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Earth’s early evolution: Fresh insights from rocks formed 3.5 billion years ago
Our Earth is around 4.5 billion years old. Way back in its earliest years, vast oceans dominated. There were frequent volcanic eruptions and, because there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere, there was no ozone layer. It was a dynamic and evolving planet. ⌘ Read more

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The psychology of great artists: Beyond the myth of the lone, tortured genius
In our constant quest to understand artists and their genius, we often put them on a pedestal, or we assume that they are otherworldly beings with incomprehensible thoughts. This myth, though common, distances us from everything they share with us. It makes us feel that their feats and successes are far beyond our reach. ⌘ Read more

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Scientists explain: What is inertial fusion energy?
Fusion is a natural phenomenon that provides our planet with much of its energy—generated millions of miles away in the center of our sun. ⌘ Read more

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Saturday Citations: The neurology of pair bonding and one small step for robots
From enraptured voles and space robots on the moon to brain gears and dense objects, it was a heck of a week in science. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting developments over the past seven days. ⌘ Read more

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US warns of environmental disaster from cargo ship hit by Huthi rebels
A cargo ship abandoned in the Gulf of Aden after an attack by Yemeni rebels is taking on water and has left a huge oil slick, in an environmental disaster that US Central Command said Friday could get worse. ⌘ Read more

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Strange seismic wave arrivals lead to discovery of overturned slab in the Mediterranean
Strange seismic wave arrivals from a 2010 earthquake under Spain were the clues that led to an unexpected discovery beneath the western Mediterranean: a subducted oceanic slab that has completely overturned. ⌘ Read more

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Researchers identify a key player in chromatin regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Chromatin is a unique DNA and protein complex that makes up the chromosomes. Specific proteins (histones) wind up the DNA like small cable drums to package the long DNA. A cable drum (consisting of four pairs of histones) with coiled DNA is called a nucleosome and is the smallest unit of chromatin. ⌘ Read more

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California faces an uphill battle against plastic
Given its green bona fides, it’s no surprise that California was the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags 10 years ago. Many were hopeful that would make a dent in the plastic pollution crisis, one canvas tote bag at a time. But if you’ve been to a California supermarket recently, you may have noticed that plastic bags aren’t gone—they’re just thicker. ⌘ Read more

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Mass shooting lockdown drills help schoolchildren feel safer, US study suggests
Lockdown drills, practiced to help prepare children for shooting incidents at school, make those who have been exposed to violence feel safer, a new study of thousands of students in the US indicates. ⌘ Read more

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New study shows similarities and differences in human and insect vision formation
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have discovered profound similarities and surprising differences between humans and insects in the production of the critical light-absorbing molecule of the retina, 11-cis-retinal, also known as the “visual chromophore.” The findings deepen understanding of how mutations in the RPE65 enzyme cause retinal diseases, especially Leber congenital amaurosis, a d … ⌘ Read more

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Polymer science team develops additive that can ‘upcycle’ a wide range of plastics
One doesn’t need to be reminded that plastic production, and plastic pollution, have steadily increased over the years—the evidence is all around us. What if we were able to recycle plastic in a way that is truly sustainable? ⌘ Read more

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Hiroshima fallout debris linked to first solar system condensates
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, by the United States in August 1945 was not only devastating at the time, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, but it has had long-standing impacts to the present day, particularly the elevated incidence of cancer from radiation. ⌘ Read more

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Carbon emissions from the destruction of mangrove forests predicted to increase by 50,000% by the end of the century
The annual rate of carbon emissions due to the degradation of carbon stocks in mangrove forests is predicted to rise by nearly 50,000% by the end of the century, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters. Mangroves in regions such as southern India, southeastern China, Singapore and eastern Australia are particularly affected. ⌘ Read more

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Seaports found to be hotspots of contagious cancer in mussels
Seaports act as hubs for the global spread of MtrBTN2, a rare contagious cancer affecting mussels. In this disease, cancer cells can be transmitted, like parasites, from one mussel to another nearby. ⌘ Read more

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Half-price fares benefit people experiencing transport poverty, shows study
New research from the University of Otago, Christchurch, has found reduced cost public transport can play an important role in affordability and accessibility, specifically for those on lower incomes who face transport difficulty. ⌘ Read more

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Contamination around Fort Story base is under control, Navy’s five-year review says
The Navy released recently a five-year review of an environmental restoration program at Virginia’s Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story, finding that environmental contamination of industrial solvents and arsenic at two sites is under control. ⌘ Read more

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Chicago sues oil and gas companies for their role in contributing to climate change
The city of Chicago is suing five oil and gas companies and a trade group that represents them over their role in contributing to climate change and its effects, arguing that the companies have misled the public about how the use of fossil fuels affects city residents’ well-being. ⌘ Read more

