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Sci-News Roundup May 04 - May 10, 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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Recent and Upcoming Events

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

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

May 06 Kingdom of Play (Forum Network webinar)

May 14 Our Expanding Universe: The DESI Project's First Results (FN webinar)

June 18 New Directions in Particle Physics (Forum Network webinar)


How Viking-Age Hunters Took Down the Biggest Animal on Earth

Hakai, May 07, 2024

New research suggests that medieval Icelanders were scavenging and likely even hunting blue whales long before industrial whaling technology.

Tying Together Black Holes, Quantum Gravity and Number Theory

Plus.Maths, May 07, 2024

"The 20th century was the interaction of geometry and physics, and the 21st century is the interaction of number theory with physics."

Scientists Prove Schrodinger's Cat Can Be in Two Places at Once

How Stuff Works, March 12, 2024

Yale scientists have successfully achieved "two-mode cat states" in the lab for the first time, a significant step towards realizing the potential of quantum computing.

8 Myths About Dead Bodies, Debunked

Mental Floss, May 06, 2024

There are plenty of mysteries surrounding death, but the misconceptions below shouldn't be counted among them. If you assumed that corpses are dangerous and fingernails keeping growing after you die, read on.

A Rosetta Stone for Mathematics

Quanta, May 06, 2024

In 1940 André Weil wrote a letter to his sister, Simone, outlining his vision for translating between three distinct areas of mathematics. Eighty years later, it still animates many of the most exciting developments in the field.


NASA's Stunning New Simulation Sends You Diving Into a Black Hole

Science Alert, May 07, 2024 (w/video)

It's a question that has dogged humanity since we first learned about black holes a little over a century ago: What the heck would it be like to plunge beyond the point of no return? We still don't have an answer, but a new supercomputer simulation is the best guess we have, based on current data.

New Particle At Last! Physicists Detect the First “Glueball”

Big Think, May 07, 2024

Glueballs are an unusual, unconfirmed Standard Model prediction, suggesting bound states of gluons alone exist. We just found our first one.

The Sun Is Super Active Right Now. Here’s How It Can Affect Electronics on Earth

PBS News, April 28, 2024 (video + transcript)

Experts say the sun is now in its most active period in two decades, causing potential disruptions to radio and satellite communications.

The Universe Could Be Filled With Ultralight Black Holes That Can't Die

Universe Today, May 04, 2024

It’s that time again! Time for another model that will finally solve the mystery of dark matter. Or not, but it’s worth a shot.

Venus Has Almost No Water. A New Study May Reveal Why

EurekAlert! May 06, 2024

The new study fills in a big gap in what the researchers call “the water story on Venus.”


How to Spot Fake Online Reviews (With a Little Help from AI)

The Conversation, May 02, 2024

While consumer reviews can guide us towards the best products and services, concealed within the shadows are deceptive reviews, meticulously crafted to deceive and manipulate. Fake feedback, you might call it.

This Sound-Suppressing Silk Can Create Quiet Spaces

MIT News, May 07, 2024

Researchers engineered a hair-thin fabric to create a lightweight, compact, and efficient mechanism to reduce noise transmission in a large room.

The Revenge of the Home Page

New Yorker, May 01, 2024

As social networks become less reliable distributors of the news, consumers of digital journalism are seeking out an older form of online real estate.

Small Reactors Don’t Add Up as a Viable Energy Source

Cosmos, May 05, 2024

In comparison, the cost of each megawatt-hour of electricity from wind and solar photovoltaic plants is around (Australian) $100, even after accounting for the cost involved in balancing the variability of output from solar and wind plants.

Nature’s Threads: Creating Clothes from the Ground Up

EU Horizon, May 01, 2024

Researchers are turning to two crops to tackle the environmental harm of apparel made with synthetic fibers.


Sitting, Sleeping, Standing, Moving – Revealing the Perfect Mix for Optimal Health

Cosmos, May 04, 2024

Current health guidelines recommend you stick to a sensible regime of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity 2.5–5 hours per week.

However mounting evidence now suggests how you spend your day can have meaningful ramifications for your health.

Nutrition and Eye Health

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Standard health improvements are easy to recognize, but it’s also true that the right food choices can offer less obvious benefits, such as helping preserve the quality of our vision at all ages

Can Olive Oil Help Lower the Risk of Dementia-Related Death?

Medical News Today, May 06, 2024

Researchers are reporting that consuming about half a tablespoon per day of olive oil might reduce the risk of dementia-related death.

They noted that diet quality did not affect the benefits of olive oil.

Should You Do Cardio Before or After Lifting Weights?

