of a newly-formed core or one collapsed from a dead star — both the seeds of new star formation — had a much larger
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The Two Memos With Enormous Constitutional Consequences
One conclusion is apparent following Donald Trump's four years in office: A sitting president is perhaps the only American who is not bound by criminal law, and thus not swayed by its disincentives. What's astonishing is that this immunity has no grounding in actual law. It's not in the Constitution or any federal statute, regulation, or judicial decision. It is not law at all. Instead, the ban o
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I'm Not Ready to Perform
Last October, before the second pandemic wave took off in New York City, I had one last band practice in my backyard in South Brooklyn. Five of us were working on songs from my new solo record. Normally we'd play in the basement, but it's pretty low-ceilinged, and we'd read Zeynep Tufekci's recent Atlantic article on viral spread, so we were all hyper-focused on air circulation. My bandmate Sara
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An Ode to the Left Hand
Tim Lahan This article was published online on April 17, 2021. I raised the drumstick , brought it down, and a dreamworld opened beneath me. A dreamworld, to be clear, of incompetence. A dreamworld of crapness and debility. A slump in tempo, an abyss. I was sitting at my practice drum kit, attempting one of the signature moves of the late John "Bonzo" Bonham, of Led Zeppelin: triplets with a left
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New Details Emerge About Fatal Jetpack Crash
Jetpack Crash Daredevil jetwing pilot Vince Reffet tragically passed away in November 2020 during a training accident. While details about the cause of his death remained scarce at the time, we're finally starting to get a sense of what may have happened. According to a new report from the United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority, as obtained by the Associated Press , Reffet didn't
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Analysing long Covid and managing anxiety | Letters
There is a greater need than ever for measured, up-to-date information about this condition, writes Prof Michael Sharpe. Plus letters from Robin Davies and Prof Paul Garner George Monbiot has written about post Covid-19 illnesses ( Apparently just by talking about it, I'm super-spreading long Covid , 14 April). He referred to slides he had obtained from a talk I was invited to give because of my
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When Your Best Friend Becomes an 'Aunt' to Your Kids
Each installment of " The Friendship Files " features a conversation between The Atlantic 's Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship. This week she talks with Judie, an introvert, and Kristi, an extrovert, about their opposites-attract friendship, and how Judie leaned on it when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic. Th
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You're Gonna Miss Zoom When It's Gone
I f there's a villain of the pandemic, other than COVID-19, it's probably Zoom. The videochatting platform is making people tired , it's making people awkward , and it's making people sick of their own faces. Zoom is such a shoddy substitute for real life that, according to o ne survey , nearly one in five workers has illicitly met up in person with colleagues to discuss work. And in another poll
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MIT Researcher: Sex Robots May Sell In-App Purchases During Intercourse
Superliminal Advertising As new robots are built to be increasingly social and designed to appeal to our need for emotional connections, a prominent AI ethicist warns that humanity may end up being exploited. MIT Media Lab researcher Kate Darling, an expert on tech ethics and the relationships and interactions between humans and robots, warned The Guardian that the way we talk and think about rob
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No, You're Crying About a Helicopter on Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Jason Major For the first time in history, humankind has taken flight on another planet. Millions of miles from Earth, on an alien world with a wisp-thin atmosphere, a tiny helicopter rose into the air, hovered for 39 seconds , and then gently touched back down on the surface of Mars. Today's historic flight is a tremendous feat of engineering and a marvelous display of—as th
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Nations Need Ambassadors to Big Tech
Governments see that companies have country-like powers, but they can't figure out how to deal with their un-country-like structures. Diplomats could help.
