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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

How Dinosaurs Crossed The Oceans

Nov 05 2020 - 01:11

The first fossils of a duckbilled dinosaur have been discovered in Africa, which means dinosaurs must have crossed miles of open water to get there.

Ajnabia odysseus was found in Morocco and dates to the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. Ajnabia was a member of the duckbill dinosaurs, diverse plant-eating dinosaurs that grew up to 15 meters long. But the new dinosaur was tiny compared to its kin - at just 3 meters long, it was as big as a pony.

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Microgaster Godzilla: New Species Of Wasp Dives Underwater To Attack A Caterpillar Host (Video)

Nov 04 2020 - 11:11
Only a few species, less than 0.1 percent, of parasitoid wasps enter water at all but now one in the family Braconidae, subfamily Microgastrinae, has been found to not only enter water but actually dive in order to attack and pull out caterpillar hosts, so that it can lay its eggs inside them before releasing them back in the water.

Recently, during their research work in Japan, Dr. Jose Fernandez-Triana of the Canadian National Collection of Insects and colleagues found and filmed the first microgastrine parasitoid wasp to do so.

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Fossil Fuel Divestment Has Been An Environmental Placebo - Low Carbon Investment Could Take Its Place

Nov 03 2020 - 16:11
Since 2012, there have been increased calls for fossil fuel "divestment" - getting money out of fossil fuel companies. Despite an effort that peaked in 2015, spurred on by paid protesters from groups run by activists like Bill McKibben, they haven't made much difference.

Some schools and companies say they have done it, but like "sustainability" divestment has so many subjective meanings it is meaningless. 

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Get Chills When You Hear Music You Like? Thank Your Orbitofrontal Cortex

Nov 03 2020 - 13:11
If you're a music lover, you've likely had that feeling where a favorite song floods your system with pleasurable emotions, joyful memories, makes your hair stand on edge, or even sends a shiver or "chill" down your spine.

About half of people report that they get such chills when listening to music. 

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Death Rates For Hospitalized COVID–19 Patients Fall 18%

Nov 03 2020 - 11:11

Two large recent studies show that people hospitalized for COVID-19 in March were more than three times as likely to die as people hospitalized for COVID–19 in August.

The first study used data from three hospitals in New York City. The chance of death for someone hospitalized for the coronavirus in those hospitals dropped from an adjusted 25.6% in March to 7.6% in August. The second study, which looked at survival rates in England, found a similar improvement.

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Paper Posits That Daily Solar Radiation Is A Key Factor In Epidemics

Nov 03 2020 - 11:11
Viral respiratory epidemics like the flu spike cyclically during autumn and winter - but only in the temperate regions of the globe's northern and southern hemispheres.

In the equatorial belt, they happen all year round, at lower levels.

A new numerical model hopes to provide insight. The authors find that both the prevalence and evolution of epidemics are strongly correlated with the amount of daily solar irradiation that hits a given location on the Earth at a given time of the year. 

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Get Rich Quick By Going On A Nature Hike

Nov 02 2020 - 19:11
Finance and nature have an interesting mathematical connection.

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Grades, And Artificial Intelligence

Oct 29 2020 - 15:10
Dear students,
If you ask about your grade, I’ll gladly tell you that you’re doing well in the course, or that you really need to do better, as the case may be. More specifically than that I will not say.
The main reason for this is that if I were a hiring manager at a company, the very last thing I would ever think to ask you about would be your grades. When you interview for a job, you should show that you understand the company’s situation, that you have knowledge, skills and experiences that prepare you to do the job, and that your personality and way of working fit the company’s vibe (okay, their “culture”). And that you can clearly articulate these things. All this is so much more important than grades.

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It's The Greatest Pumpkin In The Universe, Charlie Brown

Oct 29 2020 - 10:10
In a classic "Charlie Brown" Halloween tale, one character believes in the pumpkin equivalent of an Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, but NGC  2292 and NGC  2293 are real. At 109,000 light-years across, the diameter of our Milky Way, they don't just form a Great Pumpkin, they form the greatest pumpkin of all.

What looks like two glowing eyes and a crooked carved smile is a snapshot of the early stages of a collision between the two galaxies. The "pumpkin’s" glowing "eyes" are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes. 

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The Ethical Reasons For Staying Home, And The Need To Explain Exponential Growth

Oct 29 2020 - 08:10
The sanitary emergency presently affecting most countries across the World is highlighting the duties that each of us, as a member of a collectivity of individuals who share commodities, services and infrastructure, is called at times to attend to. In a well-functioning society paying taxes should not be enough to earn the right to be a citizen. Indeed, the "social contract" also demands us to, e.g., abide to laws. 