Life Hacker, May 06, 2024

Strength and cardio can interfere slightly with each other if you do them in the same session. If you have the time budget for two-a-days, you might want to do one workout in the morning and the other in the evening, rather than trying to do both at the same time.

Can Food Work as Medicine?

Scientific American, May 01, 2024

Doctors are starting to prescribe vegetables or entire meals to ward off disease.


Wounded Orangutan Seen Using Plant as Medicine

BBC News, May 02, 2024 (w/video)

A Sumatran orangutan in Indonesia has self-medicated using a paste made from plants to heal a large wound on his cheek, say scientists.

It is the first time a creature in the wild has been recorded treating an injury with a medicinal plant.

They Swim and They Spin: Meet the Aquatic Spiders

Knowable, April 24, 2024

Some make nests inside seashells, others tote bubbles of air on their backs. The spiders that went back to water evolved lots of slick survival strategies.

Expansive Soil and Expansive Clay


In a typical year in the United States, expansive soils cause a greater financial loss to property owners than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined.

Quantum Magneto-Reception: The Evolutionary Secrets of Bird Navigation

Sci-Tech Daily, May 06, 2024

A new genetic study suggests that the protein cryptochrome 4 in bird eyes is key to their magnetic navigation abilities, with evolutionary changes highlighting its role in adapting to different environments.

Beautiful Armor

American Scientist, Nov-Dec 2023 issue (great images)

The rich variety of mollusk shells reflects the diversity of the phylum, which has fascinated humans for millennia.


Gas Stoves Emit Unsafe Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide

Earth, May 06, 2024

Recent research highlights the significant impact this gas can have on indoor air quality, revealing that even bedrooms can become saturated with harmful levels of pollutants shortly after cooking, and these levels can linger for hours.

UN Expert Attacks ‘Exploitative’ World Economy in Fight to Save Planet

The Guardian, May 07, 2024

Outgoing special UN rapporteur David Boyd said: “I started out six years ago talking about the right to a healthy environment having the capacity to bring about systemic and transformative changes. But this powerful human right is up against an even more powerful force in the global economy, a system that is absolutely based on the exploitation of people and nature.

Smothered by Seaweed: Sargassum Wreaks Havoc on Caribbean Ecosystems

The Revelator

Its growth driven to epic levels by climate change and fertilizer runoff, sargassum puts dozens of species — and people — at risk.

Climbers Have Turned Mount Everest Into a High-Altitude Garbage Dump, But Sustainable Solutions Are Within Reach

The Conversation, May 01, 2024

The trash problem first became evident in the 1980s and 1990s, when climbing on the mountain and trekking in Khumbu began to increase. Climber and trekker numbers have further skyrocketed in the past 20 years.

Invasive Plants Are a Menace. Here’s How to Avoid Them in Your Garden.

Washington Post, May 04, 2024

What to know to avoid buying invasive plants and how to manage them if you have them already.


World’s Top Climate Scientists Expect Global Heating to Blast Past 1.5C Target

The Guardian, May 07, 2024

Almost 80% of the respondents, all from the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), foresee at least 2.5C of global heating, while almost half anticipate at least 3C (5.4F). Only 6% thought the internationally agreed 1.5C (2.7F) limit would be met. Many scientists envisage a “semi-dystopian” future, with famines, conflicts and mass migration, driven by heatwaves, wildfires, floods and storms of an intensity and frequency far beyond those that have already struck.

How to Fix the Finance Flows That Are Pushing Our Planet to the Brink

Climate Change News, May 01, 2024

Commercial banks are financing a huge amount of fossil-fuel and industrial agriculture activities in the Global South – they must turn off the tap.

Academics and Lawmakers Slam an Industry-Funded Report by a Former Energy Secretary Promoting Natural Gas and LNG

Inside Climate News, May 05, 2024

The report, led by former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, came as an investigation by Democrats in Congress exposed efforts by the oil and gas industry to downplay the climate impact of natural gas.

CO2 Removal Ambitions Falling Well Short of Need for 1.5°C Warmer World

Cosmos, May 03, 2024

An analysis led by Berlin-based Mercator Research Institute (MCC) involving European, UK and US-based scientists released today in the journal Nature Climate Change demonstrates the “ambition gap” between the amount of carbon dioxide countries say they will remove and what is actually being taken out of earth systems.

How Do Scientists Know How Much Climate Change Affects a Hurricane, a Heat wave, a Drought, and More?

Yale Climate Connections, May 06, 2024

The field of attribution science is 20 years old this year, and scientists’ ability to detect the fingerprints of climate change in extreme weather events is growing stronger.

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