Selected Sci-News Items  May 25- May  31, 2019
 
General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate

great resource:   Hapgood's Weekly List of Boston-Area Science Events

SftPublic Tues June 04  How Science Fiction Has Inspired Science
SftPublic Tues June 11  The Scientific Attitude



GENERAL INTEREST

In Lager, Veritas: The Physics of Beer
Cosmos, May 29, 2019
Experimenting with beer in the name of science yields insights into volcanic eruptions, asteroid formation, and the perils of drinking in space.

A Collaboration Between Art and Science Explores the Turbulent Physics of Eddies
Phys.Org, May 24, 2019
Eddies can be described mathematically using what is called the Navier-Stokes Equation, but the creators of this work say there's something about their evolving shapes that transcends physics or math and enters the realms of philosophy, psychology and performance.

USDA to Shift Some Inspector Tasks to Pork Plant Workers - In Everything But Name
Washington Post, May 24, 2019
Several food safety lawyers, Democratic members of Congress and a former agriculture official say that the USDA is using sleight-of-hand tactics to get around legal mandates that have been in place for more than a century.

The Secret to Soap Bubbles' Iridescent Rainbows
Wired, May 29, 2019
These optical effects are all classified as "thin film interference." You need several physics ideas to really appreciate this optical phenomenon.

Mathematicians Report Possible Progress on Proving the Riemann Hypothesis
Science News, May 24, 2019
A new study of Jensen polynomials revives an old approach.


COSMOS

The Physicist Who Made Sense of the Universe
New York Times, May 29, 2019
Murray Gell-Mann's discoveries illuminated the most puzzling aspects of nature, and changed science forever.
    
Mathematics of Scale: Big, Small and Everything In-Between
The Conversation, May 24, 2019
Fractals are a mathematical tool for describing objects with detail at every scale. Mathematicians and physicists use fractals and related concepts to understand how things change going from small to big.
    
50 Years After Apollo, Conspiracy Theorists Are Still Howling at the "Moon Hoax"™
Washington Post, May 24, 2019
A growing science of conspiracism seeks to understand who these people are, why they embrace such ideas, and whether there is anything that can dislodge a really magnetic conspiracy theory from the mind of a true believer.

The Geometry of an Electron Determined for the First Time
Phys.Org, May 23, 2019
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or coupling it with other spins is a challenge on which numerous research groups worldwide are working
   
What's the Magic Behind Graphene's "Magic" Angle?
Quanta, May 28, 2019
A new theoretical model may help explain the shocking onset of superconductivity in stacked, twisted carbon sheets.

INNOVATION

There Is Too Much Stuff
Atlantic, May 24, 2019
The human brain can't contend with the vastness of online shopping.

Researchers Turn To Origami and Lego to Build a Better Spacecraft
Cosmos, May 27, 2019
Cells mimicking folded paper can improve safety in a wide range of applications.

"A Cavalier Approach": Experts Urge the Companies Behind Brain Wearables to Rein In Their Claims
STAT, May 28, 2019
Enhance your memory. Boost your mood. Lose weight more easily. Learn golf, CrossFit, or the clarinet faster. The claims come from companies in the booming business of direct-to-consumer brain wearables.

Google Revives Controversial Cold-Fusion Experiments
Nature, May 28, 2019
Researchers tested mechanisms linked to nuclear fusion at room temperature - but found no evidence for the phenomenon.

It's the Middle of the Night. Do You Know Who Your i-Phone Is Talking To?
Washington Post, May 28, 2019
Apple says, "What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone." This WP privacy experiment showed 5,400 hidden app trackers guzzled their data - in a single week.


HEALTH

Quackery or a Real Alternative: What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Deutsche Welle, May 20, 2019
This week, the World Health Organization will adopt its new International Classification of Diseases. One point of bitter contention: whether Traditional Chinese medicine should be recognized for treatments.

How to Get the Best From Your Immune System
New York Times/Smarter Living section
The immune system is much less about exercising power than it is about finding balance. You can help train and maintain it. Here's how.

