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Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

Phosphine On Venus Sounds Obscure But Here Is Why It's A Big Deal

3 hours 59 min ago

On Sept. 14, 2020, a new planet was added to the list of potentially habitable worlds in the Solar System: Venus.

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Discovered: WD 1586 B, A Planet That Survived The Death Of Its Star

Sep 18 2020 - 11:09

(Inside Science) -- For the first time, an intact world may have been discovered around a white dwarf, suggesting that even after typical stars die, they may still host planets, a new study finds.

White dwarfs are the cooling Earth-size cores of dead stars left behind after average-size stars have exhausted their fuel and shed their outer layers. Our sun will eventually fade into a white dwarf after first bloating to become a red giant. The same fate awaits more than 90% of the stars in our galaxy.

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COVID-19 Has Brought 'Thirdhand' Smoke Epidemiology Back From Its Science Grave

Sep 18 2020 - 09:09
With COVID-19 and worries about the SARS-CoV-2 virus keeping millions of people at home, activists and lawyers are hoping to resurrect worry about a problem dismissed by scientists as a money grab; third-hand smoke.

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Some U.S Cities Could Subsist On Locally Grown Food - If The Local Area Is Large Enough

Sep 17 2020 - 09:09
A new estimate says that of 378 metropolitan areas, many could actually exist on locally grown food - if the local area is up to 200 miles away, which means New York City could claim farms in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are local to New York. 

Even then, diets would have to change, because progress has meant having diversity and choice, and if locally-grown were really necessary, the population would starve along the Eastern Seaboard and the Southwest of the U.S. And meat would only be for the rich.

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Surrogate Sires: CRISPR Pigs And Cattle Could Produce Sperm Carrying Only The Genetic Traits Of Donor Animals

Sep 16 2020 - 11:09
In the old days, if you wanted to spread desirable characteristics in livestock you had to try breeding and hope for the past. The 19th century breakthroughs in genetics promised a future where trial and error was no longer the norm.

Now, with desire to optimize food production and reduce environmental impact without harming choices for poor people, scientists have created pigs, goats and cattle that can serve as viable “surrogate sires” - male animals that produce sperm carrying only the genetic traits of donor animals.

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Social Media Political Ads: Less Negative, But More Partisan

Sep 16 2020 - 08:09
While it is said that around six percent of voting Americans decide elections - the truly undecided - it is more the case that getting out the vote among your own party matters most. That is why political parties will drive their own to polling places while telling the other side the date of the election has been changed.

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What It Means To Be Anti-Science

Sep 14 2020 - 09:09
"Anti-scientific thinking" is a bad disease of our time, and one which may affect a wide range of human beings, from illiterate fanatics such as anti-vaxxers and religious fundamentalists on one side, to highly-educated and brilliant individuals such as the Sabine Hossenfelders on the other side. It is a sad realization to see how diversified and strong has become this general attitude of denying the usefulness of scientific progress and research, especially in a world where science is behind every good thing you use in your daily life, from the internet to your cell-phone, or from anti-cavity toothpaste to hadron therapy against tumours.

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COVID-19 Has Been A Gold Rush For Journals - But Media Coverage Of The 'Infodemic' May Confuse The Public

Sep 14 2020 - 09:09
Are you excited about dozens of COVID-19 vaccine candidates? Do you get confused about whether or not it's as harmful to have been exposed to the 2019 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as it is to have COVID-19? Do you think the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine will either save you from COVID-19 or give you a heart attack?

If any of the above are true, you have been reading too much corporate media and witnessed coverage that they can claim is resulting from peer-reviewed journals. 

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Rapamycin May Prevent Sarcopenia And Keep Muscles Stronger For Longer

Sep 10 2020 - 13:09
We're living longer than ever, but that means we now have to think about new issues that were uncommon when life expectancy was low. 

Muscles shrink and their strength dwindles as we age. When that is excessive, the condition is called sarcopenia, and it affects every third person over the age of 80, reducing mobility, autonomy and quality of life.

There may be hope in the form of a well-known drug, Rapamycin, that can delay the progression of age-related muscle weakness.

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No Matter Who Wins The U.S. Election, COVID-19 Social Unrest Could Be Rampant

Sep 10 2020 - 11:09
Are Proud Boys and Antifa fighting each other 'to oppose fascism' a product of the COVID-19 pandemic? No, militant groups have always attracted people with pathologies who just need a reason to be violent, but pandemics do cause social unrest, at least historically.

There is a lot more isolation than in past pandemics but also a lot more community around SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 form of the coronavirus that has locked up most developed countries. Unlike the past, where nature was just trying to kill us, and the randomness of it all caused panic, people know where it originated and how. We know how to mitigate it. We are equipped to try and help those with co-morbidities. A lot of people have died, no one downplays that, but a lot fewer than in any pandemic ever.

