Selected Sci-News Items  October 12 - October 18,  2019
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate

SftPublic Oct 08  (video available)  Self-Organization of Cell Architecture
Engineers Put Leonardo da Vinci's Bridge Design to the Test
TechXplore, October 10, 2019
The bridge would have been about 280 meters long, making it the longest span in the world at that time, had it been built.
**More about this amazing design on PBS Nova, Nov 13

Online Map Leads Archaeologist to Maya Discovery
New York Times, October 08, 2019
Lidar has transformed the study of ancient civilizations, but maps made with the technology are expensive. Takeshi Inomata found a great one for free.

Human Intelligence: Have We Reached the Limit of Knowledge?
The Conversation, October 11, 2019
Consider that human brains did not evolve to discover their own origins either. And yet somehow we managed to do just that. Perhaps the pessimists are missing something.

The Actual Reason Meat Is Not Healthy
The Atlantic, October 10, 2019
Nutrition studies leave out a crucial factor.

With Category Theory, Mathematics Escapes From Equality
Quanta, October 10, 2019
Two monumental works have led many mathematicians to avoid the equal sign. Their goal: Rebuild the foundations of the discipline upon the looser relationship of "equivalence."  The process has not always gone smoothly.


Directly Measuring an Entangled State
Physics, October 09, 2019
Researchers have directly measured the components of a nonlocal, entangled wave function, rather than relying on indirect tomographic or reconstructive techniques.
Physicists Have Found Quasi-Particles That Mimic Hypothetical Dark Matter Axions
Science News, October 15, 2019
Electrons within a material work together to imitate the proposed fundamental particle

New Understanding of the Evolution of Cosmic Electromagnetic Fields, October 15, 2019
Even 200 years after its discovery, the existence of electromagnetism still brings up new puzzles pertaining to their origin.
New Evidence Shows How Asteroid Dust Cloud May Have Sparked New Life on Earth 470 Million Years Ago
The Guardian, October 12, 2019
Astronomers have discovered intriguing evidence that an asteroid break-up blanketed Earth with dust millions of years ago. The event dramatically cooled the planet and triggered an ice age that was followed by major increases in numbers of new animal species.

Robotic Spiders to Explore the Moon? Yes, Please!
Universe Today, October 15, 2019
First of all, it will be the first lunar robotic explorer to rely on four legs rather than wheels to get around --making certain explorations possible for the first time.

How the Neutrino's Tiny Mass Could Help Solve Big Mysteries
Quanta, October 15, 2019
The KATRIN experiment is closing in on the mass of the neutrino, which could point to new laws of particle physics and shape theories of cosmology.


US Green Economy's Growth Dwarfs the Fossil Fuel Industry's Growth
Ars Technica, October 16, 2019
Renewables, environmental, and efficiency industries grew 3 times faster than fossil fuels.

A Fridge Made from a Rubber Band? Twisted Elastic Fibers Could Cool Your Food
Science, October 10, 2019
It sounds crazy: a refrigerator made from a rubber band. But if you stretch one and hold it against your lips, it will be noticeably warmer. Release it, and it cools.

Unlocking a 140-Year-Old Secret in Physics, October 11, 2019
The breakthrough enables researchers to unlock the physical characteristics of emiconductors in much greater detail and aid in the development of new and improved semiconductor materials.

Mahatma Gandhi and Sustainable Science
Nature, October 08, 2019
The champion of India's freedom movement was an innovator and supporter of sustainable science.

The UK Just Got More Power from Renewables Than Fossil Fuels for the First Time
MIT Technology Review, October 15, 2019
The milestone is largely due to a few new offshore wind farms that came online from July to September this year.


What You Should Know About Cataract Surgery
Washington Post, October 14, 2019
Signs that you may have cataracts or that existing cataracts are worsening can be subtle.

California Bans Popular Pesticide Linked To Brain Damage In Children
NPR, October 09, 2019
Chlorpyrifos is used primarily on crops such as alfalfa, almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes and walnuts.  California environmental regulators have targeted the pesticide for years.

