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Friday, July 19, 2019

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Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humankind, and as the stakes are raised, many are proposing ambitious solutions – from pumping dust into the atmosphere to escaping to space.

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But what if instead of trying to fix the world, we fixed ourselves? That's the question posed by Matthew Liao, director of the Bioethics Program at New York University, and his colleagues. "We tried to think outside the box," says Liao. "What hasn't been suggested with respect to addressing climate change?"

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Yacht "Maiken" was traveling in the south Pacific when the crew came across a strange sight. It looked as though sand was floating on top of the water, until the realized it was volcanic stone.

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From far it looked like it was sand in the water, and the sand was floating ON TOP of the waves... Look at these photos and try to imagine the feeling, the thrill of experiencing this phenomenon close-up.

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For millions of Americans with heart disease and failure, a breakthrough development could save their lives. More than half a million people die in the United States from heart failure each year, thousands of them while awaiting a transplant. But with the release of a new scientific paper comes a potential solution to the deficiency: growing new ones.

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That's exactly what a team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) set out to do. Their work, published this week in the journal Circulation Research, proves the idea has the potential to be a game changer. Using skin cells reprogrammed into stem cells, the researchers were able to generate functional heart tissue.

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Newly discovered letters once again reveal that Darwin was a passionate and loving family man. Even so, every aspect of his personal life was devoted to his understanding of the natural world.

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Charles and William Darwin, 1842

When William Erasmus Darwin was born in December 1839, his father Charles began to meticulously record observations of his firstborn in a notebook. Now housed at Cambridge University Library, it reads more like a research document than like that of a new parent blissfully observing his son's behaviour, as the opening comments reveal: "During first week, yawned, streatched [sic] himself just like old person – chiefly upper extremities – hiccupped – sneezes sucked...."

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Sandstorms Lightning Displays

By unlocking the secrets of how sparks come to fly in these storms as researchers are now doing, scientists could help grapple with all kinds of problems, from charged particle clouds that can cause devastating explosions in the food, drug and coal industries to charged dust that could obscure vital solar panels on missions to the moon or Mars. Sand is an insulator, so seeing sandstorms generate lightning would be somewhat like watching electricity emerge from a storm full of rubber balls. It has been an enigma for more than 150 years as to how sand grains can transfer the huge amounts of electrical charge needed for lightning to happen.