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Mercury levels in tuna remain nearly unchanged since 1971, study says
Tuna is one of the most popular seafoods worldwide. But this protein-rich fish can build up high levels of methylmercury from feeding on contaminated prey, like smaller fish or crustaceans. Despite efforts to reduce mercury emissions into the environment, researchers report in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology Letters that levels in tuna appear to be unchanged since 1971. They warn that more aggressive emission reduction targets are ne … ⌘ Read more

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Scientists track world’s largest turtles to previously unknown foraging locations
Leatherback sea turtles, the largest of all living turtles, undertake extensive migrations that can span multiple years. They travel from subtropical and tropical nesting locations to temperate foraging areas. Despite decade-long tracking efforts, there are still regions—including the northwest Atlantic Ocean—about which little is known in terms of turtle migration routes and foraging areas. ⌘ Read more

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Science in times of crisis: Lessons from Fukushima and WWII
Collective memory is one way to ensure that past mistakes in the evolution of science systems are not repeated after a crisis, disaster or conflict according to a University of Tokyo historian who has contributed to the International Science Council’s latest report: “Protecting Science in Times of Crisis.” ⌘ Read more

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First known photos of ‘lost bird’ captured by scientists
For the first time, scientists have captured photos of a bird long thought lost. Known as the Yellow-crested Helmetshrike, or Prionops alberti, the species is listed as a ‘lost bird’ by the American Bird Conservancy because it had not seen in nearly two decades. ⌘ Read more

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The cultural evolution of collective property rights for sustainable resource governance
Community-based natural resource management has been dominated for several decades by the design principles of Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom. These principles provide guidelines for improving the governance of resource systems, from small-scale forest management groups to global commons like the high seas. Four of these principles (boundaries that control access, rules that fit the local contex … ⌘ Read more

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Accelerating the discovery of single-molecule magnets with deep learning
Synthesizing or studying certain materials in a laboratory setting often poses challenges due to safety concerns, impractical experimental conditions, or cost constraints. In response, scientists are increasingly turning to deep learning methods that involve developing and training machine learning models to recognize patterns and relationships in data that include information about material properties, compositions, and behavior … ⌘ Read more

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Invasive weed could be turned into a viable economic crop, say researchers
One of the most invasive Australian weeds is being touted as a potential economic crop, with benefits for the construction, mining and forestry industries, and potentially many First Nations communities. ⌘ Read more

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Lab-grown diamonds put natural gems under pressure
The glittering diamonds sparkle the same but there are key differences: mined natural gems are more than a billion years old, while laboratory-made rocks are new and cost less than half the price. ⌘ Read more

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Detecting atmospheric rivers with satellite observations
Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are filaments of intense moisture transport in the atmosphere. These weather systems drive a large fraction of the extreme precipitation events over coastal regions. Detecting ARs in satellite observations has long been a challenging task due to the lack of wind information. In a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, scientists derived an approximation of the 3-dimensional (3D) wind field base … ⌘ Read more

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Research findings could enable high-density hydrogen storage for future energy systems
A development in efficient hydrogen storage has been reported by Professor Hyunchul Oh in the Department of Chemistry at UNIST, marking a significant advancement in future energy systems. ⌘ Read more

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Scientists try out Stone Age tools to understand how they were used
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University crafted replica Stone Age tools and used them for a range of tasks to see how different activities create traces on the edge. They found that a combination of macroscopic and microscopic traces can tell us how stone edges were used. Their criteria help separate tools used for wood-felling from other activities. In addition, dated stone edges may be used to identify when timber use began for ea … ⌘ Read more

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Natural pesticides gain ground in ‘agri-tox’ capital Brazil
Inspecting a thriving green field, Brazilian farmer Adriano Cruvinel is beaming: Using a fraction of the chemical products he used to, he is growing even more soy, thanks to natural pesticides. ⌘ Read more

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Communities must get prepared for increased flooding due to climate change, expert warns
Communities must be better prepared for flooding in their homes and businesses, an expert warns, as climate change predictions suggest more extreme flooding globally. ⌘ Read more

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From Coke cans to shoes to menus: What’s behind the rise in personalized products?
Customized shoes, personalized drinks and specialized menu offerings. In a world where carbon copies of products are everywhere, retailers have to make their products stand out and provide customers with a unique purchasing experience. ⌘ Read more

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South Korean scientists develop sustainable ‘meaty rice’
Scientists in South Korea have developed a new type of sustainable hybrid food—a “meaty” rice that they say could help solve food crises and climate change. ⌘ Read more

