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Sci-News Roundup June 08 - June 14, 2024

General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate


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


Recent Events

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

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

May 06 Kingdom of Play (Forum Network 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)




GENERAL INTEREST


Why Do Some People Have A Better Memory Than Others?

Science ABC, May 22, 2024

People who can remember events in greater detail and for longer tend to pay more attention and observe more details surrounding objects and events. They may also have superior recall skills.


Neutrinos: The Inscrutable “Ghost Particles” Driving Scientists Crazy

Ars Technica, June 11, 2024

They hold the keys to new physics. If only we could understand them.


Domestication of Modern Horse Didn’t Occur before 2,700 BCE, DNA Study Suggests

Sci-News, June 07, 2024

Horses revolutionized human history with fast mobility. However, the timeline between their domestication and widespread integration as a means of transportation remains contentious.


The New Math of How Large-Scale Order Emerges

Quanta, June 10, 2024

The puzzle of emergence asks how regularities emerge on macro scales out of uncountable constituent parts. A new framework has researchers hopeful that a solution is near.


8 Inventive Weapons of the Ancient World

The Collector, June 10, 2024

Despite the majority of ancient weapons being quite rudimentary, some were surprisingly sophisticated and ahead of their times.



COSMOS


Would Astronauts' Kidneys Survive a Roundtrip to Mars?

Phys.Org, June 11, 2024

The structure and function of the kidneys is altered by space flight, with galactic radiation causing permanent damage that would jeopardize any mission to Mars, according to a new study led by researchers from UCL.


Telescope Captured the Noise Humanity Leaks Into Space

Inverse, June 10, 2024

A radio telescope on its way to the Moon captured a “selfie” of our planet’s radio waves, updating a vintage 1990s science experiment by Carl Sagan.


The ‘Earthrise’ Image and the Impact of the Apollo 8 Mission

Astronomy, June 09, 2024

While often overshadowed by the giant leaps of the missions that followed, Apollo 8’s legacy is vast. Perhaps the most well-known artifact from the mission, the famous “Earthrise” photo taken by Anders, is credited with catalyzing the modern environmental movement.


How Many Holes Does the Universe Have?

Scientific American, May 31, 2024

The shape of the cosmos could be much more complex than anyone had ever imagined.


“Highly Unusual” Neutron Star Signals Detected in Western Australia

Cosmos, June 05, 2024

There have been more than 3,000 radio-emitting neutron stars discovered. The newly found star’s spin is well outside what astrophysicists predict of neutron star behaviour.



INNOVATION


The Country's First Utility-Run Geothermal Heating and Cooling System Launches in Framingham, MA

WBUR, June 03, 2024

Even taking into account that several of the buildings will be switching from natural gas to electricity, people are expected to see their electric bills drop by 20% on average. It's a model some experts say can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere.


Researchers Are Reinventing Glass for a Warmer World

Anthropocene, June 06, 2024 (scroll down to article)

Scientists have devised a window coating that looks like frosted glass but is brighter, provides cooling to reduce reliance on air-conditioning, and does not require cleaning.


Iron Power: Revolutionizing Batteries With Earth’s Most Abundant Metal

Sci-Tech Daily, June 11, 2024

New research introduces an iron-based cathode for lithium-ion batteries, offering lower costs and higher safety compared to traditional materials.


AI and Satellite Imager Can Spot Fires 500x Faster Than On-Ground

Cosmos, June 06, 2024

Wildfire detection is set to reach new heights – literally – thanks to a special CubeSat in low Earth orbit.


Q&A: The Sustainability of Regenerative Ocean Farming

Canadian Geographic, October 28, 2020

Environmental benefits and food sources from this low-cost form of farming might be the future.



HEALTH


PHD Diet –Eat Well and Feel Virtuous

Cosmos, June 10, 2024

According to scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the ‘Planetary Health Diet’, or PHD, is associated with a halving of land use and 29% reduction in greenhouse gases for those who stick to it. Greenhouse-gas-emitting fertilizer use is also cut by around 20%.


PFAS Are Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ That Linger in Our Air, Water, Soil and Bodies – Here’s How to Keep Them Out of Your Drinking Water

The Conversation, June 11, 2024

Close to half of America’s tap water contains PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These “forever chemicals” are in thousands of products, from clothing and cosmetics to cleaning products, and are linked to cancers, liver damage, high cholesterol and asthma.


Eating More Garlic Could Help Improve Your Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels

EveryDay Health, June 06, 2024

A major new research analysis confirms it: Taking a garlic supplement or eating more garlic is good for you, according to experts.


