2018年4月25日 星期三

Daily Bulletin for 04/25/2018 

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Why Ehrlich Is Wrong about World Collapse

Steven Novella, Neurologica

In 1968, 50 years ago, Paul Ehrlich and his wife published The Population Bomb, which famously predicted mass starvation by the end of the next decade. Ehrlich's predictions failed largely because of the green revolution, the dramatic increase in agricultural productivity. You would think that being famous for a dramatically failed prediction would bring humility, but Ehrlich is still at it. In a recent interview he argues that the collapse of civilization is a near certainty within decades.

Neanderthals May Have Voyaged the Mediterranean

Andrew Lawler, Science

Odysseus, who voyaged across the wine-dark seas of the Mediterranean in Homer's epic, may have had some astonishingly ancient forerunners. A decade ago, when excavators claimed to have found stone tools on the Greek island of Crete dating back at least 130,000 years, other archaeologists were stunnedand skeptical.

Bridenstine Could Forge a New, Lean NASA

Ross Marchand, RealClearScience

On Monday, April 23, Vice President Pence swore in Jim Bridenstine as the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). After months of drama and back-and-forth on Capitol Hill, the longstanding vacancy of the position has finally come to an end.

Children Have Muscles Like Endurance Athletes

Blazevich & Ratel, Conversation

Most of us know children who can run and play for hours and hours, taking only short rests.As a parent or carer, it can be exhausting. For scientists, why this is the case has long been the source of debate is it due to fitness? Or something else?

570 National Academy Scientists Reprimand Trump

Carolyn Kormann, New Yorker

More than five hundred and seventy members of the National Academy of Sciences published a statement on Monday decrying the Trump Administration's denigration of scientific expertise and harassment of scientists. The members, who are acting independently of the N.A.S., represent many fields (social, biological, environmental, physical), but they note that the White House's dismissal of scientific evidence has been particularly egregious in the case of climate change.

Strange Holes Crop Up in Arctic Sea Ice

Stephen Leahy, National Geographic

WHILE FLYING OVER the eastern Beaufort Sea as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge, mission scientist John Sonntag made photos of something he had never seen before on April 14: odd crater-like holes in the ice.While experts agree the sea ice in the photograph is thin and likely young, since it is a grey color (indicating there is little snow), what made the holes is a mystery. I have never seen anything like that before, said IceBridge project scientist Nathan Kurtz.

Newton Didn't Frame Hypotheses. Why Should We?

Scott Milner, Physics Today

Not hypothesis driven. With those words and a fatal grade of Very Good, a fellow reviewer on a funding agency panel consigned the proposal we were discussing to the wastebasket. I listened in dismay. Certainly the proposal had hypotheses, though it didn't have boldface sentences beginning We hypothesize ... as signposts for inattentive readers.

Project Aims to Create Star Stuff on Earth


Astrophysicists will conduct experiments designed to re-create the physical environment inside stars, with a new $7 million grant that the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has awarded to The University of Texas at Austin. This work could help astronomers reduce uncertainties about the sizes and ages of super-dense objects known as white dwarf stars.

What Ancient Salt Can Tell Us About Life on Earth

Laura Carter, Massive

Over half of Earth's lifespan ago, more than 2 billion years before humans ever appeared, there was almost no oxygen, conditions that for us would be like trying to breathe on Mars. Like the disappearing atmosphere of Mars, Earth's atmosphere changed over the millennia just in the opposite direction. Instead of being lost to space over time, Earth gained oxygen quite suddenly, in terms of the planet's lifetime.

The Humanities Are Needed Today More Than Ever

Thomas G. Burish, Chronicle

In a world increasingly driven by science and technology, it came as no surprise to read in The Chronicle recently that only a small fraction of the research funding at the nation's top universities is directed toward the humanities.

The Search for Cosmic Strings

Cathal O'Connell, Cosmos Magazine

Our universe exploded into being, expanded at a fantastic speed and cooled. Perhaps too quickly. Some physicists believe the rapid cooling might have cracked the fabric of the universe.These hairline fractures may still be threaded through space-time. Dubbed cosmic strings, mathematical models see them as invisible threads of pure energy, thinner than an atom but light-years long. The huge amount of energy they contain also makes them extremely heavy; a few centimetres of cosmic string might weigh as much as Mount Everest.

Is 'Friendly Fire' in the Brain Provoking Alzheimer's?

Alison Abbott, Nature News

Neuroscientist Michael Heneka knows that radical ideas require convincing data. In 2010, very few colleagues shared his belief that the brain's immune system has a crucial role in dementia. So in May of that year, when a batch of new results provided the strongest evidence he had yet seen for his theory, he wanted to be excited, but instead felt nervous.
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