Plastics: Science is Winning

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen — 18 October 2019   Science is beginning to win in the long battle over misinformed anti-plastic advocacy.  It has been a long time coming.  The most recent paper on the subject of pelagic plastic (plastic floating in the oceans) is from a scientific team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic…

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How the Universe Stopped Making Sense

From Space.com By Rafi Letzter We’re getting something wrong about the universe. By Rafi Letzter 6 Science & Astronomy We’re getting something wrong about the universe. It might be something small: a measurement issue that makes certain stars looks closer or farther away than they are, something astrophysicists could fix with a few tweaks to…

Quantum paradox experiment may lead to more accurate clocks and sensors

University of Queensland More accurate clocks and sensors may result from a recently proposed experiment, linking an Einstein-devised paradox to quantum mechanics. University of Queensland physicist Dr Magdalena Zych said the international collaboration aimed to test Einstein’s twin paradox using quantum particles in a ‘superposition’ state. “The twin paradox is one of the most counterintuitive…

Lakes worldwide are experiencing more severe algal blooms

Climate change is likely hampering recovery efforts Carnegie Institution for Science Washington, DC– The intensity of summer algal blooms has increased over the past three decades, according to a first-ever global survey of dozens of large, freshwater lakes, which was conducted by Carnegie’s Jeff Ho and Anna Michalak and NASA’s Nima Pahlevan and published by…

Modern Scientific Controversies Part 7: The Meat War

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen  —  10  October 2019   Prologue:  This is part of  an occasional  series of essays that discusses ongoing scientific controversies, a specific type of which are often referred to in the science press and elsewhere as “Wars” – for instance, one essay covered the “Salt Wars1” and another the “Obesity…

Epidemiology, Diet Soda and Climate Science

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen – 6 October 2019 “Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. “ “It is the cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and…

Svensmark on Venus: Mystery of the Unknown UV Absorber Solved?

Guest post by John Tillman Disulfur Dioxide, the Solar Cycle and Cosmic Rays in the Venusian Atmosphere In 1928, Yerkes Observatory astronomer and physicist Frank Ross published a journal paper, “Photographs of Venus”.  It reported finding in the Venusian atmosphere a strong absorption between 320 and 400 nm, ie in the near-UV, just overlapping light…

Deep dive for dark matter may aid all of data science

National Science Foundation backs Rice-led effort to create science-aware artificial intelligence Rice University HOUSTON — (Sept. 18, 2019) — A Rice University scientist and his colleagues are booting their search for dark matter into a study they hope will enhance all of data science. Rice astroparticle physicist Christopher Tunnell and his team have received a…

You Might Be a Scientist…

Guest [fill in the blank] by David Middleton Am I really a scientist?BY NESSA CARSON 15 AUGUST 2019 Whether in a lab, an office or on a stage, we are no strangers to wrestling with self-identity Citizen science projects are a high-impact way to engage people with real, scientific research. Anecdotally, untrained participants are not only…

CC BY-SA 4.0 File:Protozoa collage 2.jpg Created: 20 March 2018

Patient Scientists Elucidate Origin of Eukaryotes

Guest post by John Tillman In 1962 paper, Roger Stanier and C. B. van Niel established the division of cellular organization into prokaryotes and eukaryotes, defining prokaryotes as those organisms, such as bacteria, which lack a cell nucleus. Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) called the evolution of eukaryotes–cells with nuclei–“perhaps the most important and dramatic event in…