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Ted Cruz Is No Hypocrite. He's Worse.
Updated on February 18 at 2:29 p.m. ET Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Ted Cruz jetted to Cancún. And although the emperor was at least ensconced in a lavish, louche palace, the senator from Texas was stuck in economy class with the peasantry. Cruz's appeal as a politician, such as it is , has never been about being lovable or relatable, but the latest incident is embarrassing even by his standar
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It'll Do
In 1955, a junior United States senator named John F. Kennedy published Profiles in Courage , a collection of short essays about eight of his predecessors who had risked their careers for their ideals over the previous 150 years. In one single day in 2021, that many senators showed courage worth enduring historical honor. Seven were Republicans: Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Mur
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Elon Musk, Who Moved to TX For Less Regulation, Is Furious That the Power Went Down
When Tesla CEO Elon Musk moved to Texas earlier this year to escape stiff regulations and high taxes, he couldn't have predicted a cold snap that brought the state's infrastructure to its knees. In a tweet this week, Musk lashed out at the state's energy agency, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), quipping that the body is "not earning that R." The historic deep freeze caused sever
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Texas snowstorms are due to rapid heating of the Arctic, say scientists
Winter Storm Uri brought snow and freezing temperatures to Texas this week, causing multiple deaths and damage to infrastructure. Climate scientists have spent years exploring the relationship between extreme winter weather and warming temperatures in the Arctic Circle. Some studies suggest that the warming Arctic disrupts a natural phenomenon known as the polar vortex, which normally contains co
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I'm Freezing Cold and Burning Mad in Texas
The great winter storm of 2021 has terrorized Texans, overwhelmed our energy grid, and made a mockery of our politicians and our much-vaunted independence. Here in Dallas, my family and I have intermittently been without power for three days. On Monday night, the coldest night on record in three decades, we were without power for 12 long hours. I pitched a tent in my children's bedroom, and all o
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The Founders Were Wrong About Democracy
I f there was one idea shared by just about every author of the Constitution, it was the one articulated by James Madison at the convention on June 26, 1787. The mass of the people would be susceptible to "fickleness and passion," he warned. They would suffer from "want of information as to their true interest." Those who must "labour under all the hardships of life" would "secretly sigh for a mo
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Why Did We Ever Send Sick Kids to School?
Staying home to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus during the pandemic, for all the fear and anxiety it has caused, has come with one unexpected benefit for my family: My kids haven't been sick once, not even with the common cold. My husband and I noticed this with a sense of relief after months of virtual schooling. We're extremely fortunate that none of us have caught the coronavirus,
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Blue Dogs Discovered Near Abandoned Chemical Plant
Blue Dogs Stray dogs with bright blue fur have been spotted roaming the streets near an abandoned chemical plant in the Russian city of Dzerzhinsk, Newsweek reports , about 230 miles east of Moscow. Animal activist groups suspect exposure to harmful chemicals may have resulted in the animals' furs taking on the blue hue, as state-owned news outlet RIA Novosti suggested in a Monday tweet. They fou
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Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef
In his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster , Bill Gates lays out what it will really take to eliminate the greenhouse-gas emissions driving climate change. The Microsoft cofounder, who is now cochair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chair of the investment fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures , sticks to his past argument that we'll need numerous energy breakthroughs to have any ho
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The Problem With Mandatory Patriotism in Sports
Playing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" at sporting events has become an empty gesture of patriotism—so empty that, when the NBA's Dallas Mavericks quietly began skipping the ritual, 13 preseason and regular-season games passed before anyone noticed. On Tuesday, The Athletic reported that the Mavericks had abandoned the national anthem, making them the first team in the recent history of major pro
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The Trump Crew's Incompetence Lasted to the End
If future generations of law professors want to teach a class in what never to do, the belligerent and self-indulgent performance of Michael van der Veen, one of Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers, could provide a lot of the video content. Deep into his defense of the former president today, van der Veen broke into a highly personal complaint. More than 140 law professors—including President Rona
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End of Neanderthals linked to flip of Earth's magnetic poles, study suggests
Event 42,000 years ago combined with fall in solar activity potentially cataclysmic, researchers say The flipping of the Earth's magnetic poles together with a drop in solar activity 42,000 years ago could have generated an apocalyptic environment that may have played a role in a major events ranging from the extinction of megafauna to the end of the Neanderthals, researchers say. The Earth's mag
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There's a Crowdfunding Campaign to Send a Flat-Earther to Space
Look Down In the year 2021, there are still some folks who deny that the Earth is a three-dimensional orb — and that efforts to convince them that it's not flat are part of a vast conspiracy. So to help prove that the Earth is a sphere once and for all, Marc Gauld, a man from Bucksburn, Scotland, is raising money to send one of these flat-earthers into space. His ongoing GoFundMe campaign says th
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You Can Now 3D Print an Entire Semi-Automatic Rifle at Home
Home Brewing 3D-printed guns, or functional firearms that can be mostly or entirely manufactured at home with a 3D printer, are getting more sophisticated and more dangerous. For a long time, 3D-printed guns were still quite slapdash. Early homemade handguns would break apart after firing once, and they served as more of a symbolic middle finger to government firearm regulation than a tangible th
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Greta Thunberg Slams Mars Exploration, Says Earth Needs Help Instead
The Great Escape A new satirical video ad created by the Fridays for Future (FFF) campaign, an environmental movement founded by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg, pokes fun at the idea of having the "one percent" escape from a planet that's in dire straits to settle on Mars. It's a provocative idea — but the execution arguably paints a much rosier picture of a one-way trip to Mars, rather
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Bill Gates Says All Wealthy Nations Should Switch to Synthetic Beef
Got Beef During the 1990s, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates picked up a bad boy reputation for taking a hard line in the company's antitrust spat with the United States government. But for decades since stepping away from the software giant, Gates has rebranded as a philanthropist and policy advocate for humanitarian and policy issues including public health, climate change, and hunger. Now, in an
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BREAKING: NASA Successfully Lands Perseverance Rover On Mars
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has successfully landed in the Jezero crater, a region believed to be an ancient dried up river delta. Touchdown was confirmed at 3:56 pm Eastern time. The news was met with loud cheering and whooping at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab mission control. It was a daring landing as the crater is lined with cliffs, sand dunes, and boulders. Thanks to Perseverance's sophistica
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Mars rover landing: Nasa's Perseverance touches down safely in search of life
Radio signals confirmed that the six-wheeled rover had survived its perilous descent and arrived within its target zone Nasa's science rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely on the floor of a vast crater, its first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Re
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Covid infections in England fall by two-thirds but spreading fastest among young
Experts urge care over opening schools as children aged 5-12 now in one of most common groups for virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Covid infections have fallen by two-thirds in a month in England but the virus is now spreading most among primary-age children and young people, research suggests. The React 1 study from Imperial College London points to the third n
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Bill Gates Says the Next Horrible Virus Could Be Engineered by Terrorists
In a chat with Derek Muller's popular YouTube channel Veritasium, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said that the world is facing two big threats: climate change and bioterrorism. Gates predicted that investing "very little in a system to stop an epidemic" would end in disaster during a 2015 TED Talk , almost five years before the current coronavirus pandemic. "If anything kills
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The next pandemic? It may already be upon us | Laura Spinney
Antimicrobial resistance won't race across the world like Covid-19, but its effects will be devastating. Thankfully, we already know what we need to do to defeat it Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a silver lining to this pandemic? If history is anything to go by there may actually turn out to be a number of them, though we can't
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Texas Snap Freeze Causes Electricity Prices to Soar 10,000 Percent
Cold Snap Texas is trapped in a bizarre cold snap, unlike any others in recent history. And plunging temperatures are wreaking havoc with the state's electrical grid, the second largest in the country. Several of its energy facilities have been knocked offline entirely, resulting in electricity prices spiking to more than 10,000 percent this week, according to CNN — a grim market response that co
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Covid: vaccinated Israelis to enjoy bars and hotels with 'green pass'
Mobile app inoculation certificate aims to help reopen economy, but privileges are untested and raise ethical questions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Israel is preparing itself to be split in half from next week, with the government creating a new privileged tier in society: the vaccinated. Nearly 50% of the population who have chosen to be inoculated against Covid
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Up to 90 volunteers in UK to take part in pioneering Covid infection trial
Human challenge trial will monitor healthy 18-30-year-olds given virus to aid vaccine and therapy research Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The world's first coronavirus human challenge study will begin in the UK in a matter of weeks, following approval from the country's clinical trials ethics body, the business department said. Approval has been given for an initial
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A Quite Possibly Wonderful Summer
Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here . The summer of 2021 is shaping up to be historic. After months of soaring deaths and infections, COVID-19 cases across the United States are declining even more sharply than experts anticipated . This is expected to continue, and rates of serious illness and death will plumm
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Heating Arctic may be to blame for snowstorms in Texas, scientists argue
The wintry weather that has battered the southern US and parts of Europe could be a counterintuitive effect of the climate crisis Associating climate change, normally connected with roasting heat, with an unusual winter storm that has crippled swaths of Texas and brought freezing temperatures across the southern US can seem counterintuitive. But scientists say there is evidence that the rapid hea
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Is Covid more deadly and contagious than seasonal flu? | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters
Behind the numbers: the short answer is yes, and scientists still have much to learn about it Covid-19 and influenza are both respiratory diseases , but there are important differences, which statistics can help us understand. First, Sars-CoV-2 is more infectious than seasonal flu. We're used to hearing about the reproduction number R, the average number of people whom someone with the virus will
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Dolphins have similar personality traits to humans, study finds
Curiosity and sociability among traits found, despite dolphins having evolved separately for millions of years Dolphins have developed a number of similar personality traits to humans, despite having evolved in vastly different environments, researchers have found. A study, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, looked at 134 male and female bottlenose dolphins from eight facilities
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Astrophysicists find rare star spinning backwards
Astrophysicists find a very rare system with two exoplanets orbiting their star backwards. The star system K2-290 is 897 light years away. In our Solar System, all the planets revolve in the same direction as the rotation of the Sun. Astrophysicists discovered a very rare planetary system 897 light years away which features two exoplanets orbiting their star backwards. This unexpected arrangement
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Republicans Back Trump Because of the Insurrection, Not Despite It
America as a whole has had enough of Donald Trump. Voters hold him responsible for the January 6 insurrection, they believe the Senate should have convicted him for his role, and they want him to leave national politics. But the Republican Party is another country, and they do things differently there. Its rank-and-file members didn't support impeachment, don't want Trump punished, and prefer him
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Corn belt farmland has lost a third of its carbon-rich soil
More than one-third of the Corn Belt in the Midwest—nearly 100 million acres—has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research that indicates the U.S. Department of Agricultural has significantly underestimated the true magnitude of farmland erosion.