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The Americans Who Still Can't Get Vaccinated
Like many Americans, Ariane Dvir is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Only, she doesn't live in America. From her home near Cologne, in western Germany, she has spent much of this year hearing about her loved ones back in the United States getting vaccinated. Her husband, an Israeli citizen, has heard about his family and friends in Israel doing the same. Though the couple had intended to wait the
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General Override
Who lost Afghanistan? Generations of diplomatic and military historians will debate that question, and there will be blame to share among presidents, members of Congress, generals, and statesmen. Here's an easier question: Who lost the debate over when to leave Afghanistan? The military did. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would fully withdraw from Afghanistan b
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Scientists report remarkable enhancement of α-particle clustering in uranium isotopes
It is always exciting to find new isotopes with extreme neutron/proton numbers in nuclear physics research. In the region of heavy nuclei, α-decay is one of the pervasive decay modes and plays an essential role in searching for new isotopes. However, even after about a century of studying α-decay, scientists still cannot perfectly describe how the α-particle is formed at the surface of the nucleus
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Examining the impact of Earth's most devastating mass-extinction event on invertebrates
Dr. Luis Buatois (Ph.D.), a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences in USask's College of Arts and Science, is the lead author on a new paper published in the journal Terra Nova. The article, titled "Impact of Permian mass extinctions on continental invertebrate infauna," was co-authored with five researchers from universities in Madrid and Salamanca, Spain.
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The True Costs and Benefits of Fracking
An oil-rig crewmember at work in 2012, during the Bakken Formation oil boom in North Dakota (Alec Soth / Magnum) This article was published online on April 16, 2021. I n January , President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered a drilling moratorium on federal land. The following month, a historic cold snap and a failed power grid turned Texas into a disaster zone . Even as poli
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Book Review: A Cosmologist Throws Light on a Universe of Bias
Equal parts critical analysis, personal essay, and popular science, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's "The Disordered Cosmos" is a meditation on the formative years of her scientific career. Cast as an outsider due to her race, sex, and orientation, Prescod-Weinstein reveals the inequitable structures of academia.
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Those who had COVID-19 may only need one vaccine dose, study suggests
Those recovered from COVID-19 had a robust antibody response after the first mRNA vaccine dose, but little immune benefit after the second dose, according to new research. The findings suggest only a single vaccine dose may be needed to produce a sufficient antibody response. Those who did not have COVID-19 did not have a full immune response until after receiving their second vaccine, reinforcing
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How many T. rexes were there? Billions
With fossils few and far between, paleontologists have shied away from estimating the size of extinct populations. But scientists decided to try, focusing on the North American predator T. rex. Using data from the latest fossil analyses, they concluded that some 20,000 adults likely roamed the continent at any one time, from Mexico to Canada. The species survived for perhaps 2.5 million years, whi
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An intercrypt subpopulation of goblet cells is essential for colonic mucus barrier function
The intestinal mucus layer, an important element of epithelial protection, is produced by goblet cells. Intestinal goblet cells are assumed to be a homogeneous cell type. In this study, however, we delineated their specific gene and protein expression profiles and identified several distinct goblet cell populations that form two differentiation trajectories. One distinct subtype, the intercrypt g
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New analysis finds Spotted Owls harmed by post-fire logging, not fire
Are forest fires a threat to the imperiled Spotted Owl? For years, different groups of scientists assumed so, but a new study turns this assumption on its head. Researchers from the John Muir Project, Pennsylvania State University, and Wild Nature Institute found that these previous studies consistently had a serious methodological flaw: they failed to take into account the impact of post-fire log
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The Trojan-Horse mechanism: How networks reduce gender segregation
The social science literature has long viewed homophily and network-based job recruitment as crucial drivers of segregation. Researchers at Linköping University and ESADE, Ramon Llull University, now show that this view must be revised. In their Science Advances article, they call attention to a previously unidentified factor, the Trojan horse mechanism, which shows that network-based recruitment
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Neuropixels 2.0: A miniaturized high-density probe for stable, long-term brain recordings
Measuring the dynamics of neural processing across time scales requires following the spiking of thousands of individual neurons over milliseconds and months. To address this need, we introduce the Neuropixels 2.0 probe together with newly designed analysis algorithms. The probe has more than 5000 sites and is miniaturized to facilitate chronic implants in small mammals and recording during unres
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Inside the rise of police department real-time crime centers
At a conference in New Orleans in 2007, Jon Greiner, then the chief of police in Ogden, Utah, heard a presentation by the New York City Police Department about a sophisticated new data hub called a " real time crime center. " Reams of information rendered in red and green splotches, dotted lines, and tiny yellow icons appeared as overlays on an interactive map of New York City: Murders. Shootings
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SpaceX Awarded Lunar Lander Contract
I've been watching For All Mankind – a very interesting series that imagines an alternate history in which the Soviets beat the US to landing on the Moon, triggering an extended space race that puts us decades ahead of where we are now. By the 1980s we had a permanent lunar base and a reusable lunar lander, not to mention spacecraft with nuclear engines. Meanwhile, back in reality, we are approac
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This Week's Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 17)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 15 Graphs You Need to See to Understand AI in 2021 Charles Q. Choi | IEEE Spectrum "If you haven't had time to read the AI Index Report for 2021, which clocks in at 222 pages, don't worry—we've got you covered. The massive document, produced by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, is packed full of data and graphs, and we've plucked out 15 tha
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US West prepares for possible 1st water shortage declaration
The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government's first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.
