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Humans responsible for more wildfires than lightning, longer season and larger fire niche
IMAGE: In an analysis of 20 years of wildfire records led by researchers at UMass Amherst and the University of Colorado-Boulder, they found human-started fires accounted for 84 percent of all… view more Credit: Public domain. FEMA/Andrea Booher AMHERST, Mass. – A recent first-of-its-kind analysis of wildfire records over 20... Read more
Will naming the Anthropocene lead to acceptance of our planet-level impact?
IMAGE: This floodwall protecting Cape Girardeau Missouri during a flood in 2013 provides an example of technological hubris says David Casagrande, associate professor of anthropology at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA). view more Credit: Photo courtesy of David Casagrande “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any... Read more
Audio engineering is making call center robots more 'human' and less annoying
Say you’re on the phone with a company and the automated virtual assistant needs a few seconds to “look up” your information. And then you hear it. The sound is unmistakable. It’s familiar. It’s the clickity-clack of a keyboard. You know it’s just a sound effect, but unlike hold... Read more
Study reveals ways powerful 'master gene' regulates physical differences between sexes
IMAGE: The study used beetles in the species Onthophagus taurus to learn about the role played by the dsx gene to “match ” physical traits to males versus females. view more Credit: Alex Wild BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Physical differences between males and females in species are common, but there remains... Read more
NASA spies Tropical Cyclone Bart's end
IMAGE: On Feb. 22, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Bart that showed wind shear continued to affect the storm. view more Credit: Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team NASA’s Aqua satellite spotted Tropical Cyclone Bart as it was transitioning into an extra-tropical... Read more
Middle Eastern seed bank re-deposits backups into Svalbard's doomsday vault
Today, the seeds of 49,000 varieties of crops—including cabbages, wheat, lentils, sweet peas, and many others—will be wheeled into a vault in a mountainside. There they will lay in in sturdy black plastic boxes in a frigid underground vault high above the Arctic Circle, an insurance policy for the... Read more
Flat-footed competitors have fighting advantage
IMAGE: Great apes’ heel-down posture helps support their body weight as they stand, walk and run. view more Credit: Wikimedia Commons A heel-down posture — a feature that separates great apes, including humans, from other primates — confers advantages in fighting, according to a new study published today in the... Read more
CubeSats: Shaping possibilities in space
IMAGE: CubeSats are deployed into orbit from the NanoRacks module aboard the International Space Station. view more Credit: NASA For more than a decade, CubeSats, or small satellites, have paved the way to low-Earth orbit for commercial companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. These small satellites offer opportunities to conduct... Read more
Want people to volunteer as lab rats? Turn your science into a game.
The following is an excerpt from Power Play: How video games can save the world by Asi Burak and Laura Parker. One of the most successful examples of citizen science is Lab in the Wild, an experimental platform for conducting online behavioral experiments. It was launched in 2012 by... Read more
New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
IMAGE: New study identifies the gene responsible for metabolic resistance to atrazine in waterhemp. view more Credit: Lauren Quinn URBANA, Ill. – Waterhemp has been locked in an arms race with farmers for decades. Nearly every time farmers attack the weed with a new herbicide, waterhemp becomes resistant to it,... Read more