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Fitness Overtraining And How To Avoid It

Sep 09 2020 - 18:09

There’s a thin line between working hard enough and working too hard. Pushing your body to reach new levels of fitness requires commitment, effort and a willingness to put yourself through intense, challenging workouts on a regular basis.

But more isn’t always better. Without the right balance of rest and recovery you could end up spiralling into a long-term fatigue condition called overtraining syndrome. The condition results in long-term reduced physical performance, and may be accompanied by other physiological and psychological symptoms (such as low mood or poor sleep) – though this isn’t always the case. It can take weeks, months and even years to recover from this condition.

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Climate Change: Engineering Models Hope For Best Outcomes - And Any Chess Player Knows That's Terrible Strategy

Sep 09 2020 - 11:09
Did you read a paper saying we can prevent ocean damage under climate change scenarios by dumping iron into water to spur phytoplankton growth? Germans did, and were so convinced they began doing illegal live experiments

The model used a best-case scenario, which any entry-level chess player knows is a bad idea - they forgot to falsify their own hypothesis in their zeal to do something. A new paper notes that many ambitious climate action plans rely on climate engineering technologies where the risks are unknown. They are more like TED talks than real plans.

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'Plug And Play' Brain Prosthesis Debuts In Paralyzed Person

Sep 08 2020 - 12:09
A brain-controlled prosthetic limb have shown that machine learning techniques helped an individual with paralysis learn to control motion using their brain activity without requiring extensive daily retraining. 

It is proof-of-concept for how future models can overcome limitations of prior brain-computer interface efforts, which existing had to be reset and recalibrated each day, almost like asking someone to learn to ride a bike over and over again each day.

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Children Use Both Brain Hemispheres To Understand Language, But Adults Don't

Sep 08 2020 - 10:09
Children learn languages much easier than adults, and also seem to recover from neural injuries better. The reason may be that adults process most discrete neural tasks in specific areas in one or the other of their brain's two hemispheres, while kids use both the right and left hemispheres to do the same task.

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Independent Frontier Mentality Still Exists In Modern Mountain Regions - And With It Less Neuroticism

Sep 08 2020 - 09:09
If you are a tourist and visit California in the United States or Bavaria in Germany, you will quickly notice it is not like a lot of other places in those countries. A cultural mentality exists and people who identify with the stereotype are more likely to stay or even move there.

A new paper finds that people who live in mountain regions of the U.S. maintain more of that sensibility even in the modern era. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner, a Harvard academic, presented his thesis on the US frontier in 1893, describing the "coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness" it had forged in the American character.

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Tennessee Whiskey: The Science Of The Lincoln County Process

Sep 07 2020 - 12:09
You can't market a "Tennessee whiskey" unless it goes through charcoal filtration called the Lincoln County Process, named such after the locale of the original Jack Daniel's distillery. 

Charcoal is not exclusive to American blended whiskey, this type of filtration is a common step in the production of distilled beverages, including vodka and rum, but while "charcoal mellowing" in Tennesse Whiskey varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all involve passing the fresh whiskey distillate through a bed of charcoal, usually derived from burnt sugar maple, prior to barrel-aging the product.

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COVID-19 Pandemic And Declines In Coffee Consumption Have Left Millions Struggling To Make A Living

Sep 06 2020 - 19:09

The reopening of cafes has been one of the highlights of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions for many Australians. During lockdowns, long queues for takeaway coffee were testimony to caffeine’s relevance to our lives.

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A Science Communication Proposal For Pandemic Times

Sep 05 2020 - 03:09
As every other aspect of human life, science communication has suffered a significant setback due to the ongoing Covid-19-induced pandemic. While regular meetings of scientific teams can be effectively held online, through zoom or skype, it is the big conferences that are suffering the biggest blow. And this is not good, for several reasons.

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New Species In The Same Group As Lobsters Found Living In The Hottest Place On Earth

Sep 04 2020 - 12:09
When you think of shrimp, lobster, or crabs, you don't think of the hottest place on Earth, but a new freshwater Crustacea has been discovered during an expedition of the desert Lut, which is the record-holder for temperature on land. The Lut desert, Dasht-e Lut in Farsi, is the second largest desert in Iran.

Almost deprived of vegetation, the Lut desert harbors a diverse animal life, but no permanent aquatic biotops, such as ponds. Instead, after rain falls, non-permanent astatic water bodies are filled including the Rud-e-Shur river from north-western Lut. And that is when these new creatures can be more readily found.

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Melittin: Honeybee Venom Compound Kills Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Sep 04 2020 - 10:09
The compound melittin, found in honeybee venom, rapidly destroyed triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells in a recent study. In the 1950s, bee venom was found to reduce the growth of tumors in plants and in the last two decades interest grew into the effects of honeybee venom on different cancers.

For the study, 312 honeybees and bumblebees in Perth Western Australia, Ireland and England, were used to test the effect of the venom on the clinical subtypes of breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, which has limited treatment options.

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