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DNA robots designed in minutes instead of days
Someday, scientists believe, tiny DNA-based robots and other nanodevices will deliver medicine inside our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help manufacture increasingly smaller electronics.
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The Year My Deductibles Disappeared
A little while ago, amid the timeless blur of pandemic lockdown, a calendar ping alerted me that April 15—Tax Day—was nigh. I had completely forgotten to set up an appointment with my accountant. Emailing him in a panic, I was relieved when he responded that he had a slot left the day before Saint Patrick's Day. He wouldn't be meeting clients in person this year, because of COVID-19, he explained
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One year of SARS-CoV-2 evolution
Researchers have published an in-depth look at the SARS-CoV-2 mutations that have taken place during the past year. The review discusses the findings of over 180 research articles and follows the changes that have taken place in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, and the variants that have occurred as a result.
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COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection
Scientists have identified a set of human genes that fight SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. Knowing which genes help control viral infection can greatly assist researchers' understanding of factors that affect disease severity and also suggest possible therapeutic options. The genes in question are related to interferons, the body's frontline virus fighters.
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Fruit flies give researchers new insights into the 'highway of the nerve cells'
The nervous system is the internet of the human body and can in the same way transfer signals over long distances very quickly. Some of the most important elements in this signaling are the axons. They are projections of the nerve cells which send signals to other nerve cells or muscles. For instance, axons that jut out from nerve cells in the spinal cord can be over one meter long.
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How Fury Over Soccer Is Uniting Europe
When I was a teenager, my hometown football—soccer—team was bought by a local businessman who began his career as a safecracker, became friends with Donald Trump, and ended his days broke and in jail. George Reynolds, who died last week, lived an Englishman's version of the American dream: He got rich, bought a local institution, then went bankrupt. For a moment, his ownership sparked a kind of g
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Long-term consequences of CO2 emissions
According to a new study, the oxygen content in the oceans will continue to decrease for centuries even if all CO2 emissions would be stopped immediately. The slowdown of ocean circulation and the progressive warming of deeper water layers are responsible for this process.
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How the humble woodchip is cleaning up water worldwide
Australian pineapple, Danish trout, and Midwestern U.S. corn farmers are not often lumped together under the same agricultural umbrella. But they and many others who raise crops and animals face a common problem: excess nitrogen in drainage water. Whether it flows out to the Great Barrier Reef or the Gulf of Mexico, the nutrient contributes to harmful algal blooms that starve fish and other organi
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A complement factor H homolog, heparan sulfation, and syndecan maintain inversin compartment boundaries in C. elegans cilia [Cell Biology]
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness among the elderly. Canonical disease models suggest that defective interactions between complement factor H (CFH) and cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) result in increased alternative complement pathway activity, cytolytic damage, and tissue inflammation in the retina. Although these factors are…
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New amphibious centipede species discovered in Okinawa and Taiwan
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Hosei University have discovered a new species of large, tropical centipede of genus Scolopendra in Okinawa and Taiwan. It is only the third amphibious centipede identified in the world, and is the largest in the region, 20 cm long and nearly 2 cm thick. It is also the first new centipede to be identified in Japan in 143 years, testament to the in
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Self-assembling nanofibers prevent damage from inflammation
Biomedical engineers have developed a self-assembling nanomaterial that can help limit damage caused by inflammatory diseases by activating key cells in the immune system. In mouse models of psoriasis, the team showed that their nanofiber-based drug could effectively mitigate damaging inflammation as effectively as a gold-standard therapy.
