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Sci-News Roundup February 17 - February 23, 2024

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

SftPublic programs are recorded, broadcast & distributed by Belmont Media Center TV & are uploaded to SftPublic website event pages and YouTube channel

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Dec 05 The Urban Future: On Earth...and Elsewhere (ForumNetwork video)

Dec 12 Troubled Waters: Red Tides and Other Algae Blooms (BelmontMedia video)

Jan 09 Frozen in Time: Preserving for Later Revival (ForumNetwork video)

Jan 23 Real Public Health Is More Than Just Healthcare (ForumNetwork video)

Feb 09 Carbon Capture & Storage Will Not Reduce Global Warming (FmNetwk video)


The Decimal Point Is 150 Years Older Than Historians Thought

Nature, February 19, 2024

Origin of the powerful calculation tool traced back to a mathematician from the Italian Renaissance.

Ancient Rock Art in Argentinian Cave May Have Transmitted Information Across 100 Generations

Live Science, February 14, 2024

A gallery's worth of rock art decorating the inside of a cave in Argentina is several millennia older than once thought and contains hundreds of drawings that span 100 generations.

Before Darwin, Animal Mummies Were Used to Squash Early Evolutionary Theory

Science Alert, February 20, 2024

Throughout the early 1800s, the question of whether animals could turn into new species was hotly debated in scientific circles.

Muon Mystery: New Measurements Challenge Quantum Theory

Big Think, February 19, 2024

Discrepancies between observations and theory regarding subatomic particles called muons may force scientists to rethink the quantum world.

Why Does a Leap Year Have 366 Days?

The Conversation, February 19, 2024

Leap years help to keep the 12-month calendar matched up with Earth’s movement around the Sun.


Brightest and Fastest-Growing: Astronomers Identify Record-Breaking Quasar

Phys.Org, February 19, 2024

Using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have characterized a bright quasar, finding it to be not only the brightest of its kind but also the most luminous object ever observed.

Galaxies That Shouldn’t Exist Keep Being Discovered by JWST

Cosmos, February 15, 2024

A bright red speck appears against the backdrop of a space photo, but astronomers say it shouldn’t be there. But there it is.

Gravastars Are an Alternative Theory to Black Holes. Here's What They'd Look Like

Universe Today, February 19, 2024

One of the central predictions of general relativity is that in the end, gravity wins.

Inside the Hunt for New Physics at the World’s Largest Particle Collider

MIT Technology Review, February 20, 2024

The Large Hadron Collider hasn’t seen any new particles since the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. Here’s what researchers are trying to do about it.

Solving Astronauts’ Health Challenges in Deep Space Could Have Payoffs on Earth

STAT, February 16, 2024

Space is famously known as the final frontier for human exploration. It may also be the final frontier for human medicine.


Where Are We At With Wave Power?

Cosmos, February 19, 2024

Humans have dreamed of using the clean, predictable and enormous energy of the ocean for our own electricity needs since at least 1799, when a French engineer and inventor named Pierre-Simon Girard filed a patent for a machine which would use wave power to pump water for irrigation.

Move Over, CRISPR: RNA-Editing Therapies Pick Up Steam

Nature, February 16, 2024

Two RNA-editing therapies for genetic diseases have in the past few months gained approval for clinical trials, raising hopes for safer treatments.

Scientists Are Putting ChatGPT Brains Inside Robot Bodies. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Scientific American, February 21, 2024

The effort to give robots AI brains is revealing big practical challenges—and bigger ethical concerns.

In Wyoming, Sheep May Safely Graze Under Solar Panels in One of the State’s First “Agrivoltaic” Projects

Inside Climate News, February 17, 2024

The elevated photovoltaic panels can actually improve grazing conditions, a novelty that could help make solar projects more land-efficient and accepted in the ranching-heavy state.

‘It Is Hijacking My Brain’ – a Team of Experts Found Ways to Help Young People Addicted to Social Media to Cut the Craving

The Conversation, February 15, 2024

Many people have compared the addictive nature of social media to cigarettes. Checking your likes, they say, is the new smoke break. Others say the unease over social media is just the next round of moral panic about new technologies.


