2018年3月14日 星期三

Daily Bulletin for 03/14/2018 

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Time to Chill Out About Global Warming?

John Horgan, Sci American

I work hard to maintain my optimistic outlook. Wishful thinking works. The first step toward building a more healthy, peaceful, just world is to believe we can do it. So how do I deal with all the bad news about climate change? U.S. officials are rolling back regulations designed to curb global warming even as reports flood in about its scale and potential consequences.

Stephen Hawking Dies at Age 76

Ian Sample, The Guardian

Stephen Hawking, the brightest star in the firmament of science, whose insights shaped modern cosmology and inspired global audiences in the millions, has died aged 76.His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.

Obituary: Stephen Hawking

BBC News

Stephen Hawking - who died aged 76 - battled motor neurone disease to become one of the most respected and best-known scientists of his age.A man of great humour, he became a popular ambassador for science and was always careful to ensure that the general public had ready access to his work.

GMO Crops Have Beneficial 'Halo Effect'

Mark Lynas, Alliance for Science

Growing genetically modified insect-resistant corn in the United States has dramatically reduced insecticide use and created a halo effect that also benefits farmers raising non-GM and organic crops, new research shows.This finding, published by University of Maryland researchers in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, effectively shreds the conventional anti-GMO narrative that GM crops result in more pesticide use and present a threat to organic growers.

What Doomed the Pterosaurs?

Brian Switek, Smithsonian

Sixty six million years ago, life on Earth had a very bad day.That's when an immense asteroid slammed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, triggering one of the worst extinction crises of all time. This, of course, was the disaster that wiped out the dinosaurs. But it wasn't just the terrible lizards who were lost.

Russian Science Seeks to Escape from Mediocrity

Quirin Schiermeier, Nature

After letting Russian science languish for years, Vladimir Putin has started to pay more attention. At a meeting of the Council for Science and Education last month, the Russian president promised that science and innovation are now top priorities. The presidential election on 18 March is likely to extend Putin's reign by another six years, but scientists inside and outside Russia wonder whether the country can reclaim its rich science legacy of Soviet times.

The Cliff That Changed Our Understanding of Time

David Cox, BBC Travel

Just a bit further, round the next bend, my guide Jim said, as our fishing boat pitched and rolled in the choppy waters of the North Sea. It was hardly reassuring. But as we lurched from side to side, I reminded myself that the purpose of our trip was worth it. We were re-tracing a 230-year-old voyage that forever changed humanity's perspective of the history of the Earth and even of time itself.

Authors of Homeopathy Cancer Paper Arrested

Andrew Masterson, Cosmos

A journal paper claiming to show the success of a homeopathic treatment for cancer has been withdrawn by the publishers following a series of awkward discoveries including the arrest of its two lead authors.The paper, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was retracted in late February after readers voiced concerns and a formal investigation flagged multiple ethical problems.

Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?

Jennifer Kahn, N.Y. Times Magazine

One day last spring, Lisa Crampton stood at the base of a tall ohia tree, deep in the forested interior of Kauai. That morning, Crampton and five other field biologists had spent two hours hiking to a narrow clearing, where a hovering helicopter airdropped a large aluminum ladder.

Is Evolutionary Psychology Deeply Flawed?

Laurence A. Moran, Sandwalk

We were discussing the field of evolutionary psychology at our local cafe scientific meeting last week. The discussion was prompted by watching a video of Steven Pinker in conversation with Stephen Fry. I pointed out that the field of evolutionary psychology is a mess and many scientists and philosophers think it is fundamentally flawed. The purpose of this post is to provide links to back up my claim.

How to Build a Computer with Free Will

Mark Hadley, The Conversation

Do you have free will? Can you make your own decisions? Or are you more like an automaton, just moving as required by your constituent parts? Probably, like most people, you feel you have something called free will. Your decisions are not predetermined; you could do otherwise.

Life May Have Begun in Ocean Sediments

Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Air & Space Mag

In a newly published paper, Frances Westall from the National Center for Scientific Research in Orleans, France and her colleagues suggest a new locality for the origin of life on Earth.They begin by identifying three parameters that have to be met for any geological environment to be considered a likely setting for life to have started.

Galaxies Rotate Once Every Billion Years

Jake Parks, Astronomy

In a study published March 14 in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers announced the discovery that all galaxies rotate about once every billion years, no matter their size or mass.It's not Swiss watch precision, said Gerhardt Meurer, an astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), in a press release.

How Psychopaths See the World

Ed Yong, The Atlantic

It's a rare person who goes out of their way to spend time with psychopaths, and a rarer one still who repeatedly calls a prison to do so. But after more than a year of meetings and negotiation, Arielle Baskin-Sommers from Yale University finally persuaded a maximum-security prison in Connecticut to let her work with their inmates, and to study those with psychopathic tendencies.

Why Is Empty Space So Empty?

Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

The controversial idea that our universe is just a random bubble in an endless, frothing multiverse arises logically from nature's most innocuous-seeming feature: empty space. Specifically, the seed of the multiverse hypothesis is the inexplicably tiny amount of energy infused in empty space energy known as the vacuum energy, dark energy or the cosmological constant.

Anti-Glyphosate Activists Are 'Merchants of Doubt'

Cameron English, RCScience

Anti-GMO activists argue with religious certainty that the weedkiller glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup) is dangerous, deadly even. But in the next breath, they whine that the 40-year-old herbicide needs to be further studied, because we don't know how it affects human health.

How Did Complex Nanostructures Form in Space?

Belle Dume, Nanotechweb

How did complex carbon-based compounds form in in the Universe, and in particular in our galaxy? New experiments that retrace the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as pyrene, could help answer this question. The work could also help explain how more complex PAHs, and eventually 2D graphene-type structures formed from pyrene thanks to molecular mass growth.
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