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NASA has just flown a helicopter on Mars for the first time
The news: NASA has flown an aircraft on another planet for the first time. On Monday, April 19, Ingenuity, a 1.8-kilogram drone helicopter, took off from the surface of Mars, flew up about three meters, then swiveled and hovered for 40 seconds. The historic moment was livestreamed on YouTube , and Ingenuity captured the photo above with one of its two cameras. "We can now say that human beings ha
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Selective mRNA degradation via autophagy: A novel role for autophagy in gene regulation
Optimal cell function requires a fine balance between the synthesis and degradation of biomolecules. Autophagy is the process by which cells degrade and recycle their own components, helping to clean up and maintain the cell's internal environment and ensure the smooth functioning of cellular processes. Autophagy is strongly induced when cells are subjected to stresses like nutrient deprivation, a
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New Tech Makes Objects Invisible by Shining Light Straight Through Them
Piercing Gaze A team of scientists says they've found a specific kind of light wave that can pierce directly through objects, making it seem as though they were totally invisible. We can see objects because light bounces off of them and into the photoreceptors in our eyes. Now, scientists from Austria's TU Wien and The Netherlands' Utrecht University say they've found a way to make light pass dir
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The Books Briefing: The New Legacy of America's Wilderness
In nature documentaries such as A Perfect Planet and Planet Earth, the wilderness seems free of human influence, Emma Marris wrote in a recent story for The Atlantic . Sweeping, unpeopled vistas and close-up shots of animals render the world in an enhanced, almost unnatural, high-definition style. Such visions of untouched, wild lands are nothing new; John Muir, an early conservationist, even lik
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Bottom trawling harms the ocean—and the climate
The destructive effects of ocean-bottom trawling are easy enough to imagine from any basic description of the practice. Heavy nets 100 yards wide, equipped with weighted rollers and steel doors, are dragged across the seafloor to scoop up cod, halibut, flounder, rockfish, shrimp and other deep-dwelling prey.
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Podcast: How Much Should You Really Worry About the Vaccine-Blood-Clot News?
Despite weeks of growing vaccinations and good news, headlines about blood clots and a "pause" in deploying the much-anticipated Johnson & Johnson shots have people worried. Atlantic science writer Katherine J. Wu joins hosts James Hamblin and Maeve Higgins on the podcast Social Distance to explain the situation. Listen to their conversation here: What follows is a transcript of their conversatio
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Late-Night Classical Radio Host
The first thing you need is a voice. One someone can fall asleep to. Can sleep through. Words twinkling in faint starbursts of static. Your timbre must sotto the way a library book smells like the mausoleum of Erato. You must bring a thermos— an old metal one, dinged. Fill it with quote-unquote coffee but drink slowly. Before 3, you'll have to say Saint-Saens without slurring. Oh, and you'll need
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Later School Start Times
Yet another study shows the benefits of delaying the start time for High School students. This study also looked at middle school and elementary school students, had a two year follow up, and including both parent and student feedback. In this study: "Participating elementary schools started 60 minutes earlier, middle, 40-60 minutes later, and high school started 70 minutes later," and found Rese
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CRISPR: Can we control it?
