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2019年2月11日 星期一

Daily Bulletin for 02/11/2019 

02/11/2019
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The Exercise 'Recovery' Industry Is Largely Bogus

Julia Belluz, Vox

When health journalist Christie Aschwanden was traveling the world as a competitive ski racer in the 1990s and 2000s, recovery between training sessions basically meant doing nothing taking a day to sleep in or lie around with a good book.About a decade ago, she noticed something had changed: recovery became a thing athletes actively performed with foam rollers, cryotherapy, or cupping as part of their training routines.

A Thick Cortex Makes Learning Languages Easier

Nancy Bazilchuk, ScienceNordic

Researchers have long known that the brain changes when people learn a new language. But the relationship between the ability to learn a new language and the structure of the brain before the language has been learned has been a mystery until now, says Mikael Roll, a neurolinguist at Lund University in Sweden.

Could We Build a Space Station Inside an Asteroid?

David Nield, Science Alert

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it's a wild possibility scientists are actually exploring: how to fit a space station inside an asteroid.Why would we attempt such a bizarre feat of astro-engineering? Because the spin of the asteroid would create enough gravity for mining equipment to be effectively used, giving us a way to tap into the rich minerals and deposits inside these celestial rocks.

Are Intellectuals Suffering a Crisis of Meaning?

Scott Barry Kaufman, Sci American

I've been wondering lately about the link between intelligence and meaning. People with high intelligence tend to adopt a critical attitude towards the world, and avoid relying on positive illusions. While these skills gain you accolades in school, are they really valued in today's world?

What Weed Dependence Feels Like

Judith Grisel, Popular Mechanics

I was an avid marijuana smoker for nearly ten years of my youth, and today I am a neuroscientist who studies addiction. I loved the taste, the smell, and the fabulous buffering effects of weed separating me from the messy business of interacting with other people and fulfilling my daily obligationsas well as the promise of something new and glittering in the midst of the relatively unappealing present.

New Sea Level Studies Have Good News and Bad

Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica

One of the most shocking climate science studies in recent years came in 2016. That study, from David Pollard at Penn State and Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, showed that adding a couple physical processes to their model of the Antarctic ice sheets caused it to produce significantly more sea level rise this century. In their simulation, shrinking Antarctic glaciers raised sea level by a full meter by 2100and things only picked up from there.

Ancient Human DNA Brings Africa's Deep History to Light

Bridget Alex, Discover

In 2010, extraordinary circumstances allowed geneticists to reconstruct the first full genome of an ancient human: the DNA came from a hairball, frozen 4,000 years in Greenland soil. Since then, methods have improved so much in cost and efficiency that individual papers now report genomic data from hundreds of dead people (here, here, here). Ancient DNA (aDNA) has now been published from well over 2,000 human ancestors, stretching as far back as 430,000 years ago.

Firing Microwaves Into Space Could Find Dark Matter

Edwin Cartlidge, Phys World

A powerful beam of microwaves could be fired into space to detect hypothetical dark-matter particles called axions. That is the proposal of Pierre Sikivie and Ariel Arza at the University of Florida, who hope to record a faint microwave echo from the dark matter thought to exist at higher concentrations in certain regions of the Milky Way.

The Case for Transmissible Alzheimer's Grows

Jennifer Frazer, Sci American

The unsettling evidence that Alzheimer's Disease may be transmissible under limited -- but definitely nonzero -- circumstances keeps growing.Last December I wrote about research that revealed that infectious, lethal proteins called prions have the potential to be transmitted on optical medical equipment because they are present throughout the eyes of victims.

Anti-Vaxxers Protest During a Measles Outbreak

Tom McKay, Gizmodo

Amid a measles outbreak in Washington state that officials have confirmed has spread to at least 51 people and suspect to have spread to over a dozen others, hundreds of people showed up to a rally on Friday to demand the right to keep exposing their kids to the possibility of contracting easily prevented, potentially fatal illnesses, multiple outlets reported.

New Evidence for the Strange Geometry of Thought

Adithya Rajagopalan, Nautilus

In 2014, the Swedish philosopher and cognitive scientist Peter Grdenfors went to Krakow, Poland, for a conference on the mind. He was to lecture at Jagiellonian University, courtesy of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, on his theory of conceptual, or cognitive, spaces.

The Battle for the Future of Stonehenge

Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian

Stonehenge, with the possible exception of Big Ben, is Britain's most recognisable monument. As a symbol of the nation's antiquity, it is our Parthenon, our pyramids although, admittedly, less impressive. Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum, recalls that when he took a group of Egyptian archaeologists to see it, they were baffled by our national devotion to the stones, which, compared to the refined surfaces of the pyramids, seemed to them like something hastily thrown up over a weekend.

What Would a Multiverse Really Be Like?

Thomas Metcalf, Arc Digital

The idea of a multiverse is a thrilling concept which comes up in physics, philosophy, and fiction. But what would a multiverse really be like, and what would it mean for our existence?If a multiverse exists, then the world the totality of existence comprises more than one universe.

How Sex Killed Tyrannosaurus rex

Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience

Tyrannosaurus rex, king of the tyrant lizards, may have been the most fearsome land predator to ever exist on planet Earth. Yet despite its lofty position and regal name, T. rex did not live a pampered, kingly lifestyle. True, no other dinosaur species directly predated upon T. rex after it reached the age of two, when an individual would have grown large enough to dissuade any would be attacker, but that doesn't mean that tyrannosaurs cruised through life, succumbing only to death from old age. In reality, life at the top was not a walk in the (Cretaceous) park.

The Silver Fox Study Still Shapes Thinking on Evolution

Lee Alan Dugatkin, Undark

Like many breakthroughs in science, Dmitri Belyaev's silver fox domestication experiment began with a thunderbolt: one simple, powerful, new idea. Born of a parish priest in early 20th century Russia, the geneticist proposed that all domestic animals were tamed through a generations-long process in which our distant ancestors repeatedly chose the calmest animals those that were friendliest to people for breeding.

Cell Death Processes Are Reversible

Charles Q. Choi, The Scientist

In 2007, Ho Man Holly Tang took a break from her undergraduate biology studies at Iowa State University to join her older brother, Ho Lam Hogan Tang, then a doctoral student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to work on a project together. In Ming-Chiu Fung's immunology lab, Hogan had been investigating how disturbances in the cytoskeletons of cells might contribute to the fragmentation of mitochondria during apoptosis, the most familiar form of cell suicide.

How Scientists Actually Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb

Benjamin Plackett, Inside Sci

There are enough nuclear weapons in the world to cause atomic Armageddon many times over, according to scientists, who estimate that no country could fire more than 100 nuclear warheads without wreaking such devastation that their own citizens back home would be killed.
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