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June 18, 2019, 07:47:35 am
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dead0man
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« Reply #225 on: January 16, 2019, 12:17:46 am »

in news that shocks nobody Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most
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PSOL
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« Reply #226 on: January 17, 2019, 02:54:05 pm »

Scientists reveal 'ideal diet' for peoples' and planet's health

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-diet/scientists-reveal-ideal-diet-for-peoples-and-planets-health-idUSKCN1PA34E
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It says global average consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar should be cut by 50 percent, while consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes should double.

For individual regions, this could mean even more dramatic changes: People in North America, for example, eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat, while people in South Asia eat only half the amount suggested by the planetary diet.

Meeting the targets for starchy vegetables such as potatoes and cassava would need big changes in sub-Saharan Africa, where people on average eat 7.5 times the suggested amount.
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Frodo
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« Reply #227 on: January 19, 2019, 12:18:49 pm »

Desalinization has its downsides -and it's not just the upfront cost of construction:

UN warns of rising levels of toxic brine as desalination plants meet growing water needs

World's ~16,000 desalination plants discharge 142 million cubic meters of brine daily -- 50 percent more than previously estimated; Enough in a year to cover Florida under a foot (30.5 cm) of brine


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Frodo
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« Reply #228 on: January 24, 2019, 09:00:23 am »

Forest Soil Affected By Fire Or Logging Can Take Almost A Century To Recover

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It will take up to eight decades, not 10 to 15 years, for forest soil damaged by logging or wildfires to recover, revealed a new study.

A team of scientists investigated the soil of the Ash Mountain in Victoria, Australia, which, in 2009, experienced a wildfire that ravaged tens of thousands of hectares of forests. While initial estimates claim that it would only take a decade to recover, the team found that, 10 years later, the forest ground is still reeling from the damage. This includes the areas where trees are regrowing.

Their findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
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Frodo
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« Reply #229 on: January 26, 2019, 06:16:12 pm »

By now everyone knows that East Africa is breaking off from the main African continent to form its own continent as we speak. 

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Just out of curiosity, assuming this new breakaway sub-continent drifts east, how would that affect weather patterns in the region?  With more access to the ocean, will more places see more rainfall?  How will India's monsoons be impacted as East Africa drifts toward it?   
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Frodo
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« Reply #230 on: January 26, 2019, 06:55:42 pm »
« Edited: January 26, 2019, 07:01:48 pm by Frodo »

For the scientifically minded, were you ever curious to know what exactly caused that huge spike in temperatures ten of millions years ago called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum?

Now I think we've found one of the culprits -it was a huge volcanic eruption in Scotland back when it was still as geologically active as East Africa and Indonesia are today:

Skye volcanic eruption 'changed climate'

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A catastrophic volcanic eruption on the Isle of Skye is likely to have caused major changes in the world's climate.
 
Researchers from Scotland, Sweden and England have linked the explosion to a prehistoric spike in global warming.

It is the first time a large-scale explosive eruption has been confirmed in Scotland.

The term Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) does not exactly trip off the tongue. It's none too easy to get out of the keyboard either.

But it played a huge role in shaping the prehistoric world.

And here is a link to the study's summary.
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Frodo
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« Reply #231 on: January 27, 2019, 06:54:21 pm »

New Theory: Life on Earth Came From Impact With Another Planet

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According to a provocative new paper, a catastrophic impact with a “Mars-sized planet” may have broken the Moon off the Earth more than four billion years ago — and left behind the building blocks that led to life on the Blue Planet.

“This study suggests that a rocky, Earth-like planet gets more chances to acquire life-essential elements if it forms and grows from giant impacts with planets that have sampled different building blocks, perhaps from different parts of a protoplanetary disk,” co-author Rajdeep Dasgupta said in a blog post about the research.
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« Reply #232 on: January 27, 2019, 08:58:53 pm »

That's not remotely a new theory?
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True Federalist
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« Reply #233 on: January 28, 2019, 07:34:56 am »

The impact isn't the new theory, but that having such an impact increased the odds of life developing here.
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Frodo
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« Reply #234 on: February 01, 2019, 10:23:49 am »

Fossilized Feathers Of Winged Dinosaur Anchiornis Offer Clues To How Birds Evolved To Fly

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It isn't clear how and when feathered dinosaurs, the ancestors of present day birds, started to fly. Analysis of the fossilized remains of a winged dinosaur that lived in China 160 million years ago, however, offered clues on the evolution of flight.

The crow-sized dinosaur called Anchiornis lived 10 million years before the Archaeopteryx, the first recognized bird.

And there's an excellent documentary on the Curiosity Channel that helps to illustrate feathered dinosaurs.
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Frodo
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« Reply #235 on: February 08, 2019, 08:59:45 am »

Scientists Create Fabric That Cools When It's Hot And Warms When It's Cold

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(...) Researchers from the University of Maryland have developed fabric that automatically regulates the amount of heat that can pass through depending on the conditions. This means that the fabric allows more heat to pass through on warm and humid days, but reduces the amount of heat released when conditions are colder and drier.

The researchers created the fabric using engineered yarn made from two synthetic materials, one of which repels water while the other absorbs it. The strands are coated with carbon nanotubes, and the fibers expand or contract depending on the conditions.

Specifically, when it’s hot, the strands twist and tighten up, activating the nanotube coating and letting the heat pass through. On the other hand, this mechanism is blocked when the conditions are colder, thereby leaving more heat close to the skin. Incredibly, the effect is nearly instant, so the fabric will already be cooling people down or warming them up even before they realize that they’re warm or cold.
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PSOL
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« Reply #236 on: February 10, 2019, 10:08:17 pm »

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'
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The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

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True Federalist
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« Reply #237 on: February 13, 2019, 09:54:11 pm »

It's hard to get sad about an inanimate object, but Randall Munroe managed to do that for me today over at xkcd.

