Selected Sci-News Items  September 21 - September 26,  2019
 
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate

 
SftPublic Sept 10   video   Herbal Medicines Decoded




G ENERAL INTEREST  
 
First Portrait of Mysterious Denisovans Drawn from DNA
Nature, September 19 2019
Scientists analyzed chemical changes to the ancient humans' DNA to reveal broad, Neanderthal-like facial features.

Modern Zoos: Prison, Spectacle, Refuge
Aeon, September 19, 2019
Modern zoos are proud of their contribution to animal conservation but will always be haunted by their histories.

Where Theory Meets Chalk, Dust Flies
New York Times, September 23, 2019 (must-see photos!)
A photo survey of the blackboards of mathematicians.

More Than One-Quarter of Physics Nobel Laureates Are Immigrants
Physics World, September 25, 2019
Out of 209 physics laureates, the authors classified 54 as being immigrants. That is more than 25 percent!

A New Book Shows How Not to Fall For Dubious Statistics
Science News, September 16, 2019
'The Art of Statistics' shows how to think critically about numbers and data analyses


COSMOS   
 
Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive?
Universe Today, September 24, 2019
It's hard living in a relativistic Universe, where even the nearest stars are so far away and the speed of light is absolute. It is little wonder then why science fiction franchises routinely employ FTL (Faster-than-Light) as a plot device.

The Quest to Unlock the Secrets of the Baby Universe
Scientific American, September 24, 2019
Radio astronomers look to hydrogen for insights into the universe's first billion years.
 
Mysterious Magnetic Pulses Discovered on Mars
National Geographic, September 24, 2019
The nighttime events are among initial results from the InSight lander, which also found hints that the red planet may host a global reservoir of liquid water deep below the surface.

How Understanding Sun Angles Clarifies the Character of the Seasons and Their Weather
Washington Post, September 23, 2019
It is late September, and the autumnal equinox has arrived. Noticing differences in sun angle during different times of year and locations helps our knowledge of weather, climate and the natural world.  

2000 Atoms in Two Places At Once: A New Record in Quantum Superposition
Phys.Org, September 24, 2019
By confirming this phenomenon-"the heart of quantum mechanics," in Richard Feynman's words-on a new mass scale, improved constraints on alternative theories to quantum mechanics have been placed.


INNOVATION  
 
How Circling the Globe Has Evolved in the 500 Years Since Magellan's Famous Trip
Science News, September 17, 2019
Here are some notable trips - testaments to innovation and the human spirit: by sea, land and sea, air, and space.
 
IBM's New 53-Qubit Quantum Computer Is the Most Powerful Machine You Can Use
MIT Technology Review, September 18, 2019
Google has a 72-qubit device, but it hasn't let outsiders run programs on it; IBM's machine, on the other hand, will be accessible via the cloud.

France Forgets Its Own Golden Age of Medical Marijuana
The Conversation, September 24, 2019
In the middle 19th century Paris functioned as the epicenter of an international movement to medicalize hashish, an intoxicant made from the pressed resin of cannabis plants.

Artificial Intelligence Takes On Earthquake Prediction
Quanta, September 19, 2019
After successfully predicting laboratory earthquakes, a team of geophysicists has applied a machine learning algorithm to quakes in the Pacific Northwest.

Microbe Battles Contaminants
Cosmos, September 23, 2019
A bacterium from the wetlands shows promise against persistent pollutant.


HEALTH   
 
Exercising To Ease Pain: Taking Brisk Walks Can Help
NPR/Shots, September 23, 2019 (w/audio)
For people who live with chronic pain, getting up, out and moving can seem daunting... But in fact, researchers find the opposite is true: The right kind of exercise can help reduce pain.

Six Ways to Stay Healthy When You're Stressed
The Guardian, September 23, 2019
Keeping on top of your mental health in today's taxing world can be tough. But a few changes can help lift the burden.

Air Pollution Can Reach the Placenta Around a Developing Baby
Science News, September 17, 2019
A study of women in Belgium found black carbon particles, or soot, within the organ.

What To Know About EEE, a Mosquito-Borne Virus On the Rise
STAT, September 23, 2019
If you live in Massachusetts or Michigan, you are probably hearing a lot these days about something called EEE.

Collagen in Your Coffee? A Scientist Says Forget It
The Conversation, September 18, 2019
Starting in our 20s, our bodies produce less collagen, causing our skin to sag and wrinkle, our bones and joints to weaken and stiffen, and our hair to become thinner.


NATURE   
 
What Happens When Magnetic North and True North Align?
Cosmos, September 23, 2019
Recently, magnetic compasses at Greenwich. the historic London area known as the home of the Prime Meridian, were said
to have pointed directly at the north geographic pole for the first time in 360 years.  
 
Birds Are Vanishing from North America
New York Times, September 19, 2019
The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, over the past half-century, scientists find.
 
Fractal Patterns in Growing Bacterial Colonies
Phys.Org, September 20, 2019
Bacterial colonies display collective behaviors that indicate a kind of 'social intelligence' and grow in fractal patterns that can resemble snowflakes.

The Tiny Algae at Ground Zero of Greenland's Melting Glaciers
The Guardian, September 18, 2019
Far from being barren places, glaciers represent more than 10% of our landmass and are teeming with biodiversity.

Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA
Quanta, September 16, 2019
Origin-of-life researchers have usually studied the potential of pure starting materials, but messy chemical composites may kick-start life more effectively.


ENVIRONMENT  
 
The World's Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns
New York Times, September 25, 2019
Climate change is heating the oceans and altering their chemistry so dramatically that it is threatening seafood supplies, fueling cyclones and floods and posing profound risks to the hundreds of millions of people living along the coasts.
 
Tires: The Plastic Polluter You Never Thought About
National Geographic, September 20, 2019
Because tires are made of natural rubber and plastic, it's easy to miss just how much they contribute to pollution in our oceans.
 
What Happens When You Flush?
Environmental Health News, September 23, 2019
Expert ecologist on what happens to all the modern, exotic compounds when we flush them into the environment

Mont Blanc Glacier in Danger of Collapse
The Guardian, September 25, 2019
Experts have been monitoring the glacier closely since 2013 to detect the speed at which the ice is melting, and the rate has significantly increased recently.

The Trump Administration Weakened Endangered Species Act Rules -- 17 State Attorneys General Have Sued
Washington Post, September 25, 2019
The intent of the lawsuit is to protect the act that plants and animals depend on, said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.


CLIMATE   
 
UN Climate Summit: Small Countries Step Up While Major Emitters Are Silent, and a Teen Takes World Leaders to Task
Inside Climate News, September 24, 2019
The nation (USA) that has contributed the most to global greenhouse emissions over time pointedly played no part in the session aimed at raising ambition for the next round of international commitments under the Paris climate accord.

Some Corporations Step Up Climate Action As Government Policies Stall
Washington Post, September 24, 2019
Even though some parts of the private sector are setting new targets, they're not enough.

IPCC Report Warns of a Bleak Future for Oceans and Frozen Regions Under Climate Change
Science News, September 25, 2019
The ocean, while suffering from climate change, may also offer solutions to it

The Hard Truths of Climate Change - by the Numbers
Nature, September 18, 2019
A set of troubling charts shows how little progress nations have made toward limiting greenhouse-gas emissions.
 
Greta Thunberg: 'We Are Ignoring Natural Climate Solutions'
The Guardian, September 19, 2019
Film by Swedish activist and Guardian journalist George Monbiot says nature must be used to repair broken climate.


 
 
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