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Mar 3, 2019

The Ocean Is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Widespread and sometimes drastic marine oxygen declines are stressing sensitive species—a trend that will continue with climate change.

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Mar 3, 2019

With Every Breath You Take, Thank the Ocean

Posted by in categories: energy, food, sustainability

When was the last time you thought about your breathing? Take a breath right now and think about it. You breathe because you need oxygen, a gas which makes up 21 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. All that oxygen has to come from somewhere. You might already know that it comes from photosynthetic organisms like plants. But did you know that most of the oxygen you breathe comes from organisms in the ocean?

That’s right—more than half of the oxygen you breathe comes from marine photosynthesizers, like phytoplankton and seaweed. Both use carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun to make food for themselves, releasing oxygen in the process. In other words, they photosynthesize. And they do it in the ocean.

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Mar 3, 2019

Vast underground ocean discovered on Jupiter’s largest moon

Posted by in category: space

Circa 2015

In this artist’s concept, the moon Ganymede (right) orbits the giant planet Jupiter. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observed aurorae (lights) on the moon generated by Ganymede’s magnetic fields. A saline ocean under the moon’s icy crust best explains shifting in the auroral belts measured by Hubble. (credit: NASA/ESA)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth’s surface.

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Mar 3, 2019

What our civilization needs is a billion-year plan

Posted by in categories: government, policy, solar power, space, sustainability

Circa 2012

Enlarge | +

Artist’s concept of a Kardashev Type 2 civilization (credit: Chris Cold)

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Mar 3, 2019

Bacteria in frog skin may help fight fungal infections in humans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, existential risks

In the past few decades, a lethal disease has decimated populations of frogs and other amphibians worldwide, even driving some species to extinction. Yet other amphibians resisted the epidemic. Based on previous research, scientists at the INDICASAT AIP, Smithsonian and collaborating institutions knew that skin bacteria could be protecting the animals by producing fungi-fighting compounds. However, this time they decided to explore these as potential novel antifungal sources for the benefit of humans and amphibians.

“Amphibians inhabit humid places favoring the growth of , coexisting with these and other microorganisms in their environment, some of which can be pathogenic,” said Smithsonian scientist Roberto Ibáñez, one of the authors of the study published in Scientific Reports. “As a result of evolution, amphibians are expected to possess that can inhibit the growth of pathogenic and fungi.”

The team first travelled to the Chiriquí highlands in Panama, where the , responsible for the disease chytridiomycosis, has severely affected populations. They collected samples from seven to find out what kind of skin bacteria they harbored.

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Mar 3, 2019

Doomsday Clock Is Staying at Two Minutes to Midnight This Year

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, military, sustainability

According to the Bulletin, we’ve done nothing in the past year to make the situation any less precarious — humanity still faces not one, but two “existential threats” in the form of nuclear weapons and climate change.

While the clock remains set at 11:58, the potential of either threat to destroy humanity has increased over the past 12 months, according to the Bulletin’s 2019 statement. We must do something to alter our path.

“Though unchanged from 2018, this setting should be taken not as a sign of stability but as a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world,” the scientists wrote. “The current international security situation — what we call the ‘new abnormal’ — has extended over two years now… Th e longer world leaders and citizens carelessly inhabit this new and abnormal reality, the more likely the world is to experience catastrophe of historic proportions.”

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Mar 3, 2019

How Growing Sea Plants Can Help Slow Ocean Acidification

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers are finding that kelp, eelgrass, and other vegetation can effectively absorb CO2 and reduce acidity in the ocean. Growing these plants in local waters, scientists say, could help mitigate the damaging impacts of acidification on marine life.

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Mar 3, 2019

School hosts students from across West Mids for physics day

Posted by in categories: physics, transportation

A DAY of science challenges and investigations run by the Institute of Physics was hosted by Rugby High School.

Teams from 12 schools from across the West Midlands came to take part in Super Physics Day.

The teams of four used their knowledge of science to conduct three timed investigations including ‘Air Drop’, an RAF challenge to drop relief packages from a plane to the desired location.

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Mar 3, 2019

Artificial muscles for robots could be made by spider silk, finds study

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, robotics/AI

Spider silk, which is tougher than steel, could be used as artificial muscles for robots, research finds.

Spider silk, already known as one of the strongest materials for its weight, can be used to create artificial muscles or robotic actuators, scientists say.

According to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, the resilient fibres respond very strongly to changes in humidity.

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Mar 3, 2019

Watch SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Dock Autonomously With the ISS

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

It’s yet another historic moment for the Crew Dragon mission as the docking procedure is quite different this time when compared to previous Dragon missions: “Dragon was basically hovering under the ISS,” said Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance at SpaceX during a pre-launch briefing on Thursday. “You can see how it moves back and forth and then the [Canadarm] takes it to a berthing bay.”

In contrast, the Crew Dragon’s docking system is active, he said: “it will plant itself in front of the station and use a docking port on its own, no docking arm required.”

Five days from now, Crew Dragon will undock and makes its long way back to Earth. This time around, it will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean — previous (cargo) Dragon missions have touched down in the Pacific.

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