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New Covid variant with potentially worrying mutations found in UK
Researchers say 32 cases of B1525 in Britain, with other cases in countries including Denmark, US and Australia Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Another coronavirus variant with a potentially worrying set of mutations has been detected in the UK and should be targeted in surge testing, experts have said. The variant, known as B1525, is the subject of a report by resea
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Researchers explore using light to levitate discs in the mesosphere
A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has found that it is possible to levitate very thin discs in conditions that mimic the mesosphere using laser light. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their research involving a possible way to allow flight at very high altitudes and how well it worked.
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Don't Read This If You Were a Rush Limbaugh Fan
Updated at 12:07 p.m. ET on February 19, 2021. As a radio broadcaster, Rush Limbaugh, who died yesterday, was a great success: He pioneered his genre, attracted millions of listeners for several decades, and grew fantastically wealthy. Many good people were used to his daily company, something unimaginable to critics who heard only the most odious excerpts from his broadcasts, never the more typi
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White House Warns of "Catastrophic Consequences" of New Ebola Outbreaks
Health experts around the world are increasingly worried about two growing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea . In a Tuesday statement , the White House warned that the outbreaks need our attention now — and that otherwise we'll risk "catastrophic consequences," CNBC reports . "While the world is reeling from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ebola has again emerged,
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Bill Gates Says That Going to Mars Is Silly
Mars Person When it comes to securing humanity's survival in the face of climate change, billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates would rather save Earth than flee from it. Escaping to Mars, a dream goal for SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and other techno-utopian thinkers , just isn't for him, Gates said on The New York Times ' podcast Sway . Instead, he argues that there's more important work to be done h
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China Discovers "Unusual" Shard on Far Side Of The Moon
Rock On A Chinese rover has discovered an unusually-shaped rock, suspected to be a piece of a meteor, wedged into the surface of the Moon. According to Space.com , China's Yutu-2 rover made its discovery on the far side of the Moon. The elongated shard was described as a "milestone" by the China National Space Administration's (CNSA) science outreach channel Our Space — and it stands out as the l
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UK reaches milestone of offering first Covid vaccinations to 15m people
Four priority groups of people in England seen as most vulnerable have been offered jabs Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government has reached its target of offering at least first vaccinations to the four groups of people in England seen as most vulnerable to coronavirus by mid-February, it has announced. In a video message sent out via social media, Boris John
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Eric Metaxas Believes America Is Creeping Toward Nazi Germany
The PR pitch was brazen: Eric Metaxas, it declared, is "America's #1 Bad Christian." The Christian writer and radio host has been promoting doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, including at a prayer rally he emceed on the National Mall in December. Metaxas has tweeted " martial rhetoric " in defense of former President Donald Trump, his publicist wrote cheerfully. He even appeared in
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The Librarian War Against QAnon
For too long now, shared reality has been fracturing before our eyes. Eli Pariser's concept of the " filter bubble " is already a decade old. Yochai Benkler's research on propaganda networks finds that the roots of our epistemic crisis predate even the existence of the social web. The origins of this broken informational environment may be complicated, but the stakes are quite clearly life-and-de
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Texans Are Sleeping In Their Teslas to Survive Freezing Cold
Heat Seeker Texas was gripped by a deep freeze this week, bringing the second largest state in the United States to its knees. Millions are still without power, while many more continue to lack access to clean water or even water at all. Amid rolling blackouts, Texans are having to get creative to stay warm, as homes predominantly use electricity as a heat source in the state. But Tesla owners ha
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NASA Rover Releases First Photos From the Surface of Mars
What a View It's a historic day for the team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The agency pulled off the nerve-wracking descent, landing its fifth robotically operated rover, Perseverance, on the surface of Mars. Mission control confirmed touchdown of the car-sized rover around 3:56pm EST. Minutes later, the world got its first glimpse of what Perseverance saw when its six wheels touched the r
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Tomorrow's Mars Landing Will Be Hardest in NASA's History
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is preparing to plunge through the planet's thin atmosphere tomorrow, then attempt to land on the desolate surface below. It's an extremely exciting prospect. The 28-miles-across Jezero Crater the rover is aiming for is believed to be a massive dried up river delta, potentially harboring signs of ancient life on the Red Planet. But it's also extremely difficult terr
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Growing Inventory of Black Holes Offers a Radical Probe of the Cosmos
When the first black hole collision was detected in 2015, it was a watershed moment in the history of astronomy. With gravitational waves, astronomers were observing the universe in an entirely new way. But this first event didn't revolutionize our understanding of black holes — nor could it. This collision would be the first of many, astronomers knew, and only with that bounty would answers come
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Norway has highest share of women scientists and engineers in Europe
Norway's 55% of women in science and engineering is a massive improvement over the past two decades. 20 years earlier, just over a third of Norwegian scientists and engineers were women. Europe overall progressed from 30% to 41%, but some countries saw a dramatic drop. Stark differences In Norway, 55 percent of all scientists and engineers last year were women. That is more than in any other coun
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Scientists Surprised by "Strange Creatures" Under a Mile of Antarctic Ice
Hidden Oasis Deep beneath over a mile of Antarctic ice and sea, hundreds of miles away from the nearest glimpse of sunlight, a bizarre community of creatures is thriving — to the befuddlement of scientists. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey had tunneled down through the ice in order to scoop up seafloor sediment. But through a stroke of either fantastic or terrible luck, they happened
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Guinea enters 'epidemic situation' as seven Ebola cases confirmed
Health minister says officials 'really concerned' after three deaths from the infectious disease Guinea has entered an Ebola "epidemic situation" with seven cases confirmed, including three deaths, a leading health official in the west African nation has said. "Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus," Sakoba Keita said after an emergency meeting
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Researchers rethink life in a cold climate after Antarctic find
Scientists surprised by marine organisms on boulder on sea floor beneath 900 metres of ice shelf The accidental discovery of marine organisms on a boulder on the sea floor beneath 900 metres (3,000ft) of Antarctic ice shelf has led scientists to rethink the limits of life on Earth. Researchers stumbled on the life-bearing rock after sinking a borehole through nearly a kilometre of the Filchner-Ro
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Scientists Make "Magic Carpet" Hover Using Only Light
Light Flight Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have managed to levitate two small plastic plates using just light. With the energy from a set of bright LEDs in a vacuum chamber, the team coaxed two tiny Mylar plates to hover — a bona fide breakthrough, Wired reports , because scientists have never before been able to cause an object that large to float using light alone . "When the tw
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Why Were We So Cruel to Britney Spears?
In a video that recently went viral after it was dug out of the aughts time capsule, the former late-night host Craig Ferguson brings up Britney Spears. TV viewers have become accustomed over the past few years to talk-show hosts digesting difficult news and processing it for a nation to grasp, but in early 2007, when Spears's erratic behavior and self-administered buzz cut consumed the public, F
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A leaked report shows Pfizer's vaccine is conquering covid-19 in its largest real-world test
A leaked scientific report jointly prepared by Israel's health ministry and Pfizer claims that the company's covid-19 vaccine is stopping nine out of 10 infections and the country could approach herd immunity by next month. The study, based on the health records of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, finds that the vaccine may sharply curtail transmission of the coronavirus. "High vaccine uptake c
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Researchers observe stationary Hawking radiation in an analog black hole
Black holes are regions in space where gravity is very strong—so strong that nothing that enters them can escape, including light. Theoretical predictions suggest that there is a radius surrounding black holes known as the event horizon. Once something passes the event horizon, it can no longer escape a black hole, as gravity becomes stronger as it approaches its center.
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Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn
In 2007, some of the leading thinkers behind deep neural networks organized an unofficial "satellite" meeting at the margins of a prestigious annual conference on artificial intelligence. The conference had rejected their request for an official workshop; deep neural nets were still a few years away from taking over AI. The bootleg meeting's final speaker was Geoffrey Hinton of the University of
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COVID-19 Cases Are Dropping Fast. Why?
Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here . One month ago, the CDC published the results of more than 20 pandemic forecasting models. Most projected that COVID-19 cases would continue to grow through February, or at least plateau. Instead, COVID-19 is in retreat in America. New daily cases have plunged, and hospitali
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Cities Are So Heavy That They're Sinking Into the Earth
Sinking Cities Cities are literally starting to sink under their own weight — even as climate change is causing sea levels to rise, ScienceAlert [one word] reports . In a study published in the journal AGU Advances , Tom Parsons, a geophysicist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) agency, found that cities such as San Francisco may have sunk up to 80 millimeters, or just over three inche
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Russian lab to research prehistoric viruses in animals dug from melted permafrost
Project aims to identify paleoviruses and study virus evolution using the remains, Siberian lab says A Russian state laboratory has announced that it is launching research into prehistoric viruses by analysing the remains of animals recovered from melted permafrost. The Siberia-based Vektor lab said in a statement on Tuesday that the aim of the project was to identify paleoviruses and conduct adv
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Bars and pubs still pose Covid risk despite safety efforts, experts say
Scottish study found problems at certain venues, even taking precautions into account Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Bars and pubs continue to pose a risk for the spread of Covid despite best efforts to make premises safe, researchers have said. Hospitality venues were told to shut up shop in March 2020 as the first UK lockdown was announced. As restrictions were ea
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Hockey Has a Gigantic-Goalie Problem
The problem was right there on the screen: Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy, 6 foot 3, 210 pounds, athletic, fit, one of the very best goalies in the NHL, in the handshake line after the Lightning had won an early-round series in last season's Stanley Cup playoffs. From the side, his belly seeming to hang low in front of him, he looked like Humpty Dumpty. This story is not about any particular goal
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Exercise can help prevent cancers, new research finds
Obesity could soon overtake smoking as the main preventable cancer risk Taking regular exercise is going to become increasingly important in helping to prevent cancers as the UK emerges from lockdown, say scientists. Since the pandemic began a year ago, growing numbers of people have reported gaining weight after cutting down on physical activity while others say they have been eating more junk f
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Taylor Swift Misses the Old Taylor Swift, Too
When Taylor Swift, the pandemic's most productive pop star, announced that she'd be re-recording her albums in a push for ownership over her work, the venture sounded risky. Swift cast her decision as both a personal vendetta against the music executive Scooter Braun and a moralistic stand against the industry's treatment of artists. But at face value, re-recordings seem to offer little to look f
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US Formally Rejoins Paris Climate Agreement
After US president Joe Biden signed an executive order almost a month ago to move the United States toward rejoining the Paris climate agreement, the country formally reentered the international pact today, as Scientific American reports . The reentry signals the start of a lengthy process of drafting new emissions pledges. Biden called for an international climate summit on April 22, which falls
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Incredible Photo Shows NASA Mars Rover Hanging Below "Sky Crane"
Jetpack Snapshot NASA has released a new photo sent to us all the way from Mars courtesy of its Perseverance rover, which successfully landed on the Red Planet on Thursday. The incredible image shows the rover hanging below the probe's "sky crane," a rocket-powered device that lowered Perseverance from an altitude of about 70 feet down to the surface below. A similarly designed crane also was use
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Scientists Communicate With Lucid Dreamers During Sleep
Hello There For the first time, scientists managed to open a line of two-way, real-time communication with sleeping volunteers who were in the midst of a lucid dream. Scientists from Northwestern University and various European institutions were able to chat with lucid dreamers and ask them questions, receiving answers in real-time in the form of specific eye movements, Motherboard reports . It's
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The Border Mess That Trump Left Behind
As President Joe Biden tries to undo the damage that his predecessor did to America's immigration system, three problems are getting in the way: The nation's existing laws are outmoded and overly restrictive, the United States hasn't devoted the resources necessary to review individual cases, and the Biden administration has little control over when migrants will arrive at the border and seek ent
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Pigs proven intelligent enough to play video games
A quartet of porcine subjects at the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science learned to play a simple video game. All of the pigs scored well at the games' hardest level. Gaming skills were improved with human verbal and tactile encouragement. As evidence keeps mounting in support of the idea that pigs are highly intelligent—and despite some researchers viewing the species merely as a source of
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4 pigs have learned to play a video game
A quartet of porcine subjects at the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science learned to play a simple video game. All of the pigs scored well at the games' hardest level. Gaming skills were improved with human verbal and tactile encouragement. As evidence keeps mounting in support of the idea that pigs are highly intelligent — and despite some researchers viewing the species merely as a source o
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Europe's largest meteorite crater is home to deep ancient fungi
Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested as suitable environments for deep colonization of microbial communities. In a new study published in Communications Earth & Environment, a team of researchers shows that fungi has colonized deep parts of the largest impact crater in Europe, the Siljan impact structure, Sweden. Intriguingly, the fungi seem to have been fueling methane production
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Europe's largest meteorite crater is home to deep ancient fungi
Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested as suitable environments for deep colonization of microbial communities. In a new study published in Communications Earth & Environment, a team of researchers shows that fungi has colonized deep parts of the largest impact crater in Europe, the Siljan impact structure, Sweden. Intriguingly, the fungi seem to have been fueling methane production
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Two COVID Strains Appear to Have Merged Into a "Heavily Mutated" Hybrid
Bette Korber, a researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, has discovered what he characterizes as "pretty clear" evidence of a heavily mutated hybrid version of the coronavirus that resulted from two variants combining their genomes . The "heavily mutated" hybrid version, New Scientist reports , resulted from genomes of the B117 variant, a highly transmissible version that o
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NASA's Perseverance rover is about to start searching for life on Mars
NASA officials have an expression for what it's like to land a rover on Mars: seven minutes of terror. A million things could go wrong as the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere and attempts to make it to the surface safely. The drama is made all the more stressful by the 11-minute lag in communications between the planets. On February 18, when the Perseverance rover descends toward the Mart
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A backward-spinning star with two coplanar orbiting planets in a multi-stellar system
In a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences a group of researchers led by Maria Hjorth and Simon Albrecht from the Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Aarhus University, have published the discovery of a special exoplanetary system in which two exoplanets are orbiting backward around their star. This surprising orbital architecture was caused by the protoplanetary disk in whi
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Supercomputer turns back cosmic clock
Astronomers have tested a method for reconstructing the state of the early universe by applying it to 4000 simulated universes using the ATERUI II supercomputer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). They found that together with new observations, the method can set better constraints on inflation, one of the most enigmatic events in the history of the universe. The method can s
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I'm an epidemiologist. I'll be glad to get whatever vaccine I'm offered | Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz
The rapid development of effective, safe vaccines in just under a year is something of a scientific miracle At the start of the pandemic, it was very hard to predict anything. There were predictions of endless Covid-19 pain, wave upon wave of sickness and death, and fears that we would be stuck with painful trade-offs between our health and livelihoods for years to come. But the vaccinations have
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In a Grim Development, There's Officially a New Ebola Epidemic
After seven people fell ill and three people died of Ebola in the country, Guinea declared that it's now facing a new Ebola epidemic. The Sunday announcement linked the outbreak to a nurse's funeral at the beginning of the month, The Washington Post reports . While it remains unclear whether the nurse died of Ebola or not, all seven of the people who caught the infectious disease were at her buri
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3 Million Vaccine Shots a Day
After nearly a year of social isolation and sacrifice in the long war on COVID-19, the end stage of the pandemic is finally in sight. Millions of Americans are being vaccinated each week, and the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the United States has plunged by more than 40 percent in the past month. But this final stage will still be lethal—perhaps more so than most people imagi
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Electron refrigerator: Ultrafast cooling mechanism discovered in novel plasma
Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter" have achieved a breakthrough—creating a completely new type of plasma by combining state-of-the-art technologies using ultrashort laser pulses and ultracold atomic gases. They report on a novel electron cooling mechanism occurring in such plasmas in the journal Nature Communications.
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Nasa scientists release new image of Perseverance rover on Mars at news briefing – live
Team of experts answer questions about mission following safe landing on the red planet on Thursday – follow the briefing live In pictures: Perseverance mission to Mars 6.40pm GMT The landing site, Jezero crater, was picked from more than 60 candidates because of its promise for preserving signs of life. Billions of years ago the site was once home to an ancient lake and river delta that may have
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Hiking Is an Ideal Structure for Friendship
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 a group of friends who have been going on monthly hikes for 25 years. They discuss why the hike organizer has absolute authority, how they've shown up for one another through tragedies, a
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20.5m years of life may have been lost to Covid across 81 countries, study finds
Data shows Covid has taken far greater toll than flu, to which it is often dismissively compared Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage More than 20.5 million years of life may have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic in 81 countries of the world, according to a new study that exposes the fallacy that those who die would have soon done so even if they had not caught Covid
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Mars Is Radiating Gravity Waves, Which Is Bad News For Human Settlers
Keep Out Bad news for any future Mars settlers: New research used data from NASA spacecraft to show that gravity waves emanating from the planet are making it even more inhospitable to life as time goes on. Mars is home to some pretty gnarly dust storms. It turns out that these storms can actually trigger the planet into giving off gravity waves, The Academic Times reports . That, in turn, makes
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The real story behind the Texas power outages
Power plants can be built to be resistant to snow, but places without regular snow don't invest in those measures. (Thomas Park/Unsplash/) A burst of Arctic air unleashed extreme winter weather on the central and southern US this week, and Texans were hit particularly hard. More than four million in the state were left without power in rotating blackouts conducted by the state's grid operator, th
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Pfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Is 93% Effective After Just One Shot
According to a new letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine , the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech is 92.6 percent effective after just one out of two doses. The results from the lab trial have significant implications. Thanks to a highly protective first dose, it strongly suggests that countries are able to safely delay giving out second doses to ensure that fi
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Mutation in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein renders virus up to eight times more infectious
A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil—makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife.
