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Sci-News Roundup June 01 - June -07, 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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Upcoming Events

June 11 The Battle for the Future of Food (Forum Network webinar)

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

Recent Events

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

May 06 Kingdom of Play (Forum Network webinar video)

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

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


Why Colliding Particles Reveal Reality

Quanta, June 04, 2024

Much of what physicists know about the fundamental laws of nature has come from building machines to bash particles together.

3,500-Year-Old Rock Art of Wild Sheep and Double-Humped Camels Revealed in Kazakhstan

Live Science, June 01, 2024

About 100 petroglyphs, dating back around 3,500 years, have been discovered in Kazakhstan.

String theory: A Promise from Physics

Plus Maths, May 07, 2024

"String theory is an attempt to unify the theory of the large – general relativity and cosmology – with the theory of the small – the theory of particle physics," says He. "Somehow it became this rich [mathematical] framework that gave us lots of cool maths and lots of cool physics!" But this attempt to unify the two scales of physics has not been easy.

From War Machine to Supermarket Staple: A History of the Plastic Bag


Plastic bags didn't used to be this popular. So how did we get here?

The Truth about ADHD and Autism: How Many People Have It, What Causes It, and Why Are Diagnoses Soaring?

The Guardian, June 01, 2024

Growing awareness about ADHD and autism is reshaping thinking in science, society and medicine. Scientists explain what’s behind the rise – and the best ways to improve neuro-divergent lives.


Chinese Probe Collects Moon Samples and Heads for Earth

Universe Today, June 04, 2024

China says its Chang’e-6 spacecraft has gathered up soil and rocks from the far side of the moon and has lifted off from the surface, beginning a journey to bring the samples back to Earth. The probe’s payload represents the first lunar samples ever collected from the far side. If all goes according to plan, the orbiter will leave the moon’s orbit, head back to Earth and drop off the re-entry capsule for retrieval in China’s Inner Mongolia region sometime around June 25.

New Exoplanet Catalog Unveils 126 Exotic Worlds

EarthSky, June 02, 2024

The new NASA exoplanet catalog contains 126 newly discovered worlds of a wide variety. It will help astronomers learn more about how exoplanets form and evolve. The catalog will also help them compare exoplanets to planets in our own solar system.

Mathematicians Attempt to Glimpse Past the Big Bang

Quanta, May 31 2024

No experiment has yet been devised that can observe what happened before inflation. However, mathematicians can sketch out some possible scenarios.

Superstorm-Spawning Sunspot Cluster Is Facing Earth Again. What’s Next?

Scientific American, May 30, 3034

The massive sunspot region that gave Earthlings stunning auroral displays earlier in May is back from its trip around the far side of the sun.

A Magma Ocean Fuels This Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

EOS, May 30, 2024

The finding is an atmospheric first for astronomers but not for the planet.


Gene Therapy Trial Gives Deaf Children Hearing in Both Ears

The Guardian, June 05, 2024

Study participants born unable to hear could locate sound sources, recognize speech and dance to music after treatment.

Google Is an Even Bigger Privacy Nightmare Than You Think

Lifehacker, June 03, 2024

When something breaks at Google, it breaks for all of us.

No Physics? No Problem. AI Weather Forecasting Is Already Making Huge Strides.

Ars Technica, June 03, 2024

New model that predicts global weather can run on a single desktop computer.

A Promising Approach to Develop a Birth Control Pill for Men

EurekAlert!, May 23, 2024

In a study published in the journal Science, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborating institutions show in animal models that a novel, non-hormonal sperm-specific approach offers a promising option for reversible human male contraception.

Fungus Breaks Down Ocean Plastic

Science Daily, June 03, 2024

A fungus living in the sea can break down the plastic polyethylene, provided it has first been exposed to UV radiation from sunlight. Researchers expect that many more plastic degrading fungi are living in deeper parts of the ocean.


A Straightforward Gym Machine Workout Plan For Beginners

Coach, February 07, 2023

If you’ve never set foot in a gym before, this progressive gym machine workout plan will help you build confidence and muscle over 12 weeks.

Do You Know Your Body Type?

EveryDay Health, November 15, 2023

Knowing your somatotype — whether you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph — may be key to getting the results you want from your eating and exercise regimens.

Boost Sleep Quality by Eating More Fruits and Vegetables, Finnish Study Reveals

The Science Times, May 28, 2024

Stress, poor diet, and a lack of physical activity are making insomnia and shorter sleep periods more widespread. These problems are connected to many health issues, like heart disease and learning troubles.

Eye Exercises to Improve Sight – Is There Any Science Behind Them? An Ophthalmologist Explains Why You Shouldn’t Buy the Hype

The Conversation, May 30, 2024

You may have seen advertisements claiming to eliminate the need for eyeglasses through vision therapy or vision training – basically, eye exercises.

Brain Battles: How Stress Wipes Out Your Cognitive Reserve

Sci-Tech Daily, June 04, 2024

High or persistent stress levels are associated with reduced social interactions, impaired ability to engage in leisure and physical activities, and an increased risk of dementia.


