Discovery Magazine: Latest Blog Posts. 12-13 December 2018.

Discover Magazine: Latest Blog Posts. 12-13 December 2018.

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Accessed on 13 December 2018, 0209 UTC.

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Comment:  Here are some of the top science news stories being covered by the reporters and correspondents working for “Discover Magazine.”  Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts
https://hawaiisciencedigest.blogspot.com

LATEST BLOG POSTS

D-BRIEF

Starting School Later Helps Teens Get More Sleep

By Lacy Schley | December 12, 2018 2:44 pm
Ah, adolescence. A time of change, of navigating awkward social situations, figuring out who you are, maybe holding down that first job or focusing on extracurriculars — all while juggling the demands of school. And for most teens, managing all of this happens on too little sleep.
To help alleviate the lack of Z’s, experts in the U.S. have been pushing for school systems across the country to roll back the start times for middle and high school students. Now, a new paper in the journa …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: PERSONAL HEALTH

D-BRIEF

2018 Saw Simultaneous Wildfires Devastate California. That Could be the New Normal

By Ramin Skibba | December 12, 2018 2:27 pm
(Inside Science) — Just a few weeks ago, two large wildfires caused massive destruction and at least 91 deaths in California, the Woolsey fire near Los Angeles and the Camp fire that engulfed the town of Paradise in the north. Residents and firefighters struggled to stop both fires, yet they can expect more like them to come.
Simultaneous large fires are becoming more common throughout the continental United States, according to new research presented by Alison Cullen today at the Societ …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: NATURAL DISASTERS

DEAD THINGS

Behold Thylacoleo, Australia’s Extinct Giant Marsupial “Lion”

By Gemma Tarlach | December 12, 2018 1:00 pm
Multiple recently discovered specimens of Thylacoleo carnifex have allowed researchers to reconstruct the extinct animal’s entire skeleton for the first time, revising what we know about how Australia’s largest-ever carnivorous mammal moved. Spoiler alert: It appears that, despite weighing in excess of 200 pounds, the animal was an adept climber. Add that skill to the list of traits, including unique flesh-shearing teeth and a lethal thumb claw, that make Thylacoleo so fascinating.
Nickn …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Blinks Change How We Talk To Each Other

By Roni Dengler | December 12, 2018 1:00 pm
You probably didn’t notice but the last time you talked with a colleague or chatted with a friend, you blinked. A lot. Blinks are a conversational cue akin to nodding one’s head, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One.
As such, the unconscious reflex changes how people talk to each other. Even the subtlest non-verbal clues impact our conversations, the finding suggests.
“Our findings indicate that even visually subtle behavior such as listener blinking is  …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: MIND & BRAINTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: PSYCHOLOGY

D-BRIEF

Virgin Galactic May Reach Space This Week

By Alison Klesman | December 12, 2018 11:01 am
Virgin Galactic, one of the companies aiming to become the first to send astronauts into space, is planning to put its SpaceShipTwo vehicle through its next phase of testing starting as early as Thursday, December 13. It will be the fourth powered flight for the vehicle, named VSS Unity, and the first since its successful July 26 flight, which reached a peak altitude of 32 miles (52 kilometers).
Now, the company is aiming higher, further, and faster — this next round of tests will “ …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION

D-BRIEF

Deep Water Seagrass Meadows Are Untapped Carbon Sinks

By Roni Dengler | December 12, 2018 10:28 am
Seagrass meadows cover an area roughly the size of Switzerland in the deep waters of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Now, a new study shows the coastal ecosystems store significant amounts of carbon. The finding suggests deep water seagrass meadows could help mitigate climate change.
“If we are to help regain control of our planet’s thermostat and limit global warming, we must capitalize on the powerful ability of natural ecosystems to sequester and store carbon,” Peter Macreadie, a  …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: CLIMATE CHANGEPLANTS
Lava erupting on Kīlauea's Lower East Rift Zone during June 2018. USGS/HVO.

ROCKY PLANET

Kīlauea’s 2018 Eruption Was the Largest in the United States for Almost 40 Years

By Erik Klemetti | December 12, 2018 10:15 am
The 2018 eruption at Kīlauea was the largest in the United States since 1980. Between 0.8 and one cubic kilometers of lava poured out onto the surface of the Big Island of Hawai’i over the course of a few months, leading to massive destruction of property and infrastructure, but happily no loss of life. Much of that can be pinned on the excellent work done by the US Geological Survey and the Emergency Management teams in Hawai’i.
Although it has only been a few months since the eruption …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

D-BRIEF

SNAPSHOT: Dracula Ants Have Mandibles That Move at 200 MPH

By Alison Mackey | December 12, 2018 9:59 am
Ready, set…CHOMP! With mandibles that snap at up to 200mph (90 meters per second) Mystrium camillae, otherwise known as a Dracula ant, now holds the new speed record for fastest known animal appendage, beating out the trap-jaw ant’s impressive 140mph bite.
University of Illinois animal biology and entomology professor Andrew Suarez led the study that uncovered the new record, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. High-speed video was used to record the mandibles in act …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALSUNUSUAL ORGANISMS
pink chicken

D-BRIEF

Scientists Propose a New Marker for the Anthropocene: Chickens

By Nathaniel Scharping | December 11, 2018 6:01 pm
Imagine an archaeological dig far in the future. Scientists are excavating a site somewhere in what was once North America, peeling back layers of dirt in search of the remnants of a vanished civilization. Millions of years having passed, there’s not much left, and the archaeologists must be diligent. But, as they scrape and sift, clues to this vanished people emerge, a peephole into a bygone culture.
What objects would these future archaeologists find? What specimens would they dust o …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Astronauts Complete Nearly 8-hour Spacewalk to Investigate Space Station Mystery Hole

By Chelsea Gohd | December 11, 2018 6:00 pm
On Tuesday, two Russian cosmonauts spent seven hours and 45 minutes on a spacewalk, working to solve the mystery of who or what poked a hole in the Soyuz spacecraft. The cosmonauts used knives and other tools to cut a 10-inch chunk out of the International Space Station. It will be brought back to Earth and investigated for clues to the cause of a small hole in the Soyuz capsule.
Back in August, astronauts noticed a slight drop in pressure on the International Space Station. While not an  …
CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
Stars emitting high levels of ultraviolet radiation could strip the atmospheres of their ultra-close exoplanets… https://t.co/fX9HcJ7xkJ
Chimps communicate the essentials — food, sex and imminent danger — but skip the small talk: https://t.co/rVeVxhIYHq https://t.co/ESEE6ECZFD
A New Freeze-dried Polio Vaccine Could Help Finally Eradicate the Disease https://t.co/leLS1bJBvi https://t.co/9ManY3Gtun
Musicians Have Now Used AI to Master Millions of Songs https://t.co/B8WImZBapT https://t.co/o8m2GwYo2o
RT @GemmaTarlach: Australia’s biggest-ever meat-eating mammal, Thylacoleo the marsupial “lion,” comes to life thanks to new research. Spoil…
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