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Sci-News Roundup September 23 - September 29, 2023

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

SftPublic programs are recorded, broadcast & distributed by Belmont Media Center Community TV. The videos are uploaded to WGBH Forum Network. SftPublic website.and online channels. Beginning in September, we are adding GBH Forum Network webinars.

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Sept 12: Addressing the Threat to Earth System Boundaries (see video)

Sept 19: Going to Mars? Better Take Some Gravity Forum Network webinar (see video)

Sept 26: How Clouds Predict Our Future Climate

Oct 03: Stem Cell Research and Communicating the Science Forum Network webinar

Oct 17: An Update on Those "Forever" Chemicals Forum Network webinar

Oct 23: Harvestng Electricity Out of Thin Air

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Early Mathematics

Archimedes Lab, September 07. 2023

Numeral systems began as simple tally marks, created by piercing holes or engraving lines on a material to represent and count units.

7 Unanswered Questions about Minoan Bull-Leaping

The Collector, September 23, 2023

Bull-leaping was a common practice in the ancient Minoan culture. However, despite the number of images available, many questions remain unanswered.

Behold Modular Forms, the ‘Fifth Fundamental Operation’ of Math

Quanta, September 21, 2023

Modular forms are one of the most beautiful and mysterious objects in mathematics. What are they?

Viking Trade Routes Reached Over Hundreds of Miles to The Arctic, Study Finds

Science Alert, September 25, 2023

Viking trade routes connections spanned surprisingly long distances, linking large urban trading centers with rural out-lands where many natural resources originated.

EU Promotes Science Communication to Help Democracies Navigate Tough Times

EU Horizon, September 08, 2023

Many of society’s biggest challenges, including climate change, pandemics and artificial intelligence, are deeply rooted in science and technology. 


Special delivery! Biggest-Ever Haul of Asteroid Dust and Rock Returns to Earth

Nature, September 24, 2023

Samples collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission excite scientists with their potential to reveal secrets of the Solar System.

Three Astronauts Return to Earth After a Year in Space. NASA's Frank Rubio Sets US Space Record

Phys.Org, September 27, 2023

A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts returned to Earth on Wednesday after being stuck in space for just over a year. American Frank Rubio set a record for the longest U.S. spaceflight—a result of the extended stay.

Solar Sails Could Reach Mars in Just 26 Days

Universe Today, September 21, 2023

This study comes while ongoing research into the use of solar sails is being conducted by a plethora of organizations along with the successful LightSail2 mission by The Planetary Society, and holds the potential to develop faster and more efficient propulsion systems for long-term space missions.

JWST Study Finds Early Galaxies Don’t Play by Cosmic Rules

Cosmos, September 22, 2023

Researchers from Denmark and Australia who have used the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to delve back to just 600 million years after the Big Bang say we might have to rethink our understanding of galaxy evolution.

Scientists Excited to Find Ocean of One of Jupiter’s Moons Contains Carbon

The Guardian, September 21, 2023

Discovery adds weight to view that Europa’s ocean could be most promising place in solar system to look for alien life.


NYPD Deploys 400-Pound Security Robot at Times Square Subway Station; Will These Machines Replace Human Police Officers?

The Science Times, September 26, 2023

The robot will begin its pilot run by mapping the Times Square station for two weeks and will be accompanied by a human officer from midnight to 6AM.

In a First, Researchers Have Engineered Marine Bacteria to Destroy Plastics in Seawater

Anthropocene, September 21, 2023

By combining key traits of two bacterial species, the team created a novel bug that can break down plastics in salty conditions—at room temperature.

Scientists Regenerate Neurons That Restore Walking in Mice After Paralysis from Spinal Cord Injury

Science Daily, September 21, 2023

In a new study in mice, researchers have uncovered a crucial component for restoring functional activity after spinal cord injury. The neuroscientists have shown that re-growing specific neurons back to their natural target regions led to recovery, while random regrowth was not effective.

Musk’s Neuralink to Start Testing Brain Implants in Humans

Impakter, September 20, 2023

Brain implant startup granted the go-ahead for pioneering study to assist paralysis patients.

ChatGPT Update Enables Its AI to “See, Hear, and Speak,“ According to OpenAI

Ars Technica, September 25, 2023

Image recognition and voice features aim to make the AI bot's interface more intuitive.

Scientists Grow Whole Model of Human Embryo

BBC News, September 06, 2023

The Weizmann Institute team say their "embryo model", made using stem cells, looks like a textbook example of a real 14-day-old embryo.


