Thursday, 21 June 2018

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ex-Nasa scientist: 30 years on, world is failing 'miserably’ to address climate change

Ex-Nasa scientist: 30 years on, world is failing 'miserably’ to address climate change

Thirty years after a former Nasa scientist sounded the alarm for the general public about climate change and human activity, the expert issued a fresh warning that the world is failing “miserably” to deal with the worsening dangers.

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Monday, 18 June 2018

The Untold Good News Story of America Today

The Untold Good News Story of America Today

A grassroots movement getting few headlines could yet herald a new American age of change.

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Study finds less corruption in countries where more women are in government

Study finds less corruption in countries where more women are in government

A greater representation of women in the government is bad news for corruption, according to a new study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization by researchers Chandan Jha of Le Moyne College and Sudipta Sarangi of Virginia Tech. In a cross-country analysis of over 125 countries, this study finds that corruption is lower in countries where a greater share of parliamentarians are women. The study further finds that women’s representation in local politics is important too – the likelihood of having to bribe is lower in regions with a greater representation of women in local-level politics in Europe.

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Women who identify as ‘early birds’ are less likely to get depressed, study claims

Women who identify as ‘early birds’ are less likely to get depressed, study claims

Women who describe themselves as “early risers” are less likely to develop depression, new research claims. A study of more than 32,000 women published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that those who are naturally inclined to wake up early are at a lower risk of the mental illness due to greater daylight exposure. Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston examined...

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This concrete can trap CO2 emissions forever

This concrete can trap CO2 emissions forever

Concrete is the most abundant man-made material on earth. There's a good chance you're standing on it right now, and it's holding up the buildings around you. But concrete has an emissions problem. Its essential ingredient, cement, has a huge carbon footprint.

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The most likely cradles for life inside our solar system

The most likely cradles for life inside our solar system

Scientists still believe it possible that extraterrestrial life could flourish in our own neighbourhood. This week, Nasa’s veteran Curiosity rover discovered complex organic matter that had been buried and preserved for more than 3bn years in sediments forming a lake bed. This means that if microbial life did land on Mars, it would be nourished.

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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Antarctica is melting faster than anyone thought, and we're not ready for the sea level rise that's coming

Antarctica is melting faster than anyone thought, and we're not ready for the sea level rise that's coming

The melting rate of Antarctic ice has tripled in recent years. If the acceleration of ice melt were to continue, it could potentially cascade.

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Your brain values chocolate over cheese

Your brain values chocolate over cheese

Humans place a high premium on foods that contain both fats and sugars.

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A 'spillover' effect found in consensually nonmonogamous relationships

A 'spillover' effect found in consensually nonmonogamous relationships

New research on consensually non-monogamous relationships indicates that having one partner who meets your sexual needs is linked to increased satisfaction not only in that relationship, but also in a concurrent relationship. The study was recently published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. “Generally I am interested in how having partners who are motivated to be responsive to your needs is associated with satisfaction,” said Amy Muise, an assistant professor at York University and corresponding author of the study.

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Was that script written by a human or an AI? Here’s how to spot the difference.

Was that script written by a human or an AI? Here’s how to spot the difference.

Olive Garden commercials are way too complex for artificial intelligence to recreate.

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Brain matures faster due to childhood stress

Brain matures faster due to childhood stress

Stress in early childhood leads to faster maturation of certain brain regions during adolescence. In contrast, stress experienced later in life leads to slower maturation of the adolescent brain. This is the outcome of a long-term study conducted in which 37 subjects have been monitored for almost 20 years.

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£720m Large Hadron Collider upgrade 'could upend particle physics'

£720m Large Hadron Collider upgrade 'could upend particle physics'

A massive project to supercharge the world’s largest particle collider launched on Friday in the hope that the beefed-up machine will reveal fresh insights into the nature of the universe. The 950m Swiss franc (£720m) mission will see heavy equipment, new buildings, access shafts and service tunnels installed, constructed and excavated at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, the particle physics laboratory on the edge of Geneva.

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Flexible nanotubes pack a punch

Flexible nanotubes pack a punch

Since they are flexible, high-aspect-ratio nanostructures store elastic energy. When released, this energy could be used to destroy bacteria by physically stretching and rupturing their cell membranes. This technique was inspired by the bactericidal nature of insect wings and destroys both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria at extremely high rates. The nanostructures could make for a new type of highly efficient mechano-responsive antibacterial surface.

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New type of photosynthesis discovered

New type of photosynthesis discovered

The discovery changes our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite the textbooks. It will also tailor the way we hunt for alien life and provide insights into how we could engineer more efficient crops that take advantage of longer wavelengths of light.

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A surprise find: 99-million-year-old frog encased in amber

A surprise find: 99-million-year-old frog encased in amber

The specimens, the oldest known, were excavated from northern Myanmar.

