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Social Justice May Marginalize Women Of Color - By Assuming They're More Like Black Men Than White Women

Social justice warriors in the feminist movement often fail to advocate for the rights of black...

'Neutrinoless' Double-Beta Decay Gets An Experiment

A theorized particle process, called neutrinoless double-beta decay, could revise our understanding...

The Line Between Vision And Imagination Is Blurry

One symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is intrusive visual reminders of a traumatic...

Neural Networks Growing Artificial Organs Is The 2020 We Expected Decades Ago

If we could start 2020 all over again, the world would be satisfied if the big worry was wildfires...

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Though we convert fat, protein, and carbohydrates to make our common ATP energy currency, microbes have a far more diverse diet.

It turns out a new one can even digest organic compounds like ethane, the second most common component of natural gas.

In the seafloor of the Guaymas Basin at a water depth of 2000 meters in the Gulf of California, a new archaea named Ethanoperedens thermophilum ("heat-loving ethane-eater") has been discovered, and it can also convert carbon dioxide into ethane.
In western countries, there is a lot of talk about globalization and agriculture being negative things about the modern world. They instead offer terms like "agroecology" and "locally grown" and "sustainable."

To paraphrase U.S. President Eisenhower, when the only hoe you have ever seen is in a Twitter posting by an organic industry trade group, farming is easy.
Science is often easy in hindsight and two years from now we will likely know the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 from bats to humans. For now, it is mostly speculation.

An intermediate animal host may have been snakes or pangolins, but the real common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 goes back for as long as coronavirus was recognized as distinct from the common cold - the 1960s.
The early "evolutionary paths" SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 coronavirus that leads to COVID-19 in humans have been traced using phylogenetic network techniques and shows how it spread from Wuhan to Europe and America.

While there are too many rapid mutations in coronaviruses, they are in the same family as the common cold, to ever find a Patient Zero or even a settled family tree, analysis of the first 160 complete virus genomes to be sequenced from human patients show the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations. 
Though they are called giant viruses they're still among the tiniest denizens of the microbiome. A few genes' worth of DNA or RNA folded into a shell so small you need an electron microscope to see it, more like a stripped-down husk of an organism.

Giant viruses are ten times the size of their more compact cousins and with hundreds or even thousands of genes, so unlike the rest of the family that until first cataloged in 1992, researchers had dismissed them as bacteria. 
The locally grown effort was always fine for people fortunate enough to be born into agriculturally rich areas but for everyone else it historically meant famine, poor diets, or high costs.

Modern agriculture and free markets changed all that. A new study finds that as the world has increased its standard of living - there are fewer people in poverty than ever in history and it continues to drop fast - it can lead to concern about food system sustainability. As people get wealthier, they move out of rural areas and into cities, but as we have seen during the SARS-CoV2 panic, when 2 percent of people provide all of the food there is less food system stability. Unless there is a large free trade market.