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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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SpaceX Starship Testing Shut Down by Huge Snowstorm
Frosty the Starship As if launching a 165-foot spacecraft prototype wasn't complicated enough, SpaceX now has to contend itself with extreme winter weather hitting its Texas testing facilities. Development of its Starship program has slowed to a crawl as a result of freezing temperatures and high winds, Teslarati reports — though it'll probably be back to business as usual once the weather clears
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Oldest skink fossil found in Australian outback may hold key to lizard evolution
The 25m-year-old find that will help fill in the gaps in the record of one of the continent's most diverse species A tiny fossil pulled from the edge of a scorching salt lake in the South Australian outback is the oldest known remains of a skink ever found on the continent and may provide a vital clue to the lizard's evolution. The team of palaeontologists and volunteers from Flinders University
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Revealed: NHS could offer Covid vaccine to 32m in priority groups by Easter
Analysis suggests everyone in first nine priority groups could get jab four weeks ahead of schedule Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage At current rates, the NHS could offer a coronavirus vaccine to the 32 million people in the first nine priority groups by Easter – four weeks ahead of the official schedule – according to analysis by the Guardian. Government and health s
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Cells use concentration gradients as a compass
Biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munch have developed a new theory, which accounts for the observation that cells can perceive their own shapes, and use this information to direct the distribution of proteins inside the cell.
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A genetic variant inherited from Neanderthals reduces the risk of severe COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 impacts people in different ways after infection. Some experience only mild or no symptoms at all while others become sick enough to require hospitalization.Now, researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in Japan and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany have found that a group of genes that reduces the risk of sever
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Planet Nine Might Not Actually Exist, Scientists Say
For years now, a team of astronomers have supported a controversial theory that a ninth planet is circling the Sun at an orbit beyond Neptune. Their evidence: clusters of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) appear to orbit together, around what they hypothesize to be a massive object lurking in the far reaches of our star system. Since 2016, Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin from the California Instit
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Climate change likely drove the extinction of North America's largest animals
A new study suggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by over-hunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas. Instead, the findings, based on a new statistical modelling approach, suggest that populations of large mammals fluctuated in response to climate change, with drastic decreases of temperatures around 13,000 yea
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Researchers reveal the biogeographical patterns of fern diversity
Earth is home to millions of known species of plants and animals, but by no means are they distributed evenly. For instance, rainforests cover less than 2 percent of Earth's total surface, yet they are home to 50 percent of Earth's species. Oceans account for 71 percent of Earth's total surface but contain only 15 percent of Earth's species. What drives this uneven distribution of species on Earth
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Researchers reveal the biogeographical patterns of fern diversity
Earth is home to millions of known species of plants and animals, but by no means are they distributed evenly. For instance, rainforests cover less than 2 percent of Earth's total surface, yet they are home to 50 percent of Earth's species. Oceans account for 71 percent of Earth's total surface but contain only 15 percent of Earth's species. What drives this uneven distribution of species on Earth
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Slow responses more likely to be perceived as lies, study finds
Research could have implications for scenarios from job interviews to court trials, say psychologists The longer a person takes to respond to a question the more likely it is they will be perceived as lying – whether it is a question about a crime or a friend's baking skills. Beyond volume, tenor and the pitch of an answer, response time also appears to play a role in the way people perceive the
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Planetary scientists discover evidence for a reduced atmosphere on ancient Mars
Both Earth and Mars currently have oxidising atmospheres, which is why iron-rich materials in daily life develop rust (a common name for iron oxide) during the oxidation reaction of iron and oxygen. The Earth has had an oxidising atmosphere for approximately 2.5 billion years, but before that, the atmosphere of this planet was reducing—there was no rust.
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The 1970s Black Utopian City That Became a Modern Ghost Town
V isit Soul City, North Carolina, today, and you won't find much: an abandoned health-care clinic stripped by vandals; a pool and recreation center with a no trespassing sign; a 1970s subdivision with streets that are cracked and crumbling; and an industrial plant that has been converted into a prison. If not for the concrete monolith with the words Soul City cast in red iron, you might not know
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Astronomers publish map showing 25,000 supermassive black holes
An international team of astronomers has published a map of the sky showing over 25,000 supermassive black holes. The map, to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, is the most detailed celestial map in the field of so-called low radio frequencies. The astronomers, including Leiden astronomers, used 52 stations with LOFAR antennas spread across nine European countries.