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Swiss Fatalism Is So Endemic They're Not Feeling Worse About The World During The Pandemic

Oct 28 2020 - 13:10
The Swiss are famously negative about everything. The anti-science attack site Swiss Public Eye, for example, routinely undermines the science community and claim the world is doomed unless people switch to products made by their funding sources.

It's a pretty bleak existence but they've bee surrounded by militant Germany, France, and Italy for much of their history. They have forts built into nearly every mountain, compulsory military service and almost as many guns as America. They have been expecting to be overrun for centuries.

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By Donating To Sourcewatch, The National Education Association Is Using Teacher Dues To Smear Teachers

Oct 27 2020 - 11:10
Internal documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request show that the two largest teacher unions, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers (AFL–CIO), have donated to a Democratic political advocacy organization named "Center for Media and Democracy" which produces numerous products for its base. One of them, Sourcewatch, is a wiki written by progressives to attack conservatives and they are also unsurprisingly opposed to most science. Because they think science is a vast right-wing conspiracy.

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Mixed Messaging On COVID-19 Can Erode Trust In Institutions

Oct 26 2020 - 10:10

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised its guidance to acknowledge that COVID-19 can be spread through tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols. It had earlier removed a similar guidance from its website, saying it was “posted in error.”

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Confirmed: New York City's Rampant Coronavirus Outbreak From Not Restricting European Travel

Oct 26 2020 - 09:10
In February of 2020 there was a lot of confusion about how to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 form of coronavirus that erupted in Wuhan, China. Much of the confusion was caused by political operatives and allied journalists. The federal government said we needed to restrict travel and that was deemed xenophobic, even racist, and epidemiologists were trotted out claiming that it would not work.

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Fact-Checking Joe Biden Science Claims On Energy

Oct 23 2020 - 15:10
During last night's Presidential debate, former Obama administration Vice-President and Delaware Senator Joe Biden said something that had Democrats worried and even the most partisan fact checkers holding up an index finger: "I have never said I oppose fracking."

Democrats absolutely do oppose natural gas, along with nuclear and even hydroelectric power, so they may have been shocked by his statement. They can rest east. Not only does Biden oppose fracking, despite its benefit to the environment, he believes in lots of other anti-science things that cater to the populism of his base.

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Remdesivir Gets FDA Approval As First COVID-19 Treatment

Oct 22 2020 - 17:10
After clinical trials showed the safety and efficacy of Veklury (remdesivir) in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral drug for the treatment of severe COVID-19 - requiring hospitalization.

Veklury is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive such FDA approval but it did get an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on May 1, 2020.

The approval of Veklury was supported by the agency’s analysis of data from three randomized, controlled clinical trials that included patients hospitalized with mild-to-severe COVID-19.

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Organic Farming Is Not Compatible With Conservation

Oct 21 2020 - 12:10
A recent paper finds that if just 15 percent of farmland reverted to nature, it would wipe out nearly a third of the carbon we've generated since the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

The good news; we can do that easily. The bad news; it involves science, and western elites in environmental activism, from Environmental Working Group in the U.S. To Swiss Public Eye in Europe, are never going to allow that without a fight.

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COVID-19: Closing Borders And Stopping Traffic Was The Right Move, Argues Paper

Oct 20 2020 - 10:10
In early 2020 the U.S. government reacted to worrisome death figures for COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 form of coronavirus that erupted in Wuhan China in late 2019, and restricted air travel. This was xenophobia, political critics charged, and not based on evidence. Closing borders was not going to work anyway.

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Build Your Own Hadron

Oct 20 2020 - 08:10
Every time I lecture my students about the static quark model I find that the construction of hadrons from their constituents is really entertaining. Probably I have more fun than my students as I explain the details, but today you get to be the judge - I am going to explain it here, and test your patience and skills as a matter builder.
Hadrons are composite particles made of quarks. The word "hadron" comes from ancient Greek αδρος, which means "thick, bulky". The two hadrons we know best are protons and neutrons, which make up atomic nuclei; but there exist literally hundreds more, which are unstable and decay very quickly after they are created, in subnuclear reactions we can produce using particle accelerators. 

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Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction Triggered Switch To Warm-Bloodedness

Oct 19 2020 - 11:10
ome 250 million years ago, in the time when life was recovering from

The greatest mass extinction of all time, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction 250 million years ago, killed 95 percent of life, and the very few survivors faced a turbulent world, repeatedly hit by ice ages, rapid warming and ocean acidification cycles.

Through all of that, two main groups of tetrapods survived; the synapsids and archosaurs, ancestors of mammals and birds. And a new study find that the ancestors of both mammals and birds became warm-blooded at the same time.

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