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary technology that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one hand, this tool could mean the elimination of certain diseases. On the other, there are concerns (both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation. "The technique could be misused in horribl
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AI pinpoints local pollution hotspots using satellite images
Researchers have developed a method that uses machine learning, satellite imagery and weather data to autonomously find hotspots of heavy air pollution, city block by city block. The technique could be a boon for finding and mitigating sources of hazardous aerosols, studying the effects of air pollution on human health, and making better informed, socially just public policy decisions.
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Will Biden's Presidency Be One-and-Done?
Joe Biden spent the bulk of his adult life running for president or auditioning to be president. Now he is president, and yet the notion that he might walk away from the job while he still has a choice in the matter remains a source of undimmed speculation rare in the postwar era. No one seriously believed that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, or any president over the pa
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Long-term consequences of carbon dioxide emissions
The life of almost all animals in the ocean depends on the availability of oxygen, which is dissolved as a gas in seawater. However, the ocean has been continuously losing oxygen for several decades. In the last 50 years, the loss of oxygen accumulates globally to about 2% of the total inventory (regionally sometimes significantly more). The main reason for this is global warming, which leads to a
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Billigare potensmedel gav färre självmord
När patentet för Viagra gick ut och marknaden släpptes fri blev det betydligt billigare att köpa potensmedel. Användandet ökade markant och samtidigt sjönk antalet sjävmord för män mellan 50 och 60 år i Sverige. – Det här är ännu ett tecken på hur viktig möjligheten till fysisk intimitet och nära relationer kan vara genom livet, att de kan för vissa människor vara så stark kopplat till livsglädje
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Beetles that pee themselves to death could be tomorrow's pest control
Up to 25 percent of global food production is lost annually due to insects, primarily beetles. For the past 500 million years, beetles have successfully spread and adapted to life around the globe and now account for one of every five animal species on Earth. Yet as far back as ancient Egypt, these tough little bugs have invaded granaries and vexed us humans by destroying our crops.
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The light-bending dance of binary black holes
A pair of orbiting black holes millions of times the Sun's mass perform a hypnotic pas de deux in a new NASA visualization. The movie traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas — called an accretion disk — that surrounds each one.
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On the pulse of pulsars and polar light
Faced with the tragic loss of the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and the often prohibitive cost of satellite missions, astronomers are searching for savvy alternatives to continue answering fundamental questions in physics.
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Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help
Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things. It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly. By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way. Are you a worrier? Do you imagine nightm
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Can you solve it? Are you smarter than Britain's teenage brainiacs?
A colourful puzzle from the UK girls' maths olympiad Update: the solutions can now be read here. Today's puzzle celebrates the UK's outstanding performance at last week's European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad, which is the world's most prestigious female-only maths competition for pre-university students. Yuhka Machino and Jenni Voon, both aged 17, placed 6th and 7th overall, each earning gold me
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Oxygen migration enables ferroelectricity on nanoscale
Hafnium-based thin films, with a thickness of only a few nanometres, exhibit an unconventional form of ferroelectricity. This allows the construction of nanometre-sized memories or logic devices. However, it was not clear how ferroelectricity could occur at this scale. A study that was led by scientists from the University of Groningen showed how atoms move in a hafnium-based capacitor: migrating
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Peering through the clouds of Earth's 'Evil Twin' surprises NRL sky watchers
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists were recently left scratching their heads over a familiar sight in the sky. Venus images are nothing new, but a solar probe surprised the researchers by seeing through the planet's clouds. NRL's Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) took a stunning image of Earth's celestial neighbor Venus last year that left researchers searching for answers as
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How the Yazoo Land Scandal changed American history
Few people today are familiar with the Yazoo Land Scandal, which broke in the mid-1790s. Yet it sent shockwaves through American public life, influencing politics, law, and even geography. Without it, Georgia could have been a "super state" — and the Trail of Tears might not have happened. Seven of the original 13 states had extensive territorial claims, mainly toward the west. Credit: Library of
