2018年4月14日 星期六

Daily Bulletin for 04/14/2018 

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How to Detect a Pre-Human Civilization

Adam Frank, Atlantic

It only took five minutes for Gavin Schmidt to out-speculate me.Schmidt is the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a.k.a. GISS) a world-class climate-science facility. One day last year, I came to GISS with a far-out proposal. In my work as an astrophysicist, I'd begun researching global warming from an astrobiological perspective.

'Kilopower' Could Power a Mars Colony

Megan Ray Nichols, RealClearScience

Science fiction writer Douglas Adams said it best Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. Getting from one point to another takes a very, very long time, especially with our present technology. Right now, the closest neighboring star system is roughly 4.24 light years away. With our current spacecraft, it would take more than 81,000 years to reach it!

NASA May Fly Crew into Deep Space Sooner

Eric Berger, Ars Technica

NASA will likely launch its first astronauts into deep space since the Apollo program on a less powerful version of its Space Launch System rocket than originally planned. Although it has not been officially announced, in recent weeks mission planners at the space agency have begun designing "Exploration Mission 2" to be launched on the Block 1 version of the SLS rocket, which has the capability to lift 70 tons to low Earth orbit.

Yes, You Can Sweat Blood

Nathaniel Scharping, Discover

We've all heard of sweating bullets, but this is something else entirely.A medical case report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal from Italian researchers last year details a 21-year-old patient who began mysteriously sweating blood from her face and palms. The condition had been ongoing for about three years, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports, when she decided to check herself into a hospital needless to say, the doctors were perplexed.

Next Generation Exoplanet Hunter Launches Monday

Rebecca Boyle, Air & Space

Our solar system only has eight planets (sorry, Pluto), but countless others orbit other stars in the Milky Way. So far, astronomers have not been able to scrutinize them in great detailincluding searching them for signs of lifebut that is about to change. The hunt for alien worlds is set to take another leap forward Monday with the launch of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

Why Doesn't Inflation Break the Speed Of Light?

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

When you think about where the Universe came from, you likely think about the hot Big Bang as our origins. According to the Big Bang, we began with an early, dense, uniform state of high-energy matter and radiation, which then expanded, cooled and clumped together to become the Universe we inhabit today. But prior to the Big Bang itself, the Universe underwent a period of cosmic inflation, which set up the initial conditions our observed Universe today was born with.

The Left's War on Science Has Real Effects

John Stossel, Reason

We've been told conservatives don't believe in science and that there's a "Republican war on science."But John Tierney, who's written about science for The New York Times for 25 years and now writes for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, told me in my latest online video, "The real war on science is the one from the left."Really? Conservatives are more likely to be creationistsdenying evolution.

18+ Drinks Per Week Could Take 5 Years Off Lifespan

Alex Therrien, BBC News

Regularly drinking above the UK alcohol guidelines can take years off your life, according to a major report.The study of 600,000 drinkers estimated that having 10 to 15 alcoholic drinks every week could shorten a person's life by between one and two years.And they warned that people who drink more than 18 drinks a week could lose four to five years of their lives.

Gravitational Waves Could Solve Long List of Mysteries

D. Castelvecchi, Nature

In the mid-1980s, Bernard Schutz came up with a new solution to one of astronomy's oldest problems: how to measure the distance from Earth to other objects in the cosmos. For generations, researchers have relied on an object's brightness as a rough gauge for its distance. But this approach carries endless complications. Dim, nearby stars, for example, can masquerade as bright ones that are farther away.

The March for Evidence

Rush Holt, Scientific American

The March for Science in April 2017 was a unique demonstration of concern about the role of science and engineering in society and government. More than a million people in cities and towns around the world gathered in streets, made placards and banners, and heard speakers extoling the relevance and beauty of scienceand also warning of diminished influence of science in policymaking.

The Most Entangled Controllable Device Yet?

Ryan Mandelbaum, Gizmodo

If you've read anything about quantum computers, you may have encountered the statement, It's like computing with zero and one at the same time. That's sort of true, but what makes quantum computers exciting is something spookier: entanglement.

The Quantum Internet Is Already Being Built

Michael Lucy, Cosmos Magazine

For a few minutes each night in certain parts of China, the brightest light in the sky is the lurid glow of the Micius satellite, shooting a green laser down to Earth as it swings through space 500 kilometres above. When conditions are right, you might also see a red beam lancing back through the darkness from one of the ground stations that send signals in reply.

Why Is the Human Brain So Efficient?

Liqun Luo, Nautilus

The brain is complex; in humans it consists of about 100 billion neurons, making on the order of 100 trillion connections. It is often compared with another complex system that has enormous problem-solving power: the digital computer. Both the brain and the computer contain a large number of elementary unitsneurons and transistors, respectivelythat are wired into complex circuits to process information conveyed by electrical signals.

Supertides Linked to Formation of New Supercontinent

Mattias Green, Conv

Earth's crust is made up of fractured slabs of rock, like a broken shell on an egg. These plates move around at speeds of about 5cm per year and eventually this movement brings all the continents together and form what is known as a supercontinent. The last supercontinent on Earth was Pangaea, which existed between 300-180m years ago.

How the Science Wars Ruined Margaret Mead

Matthew Blackwell, Quillette

When I was about 23, I embarked on a lone trip around the Vanuatu Islands. I eventually wound up on the isolated Maskelyne Island, quite a few days away from civilization in the Western sense of the word. A man had just died and many suspected that witchcraft was involved in cursing his food. For a week I attended the extensive funeral ceremonies, dove on the reef in my spare time, and drank kava with the locals at night.

How Do We Control Dangerous Bio Research?

Filippa Lentzos, BotAS

No military wishes for an enemy with capabilities that match its own. Indeed, the US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has said he does not want American service members to ever have to face a fair fight. But how do you stay ahead of an adversary? The United States tries to remain overmatched against any enemy by investing heavily in technological innovation, and today, a considerable part of that investment goes into the biological sciences.

What If a Nuke Goes Off in Washington D.C.?

M. Mitchell Waldrop, Science

At 11:15 on a Monday morning in May, an ordinary looking delivery van rolls into the intersection of 16th and K streets NW in downtown Washington, D.C., just a few blocks north of the White House. Inside, suicide bombers trip a switch.Instantly, most of a city block vanishes in a nuclear fireball two-thirds the size of the one that engulfed Hiroshima, Japan. Powered by 5 kilograms of highly enriched uranium that terrorists had hijacked weeks earlier, the blast smashes buildings for at least a kilometer in every direction and leaves hundreds of thousands of people dead or dying in the ruins.
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