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Sci-News Roundup February 03 - February 09, 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



Sleep Tight: A Curious History of Beds Through the Centuries

BBC, January 28, 2024

From beds for Roman newlyweds, to "hangover" benches for 19th-Century workers: the pursuit of a good night's sleep has followed us through the ages.


Solving a Parabola Equation and Understanding Applications

How Stuff Works, February 05, 2024

Whether in the context of quadratic functions, parabolic mirrors or alternative energy designs like solar cookers, the parabola holds a special place in science and mathematics — particularly geometry.


Off the Charts: How a Polynesian Canoe Inspired a Renaissance in Traditional Seafaring

The Guardian, January 25, 2024

The Hōkūleʻa’s oceanic voyages, navigated by the stars, have led other Indigenous people to revive their own ancient traditions – and serve as a call to action on the climate.


How Did Tropical Fruits Become Commonplace in the USA?

The Collector, January 29, 2024

Innovations of the late 1800s revolutionized American commerce and trade. Industrialists provided consumers access to tropical fruits while exploiting the labor of Caribbean populations.


Mathematicians Finally Solved Feynman’s “Reverse Sprinkler” Problem

Ars Technica, February 02, 2024

We might not need to "unwater" our lawns, but results could help control fluid flows.



COSMOS


Russian Cosmonaut Sets New Time Travel Record After Spending 879 Days in Orbit

Gizmodo, February 05, 2024

Oleg Kononenko has now spent more time in orbit than any other human and, according to Einsteinian relativity, is now the world’s greatest time traveler.


2 Interstellar Interlopers ’Oumuamua and Borisov Suggest There Could Be More Celestial Nomads

The Science Times, February 06, 2024

Many celestial nomads are in space, and there could be more than stars. Experts are expecting to find more interstellar objects like 'Oumuamua and Borisov.


The Biggest Questions about the Universe’s Beginning

Big Think, February 06, 2024

The Universe didn't begin with a bang, but with an inflationary "whoosh" that came before. Here are the biggest questions that still remain.


Are Space Elevators Possible? Physicist Says They Could Transform Humanity into a 'Spacefaring Civilization'

Phys.Org February 02, 2024

While conventional wisdom suggests that space launch via rockets is the best way to send human beings into orbit, other "non-rocket" methods have been proposed, including a futuristic "space elevator."


The Moon Is Shrinking, Causing Moonquakes at a Potential NASA Landing Site, Study Finds

Smithsonian, February 06, 2024

Though the risk to astronauts is low, the shaking could cause landslides and impact potential long-term settlements at the lunar south pole



INNOVATION


Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Chip: What Scientists Think of First Human Trial

Nature, February 02, 2024

Some researchers are concerned about a lack of transparency surrounding the implant, which aims to allow people to control devices through thought alone.


Team Designs Robots to Help with Human Habitation in Space

TechXplore, February 01, 2024

One of the biggest challenges in designing robots for these so-called SmartHabs is the multi-functionality needed for deep space habitation. Most industrial robots, such as those used to build cars or stock warehouses, are highly specialized and perform only a few specific tasks.


How Can I Get Ice Off My Car? An Engineer Who Studies Airborne Particles Shares Some Quick and Easy Techniques

The Conversation, February 02, 2024

If you live somewhere that gets cold in the winter, you’ve probably seen cars parked outdoors covered in a thin layer of ice on a chilly morning. But what causes this frost, and how can you get rid of it quickly?


Wearable Device Lets People with Visual Impairment ‘See’ Stuff

Futurity, February 05, 2024

A new wearable device called AiSee helps people with visual impairment “see” objects around them with the help of artificial intelligence.


Wireless Charging: The Roads Where Electric Vehicles Never Need to Plug In

BBC, January 31, 2024

The first wireless electric road in the US has been installed in Detroit, allowing electric vehicles to charge up as they drive along. But at nearly $2m (£1.6m) per mile, is this really the future of transport?



HEALTH


Spit Happens

News in Health, January, 2024 issue

The liquid that fills your mouth is called saliva. This remarkable fluid helps you digest food and stay healthy.


Touch Your Toes! Six Fast, Easy Ways to Improve Your Mobility – and Live a Longer Life

The Guardian, February 05, 2024

Poor mobility can have a huge impact on your longevity as well as how you feel day to day. Here are simple exercises to make you more flexible


10 Ways to Boost Serotonin Naturally and Without Medication

Healthline, January 30, 2024

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) involved in many processes throughout your body, from regulating your mood to promoting smooth digestion.


Measles Outbreaks Cause Alarm: What the Data Say

Nature, January 31, 2024

A drastic rise in infections in the United Kingdom and Europe follows a drop in vaccine uptake.


