Month: September 2018

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According to the Big Bang cosmological model, our Universe began 13.8 billion years ago when all the matter and energy in the cosmos began expanding. This period of “cosmic inflation” is believed to be what accounts for the large-scale structure of the Universe and why space and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) appear to be largely uniform in all
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Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain.  Now, we’re closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University of
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Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the nation’s largest protected area, stretches over half-a-million square miles of sea and land in Hawaii. It also includes wonderfully odd and stretchy critters, as a research team aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus observed Thursday. The Nautilus, operated by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust, has been streaming excursions online since 2012. (The Nautilus team
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We know that plastic pollution is a major problem for the world’s oceans, but scientists just discovered a new way that discarded microplastics are making their way out of the water and into other food chains – through mosquitoes. What’s happening is mosquito larvae are ingesting microplastics as water-dwelling larvae, and those plastic particles are
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Scientists in Japan made progress recently in the quest to combat infertility, creating the precursor to a human egg cell in a dish from nothing but a woman’s blood cells. The research is an important step toward what scientists call a “game-changing” technology that has the potential to transform reproduction. The primitive reproductive cell the
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For centuries, humans have endeavoured to discover and describe the sum of Earth’s biological diversity. Scientists and naturalists have catalogued species from all continents and oceans, from the depths of Earth’s crust to the highest mountains, and from the most remote jungles to our most populated cities. This grand effort sheds light on the forms
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It’s been in the pipeline for years: a sprawling, technological mass surveillance network the likes of which the world has never seen. And it’s already been switched on. China’s “Social Credit System” – which is expected to be fully operational by 2020 – doesn’t just monitor the nation’s almost 1.4 billion citizens. It’s also designed
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Early on the night of May 5, a team of scientists snuck out onto the white beaches of south Florida to attach a transmitter in the shell of a nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). They nicknamed her Isla, and for months, members of the non-profit organisation Florida Leatherbacks, Inc. have been following this turtle as
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For hundreds of years, geologists have thought the modern-day British mainland was formed by the collision of two ancient land masses, Avalonia and Laurentia. Now, new research suggests a third continent was involved – Armorica, which today makes up the northwestern region of France. That’s according to some geological detective work that considers, among other
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In coming weeks, long after Hurricane Florence’s winds and rains have faded, its aftermath will still pose life-threatening hazards: snakes, submerged sharp objects, bacterial infections and disease-carrying mosquitoes. People are trapped by floodwaters and facing dwindling supplies of medicines, food and drinking water. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger as people crank up portable generators,
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It was called the Storegga Slide: a massive underwater landslide off the coast of Norway, which generated a towering 20-metre-high (66 ft) tsunami sweeping across the UK’s Shetland Islands. Luckily, that ancient wave of destruction – which also struck mainland Scotland, Norway, and Greenland – happened over 8,000 years ago, leading scientists to think such
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For the first time, scientists have performed an iconic physics experiment with a positron – the antimatter counterpart of an electron, one of the fundamental particles. Not only did they get some truly interesting results, but this achievement could become the first step towards potentially revolutionary discoveries. The experiment – an antimatter version of the