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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Conservation Agriculture Increases Carbon Sequestration In Food Crops

4 hours 12 min ago
One of the glaring errors in the controversial United Nations IPCC report critical of agriculture was that it used the Greenhouse Gas Protocol yet ignored the carbon sequestration of crops. A politically neutral examination of the science shows that agriculture is nowhere near as big a problem in emissions as activists have claimed.

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How Science Stopped Murder Hornets In Their Tracks

5 hours 35 min ago

Panic-stricken headlines about “murder hornets” are thankfully mostly behind us. The nickname may have staying power, but it is certainly unearned.

First spotted in British Columbia in August 2019, the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) poses little threat to humans. In its native range in East Asia, the giant hornet is chiefly a menace to the livelihoods of beekeepers, provoking concern that it could cause similar problems in North America.

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How Dying White Dwarfs Breathe Life Into Earth

8 hours 10 min ago
The origin of carbon in the Milky Way is a mystery but one source of many elements is not: Dying white dwarfs. As those dying stars pass into oblivion, they sprinkle their ashes into the cosmos. These ashes, spread via stellar winds, are enriched with many different chemical elements, including carbon.

The origin of carbon, an element essential to life on Earth, in the Milky Way galaxy is primarily speculation: some are in favor of the idea that low-mass stars blew off their carbon-rich envelopes by stellar winds became white dwarfs, while others place the major site of carbon's synthesis in the winds of massive stars that eventually exploded as supernovae.

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Developing Countries, Where Citizen Science Would Help Most, Is Where It Happens Least

10 hours 47 min ago
Is citizen science a luxury for wealthy countries? Pastimes like bird watching, which require very little wealth to start, are more common in developed lands, but it would help fill the gaps in science elsewhere.

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Elderly People Are More Likely To Get COVID-19, But Not More Likely To Self-Isolate

14 hours 30 sec ago
Surveys are not behavior but if surveys are any indication, elderly people are not willing to self-isolate, even knowing they are at greatest risk of getting COVID-19, the newest mutation of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and and spread worldwide.

Survey results from 27 countries find that elderly people are not more compliant with COVID-19 preventive measures and  not more willing to isolate when asked, even though it is established that older adults appear are far more likely to be hospitalized or die from the disease. 

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How Adaptive Radiation Shaped Reptile Evolution

Jul 06 2020 - 18:07
Though we've learned a lot about evolution in the last 150 years, when it comes to the details, some fundamental questions remain unanswered. Such as when and how extremely diverse groups of animals such as reptiles first evolved. For seventy-five years, adaptive radiation, the relatively fast evolution of many species from a single common ancestor, has been considered a major cause of biological diversity.

This has even been for the origins of major body plans (structural and developmental characteristics that identify a group of animals) and new lineages. Yet examining these rapid rates of evolution has been constrained by the methods used and the amount of data available.

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ACE-i And ARB Medications May Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

Jul 06 2020 - 17:07

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-i) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) medications are prescribed for conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure or heart disease. They inhibit or block angiotensin, a chemical that causes arteries to become narrow, so are commonly prescribed for people with high blood pressure to relax and open blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

They may also lower risk of colorectal cancer risk, the third most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

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Asthma Doesn't Increase Risk Or Severity Of COVID-19

Jul 06 2020 - 17:07
Though old age, respiratory issues, blood clots, and obesity are risk factors for likelihood and severity of COVID-19, one group in the respiratory section needn't worry more; asthmatics.

Asthma does not appear to increase the risk for a person contracting COVID-19 or influence its severity.

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Obesity Is A Co-Morbidity In Everything, Including COVID-19

Jul 06 2020 - 15:07
Coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it brings does not discriminate on race, creed, or color, but it does target people with pre-existing conditions. Like age, respiratory issues, and obesity, which are risk factors for nearly everything. And that can translate into cultural disparity.

Obese European minorities are up to two times higher the risk of contracting COVID-19 than white Europeans, a study has found. The study used body mass index (BMI), a controversial metric with numerous confounders, so caution is warranted, and cardiometabolic health. The researchers wanted to see if they could statistically link a person's weight to the relative risk of COVID-19 across ethnic groups.

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Though Claims Of Projected Deaths Were Wildly Exaggerated, Sweden Would've Saved Some Lives With A Lockdown

Jul 06 2020 - 15:07
Sweden did not lock down during COVID-19 and while aggressive epidemiological models promoted by bloggers wildly overstated the deaths that occurred, by an order of magnitude, it did produce more per capita deaths and greater healthcare demand than seen in countries with earlier, more stringent intervention.