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A spiky flea could ruin Midwestern ecosystems and kill native fish
More spiny water fleas are turning up in waterways across the Upper Midwest. (Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center/) This story originally featured on Outdoor Life . It seems that the next troublesome invasive species in the Upper Midwest is a tiny one. The spiny water flea has been latching onto fishing equipment, traveling the Great Lakes for decades, but now they are being transp
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Scientists Show That Algae Could Grow Using Only Mars Resources
Life Finds a Way A new experiment showed that it's possible to grow bacteria on Mars — breathing life into the idea of a self-sustaining mission to the Red Planet. The oxygen-producing bacteria was able to survive by taking in gases and nutrients prevalent on Mars, according to research published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology . While the system, housed in a bioreactor built to
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Study reveals a "boring" era when Earth was flat, with no mountains
Research teams studied europium crystals to show that Earth was mostly flat in its middle ages. The planet had no mountains and little evolution of life. This period of time is known as the "Boring Billion". Scientists discovered that Earth was likely quite flat during it's so-called middle ages. Not flat as in conspiracies that don't believe our planet is round, but lacking in mountains. It was
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What History Tells Us Will Happen to Trumpism
Since leaving office, Donald Trump has been acquitted in a second impeachment trial, and has reportedly considered launching a new political party , investing in a social-media app , and, perhaps more predictably, making another run for the White House in 2024 . In a statement following his acquittal, Trump declared the trial "yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Cou
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Covid: experts warn of huge UK wave if restrictions lifted too soon
Despite success of vaccine programme, scientists 'genuinely worried' about potential surge in cases Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Experts have urged caution over the easing of lockdown restrictions, warning that relaxing measures too early could lead to another surge in cases and threaten the NHS with collapse. Steven Riley, a member of the Spi-M modelling group wh
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Image: Hubble takes portrait of nebula
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features an impressive portrait of M1-63, a beautifully captured example of a bipolar planetary nebula located in the constellation of Scutum (the Shield).
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Nomadland Is a Gorgeous Journey Through the Wreckage of American Promise
Fern (played by Frances McDormand), the hardscrabble hero of Chloé Zhao's Nomadland , is the kind of resolute, independent protagonist that has dominated American movies since the dawn of the Western genre. She drives around the country in her van, living as self-sufficiently as possible, and carries a flinty affect with people, revealing little about herself and the turmoil that has led to her l
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A speed limit also applies in the quantum world
Even in the world of the smallest particles with their own special rules, things cannot proceed infinitely fast. Physicists at the University of Bonn have now shown what the speed limit is for complex quantum operations. The study also involved scientists from MIT, the universities of Hamburg, Cologne and Padua, and the Jülich Research Center. The results are important for the realization of quant
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Time-lapse reveals the hidden dance of roots
Duke researchers have been studying something that happens too slowly for our eyes to see. A team in biologist Philip Benfey's lab wanted to see how plant roots burrow into the soil. So they set up a camera on rice seeds sprouting in clear gel, taking a new picture every 15 minutes for several days after germination.
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The US is back in the Paris Agreement. What's next? | John Kerry and Al Gore
On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a letter of acceptance that set in motion the 30-day process for the United States to re-join the Paris Agreement on climate. On the day the US returns to the accord, John Kerry, the US Special Envoy for Climate, sits down with Nobel Laureate Al Gore to discuss the make-or-break decade ahead of us. Listen as Kerry lays out how the US fits into the gl
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CRISPR-Edited Bananas
In the British Drama, Years and Years , they imagine the very near future. I do wonder what someone from 2010 would have thought about a tv show accurately depicting 2020. In any case, one of the throw-away lines of the show was that there are no more bananas. The writers did their research – that the Cavendish banana will disappear sometime in the 2020's is extremely likely. It is being threaten
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Ted Cruz's Trip to Mexico Looks Bad. But This Is Worse.
First they hid behind obscure interpretations of the Constitution and false claims of voter fraud. Then, even after a violent mob came for them, they chose a pathological liar and would-be authoritarian over the rule of law. Now that Donald Trump's second impeachment has ended in acquittal, we can look to the objections lodged by 147 Republicans against certifying the presidential-election result
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This is the first image taken by NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. Now the hunt for life begins.
NASA's Perseverance rover has landed safely on Mars. The spacecraft survived its journey through the Martian atmosphere and made a soft touchdown at Jezero crater. Shortly after landing, it sent back this picture from the surface using its Hazard Avoidance Cameras , which it will use when on the move. The image is partially obscured by a dust cover. What happened: Perseverance began its descent i
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Investigating the wave properties of matter with vibrating molecules
The working group led by Prof. Stephan Schiller, Ph.D. from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has used a novel, high-precision laser spectroscopic experiment to measure the internal vibration of the simplest molecule. This allowed the researchers to investigate the wave character of the motion of atomic nuclei with unprecedented accuracy. They present their findings in the current edition
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DARPA's new combat drones could catch a ride from other aircraft
This Reaper drone is armed with a AIM-9X Block 2 missile. (Senior Airman Haley Stevens / US Air Force/) Imagine an unmanned aircraft that is able to launch its own air-to-air weapon. That agile machine would itself first deploy from a bigger, crewed airplane, meaning that the entire system would involve missiles inside a drone that detaches from an airplane—like airborne Russian nesting dolls. Th
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Coronavirus Cases Around the World Are Finally Dropping
The number of new coronavirus cases decreased in 44 US states this past week — an improvement that's mirrored by much of the rest of the world. On average, there were about 82,000 new confirmed COVID-19 infections per day throughout the United States over the last week, according to Axios . Case numbers in a handful of states are still on the rise, but the numbers represent a 24 percent drop in o
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Like it or not, history shows that taxes and bureaucracy are cornerstones of democracy
The media has been rife with stories about democracy in decline: the recent coup in Myanmar, the ascent of strongman Narendra Modi in India, and of course ex-President Trump's attempts to overturn the U.S. presidential election—all of which raise alarms about the current status of democracies worldwide. Such threats to the voices of the people are often attributed to the excesses of individual lea
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The Evolution of Trump's Threat to America
In folklore and rhetoric, there's a concept known as the "rule of three." A trio of events, characters or ideas, the reasoning goes, is for some reason more engaging to the human mind than collections of two or four. The major crises that will define Donald Trump's attacks on democracy and the rule of law over the course of his presidency have now reached that crucial number. First, there was the
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Winners of the 2020 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest
The judging for the ninth annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest , organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has wrapped up, and the winning images and photographers have been announced. Gaetano Dario Gargiulo took Best in Show with his image of an octopus in a tide pool. The organizers of the contest have once again shared with us some of the winners and honorable mentions, shown below,
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China and Russia Agree to Collaborate on Lunar Base
Picking Sides The governments of Russia and China have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding that says the two countries will collaborate on an upcoming lunar base. Specifically, SpaceNews reports , the memorandum suggests that Russia will sign on to help China with its planned International Lunar Research Stations (ILRS). It's a striking — but not surprising — pivot from Russia's partners
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A genomic region associated with protection against severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals [Genetics]
It was recently shown that the major genetic risk factor associated with becoming severely ill with COVID-19 when infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is inherited from Neandertals. New, larger genetic association studies now allow additional genetic risk factors to be discovered. Using data from the Genetics…
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New COVID Strains Appear to Have Evolved in United States
While scientists have now spent months ringing alarm bells about B.1.1.7, the highly-infectious variant of the coronavirus that was first spotted in the United Kingdom, several other variants seem to have emerged and started to proliferate in the United States as well. A team of researchers and doctors from a mix of universities throughout the US identified seven new SARS-CoV-2 mutations , each o
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Anissa Jordan Took Part in a Robbery. She Went to Prison for Murder.
