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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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NASA's Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands on Mars
After years of development and seven months in space, NASA's Perseverance rover touched down on Mars today, kicking off what we can only hope will be years of groundbreaking science. NASA used Curiosity as a model for this new robot, but its instrument suite is upgraded to scour the red planet for signs of ancient life. This mission will also be the first leg in a three-part process to get bits o
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The US Military Is Getting 3D Printing "Factories" Inside Shipping Containers
Portable Factory The United States Department of Defense just awarded a contract to additive manufacturing company ExOne to develop 3D printing mini-factories that could be deployed into the field during a military operation. The factories are essentially complete 3D printing labs that can be housed entirely within a shipping container, according to Interesting Engineering . It's an intriguing —
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Explainable AI for decoding genome biology
Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, in collaboration with colleagues at Stanford University and Technical University of Munich have developed advanced explainable artificial intelligence (AI) in a technical tour de force to decipher regulatory instructions encoded in DNA. In a report published online February 18, 2021, in Nature Genetics, the team found that a neural network
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Explainable AI for decoding genome biology
Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, in collaboration with colleagues at Stanford University and Technical University of Munich have developed advanced explainable artificial intelligence (AI) in a technical tour de force to decipher regulatory instructions encoded in DNA. In a report published online February 18, 2021, in Nature Genetics, the team found that a neural network
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WATCH: Perseverance Lands on Mars Today in '7 Minutes of Terror'
About eight and a half years ago, I stayed up until well after midnight to watch Curiosity make Marsfall. At the time, all eyes were glued to what is euphemistically referred to as the "seven minutes of terror." It took Curiosity and will take Perseverance approximately that long to descend from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the ground below. It takes 11 minutes for a signal from Mars to r
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What democracy and science demand: The 'Smartmatic vs Fox News' case
Smartmatic, an election technology company, has filed a $2.7-billion-dollar defamation suit against Fox News for making false claims about its voting machines during Fox's dishonest campaign against the 2020 US presidential election results. The lawsuit opens with three powerful statements of fact: A scientific truth, a mathematical proof, and an objective political fact: More people voted for Jo
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Chloé Zhao Is About to Be Huge
Chloé Zhao is having a very busy 2021. She's buried in postproduction on a Marvel movie, Eternals , due out this November. Her third feature film, Nomadland , will be released wide tomorrow, screening both on Hulu and in open theaters around the country. It's a big, bold rollout for an ostensibly intimate drama. But Zhao's films have always had a grand scale to them, even though they're made on t
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Scientists Really, Really Want a Piece of Mars
Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET on Feb. 19, 2021. When Mike Zolensky saw the night sky over the Australian desert glow red in June of 2010, he knew: The long-awaited object had plunged through the atmosphere and fallen to Earth. Zolensky, a curator of astromaterials, and dozens of others leapt into action. The team dispatched a helicopter to find the fallen object in the darkness. At daybreak, elders fro
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Scientists identify over 140,000 virus species in the human gut
Viruses are the most numerous biological entities on the planet. Now researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have identified over 140,000 viral species living in the human gut, more than half of which have never been seen before.
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En av fem har mutation som ger ökad tolerans mot kyla
Närmare en av fem personer saknar proteinet α-aktinin-3 i sina muskelfibrer. Nu visar forskare vid Karolinska Institutet att dessa personers skelettmuskler består av en större andel långsamma muskelfibrer, som är mer uthålliga och energieffektiva och ger bättre tolerans mot kyla än snabba muskelfibrer. Skelettmuskler består av snabba (vita) muskelfibrer som är snabbt uttröttbara och långsamma (rö
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The NHS rose to the challenge of Covid, but its next test may be even harder | Bruce Keogh
The health service needs modernising if it is to maintain its position at the forefront of patient care and medical research Bruce Keogh is a former national medical director of NHS England Over the past year, our NHS has risen to the challenges of the pandemic. But it's been a very close-run thing. There have been well-publicised difficulties such as the shortage of ventilators , ICU beds and PP
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UK Covid live: Britain hard hit by coronavirus due to years of Tory rule, Starmer to say
Latest updates: Labour leader to use speech to outline vision for economic recovery from Covid crisis ; chancellor's budget to provide fresh rescue package Covid hit UK hard because of years of Conservative rule, Starmer to say Infections in England fall by two-thirds but spreading fastest among young Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.24am GMT The number of students
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Why do humans struggle to think of ourselves as animals? – podcast
The pandemic has demonstrated why humans are ultimately an impressive species. From monitoring the genetic evolution of Sars-CoV-2 to devising vaccines in record time, we have put our minds together to reduce the impact of Covid-19. Yet, the global spread of a new disease is a reminder that we are not invincible, and remain at the mercy of our biology and the natural world. Speaking to author Mel
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Wolves, dogs and dingoes, oh my
Dogs are generally considered the first domesticated animal, while its ancestor is generally considered to be the wolf, but where the Australian dingo fits into this framework is still debated, according to a retired anthropologist.
