The experimental measurement of the fine-structure constant. © Pierre Cladé, Saïda Guellati-Khélifa and Tatsumi Aoyama The most precise measurement ever of the fine-structure constant has placed new constraints on theories that predict the existence of “dark sector” particles. The new value, which researchers in France measured using clouds of cold rubidium atoms, provides a stringent
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Scientists have found the genetic basis of ornaments in male swordtail fishes.  Males of many species have striking and beautiful ornamentation, which are, aside from helping find female mates, otherwise impractical. Scientists mapped these ornaments’ genetic bases in fish. Nature has innumerable examples of ornaments from mostly the males of various species. Such examples include peacock tail feathers, male rhinoceros beetle
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The Hayabusa2 capsule that landed in the desert in South Australia.Credit: AP/Shutterstock Japan’s mission to bring asteroid dust back to Earth has succeeded. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed on 14 December that a capsule from spacecraft Hayabusa2, which landed in the Australian desert last week, contained black grains from asteroid Ryugu. “The confirmation
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Safe, but separate: The author’s daughter taking an exam at home during distance learning. (Courtesy: Amara Graps) Since 10 March 2020, when Latvia went into lockdown, my 11-year-old daughter Vija has attended only 16 in-school sessions. It’s an understatement to say that my work as a space entrepreneur and senior scientist at the Planetary Science
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A team of scientists found 20 new species and recorded 1,204 plants and animals in the misty forests of Zongo Valley Bolivia in an expedition done in March 2017. The expedition was organized by an international conservation organization, Conservation International, and was called the Rapid Assessment Program of the organizations. [embedded content] Trond Larsen, the
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Most environmentally oriented eyes on the Biden administration are focused — appropriately — on mitigating climate change, creating jobs and transitioning to a clean energy future. Count me among them. So, I’m not holding out hope for a federal circular economy policy any time soon (I’ll let the EU take the lead on that front).
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Making ready for the first Artemis mission around the Moon and back, the space station is getting a new doorway to space, and how to know when and where you can look up to spot the station … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! Download Link: https://images.nasa.gov/details-Making%20Ready%20for%20the%20First%20Artemis%20Mission%20Around%20the%20Moon%20on%20This%20Week%20@NASA%20%E2%80%93%20November%2027,%202020
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Just inside France’s border with Germany, enclosed between the Rhine River and the Grand Canal of Alsace, lies an island that is becoming a haven for biodiversity. The site, to the north of Basel, Switzerland, is being made into a conservation area in a joint project between the National Nature Reserve of the Petite Camargue
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SAN FRANCISCO — BAE Systems is developing miniature spectrometers to provide high-resolution weather data from a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit. The company is drawing on experience gained building the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument to develop miniature sensors with applications for weather and climate monitoring. In a six-month $376,000 study completed in
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Human activities are damaging our marine environment, and ocean pollution threatens human health, a study revealed.  The research was conducted by an international research team that published their results in the journal Annals of Global Health. They wrote about the widespread damage inflicted upon the oceans by the actions of humans, which in turn also cause damage to human health. The researchers
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Living cells can harbour protein aggregates with the properties of soft glasses. Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SPL Biophysics 14 December 2020 Odd protein droplets that behave like liquids make a smooth shift to having the properties of a solid. Some living cells contain protein clusters that behave like liquid droplets. But these droplets gradually stiffen with
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Under the new 10-year agreement, the Space Enterprise Consortium, known as SpEC, is projected to award up to $12 billion worth of projects. WASHINGTON — NSTXL, a company that helps commercial businesses compete for government contracts, has been selected to manage the U.S. Space Force’s Space Enterprise Consortium for the next 10 years. Based in
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In-flight video still from BOBCAT during liquid helium transfer at an altitude of 130,000 feet. Credit: NASA Balloon-borne telescopes can observe a wealth of astrophysical phenomena that ground-based instruments cannot, but onerous cooling requirements limit how much equipment can be taken aloft. Researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center found a way to minimize this
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Black vultures have been settling a town in southeastern Pennsylvania in astonishing numbers, settling on roofs and trees, defecating profusely, and causing substantial damage to properties in the tune of thousands of dollars. Resident John Enterline said the vultures were regular visitors in the previous years but this year the problem has become more extreme
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WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched a new spacecraft for satellite radio company SiriusXM Dec. 13 as the company nears the end of a record-setting year. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. SpaceX scrubbed a previous launch attempt two days
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Reconstructed vortex rings inside a magnetic micropillar. Credit: Claire Donnelly Researchers have observed three-dimensional magnetic vortex rings in a real-world magnetic material for the first time. Contrary to theoretical predictions, these rings – which are spin configurations within the material’s bulk – are remarkably stable and could move through the material like smoke rings move
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The National Weather Service reminds everyone not to just think about tornadoes and severe storms but winter weather this holiday season. National Weather Service’s Krissy Hurley said that it is important to not let our guard down and make sure that we have winter weather safety kits. This important stuff maybe winter’s weather safety kits, battery-operated
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Matthew Prince, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cloudflare Inc., speaks during the Wall Street Journal Tech Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. The event brings together investors, founders, and executives to foster innovation and drive growth within the tech industry. Martina Albertazzi | Bloomberg | Getty
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A team led by investigators at MGH has developed a low-cost, compact, portable and low-power “head only” MRI scanner that could be mounted in an ambulance, wheeled into a patient’s room, or put in small clinics or doctors’ offices around the world. (Courtesy: Massachusetts General Hospital) MRI is the standard modality for assessing neurological disorders,
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A special military-grade infrared camera has been utilized to visualize the risks of the airborne spread of the COVID-19 virus. Winter is approaching while the United States continues to deal with the huge surge in new infections of COVID-19. So far, over 288,000 people in the US have already succumbed to the viral infection which public health officials are now saying is
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WASHINGTON — Three small launch vehicle developers won a combined $16.7 million in NASA contracts as part of an effort to support the development of new launch vehicles. Astra Space, Firefly Aerospace and Relativity Space won the contracts through NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) 2 program, the agency announced Dec. 11. The companies will
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Week in Review Stories discussed this week (5:30). Features What will Biden mean for the circular economy? (18:20)  Don’t expect the incoming administration to use that nomenclature, but plastics pollution and recycling are far more likely to get national attention. Associate Editor Deonna Anderson chats with GreenBiz’s senior analyst for circular economy issues, Lauren Phipps. How
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NASA astronaut Jonny Kim is a member of the Artemis Team, a select group of astronauts charged with focusing on the development and training efforts for early Artemis missions. Through the Artemis program NASA and a coalition of international partners will return to the Moon to learn how to live on other worlds for the
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Hello Nature readers, would you like to get this Briefing in your inbox free every day? Sign up here Xinhua/Shutterstock) China has successfully launched a twin-satellite mission to investigate the most-energetic events in the cosmos. The National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched its Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo aborted an attempted suborbital spaceflight Dec. 12 from Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo aircraft, carrying the SpaceShipTwo vehicle named VSS Unity by the company, took off from Spaceport America in southern New Mexico at 10:24 a.m. Eastern. Piloting SpaceShipTwo were Dave Mackay, the company’s chief test
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Ultracold reactions: shadows of atoms trapped in layers of an optical lattice, before they are paired into ultracold potassium-rubidium molecules. (Courtesy: Ye Group/JILA) A new technique to cool reactive molecules to temperatures low enough to achieve quantum degeneracy – something not generally possible before – has been created by researchers in the US. In this
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