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How to Blow Up a Star

Elizabeth Gibney, Nature News

After spending three months trying to blow up a star, Hans-Thomas Janka and his team finally saw what they had been waiting for. Like the world's most patient pyromaniacs, they watched their massive stellar simulation rendered in painstaking detail inch closer to detonation. Each day, their supercomputer ticked through just 5 milliseconds of the star's life.

Will Rising Carbon Dioxide Really Boost Plant Growth?

Stuart Thompson, Conv

Plants have become an unlikely subject of political debate. Many projections suggest that burning fossil fuels and the resulting climate change will make it harder to grow enough food for everyone in the coming decades. But some groups opposed to limiting our emissions claim that higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO?) will boost plants' photosynthesis and so increase food production.

100,000-Year-Old Marking May Be First Human Symbol

Michael Erard, Science

About 100,000 years ago, ancient humans started etching lines and hashtag patterns onto red rocks in a South African cave. Such handiwork has been cited as the first sign our species could make symbolsdistinct marks that stand for some meaningand thus evidence of a sophisticated mind.

Inside David Liu's Evolution Workshop

Ryan Cross, Chemical & Engineering News

David R. Liu is an inventor on a winning streak. As a young chemist, he quickly mastered techniques for studying life's most complex molecules and then turned to altering the building blocks of life itself. He repurposed the genetic code of DNA to create large libraries of small molecules for drug screening and created a system for engineering new proteins that's at least 100 times as fast as previous methods.

Tilapia: Freak Farmed Fish or Evolutionary Rock Star?

Ricki Lewis, PLoS Blogs

Posts are appearing on my Facebook feed warning against the dangers of eating tilapia. So I decided to do a little research.My dad was a seafood wholesaler at the Fulton Fish market, and as a kid I'd encountered all manner of fish, at the dinner table and from working one summer at his stall. I knew about porgies, red snapper, flounder, and crabs galore, and that gefilte fish was a mixture of carp, whitefish, and pike. My dad even dealt in turtles and he'd send the occasional mystery species uptown to the American Museum of Natural History for identification.

Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?

Bernardo Kastrup, Sci Am

Every generation tends to believe that its views on the nature of reality are either true or quite close to the truth. We are no exception to this: although we know that the ideas of earlier generations were each time supplanted by those of a later one, we still believe that this time we got it right. Our ancestors were nave and superstitious, but we are objectiveor so we tell ourselves.

What the Archaeology of Night Reveals

April Nowell & Nancy Gonlin, Sapiens

As recently as a few decades ago in the Western world, stars dazzled humans with their brightness and the Milky Way could be seen spanning the far reaches of the heavens as night deepened into an unspeakable darkness. In the 21st century, such a scene is becoming a rarity across many parts of the globe as we light up the night like never before.

Soviet A-Bomb Test Led the U.S. to Climate Science

Sharon Weinberger, Undark

On March 23, 1971, the Soviet Union set off three Hiroshima-scale nuclear blasts deep underground in a remote region some 1,000 miles east of Moscow, ripping a massive crater in the earth. The goal was to demonstrate that nuclear explosions could be used to dig a canal connecting two rivers, altering their direction and bringing water to dry areas for agriculture.

19 Small Ways That NASA Will Try to Save the Earth

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

When most people think of NASA, they think about space and the Universe beyond our world. NASA conjures up images of humans in space, on the Moon, or in rockets. From a science perspective, we think about the stars, nebulae and galaxies out there in the distant Universe, and the planets in our solar system and beyond.

Europe's Mars Rover Takes Shape

Jonathan Amos, BBC News

This is what they call the Structural Thermal Model, or STM. It is one of three rovers that will be built as part of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2020 mission to search for life on the Red Planet. And, no, we're not sending all three to the Red Planet.

The Vegetarian Problem with Food Waste

Science 2.0

A new study finds that Americans waste nearly a pound of food per person per day. And at the top of it is fruits and vegetables. Way below those is dairy, and meat waste is almost a third of what fruits and vegetables are.People who believe they "eat more healthy" than others - the organic elite and vegetarians - have a food fetish for fresh vegetables.

The Hunt for the Sun's Ancient Siblings

Amber Jorgenson, Astronomy

The Sun is quite isolated now, but just like every other star, it was born in a stellar nursery along with thousands of siblings. Once very close knit, the Sun and its galactic brethren were eventually torn apart by the tidal force of the Milky Way, and are now scattered about the galaxy. They may have been torn apart by happenstance, but their shared origin means that the brothers and sisters are still bound by their chemical compositions.

Most High-Tech Nazi Submarine Found

Brandon Specktor, Live Science

Two days before the Allied forces declared victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, a high-tech German submarine set out from Denmark on a mysterious mission.The sub was a brand-new Type XXI U-boat, hailed as the most advanced Nazi submarine of its time. It was deadly quiet, superfast and allegedly capable of traveling from Europe to South America without having to surface.

The Government Does Not Understand GMOs

Tirzah Duren, RealClearScience

Beginning in 2015, the makers of KIND snack bars found themselves in what would become a drawn out legal battle. This March, the latest drama unfolded regarding a class action lawsuit involving the use of non-GMO labels on their products. This lawsuit has been in a standstill due to a lack of consensus regarding what a genetically modified organism (GMO) is.

How Many Genes Do Cells Need?

Veronique Greenwood, Quanta Magazine

By knocking out genes three at a time, scientists have painstakingly deduced the web of genetic interactions that keeps a cell alive. Researchers long ago identified essential genes that yeast cells can't live without, but new work, which appears today in Science, shows that looking only at those gives a skewed picture of what makes cells tick: Many genes that are inessential on their own become crucial as others disappear.

How Rabid Dog Saliva Became a Remedy in Canada

Scott Gavura, Sci-Based Med

A recent blog post by a British Columbia naturopath is raising questions from health professionals about the practice of naturopathy, and the use of homeopathic remedies. Anke Zimmerman, a Victoria-based naturopath, wrote a blog post on how she treated a child's behavioural problems with a remedy made from a rabid dog's saliva.

How to Talk to Evangelicals About Evolution

Rachel Gross, Smithsonian

Rick Potts is no atheist-evolutionist-Darwinist. That often comes as a surprise to the faith communities he works with as head of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Human Origins Program in Washington, D.C.Raised Protestant with, he likes to say, an emphasis on the protest' the paleoanthropologist spends his weekends singing in a choir that sings both sacred and secular songs.
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