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Long suspected theory about the Moon holds water

Long suspected theory about the Moon holds water

A team of Japanese scientists led by Masahiro Kayama of Tohoku University's Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences, has discovered a mineral known as moganite in a lunar meteorite found in a hot desert in northwest Africa. This is significant because moganite is a mineral that requires water to form, reinforcing the belief that water exists on the Moon.

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Friday, 15 June 2018

The Milky Way Just Got Larger

The Milky Way Just Got Larger

Researchers surveyed stars, finding that the Milky Way is twice as large as previously thought.

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Astronomers catch a black hole devouring a star

Astronomers catch a black hole devouring a star

Astronomers Seppo Mattila and Miguel PĂ©rez-Torres usually study the natural deaths of stars, but they weren’t going to pass up the chance to investigate a stellar murder. A new paper in Science describes how they nabbed photographic evidence that a supermassive black hole in a relatively nearby galaxy tore apart and consumed part of a star in a phenomenon called a tidal disruption event (TDE), spewing jets of material in the process. Scientists have observed these cosmic crime scenes before, but this was the first time anyone managed to get such detailed images of the jets and their changing structure over time.

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Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP | Linux Journal

Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP | Linux Journal

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is an enormous (roughly 6,000-page) treaty between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was signed in Chile on March 8, 2018. So far, only Mexico and Japan have ratified it. CPTPP is almost identical to the original TPP, which included those 11 countries plus the United States. In early 2017, the US withdrew from the treaty, which its President had previously described as a "terrible deal".

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Why do only some people get blackout drunk?

Why do only some people get blackout drunk?

Even when drinking the same amount as others, only some people experience blackouts. But blacking out can predict other problems down the line.

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Astronomers find source of stars' mysterious microwaves

Astronomers find source of stars' mysterious microwaves

Mysterious streams of microwaves that come from far across the galaxy have been traced to immense clouds of spinning diamonds that swirl around newly-born stars. Astronomers have been stumped by the strange waves since they were first spotted more than 20 years ago, but now appear to have solved the puzzle after training US and Australian telescopes on rings of dust that circle stars about 500 light years from Earth.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

'Lost' tapes help scientists solve decades-old mystery of warming moon

'Lost' tapes help scientists solve decades-old mystery of warming moon

It may have been one giant leap for man, but those steps may have consequences for mankind. The presence of astronauts on the moon caused an unexpected warming of its subsurface temperatures for a period of time in the 1970s, a new study has found after delving into "lost" tapes from the Apollo missions. In 1971 and 1972, NASA deployed sensors on the moon during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions in an effort to measure the moon's surface and subsurface temperatures — a project dubbed the heat flow experiment.

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Faecal transplants could help preserve vulnerable species

Faecal transplants could help preserve vulnerable species

New gut bacteria can expand the diet of animals like koalas and rhinoceroses.

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time

The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time

On the frontlines of extinction in the Gulf of California, where the vaquita faces its final days.

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Scientists find new solar system with planets the same size as ours

Scientists find new solar system with planets the same size as ours

Two new solar systems, filled with their own worlds, have been found relatively close to our own. One of them is just 160 light years from Earth and includes three planets that are remarkably similar in size to our own. One of the three is exactly the same size as our own world, and the others are only ever so slightly bigger.

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Tourism Is Much Worse for the Environment Than We Thought, and It's Not Just About Your Plane's Carbon Emissions

Tourism Is Much Worse for the Environment Than We Thought, and It's Not Just About Your Plane's Carbon Emissions

It’s been known for years that air travel is one of the worst things a person can do for the environment. In fact, just one round-trip flight from New York to California emits 20 percent of the greenhouse gases produced by the typical passenger vehicle over the course of an entire year. However, in even worse news for travel-lovers, a recent study found that tourism accounts for a full 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This includes not only plane transit, but food production for tourists; hotel construction, maintenance and cleaning; and the manufacture and sale of souvenirs.

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Saturday, 9 June 2018

Tesla might have achieved battery energy density and cost breakthroughs

Tesla might have achieved battery energy density and cost breakthroughs

There was a lot of news that came out of Tesla shareholder meeting this week, but there was one important statement that sort of went under the radar. Elon Musk is generally careful not to use the term “breakthrough” when describing advancements in battery technology but he has used it this week to talk about Tesla’s latest advancements in battery energy density and cost.

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Marine Heat Waves, Changing Ocean Currents and Capitalism's Threat to Life

Marine Heat Waves, Changing Ocean Currents and Capitalism's Threat to Life

On World Oceans Day, let's commit to preserving this vital ecosystem.

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Plastic found in British mussels

Plastic found in British mussels

Researchers have found tiny pieces of plastic in all the samples of mussels they tested in British seawaters and bought from local supermarkets. The scientists, from the University of Hull and Brunel University, said the contamination from microplastics and other human debris, such as cotton and rayon, was significant and widespread. Mussels feed by filtering seawater.