A Disturbing Trend in Colon and Rectal Cancers

Tufts Now, June 10, 2024

A physician and researcher explains what young people should know amid a rise in colorectal cancer in those under 50.


As You Age, Balance Can Become an Issue. Here’s What To Do.

Washington Post, June 03, 2024

Feeling unsteady? Take these steps to improve your balance and help you avoid falls.



NATURE


Spots, Stripes and More: Working Out the Logic of Animal Patterns

Knowable, May 23, 2024

More than 70 years ago, mathematician Alan Turing proposed a mechanism that explained how patterns could emerge from bland uniformity. Scientists are still using his model — and adding new twists — to gain a deeper understanding of animal markings.


Don't Freak Out About the Giant Spiders Dropping From the Sky This Summer

Life Hacker, June 06. 2024

Their size, venomousness, and ability to rain from the sky have all been highly exaggerated.


Do Elephants Have Names for Each Other?

Nature, June 10, 2024

Machine learning and careful observation suggest that some of the animals’ calls are specific to individuals, similar to a person’s name.


What's the Difference Between a Rock and a Mineral?

Live Science, June 11, 2024

Rocks and minerals are closely related, but there are fundamental differences between the two.


Nature Groups Launch Legal Bid Over Wildlife Loss

BBC, June 07, 2024

One in six UK species are currently at risk of extinction and a legally-binding target was set by the Conservative government to stop nature loss by 2030. Organizations including the National Trust, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts have also joined forces to urge politicians from all parties to pledge to do more to boost biodiversity.



ENVIRONMENT


The Man Who Warned Us About UPFs: Michael Pollan on His 25-year Fight With the Food Industry

The Guardian, June 06, 2024 (excellent film)

His Oscar-nominated 2008 documentary Food, Inc exposed the horrors of industrial agriculture in the US. Now, a sequel shows that the corporate behemoths have no intention of loosening their grip.


Worries in Wine Country: Napa Valley Wrestles with Chemical Contamination Controversy 

The New Lede, June 09, 2024

A growing body of evidence, including regulatory inspection reports and emails between regulators and CFL owners, suggests the landfill and a related garbage collection, recycling and composting business known as Upper Valley Disposal Services (UVDS) have routinely polluted those local waterways that drain into the Napa River with an assortment of dangerous toxins. The river irrigates the valley’s beloved vineyards and is used recreationally for kayaking by over 10,000 people annually.


Sargassum Is Choking the Caribbean’s White Sand Beaches, Fueling an Economic and Public Health Crisis

The Conversation, June 04, 2024

The Caribbean’s sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and vibrant coral reefs filled with an amazing variety of sea creatures have long been the pride of the islands. But all that is now under threat.


PFAS 'Forever Chemicals': What The Latest Data Shows About MA's Water

Patch, June 10, 2024

New EPA data show dozens of water systems in Eastern Massachusetts showed higher levels of PFAS in drinking water than its proposed limit.


Ask a Scientist: Stopping Big Ag from Hijacking US Farm and Food Policy

Union of Concerned Scientists/The Equation, May 14, 2024

Successive farm bills have subsidized large, industrialized operations at the expense of midsize and small farms and failed to adequately help food insecure Americans in an equitable, responsible way.



CLIMATE


A Heat Dome Can Bring Dangerously High Temperatures. What Is It?

NPR, June 06, 2024

If you want to visualize how a heat dome can trap a region in intensely hot weather, picture yourself making a grilled cheese sandwich.


UN Chief Calls On Governments to Ban Fossil Fuel Ads

Climate Home News, June 05, 2024

António Guterres says many nations have already banned tobacco advertising and should do the same for fossil fuels, reining in “the Godfathers of climate chaos.”


News and Tech Media Mostly Quiet After UN Chief Calls For Ban on Ads for Oil and Gas

The Guardian, June 07, 2024

Amid growing scrutiny of their relationships with fossil-fuel companies, some outlets have taken steps to mitigate criticism. National Public Radio’s public editor this year said oil sponsorship should be “handled carefully” after the network faced pushback for accepting funding from fossil-fuel giant ExxonMobil. The New York Times in 2021 pledged to ban oil-and-gas companies from sponsoring its climate newsletter and events, and its podcast The Daily.


'Dystopian': UAE Used Global Climate Summit to Push $100 Billion in New Oil Deals

Common Dreams, June 05, 2024

"Make no mistake, COP28 was hijacked by the interests of the fossil fuel industry," said one campaigner.


What’s the Best Way to Tackle Climate Change? An ‘Evidence Bank’ Could Help Scientists Find Answers

Nature, June 06, 2024

Synthesizing research on which policies are most effective is a key priority in climate science, advocates say.




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