Selected Sci-News Items 01/11/20 - 01/17/20
 
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate

Science for the Public upcoming events
01/21/20 How Nanotechnology is Revolutionizing Medicine (Belmont Media Center)




GENERAL INTEREST
 
The Atlantic, January/February 2020 issue
It's underwater-and the consequences are unimaginable.

This Ancient Mnemonic Technique Builds Palace of Memory
Aeon (archive), September 20, 2017
Although imagined memory palaces are still used by memory champions and the few who practice the memory arts, they are best known from Greco-Roman times.

Probing the Cosmos for Flaws in Einstein's General Relativity
Astronomy, January 09, 2020
Einstein's equations have held up remarkably well for over a century. But they leave tantalizing gaps in our knowledge.

The Fastest-Spinning Object Ever Made Could Help Spot Quantum Friction in a Vacuum
Science News, January 13, 2020
To detect the quantum friction of empty space, scientists are going for a spin.

Hidden Computational Power Found in the Arms of Neurons
Quanta, January 14, 2020
The dendritic arms of some human neurons can perform logic operations that once seemed to require whole neural networks.
 

COSMOS 

How the Solar System Got Tts 'Great Divide,' and Why It Matters for Life on Earth
Science Daily, January 13, 2020
Scientists have finally scaled the solar system's equivalent of the Rocky Mountain range.
   
How's Your Internship Going? This Teen Found a Planet
New York Times, January 11, 2019
Wolf Cukier, 17, was analyzing brightness of stars during an internship with NASA last year when he made the discovery.
    
The Interiors of Stars
Phys.Org, January 13, 2020
The interiors of stars are largely mysterious regions because they are so difficult to observe directly.

Mysterious Radio Signal Is Coming from a Nearby Galaxy, Scientists Announce
The Independent, January 07, 2020
And that galaxy looks surprisingly like our own, the astronomers have announced.

The Moon, Mars and Beyond... The Space Race in 2020
The Guardian, January 05, 2020
Space engineers have not planned so much activity - for both manned and robot projects - since the heady days of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s.


INNOVATION

Scientists Use Stem Cells from Frogs to Build First Living Robots
The Guardian, January 13, 2020
Researchers foresee myriad benefits for humanity, but also acknowledge ethical issues.

Man Versus Machine: Can AI Do Science?
TechXplore, January 14, 2020
Now, machines can also beat theoretical physicists at their own game, solving complex problems just as accurately as scientists, but considerably faster.

Climate Change Means the US Must Start Building Big Things Again
MIT Technology Review, January 15, 2020
Major portions of the nation's highways, bridges, water pipes, ports, railways, and electric transmission lines were constructed more than half a century ago, and in many cases they are falling apart.

Against All Odds': The Inside Story of How Scientists Across Three Continents Produced an Ebola Vaccine
STAT, January 07, 2020
It is a feat that built on the work of scientists in multiple countries on three continents who toiled in obscurity for years.

JetBlue Plans to Go Completely Carbon Neutral on All U.S. Flights
Washington Post, January 08, 2020
The company's plan involves both taking steps to reduce its flights' overall carbon emissions and increasing its investment in carbon offsets, which are environmental projects that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


HEALTH 

13 Best Yoga Stretches to Do Every Day to Ease Stiffness and Pain
Prevention, January 13, 2020 (w/demos)
These poses will open up your whole body, increase blood flow, and make you feel stronger in no time.

Tea Drinkers May Well Live Longer
Cosmos, January 10, 2020
Chinese research suggests it's a habit worth having.

Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health
Yale Environment 360, January 09, 2020
A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing.

Pain, Cancer, Death: Michigan Families Devastated by Toxic Chemicals in Their Water
The Guardian, January 10, 2020
Residents had for years been drinking water contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals - and the impact has been brutal

Tweets about Cannabis' Health Benefits Are Full of Mistruths
The Conversation, January 09, 2020
Scientists working in medicine may have a lot to discover about cannabis' ability to improve health. However, the medical community does know that short-term health consequences of cannabis use include impaired short-term memory, impaired attention, impaired coordination and sleep problems.


NATURE

The Iron Ocean
Knowable Magazine, December 19, 2019
Through dust, not rust, the metal plays a complex, controversial role in Earth's climate

Human Body Temperature Has Declined Steadily Over the Past 160 Years
Science, January 10, 2020
That drop may be a product of lower overall levels of inflammation, thanks to antibiotics, vaccines, and improved water quality, the authors report this week in eLife. Modern  technologies, such as central heating and air conditioning, could also help explain the trend.

Why Is Air Pollution So Harmful? DNA May Hold the Answer
New York Times, January 13, 2020
It's not just a modern problem. Airborne toxins are so pernicious that they may have shaped human evolution.

The Past and the Future of the Earth's Oldest Trees
New Yorker, January 20, 2020 issue
Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they may survive humanity.
 
Meet the Narwhal, 'Unicorn of the Sea'
The Conversation, January 15, 2020
The long tusk of the male narwhal sets these whales apart, but it's not the only thing that makes Monodon monoceros among the most intriguing and mysterious marine mammals.


ENVIRONMENT 

Grass Growing Around Mount Everest as Global Heating Intensifies
The Guardian, January 09, 2020
Impact of increase in shrubs and grasses not yet known but scientists say it could increase flooding in the region.

It's Time to Talk About Moving Cities in the Face of Climate Change
U.S. News, January 07, 2020
The financial costs of moving cities are intimidating, although failed sea walls may well be more expensive.

Marine Labs on the Water's Edge Are Threatened by Climate Change
New York Times, January 07, 2020
Around the country, from New Jersey to Massachusetts, Virginia to Oregon, education centers and marine laboratories are bracing against rising seas and a changing climate.

Logging Is Corrupting These Islands. One Village Fights Back -and Wins.
National Geographic, January 03, 2020
The Solomon Islands is being stripped bare by foreign logging companies, in some cases acting illegally. A community takes action to preserve its future.
 
New York Times, January 14, 2020
Among 20 of the most powerful people in government environment jobs, most have ties to the fossil fuel industry or have fought against the regulations they now are supposed to enforce.


CLIMATE

Revealed: US Listed Climate Activist Group as 'Extremists' Alongside Mass Killers
The Guardian, January 13, 2020
Dept of Homeland Security listed activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting oil industry alongside white supremacists in documents

2019 Capped World's Hottest Decade in Recorded History
Washington Post, January 15, 2020
It also marked the second-warmest year ever. "What happens in the future is really up to us," one scientist said.
 
Emails Reveal U.S. Justice Dept. Working Closely with Oil Industry to Oppose Climate Lawsuits
Inside Climate News, January 14, 2020
DOJ attorneys describe working with industry lawyers as a 'team,' raising questions about whether government was representing the American people.

Australia's Wildfires Are Releasing Vast Amounts Of Carbon
NPR, January 12, 2020
Australia's total emissions from man-made sources last year was roughly 540 million tons. So this year's fires, fueled by record-high temperatures and drought, have already surpassed two-thirds of that amount.

Ocean Warming an Increasing Problem
Cosmos, January 15, 2020
Last year was the warmest in recorded human history for the world's oceans, bringing to an end the warmest decade, according to a new analysis.



 
 
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