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The Tree Planting Fad Threatens Ancient Grasslands

Jul 06 2020 - 13:07
When well-meaning people in Madagascar, urged on by poorly-informed environmentalists and carbon credit companies, rushed to plant a million trees in one January day, scientists were outraged. They were planting them in the country’s barren Central Highlands - and destroying an ancient ecosystem.

Ancient Madagascan grasslands fell victim to a modern frenzy to afforest the world that has gripped political leaders - and that is thanks to lobbyists paid by environmental lawyers.

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An Online, Interactive Conversation With David Orban July 6th, 7PM CET

Jul 05 2020 - 08:07
On July 6th, at 7PM CET (1PM in NY, 10AM in California) I will be chatting online with David Orban on his show Searching For The Question Live (#sftql) about the present and future of particle physics, artificial intelligence and its applications to research, science communication, and the whereabouts. I hope you will be joining us, it should be fun!

For those of you who do not know who David Orban is:


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ELM And The Right Scenario For A Fusion Power Plant

Jul 03 2020 - 13:07
A new operating mode for fusion power avoids instabilities in the plasma that place a heavy load on the vessel wall and to remove heat and particles from the plasma more gently.

The aim of fusion energy is to tame atomic nuclei the way the sun does. Because the fusion fire only ignites at temperatures above 100 million degrees, its low-density hydrogen plasma fuel must not come into contact with the colder vessel walls. That is achieved using magnetic fields inside a ring-shaped vacuum chamber. The international experimental reactor ITER, currently being built in Cadarache, France,will show feasibility by generating fusion power of 500 megawatts.

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Sorry Science, By High School 4X As Many Women As Men Want To Enter Medical Fields Instead

Jul 02 2020 - 14:07
There are more women getting degrees in the life science, social science, and pre-med fields, while more men graduate in engineering and physics. Some contend that is gender bias introduced at a young age, but since education is 70 percent women it is difficult to charge them with sexism against females. 

Regardless of why, whether it is just that women prefer fields like medicine, where they can help people instead of doing theoretical physics, the data show fewer women than men get degrees in overall Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

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Spooky Music Action At A Distance: A Human Musician Communicates Directly With A Quantum Computer

Jul 02 2020 - 13:07
A high-tech jamming session, through which a blend of live human and computer-generated sounds came together to create a unique performance piece, has been created thanks to "spooky action at a distance."

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Amodal: We Begin Linking Vocal And Facial Emotion At Age 8

Jun 30 2020 - 15:06

Emotions are an integral part of our lives. They influence our behavior, perceptions, and day-to-day decisions. The spontaneous amodal coding of emotions - independent of perceptual modalities like the physical characteristics of faces or voices - is easy for adults, but how does the same capacity develop in children?

Recent experiments using kids ages 5, 8 and 10 years sought to find out when children began to recognize happiness or anger depending on whether it is expressed by a voice or on a face.

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Global Warming Reversed 6,500 Years Of Cooling

Jun 30 2020 - 11:06
In geological history, 90,000 of every 100,000 years has been ice ages, and it has been 12,000 years since the last one. In a 'glass half full' optimistic take on emissions, the Industrial Age put a halt to a 6,500 year cooling trend and the ice age for which we are overdue, but just like salt, sugar, or Avengers movies, there can be too much of a good thing and now there are worries that climate is going out of control the other way.

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Blatant Opportunism: EDC Believers Exploiting Covid-19 Pandemic Further Erodes Trust In Science And Health Efforts

Jun 30 2020 - 11:06

As a semi-retired epidemiologist, in a higher risk age group and with attendant co-morbidities, I have followed the Covid-19 pandemic with scientific curiosity mixed with a tinge of personal anxiety.  Much of the data being reported is of abysmal quality, and it’s a major professional disappointment to me that, after more than four months, the situation hasn’t improved much.

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Free-Range Kids: Why Lack Of Adult Supervision Matters

Jun 29 2020 - 16:06


The recently released 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card revealed that Canadian children scored a D+ for “daily physical activity,” an F for “active play” and a D- for “active transportation.” Only 39 per cent of Canadian children and youth achieve recommended physical activity levels.

A decline in children’s physical activity isn’t a new trend. However, with COVID-19, there has been further decline in physical activity resulting from public health protocols aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

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American Cancer Society Nutrition Statements Are More Aspirational Wellness Than Evidence-Based Guidelines

Jun 29 2020 - 13:06
Can you prevent cancer? Not really. The number one risk factor for cancer is old age, if you live long enough you are likely to get some form or another. Despite the beliefs of the Longevity crowd, we are biologically self-terminating.

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