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Edible holograms could someday decorate foods
Holograms are everywhere, from driver's licenses to credit cards to product packaging. And now, edible holograms could someday enhance foods. Researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a laser-based method to print nanostructured holograms on dried corn syrup films. The edible holograms could also be used to ensure food safety, label a product or indicate sugar content, the researchers say.
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Severe COVID-19 Might Lead to Strange Growths Behind the Eyes
When they were examining the brain scans of COVID-19 patients hospitalized for particularly severe infections, French doctors found something unusual: inflamed growths called nodules directly behind their eyes. The University of Paris scientists studied 129 patient MRIs and found nodules behind the eyes of nine of them, eight of whom had nodules behind both eyes, Live Science reports . The discov
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Scottish government inadequately prepared for Covid – watchdog
Report points to failures to improve availability of PPE and capability of social care after readiness exercises Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Scottish government was not adequately prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by the country's public spending watchdog. The Audit Scotland report found that, despite three preparedness exercises since
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How to fix what the innovation economy broke about America
Valerie Moreno laughed out loud when I asked if her family received regular medical checkups. "Oh my gosh, no!" she said. "We have to be dying before we see a doctor." The reason why wasn't a mystery. Valerie, who was dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, her dark hair showing a few grays, pulled her checkbook out of a small bag and riffled through the ledger. "I have $65 in the checking account," s
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Slow motion precursors give earthquakes the fast slip
At a glacier near the South Pole, earth scientists have found evidence of a quiet, slow-motion fault slip that triggers strong, fast-slip earthquakes many miles away, according to Cornell University research published in Science Advances.
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NASA Releases Amazing Photo of Rover Parachuting to Mars Surface
Free Falling NASA continues to give Annie Leibovitz a run for her money with its stunning new photos of the Perseverance rover as it landed on Mars on Thursday. One of its latest is a spectacular wide shot of Perseverance as it descends on parachute through the Martian atmosphere — another historic document of what may be the most technologically advanced off-planet exploration in the history of
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See the wonderful world of fermented foods on one delicious chart
From snacks to sauces, fermentation is an important culinary tool across eras and cultures. (Mona Chalabi/) No matter who you are or where you live, you've almost certainly eaten something fermented . Humans have been processing food this way for at least 10,000 years in cuisines on every populated continent. Microbes like bacteria and fungi flourish when feeding off carbohydrates, turning sugars
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Drug companies look to AI to end 'hit and miss' research
Technology that speeded the development of Covid vaccines has potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry The hunt for new medicines has often been more like a game of roulette than high-end science. But now the pharmaceutical sector is on the cusp of a transformation, as it delves into cutting-edge technology to come up with new treatments for diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis
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Inside the Strange World of the Police
Photographs by Joseph Rodríguez "Police work is doing what people in the city want done," Willie Williams, the Los Angeles Police Department chief, told me in 1994. Williams, the agency's first Black chief, had been brought in from Philadelphia to make changes after LAPD officers beat Rodney King in 1991, the incident that ultimately led to the Los Angeles riots. A commission that year concluded
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Storing the Pfizer vaccine could get a lot simpler in coming weeks
The Pfizer vaccine can actually be stored in normal freezers. (Pixabay/) Click here to see all of PopSci's COVID-19 coverage. In an announcement this morning, Pfizer and BioNTech described new findings showing that their COVID vaccine could be stored for at standard freezing temperatures, setting the stage for a dramatically simplified vaccine distribution effort. That's a big step for Pfizer's v
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The melting of large icebergs is a key stage in the evolution of ice ages
A new study, in which the Andalusian Earth Sciences Institute (IACT) (CSIC-UGR) participated, has described for the first time a key stage in the beginning of the great glaciations and indicates that it can happen to our planet in the future. The study claims to have found a new connection that could explain the beginning of the ice ages on Earth.
