2018年3月26日 星期一

Daily Bulletin for 03/26/2018 

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Ancient Megaflood Created 1.5km Waterfall

Andrew Masterson, Cosmos

Once upon a time there was a massive flood across the Mediterranean Sea, an in-pouring of water so huge that it excavated a canyon five kilometres deep and 20 kilometres long, and created a waterfall with a 1.5 kilometre drop.Evidence for the great flood, long hypothesised, has now been found by a team of researchers led by geoscientist Aaron Micallef from the University of Malta.

LiDAR Reveals an Ancient Roman Highway

Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience

The mountainous, limestone landscape near Trieste, Italy is a wonder to behold. Slightly acidic water carves and erodes the soluble, sedimentary rock over many thousands of years, fracturing the terrain and creating jagged formations. Above ground is a garden of naturally-cut sculptures. Below ground lies a system of weathered caves. The place fosters a distinct feeling of oldness.

Why Pancreatic Cancer Is on the Rise

Claudia Wallis, Scientific American

We can all be grateful that pancreatic cancer is pretty rareaccounting for about 3 percent of all cancers. Its toll, however, is another story. Five years ago it was the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Today it's number three and expected to soon overtake colon cancer for the number-two spot, right behind lung cancer.

It's Strangely Acceptable to Demonize Teens

Kate Kellaway, The Guardian

Adolescents for ever have had a bad reputation. There are so many negative stereotypes. You can go back as far as Socrates, who said they have bad manners, contempt for authority, show disrespect for elders and love chatter in the place of exercise. It is not socially acceptable to mock and demonise other sectors of society.

Should We Lower the P Value Threshold to .005?

John Ioannidis, JAMA

P values and accompanying methods of statistical significance testing are creating challenges in biomedical science and other disciplines. The vast majority (96%) of articles that report P values in the abstract, full text, or both include some values of .05 or less. However, many of the claims that these reports highlight are likely false. Recognizing the major importance of the statistical significance conundrum, the American Statistical Association (ASA) published3 a statement on P values in 2016.

Why We Didn't Cover the Latest Cell Phone Cancer Study

John Timmer, Ars Tech

Last night, a fellow editor emailed me a link to yet another study purporting to show that cellphone use could be associated with cancer. This one was worth looking at in more detail, however, because it purported to see an increase in a specific cancerthe same type of cancer that was increased in a problematic US government study.

Population Decline a Greater Crisis Than Extinction

Henry Grabar, Slate

The first great extinction crisis in the United States was the fall of the passenger pigeon, the last of whom, a bird named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. There had really been nothing special about the passenger pigeon prior to about 1900; on the contrary, the pigeon had recently been as common a bird as we had in America.

Why Energy Is Not a Substance

Sascha Vongehr, Science 2.0

Energy is not a substance, not something in the sense of some thing. Energy often appears to be a substance that flows, for example if charging a battery or an electrical capacitor. When charging, also electrons flow into these devices, but as many electrons flow out of the device. Nevertheless, there is something flowing into the device, namely energy.

Why We Should Stop Ignoring Venus

Glaze, Smrekar. & Dyar, Physics Today

The search for life elsewhere in our universe is exploding. Discoveries of new exoplanets are now a weekly occurrence. Our curiosity about exoplanets is motivated by the tantalizing possibility that we might discover another world where life as we know it could thrive.

Stephen Hawking's Odd Fascination with Doomsday

Siegel & Berezow, Federalist

Stephen Hawking lost his longtime battle with ALS on March 14, 2018 what would have been Albert Einstein's 139th birthday. While Hawking's scientific achievements led the field of astrophysics forward in a number of important ways, his impact on the general public was much more of a mixed bag.

First Cloned Monkeys Provoked Shrugs, Not Shocks

Bernard Siegel, Leaps Mag

A few months ago, it was announced that not one, but two healthy long-tailed macaque monkeys were cloneda first for primates of any kind. The cells were sourced from aborted monkey fetuses and the DNA transferred into eggs whose nuclei had been removed, the same method that was used in 1996 to clone "Dolly the Sheep."

Why Haven't We Detected Dark Matter in Solar System?

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

According to a large amount of evidence, the overwhelming majority of the Universe is made out of some mysterious type of mass that we've never directly measured. While protons, neutrons, and electrons and for that matter, all the matter made out of particles from physics' Standard Model make up the planets, stars, and galaxies we find throughout the Universe, they compose only 15% of the Universe's total mass.

Five Weird Quantum Effects

Lauren Fuge, Cosmos Magazine

You might have heard of Schrdinger's cat and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and maybe even quantum entanglement. These quantum phenomena are attempts to explain the world on an infinitesimally small scale, and have become relatively well known in the century or so since they were discovered.

What Happened to Thismia Americana?

Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience

WHAT HAPPENED TO Thismia americana?"It's a question that fascinates botanists around the world, but one that few in the general public have probably ever considered, despite the fact that it has been asked for well over a century.In August 1912, University of Chicago graduate student Norma Pfeiffer was exploring a damp, low-lying prairie near the wetlands surrounding Chicago's Lake Calumet when she spotted a small, glabrous, white plant with delicate streaks of blue-green ringing the mouth of the flower. It was unlike anything else in the surrounding area.

Next-Gen Life Detectors Are on the Way

Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Air & Space Mag

Several promising new tools for astrobiology are in the works, according to presentations at this week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas.One intriguing example is the Standoff Biofinder, which is based on the principle that many biological materials exhibit a short-term fluorescence effect that can be distinguished from the natural luminescence of many minerals.

NASA 'Clean' Room Contaminated with Fungus

Adam Mann, Science News

Clean rooms are the final line of defense in extraterrestrial exploration: Spacecraft departing for other worlds are stripped of any biological contaminants there, and samples returning from space, such as the Apollo moon rocks, are stored in pristine conditions to be studied later. But a new study suggests that a clean room storing meteorite samples at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, may not be quite so clean, after all.

Why Our Universe Didn't Collapse into a Black Hole

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

The Big Bang is one of the most counterintuitive ideas out there. If you think about taking all the matter and energy in the Universe, and starting it off in a tiny region of space, doesn't it seem rather unlikely that it would expand at the exact rate needed to give us the Universe we see today? Wouldn't it be far more likely to simply collapse, gravitationally, into the densest type of object the Universe can contain: a black hole? Clearly, that didn't happen.
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