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A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step
Trapped inside a long glass tube in a ground-floor lab at Harvard University is a miniature copy of the stratosphere. When I visited Frank Keutsch in the fall of 2019, he walked me down to the lab, where the tube, wrapped in gray insulation, ran the length of a bench in the back corner. By filling it with the right combination of gases, at particular temperatures and pressures, Keutsch and his co
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Unusual creatures uncovered beneath an Antarctic ice shelf
A new study details the discovery of sessile organisms living under the Antarctic's Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. In recent years, scientists have discovered more creatures living in environments once thought inhospitable to life. It's currently unknown how these new organisms find food in such an environment, nor how plentiful they are beneath the continent's ice-blanketed coastlines. Life finds a w
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Mindfulness, laughter and robot dogs may relieve lockdown loneliness – study
University of Cambridge researchers identify potentially effective interventions to help people Robotic dogs, laughter therapy and mindfulness could help people cope with loneliness and social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found. The team at the university's School of Medicine, led by Dr Christopher Williams, reviewed 58 existing studies o
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Queensland says new Covid variant was detected in Brisbane quarantine
Queensland health department says variant B1525 was identified in returned travellers in January Follow Wednesday's live blog Australia's Covid vaccine rollout: how will it happen and when can you get it? Melbourne hotspots ; Victoria rules and restrictions Follow our global coronavirus live blog The Queensland government has revealed that a new coronavirus strain with a "worrying" set of mutatio
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Pigs can play video games. Here's why that matters.
We knew pigs were smart, but no one could have imagined they'd be owning at arcade games. (Benjamin Wedemeyer//) Rebecca E. Nordquist is an assistant professor of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. This story originally featured on The Conversation . Pigs might not be able to fly, but they can play video games. In a new study , researchers from Purdue University in Indiana, US have shown th
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Owning more guns may mean lower risk of suicide
Handgun ownership, but not shotgun ownership, is associated with greater odds of a person having died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound rather than another suicide method, a new study shows. Researchers surveyed surviving loved ones of 121 handgun and shotgun owners who died by suicide—93 of whom died with a firearm and 28 who died through other means—and asked about the numbers and types of fi
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What Killed North America's Megafauna?
Before around 13,000 years ago large mammals walked North America – the Mammoth, most famously, but also giant beavers, giant tree sloths, glyptodonts, and the American cheetah among them. By around 11,000 years ago they were all gone (38 genera, mostly mammals). Extinction is a natural part of the cycle of ecosystems, and no species lasts forever. But when paleontologists identify a pulse of ext
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Life Is Tough for Teenage Parasites
In my personal opinion, the greatest coming-of-age story on Earth does not take place in a Dickens novel or a Disney movie, but rather in a white fish at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The fish in question, called a zoarcid, looks like a creature caught in an identity crisis, too long to be a fish but too short to be an eel, its lips permanently drooping in a sullen pout. Otherwise, the fish ha
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Johns Hopkins Professor: US Will Hit COVID Herd Immunity by April
COVID-19 will be "mostly gone" by April, according to a Johns Hopkins professor. Dr. Marty Makary, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, points to several reasons to be hopeful in a new op-ed for The Wall Street Journal . He believes a combination of natural immunity from previous infection, rising vaccination rates, and a dramatic drop in cases mean America will reach herd immuni
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For the First Time, Scientists Clone Endangered Species
It's Alive! For the first time, scientists cloned an organism on the United States' list of endangered species: a black-footed ferret that they've named Elizabeth Ann. Elizabeth Ann was born on December 10 and, as far as the Fish and Wildlife Service scientists raising her can tell, is a perfectly healthy and lively young critter, The Associated Press reports . The tentative success story, a firs
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Researchers decode a deep-sea-vent-endemic snail hologenome
A research team led by Prof. Qian Peiyuan, Head and Chair Professor from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)'s Department of Ocean Science and David von Hansemann Professor of Science, has published their cutting-edge findings of symbiotic mechanisms of a deep-sea vent snail (Gigantopelta aegis) in the scientific journal Nature Communications. They discovered that the Gigant
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The Double Meaning of the American Dream
Having moved from the teeming cityscape of Taipei to the rural American South in the 1970s as a preteen, I know something of the shock, at once awe-inspiring and estranging, of that first sight of the great American landscape—just sheer land—that seems to stretch on forever. Watching Minari , the new semi-autobiographical film from Lee Isaac Chung about a Korean-American family newly arrived in t
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In step toward autonomous materials, researchers design patterns in self-propelling liquid crystals
aterials capable of performing complex functions in response to changes in the environment could form the basis for exciting new technologies. Think of a capsule implanted in your body that automatically releases antibodies in response to a virus, a surface that releases an antibacterial agent when exposed to dangerous bacteria, a material that adapts its shape when it needs to sustain a particula
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Photos of the Week: Mars Rover, Green Fur, Icicle Tunnel
Lava flows on Mount Etna, ski championships in Italy, scenes from the Australian Open, ice-skating in the Netherlands, an image from New York Fashion Week, freezing conditions in Texas, a monument to cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, snowy scenes in Greece, and much more
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Touchdown! NASA's Mars Perseverance rover safely lands on Red Planet
The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). About the size of a car, the robotic geologist and astrobiologist will undergo several weeks of testing before it begins its two-year science investigation of Mars' Jezero Crater. A fundamental part of its mission is astrobiol
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NASA Scientists Need to Live and Work on "Mars Time"
Mars Time NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is currently approaching the surface of Mars, where it's expected to touch down in the next few hours. Assuming it lands successfully, the Perseverance mission team at NASA is going to need to make some major lifestyle changes, Space.com reports . Most notably? They're going to have to start living and working on what's called "Mars time," meaning they'll
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Eating grapes can reduce UV damage from the Sun
The skin of study participants who consumed lots of grapes developed an increased resistance to UV light. Grapes contain polyphenols, good stuff for repairing skin and fighting inflammation. After their grape adventure, biopsies revealed less skin-cell damage from UV light. The sun's ultraviolet rays can be punishing to human skin. Sunblock can mitigate the potential damage, but when it comes to
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Eating grapes can reduce UV damage from the Sun
The skin of study participants who consumed lots of grapes developed an increased resistance to UV light. Grapes contain polyphenols, good stuff for repairing skin and fighting inflammation. After their grape adventure, biopsies revealed less skin-cell damage from UV light. The sun's ultraviolet rays can obviously be punishing to human skin. Sunblock can mitigate the potential damage, but when it
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Intelligent models for smarter decision-making
The popularity of the design, build, and test approach to engineering is fast-waning as today's engineers face unprecedented pressure to innovate, keep pace with the latest technologies, and design creative solutions to urgent problems. Consider, for example, automated driving systems. Although autonomous vehicles promise to significantly improve mobility, engineers must test these frameworks for
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Unique feeding behavior of Asian kukri snakes gutting frogs and toads
After describing a novel behaviour of the Small-banded Kukri Snake last September, two new studies, also led by Henrik Bringsøe, now report the same gruesome feeding strategy – where the snakes pierce the abdomen of frogs or toads to swallow their organs, as the prey remains alive for up to a few hours – in another two species: the Taiwanese Kukri Snake and the Ocellated Kukri Snake. The findings
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Martin Luther Rewired Your Brain – Issue 96: Rewired
Your brain has been altered, neurologically rewired as you acquired a particular skill. This renovation has left you with a specialized area in your left ventral occipital temporal region, shifted facial recognition into your right hemisphere, reduced your inclination toward holistic visual processing, increased your verbal memory, and thickened your corpus callosum, which is the information high
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World's oldest DNA reveals how mammoths evolved
An international team led by researchers at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm has sequenced DNA recovered from mammoth remains that are up to 1.2 million years old. The analyses show that the Columbian mammoth that inhabited North America during the last ice age was a hybrid between the woolly mammoth and a previously unknown genetic lineage of mammoth. In addition, the study provides new
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World's oldest DNA reveals how mammoths evolved
An international team led by researchers at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm has sequenced DNA recovered from mammoth remains that are up to 1.2 million years old. The analyses show that the Columbian mammoth that inhabited North America during the last ice age was a hybrid between the woolly mammoth and a previously unknown genetic lineage of mammoth. In addition, the study provides new
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One year of COVID-19: What will we learn?