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Nasa reveals new colour images of Mars from Perseverance rover – video
Adam Steltzner, the chief engineer on the Perseverance project, said his team was 'overwhelmed with excitement and joy' as he revealed new colour photographs beamed back from Nasa's Perseverance rover Nasa scientists release new images of Perseverance rover on Mars at news briefing Nasa scientists hail Perseverance rover's arrival on Mars with stunning images Continue reading…
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How the brain processes sign language
Over 70 million deaf people use sign languages as their preferred communication form. Although they access similar brain structures as spoken languages, it hasn't been identified the brain regions that process both forms of language equally. Scientists have now discovered that Broca's area in the left hemisphere, central for spoken languages, is also crucial for sign languages. This is where the g
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Listen: 'A Disaster for Feminism'
Nearly a year ago, Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis predicted that the pandemic would be " a disaster for feminism ," and far too many of her predictions have proved true. With women leaving the workforce at unprecedented rates, why has the pandemic's burden fallen so much harder on them? And what can we, as a society, do about it? Lewis joins staff writer James Hamblin and comedian Maeve Higgin
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Artificial Intelligence-Worshipping Church Officially Shuts Down
Closed Doors Remember that artificial intelligence-worshipping church, the Way of the Future? Well, first of all: Yes, that existed . But secondly, founder Anthony Levandowski told TechCrunch this week that he has now decided to dissolve the church and donate all of its funds — just over $175,000 — to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Levandowski still supports the church's mission to r
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Insight-HXMT gives insight into origin of fast radio bursts
The latest observations from Insight-HXMT were published online in Nature Astronomy on Feb. 18. Insight-HXMT has discovered the very first X-ray burst associated with a fast radio burst (FRB) and has identified that it originated from soft-gamma repeater (SGR) J1935+2154, which is a magnetar in our Milky Way.
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Cold dust cores in the central zone of the Milky Way
The Milky Way's central molecular zone (CMZ) spans the innermost 1600 light-years of the galaxy (for comparison, the Sun is 26,600 light-years away from the galactic center) and includes a vast complex of molecular clouds containing about sixty million solar-masses of molecular gas. The gas in these clouds exists under more extreme physical conditions than elsewhere in the galaxy on average, with
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Frigid Temperatures Bring Disaster to Texas
A pulse of frigid Arctic air sent temperatures dropping to record lows in Texas this week, leading to widespread power outages and dozens of deaths. The disruptions have raised questions about how well the country's second-largest state is prepared for natural disasters in the face of climate change.
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New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action
During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' within minutes. The Rijli group has now identified a unique molecular signature that keeps immediate early genes quiet yet poised for rapid activation. Working out how immediate
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A powerful, pocket-sized optical imager, no longer science fiction
Before Wilhelm Röntgen, a mechanical engineer, discovered a new type of electromagnetic radiation in 1895, physicians could only dream of being able to see inside the body. Within a year of Röntgen's discovery, X-rays were being used to identify tumors. Within 10 years, hospitals were using X-rays to help diagnose and treat patients.
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New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action
During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' within minutes. The Rijli group has now identified a unique molecular signature that keeps immediate early genes quiet yet poised for rapid activation. Working out how immediate
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Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive tests
Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk further than their peers during a timed test – a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health – also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. The study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated.
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Bacterial magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications
Magnetic nanoparticles biosynthesized by bacteria might soon play an important role in biomedicine and biotechnology. Researchers of the University of Bayreuth have now developed and optimized a process for the isolation and purification of these particles from bacterial cells. In initial tests, magnetosomes showed good biocompatibility when incubated with human cell lines. The results, presented
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The future of electronics is stretchy
Stretchable electronic circuits are critical for soft robotics, wearable technologies, and biomedical applications. The current ways of making them, though, have limited their potential.
