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Sci-News Roundup March 23 - March 29, 2024

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

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Upcoming Events

Mar 19 Biodiversity in the Sixth Mass Extinction (Belmont Media Ctr)

Mar 26 Needed: An International Climate Change Solution (CANCELLED)

Apr 23 How Effective Are Vitamin D Supplements? (Belmont Media Ctr)

May 06 Kingdom of Play (Forum Network webinar)


Neolithic Boats Excavated in the Mediterranean Reveal Advanced Nautical Technology

Phys.Org, March 20, 2024

More than 7,000 years ago, people navigated the Mediterranean Sea using technologically sophisticated boats.

How Different Instruments Shape the Music We Love

Nautilus, March 22, 2024

The timbre of a violin or a sitar can affect how dissonant music sounds to us.

The Atomic Bomb, Exile and a Test of Brotherly Bonds: Robert and Frank Oppenheimer

Knowable, March 05, 2024

A rift in thinking about who should control powerful new technologies sent the brothers on diverging paths. For one, the story ended with a mission to bring science to the public.

How The World Takes Shape

Harvard GSAS, March 15, 2024 (author interview)

Jordan Ellenberg is the author of the best-selling book Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Absolutely Everything. He talks about how geometry can be a way of measuring and explaining the world, how an understanding of its principles helped societies manage the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it can help preserve democracy by preventing incidences of minority rule fostered by gerrymandering.

The Sticking Point: Why Physicists Are Still Struggling to Understand Ice’s Capacity to Adhere and Become Slippery

The Conversation, March 20, 2024

Whether in the form of frost or a smooth, transparent ice cube, ice adheres spontaneously and even quite strongly to many solid surfaces. However, as any careless person who has skidded on winter sidewalk can testify, ice can also be very slippery. In fact, ice can be both sticky and slippery.


Earth's Magnetic Field: Origin, Structure, and Impact on Humanity


This magnetic field serves as a protective shield against solar radiation and plays a crucial role in many of Earth’s life-sustaining systems.

Watch: What’s the Science Behind Safe Solar Eclipse Glasses?

Futurity, March 25, 2024 (text & video)

Properly protecting your eyes during a solar eclipse is crucial for avoiding long-term damage to your vision.

You See It All the Time, but How Much Do You Know about the Moon?


True or false? Infamously, Carl Sagan once called the Moon “boring.” True. Boy, was he wrong. As you will find out, if you read on. 

Dwarf Galaxies Could be the Key to Explaining Dark Matter

Universe Today, March 05, 2024

Because of their small size, they can be more significantly affected by dark matter. Their formation may even have been triggered by the distribution of dark matter. So they can be an excellent way to study this mysterious unseen material.

How Did the Big Bang Get Its Name? Here’s the Real Story

Nature, March 25, 2024

Astronomer Fred Hoyle supposedly coined the catchy term to ridicule the theory of the Universe’s origins — 75 years on, it’s time to set the record straight.


Need to Get to the Airport? Soon You Can Take an Air Taxi.

Washington Post, March 25, 2024

Many airlines and aviation companies are experimenting with new technologies not only to manage relentless economic pressure to be an affordable choice for transportation but also to be more environmentally friendly.

Google's AI Search Is Already Promoting Malware and Scams

Lifehacker, March 25, 2024

Not quite the search result you were looking for.

A Dutch Architect’s Vision of Cities That Float on Water

New Yorker, March 25, 2024

What if building on the water could be safer and sturdier than building on flood-prone land?

Iron Flow Battery Promises to Take Charge

Cosmos, March 26, 2024

A new battery which is safe, economical and water-based, has been designed to be used for large-scale energy storage. It promises to be able to support intermittent green energy sources like wind and solar into energy grids.

First Pig Liver Transplanted into a Person Lasts for 10 Days

Nature, March 20, 2024

Pig organs could provide temporary detox for people whose livers need time to recover or who are awaiting human donors.


Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief

WebMD, January 17, 2022

Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular routine.

'Dirty Dozen' Guide Shows 95% of These Fruits and Veggies Tested Positive for Pesticides

Common Dreams, March 20, 2024

This year, EWG scientists found that four out of five of the most frequently detected pesticides on the produce were fungicides that could have serious health impacts.

Is Hummus Healthy? 8 Great Reasons to Eat More Hummus

Healthline May 15, 2023

Hummus is an incredibly popular Middle Eastern dip and spread.Healthline, May 15, 2023

Hummus provides key nutrients, including protein. The ingredients in hummus may benefit your overall health and reduce the risk of certain health conditions.

