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Sci-News Roundup January 20 - January 26, 2024

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate


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Dec 05 The Urban Future: On Earth...and Elsewhere (ForumNetwork video)

Dec 12 Troubled Waters: Red Tides and Other Algae Blooms (BelmontMedia video)

Jan 09 Frozen in Time: Preserving for Later Revival (ForumNetwork video)

Jan 23 Real Public Health Is More Than Just Healthcare (ForumNetwork video)

Feb 09 Carbon Capture & Storage Will Not Reduce Global Warming (FNetwk webinar)





GENERAL INTEREST



Another Mysterious Roman Dodecahedron Has Been Unearthed in England

Smithsonian, January 22, 2024

More than 100 such ancient artifacts have been found throughout Europe, but nobody knows what they are.


Mind-Blowing Structures You Have to See for Yourself

Atlas Obscura, January 18, 2024

Set your sights on the world’s most fascinating human-made wonders.


Why Studying Twins Is So Important for Science

Cosmos, January 20, 2024

A new Netflix documentary, You Are What You Eat, showcases sets of identical twins as they adopt different diets. For eight weeks one twin follows a vegan diet while the other one follows an omnivorous diet. The experiment is compelling because, being genetically identical, the health of each twin is very similar before the trial.


World's Oldest Book

Archaeology, Jan-Feb 2024 issue

The papyrus fragment, which was unearthed along with hundreds of other pieces of papyrus at the site of El Hibeh in 1902, began as a bound document dating to 260 B.C. that recorded taxation rates for beer and oil.


Screen Time Could Have a Surprising Effect on Our Children's Ability to Process Sensations

Science Alert, January 22, 2024

Kids who spent more time watching TV or other videos before age 2 were more likely to develop these atypical behaviors before age 3, the study's authors report, and the likelihood seems to increase with more screen time per day.



COSMOS


Here’s What I Learned as the U.S. Government’s UFO Hunter

Smithsonian, January 19, 2024

A forthcoming investigative report from an office of the Pentagon has found no evidence of aliens, only allegations circulated repeatedly by UFO claim advocates.


Space Mysteries: Why do Earth's Magnetic Poles Flip?

Space, January 22, 2024

Every so often, Earth's magnetic poles completely flip. What causes this to happen? And how do these reversals affect life on Earth?


Clashing Cosmic Numbers Challenge Our Best Theory of the Universe

Quanta, January 19, 2024

As measurements of distant stars and galaxies become more precise, cosmologists are struggling to make sense of sparring values.


Astronomers Spotted Something Perplexing Near the Beginning of Time

Vox, January 17. 2024

Monsters lurk in the background of James Webb Space Telescope images. Scientists are scrambling to make sense of them.


Black Hole, Neutron Star or Something New? We Discovered an Object That Defies Explanation

The Conversation, January 18, 2024

If we are to ever understand the physics at the tipping point between neutron stars and black holes, we must find objects at this boundary. In particular, we must find objects for which we can make precise measurements over long periods of time. And that’s precisely what we’ve found – an object that is neither obviously a neutron star nor a black hole.



INNOVATION


DeepMind AI Solves Geometry Problems at Star-Student Level

Nature, January 17, 2024

Algorithms are now as good at geometry as some of the world’s most mathematically talented school kids.


A ‘Revolutionary’ Way to Feed the World That’s Very Old

New York Times, January 22, 2024

The U.S. global food security envoy is pushing to bring back traditional African crops that American policies helped to sideline.


CRISPR-Edited Pig Liver from e-Genesis Passes First Test in Brain-Dead Human Researchers Say

STAT, January 18, 2024

For three days in December, an ICU room at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania bore witness to the first-ever merging of two powerful new technologies poised to change the future of transplant medicine.


What If the Clean Energy Transition Costs Much Less Than We’ve Been Told?.

Inside Climate News, January 18, 2024

Talk about astronomical costs of a sustainable economy is leaving out some of the savings of using fewer fossil fuels, according to a new analysis.


Each Facebook User is Monitored by Thousands of Companies

Vox, January b17, 2024

A new study looks at who is sending information about your online activity to Facebook.



HEALTH


Dancing Can Help You Lose Weight and Develop Lean Muscle

Healthline, January 17, 2024

The systemic review...reviewed 10 studies on the effects of dance interventions on body composition in people living with overweight or obesity.


What’s the Best Diet for Healthy Sleep? A Nutritional Epidemiologist Explains What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Z’s

The Conversation, January 17, 2024

More and more evidence shows that overall dietary patterns can affect sleep quality and contribute to insomnia.


