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Viroids: Brazilian Plants Are Infested With 200 Natural Pathogens, But Here Is How Science Can Help

Aug 06 2020 - 11:08
An annotated list of 219 pathogens that infect plants in Brazil, including many agriculturally important species, shows just how precarious things can be when it comes to maintaining an affordable, sustainable food supply.

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Low Power Microbes Discovery Could Shake Up The Search For Life On Other Planets

Aug 06 2020 - 10:08
We eat various foods and our metabolism converts it to energy our bodies can use. This is a hallmark of life, across plants, animals, algae and bacteria. Energy is a defining characteristic of living.

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Mars Has Underground Lava Caves So Large We Can Build A Settlement In Them

Aug 06 2020 - 10:08
A lava tube is just what it sounds like; a cave created when the surface of lava hardens but continues to flow underneath. When that trickles to a halt, the cave is left behind.

These remaining caves exist on Earth and high-resolution pictures taken by interplanetary probes inferred lava tubes on Mars and Luna by observing linear cavities and sinuous collapse chains where the galleries cracked. A new paper measured the size and gathered the morphology of lunar and Martian collapse chains (collapsed lava tubes), using digital terrain models obtained through satellite stereoscopic images and laser altimetry taken by interplanetary probes.

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Tuatara: 250 Million Year Old Dinosaur Relative Is Part Mammal Mammal And Reptile

Aug 05 2020 - 16:08
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the tuatara, a single species reptile which originated in the Triassic period around 250 million years ago but is now only found in New Zealand, and it revealed an unusual architecture - it is mammal and reptile

Its genome shares features with those of mammals such as the platypus and echidna.

Some sequences of DNA move or jump location, they are even referred to as 'jumping genes', and those found in the tuatara are most similar to those found in platypus while others are more similar to those in lizards.

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Not Just America: Fluting From 6,000 BC Found In Arabian Excavations

Aug 05 2020 - 14:08
Evidence of prehistoric fluting techniques, using hammering or pressure to create a groove, has been found on the Arabian peninsula from 8,000 years ago.

Archeological finds are not new on the Arabian peninsula. There is evidence for lithics (stone tools) but evidence showed they were less advanced than northeast Africa or the Levant.

In Europe, the Levant and Africa, the Middle Paleolithic showed use of Levallois flaking methods, including predetermined forms of flaking products. Like spear tips, which gave hunters a big advantage in food. But new work also shows fluting, which was more common n Arabia.

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'Waiting For Godot' Is Not A COVID-19 Strategy, But It May Be A Metaphor - Editorial

Aug 05 2020 - 13:08
The 1948 Samuel Beckett play "Waiting for Godot" is about two people that are, as you can guess, waiting for Godot. They wait at a tree, but they have no idea who he is or if he will arrive. When the person they do not know and had no idea was ever arriving does not arrive, they decide to commit suicide using the tree, but give up on that because they don't have a rope. They say they are leaving, but stay. You get the idea. 

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'Deepfakes' Are The Most Worrisome Form Of Artificial Intelligence For Terrorism And Crime - And 5 Others To Think About

Aug 05 2020 - 12:08
Experts asked to rank 20 ways Artificial Intelligence could be used to facilitate crime over the next 15 years, in order of concern, listed "deepfakes" - fake audio or video content so real it would have been considered conclusive just a few years ago - as number one.

The 20 ways were ranked in order of concern based on the harm AI could cause, the potential for criminal profit or gain, how easy they would be to carry out and how difficult they would be to stop.

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Dogs May Be Man's Best Friend Against Coronavirus Too

Aug 05 2020 - 06:08

What does a pandemic smell like? If dogs could talk, they might be able to tell us.

We’re part of an international research team, led by Dominique Grandjean at France’s National Veterinary School of Alfort, that has been training detector dogs to sniff out traces of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) since March.

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Coronavirus Gives Us The Chance To Rethink Letting Kids Play Outside Unsupervised

Aug 04 2020 - 17:08

Most adults will remember spending much of their childhood playing outdoors without much parental supervision. But fears for children’s safety plus the demands of modern life mean many parents don’t allow their children the same freedoms.

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Your Vegetable Garden Won't Save You In A Pandemic - Farming Will

Aug 04 2020 - 15:08
With the world COVID-19 pandemic in its sixth month, food activists are back to trumpeting locally grown, and even home grown, as a viable option for mass food production, but for most of the world how realistic is that? It's fine if Michael Pollan claims it is from his walled Berkeley back yard, but even most New York Times subscribers can't afford that.

To make it suitably ironic, environmentalists who have spent decades and $40 billion on campaigns saying single-family homes in suburbia are a blight on nature and we should all live in urban apartments are now claiming we should be growing vegetables and trading them with each other to create a more sustainable future.

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The Real Victims Of The Vaping Anti-Flavor Crusade Are Former Smokers - Opinion

Aug 04 2020 - 12:08

The public was sold a false bill of goods by “grassroots” anti-vaping activists when they crusaded against e-cigarettes and e-cigarette flavors in front of city councils, state houses and the U.S. Congress throughout 2019.