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Spacewatch: 60 years after Gagarin, first 'all-civilian' mission is in works
Billionaire Jared Isaacman is chartering a SpaceX rocket to take him and three others into orbit This week was the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight. On 12 April 1961 , Yuri Gagarin blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The flight lasted 108 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 327km (203 miles). Following the re-entry of his space capsule, Gagarin parachuted
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The Women Reinventing the Western
Illustration by John Gall; Searchlight Pictures This article was published online on April 19, 2021. I grew up in San Diego , which resembles the backdrop of High Noon or Unforgiven not at all but is extremely west , geographically speaking. Maybe this is what disposed me to feel that the Western as a film genre was trite and foolish, dangerously sentimental about horizons and stoicism and men sh
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Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something's in it for them
A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature. Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group. The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before. Even the best charities with the longest records of doing great fundr
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SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink evade inhibition by antibodies
It has been known for about a year that minks can become infected with SARS-CoV-2. The virus had been transmitted from humans to farmed mink and mutated in infected animals. Mutations were acquired in the spike protein, which is crucial for the entry of the virus into host cells and represents the central point of attack for antibodies. These SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink were transmitted back to
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Baked meteorites yield clues to planetary atmospheres
In a novel laboratory investigation of the initial atmospheres of Earth-like rocky planets, researchers heated pristine meteorite samples in a high-temperature furnace and analyzed the gases released. Their results suggest that the initial atmospheres of terrestrial planets may differ significantly from many of the common assumptions used in theoretical models of planetary atmospheres.
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How to make online arguments productive
Researchers worked with almost 260 people to understand online disagreements and to develop potential design interventions that could make these discussions more productive and centered around relationship-building.
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Svenska nyhetsmedier i topp i internationell demokratistudie
Svenska nyhetsmedier står starka på digitala plattformar och fortsätter att prioritera granskande och undersökande journalistik, visar en internationell studie. Men i Sverige, liksom i övriga undersökta länder, är det sämre ställt med journalisters anställningstrygghet. Sverige tillhör, tillsammans med Danmark och Storbritannien, de länder där nyhetsmedierna bäst klarat de senaste årens digitala
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Killed whole-genome reduced-bacteria surface-expressed coronavirus fusion peptide vaccines protect against disease in a porcine model [Microbiology]
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic rages on, it is important to explore new evolution-resistant vaccine antigens and new vaccine platforms that can produce readily scalable, inexpensive vaccines with easier storage and transport. We report here a synthetic biology-based vaccine platform that employs an expression vector with an inducible…
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When Love Is Optimized, Is It Still Love?
On television these days, the near future tends to look like an Apple Store. Everything is gleaming white, a triumph of polymers and marble and Windex. Everything is shiny and unsullied by human fingerprints. On Made for Love , HBO Max's zany new series about a woman who manages to escape what's essentially a virtual-reality prison, the contrast between her pristine digital surroundings and her d
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Stretching the boundaries of medical tech with wearable antennae
Current research on flexible electronics is paving the way for wireless sensors that can be worn on the body and collect a variety of medical data. But where do the data go? Without a similar flexible transmitting device, these sensors would require wired connections to transmit health data.
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Pharma company demands retraction, damages in lawsuit against journal
A drug company that manufactures a painkiller used for surgery patients has sued an anesthesiology journal along with its editor and publisher and the authors of articles that it says denigrated its product unfairly. In a complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Pacira Biosciences claims that "In the February 2021 issue … Continue reading
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Researchers develop microscopic theory of polymer gel
Russian scientists have proposed a theory of phase transformation in polymer gels. It explains the mechanisms of the dramatic reduction in volume of zwitterionic hydrogels when they are cooled. The results are published in the journal Chemical Communications (ChemComm).