Foods to Eat and Avoid for High Cholesterol

WebMD, March 20, 2023

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and good fats can help lower what’s sometimes called “bad cholesterol.” You may hear your doctor call it “LDL cholesterol.” You have a greater chance of getting heart disease when your LDL level gets too high.


The Power-Building Workout

New York Times, January 24, 2024

Over the past several years, experts have increasingly recognized the importance of building power — using muscles in explosive bursts — for healthy aging.


Wines Tainted with 'Pesticide Cocktail'

The Ecologist, December 14, 2023

The presence of harmful pesticide mixtures in wine has increased more than threefold since 2016, official statistics analyzed by Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) have revealed.


Measles Cases Continue to Rise in the US; Should It Be a Vaccine Wake-Up Call?

The Science Times, January 24, 2024

Recent measles outbreaks in several US and UK states have caused alarm among health officials and reignited controversy over declining vaccination rates.



NATURE


Mystery of Singing Sands

Natural History Magazine

Many desert travelers have been frightened or awed by this amazing phenomenon


Near-Invincible Tardigrades Have a Secret Chemical Weapon

Gizmodo, January 22, 2024

Scientists say they found a 'switch' that allows these microscopic animals to go into a reversible, death-like dormant state.


The Royal Kew Gardens Names Mysterious Plants and Fungi New to Science

BBC, January 10, 2024

Many of the mysterious species were found in unlikely places, such as on the top of a volcano or clinging to Antarctic rocks. About three-quarters of undescribed plants are threatened with extinction.


Uncovering the Secrets Behind the Silent Flight of Owls

Science Daily, January 23, 2024

Owls produce negligible noise while flying. While many studies have linked the micro-fringes in owl wings to their silent flight, the exact mechanisms have been unclear.


Rarest Animals in the World: 10 Critically Endangered Species

How Stuff Works, January 18, 2024

These rare species are still found in the wild but are dangerously close to becoming extinct.



ENVIRONMENT


10 Easy, Green New Year's Resolutions Anyone Can Keep

Treehugger, January 202, 2024

It's easy to think about all the big changes you're going to make in the New Year as the old year comes to an end—but by the second week of January, most of us are already finding reasons to skip the gym or break the spending freeze.


Solar PV Farms Can Provide a Vital Home for Native Insects

Cosmos, January 21, 2024

US researchers have found that when fields housing solar photovoltaics (PVs) are planted with native plants, they can attract large numbers of insects which improve the biodiversity of the area.


Families Condemn Koch Brothers Over Ploy to Avoid Asbestos Compensation

The Guardian, January 22, 2024

The billionaire Charles Koch and his late brother David have funded and supported legislative efforts to make it more difficult for asbestos victims and their families to collect compensation. The brothers had been long-time backers and donors to the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which has championed these bills in at least six states. The Kochs have also lobbied against increased regulation of asbestos.


Plastic Bag Bans Have Already Prevented Billions of Bags from Being Used, Report Finds

Grist, January 23, 2023

The bottom line is that plastic bag bans work. People realize quickly it’s easy to live without plastic bags and get used to bringing a bag from home or skipping a bag when they can.


What’s Behind the ‘Arctic Blast’ Plunging into the U.S.?

Scientific American, January 12, 2024

This week’s cold snap across the U.S. will be one of “the most impressive Arctic outbreaks of this century,” one climate scientist says.



CLIMATE


Unveiling the Deep Blue’s Secrets: Ice Age Sediments Forecast Climate Futures

Sci-Tech Daily, January 23, 2024

A team of scientists led by a Tulane University oceanographer has found that deposits deep under the ocean floor reveal a way to measure the ocean oxygen level and its connections with carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere during the last ice age.



Cop28 Deal Will Fail Unless Rich Countries Quit Fossil Fuels, Says Climate Negotiator

The Guardian, January 19, 2024

G77 president Pedro Pedroso warns deal risks failing if polluters like UK, US and Canada don’t rethink plans to expand oil and gas.


CO2 Building Up Faster Than Needed to Hit 1.5C Target, Says Met Office

The Independent, January 20, 2024

Meteorologists forecast 2024 to have the highest CO2 levels than at any point in the last two million years.


What's Stopping US Climate Policies from Working Effectively?

Phys.Org, January 17, 2024

Some analyses suggest they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.However, these estimates may be overly optimistic, with everything from consumer decision-making to political polarization influencing how well they work.


A Record 63 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Hit Earth in 2023

Yale Climate Connections, January 18, 2024

Seven nations had their most expensive weather disaster on record, and the continent of Africa suffered two of its deadliest.





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