Selected Sci-News Items Oct 03 - Oct 09, 2020

General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate
 
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 CORONAVIRUS

Read This Before You Even Consider Dining Indoors
Elemental, September 28, 2020
Experts explain the many risks involved - and how to lower your risk if you decide to do it.

A Layperson's Guide to How - and When - a Covid-19 Vaccine Could Be Authorized
STAT, September 28, 2020
The process of deciding when a vaccine appears to be safe and effective isn't as straightforward as the general public might believe.

The Guardian, September 30, 2020
Fever, runny nose, headache? Lost your sense of taste or smell? Your guide to differentiating between the three illnesses.

New York Times, September 29, 2020
People with extra weight may struggle to mount a robust immune response to the coronavirus - and may respond poorly to a vaccine.

Infection Rates Soar in College Towns as Students Return
PBS, September 17, 2020
Among the 50 U.S. counties with the highest concentrations of students and overall populations of at least 50,000, 20 have consistently reported higher rates of new virus cases than their states have since Sept. 1, according to an Associated Press analysis.


GENERAL INTEREST

Phys.Org, September 28, 2020
The discovery supports a rapid westward dispersal of modern humans across Eurasia within a few thousand years of their first appearance in southeastern Europe.

Cosmos, September 29, 2020
Ecologists confirm Alan Turing's theory for fairy circles.

For Math Fans: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Number 42
Scientific American, September 21, 2020
Here is how a perfectly ordinary number captured the interest of sci-fi enthusiasts, geeks and mathematicians.

New York Times, September 24, 2020
New genetic evidence builds the case that single-celled marine microbes might chow down on viruses.

The Conversation, September 29, 2020
Many islands around the world can be reached only by traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles across open water, yet nearly all islands that people live on were settled by between 800 to 1,000 years ago.

COSMOS  
 
Physicists Argue That Black Holes From the Big Bang Could Be the Dark Matter
Quanta, September 23, 2020
It was an old idea of Stephen Hawking's: Unseen "primordial" black holes might be the hidden dark matter. It fell out of favor for decades, but a new series of studies has shown how the theory can work.

Water on Mars: Discovery of Three Buried Lakes Intrigues Scientists
Nature, September 28, 2020
Researchers have detected a group of lakes hidden under the red planet's icy surface.

Astrophysicists Measure Total Amount of Matter in Universe
Sci-News, September 29, 2020
A team of astrophysicists from the United States and Egypt has determined that [baryonic] matter makes up 31% of the total amount of matter and energy in the Universe, with the remainder consisting of dark energy.
 
Symmetry, September 29, 2020
Extremely massive fundamental particles could exist, but they would seriously mess with our understanding of quantum mechanics.
   
AEON, September 11, 2020
Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up. 

INNOVATION

Cosmos, September 29, 2020
Great leaps forward in safe, successful pregnancies and congenital defect prevention await, but so do a host of ethical questions.

New Yorker, September 21, 2020
Forget artificial sweeteners. Researchers are now developing new forms of real sugar, to deliver sweetness with fewer calories. But tricking our biology is no easy feat.

The Guardian, September 28, 2020
Breakthrough that builds on plastic-eating bugs first discovered by Japan in 2016 promises to enable full recycling.

Science, September 23, 2020
The device can power up to 100 light-emitting diode lights as well as temperature sensors.

ArsTechnica, September 24, 2020
Tim Kendall, former Facebook manager, told lawmakers that the company "took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset."


HEALTH
 
Could Breadfruit Be the Next Superfood? Researchers Say Yes
Science Daily, September 17, 2020
A fruit used for centuries in countries around the world is getting the nutritional thumbs-up from a team of researchers. Breadfruit, which grows in abundance in tropical and South Pacific countries, has long been a staple in the diet of many people. The fruit can be eaten when ripe, or it can be dried and ground up into a flour and repurposed into many types of meals.

CNN Health, September 26, 2020
Being home-bound for so long contorts the body, weakens the heart and lungs and even impairs brain function. The effects of life in isolation may stay with us beyond the pandemic's end (whenever that may be).

Scientific American, September 24, 2020
Experts explain why getting vaccinated is important every year-and especially during a pandemic.

Consumer Reports, September 24, 2020
Consumer Reports found toxic PFAS chemicals in several popular water brands, especially carbonated ones.

The Conversation, September 22, 2020
People who retire early suffer from accelerated cognitive decline and may even encounter early onset of dementia.


NATURE 

Science Daily, September 25, 2020
While the Y chromosome's role was believed to be limited to the functions of the sexual organs, a scientist has shown that it impacts the functions of other organs as well.

STAT, September 24, 2020
Whether crows, ravens, and other "corvids" are making multipart tools like hooked sticks to reach grubs, solving geometry puzzles made famous by Aesop, or nudging a clueless hedgehog across a highway before it becomes roadkill, they have long impressed scientists with their intelligence and creativity.

Nautilus, September 23, 2020
How a steady diet of fertilizers has turned crops into couch potatoes.

Flower Colors Are Changing In Response to Climate Chang
Science, September 28, 2020
Over the past 75 years, flowers have also adapted to rising temperatures and declining ozone by altering ultraviolet (UV) pigments in their petals.

How Do You Measure Everest? It's Complicated by Frostbite -and Politics.
National Geographic, September 28, 2020
Surveyors have been attempting to measure the mountain's precise elevation since the 1850s.


ENVIRONMENT

Treehugger, September 17, 2020
In case you're missing the forest for the trees, here are a few reminders why woodlands are wonderful.

Ensia, September 29, 2020
Federal, state and local governments all have a hand in protecting public water systems and private wells from contamination.

Extinction Crisis: World Leaders Say It Is Time to Act
BBC News, September 30, 2020
As nearly 150 global leaders lined up - virtually - to address Wednesday's UN biodiversity summit, the stakes could not have been higher.

Battered, Flooded and Submerged: Many Superfund Sites are Dangerously Threatened by Climate Change
Inside Climate News, September 24, 2020
The Obama administration directed the EPA to focus on climate-related threats. Now, the Trump administration refuses to even use the word.

Environmental Health News, September 27, 2020
While climate change remains environmental issue #1, the worries over plastic in our water, soil, food, and bodies continue to grow.


CLIMATE 


How the Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change
BBC News, September 19, 2020
To understand what's happening today, we need to go back nearly 40 years.

Inside Climate News, September 28, 2020
Global warming is deepening blankets of warmer water that alter ocean currents, hinder absorption of carbon, intensify storms and disrupt biological cycles.

Yale Climate Connections, September22, 2020
More than 1 million disaster-related displacements have occurred each year on average in the U.S. since 2016. Some people never return home.

Ocean Heat Waves Are Directly Linked to Climate Change
New York Times, September 24,2020
The "blob" of hotter ocean water that killed sea lions and other marine life in 2014 and 2015 may become permanent. 
 

 
 
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