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Sci-News Roundup November 04 - November 10, 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.

Oct 03: Stem Cell Research and Communicating the Science Forum Network (video)

Oct 17: An Update on Those "Forever" Chemicals Forum Network (video)

Oct 24: Harvesting Electricity Out of Thin Air (video)

Nov 14 2000 Years of Ocean and Climate

Nov 28 Our Shaking Earth: Understanding & Predicting Earthquakes (FNetwork webinar)


Woolly Bear Caterpillar - Winter Predictor Or Not?

National Weather Service/NOAA

Most people in the Midwest or New England have heard at one time or another that if you want a forecast for the upcoming winter that you should just look for a woolly bear (black at both ends and a reddish brown or rust colored in the middle) or fuzzy bear caterpillar.

New Evidence Strongly Suggests Indonesia's Gunung Padang Is Oldest Known Pyramid

Phys.Org, November 06, 2023

The research team found that the structure was built in stages, thousands of years apart. And, they found that the older parts of the structure were made sometime between 25,000 and 14,000 years ago, making it the oldest known pyramid in the world today.

Why Do Objects Float on Water? Understanding the Role of Buoyancy and Density in the Phenomenon of Floating

The Science Times, November 07, 2023

When objects find themselves in a fluid, the presence of a buoyant force comes into play, determining whether they remain afloat or sink.

Winter to Bring Best Northern Lights Displays for 20 Years, Scientists Say

The Guardian, November 05, 2023

The sun is expected to reach ‘solar maximum’ between January and October 2024, bringing spectacular aurora displays.

Do Green Labels Mean Anything?

Cosmos, November 08, 2023

Right now, businesses can take and define green terms in ways that work for them. They can slap eco-friendly terms on their packaging, but without actually needing to change their practices for the better.


Space Billionaires Should Spend More Time Thinking About Sex

New York Times, November 05, 2023

Perhaps the most crucial and understudied issue for space-living is how human reproduction would happen in space. There are good reasons to believe it will be difficult, dangerous or potentially impossible. But the data is so limited, and there are too few resources being spent to study it. This is ominous, given that some private space-launch companies, including SpaceX, have an explicit goal of creating civilizations off Earth. 

Earliest Black Hole Ever Spotted at The Dawn of Time And It's Already Huge

Science Alert, November 07, 2023

In fact, it's so early in the Universe that the black hole is at a stage of development we've never seen before – it's of a similar mass to the host galaxy that is growing around it.

Euclid Telescope Releases First Awe-Inspiring Images in Dark Universe Hunt

Astronomy, November 07, 2023

Euclid's first photos show stunning cosmic vistas and sharp views of star clusters as astronomers hope to learn more about the dark matter and dark energy that shape our universe.

White Dwarfs Could Support Life. So Where are All Their Planets?

Universe Today, November 01, 2023

White dwarfs are long-lived and stable. So even though their habitable zones are far smaller than the zone around a star like our Sun, they still exist. In theory, planets in those habitable zones could support life.

Can We Fit the Universe in a Box?

Symmetry, November 11, 2023

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a computer answer all of the biggest questions in the universe?


Parkinson’s Patient Able to Walk 6 Km (3+ miles) without Problems After Spinal Implant

The Guardian, November 06, 2023

After receiving the implant, which aims to restore normal signalling to the leg muscles from the spine, he has been able to walk more normally and regained his independence.

Humans vs. Robots: Study Compares 27 Humanoid Robots with Humans to See Who Is Superior

TechXplore, November 07, 2023

Science fiction films portray the idea relatively simply: the terminator—who either tries to destroy or rescue humanity—is such a perfect humanoid robot that in most cases it is superior to humans. But how well do humanoid robots perform nowadays away from the cinema screen?

How Forest Schools Boost Children's Immune Systems

BBC Future, October 31, 2023

At a Helsinki nursery, children spend all day in the forest. Erika Benke explores how outdoor learning benefits children's health and teaches them to value nature.

How 120 of the World’s Major Cities Could Cut Transport CO2 by 22 Percent

Carbon Brief, November 06, 2023

Cities bear a major responsibility for climate change, as they account for 70% of global emissions. They can also play a key role in implementing climate action at the local level.

Community Fridges Don’t Just Fight Hunger. They’re Also a Climate Solution.

Grist, October 26, 2023

In cities across the U.S., hundreds of refrigerators stocked with free food are reducing waste — and methane emissions.


Many Americans Wrongly Assume They Understand What Normal Blood Pressure Is – and That False Confidence Can Be Deadly

The Conversation, February 17, 2023

Stunning as it may sound, nearly half of Americans ages 20 years and up – or more than 122 million people – have high blood pressure, according to a 2023 report from the American Heart Association.

FDA Proposes Ban on Food Additive Found in Fruity Sports Drinks and Sodas

NBC News, November 02, 2023

Brominated vegetable oil is no longer safe to use after studies found that the ingredient is potentially harmful to humans, according to the agency.

7 Mood Boosters That Don’t Cost a Thing

Healthline, August 17, 2023

Even minor disappointments and frustrations can derail your daily activities and leave you grumpy, miserable, and completely disinterested in the things you need or want to take care of.

Potatoes 101: A Complete Guide

Everyday Health, November 03, 2023

Years of low-carb diets have convinced a lot of people that these root vegetables aren’t as virtuous as other kinds of produce.

7 Most Effective Exercises

Web MD, April 15, 2022

Experts offer their favorite moves for making the most of your workout time.

The Best and Worst Habits for Eyesight

New York Times, May 15, 2023

Are carrots good? Is blue light bad? Experts weigh in on nine common beliefs.


The Fascinating Relationship between Mice and a Plant That Flowers Once a Century in Terms of Seed Dispersal

Science Daily, November 06, 2023

Researchers have discovered several factors that affect field mouse behavior using seeds from dwarf bamboo plants, a plant that flowers once in a century. Their findings not only suggest the previously underappreciated role of mice in the forest ecosystem, but also show that they store small sasa seeds for later use. These challenge a previously held model of mouse behavior.  

A Tectonic Shift in Our Understanding of the India-Asia Collision

Cosmos, November 02, 2023

Understanding the original extent Greater India is important to resolving several key questions surrounding the age of the India–Asia collision, and answering how and when the Tibetan Plateau formed.

Discovered in the Deep: the Ancient Plankton That Fill a Major Evolutionary Gap

The Guardian, November 08, 2023

The fossilized phytoplankton were forerunners of the tiny but vital algae that today suck masses of carbon out of the atmosphere and produce about half the oxygen we breathe. The fossils, dating back to the Cambrian period – 538m to 485m years ago – are microscopic, roughly the width of a human hair, and lived in the ocean back when there was no life on land.

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Live Science, November 06, 2023

Plants draw on a suite of pigments to produce energy from sunlight, and in the fall, some become more obvious than others.

The Plucky Puffin, Endangered Yet Coping: Scientists Link Emergence of a Hybrid Subspecies to Climate Change

Inside Climate News, October 24, 2023

Studying puffin populations on three Norwegian islands, scientists have uncovered the first evidence to connect a large-scale hybridization to 20th-century warming trends. Yet a serious decline in the birds’’ genetic diversity does not bode well for their future.


Chemical Recycling “a Dangerous Deception” for Solving Plastic Pollution: Report

Environmental Health News, November 02, 2023

The analysis adds to the ongoing controversy and skepticism surrounding chemical recycling.

Capturing Carbon with Seaweed: What We Know, What We Don’t, and What We’re Totally Unsure About

Hakai, November 01, 2023

Seaweeds bring a huge amount of value to marine ecosystems, offering tasty food for some and habitat for others. But when considered strictly from the perspective of combating climate change—looking only at their potential to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it in the ocean long term—seaweeds seem to offer less than advertised.

Chemical Crisis: The Unseen Toxic Threat Contaminating Wildlife Worldwide 

The Hill, October 28, 2023

An unseen but growing chemical contamination crisis is threatening wildlife across all seven continents, exacerbating a host of environmental threats they’re already facing.

In the Florida Everglades, a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hotspot

Inside Climate News, November 06, 2023

Drainage has exposed the fertile soils of the Everglades Agricultural Area, a region responsible for much of the nation’s sugar cane.

US Chemical Industry Likely Spent $110 Million Trying to Thwart PFAS Legislation, Study Finds

The Guardian, November 07, 2023

Analysis of federal lobbying documents by Food and Water Watch finds industry targeted dozens of pieces of legislation


Nations That Vowed to Halt Warming Are Expanding Fossil Fuels, Report Finds

New York Times, November 08, 2023

The world remains on track to produce far more oil, gas and coal than would be consistent with relatively safe levels of heating, a new report found.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Would We Have to Remove from the Air to Counteract Climate Change?

MIT Climate Portal, October 26, 2023

If we relied on carbon removal alone, we would need to sequester around 20 billion tons of CO2 a year to balance out our emissions—an incredibly tall order.

15,000 Scientists Warn Society Could Collapse By 2100 Due to Climate Change

Futurism/The Byte, October 31. 2023

Scientists are again ringing alarm bells over climate change's devastating effects on the planet — and this time, they're saying the Earth's rapidly changing environment may result in a global disaster of epic proportions by the end of the century.

Food Systems: The Missing Piece of the Climate Puzzle at COP28

Impakter, November 02, 2023

While we can’t phase out food in the same way we can fossil fuels, we can transform food systems so that they have net-zero emissions, restore nature, and boost resilience

Earth Reacts to Greenhouse Gases More Strongly Than We Thought

Scientific American/E&E News, November 03, 2023

Climate scientists, including pioneer James Hansen, are pinning down a fundamental factor that drives how hot Earth will get.

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