Anissa Jordan was born in Oakland, California, in 1968, the last of eight children. For years, her mother's live-in boyfriend beat and molested her and her half sister Althenia. The girls didn't tell their mother. "It was our secret," Jordan told me. When Jordan was in fourth grade, Althenia was murdered. The case was never solved. Jordan was held back in school, started acting out, and was sent
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Biotech fit for the Red Planet: New method for growing cyanobacteria under Mars-like conditions
NASA, in collaboration with other leading space agencies, aims to send its first human missions to Mars in the early 2030s, while companies like SpaceX may do so even earlier. Astronauts on Mars will need oxygen, water, food, and other consumables. These will need to be sourced from Mars, because importing them from Earth would be impractical in the long term. In Frontiers in Microbiology, scienti
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Elon Musk: Next Starship Test Has 60% Chance of Not Exploding
Big Bang Last time SpaceX tested a prototype of its experimental Starship spacecraft, it blew up in an epic fireball . And the time before that, the prior version met the same fate . Now, with another Starship test slated for as early as this week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says there's a 60 percent chance the spacecraft will land successfully — leaving, by our calculation, a 40 percent chance of fail
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Jaguar Says All Its Cars Will Be Electric in Just Four Years
Big Shift British Automaker Jaguar Land Rover Limited announced on Monday that it's making an ambitious — and speedy — transition away from gas-burning cars to go almost entirely electric in the future. Most prominently, the entire Jaguar brand will go entirely electric within the next four years, according to a company press release about the pivot. In addition, the company will start to launch
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We Are All Conspiracy Theorists
I have often said, we all have a little conspiracy theorist inside of us. By this I mean that we all have some common psychological features that can lend themselves to believing in conspiracies. Some, of course, more than others. Going down a conspiracy rabbit hole is a tendency we may have to fight against. There has to be a point where we say to ourselves, wait a minute, can this actually be t
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Is It Safe to Go Back to the Movie Theater?
As COVID-19 case numbers drop, hospitalizations decrease, vaccine administrations increase, and blockbuster season approaches, Americans who think big movies deserve a big screen are wondering when they can dare return to theaters. The closest deadline for many is the March 31 release date of Godzilla vs. Kong : If you're going to watch a skyscraper-sized monkey punch a battleship-length lizard,
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How a Spanish town pioneered dolls with Down's syndrome
The town of Onil has changed the lives of children everywhere The first time Kelle Hampton glimpsed a doll with Down's syndrome, anger boiled up inside her. Its exaggerated features bore little resemblance to the sweet facial characteristics that she loved about her daughter Nella, who was born with the genetic disorder. The experience set the US blogger and author firmly against such dolls. But
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Study: UK Coronavirus Variant Is "Likely" Deadlier
British scientists have uncovered a grim finding: the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus, known colloquially as the "UK variant," is one of the deadliest strains yet. The UK variant is "associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and death," according to a new meta-analysis of existing research released by the British government , and it's also more infectious than previous strains. The
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Life savers: the amazing story of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
A year ago, two scientists began work on the response to a new virus. Now, as their vaccine is being given to millions, they tell of their incredible 12 months Exactly a year ago, Oxford University scientists launched a joint enterprise that is set to have a profound impact on the health of our planet. On 11 February, research teams led by Professor Andy Pollard and Professor Sarah Gilbert – both
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Nelson urged mistress to give their baby girl 'new' smallpox vaccine
Naval hero praises Jenner's cowpox jab in a newly found love letter to Emma Hamilton, written as he prepared for war He is best remembered as the one-armed hero who defeated Napoleon, rewrote the rules of naval warfare and died at sea, in battle, onboard HMS Victory. Now, the "chance discovery" of a 220-year-old love letter from Admiral Horatio Nelson to Lady Emma Hamilton, his mistress, reveals
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Astronomers figure out why some galaxies are missing dark matter
A new paper presents a possible reason for why some dwarf galaxies appear to be missing dark matter. The researchers at the University of California, Riverside ran cosmological simulations to find the answers. They discovered some galaxies were stripped of dark matter through extreme tidal loss. Astronomers discovered that extreme tidal loss may be a possible explanation for why some galaxies see
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The Unsettling Message of Judas and the Black Messiah
"The Black Panthers are the single greatest threat to our national security. Our counterintelligence program must prevent the rise of a Black messiah from among their midst." And so begins Judas and the Black Messiah , with an ominous speech from the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (played by Martin Sheen) in 1968. The film, which debuted yesterday in theaters and on HBO Max, is part crime thriller,
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How should we address Charles Darwin's complicated legacy?
The Descent of Man, 150 years old this month, is a work of humanist brilliance – yet its errors, particularly on gender, now make for uncomfortable reading "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." That sentence is the sole reference to human evolution in Charles Darwin's masterwork On t he Origin of Species , which in 1859 set down the theory that explains how life on Earth ha
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Boris Johnson 'optimistic' about easing some England lockdown measures
Prime minister says priority is to reopen schools on 8 March once 15m in priority groups vaccinated Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Boris Johnson has said he is optimistic about announcing the easing of some lockdown measures soon as the government nears its target of offering vaccines to 15 million people in priority groups. Speaking on Saturday at a visit to the Fu
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COVID-19 Took My Sense of Smell Nearly a Year Ago
Last March, I contracted COVID-19. Like many people, I lost my sense of smell. I assumed at the time that it would return reasonably quickly. But nearly a year later, it has not. I do not feel debilitated the way I would if I had lost my sight or my hearing. But the absence nags at me nonetheless and has, if anything, become more difficult to accept over time. Memory, emotion, and intuition all h
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What's In Tattoo Ink? Why Scientists Want To Know
Tattoo artists are unhappy about a new ban on blue and green pigments in Europe, while scientists say the basic science of tattoo ink is still fairly mysterious. (Image credit: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images)
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Nasa scientists hail Perseverance rover's arrival on Mars with stunning images
Car-sized vehicle designed to seek signs of life is pronounced 'healthy' after dramatic descent to surface of the red planet Nasa scientists have said the Perseverance Mars rover is "healthy" and is beaming back many stunning new images from the surface of the planet, promising significant scientific discoveries ahead. Related: Perseverance's mission to Mars – in pictures Continue reading…
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Another Earthquake Nails the Crumbling Fukushima Power Plant
Not Again A powerful earthquake struck the site of Japan's already-crumbling Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last weekend, further damaging the facility that experts and authorities have spent years trying to safely maintain. The power plant's operators found that cooling water levels had dropped in two of the plant's reactors, indicating that the earthquake caused them to spring new leaks,
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The Window for D.C. Statehood Won't Be Open Forever
With one move, Democrats could reshape government and potentially lock in their majority in the Senate for years to come. Four of their own stand in the way. The party may have just a few months to make it happen—but leaders in the House and Senate are taking their time and arguing about the details. Advocates see statehood for Washington, D.C., as a moral issue, because it would give equal right
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Florida Women Caught Wearing Elderly Disguises to Get Vaccine Early
Two Florida women in their 30s reportedly dressed up as "grannies" to get the COVID-19 vaccine early, according to local Orlando news station WFTV . "OMG," WFTV reporter Lauren Seabrook wrote in a Thursday tweet . Director of the Florida Department of Health Raul Pino "just said two young girls in their 20s dressed up as grandmas with 'bonnets and gloves' and went through the line to try and get
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Scepticism over Oxford vaccine threatens Europe's immunisation push
German politicians voice support for jab after only 17% of doses delivered to country are administered so far Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Politicians in Germany are stepping out in support of the AstraZeneca vaccine as public scepticism around the University of Oxford-developed product threatens to hamper Europe's Covid-19 immunisation programme. The vaccine, sub
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The first black hole ever discovered is more massive than we thought
Einstein first predicted the existence of black holes when he published his theory of general relativity in 1916, describing how gravity shapes the fabric of spacetime. But astronomers didn't spot one until 1964, some 6,070 light-years away in the Cygnus constellation. Geiger counters launched into space detected cosmic x-rays coming from a region called Cygnus X-1. (We now know the cosmic rays a
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Here's What Planetary Scientists Think of Krispy Kreme's Mars Donut
As NASA prepared to land its first rover in nine years on the surface of Mars this week, famed donut chain Krispy Kreme stole the headlines with its own contribution to the scientific discourse: a Mars-themed donut, dipped in caramel and filled with chocolate cream. Ever skeptical, Futurism reached out to a variety of planetary scientists to ask whether the donut looks like an accurate model of t
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Russian Scientist Proposes Using Lasers to Melt Space Junk
Satellite Melt As we speak, thousands of small pieces of debris are cluttering Earth's orbit. Even entire derelict satellites are drifting through space, having long fulfilled their purpose. In fact, an astonishing 60 percent of our planet's roughly 6,000 satellites are no longer in operation. That's a problem, as any collision could end in disaster — or the dreaded knock-on effect known as Kessl
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Texas Is a Mess
The state of Texas was hit hard, as was much of the central United States, when frigid Arctic air pushed southward and a winter storm blew through. Millions of Texas residents have been without electricity for days amid record-setting cold temperatures and widespread blackouts. The power situation is improving now, but officials warn there may be further rotating power outages as systems come bac
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How to Watch NASA's Perseverance Rover Land on Mars
Perseverance Landing Today, NASA is set to land its Perseverance rover on what is believed to be an ancient dried up river delta on the surface of Mars — and luckily, the agency is giving us access to every tool at its disposal to follow the white-knuckles journey. NASA's live stream will kick off at 2:15 pm Eastern time, including live footage from mission control. Unfortunately, though, you won
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The Populists Who Got COVID-19 Are a Warning for Democracy
When Donald Trump was sick with COVID-19 last year, some Americans wondered if his illness would spur a change in his handling of the pandemic. It didn't—Trump continued to minimize its risk , hold rallies, and resist mask wearing. He declared that the United States was "rounding the corner" and little significant policy change materialized, even as cases of COVID-19 increased and deaths mounted.