We were told that the seductively delicious flavors of Juuls and other e-cigarettes were luring youngsters to dangerous nicotine products. To curb underage vaping, the government needed to get rid of the flavored nicotine replacement products.

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Used PPE Equipment Could Be Repurposed Into Biofuel

Aug 04 2020 - 08:08

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rampant new use of personal protective equipment (PPE) but we're also facing a problem of more garbage in landfills. It could be trivial but in a world where people people about Keurig K-cups, technology to turn billions of items of disposable PPE from its polypropylene (plastic) state into biofuels mean it can be a viable consideration.

A study in Biofuels explains that the transformation into biocrude, a type of synthetic fuel, will not just prevent the severe after-effects to humankind and the environment but also produce a source of energy.

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The Rubber Hand Illusion Doesn't Hold Up Scientifically

Aug 04 2020 - 06:08
A world-famous psychological experiment with over 5,000 citations may be another reason for the increased skepticism about psychology claims.

used to help explain the brain's understanding of the body, as well as scores of clinical disorders, has been dismissed as not fit-for-purpose in a new academic paper from the University of Sussex.

The Rubber Hand Illusion, where synchronous brush strokes on a participant's concealed hand and a visible fake hand supposedly give the impression of illusory sensations of touch and of ownership of the fake hand, has been considered accepted science for more than 20 years. Psychologists believe it increases knowledge of the brain's understanding of the body, as well as scores of clinical disorders. 

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A Tale Of Two Virus Strategies

Aug 03 2020 - 14:08
Viruses have strategies. They may not be dominated by politics or people who have desire to work in government but they are strategies just the same.

Unable to reproduce on their own, viruses replicate by infecting a living organism's cells and getting the cells to make copies of them. Two main options exist for copies of a virus's genetic structure made in the cell: stay in the cell as a template for making even more copies or get packaged as a new virus and leave in an attempt to infect other cells. The stay strategy initially produces copies of the genetic code faster, while the leave strategy emphasizes newly infecting cells. How do they evaluate these opposing evolutionary strategies? 

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28 Million Years: Hengduan Mountains Flora Has Existed Longer Than Any Other Alpine Flora On Earth

Aug 03 2020 - 14:08
The world's most species-rich temperate alpine biota occurs in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Himalaya, and the Hengduan Mountains.

It has continuously existed far longer than any other alpine flora on Earth, which can infer how modern biotas have been shaped by past geological and climatic events.

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Will COVID-19 Use Myocarditis To Strike Out Baseball?

Aug 02 2020 - 20:08
By Glen Pyle and Gurkiran Dhuga

COVID-19 has thrown professional baseball in North America a curveball. An outbreak among players for the Miami Marlins, that has spread to the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, brings into question the infection control protocols touted by Major League Baseball.

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Marriage Is Healthy For Men But Bad For Women? Results Show The Opposite

Jul 31 2020 - 13:07
Men who live alone and have a smaller social network are less likely to be obese than women who have the same lifestyle, according to results found in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging survey. This debunks the cultural trope that marriage is worse for women and better for men when it comes to health.

The data used were the social ties of 28,238 adults aged 45 to 85 and their waist circumference, body mass index and general obesity. These results are only exploratory, they cannot create a causal link and since they are based on surveys have numerous confounders.

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Noble Uncertainty: Next Gen Gaming Customizing Psychological Experiences Using Newtonian Laws

Jul 31 2020 - 11:07
Right now, we can play video games and feel like we are 'in the game' but it's still a lot of suspension of disbelief. If you can only see 40 degrees while driving a car in a game that's nowhere close to your peripheral vision in the real world.

Next generation gaming, beyond better graphics, requires establishing new relationships between game progress and entertainment experience. Chess is a much different experience versus another person than it is a computer, as is Poker. Many less experienced people play far more conservatively versus people because computers don't feel real. And then there are some sports where the experience is limited because you aren't very good at them, such as sports.

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Higgs Decay To Muons: CMS Wins The Race

Jul 31 2020 - 06:07
As of late we have been scratching the barrel of "straightforward" measurements of the properties of the Higgs boson, the particle discovered in 2012 by the Large Hadron Collider ATLAS and CMS experiments. But the one property determined in the measurement published yesterday by the CMS experiment was one that many of us were very interested to check.

If a particle is an elementary body, how many individual, distinct properties can it really have? For the word "elementary" means that it is intrinsically simple! But things are not so clear-cut in the subnuclear world. An elementary particle, while devoid of inner structure and dimensions, still has a number of measurable attributes. For the Higgs boson we may size up:

- mass (of course!)

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Molecular Diffusion And Chemical Reaction Are Unrelated? A New Challenge In Chemistry

Jul 30 2020 - 16:07
Common chemical reactions accelerate Brownian diffusion by sending long-range ripples into the surrounding solvent, which would mean that molecular diffusion and chemical reaction are unrelated.  

Yet that would violate a central dogma of chemistry; that molecular diffusion and chemical reaction are unrelated. 

The ripples generated by chemical reactions, especially when catalyzed - accelerated by substances not themselves consumed - propagate long-range. This challenges the view that molecular motion and chemical reaction are decoupled, and that reactions affect only the nearby vicinity. 

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