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Data suggest Indigenous fathers help build stronger communities: How they can be better supported
When approaching how to support the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, there is a tendency in favor of strengthening and empowering mothers, rather than fathers. ⌘ Read more

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UK report: Innovative approaches by financial institutions can make a crucial difference in gambling-related harm
With a record number of people seeking help for problem gambling through the National Gambling Helpline last year, and the Gambling Commission’s new figures suggesting that as many as 1.3 million adults in Great Britain might experience gambling-related harm, new research from Queen Mary University of London reveals innovative and effective approaches by financial institutions t … ⌘ Read more

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Once melting glaciers shut down the Gulf Stream, we will see extreme climate change within decades, study shows
Superstorms, abrupt climate shifts and New York City frozen in ice. That’s how the blockbuster Hollywood movie “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted an abrupt shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation and the catastrophic consequences. ⌘ Read more

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Study finds quantum state of a rotating superfluid can discharge in three ways
According to a recent study from the University of Helsinki, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, a vortex of a superfluid that has been quantized four times has three ways of dividing, depending on the temperature. ⌘ Read more

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Erratic weather fueled by climate change will worsen locust outbreaks, study finds
Extreme wind and rain may lead to bigger and worse desert locust outbreaks, with human-caused climate change likely to intensify the weather patterns and cause higher outbreak risks, a new study has found. ⌘ Read more

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Paleontological analysis shows renowned fossil thought to show soft tissue preservation is in fact just paint
A 280-million-year-old fossil that has baffled researchers for decades has been shown to be—in part—a forgery, following new examination of the remnants. ⌘ Read more

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Euclid’s ‘twin’ arrives at ESA mission control
ESA’s Euclid observatory has begun to survey billions of galaxies on a quest to uncover the secrets of dark matter and dark energy from its vantage point 1.5 million km from Earth. ⌘ Read more

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Digital literacy expert explains differences between reading in print and online
Rachel Karchmer-Klein, associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware, co-designed a research study where a group of high-achieving eighth graders were asked to engage with a digital narrative text. The story incorporated written words, sound, static images and video animations. The students quickly figured out they had to interact with it similarly to playin … ⌘ Read more

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A first in the lab: A tiny network of microparticles that is both strong and flexible
Daniela Kraft’s group has succeeded in creating a network of microparticles that is both strong and completely flexible. This may sound simple, yet they are the first in the world to succeed in doing so. The achievement represents a real breakthrough in soft matter physics. The study is published in Physical Review Letters. ⌘ Read more

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New study examines ATP synthase at acidic state to reveal how the enzyme functions
A collaborative effort led by Stuti Sharma, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology at Stony Brook University, resulted in a promising study toward a better understanding of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase. The work is highlighted in a paper published this month in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. ⌘ Read more

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Space surgery: Doctors on ground operate robot on ISS for first time
Earth-bound surgeons remotely controlled a small robot aboard the International Space Station over the weekend, conducting the first-ever such surgery in orbit—albeit on rubber bands. ⌘ Read more

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Rhinos are returned to a plateau in central Kenya, decades after poachers wiped them out
Conservationists in Kenya are celebrating as rhinos were returned to a grassy plateau that hasn’t seen them in decades. ⌘ Read more

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US company’s lunar lander rockets toward the moon for a touchdown attempt next week
Another private U.S. company took a shot at the moon Thursday, launching a month after a rival’s lunar lander missed its mark and came crashing back. ⌘ Read more

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Scientists are unraveling the secrets of red and gray squirrel competition
In a first of its kind study, researchers have identified significant differences between the diversity of gut bacteria in gray squirrels compared to red squirrels which could hold the key to further understanding the ability of gray squirrels to outcompete red squirrels in the UK. ⌘ Read more

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Viewpoint: Wildlife selfies harm animals, even when scientists share images with warnings in the captions
One of the biggest privileges of being a primatologist is spending time in remote locations with monkeys and apes, living near these animals in their habitats and experiencing their daily lives. As a 21st-century human, I have an immediate impulse to take pictures of these encounters and share them on social media. ⌘ Read more

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San Diego State University report calls Tijuana River contamination ‘a public health crisis’
A new report from researchers at San Diego State University, citing “untreated sewage, industrial waste, and urban run-off due to inadequate infrastructure and urbanization,” calls the Tijuana River “a public health crisis” that imperils the good health of a wide range of people who live, recreate and work near the polluted waterway, particularly when wet weather causes floods to spread. ⌘ Read more

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Tiny crustaceans discovered preying on live jellyfish during harsh Arctic night
In the dark and cold of the months-long polar night, food resources are limited. Some groups of marine organisms in the polar regions overcome this challenge by going into a metabolic resting state in winter, surviving on reserves accumulated during the short growth season. ⌘ Read more

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