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And in case you don't know why. here's why.
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Frodo
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« Reply #238 on: February 15, 2019, 08:57:23 am »
« Edited: February 15, 2019, 09:00:35 am by Frodo »

This will make you look at a monument like Stonehenge with a whole different mindset.  Or at least provide context:

Europe’s Megalithic Monuments Originated in France and Spread by Sea Routes, New Study Suggests

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The stones have stood silently for thousands of years, arranged in rows and circles or balanced atop one another, often oriented to face the rising sun. Some 35,000 symbolic arrangements with similar architectural features have kept watch over ancient graves and sites across coastal Europe, from a snow-swept Swedish hilltop at Haväng, high above the Baltic Sea, to the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean.

Because their Neolithic and Copper Age creators—and their motivations—are lost to the mists of prehistory, the stones have invited speculation for centuries. Who built them? Is some single group of people responsible for launching this type of striking stone architecture? Or did multiple cultures separated by hundreds or thousands of miles develop the practice independently?

A sweeping new study of megalithic monuments across Europe suggests that such burials originated in northwest France, and the practice of building them spread along the continent’s coastlines in several migratory waves.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/articles/europe-megalithic-monuments-france-sea-routes-mediterranean-180971467/#55m6b20cSZDCjhXk.99



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Frodo
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« Reply #239 on: February 16, 2019, 01:41:07 am »
« Edited: February 16, 2019, 01:46:47 am by Frodo »

I am sure some of you have seen the Animal Channel 'mockumentary' from several years ago proposing that there are still remnant populations of Megalodons lurking beneath the ocean depths.  Well, not only are they definitely extinct (thank God), but they became extinct a million years earlier than any of us thought.  And the primary culprit of their demise was the Great White Shark:

Megalodon is definitely extinct—and great white sharks may be to blame
New analysis of the ancient behemoths suggests they disappeared a million years earlier than thought, raising questions about what led to their demise.

Here is a size comparison -basically, Great Whites are about the same size as a juvenile Megalodon:

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dead0man
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« Reply #240 on: February 16, 2019, 07:51:20 am »

humans killed a lot of megafauna off even before we had things like atl-atls and slings (much less AR15s and semi-auto shotguns)
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muon2
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« Reply #241 on: February 18, 2019, 10:30:52 am »

Shattering my dreams that Meg was killed by muons. Wink
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Frodo
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« Reply #242 on: February 18, 2019, 12:01:10 pm »

Thank goodness for GMOs:

How to feed the world by 2050? Recent breakthrough boosts plant growth by 40 percent
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Frodo
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« Reply #243 on: February 27, 2019, 08:54:27 am »

Researchers Succeed In Turning CO2 Back Into Coal
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Frodo
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« Reply #244 on: February 27, 2019, 08:56:56 am »

We may be on the brink of finding a viable alternative to plastic:

Squid Teeth-Inspired Proteins May Provide Eco-Friendly Plastic Alternative
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Lourdes
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« Reply #245 on: March 04, 2019, 10:09:00 pm »

HIV-positive man in U.K. is 2nd known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/hiv-positive-man-u-k-2nd-known-adult-worldwide-be-n979186

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LONDON- An HIV-positive man in Britain has become the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor, his doctors said.

Almost three years after receiving bone marrow stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV infection - and more than 18 months after coming off antiretroviral drugs - highly sensitive tests still show no trace of the man's previous HIV infection.

"There is no virus there that we can measure. We can't detect anything," said Ravindra Gupta, a professor and HIV biologist who co-led a team of doctors treating the man.
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dead0man
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« Reply #246 on: March 06, 2019, 09:37:01 am »

meanwhile, in Bad Science News...Canada spends $70k/year on homeopathy in Hondorous
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Physicians who go on aid missions abroad want the federal government to review its funding of a program that sends homeopaths to Honduras because of the potential harm to local people.

Since 2015, Quebec-based Terre Sans Frontières (TSF) has been spending $70,000 annually in aid money from Global Affairs Canada to dispatch more than a dozen volunteer homeopaths to Honduras.

The money runs out in 2020. But Dr. Zain Chagla wants the federal government to review the homeopath program which claims to prevent and treat Chagas disease among other serious infections.

"I really do believe this is a wake-up call," he said.

Chagla, who has done tropical medicine training in East Africa and is a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the homeopaths' claims about treating Chagas disease are potentially harmful.

"There is no evidence that what they're using is anything more than diluted water. It's a placebo, and we're talking about a disease that can again kill and cause a significant amount of scarring down the line," he said.

<snip>
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Frodo
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« Reply #247 on: March 23, 2019, 07:22:23 pm »

Imagine the original 'Jurassic Park' with a feathered T-Rex:

A new T. rex exhibit takes a deep dive into the iconic dinosaur

Img
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dead0man
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« Reply #248 on: March 30, 2019, 03:24:11 pm »

Paleontologists have found a fossil site in North Dakota that contains animals and plants killed and buried within an hour of the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. This is the richest K-T boundary site ever found, incorporating insects, fish, mammals, dinosaurs and plants living at the end of the Cretaceous, mixed with tektites and rock created and scattered by the impact. The find shows that dinosaurs survived until the impact.
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Frodo
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« Reply #249 on: April 03, 2019, 12:19:27 pm »

Apparently the Neanderthal were survived not just by modern humans, but also by their Denisovan cousins:

Denisovans Mated With Modern Humans More Recently Than Previously Thought

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