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Nasa Perseverance rover to land on Mars in search of life
Spacecraft will descend on red planet carrying helicopter and instruments to look for biosignatures A rover and a tiny helicopter are preparing to land on Mars, aiming to offer an opportunity to answer an enduring question: has life ever emerged on another planet? Nasa's ninth mission to descend on the cold, dry, red planet will be steered by a $2.7bn (£2.1bn), car-sized, six-wheeled rover christ
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New advances using exotic matter may lead to ultrafast computing
In the 196zeroes, an exotic phase of matter known as an excitonic insulator was proposed. Decades later, evidence for this phase was found in real materials. Recently, particular attention has centered on Ta2NiSe5 because an excitonic insulator phase may exist in this material at room temperatures. The substance is made up of the elements tantalum, nickel, and selenium, and has the potential to le
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New metamaterials for studying the oldest light in the universe
The cosmic microwave background, or CMB, is the electromagnetic echo of the Big Bang, radiation that has been traveling through space and time since the very first atoms were born 380,000 years after our universe began. Mapping minuscule variations in the CMB tells scientists about how our universe came to be and what it's made of.
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What Americans Don't Know About Their Medications
A few days ago , an unusual offer landed in my inbox. "Do you want to interview this man before he ends his life?" read the subject line of the message sent by Linda Martin, who, out of concerns for her safety, would tell me only that she is in her 60s and lives on the West Coast. She said that John Fratti, a 50-year-old former pharmaceutical-sales representative, was "making plans to end his lif
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Explaining this week's deadly US cold snap
Wind turbines can be designed to withstand snow and ice. (Pixabay/) This week's bizarre, deadly weather—snow on the Mexican border, ice-locked roads in Louisiana, and subzero temperatures in central Texas—all starts in the Arctic, where a barrier that normally keeps out polar winds has switched sides. Under normal circumstances, the jet stream (a band of fast-moving wind that encircles the North
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South African Covid variant may cut Pfizer vaccine protection by two-thirds
Study finds fall in antibody activity – but scientists say jab should still protect against severe disease and death Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the m
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SpaceX Starships keep exploding, but it's all part of Elon Musk's plan
The SpaceX Starship rockets intentionally fall horizontally, a maneuver that helps them slow down. (SpaceX /) Earlier this month, a gleaming, 15-story rocket exploded in a massive fireball over a coastal testing facility near Brownsville, Texas. A video of the fiery crash, broadcast via YouTube by SpaceX, looked like something out of a Michael Bay blockbuster. To many observers, the crash of the
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Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production
Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals. But before straw can be converted to useful products by biorefineries, the polymers that make it up must be broken down into their building blocks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have found that microbes from the guts of certain termite sp
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The safest ways to stay warm during a power outage
When the power's out and it's cold outside, you need to find a way to keep warm. (michael podger/Unsplash/) It's cold—below freezing, maybe. You just lost power. Heat too, perhaps. Now you're trying to figure out the best way to stay warm without electricity. We've got you. What not to do When the temperature indoors drops, it can be tempting to seek out quick fixes in an effort to keep you and y
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Million-year-old mammoth genomes set record for ancient DNA
DNA from teeth found in Siberia permafrost the oldest yet sequenced, pushing science into 'deep time' Teeth from mammoths buried in the Siberian permafrost for more than a million years have led to the world's oldest known DNA being sequenced, according to a study that shines a genetic searchlight on the deep past. Researchers said the three teeth specimens, one roughly 800,000 years old and two
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UK Covid lockdowns can be eased quicker due to vaccines and data, MPs told
Expert says there is more confidence in scientific analysis showing risks Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The success of the vaccination programme makes it possible to consider lifting the lockdown restrictions, scientists have told MPs, but the UK should not expect to become Covid-free like New Zealand. Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at
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Mice living with humans the longest found to be the best at problem-solving
A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, has found that mice that have been living a commensal life with humans for the longest amount of time are the best at problem-solving. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they conducted with mice from different regions.
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Mice living with humans the longest found to be the best at problem-solving
A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, has found that mice that have been living a commensal life with humans for the longest amount of time are the best at problem-solving. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they conducted with mice from different regions.
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An mRNA vaccine for cancer immunotherapy
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines to prevent COVID-19 have made headlines around the world recently, but scientists have also been working on mRNA vaccines to treat or prevent other diseases, including some forms of cancer. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Nano Letters have developed a hydrogel that, when injected into mice with melanoma, slowly released RNA nanovaccines that shrank tumors and kept
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Low-wage workers at risk for automation: study
In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface in January 2021, SFI External Professor Doyne Farmer, first author Maria del Rio-Chanona, and their colleagues at Oxford University explore the impact of automation on low-wage workers. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the pace of automation, and they determined that low-wage workers face a double-whammy of being more likely t
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Researchers report switching material between semiconductor and metallic states
A group of researchers from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have found out that a semiconductor can be converted to a metal and back by light more easily and more quickly than previously thought. This discovery may increase the processing speed and simplify the design of many common technological devices.
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From Nelly to Doug: nicknames emerge for growing list of Covid variants
With no agreed naming system, scientists are devising their own nomenclature to fill the gap Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Each day seemingly unveils a fresh variant of the virus that causes Covid-19. These variants – may be worthy of concern or simply stoke scientific curiosity, but they carry some industrial-strength technical names such as B117 or B1351. And as
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Humour over rumour? The world can learn a lot from Taiwan's approach to fake news | Arwa Mahdawi
Matt Hancock should spend less time watching Hollywood films and more time studying the Asian country's innovative approach to misinformation Matt Hancock, we learned recently , got a few pointers on how to shape the UK's vaccine strategy from the 2011 movie Contagion. I don't know if that is something I would boast about if I were the UK health secretary, but, look, it is great that the man is n
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Europe launches recruitment drive for female and disabled astronauts
European Space Agency aims to take on 26 people for missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars European space chiefs have launched their first recruitment drive for new astronauts in 11 years, with particular emphasis on encouraging women and people with disabilities to join missions to the Moon and, eventually, Mars. The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday that it was looking to boost t
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SpaceX Rocket Crashes Into Ocean When Landing Fails
Plop During its latest Starlink satellite launch on Monday, SpaceX suffered a rare mishap when one of the boosters launching the 60 broadband-beaming spacecraft didn't stick its landing on the whimsically-named drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You." Nine minutes after launch, the booster plopped into the ocean. It's unclear if the ship fell out of love with the booster prior to launch. "It does
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I let algorithms randomize my life for two years | Max Hawkins
What if everything in your life was randomized: from the food you ate to the things you did and the places you traveled? Computer scientist Max Hawkins created algorithms to make decisions like these for him — and got hooked on the experience for two years. He shares how relinquishing choice sent him across the world and opened him up to the beautiful complexity and richness of life. It makes you
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The Coach Who Led the U.S. Math Team Back to the Top
Po-Shen Loh has resurrected the United States International Mathematical Olympiad team, leading it to four first-place rankings in the last six years as the team's head coach. But in 2002, when a friend suggested Loh apply for an open position as a grader with the team, he hesitated. "I had never thought to apply before," Loh said. "Not because I didn't want to. But because I thought there are be
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What the Fear of China Is Doing to American Science
In what is becoming a familiar scene in American higher education, a Chinese-born scientist at a high-profile university was recently arrested for his ties to the Chinese government. About a month ago, Gang Chen, a naturalized American citizen and highly respected professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, was indicted by a grand jur y for "failing to disclose contracts, appointments and awards
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Homeroom: My Daughter's Teacher Is Making Her Hate School
Editor's Note: Every Tuesday, Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer take questions from readers about their kids' education. Have one? Email them at homeroom@theatlantic.com. Dear Abby and Brian, I'm a working-from-home mother doing my best to get my two daughters (ninth and fourth graders) through this "hybrid learning" year. Their school is on a schedule that alternates days of virtual and in-person
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Craig Kelly banned from Facebook for a week for posting Covid misinformation
Liberal MP, who has continued to use social media to defy conventional medical wisdom, posted three links to unproven views on Covid treatments Australia's Covid vaccine rollout: how will it happen and when can you get it? Liberal MP Craig Kelly has revealed Facebook has banned him for one week for posting three links to medical experts' unproven views on Covid-19 treatments. Despite Scott Morris
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The Pandemic Has Shattered Young People's Mental Health
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization officially declaring COVID a pandemic, the state of young people's mental health is in serious trouble. After many months of isolation, economic instability piling on an already-fraught job market, and the enduring stress of worrying about their and their loved ones' health, doctors and researchers are reporting a serious do
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Hyundai's walking concept car promises to go where other vehicles can't
Back in 2019, Hyundai debuted a concept for a car with legs that it called Elevate. Each of the four wheels sits at the end of an articulating leg that would allow the vehicle to change its orientation. It was built for hauling people, mostly on city or suburban streets. Now, the company has refined the idea with a concept called Tiger that's designed for carrying cargo over even tougher terrain
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Membrane building blocks play decisive role in controlling cell growth
Lipids are the building blocks of the cell membrane. In addition to their structural function, some lipids also play a regulatory role and decisively influence cell growth. This has been investigated in a new study by scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The impact of the lipids depends on how they are distributed over the plasma membrane. The study was published in The P
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Membrane building blocks play decisive role in controlling cell growth
Lipids are the building blocks of the cell membrane. In addition to their structural function, some lipids also play a regulatory role and decisively influence cell growth. This has been investigated in a new study by scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The impact of the lipids depends on how they are distributed over the plasma membrane. The study was published in The P
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Doctor Warns That Teens Are Already Clogging Their Arteries
Along with getting their driver's licenses and posting the perfect TikTok video, there's something else teenagers should worry about: heart disease. Dr. Robert Lager, president of the cardiac practice MedStar Cardiology Associates, says that there's a rise in teenagers with plaque buildup in their arteries. This could lead to a greater chance of heart disease and complications later in their life
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First Arab Nation to Orbit Mars Snaps Instagram-Worthy Planet Pic
Picture Perfect The first spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reach the orbit of Mars took a stunning photograph of the planet. T he satellite, which is also the first mission by an Arab nation to reach Mars, is a part of the UAE's Hope mission to study the Red Planet's climate and atmosphere. But before it does any of that, the team behind the probe made sure to snap a gorgeous pic
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See a Billion-Year Dance of Earth's Tectonic Plates in 40 Seconds
Modern life can feel dizzying, like everything is motion and change. But there are some constants we set our lives against: the relative position of the stars wheeling above, the mountaintops below, and the continents on which we walk. These things feel immutable. Of course, they aren't. The beauty of science is how far it extends our view into space and time. We now know the sun and stars whip a
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Covid: case of South African variant prompts surge testing in Hampshire
Local authorities say transmission risk from single case found in village of Bramley 'very low' Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A case of the South African variant of coronavirus has been identified in the village of Bramley, near Basingstoke in Hampshire, leading to surge testing in the area next week. Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire county
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An Ever-Moving, Unloved Fish Is Stirring Chaos in the North Atlantic
The Northeast Atlantic mackerel is a small fish with grey or greenish-blue scales and tigerlike black stripes from mouth to tail. Lacking a swim bladder—the gas-filled organ that helps most fish move up and down in the water—the mackerel would sink and die if it ever stopped. So it is always on the move, looking for plankton, crustaceans, and other small fish. It travels in shoals that can be mor
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Don't Erase What Happened at the Capitol
On the evening of February 5, as Representative Andy Kim of New Jersey retraced the steps he'd taken nearly one month earlier, hours after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, he saw little remaining evidence of destruction. The shattered glass where Ashli Babbitt was shot outside the Speaker's Lobby? Repaired. The statues defaced by cigarette butts? Fixed. The broken windows? Boarded up. The be
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Why a failure to vaccinate the world will put us all at risk
Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer currently works remotely from Colombia. As an epidemiologist, she has been watching from afar as her colleagues back at the University of California, San Francisco, have started receiving vaccines available to lab workers. The situation is very different where she now lives. Colombia is suffering a massive covid-19 outbreak and is still waiting to see the first doses of
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He started a covid-19 vaccine company. Then he hosted a superspreader event.