Gigantic Invasive Spiders Set for New York City Debut This Summer

Gizmodo, June 03, 2024

Striking in color and size as they may be, however, Joro spiders aren’t a danger to humans.

Listen to the Yowling, Ethereal Sounds a Joshua Tree Can Be Made to Make

NPR/WBUR, June 03, 2024 (w/audio)

Scott Kildall holds a a microcontroller — just about the size of a credit card. It’s got a few wires sticking out, and an infrared sensor, which picks up wavelengths of light just beyond what the human eye can perceive. “It's kind of like magic,” Kildall says. “And the magic is just revealing something that's right beyond our levels of perception.”

Massive Hailstorms Keep Hitting the U.S. Here’s Why.

Washington Post, June 01, 2024

Meteorologists said such frequent hail storms are to be expected at this time of year, when spring warmth fuels severe weather. But there are some factors making them more damaging than ever, experts said.

Dogs Can Detect Scents Better Than the Most Advanced Lab Tools

Earth, May 30, 2024

Dogs contribute their exceptional olfactory abilities to many fields. They help solve crimes, assist in search and rescue operations, and detect medical conditions. Their keen sense of smell allows them to track scents and find people, substances, or diseases that would otherwise stay hidden.

Volcanic Eruption to Affect Weather for the Rest of the Decade

Cosmos, May 31, 2024

Because it was an underwater volcano, Hunga Tonga produced little smoke, but a lot of water vapor: 100–150 million tonnes, or the equivalent of 60,000 Olympic swimming pools. The enormous heat of the eruption transformed huge amounts of sea water into steam, which then shot high into the atmosphere with the force of the eruption.


Where the Wild Things Are: The Untapped Potential of Our Gardens, Parks and Balconies

The Guardian, May 28, 2024

Gardens could be part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crisis. But what are we doing? Disappearing them beneath plastic and paving.

Avocados Are a ‘Green Gold’ Export for Mexico, But Growing Them Is Harming Forests and Waters

The Conversation, May 29, 2024

On average, 90% of those avocados are grown in the southwest Mexican state of Michoacán. As with other foods that have become trendy, such as acai berries, or widely used, such as palm oil, intensive avocado production is causing significant environmental damage.

Inside Bayer’s State-by-State Efforts to Stop Pesticide Lawsuits

Civil Eats, March 27, 2024

As the agrichemical giant lays groundwork to fend off Roundup litigation, its use of a playbook for building influence in farm state legislatures has the potential to benefit pesticide companies nationwide.

‘Perfect Storm’ Hurricane Season Could Break Records

Futurity, June 03, 2024

From ominous and unsettling to daunting and dire, meteorologists have no shortage of adjectives to describe what the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season has in store.

Strengthening Microplastic Regulation to Protect Our Kidneys

Environmental Health News, May 30, 2024

While many factors — including medical co-morbidities, age and genetics — can contribute to kidney disease, more and more research is coming out showing how tiny plastic particles that we inadvertently consume on a regular basis damage our kidneys and may predispose us to kidney failure.


'Time to Go for the Jugular': Climate Movement Has New Plan to Destroy Big Oil

Common Dreams, June 03, 2024

"We have an opportunity for 18 months to organize, to take out the oil and gas industry," said one environmental leader during a Sanders Institute event in Vermont.

Pollution Paradox: How Cleaning Up Smog Drives Ocean Warming

Yale Environment 360, May 28, 2024

New research indicates that the decline in smog particles from China’s air cleanups caused the recent extreme heat waves in the Pacific. Scientists are grappling with the fact that reducing such pollution, while essential for public health, is also heating the atmosphere.

Oceans Face ‘Triple Threat’ of Extreme Heat, Oxygen Loss and Acidification

The Guardian, June 04, 2024

A third of world’s ocean surface particularly vulnerable to threats driven by burning fossil fuel and deforestation, new research finds.

Thawing Permafrost: Not a Climate Tipping Element, But Nevertheless Far-Reaching Impacts

EurekAlert!, June 03, 2024

AWI experts find no evidence of a global climate tipping point in connection with permafrost; rather, permafrost soils are thawing in step with global warming.

‘Heat Dome’ Brings California’s First Heat Wave of the Season, With Triple-Digit Temperatures

LA Times, June 03, 2024

A significant, early-season heat wave is expected to broil much of inland California this week, with highs set to top 100 from the Sacramento Valley to the Antelope Valley — dangerously high temperatures that experts warn could bring health risks given that nighttime cooling will be limited in many areas.

Science for the Public is a volunteer organization, whose mission is to provide accurate information about science concepts, innovations and issues from outstanding scientists. 

We produce public lectures, an interview program (Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations), and a mini-documentary series (Working Science). All of our productions are videotaped and are available on our website and our online channels, as well as on WGBH Forum Network and Belmont Media Center Community TV. 

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