Discover Magazine: Latest Posts (23 Dec 2018)

Welcome to another weekend edition of “Hawaii Science Digest”–an exploration into the realms of science and technology.  In this science news summary from “Discover Magazine”, we tap into the investigative reports of reporters and correspondents on the staff of “Discover Magazine.”  Here are the details.

Accessed on 24 December 2018, 1338 UTC.

Source:  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

Comment:  The views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Destruction from the December 23, 2018 tsunami in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia. BNPB.

ROCKY PLANET

Surprise Tsunami Hits Indonesia, Killing Hundreds

By Erik Klemetti | December 23, 2018 8:01 am

For the second time this year, an unexpected tsunami hit the coast of Indonesia resulting in hundreds of deaths. This tsunami may have been generated by an eruption of Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait, with Indonesian officials speculating that an eruption that occurred late last night may have triggered undersea landslides. So far, at least 220 people are known to have died , over 800 were injured and multitudes are missing. Many of the deaths were in Pandelang, located at the end of bays  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

NEUROSKEPTIC

Do You Believe in Eye-Beams?

By Neuroskeptic | December 23, 2018 6:20 am

Do you believe that people’s eyes emit an invisible beam of force?

According to a rather fun paper in PNAS, you probably do, on some level, believe that. The paper is called Implicit model of other people’s visual attention as an invisible, force-carrying beam projecting from the eyes.

To show that people unconsciously believe in eye-beams, psychologists Arvid Guterstam et al. had 157 MTurk volunteers perform a computer task in which they had to judge the angle at which paper tubes w …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: FUNNYPAPERSSELECTTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Shrinking Planets May Explain Why Hot Super-earths Exist

By Jake Parks | December 21, 2018 12:22 pm

Astronomers have discovered a bizarre, Neptune-sized exoplanet located less than 100 light-years from Earth that’s shedding its atmosphere so quickly it may help researchers finally answer the long-standing question: Where did all the hot Neptunes go?

According to the new research, published December 13 in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the shrinking world, named GJ 3470b, is rapidly losing its atmosphere as it’s bombarded by a steady stream of energetic charged particles from …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: EXOPLANETS
Linguistic research helps make technologies smarter. Image: Wiki Images Creative Commons.

CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON

LingoBoingo: Play Games, Make the World Smarter

By Guest | December 21, 2018 10:03 am

Who doesn’t like playing games? What if you could play fun games online and in the process make the world a smarter place? That’s the idea behind LingoBoingo.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Linguistic Data Consortium and department of Computer and Information Science, the University of Essex, Queen Mary University of London, the Université de Montpellier, and the Sorbonne have teamed up to bring together a group of online games that contribute to research in langu …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: CITIZEN SCIENCEGAMING

D-BRIEF

Could Extraterrestrial Sugar Explain How Life Began on Earth?

By Chelsea Gohd | December 20, 2018 4:26 pm

Extraterrestrial Sugar
Scientists have discovered derivatives of life’s building blocks in carbon-rich meteorite samples, a first. They also showed how biological compounds can form in interstellar space. These new findings support the theory that life on Earth originated with help from cosmic impacts.

Sugars and sugar derivatives are essential to life on Earth. But they, along with amino acids and other organic molecules, can be found in space as well, on asteroids and comets. Scientist …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS

THE CRUX

Gut Microbes Could Soon Diagnose and Explain The Cause of IBS and IBD

By Anna Groves | December 20, 2018 4:18 pm

Doctors have long scratched their heads over the causes and cures for two common diseases of the digestive system: IBS and IBD. But research out today in Science Translational Medicine takes a leap forward in explaining these conditions, thanks to a major undertaking to sequence the gut microbiomes of almost 2,000 people.

Difference Between IBS and IBD
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is thought to affect as much as 20 percent of the world’s population, while its cousin, Inflammatory  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: PERSONAL HEALTH

D-BRIEF

Astronauts Land Safely in Kazakhstan Aboard Recently Repaired Soyuz Capsule

By Chelsea Gohd | December 20, 2018 2:27 pm

A Successful Landing
Last night (Dec. 19), a NASA astronaut, a German flight engineer and a Russian cosmonaut landed safely back on Earth after six months of hard work in space.

Yesterday, the three astronauts buckled into the cramped descent module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, undocked from the International Space Station, and began the three-and-a-half hour journey home to Earth. As the craft neared the planet’s surface, it deployed a massive orange-and-white parachute which slow …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION

THE CRUX

In Praise of Parasites

By Kenneth R. Weiss | December 20, 2018 2:08 pm

Kevin Lafferty gets more than his share of intimate disclosures from strangers about their anatomy and bodily functions.

Graphic details and pictures arrive steadily via email, from people all over the world — a prison inmate in Florida, a social psychologist in Romania, a Californian afraid he picked up a nasty worm in Vietnam — begging for help, often after explaining that doctors will no longer listen. Do I have bugs burrowing into my brain? Insects poking around under my skin? Cre …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALSECOLOGYOCEAN
Agung in Indonesia erupting in November 2017. Wikipedia.

ROCKY PLANET

Vote for the 2018 Pliny for Volcanic Event of the Year

By Erik Klemetti | December 20, 2018 1:52 pm

It’s that time of year to vote for the 2018 Pliny for Volcanic Event of the Year. We’ve had a lot of volcanic action worldwide this year and you can see some of the highlights in this compilation from the Atlantic or by checking out this year’s Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports from the Global Volcanism Program.

So, as usual, I look to you all to cast a ballot the Pliny. Send me (rockyplanetblog at gmail), tweet me (@eruptionsblog #2018Pliny) or leave a comment with your top 3 volcanic eve …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

D-BRIEF

Himalayan Marmots are Revealing How Animals Adapt to Living at Extreme Elevations

By Roni Dengler | December 20, 2018 12:36 pm

How do animals live in the cold, oxygen-starved environments of the high mountains? Himalayan marmots — beaver-ish rodents of unusual size — may have an answer, find scientists who have assembled a complete draft genome of the animal. The analysis may provide insight to how we adapt to the cold.

“As one of the highest-altitude-dwelling mammals, the Himalayan marmot is chronically exposed to cold temperature, hypoxia [lack of oxygen], and intense UV radiation,” Enqi Liu of Xi’an Jiaoto …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALSGENES & HEALTH
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For the latest in science and technology news, please visit this website daily.
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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
https://hawaiidigest.science.blog

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