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How to Give Mars an Atmosphere, Maybe

19 November 2017 - 11:04am
Marc Kaufman, Nautilus
Earth is most fortunate to have vast webs of magnetic fields surrounding it. Without them, much of our atmosphere would have been gradually torn away by powerful solar winds long ago, making it unlikely that anything like us would be here.Scientists know that Mars once supported prominent magnetic fields as well, most likely in the early period of its history when the planet was consequently warmer and much wetter.
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First Case of CTE in Living Patient Confirmed

19 November 2017 - 11:04am
Nadia Kounang, CNN
Researchers published, what they say is the first case of a living person identified with the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.While unnamed in the study, lead author Dr. Bennet Omalu confirmed to CNN that the subject of the case was former NFL player, Fred McNeill -- who died in 2015.
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Odd Chemistry Paper Barely Connected to Reality

19 November 2017 - 11:03am
Derek Lowe, Science

Nanoparticles came up around here the other day, and now a reader sends along a new paper in the field that's. . .a bit odd. Maybe more than a bit.It's been accepted at ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, and you have to wonder what the referee reports were like.
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Congress' Complex Relationship With Science

19 November 2017 - 11:03am
Eleanor Hook, Physics Today
When scientists bring up politics, it is often to express concern at lawmakers' apparent lack of respect for the scientific process. I frequently heard such comments last summer, when I was an American Institute of Physics Mather Policy Intern for the Democratic staff of the House Science Committee. On learning of my internship, nearly every one of my professors begged me to save research funding.
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Psychology's Renaissance Has Begun

19 November 2017 - 11:02am
Christian Jarrett, Research Digest
There's been a lot of talk of the crisis in psychology. For decades, and often with the best of intentions, researchers have engaged in practices that have made it likely their results are false positives or not real. But that was in the past. The crisis is ending. We do not call the rain that follows a long drought a water crisis', write Leif Nelson at UC Berkeley and Joseph Simmons and Uri Simonsohn at the University of Pennsylvania. We do not call sustained growth following a recession an economic crisis'.
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Deathblow Dealt to Dark Matter Disks

19 November 2017 - 11:02am
Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine
Eighty years after the discovery of dark matter, physicists remain totally stumped about the nature of this nonreflective stuff that, judging by its gravitational effects, pervades the cosmos in far greater abundance than all the matter we can see. From axions to WIMPs (or weakly interacting massive particles), many candidates have been proposed as dark matter's identity and sought to no avail in dozens of experiments.
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Planet With Lava Oceans Also Has Atmosphere

19 November 2017 - 11:02am
Matt Williams, Universe Today
The super-Earth 55 Cancri e (aka. Janssen) is somewhat famous, as exoplanet go. Originally discovered in 2004, this world was one of the few whose discovery predated the Kepler mission. By 2016, it was also the first exoplanet to have its atmosphere successfully characterized. Over the years, several studies have been conducted on this planet that revealed some rather interesting things about its composition and structure.
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No, There Hasn't Been a Successful Head Transplant

19 November 2017 - 11:02am
Dean Burnett, Guardian
In February 2015, Sergio Canavero appeared in this very publication claiming a live human head will be successfully transplanted onto a donor human body within two years. He's popped up in the media a lot since then, but two years and nine months later, how are things looking?
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Toss That $450M da Vinci into a Particle Accelerator

19 November 2017 - 11:01am
Carl Engelking, Discover
A portrait of the world's most recognizable person, Jesus Christ, painted by an icon whose renown doesn't trail too far behind, Leonardo da Vinci, on Wednesday sold at auction for $450.3 million, setting a new record for artistic largesse.Only a handful of authentic da Vinci paintings exist today, and Salvator Mundi is the only one that could still be purchased by a deep-pocketed collector.
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What Constitutions Reveal About Societal Evolution

19 November 2017 - 11:00am
Amy Maxmen, Nature News
Timing can be everything when it comes to successfully expanding constitutional rights. Now, a study1 looking at how constitutions around the world have evolved has revealed patterns that could help people predict the best moment to introduce such changes.Amendments are generally introduced into a country's constitution in a certain sequence, the authors report in a paper on the preprint server arXiv, and now under review at a journal.
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Nuclear Blast Crippled Chernobyl

19 November 2017 - 10:58am
Andrew Masterson, Cosmos Magazine
The Chernobyl 4 reactor was destroyed by a nuclear explosion, not a steam one, according to research published in the journal Nuclear Technology.The reactor, 130 kilometres of Kiev, Ukraine, exploded in on April 25, 1986, killing 30 people, and inducing acute radiation poisoning in 134. Today, encased in thick concrete, it stands at the centre of a 2600 square-kilometre exclusion zone.
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Are Millennials Really a Bunch of Narcissists?