Definitely Do Not Put Plastic in the Microwave

Bon Appetit, September 16 2023

Experts say even if it claims to be “microwave-safe.”

The Truth about “Brain-Boosting” Supplements

Tufts Health & Nutrition Newsletter, March 23, 2023

Most popular supplements for brain health are generally safe. More science is needed to show whether they can actually prevent or slow cognitive decline.

You Might Be Flossing Your Teeth All Wrong

Futurity, September 20, 2023

Flossing is the healthy habit most of us love to hate. In survey after survey, Americans report dismal rates for consistent daily flossing—and they also admit lying to their dentists about it. But dentists already know that just from looking at their patients’ mouths.

Strength Exercises

NHS, January 14, 2021

Strength exercises like these can be done at home to improve your health and mobility. Do not worry if you have not done much for a while, these strength exercises are gentle and easy to follow.

What Are the Health Worries Around Pesticides?

Environmental Health News, February 07, 2023

What you need to know to protect against toxic pest control chemicals.

9 Fall Produce Picks to Add to Your Plate

EatRight, September 19, 2023

This is the perfect time to celebrate the seasonal produce gems of autumn! Head to your local market and fill your basket with these fall produce picks.


Living With Giants

BioGraphic, September 21, 2023

How Indonesia’s “village of elephant hunters” became a model for other rural communities trying to coexist with one of the planet’s largest land mammals.

This is What Earth’s Continents Will Look Like in 250 Million Years

Nature, September 25, 2023

Only a fraction of the planet’s surface will be habitable to mammals when the next super-continent, Pangaea Ultima, forms.

Evolution of the Nervous System

Knowable, September 14, 2023

When, why and how did neurons first evolve? Scientists are piecing together the ancient story.

Take a Break from Your Screen and Look at Plants − Botanizing Is a Great Way to Engage with Life Around You

The Conversation, September 20, 2023

Measured in total mass, plants make up 82% of all life on land across the globe.

Brainless Brilliance: Jellyfish Stun Scientists With Learning Skills

Sci-Tech Daily, September 24, 2023

The study challenges previous notions that advanced learning requires a centralized brain and sheds light on the evolutionary roots of learning and memory.


The Seaweed Delusion

ETC Group, September 14, 2023

Industrial seaweed will not cool the climate or save nature

Revealed: Almost Everyone in Europe Is Breathing Toxic Air

The Guardian, September 20, 2023

Europe is facing a “severe public health crisis”, with almost everyone across the continent living in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, an investigation by the Guardian has found.

‘World's Breadbaskets’ Are Sinking, General Assembly Chief Warns

UN News, September 21, 2023

Although small island States are the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, the scope of those impacted is much wider, the President of the UN General Assembly warns.

Crucial for a Clean Energy Economy, the Aluminum Industry’s Carbon Footprint Is Enormous

Inside Climate News, September 27, 2023

A new report finds aluminum manufacturing worldwide emits more than a billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, as well as chemicals called perfluorocarbons that warm the planet for 50,000 years.

It’s Not Just Coral. Extreme Heat Is Weakening Entire Marine Ecosystems in Florida.

Grist, September 18, 2023

Anemones, sponges, and jellyfish are bleaching throughout the Everglades amid record temperatures. It's a troubling sign for Florida Bay and beyond.


As Disasters Spike, Superpowers Face Mounting Calls to Forge Climate Deal

Washington Post, September 25, 2023

COP28 hinges on China and the United States putting their political differences aside, the head of the International Energy Agency says

A Known Risk: How Carbon Stored Underground Could Find Its Way Back Into the Atmosphere

Inside Climate News, September 26, 2023

Other concerns include the potential for earthquakes and contamination of groundwater.

The Climate Ambition Summit Exposed US Fossil Fuel Failure

Common Dreams, September 28, 2023

Despite its climate rhetoric, the U.S. is the biggest oil and gas producer in the world and the number one exporter of gas. At a time when the narrow path to a stable climate demands no new fossil fuel expansion, the United States is also the world’s largest expander of oil and gas. The U.S. alone accounts for a full third of planned oil and gas expansion from now through 2050.

Marine Sediments Reveal Past Climate Responses to CO2 Changes

EOS, September 21, 2023

Climate records stored in marine sediments reveal different ice sheet and ocean responses to falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations from the warm Pliocene to the ice ages of the Pleistocene.

‘Staggering’ Green Growth Gives Hope for 1.5C, Says Global Energy Chief

The Guardian, September 26, 2023

IEA’s Fatih Birol says uptake of solar power and EVs is in line with net zero goal but rich countries must hasten their broader plans

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