Two Studies Sound Warnings Over Ultra-Processed Food
Cosmos, May 30, 2019
Commercial cakes and sugary drinks boost heart disease risk by up to 62%, European researchers find.

Export of Banned US Pesticides Creates a Deadly Circle of Poison
TruthOut, May 28, 2019
Pro-industry loopholes allow agro-chemical companies to export pesticides banned in the U.S., which end up being used to grow food imported by the U.S.

Guardian Series on the Toxicity of Modern Life
The Guardian, May 22, 2019
Excellent group of articles, see links under image, and check back for new articles.
The American public is routinely exposed to toxic chemicals that have long been banned in countries such as the UK, Germany and France.  If they're deemed harmful in those countries, why not in the US?


NATURE

White Panda Is Spotted in China for the First Time
New York Times, May 27, 2019
An all-white, albino panda has appeared in a natural reserve in China, the first of its kind to be documented, an expert said this week.

This Is the World's Rarest Form of Gold. New Clues Are Revealing Why.
National Geographic, May 22, 2019
More than 130 years after its discovery, scientists just got their first high-tech peek at the unexpected crystal structure inside the Ram's Horn.

Exploring the Origins of the Apple
Science Daily, May 27, 2019
Apples originally evolved in the wild to entice ancient megafauna to disperse their seeds. More recently, humans began spreading the trees along the Silk Road with other familiar crops. Dispersing the apple trees led to their domestication.

Organic Livestock Farms Give Wild Birds a Boost
Anthropocene, May 24, 2019
Agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe, but this study is among the first to show that certain agricultural subsidies encouraging organic farming seem to be having a positive effect - while others may not be having their intended benefits.

Canadian Arctic Fossils Are Oldest Known Fungus on Earth
The Guardian, May 22, 2019
Fungus is half a billion years older than previous record holder found in Wisconsin


ENVIRONMENT 

Empowering Communities to Save the Ocean
The Revelator, May 24, 2019
While David Attenborough's previous projects, Planet Earth and Blue Planet, were windows into the wonders of nature, Our Planet is an alarm bell.

Save The Bees: EPA Bans 12 Pesticides Harmful To Honeybees
WBUR/On Point, May 28, 2019 (w/audio)
The EPA is pulling a dozen products containing chemicals harmful to honeybees. It's the end of a long legal battle, but not the end of the threat to bees.

First Global Look Finds Most Rivers Awash with Antibiotics
National Geographic, May 29, 2019
The drugs' influence persists in the environment long after they've done their duty in human bodies.

Want to Understand the Biodiversity Crisis? Look at the Trees in Your Backyard.
Washington Post, May 23, 2019
Real, visible and consequential ecological catastrophes are playing out all around us.

The World Needs Topsoil to Grow 95% of Its Food - But It's Rapidly Disappearing
The Guardian, May 30, 2019
The modern combination of intensive tilling, lack of cover crops, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use has left farmland stripped of the nutrients, minerals and microbes that support healthy plant life.


CLIMATE

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science
New York Times, May 27, 2019
Now, after two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, Mr. Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault.

It's Not Entirely Up To School Students to Save the World
New Yorker, May 24, 2019 (Bill McKibben)
In the past several months, people around the world have watched in awe as school students, led by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, have taken their concerns about the climate crisis to a new level, with a series of one-day strikes.

Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer in a Time of Climate Change
Aeon, May 28, 2019
Wild weather, fires, rising sea levels, earthquakes and warming water temperatures all increase the risk of nuclear accidents, while the lack of safe, long-term storage for radioactive waste remains a persistent danger.

Rebuilding Forests Is a Cost-Effective Way to Cut Carbon
Cosmos, May 28, 2019
Modelling finds reforestation in tropical zones is cheaper than carbon capture and storage.

Extreme weather Has Made Half of America Look Like Tornado Alley
Washington Post, May 29, 2019
Climate change may be confounding the jet stream and making trouble for everyone.


 
 
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