The US is approaching 500,000 COVID-19 deaths. What can we learn from one year of loss and chaos? The lessons are clear. Among them are realizing our fragility as a species, our codependence as humans, and the urgent need to move beyond social injustice and inequity. As with the Renaissance following the Black Plague of the 14th century and the explosive creativity of the 1920s post Spanish influ
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Taiwan suggests China to blame after deal for 5m Covid vaccine doses is put on hold
Plan to buy the BioNTech shot has been delayed amid intervention by 'outside forces', says health minister Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A deal for Taiwan to buy 5m doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech is on hold, the island's health minister said, citing potential pressure from China for the delay. Taiwan's health minister, Chen Shih-chung,
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The Weekly Planet: The Big Idea From Bill Gates's New Climate Book
Every Tuesday, our lead climate reporter brings you the big ideas, expert analysis, and vital guidance that will help you flourish on a changing planet. Sign up to get T he Weekly Planet , our guide to living through climate change, in your inbox . Lately, Bill Gates has been thinking about what he calls the "hard stuff" of climate change. He isn't talking about the challenges that we usually dis
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Europe Invites People With Disabilities to Become Astronauts
Recruitment Drive The European Space Agency (ESA) is about to hold its first astronaut recruitment drive in 11 years, and it's hoping to make the future of space exploration more representative . The new drive is focused on making crewed space missions more diverse, according to The Associated Press . That means the ESA wants to send more women into space — 495 of the 560 people to ever leave Ear
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Ancient Egyptian brewery is the oldest ever found
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence for the world's oldest known industrial-scale brewery. The brewery was an ancient complex with the capacity to produce enough beer to serve thousands of people in a single batch. The team of American and Egyptian archaeologists, who discovered the facility while excavating at the site of Abydos in southern Egypt, date the brewery to the dawn of ancient Egypt
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5 famous environmental disasters where humans and nature healed together
Birds and mammals paved the way for humans to return to the nuclear landscape of Fukushima, Japan. (Will Drayson/) In the sliver of time since the Industrial Revolution, human enterprise has turned disastrous, ramping up extinctions, causing nuclear meltdowns, and altering the atmosphere that's kept Earth's climate stable for more than 10,000 years. Nature, to its credit, always tries to claw bac
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'An exciting time': European Space Agency takes diversity to space
Helen Sharman, the UK's first astronaut, praises the agency as it begins a search for 26 recruits Helen Sharman, the UK's first astronaut, has welcomed the European Space Agency's decision to improve diversity among crew as an "exciting time for human space flight expansion". Esa announced earlier this week that as part of its bid to recruit up to 26 new astronauts it was casting its net wider th
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Coronavirus: UK should donate vaccines to poorer nations now, says new WTO chief; two die amid lockdown protests in Gabon
Thousands of China's Sinovac vaccine on way to Mexico France reports increase in daily Covid death toll Ireland reports three cases of Brazilian variant See all our coronavirus coverage 9.50am GMT A year ago, Laura Ricevuti and Annalisa Malara – both doctors at Codogno hospital in Italy – had a hunch something was different about a patient in the intensive care ward. As Reuters reports, their dec
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Who Will Be the Next F.D.A. Chief?
Two leading contenders generate wider debate about the leadership needed to restore morale and scientific integrity to an agency battered by the politicized Trump administration.
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Researchers decode a deep-sea-vent-endemic snail hologenome
A research team led by Prof. Qian Peiyuan, Head and Chair Professor from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)'s Department of Ocean Science and David von Hansemann Professor of Science, has published their cutting-edge findings of symbiotic mechanisms of a deep-sea vent snail (Gigantopelta aegis) in the scientific journal Nature Communications. They discovered that the Gigant
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The government failed Texans—so people on the internet stepped in
On Valentine's Day, Texas plunged into a polar vortex the likes of which hadn't been seen since 1899. Freezing temperatures led to widespread power outages. Homes more used to the swampy heat were useless against the wind and cold, with pipes bursting and ceilings caving in. Where water, clothing, and food were being distributed, lines snaked around the block. Hundreds of people in Texas have bee
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How Antidepressants Work, At Last?
Over the years I've very much enjoyed being startled by the scientific literature, and there haven't been many times when I've been more surprised than I was this morning. I've been making references on this blog for years about how we don't even know how antidepressants work, but if this new paper is correct, then perhaps now we do. I'm amazed. It's from a multinational team led out of the Unive
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Perseverance's mission to Mars – in pictures
Nasa's rover, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world, landed safely on the floor of a vast crater on Thursday, the first stop on its search for life on the red planet Mars rover landing: Nasa's Perseverance touches down safely in search of life Continue reading…
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Gut microbiome implicated in healthy aging and longevity
The gut microbiome is an integral component of the body, but its importance in the human aging process is unclear. Researchers have identified distinct signatures in the gut microbiome that are associated with either healthy or unhealthy aging trajectories, which in turn predict survival in a population of older individuals.
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