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Modelling ancient Antarctic ice sheets helps us see future of global warming
In order to get a sense of what our future may hold, scientists have been looking to the deep past. Now, new research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which combines climate, ice sheet and vegetation model simulations with a suite of different climatic and geologic scenarios, opens the clearest window yet into the deep history of the Antarctic ice sheet and what our planetary future m
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Cielo review – love letter to the desert's starry skies
Alison McAlpine's documentary draws out tales from locals and astronomers to evoke the magic and mystery of Chile's stargazing hotspot Cielo means "sky" in Spanish, and "heaven", too. And it's with a sense of humbled wonder at the immense mystery of it all that the Canadian film-maker Alison McAlpine casts her camera upwards in this beautiful documentary about the night sky. It's filmed at the st
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When stars get too close to each other, they cast out interstellar comets and asteroids
In October 2017, humanity caught its first-ever glimpse of an interstellar object—a visitor from beyond our solar system—passing nearby the sun. We named it "Oumuamua, and its unusual properties fascinated and confounded astronomers. Less than two years later, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov found a second interstellar object: a comet-like body that began to disintegrate as it passed within 2 A
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Detecting protein and DNA/RNA structures in cryo-EM maps of intermediate resolution using deep learning
Nature Communications, Published online: 16 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22577-3 It is challenging to extract structural information from EM density maps at intermediate or low resolutions. Here, the authors present Emap2sec+, a program for detecting nucleotides and protein secondary structures in EM density maps at 5 to 10 Å resolution.
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Scientists call for climate projections as part of more robust biodiversity conservation
Scientists have called for the use of climate projections in conservation planning, to ensure that areas most at risk from biodiversity loss and climate impacts are protected. Protected areas are often created in areas of low population density and remote locations, rather than because of their biodiversity conservation potential. Conservation planning in tropical forests especially tends to be le
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Can a new type of glacier on Mars aid future astronauts?
On April 21, 1908, near Earth's North Pole, the Arctic explorer Frederick Albert Cook scrawled in his diary a memorable phrase: "We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice." These words may soon take on new significance for humankind in another dead world of hidden ice, submerged beneath the red sand of its frigid deserts. This dead world is Mars, and the desert is the planet's mi
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End of giant iceberg A-68
The mission to determine the impact of the giant A-68a iceberg on the important marine ecosystem of sub-Antarctic South Georgia is a success according to a team of researchers and engineers, from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and National Oceanography Centre (NOC). This week (Monday 19 April) the U.S National Ice Center declared 'the end' of the A68 iceberg, because its fragments are now too smal
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Surprise twist suggests stars grow competitively
A survey of star formation activity in the Orion Nebula Cluster found similar mass distributions for newborn stars and dense gas cores, which may evolve into stars. Counterintuitively, this means that the amount of gas a core accretes as it develops, and not the initial mass of the core, is the key factor in deciding the final mass of the produced star.
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Leonardo da Vinci definitely did not sculpt the Flora bust
"It is machination, it is deception," said the director general of the Berlin Royal Museums in his defense when criticized for buying a fake. Wilhelm Bode did not budge an inch: The sculpture he acquired in 1909 was an as-yet unknown production of the great Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci.
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A neuromagnetic view through the skull
The brain processes information using both slow and fast currents. Until now, researchers had to use electrodes placed inside the brain in order to measure the latter. Researchers have now successfully visualized these fast brain signals from the outside — and found a surprising degree of variability.
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NASA-built instrument will help to spot greenhouse gas super-emitters
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California is providing the instrument that will enable a nonprofit organization called Carbon Mapper to pinpoint and measure methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) point-sources from space. The data collected by the instrument will help to find super-emitters—the small percentage of individual sources that are responsible for a significant fraction of global
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Common plants and pollinators act as anchors for ecosystems
'Generalist' plants and pollinators play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and may also serve as buffers against some impacts of climate change, finds new research. The findings provide valuable insights for prioritizing the conservation of species that contribute to the strength of ecological communities.