On Sunday, January 24, with Southern California's intensive-care units (ICUs) at full capacity, a shuttle bus made the short trip from a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica to an open-plan office in Culver City, carrying business executives from as far away as Israel, Hawaii, and Vancouver. Some had paid upwards of $30,000 to attend a pandemic-year rarity: an indoor, in-person, mostly unmasked busin
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Can Frozen Food Spread The Coronavirus?
At a news conference this week, the World Health Organization made a surprising statement: The coronavirus could possibly be transmitted on frozen packages of food. (Image credit: Wu Zheng/VCG via Getty Images)
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New AI Detects Your Emotions by Scanning You With Radio Signals
Checking In If new research is to believed, you may find yourself coming home from work one day in a rotten mood — just to have your smart speaker automatically scan your emotions and start to play soothing music. That's one use case for a new neural network that Queen May University of London engineers taught how to automatically interpret certain human emotions — by blasting people with radio w
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More trees do not always create a cooler planet, geographer finds
New research by Christopher A. Williams, an environmental scientist and professor in Clark University's Graduate School of Geography, reveals that deforestation in the U.S. does not always cause planetary warming, as is commonly assumed; instead, in some places, it actually cools the planet. A peer-reviewed study by Williams and his team, "Climate Impacts of U.S. Forest Loss Span Net Warming to Ne
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TESS discovers new worlds in a river of young stars
Using observations from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an international team of astronomers has discovered a trio of hot worlds larger than Earth orbiting a much younger version of our Sun called TOI 451. The system resides in the recently discovered Pisces-Eridanus stream, a collection of stars less than 3% the age of our solar system that stretches across one-third of the s
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The Lessons Biden and the Democrats Learned From the First Impeachment
Midway through his speech at the Pentagon last Wednesday, President Joe Biden veered from global threats to a personal promise. The visit was Biden's first to the building as commander in chief, and he was surrounded by symbols of power and position. He stood in front of four American flags, behind a lectern adorned with the presidential seal. He would never "dishonor" or "disrespect" the militar
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NASA Contractor Signs Deal to Build Greenhouses in Earth's Orbit
Space Farming Private space company Nanoracks recently signed a deal with investors in the United Arab Emirates to build orbital greenhouses and grow extremely-resilient crops out in space. It sounds like an unusual idea, to say the least. But Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber told Space.com that he believes any crops capable of surviving the extremes of life in space could go a long way toward solvin
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Neanderthals May Have Been Killed Off By Magnetic Pole Flip
Polar Opposites Scientists have discovered evidence that Earth's magnetic poles flipped 42,000 years ago — possibly leading to the Neanderthals' extinction. Researchers from Sydney's University of South Wales (UNSW) and the South Australian Museum released a paper describing the findings in the journal Science detailing how the reversal of the poles caused abrupt solar storms and climate shifts t
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Long Covid: 'It's a year since I've felt like myself'
There is fresh hope for those still suffering the effects of the virus after 12 months with £18.5m of new funding and 70 new NHS clinics Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Today is an anniversary that George Hencken never imagined. It is exactly one year since she caught Covid-19. But unlike most people who have suffered from the disease, she remains ill. "It's a year s
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NASA's New Mars Rover Is Less Powerful Than Many Smartphones
iMars If you thought a NASA rover that cost $2.4 billion to build and launch would be more powerful your old smartphone, you have another thing coming. NASA's Perseverance rover, which landed successfully on Mars Thursday , is powered by an old chipset that gives it about the same processing power as an iMac from 1998, according to PCMag 's breakdown . More specifically, it's packing 256MB of RAM
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A New Era of Black Holes Is Here
When the first black-hole collision was detected in 2015, it was a watershed moment in the history of astronomy. Using gravitational waves, astronomers were observing the universe in an entirely new way. But this first event didn't revolutionize our understanding of black holes—nor could it. This collision would be the first of many, astronomers knew, and only with that bounty would answers come.
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New technology enables predictive design of engineered human cells
Northwestern University synthetic biologist Joshua Leonard used to build devices when he was a child using electronic kits. Now he and his team have developed a design-driven process that uses parts from a very different kind of toolkit to build complex genetic circuits for cellular engineering.
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New study identifies 126 species that could host coronavirus
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a product of different coronaviruses recombining in animal species. A new study suggests that hundreds of animal species may harbor multiple types of coronaviruses, meaning recombination events could be more likely than previously thought. The authors noted that their results could help improve surveillance programs to mitigate the risks associated wi
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Are billionaires bad for the environment?
A 100-meter yacht like this one can TK. (Arno Senoner//) Richard Wilk is a distinguished professor and provost's professor of anthropology at the Director of the Open Anthropology Institute at Indiana University. Beatriz Barros is a Ph.D. Candidate in anthropology at Indiana University. This story originally featured on The Conversation . Tesla's Elon Musk and Amazon's Jeff Bezos have been vying
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Is this winter weather 'normal'? And other questions about the historic storms in the US.