19 November 2017 - 10:58am
Christian Jarrett, BBC

At the next table in the cafe where I was working this morning, a young woman spent a whole hour talking excitedly to her older companion about herself, her hopes and aspirations for her job, her romantic relationship and her home. It was hard to avoid the impression that she thought herself the centre of the Universe, her dreams eminently fascinating and important.
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We Need to Talk About Incontinence

18 November 2017 - 12:25am
Barrington & Culmer, The Conversation
We rarely hear or speak about incontinence. But the condition the involuntary loss of urine or faecal matter is frighteningly common.Incontinence does not know wealth divides. It brings profound personal and socio-economic consequences across the income spectrum and around the world. Best estimates reveal that about 8% of adults experience faecal incontinence, increasing to 15% for those over 70 years. Urinary incontinence is even more prevalent, affecting approximately 24% of men and 53% of women (the condition is more prevalent in women due to strong causative links with...
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Meteorite Points to Undiscovered Asteroid

18 November 2017 - 12:25am
Amanda Doyle, Astrobiology Mag
A new analysis of a meteorite called Bunburra Rockhole has revealed that the rock originated from a previously unknown parent asteroid, allowing scientists to understand the geology of the parent body.The parent body was differentiated, meaning that it was large enough to separate into a core, mantle and crust, and was roughly spherical in shape, though not as large as a planet. Identifying a new differentiated asteroid is vital for understanding the formation of asteroids and planets in the Solar System.
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Why Humans Are Actually 'Compassionate Apes'

18 November 2017 - 12:25am
Penny Spikins, Sapiens
When considering the question of whether humans are a naturally aggressive and violent species, it might be good to take a deep breath and have a look at the other side of the coin.Yes, there is evidence of interpersonal violence in our ancient history. But actually there is far less of it than one might assume. There is, in fact, far more evidence of interpersonal care: of people who have tended to the injured and ensured that the sick or lame were kept alive.
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Orcas Hunt Great White Sharks for Their Livers

18 November 2017 - 12:24am
Lauren Smith, The Guardian
The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is considered the most voracious apex predator in temperate marine ecosystems worldwide, playing a key role in controlling ecosystem dynamics.As a result, it is difficult to imagine a great white as prey. And yet, earlier this year the carcasses of five great whites washed ashore along South Africa's Western Cape province.
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Do Civilizations Really 'Collapse'?

18 November 2017 - 12:23am
Guy Middleton, Aeon Magazine
There's a common story of how the Maya civilisation was wiped out: they fell foul of unstoppable climate change. Several periods of extreme drought withered their crops and killed off thousands in their overpopulated cities. There was nothing they could do or could have done. In the end, the food and water ran out and they died,' wrote Richardson Gill in 2007. The jungle reclaimed the cities with their palaces and pyramids until they were rediscovered in the 19th century by intrepid explorers.
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The Ancient History of Wealth Inequality

22 October 2017 - 10:16am
Mark Barna, Discover
We've heard how great times used to be, and I don't mean in 1950s America.For eons, our hunter-gatherer ancestors shared their spoils with one another, didn't own much and had very little social hierarchy. Sure, it wasn't all kumbaya and high-fives. But the fact that individuals had so few personal possessions took the bitter dish of economic inequality off the table.
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Synthetic Biology Could Re-Create Smallpox

22 October 2017 - 10:16am
Gregory D. Koblentz, Slate
SynBioBeta, which bills itself as the world's premier forum for innovators and investors interested in synthetic biology, concluded its sixth annual conference in San Francisco earlier this month. Companies from across the country and from around the world delivered presentations on how they are finding biological solutions to human problems.
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Why Scientists Gave Fish Marijuana

22 October 2017 - 10:15am
Jason Bittel, Hakai Magazine
You've probably heard of ediblestasty treats fortified with marijuana oil for medicinal or recreational use in humans. But what if there was an edible designed for animals?According to a paper published last month, scientists in Lebanon fed Nile tilapia fish pellets laced with cannabis oil to test whether the drugs could make the fish chill the heck out and maybe even grow faster.
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