Selected Sci-News Items  August 10 - August 16,  2019
 
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate


SftPublic July 10 (video)   Nectar and the Health of Bees 
SftPublic July 16 (video)   Mathematical Prediction of Sixth Mass Extinction   
 video on SftP website 08/17 

GENERAL INTEREST

Phys.Org, August 11, 2019
The current find is one of the oldest and perhaps the most prominent in its historical significance, as the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem is a major moment in Jewish history.

'Perhaps the Most Important Isotope': How Carbon-14 Revolutionized Science
The Guardian, August 10, 2019
The discovery that carbon atoms act as a marker of time of death transformed everything from biochemistry to oceanography - but the breakthrough nearly didn't happen.

Science Daily, August 09, 2019
A beautiful landscape painting, a beautiful piano sonata -- art and music are almost exclusively described in terms of aesthetics,but what about math? Beyond useful or brilliant, can an abstract idea be considered beautiful?

How Underwater Archaeology Reveals Hidden Wonders
National Geographic, August 02, 2019
Shipwrecks are far from the only thing to document, study, and preserve underwater: there's also everything from very ancient human remains to submerged settlements, like portions of ancient Alexandria.

Songbirds Show Remarkable Flexibility in Learning Tunes
Cosmos, August 13, 2019
Young songbirds can learn tunes from another species, according to new research, and the underlying neural processes could be similar to those that shape human speech in childhood.


COSMOS 

Aeon, August 09, 2019 (w/video)
One byproduct of cosmic ray collisions with Earth is the creation of extraordinarily short-lived particles known as muons that, rather curiously, seem to exist for much longer when moving towards the planet than when created by scientists working in the lab.

Symmetry, August 13, 2019
The Italian project called DAMA is a 20-year signal of what could be dark matter -and scientists are embarking on their most promising efforts yet to confirm or refute its results.

Milky Way's Black Hole Just Flared, Growing 75 Times as Bright for a Few Hours
Universe Today, August 13, 2019
Astronomers have been watching Sagittarius  A* for 20 years, and though the black hole does have some variability in its output, this 75 times normal flaring event is like nothing astronomers have observed before.

How Randomness Can Make Math Easier
Quanta, July 09, 2019
Of all the tools available to the mathematician, randomness would seem to offer little benefit. As it turns out, randomness is helpful in mathematics in many ways.
 
Physics World, August 12, 2019
The last full reversal of the Earth's geomagnetic field took at least 22,000 years to complete. This finding challenges the notion that a future reversal might be completed within a human lifetime.
  
INNOVATION

The Guardian, August 13, 2019
Welcome to the future of farming in Paris - where a whole host of rooftop plantations, such as the one on the edge of the Marais, have been springing up of late.  And many more are coming.

Tug of War Around Gravity
Phys.Org, August 12, 2019
In the summer of 2009, theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde had a brainwave that developed into a radical new idea about gravity and the universe as an ocean of information. Ten years later, the last word about this has not yet been said.
for more info/background, see list at bottom of the article

TechXplore, August 13, 2019
Market expectations for future turbine capacity reach up to 10 to 15 megawatts. During this time, the cost to produce electricity from wind has plummeted from $500 per megawatt-hour to $50.

Cosmos, August 08, 2019
Pattern analysis technique will help crime scene investigators.

MIT Technology Review, August 09, 2019
As the threats of climate change grow, we're all likely to hear more and more about the possibilities, and dangers, of geoengineering. Here's what it means.


HEALTH 

New York Times/Well
In minutes, high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) will have you sweating, breathing hard and maximizing the health benefits of exercise without the time commitment.

Politico, August 09, 2019
Chemical giant and Teflon maker Chemours has quietly stopped making some non-stick coatings used in disposable food packaging amid public debate about their health effects

Knowable Magazine, March 07, 2019
Among the plethora of supplements that promise athletes an advantage, a natural juice gains traction as an evidence-based boost.

Air Pollution Can Accelerate Lung Disease As Much As a Pack a Day of Cigarettes
Science Daily, August 13, 2019
Air pollution -- especially ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change -- accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung, according to a new study.

Washington Post, August 10, 2019 (includes link)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a helpful food safety page online so you can sidestep food poisoning. It's packed with info about the ailment: what causes it, how to tell if you've got it and how to prevent it.


NATURE 

Science News, August 12, 2019
Lincoln Taiz is peeved. Over the last decade or so, the retired plant biologist has watched the rise of the field of "plant neurobiology" with growing dismay.

WBUR, August 12, 2019 (w/audio)
In a town in eastern Massachusetts there's a baseball field with a secret. The woods and wetlands around it are home to about 11 very rare wood turtles.

Inside Climate News, August 12, 2019
The changes also let the government consider economic interests and could open doors to oil and gas drilling and mining in sensitive areas, including the Arctic.

National Geographic, August 02, 2019
According to radiocarbon dating, when the bigmouth buffalo was born, World War I had not yet broken out in Europe. 

Cosmos, August 09, 2019
Scientists studying wildfire-triggered thunderstorms have confirmed an important element of a nuclear winter theory championed by Carl Sagan all the way back in the early 1980s.


ENVIRONMENT 

New Yorker, August 08, 2019
The most recent (and most urgent) IPCC report indicates that land use is responsible for 23 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions --half from carbon dioxide emitted through deforestation, half from agriculture. If pre- and post-production activities in the global food system are included, the emissions are estimated to account for as much as 37 per cent of total human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions.

Restoring Soil Can Help Address Climate Change
The Conversation, August 13 (David Montgomery)
The frequent tillage and heavy fertilizer use that underpin modern conventional agriculture have accelerated degradation of soil organic matter, sending more carbon skyward - a lot, it turns out.

It's Raining Plastic: Microscopic Fibers Fall From the Sky In Rocky Mountain
The Guardian, August 13, 2019
This discovery raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth

The Revelator, August 09, 2019
A new report from Global Witness found that three environmental defenders were murdered every week in 2018 and many more were criminalized for working to protect the land, water and other vital resources.

BBC News, August 09, 2019
Scientists studying coral after a heat event discovered that extreme temperature rises decayed reefs much more rapidly than previously thought.


CLIMATE 

Carbon Brief, August 08, 2019 (good summary)
In this detailed Q&A, Carbon Brief unpacks what the report says about how climate change affects the land and vice versa, as well as other key topics such as food security, negative emissions and how to tackle the overlapping challenges associated with how humans use the land.

Washington Post, August 08, 2019
It doesn't take a hurricane to cause flooding in Miami anymore. In fact, it doesn't even take a gust of wind.

New York Times, August 08, 2019
NOAA now expects up to 17 named storms before the season ends on Nov. 30, with as many as four of those becoming major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more.

The Guardian View on Climate Crisis: What Can We Do?
The Guardian, August 11, 2019
Curbing meat and dairy consumption is critical to tackling global heating. But the issue must not be reduced to solely a question of personal choices.

Inside Climate News, August 09, 2019
New York's attorney general asked a judge to stop the oil giant from subpoenaing documents from investors, saying it would 'discourage them from testifying'.


 
 
Science for the Public is a volunteer organization, whose mission is to provide accurate information about science concepts, innovations and issues from outstanding scientists. 

We produce public lectures, an interview program ( Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations), and a mini-documentary series ( Working Science).  All of our productions are videotaped and are available on our website and our online channels, as well as on WGBH Forum Network and Belmont Media Center Community TV. 

Visit our website at   www.scienceforthepublic.org and sign up for our newsletter. 
Contact us at scienceforthepublic@gmail.com.

STAY CONNECTED: