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Sci-News Roundup April 06 - April 12, 2024

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

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

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)


Peter Higgs: Science Mourns Giant of Particle Physics

Nature, April 10, 2024

The British physicist, who has died aged 94, predicted the existence of the Higgs boson in the 1960s.

How the Ancient Art of Eclipse Prediction Became an Exact Science

Quanta, April 05, 2024

The timing of the total eclipse on April 8, 2024, will be known to within a second, thousands of years after fearful humans first started trying to anticipate these cosmic events.

The French Aristocrat Who Understood Evolution 100 Years Before Darwin – And Even Worried about Climate Change

The Guardian, April 07, 2024

In later editions of The Origin of Species, Darwin acknowledged Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, as one of the “few” people who had understood that species change and evolve, before Darwin himself.  

Vikings Had Unusual 'Permanent Body Modification' Practice That Could Have Been Part of 'Rite of Initiation

The Science Times, April 01, 2024

In recent years, researchers have been able to document evidence of Viking Age body modification forms: artificially deformed skulls and filed teeth.

A Periodic Table of Primes: Research Team Claims That Prime Numbers Can Be Predicted

Phys.Org, April 03, 2024

Both arithmetic aficionados and the mathematically challenged will be equally captivated by new research that upends hundreds of years of popular belief about prime numbers.


First Results from DESI Make the Most Precise Measurement of Our Expanding Universe

Symmetry, April 04, 2024

With just its first year of data, DESI has surpassed all previous 3D spectroscopic maps combined and confirmed the basics of our best model of the universe.

The Polar Vortex Has Shifted Into Reverse – And Is Now Spinning Backwards

Science Alert, April 05, 2024

A major current of circulating air called the Arctic polar vortex has completely reversed course and is now spinning 'backwards'. With winds now blowing easterly, scientists are trying to predict what effect this might have on weather systems in the coming months.

Gravitational Waves Reveal “Mystery Object” Merging with a Neutron Star

Ars Technica, April 08, 2024

The so-called "mass gap" might be less empty than physicists previously thought.

The Biggest Questions: Are We Alone In the Universe?

MIT Technology Review, November 13, 2023

Scientists are training machine-learning models and designing instruments to hunt for life on other worlds.

Astronomers Detect Unusual Radio Pulses from Nearby Magnetar

Sci-News, Apr 08, 2024

Astronomers using CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope (Murriyang) have detected unusual radio signals from XTE J1810-197, a radio magnetar (ultra-magnetic neutron star) located 8,100 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius.


Artificial intelligence and Deep Learning: Your Questions Answered

Plus, February 29, 2024

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning – these ideas now frequently appear in the news, are part of important debates in government, and a growing discussion in wider society.

Overcoming the Challenges of Growing Plants in Space

Cosmos, April 07, 2024

A plan is now unfolding at NASA to grow plants in space, in fact on the moon, when it returns to the lunar surface in the Artemis program, possibly within two years.

Get Ready for the Robotic Fish Revolution

Hakai, March 25, 2024

Scientists say swarms of robotic fish could soon make traditional underwater research vehicles obsolete.

In a 6-Year Trial, Diverse Cropping Was a Triple-Win: Less Emissions, More Income, More Yields

Anthropocene, January 19, 2024 (scroll down to article)

Simply adding sweet potato, peanuts, and soy crops to the regular wheat-maize mix across the North China Plain could offset national emissions by almost 6%, a new study found.

Climate Engineering Carries Serious National Security Risks − Countries Facing Extreme Heat May Try It Anyway, and the World Needs to Be Prepared

The Conversation, April 04, 2024

There are many unanswered questions about the effects of deliberately altering the climate, and there is no consensus about whether it is even a good idea to find out


Your Muscles Keep Time Too. How Circadian Rhythms Affect Your Workout and Your Health

NPR/Shots March 29, 2024

the last decade has brought a wave of new research on the interplay between exercise timing and circadian rhythms — the patterns in our physiology and behavior that fluctuate over the 24-hour cycle. These advances have led to new insights about how the timing of your workouts can affect both health and athletic performance.

Your Brain at 40, 50, 60, and Beyond: What to Expect as You Age

EveryDay Health, April 08, 2024

What's normal? What's not? Find out what experts say about the cognitive aging process and the secrets of ‘super-agers.’

Plastic Chemicals Are Inescapable — And They’re Messing With Our Hormones

Grist, March 22, 2024

Researchers say the U.N.'s global plastics treaty must reduce production and protect public health.

What Is a Mineral Deficiency?

Healthline, March 15, 2018

Minerals are specific kinds of nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly. A mineral deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t obtain or absorb the required amount of a mineral.

US Study Finds RSV As Severe As COVID-19, Flu

Cosmos, April 08, 2024

RSV typically causes cold or flu-like symptoms, but can also lead to particularly serious issues such as inflammation of airways in the lungs. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under age 1.


DNA Says You’re Related to a Viking, a Medieval German Jew or a 1700s Enslaved African? What a Genetic Match Really Means

The Conversation, March 29, 2024

What type of a relationship with a medieval person does a shared DNA fragment imply? It turns out, not too much that will help with your family roots research.

Part of the San Andreas Fault May Be Gearing Up for an Earthquake

Live Science, April 09, 2024

The Parkfield section of the San Andreas fault is sending mixed messages before a time of expected increased seismic risk.

10 Historical First Impressions of Animals and Plants

Mental Floss, April 08, 2024

If you were an early European explorer to South America, you’d be freaked out by sloths too.

Six Degrees of Plant Extinction

The Revelator, April 05, 2024

When humans bring new plants to an ecosystem, it can slowly push out the original inhabitants. Research shows us how to identify this threat before plant species become “the living dead.”

Periodical Cicadas Emerge Every 13 or 17 Years. How Do They Keep Track of Time?

Scientific American, April 05, 2024

Periodical cicadas have a clever hack to help them figure out when to emerge after more than a decade underground.


EPA Has Limited Six ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water - But There Are 15,000

The Guardian, April 11, 2024

Strong new limits for some PFAS compounds in drinking water set by the US Environmental Protection Agency this week are being celebrated for how far they go in reducing exposures to the dangerous chemicals. But public health advocates say the rules merely represent a first step that is limited in its impact on the broader PFAS crisis because they do not directly prevent more pollution or force the chemical industry to pay for cleanup.

Above Average Hurricane Season Predicted

Clean Technica, April 08, 2024

Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is increasing hurricane precipitation, exacerbating storm surges and flooding, and fueling more intense hurricanes as measured by wind or central pressure.

Ever Larger Cargo Ships Threaten Bridges, Ports and Other Structures

Scientific American, March 29, 2024

Cargo ships, like the one that caused the Baltimore bridge to collapse, are getting dangerously big.

“Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back” – Governments Off Course for Forest Protection Target

Climate Change News, April 04, 2024

While Brazil and Colombia saw forest loss drop, their progress was offset by rises elsewhere.

Walmart’s ‘Regenerative Foodscape’

Civil Eats, November 01, 2023

Walmart’s efforts to redefine itself as a regenerative company are at odds with its low-cost model, and combined with the Walton family’s vast investments in regenerative agriculture, have the potential to remake the marketplace.


Should Big Oil Be Tried for Homicide?

Inside Climate News, April 04, 2024

A group of activists and legal experts are promoting the argument that fossil fuel companies should be charged for homicide and other crimes for their roles in driving climate harms.

IEA Think Tank Contributes to Climate Science Denial Documentary

DeSmog, April 08, 2024

The group, which received money from BP for at least 50 years, is “cementing its role as a major mouthpiece for climate change scepticism”, campaigners say.

Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Hit New Record Levels

Common Dreams, April 06, 2024

The three most critical heat-trapping gases in Earth's atmosphere (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide) again reached record levels last year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday, underscoring the inadequacy of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions amid the worsening climate emergency.

How Big Is Your Carbon Footprint?

Yale Climate April 05, 2024

Does recycling actually do anything? What about carbon offsets? Did you know that the average person’s carbon footprint is about 6.5 tons, but the average American’s footprint is double that?

US Meat Lobby Delighted at ‘Positive’ Prospects for Industry After COP28

The Guardian, April 08, 2024

Livestock bosses celebrate outcome at online summit, while critics condemn failure to tackle meat and dairy consumption.

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