Selected Sci-News Items  August 31 - September 06,  2019
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate

SftPublic Sept 10   video   Herbal Medicines Decoded
SftPublic Sept 17  CANCELLED   Why Is Quantum So Strange?


The Conversation, September 06, 2019
Our normal sense of time passing is a function of our normal state of consciousness. But there are many varieties of altered states of consciousness in which time slows down drastically.

Culture Helps Shape When Babies Learn to Walk
Science News, September 10, 2019
Motor development models based on Western standards are too narrow.

Life on the Ice
Harvard Gazette, September 11, 2019
or the scientists who work at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, life at the bottom of the planet is about battling the extreme.
Sum of Three Cubes for 42 Finally Solved  --Using Real-Life Planetary Computer
Phys.Org, September 06, 2019
Hot on the heels of the ground-breaking 'Sum-Of-Three-Cubes' solution for the number 33, a team has solved the final piece of the famous 65-year-old math puzzle with an answer for the most elusive number of all-42.

Neanderthal Footprints Found in France Offer Snapshot of Their Lives
The Guardian, September 10, 2019
The prints suggest a group of 10-13 individuals, mostly children and adolescents, were on the shoreline 80,000 years ago.


An Exoplanet Like No Other Yet Found
The Atlantic, September 11, 2019
K2-18b probably can't host life as we know it, but it orbits in a cosmic sweet spot where water vapor in the atmosphere could turn into liquid.
Splitting the Universe
AEON, September 11, 2019 (Sean Carroll)
Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up.
Are We All Wrong About Black Holes?
Quanta, September 05, 2019
Craig Callender worries that the analogy between black holes and thermodynamics has been stretched too far.
Einstein's General Relativity Reveals New Features of a Pulsar
Science News, September 05, 2019
Astronomers get a novel look at the beams of radio waves emitted by a pulsating dead star

A Hologram Shows How Space Could Pop Into Existence
Nautilus, September 05, 2019
Through holograms, physicists have found unexpected connections between the structure of spacetime and quantum computing.
Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy Appears to Be Getting Hungrier
Science Daily, September 11, 2019
The enormous black hole at the center of our galaxy is having an unusually large meal, and researchers don't know why. "We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole," said a professor of physics and astronomy.


Scientists Create A Device That Can Mass-Produce Human Embryoids
NPR/Shots, September 11, 2019 (w/audio)
Researchers welcomed the development, but it also raises questions about where to draw the line in manufacturing "synthetic" human life.

The Race to Create a Perfect Lie Detector - And the Dangers of Succeeding
The Guardian, September 05, 2019
AI and brain-scanning technology could soon make it possible to reliably detect when people are lying. But do we really want to know?

Key Enzyme Found in Plants Could Guide Development of Medicines and Other Products
Science Daily, September 06, 2019
Researchers studying how plants evolved the abilities to make natural chemicals, which they use to adapt to stress, have uncovered how an enzyme that evolved to enable plants to make products vital to their own survival. The hope is that this knowledge will inform the manufacture of products that are beneficial to humans, including medications and improved crops.

Global Renewable Energy Has Quadrupled Over Past Decade
Environmental Health News, September 06, 2019
With solar leading the way, clean energy capacity growth is helping the planet avoid billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Johns Hopkins Opens New Center for Psychedelic Research
New York Times, September 04, 2019
The research center, with $17 million from donors, aims to give "psychedelic medicine" a long-sought foothold in the scientific establishment.


Medical Xpress, September 03, 2019
An international team of scientists has shown that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with antibacterial mouthwash,
rather than water-showing the importance of oral bacteria in cardiovascular health.

Why People Gain Weight As They Get Older
Science Daily, September 9, 2019
Lipid turnover in the fat tissue decreases during aging and makes it easier to gain weight, even if we don't eat more or exercise less than before.

The Health Risks of Supplements and Alternative Medicine
Washington Post, September 07, 2019
In an effort to be healthy, patients can easily become ensnared in the potential dangers of alternative medicine or homeopathy.

Nursing Homes Are a Breeding Ground for a Fatal Fungus
New York Times, September 12, 2019
Drug-resistant germs, including Candida auris, prey on severely ill patients in skilled nursing facilities, a problem sometimes amplified by poor care and low staffing.

From Feta to American Slices, a Ranking of Cheeses by Healthfulness
Washington Post, September 02, 2019
Cheese has long gotten a bad rap because of its high saturated fat content, which is considered bad for heart health. Research is starting to suggest, however, that the issue may be more complex.


Geologists Uncover History of Lost Continent Buried Beneath Europe
Science, September 06, 2019
Forget the legendary lost continent of Atlantis. Geologists have reconstructed, time slice by time slice, a nearly quarter-of-a-billion-year-long history of a vanished landmass that now lies submerged, not beneath an ocean somewhere, but largely below southern Europe.
Washington Post, September 07, 2019
It was a science story made for the headlines: a monster, more than a thousand years of mystery and maybe, finally, an answer.

Massive Genome Study Reveals South Asia's Prehistory
Cosmos, September 06, 2019
Human migrations spread farming and languages across Eurasia.

'Ding Dong, It's Time': Dancing Tarantulas Emerge in Droves to Mate in Western US
Guardian, September 07, 2019
Males have begun their walkabout seeking a mate (and hoping not to get eaten) - and this year has seen a big turnout.

Science, September 10, 2019
Scientists have long assumed there was only one species of electric eel.  But researchers  found that there are actually three --one of which delivers the strongest shock ever measured in a living animal.


The Country Disappearing Under the Rising Tides
BBC News, September 02, 2019
People in flood-prone Bangladesh have coped with rising water levels with a combination of innovation, flexibility and resilience -- but the extremes the environment is now throwing at them might be beyond anyone's endurance.

  'It Can Kill You In Seconds': The Deadly Algae on Brittany's Beaches
The Guardian, September 08, 2019
Activists say stinking sludge is linked to nitrates in fertilisers from intensive farming.
Alaska's Last Vast Wild Place Is Open for Drilling. Will the Birds Survive?
National Geographic, September 10, 2019
Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, where millions of birds come to nest and raise their young, is now under threat from petroleum development.
Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections
New York Times, September 12, 2019
On September 12, The Trump administration is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies.

Fukushima: Japan Will Have to Dump Radioactive Water into Pacific
The Guardian, September 10, 2019
More than a million tonnes of contaminated water lies in storage but power company says it will run out of space by 2022.


Four Tech Review Takeaways from the Climate Town Hall
MIT Technology Review, September 05, 2019
And why it matters that millions got to see US presidential candidates defend their competing plans for the single biggest issue of our age.

Dangerous New Hot Zones Are Spreading Around the World
Washington Post, September 11, 2019
Numerous locations around the globe that have warmed by at least 2 degrees Celsius over the past century. That's a number that scientists and policymakers have identified as a red line if the planet is to avoid catastrophic and irreversible consequences. But in regions large and small, that point has already been reached.

Climate crisis Is Greatest Ever Threat to Human Rights, UN Warns
The Guardian, September 09, 2019
Rights chief Michelle Bachelet highlights climate role in civil wars 'The world has never seen a threat to human rights of this scope.'

How Amazon Deforestation Could Push the Climate to a 'Tipping Point'
PBS News Hour, September 04, 2019 (w/audio/text)
The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and a critical line of defense against climate change.

The Verge, September 05, 2019
Clouds hold the key to forecasting climate change. But they're extremely difficult to understand, let alone measure.

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