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Honeywell Just Released Details About How Its Quantum Computer Works
Engineering giant Honeywell burst into the quantum computing race out of left field last year. Now the company has provided the first concrete details of how its device works in a peer-reviewed journal . Unlike its main rivals Google and IBM, who rely on superconducting qubits, Honeywell is using trapped ions to power its device. The technology has a long pedigree— most of the earliest quantum co
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SpaceX has given up trying to catch rocket fairings—fishing them out of the ocean is fine
If there is one driving force in the commercial space industry it is economics. The whole concept of reusable booster rocket emphasizes the importance of getting launch costs down. SpaceX, the company leading the charge in trying to bring launch costs down, doesn't just recover booster rockets however. It also recovers the rocket fairings that hold the payload during launch. SpaceX's original plan
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Keeping fit with HIIT really does work
Recently, researchers have been studying whether shorter variations of HIIT, involving as little as 4-min of high intensity exercise per session (excluding a warm up and cool down), also improve health. A new review paper collates a decade's worth of research on the topic of this so-called low-volume high HIIT for health.
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From smoky skies to a green horizon: Scientists convert fire-risk wood waste into biofuel
Reliance on petroleum fuels and raging wildfires: Two separate, large-scale challenges that could be addressed by one scientific breakthrough. Researchers have developed a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste – material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally – into liquid biofuel.
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Lipid research may help solve COVID-19 vaccine challenges
New research could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain COVID-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage. Researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline exoskeletons around delicate liposomes and other lipid nanoparticles and stabilizes them at room temperature.
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Realization of a multinode quantum network of remote solid-state qubits
The distribution of entangled states across the nodes of a future quantum internet will unlock fundamentally new technologies. Here, we report on the realization of a three-node entanglement-based quantum network. We combine remote quantum nodes based on diamond communication qubits into a scalable phase-stabilized architecture, supplemented with a robust memory qubit and local quantum logic. In
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Roman Space Telescope will also find rogue black holes
In the past, we've reported about how the Roman Space Telescope is potentially going to be able to detect hundreds of thousands of exoplanets using a technique known as microlensing. Exoplanets won't be the only things it can find with this technique, though—it should be possible to find solitary black holes, as well.
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Ny studie: Risk för 60 procent svårare pollensäsonger i framtiden
Framtida klimatförändringar riskerar att påverka pollenallergiker negativt. Det visar en ny internationell studie där forskarna tittat på hur gräs reagerar på förhöjda koldioxidnivåer. – Det är inte glädjande om fler behöver leva med dessa frågor i framtiden, säger Kristina Ljungros, generalsekreterare på Astma- och allergiförbundet.
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Parasites and kelp forests
Even the mention of parasites can be enough to make some people's skin crawl. But to recent doctoral graduate these creepy critters occupy important ecological niches, fulfilling roles that, in her opinion, have too often been overlooked.
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SARS-CoV-2 within-host diversity and transmission
Extensive global sampling and sequencing of the pandemic virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have enabled researchers to monitor its spread and to identify concerning new variants. Two important determinants of variant spread are how frequently they arise within individuals and how likely they are to be transmitted. To characterize within-host diversity and transmis
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Nasa helicopter makes historic flight on Mars – video
Nasa's Ingenuity Mars helicopter has completed the first powered, controlled flight on another planet, the space agency has announced. The small helicopter successfully took flight on the red planet on Monday morning, hovering in the air at about 3 metres (10ft), before descending and touching back down on the Martian surface Nasa's Mars helicopter makes first powered, controlled flight on anothe
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Energy implications of the 21st century agrarian transition
Nature Communications, Published online: 19 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22581-7 The global agrarian transition is characterized by a rise in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), whose energy impacts are unknown. Here, the authors assess how LSLAs change land use, finding that they necessitate greater investment in energy to meet demands, and greater greenhouse gas emissions.
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How scientists are 'looking' inside asteroids
Asteroids can pose a threat to life on Earth but are also a valuable source of resources to make fuel or water to aid deep space exploration. Devoid of geological and atmospheric processes, these space rocks provide a window onto the evolution of the solar system. But to really understand their secrets, scientists must know what's inside them.
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Research shows to disrupt online extremism freewill is key
According to new research, when people are explicitly told that they are free to accept or reject propagandistic claims, the likelihood of choosing a moderate view increases. This was a result of a survey of attitudes that tested counter-propaganda strategies, which stressed a person's autonomy, and then measured sentiments after exposure.
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