How to Improve Memory Effectively

VeryWellMind, March 13, 2023

If you've ever found yourself forgetting where you left your keys or blanking out information on important tests, you've probably wondered how to improve memory.

Sitting Is Even Deadlier Than We Thought, A New Study Reveals

Inverse, March 17, 2024

How much sitting is too much?


Ancient Human Brains Are Preserved More Often Than You’d Think

Cosmos, March 20, 2024

Soft tissues preserved in the geological record, let alone entire organs, are rare finds for paleobiologists. But new research suggests that preserved human brains are more common in the archaeological record than previously thought.

A Double Emergence of Periodical Cicadas Isn’t Cicada-geddon—It’s a Marvel

Scientific American, March 11, 2024

These insects crawl out of the ground once every 13 or 17 years for a rush of mating and egg-laying until all the adults die, and the next generation is tucked underground until their own teenage years.

Is Africa Splitting in Two? Really? Here's the Scoop

How Stuff Works March 19, 2024

The notion of Africa splitting has the attention scientists and geologists worldwide, as the Great Rift Valley stretches and tears at the Earth's crust.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Species Diversity Is Directly Correlated with Productivity in Eastern U.S. Forests

EurekAlert!, March 25, 2024

When scientists and policymakers make tough calls on which areas to prioritize for conservation, biodiversity is often their top consideration.

Book Excerpt: In Animals, the Thin Line Between Play and Dreaming

Undark, March 15, 2024 (author, David Toomey)

Scientists are puzzled by the mysteries of both play and dreaming among animals, which may be intimately connected.


World’s Largest Oil Companies ‘Way Off Track’ on Emissions Goals, Report Finds

The Guardian, March 22, 2024

Despite splashy climate pledges, firms including BP and Saudi Aramco have plans to expand fossil fuel production, says analysis

How the Coral Crisis Affects Other Marine Wildlife

Cosmos, March 25, 2024

Marine heatwaves are killing coral and denuding reefs of their colorful beauty – but in a world where everything is food for something else, these heatwaves also pose a major threat to biodiversity.

The Plastic Industry Knowingly Pushed Recycling Myth for Decades, New Report Finds

PBS News, March 16, 2024 (video + transcript)

A new report by the Center for Climate Integrity and environmentalist group says newly uncovered statements from oil and plastics executives underscore the industry's decades long secret skepticism about the viability and efficacy of recycling.

Policy Is an Effective Tool in Reducing Chemical Exposure, Study Confirms

Environmental Health News, March 22 2024

A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives examined the outcomes of various dietary, clinical, and regulatory strategies to reduce exposure to two groups of harmful chemicals, bisphenols and phthalates. The results of this study demonstrate that policy interventions are more effective, more consistent, and have a more widespread impact than strategies that put the burden on individual consumers to avoid chemicals.

Aruba Embraces the Rights of Nature and a Human Right to a Clean Environment

Inside Climate News, March 25, 2024

A draft constitutional amendment would make the Caribbean nation the second country in the world to recognize that nature has the right to exist.


NOAA Gets Dire Warning about Solar Geoengineering

E&E News, March 25, 2024

The agency is being asked to strengthen a toothless rule that requires only a heads-up before experiments to modify the weather. Meddling with the climate is contentious, and efforts to regulate — or even study — geoengineering on a large scale have proven difficult both domestically and internationally.

‘Tone-Deaf’ Fossil Gas Growth in Europe Is Speeding Climate Crisis, Say Activists

The Guardian, March 26, 2024

Just 2% of continent’s gas capacity has planned retirement date despite pledges to decarbonize, study shows

Japan’s Cherry Blossoms Are a Marker of Natural Time — and How Climate Change Is Altering It

Vox, March 19, 2024

The age-old Japanese tradition of hanami has become a harbinger of change.

Phasing Out Fossil Fuels a ‘Fantasy,’ Oil Executives Say Amid Giant Profits

Washington Post, March 19, 2024

Despite a historic global climate deal, demand for oil is booming, executives emphasized at an energy conference in Houston.

Climate Models Can’t Explain 2023’s Huge Heat Anomaly — We Could Be in Uncharted Territory

Nature, March 19, 2024

Taking into account all known factors, the planet warmed 0.2 °C more last year than climate scientists expected. More and better data are urgently needed.

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