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Widely shared vitamin D-COVID-19 preprint removed from Lancet server
A preprint promoted by a member of the UK Parliament for claiming to show that vitamin D led to an "80% reduction in need for ICU and a 60% reduction in deaths" has been removed from a server used by The Lancet family of journals. The preprint, "Calcifediol Treatment and COVID-19-Related Outcomes," was posted to … Continue reading
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UK Covid live: Johnson to make vaccine pledge to poorer nations as he chairs G7 meeting
Latest updates: PM expected to say that the UK will share any surplus vaccines; primary school students to return to class in Wales on 15 March Boris Johnson to pledge surplus Covid vaccine to poorer countries at G7 New universal credit claimants forced to skip meals in Covid crisis Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage 10.19am GMT Sadiq Khan has insisted there should be n
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Spacewatch: Hope spacecraft sends back pictures of Mars volcanoes
Hope mission is to study Martian atmosphere to help understand how water has been lost The first photograph of Mars taken by the Emirates Mars Mission's Hope spacecraft has been released by the UAE Space Agency and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre . Captured at 20:36 GMT on 10 February 2021, one day after the Hope probe successfully entered orbit around the red planet, the image shows sunlight cr
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In dueling ants vying to become queen, behavioral and molecular cues quickly determine who will win
In one species of ants, workers duel to establish new leadership after the death of their queen. While these sparring matches stretch for more than a month, changes in behavior and gene expression in the first three days of dueling can accurately predict who will triumph, according to a New York University study published in the journal Genes & Development.
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Is odor the secret to bats' sex appeal?
When falling in love, humans often pay attention to looks. Many non-human animals also choose a sexual partner based on appearance. Male birds may sport flashy feathers to attract females, lionesses prefer lions with thicker manes and colorful male guppies with large spots attract the most females. But bats are active in the dark. How do they attract mates? Mariana Muñoz-Romo, a senior Latin Ameri
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Migratory birds track climate across the year
As climate change takes hold across the Americas, some areas will get wetter, and others will get hotter and drier. A new study of the yellow warbler, a widespread migratory songbird, shows that individuals have the same climatic preferences across their migratory range. The work is published Feb. 17 in Ecology Letters.
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In dueling ants vying to become queen, behavioral and molecular cues quickly determine who will win
In one species of ants, workers duel to establish new leadership after the death of their queen. While these sparring matches stretch for more than a month, changes in behavior and gene expression in the first three days of dueling can accurately predict who will triumph, according to a New York University study published in the journal Genes & Development.
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Metabolic mutations help bacteria resist drug treatment
Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
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Scientists: Chemical pollution is a global threat that needs global action
An international group of scientists is calling for a global intergovernmental science-policy body for informing policymakers, business, and the public about reducing harm from chemical pollution. In a paper published today in Science, the group explains how limited and fragmented science-policy interactions on chemicals and waste have contributed to widespread health and environmental problems.
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An Unexpected Flash Point in the Battle Over Biden's Agenda
Burnt buildings were still smoldering when Bill Clinton toured South Central Los Angeles, the historic center of the city's Black community, in early May 1992. The presidential candidate had flown cross-country from the East Coast as the city was being consumed by waves of unrest following the acquittal of four police officers who had savagely beat Rodney King the year before. By this point in th
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Coronavirus Variants: Down to the Details
It's my impression that the pace of headlines and tweets, etc. about the many COVID-19 variants has increased recently (and it wasn't exactly an unexplored topic before). Some of the coverage is just horse-race stuff (here comes this one, around the curve comes that one), but some of it is downright alarmist. And while I'm not here to tell you that everything is peachy, I wanted to add my voice t
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Real-time dialogue with a dreaming person is possible
Dreams take us to what feels like a different reality. They also happen while we're fast asleep. So, you might not expect that a person in the midst of a vivid dream would be able to perceive questions and provide answers to them. But a new study shows that, in fact, they can.
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Physics of tumours: Cancer cells become fluidised and squeeze through tissue
Working with colleagues from Germany and the US, researchers at Leipzig University have achieved a breakthrough in research into how cancer cells spread. In experiments, the team of biophysicists led by Professor Josef Alfons Käs, Steffen Grosser and Jürgen Lippoldt demonstrated for the first time how cells deform in order to move in dense tumor tissues and squeeze past neighboring cells. The rese
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Australians fear climate change more than catching Covid, survey shows
Edelman Trust Barometer records big gains for attitudes towards government, media and business, but not technology A new survey has found Australians are more afraid of climate change than catching Covid-19 – and they want government to do something about it. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer asked 1,350 Australians questions on a range of topics between October and November 2020. Continue reading
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Long-term, heavy coffee consumption and CVD risk
In a world first genetic study, researchers found that that long-term, heavy coffee consumption – six or more cups a day – can increase the amount of lipids (fats) in your blood to significantly heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
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