DNA clues to why woolly mammoth died out

Written by Helen Briggs

Woolly mammothImage copyright: SPL
Image caption: Breakthroughs in ancient DNA sequencing give a window into the past

The last woolly mammoths to walk the Earth were so wracked with genetic disease that they lost their sense of smell, shunned company, and had a strange shiny coat. That’s the verdict of scientists who have analysed ancient DNA of the extinct animals for mutations.

The studies suggest the last mammoths died out after their DNA became riddled with errors. The knowledge could inform conservation efforts for living animals.

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Big data unites the study of stars with cancer research

Written by Jane Wakefield

Milky WayImage copyright: GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: The Milky Way can be analysed by algorithms

The study of the stars and the fight against cancer may seem to have little in common but the two have been brought together by the algorithms that read big data.

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone.

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Paralysis Inspires multiple sclerosis breakthrough

Written by James Gallagher

Denise FitzgeraldImage copyright: QUB

“I had a dead leg one Sunday morning and it progressed to full paralysis within two hours,” says Dr Denise Fitzgerald, from Queen’s University Belfast.

She was only 21 at the time, but the event helped to inspire the fledgling scientist to crack how the brain is repaired.

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No scientific justification for a carbon tax

Written by Dr Tim Ball, climatologist

The target is not carbon, that is just one of many falsehoods. Carbon is a solid, and carbon dioxide a gas, yet, proponents of human-caused global warming (AGW) use them interchangeably.

They know people connect carbon with soot, hence the inappropriate phrase carbon pollution as they try to link CO2 with pollution. It is “newspeak” that George Orwell would appreciate.

The question is, why distort information and demonize a gas that is a fraction of the total atmosphere and essential to life?

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The Limitations of Climate Science

Written by Ron Clutz

Here is a fine exposition of Professor Robert M. Carter’s (decd) thoughts on the field of climate science and why we should not jump to conclusions concerning global warming/climate change.  The text and some illustrations are provided by Russ Swan in his post (here).  I added one at the end.

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Uh, ‘Internet-Connected Mousetraps’

Written by Dr Klaus L E Kaiser

Some financial gurus claim such “connected” things are soon to become the “new standard” of a “multi-trillion” dollar industry. Just invest now in this or that and, in no time flat, you’ll be able to share in the pie and become rich beyond belief. Even “Sharks” are now trying to feed on little mice (see the screenshot nearby), still I wonder:

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Sea level and the carbonate sand factory of South Australia

Written by Dr Cliff Ollier

Abstract: Stable parts of the South Australia coast show that the last interglacial sea level was 2 m higher than present, but elsewhere there has been relative subsidence up to 7 m and uplift of 18 m. Estimates of changing sea level, and future projections, should state the time period involved and the tectonic background to be of any use.

The coast contains ‘carbonate sand factories’ where organisms produce vast amounts of sand by fixing carbon dioxide as carbonates. Far from dissolving carbonate by acidification, carbon dioxide is an essential part of carbonate production and the continued maintenance and growth of coasts and reefs.

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How to Convince Skeptics that Climate Change is a Problem

Written by Scott Adams

I don’t know much about science, and even less about climate science. So as a practical matter, I like to side with the majority of scientists until they change their collective minds. They might be wrong, but their guess is probably better than mine.

That said, it is mind-boggling to me that the scientific community can’t make a case for climate science that sounds convincing, even to some of the people on their side, such as me. In other words, I think scientists are right (because I play the odds), but I am puzzled by why they can’t put together a convincing argument, whereas the skeptics can, and easily do. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

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The Globe Has Not Been Warming . . . So Why Is It Called ‘Global’ Warming?

Written by Kenneth Richard

There were at least 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in 2016 demonstrating that  Today’s Warming Isn’t Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable.

As of the end of January, another 17 papers had already been published in 201717 New (2017) Scientific Papers Affirm Today’s Warming Is Not Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable

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Arctic Space Weather Balloon Launch

Written by Tony Phillips

Spaceweather.com is in Sweden with a team of student researchers from Earth to Sky Calculus for a March 10th  launch of a series of space weather balloons. The balloons are equipped with cosmic ray sensors and cameras to search the stratosphere above the Arctic Circle. At the same time, Earth to Sky launch teams in Chile and California is set to launch identical payloads, forming an intercontinental balloon network.

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America’s First Solar Roadway Is A Total Disaster

Written by Andrew Follett

A prototype solar roadway in Idaho was supposed to represent a possible green energy future, but technical issues have exposed just how far off the technology is from prime time.

Screenshots taken by Twitter users from the roadway’s official webcam show smoke coming out of a nearby electric box. Firefighters soon showed up to the scene, prompting the solar project’s official webcam to issue an update: “The Solar Roadways electrical system is currently undergoing maintenance. Please check back late next week.”

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Botnets: The Dangerous Downside of the Internet of Things

Written by Bernard Marr

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the name given to describe the relatively new technology that connects everyday objects and devices to the web to provide additional data or functionality. But in the race to create that next “it” product that no one can live without (smart fry pans anyone?), manufacturers and users are creating dangerous side effects known as botnets.

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Technology Giants React to Wikileaks CIA Dump

Written by bbc.co.uk

Man using iPhoneImage copyright: REUTERS
Image caption: The CIA is reported to have made use of previously unknown flaws in Apple’s iOS operating system

Several of the tech firms whose products have been allegedly compromised by the CIA have given their first reactions to the claims.Wikileaks published thousands of documents said to detail the US spy agency’s hacking tools on Tuesday.

They included allegations the CIA had developed ways to listen in on smartphone and smart TV microphones.Apple’s statement was the most detailed, saying it had already addressed some of the vulnerabilities.

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