Dietary Supplements and Protein Powders Fall Under a ‘Wild West’ of Unregulated Products That Necessitate Caveats and Caution

The Conversation, February 06, 2024

Dietary supplements are a big business. The industry made almost US$39 billion in revenue in 2022, and with very little regulation and oversight, it stands to keep growing.



NATURE


What Your Brain Is Doing When You’re Not Doing Anything

Quanta, February 05, 2024

When your mind is wandering, your brain’s “default mode” network is active. Its discovery 20 years ago inspired a raft of research into networks of brain regions and how they interact with each other.


The Secrets of the Sea Hidden High in the Andes

Hakai, January 23 2024

The rich fossil deposits in Colombia’s mountains could unlock a deeper understanding of ancient oceans—and the country’s paleontologists are struggling to do them justice.


Ancient 15,000-Year-Old Viruses Seen in Melting Tibetan Glaciers

Science Alert, February 06, 2024

Ancient creatures are emerging from the cold storage of melting permafrost, almost like something out of a horror movie. From incredibly preserved extinct megafauna like the woolly rhino, to the 40,000-year-old remains of a giant wolf, and bacteria over 750,000 years old. Not all of these things are dead.


What Is an Atmospheric River? A Hydrologist Explains the Good, the Bad and How They’re Changing

PBS NewsHour, February 05, 2024

Millions of Californians were under flood alerts and warnings of excessive rainfall on Feb. 5, 2024, as a powerful atmospheric river sat over Southern California... On average, atmospheric rivers have about twice the regular flow of the Amazon River.


Moths to a Flame: Millennia-Old Mystery About Insects and Light at Night Solved at Last

Sci-Tech Daily, February 04, 2024

Since humans first began using fire, we’ve wondered why insects seem to have an irresistible attraction to light. With the modern use of electricity, the mystery has taken on new importance, as our lights disrupt insect behavior across the planet.



ENVIRONMENT


A Perfect Storm of Factors Is Causing Major East Coast Cities to Sink. What Are They, and Can We Do Anything about It?

Live Science, January 30, 2024

Cities along the Atlantic coast — including New York, Boston, and Miami — are sinking into the ground.


New Air Pollution Rule Could Prevent Thousands of Premature Deaths

Washington Post, January 07, 2024

The tougher standard could avert up to 4,500 premature deaths and 290,000 lost workdays per year by 2032, according to the Biden administration.


Remembering an Unsung Science Hero

Environmental Health News, February 06, 2024

Joe LaDou helped define environmental health as an on-the-job risk in the computer chip industry.


Reconnecting Environment and Health

Ensia, January 19, 2024

The Covid-19 pandemic highlights the need to protect the environment in order to protect human health.


Car Tires Shed Pollutants That Are Especially Toxic for Humans and Wildlife

Earth, January 29, 2024

Recent research has raised significant concerns about the environmental impact of plastic pollutants originating from common road tires.



CLIMATE


Category 6-Level Hurricanes Are Already Here, a New Study Says

Grist, February 06, 2024

But what would change if we added a number to the hurricane scale?


‘Smoking Gun Proof’: Fossil Fuel Industry Knew of Climate Danger as Early as 1954, Documents Show

The Guardian, January 30, 2024

The fossil fuel industry funded some of the world’s most foundational climate science as early as 1954, newly unearthed documents have shown, including the early research of Charles Keeling, famous for the so-called “Keeling curve” that has charted the upward march of the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels.


Q&A: How YouTube Climate Denialism Is Morphing

Inside Climate News, January 31m 2024 (*Steve Curwood interview)

Climate science has been under attack for decades. But some climate deniers are no longer refuting the fact that Earth is warming because of human activity. Now, their message focuses on doom: They admit our planet is running a fever, but shrug and say there’s not much we can do about it.


Why Extreme Cold Weather Events Still Happen in a Warming World

PBS NewsHour, January 21, 2024

These severe cold events occur when the polar jet stream – the familiar jet stream of winter that runs along the boundary between Arctic and more temperate air – dips deeply southward, bringing the cold Arctic air to regions that don’t often experience it.


Will La Niña Return This Fall? The Tea Leaves Are Unusually Strong

Yale Climate Connection, January 31 ,2024

Seasonal forecasting experts at NOAA and elsewhere are more confident than usual that La Niña conditions will develop by mid-to-late 2024. If so, it would mark the fourth year out of five that La Niña has prevailed. It would also raise a number of red flags, including enhanced risks of widespread U.S. drought and a rip-roaring Atlantic hurricane season.




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