2018年3月22日 星期四

Daily Bulletin for 03/22/2018 

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No Human DNA Found in Neanderthals

Andrew Masterson, Cosmos

Gene flow between Neanderthals and early modern humans may have been a one-way street, researchers have found.While the presence of Neanderthal DNA in modern human genomes is well attested, comparatively little is known about variations among Neanderthal genomes themselves. This remains the case, even with so-called late Neanderthals: individuals known to have been alive after the time modern humans moved into their territory.

Who's Afraid of Noam Chomsky?

Michael Corballis, Psychology Today

Who's afraid? Me. But let's press on anyway.Noam Chomsky is a polarizing figure in modern intellectual life. Best known in popular discourse for his radical criticism of US foreign policy, he has written countless best-selling books on this and related political topics. It is as a philosopher and linguist, though, that he is likely to be best remembered intellectually, leading some to claim him as the foremost intellectual of our timeon a par with, say, Aristotle or Descartes.

Silicon Valley Is Obsessed with Fad Diets

Stephen Armstrong, Wired UK

If Silicon Valley was a friend of yours, you would be mounting an intervention into their eating habits right now.Every fad diet, odd food trend and even potentially lethal drink on the self-help shelf has eager devotees among the upper echelons of the Valley, all gathered under the tattered banner of biohacking.

Book Explores the Many Riddles of Consciousness

Harriet Hall, Skeptical Inquirer

For most of human history, people have assumed that some kind of vitalistic essence had to be added to matter to produce life. The belief in an immaterial soul was pervasive. At one point, a scientist even tried to weigh the soul by weighing a body right before and after death, expecting to find a decrease when the soul departed (see Benjamin Radford's column in the Skeptical Inquirer Measuring Near-Death Experience, May/June 2007).

Did Complex Animals Lead to More Oxygen?

Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta

Approximately 540 million years ago, life rapidly diversified in an evolutionary burst a biological Big Bang that witnessed the emergence of nearly every modern animal group. Scientists have long sought to determine what caused the Cambrian explosion, and to explain why animal life didn't take this step at any point about a billion years earlier.

The Misguided War on Childhood Lead Exposures

Charles Schmidt, Undark

In August of 2013, Shecara Norris moved with her husband and five young children into a rented colonial house in East Columbus, Ohio. She was in her late 20s and pregnant with her sixth child. The house was in a crime-ridden area that Norris describes as the heart of the hood, but it also had a lot of appeal, with wood floors, a dining room with a fireplace, and plenty of room for her growing family. Her son Michael who had been born earlier that year was a healthy baby with a strong personality.

Recording Dreams Is Theoretically Possible

Charlotte Hu, Discover

Dreams can feel awfully real when you're deep in sleep. Perhaps you find a hidden doorway in your home that leads to entirely new rooms and passageways. Maybe you went to work in your underwearyikes.When you wake up, you check your closet for that mysterious doorway; maybe you jolt awake in a cold sweat, instantly relieved you still have plenty of time to properly clothe yourself before leaving the house.

Trump Isn't Waging War on Science. He Just Doesn't Care

Roger Pielke, Guard

The first time the word science appeared in a tweet by Donald Trump was on 13 September 2012, long before he became US president, when he wrote: Wake Up America! See article: Israeli Science: Obama Birth Certificate is a Fake'. Since becoming president, Trump has not mentioned the words science or technology in his tweets, reflecting not so much disdain for these issues but an abject lack of interest.

Common Antibiotic Causes Rare, Disabling Side Effects

Jo Marchant, Nature

In 2014, Miriam van Staveren went on holiday to the Canary Islands and caught an infection. Her ear and sinuses throbbed, so she went to see the resort doctor, who prescribed a six-day course of the popular antibiotic levofloxacin. Three weeks later, after she had returned home to Amsterdam, her Achilles tendons started to hurt, then her knees and shoulders.

A Dusting of Salt Could Cool the Planet

Paul Voosen, Science News

A last-ditch remedy for a climate disaster might be waiting in your kitchen. If efforts to control greenhouse gases fail, finely powdered salt spread through the upper troposphere could hold off the sun's rays and cool the planet, researchers reported here today at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The approach could be more benign than other schemes for putting a temporary hold on climate change.

Universe Won't End in 'Collision with Nothingness'

Robert Walker, Science 2.0

This is an article in New Scientist that's being shared in social media which says it's a new caclulation of the future of the Universe according to the theory of false vacuum. It's scaring many people because when you read it as far as it goes, before you have to pay to read, it doesn't give a timeline, so they think it could happen any moment.

Why Do We Think Quantum Mechanics Is Weird?

Chad Orzel, Forbes

Over at NPR's science blog, Adam Becker has a post on "The Puzzle Of Quantum Reality". It's a good example of what it is, namely yet another explanation of the measurement problem and interpretations of quantum physics. As you can tell from the tone of the previous sentence, though, while I think interpretations of quantum physics do matter, I'm a little tired of reading these kinds of pieces.

What Stephen Hawking's Final Papers Says

Nathaniel Scharping, Discover

Before he died, renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking submitted a paper, with co-author Thomas Hertog, to an as-yet-unknown journal. The paper deals with the concept of the multiverse and a theory known as cosmic inflation. Though the paper currently exists only in pre-print form, meaning it hasn't completed the process of peer-review, it's received a significant amount of coverage. Stephen Hawking's last paper, after all, does have a bit of a mythological ring to it.

It's Healthy to Exercise Through Joint Pain

Ewa M. Roor, The Conversation

If you take up exercise later in life, as a treatment for joint or hip pain, you should expect a small, temporary increase in pain. But if you proceed sensibly, you will be rewarded with pain relief similar to that of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, and twice that of a non-prescription painkiller, such as paracetamol.

Scientists Brew 'Hoppy' Beer Without the Hops

Katie Langin, Science News

Lots of craft beer enthusiasts have a thing for hopsflowers that, when added to the brewing process, yield a bitter taste and a distinctive floral aroma. But hop flowers are expensive, and producing them takes 100 billion liters of water a year in the United States alone. To get around those problems, scientists figured out how to brew hoppy beer without the use of hop plants.

'Grand Unified Theory of Math' Nets Abel Prize

Davide Castelvecchi, Nature News

The Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands has won the 2018 Abel Prize one of mathematics' most-prestigious awards for discovering surprising and far-ranging connections between algebra, number theory and analysis, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced on 20 March.
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