Snow-covered streets were the norm across the US this week. (Sam Farallon/Un/) It's been a wild and dangerous week for weather in the US. With record cold and snowfalls across nearly the entire country, many Americans are wondering what exactly is going on. Here are some answers to your most burning questions. Why did wind turbines fail in the winter storm? Sweden, which is no stranger to chilly
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Global study of 48 cities finds nature sanitizes 41.7 million tons of human waste a year
The first global-scale assessment of the role ecosystems play in providing sanitation finds that nature provides at least 18% of sanitation services in 48 cities worldwide, according to researchers in the United Kingdom and India. The study, published February 19 in the journal One Earth, estimates that more than 2 million cubic meters of the cities' human waste is processed each year without engi
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Nvidia's latest effort to fix the graphics card shortage takes aim at crypto miners
Nvidia's RTX 3060 is in high-demand due to its relatively low price and high performance. (Nvidia/) The past year has left PC gamers feeling conflicted. Hardware makers like Nvidia have released some of the most powerful and compelling new graphics cards—essential components for running games at high frame rates and resolutions—in years. Cards like the Nvidia RTX 30-series promise big performance
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UK scientists highlight 12 criteria for Covid vaccine passports
Royal Society says issues such as certifying immunity and data protection need to be considered Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Vaccine passports are feasible, according to scientists at the Royal Society, but many pressing questions need to be answered around their use, from knowing whether vaccines protect people against transmitting coronavirus, to ensuring they d
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Quartz crystals in the stomach of fossil bird complicates the mystery of its diet
It's hard to know what prehistoric animals' lives were like—even answering seemingly simple questions, like what they ate, can be a challenge. Sometimes, paleontologists get lucky, and pristine fossils will preserve an animal's stomach contents or provide other clues. In a new study in Frontiers in Earth Science, researchers investigating the fossil of a bird that lived alongside the dinosaurs got
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Quartz crystals in the stomach of fossil bird complicates the mystery of its diet
It's hard to know what prehistoric animals' lives were like—even answering seemingly simple questions, like what they ate, can be a challenge. Sometimes, paleontologists get lucky, and pristine fossils will preserve an animal's stomach contents or provide other clues. In a new study in Frontiers in Earth Science, researchers investigating the fossil of a bird that lived alongside the dinosaurs got
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Nicaragua leaders face backlash after forming space agency amid human rights crisis
Critics say President Daniel Ortega is attempting to distract from his dismal human rights record and poor response to the pandemic Nicaragua has created a new National Ministry for Extraterrestrial Space Affairs, The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, prompting scorn from critics in a nation experiencing a steady erosion of human rights since a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests three ye
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COVID-19 is shortening US life expectancy—especially for people of color
Vaccinations are going to be crucial in bringing down case counts, serious illness, and mutations as the pandemic continues. (CDC/) As we reach the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being officially detected in the United States, there's both hopeful news and many questions yet to answer. While vaccines are still being made and administered, the rising threat of stronger variants looms as the UK v
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The Good News of COVID-19 Is Sticking, for Now
Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here . All major indicators of COVID-19 transmission in the United States continue to fall rapidly. Weekly new cases have fallen from 1.7 million at the national peak in early January to fewer than 600,000 this week, and cases have declined in every state. As we've seen at many po
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WANTED: Three North Korean Hackers For Trying to Steal $1.3B In Crypto
Wanted Poster The United States Department of Justice just indicted three state-backed North Korean hackers who, it says, conspired to steal more than $1.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency. The three hackers are part of North Korea's military intelligence group known as the Reconnaissance General Bureau, according to The New York Times . The trio reportedly made off with a serious haul of crypto,
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Dogs may have body-awareness and understand consequences of own actions
A new study published in Scientific Reports has revealed that dogs understand the relationship between their body and the environment in a problem solving task. The researchers of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) found that dogs can recognize their body as an obstacle, which ability is one of the basic manifestations of self-representation in humans.
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Dogs may have body-awareness and understand consequences of own actions
A new study published in Scientific Reports has revealed that dogs understand the relationship between their body and the environment in a problem solving task. The researchers of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) found that dogs can recognize their body as an obstacle, which ability is one of the basic manifestations of self-representation in humans.
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Facebook announces UK trial to tackle climate misinformation
Labels to be attached to posts directing users to Facebook's Climate Science Information Center Facebook has said it will start labelling misinformation about the climate crisis in a small trial limited to the UK. Labels will be attached to certain posts directing users to Facebook's Climate Science Information Center, a repository of fact-checked claims about the environment. Continue reading…
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Perseverance Set to Land on Mars
The landing is the tricky part. Mars is a difficult planet to land on. It has just enough of an atmosphere to be a problem, about 1% the pressure of Earth's atmosphere. This is thin so provides much less breaking (but still useful) to slow the craft, but thick enough to produce dust storms and other menaces. Mars has 0.376 G surface gravity, which is a lot less than Earth but significantly more t
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What You Gain When You Give Things Up
" How to Build a Life " is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. W e have just entered the season of Lent, a time to pray and fast to commemorate Jesus's 40-day sojourn into the desert at the beginning of his public ministry. About a quarter of Americans—including 61 percent of Catholics—typically observe Lent through voluntary sacrifice, fasting, almsgivi
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For Muslims wary of the Covid vaccine: there's every religious reason not to be | Sadakat Kadri
Suspicion of authority and worries about what is halal must be balanced by the fact that protecting others is an obligation Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage As the UK's Covid-19 vaccination programme has accelerated, optimism about its effectiveness has been rising. According to the Office for National Statistics , more than nine in 10 people are now keen to get a jab
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Delay a Shot? Skip One? Vaccine-Dosing Messaging Is a Nightmare.
The debates began as 2020 ended and the first vaccines were headed toward authorization. Skip the second dose, some researchers proposed —just one prick of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna formulation might be enough to do the trick. Jab No. 2 is crucial, others parried, but perhaps it can be postponed longer than the prescribed three or four weeks . No need to screw with the schedule, still ot
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The U.S. Puts Its Greatest Vulnerability on Display
In one of his first public speeches , in early 1838, Abraham Lincoln warned that the biggest threat to the United States came from within. "If destruction be our lot," said the future president, then 28, "we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Citing the killings of a mixed-race boatman and an abolitionist newspaper
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'I've accepted the risk': volunteering to be exposed to Covid in new trials
Healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 30 will be exposed to virus in controlled environment Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Human challenge trials for coronavirus are to begin in the UK , a world first in the global fight against Covid-19. Healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 30 will be exposed to coronavirus in a controlled environment, to learn more about how
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I Am a Heroin User. I Do Not Have a Drug Problem – Issue 96: Rewired
Carl Hart is a neuroscientist and Ziff Professor of Psychology at Columbia University—he was the first tenured African-American professor of sciences at Columbia. His research focuses on the "behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans." Hart's new book, Drug Use For Grown-Ups , is a bold and engaging effort to counter what he sees as generations of misinformation
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Toward a disease-sniffing device that rivals a dog's nose
Numerous studies have shown that trained dogs can detect many kinds of disease—including lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers, and possibly COVID-19—simply through smell. In some cases, involving prostate cancer for example, the dogs had a 99 percent success rate in detecting the disease by sniffing patients' urine samples.
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Scientists Are About to Give Research Subjects COVID on Purpose
Scientists at Imperial College London's Royal Free Hospital are about to deliberately infect 90 volunteers with the coronavirus to see what happens. The UK's Ethics Committee approved what's called a "human challenge study," or research designed to figure out how the coronavirus infects and spreads among people in an extremely controlled environment, according to CNBC . For instance, the first pa
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It's All Rigged
As of January 10, nine brokerages had set the one-year target stock price for GameStop at about $10. But that's not where it would stay—at least for a while. It climbed in price because a subreddit, r/WallStreetBets, engineered a short squeeze. That kicked off a wild ride, revealing many things not just about how digital technologies are transforming our world, but also about how they are not. It
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THYME project discovers a sub-Neptune exoplanet orbiting young star
Astronomers report the discovery of a new sub-Neptune exoplanet as part of the TESS Hunt for Young and Maturing Exoplanets (THYME) program. The newly found alien world, designated HD 110082 b, is about three times larger than the Earth and orbits a relatively young star. The finding is reported in a paper published February 11 on arXiv.org.
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Parler Says It's Back
The platform was kicked off Amazon's servers. Now it says it no longer relies on "Big Tech" for its infrastructure.
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Astronomers detect signs of "galactic cannibalism"
The Milky Way is surrounded by dozens of dwarf galaxies that are thought to be relics of the very first galaxies in the universe. Among the most primitive of these galactic fossils is Tucana II — an ultrafaint dwarf galaxy that is about 50 kiloparsecs, or 163,000 light years, from Earth. Now MIT astrophysicists have detected stars at the edge of Tucana II, in a configuration that is surprisingly
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Israel allows 1,000 Covid vaccines into blockaded Gaza after hold up
Sputnik vaccines being sent to frontline medical workers after previous shipment was blocked Israel has permitted Palestinian officials to send the first shipment of 1,000 coronavirus vaccines to the blockaded Gaza Strip, after the Palestinian Authority accused it of holding up vital shipments intended for frontline medical workers. "This morning, an amount of 1,000 Sputnik vaccines donated by Ru
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UK Covid live: PM planning nationwide mass rapid testing as lockdown is eased, report claims
Latest updates: millions in England may face 'surge' in rapid testing as Covid curbs are relaxed Cutting Covid top-up 'will put 700,000 people into poverty' Quarantine hotels 'a death sentence' for at-risk Britons, says cancer patient Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.21am GMT PA Media reports: The "classic triad" of cough, fever and loss of smell (anosmia) – the sy
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Plantwatch: fungus creates fake fragrant flowers to fool bees
Fusarium xyrophilum hijacks yellow-eyed Xyris grasses from Guyana to create forgeries made of fungal tissue Fungi have been discovered making fake flowers that look and even smell like the real thing, fooling bees and other pollinating insects into visiting them. The fungus Fusarium xyrophilum infects the beautiful yellow-eyed grasses of Xyris from Guyana in South America. The fungus stops the pl
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CT scans of Egyptian mummy reveal new details about the death of a pivotal pharaoh
A CT scan study of the mummy of Pharaoh Seqenenre-Taa-II, an Egyptian ruler whose death eventually helped reunite the kingdom, revealed new details about how the king died. A recent paper suggests that the pharaoh died close to the battlefield and was ceremoniously executed by several people using Hyksos weapons. Additionally, the computer-processed X-rays revealed his embalmers had skillfully con
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Doctors Find Drug That Seems to Treat Long-Hauler COVID Symptoms
One of the problems with battling the coronavirus pandemic is that some survivors will continue to face serious, sometimes-debilitating symptoms that persist for many months after their infection. One of these long-hauler symptoms is a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a nervous system disorder that causes people's heart rates to spike out of control. But a new cl
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