Flexibility Exercise (Stretching)

American Heart Association, January 24, 2024

Flexibility exercise is one of the four types of exercise along with strength, balance and endurance.

7 Famous People Who Have Autism

EveryDay Health, February 16, 2024

These influential people have been candid about life with autism spectrum disorder.

What Does Being Physically Fit Mean?

Medical News Today, May 25, 2023

Maintaining a good level of physical fitness is important. However, it can be difficult to determine what fitness entails. Various components of physical health can help determine physical fitness.

Reduce Cancer Risk by Eating Right

Eat Right, August 25, 2023

Research suggests about 18% of all cancer diagnosed in the United States are linked to diet, elevated body mass index (BMI), lack of physical activity and alcohol intake.

At Least 60% of US Population May Face ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Tap Water, Tests Suggest

The Guardian, February 20, 2024

Federal tests of one-third of water systems find 70 million Americans exposed to PFAS – suggesting 200 million affected overall.


See What Charles Darwin Kept in His ‘Insanely Eclectic’ Personal Library, Revealed for the First Time

Smithsonian, February 12, 2024

On the English naturalist’s 215th birthday, more than 9,000 titles from his expansive collection are now accessible online

An Evolutionary Tale of Seagrasses

Eco, January 29, 2024

Seagrasses provide the foundation of one of the most highly biodiverse, yet vulnerable, coastal marine ecosystems globally. They arose in three independent lineages from their freshwater ancestors some 100 million years ago and are the only fully submerged, marine flowering plants.

The World's Largest Deserts


A desert is a landscape or region that receives very little precipitation - less than 250 mm per year (about ten inches). Approximately 1/3 of Earth's land surface is a desert.

The Uncharted World of Emerging Pathogens

Undark, February 14, 2024

In their quest to detect early outbreaks, virus hunters are sampling environmental DNA in water, dirt, and air.

What Is a Species, Anyway?

New York Times, February 19, 2024

Some of the best known species on Earth may not be what they seem.


The Perverse Policies That Fuel Wildfires

New Yorker January 29, 2024

Another recent report, from the Federation of American Scientists, observed that the world is warming so fast that the models firefighters rely on to predict how blazes will behave have become obsolete.

Philadelphia Jury Delivers Historic Verdict in Roundup Cancer Case

Environmental Health News, February 19, 2024

In a landmark decision, a Philadelphia jury awards $2.25 billion in a lawsuit linking Roundup weed killer to cancer, marking a significant turn in ongoing litigation.

‘America Is a Factory-Farming Nation’: Key Takeaways from US Agriculture Census

The Guardian, February 15, 2024

Small farms and Black farmers are going out of business, while corporate-controlled farms are booming, raking in subsidies

Can We Outrun the Flood Risks of Climate Change?

ECO, February 19, 2024

Floods destroy habitats, pollute water sources, damage infrastructures, disrupt businesses, and force people from their homes. These problems are all connected, making it hard to solve them.

In Graphic Detail: Deep-Sea Mining in the United States

Hakai, February 16, 2024

No longer the stuff of science fiction, the deep-sea mining industry is speeding up efforts to mine precious minerals in international waters. But some countries are looking to do so within their national boundaries.


Scientists Under Arrest: The Researchers Taking Action Over Climate Change

Nature, February 21, 2024

Fed up with a lack of political progress in solving the climate problem, some researchers are becoming activists to slow global warming.

New York Lobbyists ‘Aiding and Abetting’ Climate Crisis, Research Reveals

The Guardian, February 19, 2024

Lobbying firms work double-duty, representing political interests of victims and perpetrators of climate change in state capital.

Why Biden’s Pause on New LNG Export Terminals Is a BFD

Yale Climate Connections, February 14, 2024

The administration’s move puts a spotlight on a potent climate-warming gas: methane, the main ingredient in natural gas.

If the Atlantic Ocean Loses Circulation, What Happens Next?

Scientific American, February 13 2024

Researchers found that if melting glaciers shut down the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation pattern, the global climate could see major changes within just 100 years.

What Europe’s Egg-Hurling Farmers Can Teach Us about Climate Progress

Grist, February 20, 2024

EU officials had big plans to slash emissions from farming. Then the protests started.

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