Selected Sci-News Items  12/28/19 - 01/03/20
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)


Processed Meat Recalls Rise Dramatically as Consumers Bite Down On Metal, Plastic and Glass
Washington Post, December 27, 2019
The stray items - which the USDA calls "foreign objects" - are typically found after a consumer bites into a meat product, records show, sometimes chipping teeth in the process. The objects can cause choking and can injure the intestinal tract.

The Histories Hidden in the Periodic Table
New Yorker, December 27, 2019
From poisoned monks and nuclear bombs to the "transfermium wars," mapping the atomic world hasn't been easy.

In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.
New York Times, December 27, 2019
A study of international prices finds American patients pay much more across a wide array of common services.

Science history: Al-Khwarizmi, Master of Maths
Cosmos, December 21,2019
Influential Persian composed the oldest works on arithmetic and algebra.

What Happens to Your Body When You Climb Everest
Outside Online, June 11, 2018 (archive)
Summiting the world's tallest peak puts humans through some of the most extreme conditions on the planet.

Halo Around a Pulsar Could Explain Why We See Antimatter Coming from Space
Universe Today, December 23, 2019
The halo might be responsible for some goings-on in our own neighborhood: there's an abundance of anti-matter near Earth, and its presence has puzzled scientists for a decade.

Is Betelgeuse, One of the Sky's Brightest Stars, on the Brink of a Supernova?
Washington Post, December 27, 2019
Betelgeuse is a "variable" star, known for wild fluctuations in its brightness, but scientists have never recorded it changing quite so fast.
Space Is the Place for Impossible Molecules
Knowable Magazine, December 11, 2019
Compounds with noble gases don't form naturally on Earth. But in the interstellar medium, they are helping scientists probe the history of the universe.
How One Astronomer Hears the Universe
Nature, December 27, 2019
Wanda Diaz Merced is a blind astronomer who says that converting astronomical data into sound could bring discoveries that conventional techniques miss.
Will the United States Lose the Universe?
New York Times, December 23, 2019
For more than a century, American astronomers have held bragging rights as observers of the cosmos. But that dominance may soon slip away.


Best Inventions 2019
Time Magazine, November 21, 2918
100 innovations making the world better, smarter and even a little more fun.

Watch Out for These Science Events in 2020
Scientific American, December 30, 2019
A Mars invasion, a climate meeting and human-animal hybrids are set to shape the research agenda

Finding Opportunity in Crisis: 3 Essential Reads about Environmental Solutions
The Conversation, December 19, 2019
Governments may seem unable or unwilling to confront these challenges, but scholars are proposing innovative solutions.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2019
MIT Technology Review, from February, 2019   (Bill Gates)
Gates was chosen by Tech Review to choose this year's list of inventions that will change the world for the better.

2020 Set to Be Year of the Electric Car, Say Industry Analysts
The Guardian, December 25, 2019
Mini, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 5oo will join rapidly expanding European EV market


Animal Agriculture Costs More In Health Damage Than It Contributes To The Economy
Forbes, December 30, 2019
"At the margin, we're seeing that the damages from air pollution provided by farms are larger than the marginal value that the farms provide in economic terms."

Make 2020 the Year of Less Sugar
New York Times, December 30, 2019
One of the best things you can do for your health is to cut back on foods with added sugar. Our 7-Day Sugar Challenge will show you how.

3 Challenges to Watch in Global Health in 2020
STAT, December 26, 2019
Ebola aside, what do the tea leaves tell us about the public health stories we'll be paying attention to in 2020?

Tackling Inflammation to Fight Age-Related Ailments
New York Times, December 23, 2019
Body-wide inflammation is tied to most chronic diseases, limiting people's health and longevity.

Common Pesticides Linked to Heart Disease Risks in New Study
Consumer Reports, December 31, 2019
Pyrethroids, which currently account for about 30 percent of the insecticides used worldwide, are used on crops, and also may be used in pet flea medications, and to protect against ants, roaches, mosquitoes, and ticks.


This Giant Stingray Could Be World's Biggest Freshwater Fish
National Geographic, December 24, 2019
Likely several hundred pounds heavier than the record-holding Mekong giant catfish, the ray reportedly weighed nearly 880 pounds.

An Afterlife So Perilous, You Needed a Guidebook
New York Times, December 30, 2019
Archaeologists unearthed the remains of a 4,000-year-old "Book of Two Ways" - a guide to the Egyptian underworld, and the earliest copy of the first illustrated book.

Stick-Toting Puffins Offer the First Evidence of Tool Use in Seabirds
Science News, December 30, 2019
Two birds observed four years and a sea apart turned sticks into feather scratchers.

Extinction: A Million Species At Risk, So What Is Saved?
BBC, December 26, 2019
Each story of a "saved" species represents years, often decades, of the people who grind away in an uphill battle against extinction.

Measles May Have Emerged When Large Cities Rose, 1500 Years Earlier Than Thought
Science, December 30, 2019
A recent investigation concludes that the virus may have entered the human population as early as the fourth century B.C.E., rather than in medieval times, as previous research had suggested.


EPA's Scientific Advisers Warn Its Regulatory Rollbacks Clash With Established Science
Washington Post, December 31, 2019
The Environmental Protection Agency is pressing ahead with sweeping changes to roll back environmental regulations despite sharp criticism from a panel of scientific advisers, most of whom were appointed by President Trump.

Statistic of the Decade: The Massive Deforestation of the Amazon
The Conversation, December 23, 2019
Since 2010, mile upon mile of rainforest has been replaced with a wide range of commercial developments, including cattle ranching, logging and the palm oil industry.

Concrete: The Most Destructive Material on Earth
The Guardian, February 25, 2019 (Best of 2019)
After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world

Killer Slime, Dead Birds, an Expunged Map: The Dirty Secrets of European Farm Subsidies
New York Times, December 25, 2019
European Union leaders boast about their green credentials, but in doing so they sidestep an undeniable tension between facts and wishful policymaking.

There Were More Than 100 "Billion Dollar" Climate Disasters in the Past Decade
Mother Jones, December 31, 2019
And 6 other disturbing numbers that show just how bad the climate change crisis has gotten.


Climate Science Discoveries of the Decade: New Risks Scientists Warned About in the 2010s
Inside Climate News, December 27, 2019
A decade of ice, ocean and atmospheric studies found systems nearing dangerous tipping points. As the evidence mounted, countries worldwide began to see the risk.

Students Want Climate Change Lessons. Schools Aren't Ready
Phys.Org, December 30, 2019
Widespread science teacher shortages and the lack of training among many current teachers on climate change threatens the goals of the curriculum that aims in part to prepare students to be environmental problem-solvers as they enter adulthood.

After a Rough Year, Farmers and Congress Are Talking About Climate Solutions
Inside Climate News, December 31, 2019
The Midwest floods revealed another benefit of sustainable agriculture: fields that had been farmed with conservation practices recovered faster.

9 Timely Readings on the Status of Permafrost
Yale Climate Connections, December 23, 2019
The frozen soils of the northern hemisphere are warming, with huge implications for the whole planet.

On Land, Australia's Rising Heat Is "Apocalyptic." In the Ocean, It's Worse.
Washington Post, December 27, 2019
Even before the ocean caught fever and reached temperatures no one had ever seen, Australia's ancient giant kelp was cooked.

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