Flour Power: Meet the Bread Heads Baking a Better Loaf
The Guardian, October 10, 2019
The days of the mass-produced pappy white supermarket loaf may be numbered. Meet the bread heads revolutionising the way we eat.  

New York Times, October 14, 2019
If you see something on your skin that is new, changing, not healing or doesn't seem right, get it checked out as soon as possible.

Europe Air Pollution Caused 400,000 Premature Deaths
Deutsche Welle, October 16, 2019
Europe's environmental watchdog has warned that city dwellers in Europe are at risk of life-threatening air pollution.

Hip pain? Turn On Your Inner Salamander
Cosmos, October 10, 2019
These clever little critters could teach us how to regrow cartilage.

Underwater Volcano Belched Explosive Bubbles Larger Than a Stadium
Science, October 14, 2019
Passing ships have reported that before an explosive eruption, a giant, black dome emerges out of the ocean. But these exploding bubbles have remained poorly understood, as they make studying the volcanoes hazardous.

Fast Evolution Explains the Tiny Stature of Extinct ‘Hobbit’ from Flores Island
The Conversation, October 08, 2019
It's not every day that scientists discover a new human species. But that's just what happened back in 2004.

How Evolution Builds Genes from Scratch
Nature, October 16, 2019
Scientists long assumed that new genes appear when evolution tinkers with old ones. It turns out that natural selection is much more creative.

What Whales and Dolphins Left Behind for Life in the Ocean
New York Times, September 26, 2019
The ancestors of dolphins and whales survived in the seas by shedding genes involved in sleep, DNA repair and other seemingly critical activities.

How Tardigrades Protect Their DNA to Defy Death
Science News, October 10, 2019
A 'fluffy cloud' of protein shields water bears' DNA from radiation, drying and other damage


Pentagon Watchdog Agency to Examine Military's Use of Toxic 'Forever Chemicals'
Washington Post, October 15, 2019
The Pentagon's inspector general is examining the military's use of a dangerous but ubiquitous class of man-made chemicals that has leached into the drinking water of millions of Americans, including many living near military bases across the country.

'The Smell Will Knock You Off Your Feet': Mass Mussel Die-Offs Baffle Scientists
The Guardian, October 14, 2019
Mussels, the backbone of the river ecosystem because they control silt levels and filter water, are facing a mysterious affliction.

Dark Money Is Pouring In to Protect the "Worst Energy Policy in the Country"
Mother Jones, October 10, 2019
In Ohio, the fight over a nuclear and coal bailout is getting weirder by the day.

Scientists Solve a Puzzle: What's Really in a Fatberg
New York Times, October 04, 2019
The grisly results of an autopsy in the U.K. were made public on Friday, and they were not pretty. But they did hold a few surprises.

We're Just Starting to Learn How Fracking Harms Wildlife
Truth Out, October 14, 2019
The consequences of wastewater spills from fracking are very real for a vast suite of animals including mussels, birds, fish, caribou and even fleas, and they're as varied as the species themselves.


The Literal Gaslighting That Helps America Avoid Acting on the Climate Crisis
New Yorker, October 09, 2019 (Bill McKibben)
The U.S. must stop telling itself a persistent fable about its own conduct: namely, that it has made great progress already in cutting its greenhouse-gas emissions. It hasn't.

How Deadly Disease Outbreaks Could Worsen As the Climate Changes
New Scientist, October 15, 2019
Two studies this week shine a light on how environmental destruction could lead to a greater spread of deadly human diseases via animals and other organisms, with serious consequences for public health.

Revealed: Google Made Large Contributions to Climate Change Deniers
The Guardian, October 11, 2019
Google has made "substantial" contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.

Billions Face Food, Water Shortages Over Next 30 Years As Nature Fails
National Geographic, October 10, 2019
A new model shows which areas of Earth will likely be hit the hardest by the changes caused by human activity, also revealing possible solutions.

Trump Administration Proposes Expanding Logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
Washington Post, October 15, 2019
The Trump administration proposed allowing logging on more than half of Alaska's 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in North America.

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