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A&W Canada to eliminate plastic straws from all restaurants

A&W Canada to eliminate plastic straws from all restaurants

A&W restaurants in Canada will eliminate plastic straws from its locations by January 2019. The burger shack will become the first fast-food chain in North America to eliminate plastic straws in favour of biodegradable paper straws, according to representatives from A&W Canada. "We're on a waste reduction journey," said director of packaging Tyler Pronyk at an announcement on Friday. "By the end of the year, there will be no plastic straws in our restaurants."

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Research Finds Tipping Point for Large-scale Social Change

Research Finds Tipping Point for Large-scale Social Change

When organizations turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace, how many people need to take a stand before the behavior is no longer seen as normal? According to a new paper published to be published tomorrow in Science (link is external), there is a quantifiable answer: roughly 25% of people need to take a stand before large-scale social change occurs. This idea of a social tipping point applies to standards in the workplace, and any type of movement or initiative.

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The 'lost generation' of millennials born in the 1980s may never be as rich as their parents

The 'lost generation' of millennials born in the 1980s may never be as rich as their parents

Millennials face unique financial struggles, and those born in the 1980s might have the worst of it. This millennial cohort is at the risk of becoming a "lost generation" that accumulates less wealth during their lives, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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Training a neural network in phase-change memory beats GPUs

Training a neural network in phase-change memory beats GPUs

Specialized hardware that trains in-memory is both fast and energy-efficient.

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Friday, 8 June 2018

'Like a hit of heroin': What is behind the phenomenon of 'poo jogging'

'Like a hit of heroin': What is behind the phenomenon of 'poo jogging'

It was the question that struck many Australians as they read about the bizarre case of Queensland's so-called 'poo jogger' this week - why?

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Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses

Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses

Developers say project will cut costs and environmental damage and offer solution to shortage of bricklayers

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

The social robot that could help save indigenous languages

The social robot that could help save indigenous languages

A partnership between Google and Australian linguistic researchers could see AI play a role in digitising and preserving dozens of threatened languages.

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Syphilis and gonorrhoea up by one-fifth

Syphilis and gonorrhoea up by one-fifth

England has continued to see a rise in cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea over the past year. New data shows a 20% increase in cases of syphilis and a 22% increase in gonorrhoea, compared with 2016. Diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England remain stable overall, with around the same number reported as the previous year. Health experts have expressed concern over a decline in testing for chlamydia.

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Majority of Americans Believe It Is Essential That the U.S. Remain a Global Leader in Space

Majority of Americans Believe It Is Essential That the U.S. Remain a Global Leader in Space

Sixty years after the founding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), most Americans believe the United States should be at the forefront of global leadership in space exploration. Majorities say the International Space Station has been a good investment for the country and that, on balance, NASA is still vital to the future of U.S. space exploration even as private space companies emerge as increasingly important players.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Gravitational Waves Reveal the Heart of Neutron Stars

Gravitational Waves Reveal the Heart of Neutron Stars

Inside a neutron star—the city-size, hyperdense cinder left after a supernova—modern physics plunges off the edge of the map. There, gravity squeezes matter to densities several times greater than those found in the nucleus of an atom, creating what theorists suspect could be a breeding ground for never-before-seen exotic particles and interactions. But densities this high cannot be probed by laboratory experiments, and remain too challenging for even today’s most powerful computers to tackle.

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Plastic bans among ‘most effective’ ways to beat pollution, says UN

Plastic bans among ‘most effective’ ways to beat pollution, says UN

A landmark report by UN environment experts on plastic pollution, published to coincide with World Environment Day (5 June), shows that governments across the world are starting to take action and that bans and levies are starting to take off. The UN Environment’s Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability report looks at more than 60 case studies to come up with a number of recommendations to curb plastic pollution and combat an escalating problem that “we are already unable to cope with”.

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The Defeat of Reason

The Defeat of Reason

From quantum physics to the anti-rationalism of Thomas Kuhn. By Tim Maudlin.

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

'Lost continent' found under Mauritius

'Lost continent' found under Mauritius

Found -- one lost continent, hiding underneath a tropical holiday destination. It might sound implausible, but deep at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, a research team, led by South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, has found pieces of an ancient continent. The lava-covered piece of continent, dubbed 'Mauritia,' was found under the popular island of Mauritius. According to the report published this week in the journal Nature Communications, the piece of crust is left over from the breakup of Gondwanaland...

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Scientists Have Discovered The Brain Region Involved in Spiritual Experiences

Scientists Have Discovered The Brain Region Involved in Spiritual Experiences

Whether we think of ourselves as religious or not, lots of people experience moments in life that can be considered spiritual – where we feel a greater sense of meaningfulness, serenity, or connection with the world around us.

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