Discover Magazine: Latest Blog Posts, 23 Jan 2019

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of “Hawaii Science Digest”.  This Hawaii Island blog focuses on medicine, health, science, technology, cyber security, the environment, and artificial intelligence (AI). Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Topics cited in this post come from the online issue of “Discover Magazine”.

Accessed on 23 January 2019, 1545 UTC.

Source:  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

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In a Series of Experiments, Scientists Are Learning How to Farm on Mars

By Benjamin Plackett | January 22, 2019 4:46 pm

(Inside Science) — Scientists in Norway and the Netherlands may have brought us closer to workable space farms, which experts agree are necessary if astronauts are ever going to reach Mars.

“Astronauts stay on the International Space Station for six months and they can bring everything they need in either freeze-dried or vacuum packs, but the next goal for all space agencies is to reach Mars where travel is much longer,” explained Silje Wolff, a plant physiologist at the Centre for Inter …

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

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What Time is it on Saturn? We Finally Know

By Chelsea Gohd | January 22, 2019 4:00 pm

The Time on Saturn
For years, the length of a day on Saturn has remained an unsolved puzzle to frustrated astronomers. But now, a graduate student from the University of California Santa Cruz believes that he has finally solved the mystery. Christopher Mankovich used the planet’s rings to determine that a day on Saturn lasts for 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds.

Being a gas giant, Saturn has no solid surface that researchers can track in order to time the planet’s rotation. Becaus …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS

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Does ‘Planet Nine’ Exist? Astronomers Say An Unseen Disk of Icy Space Rocks May Explain Things

By Chelsea Gohd | January 22, 2019 3:56 pm

For years, some astronomers have suspected that a planet lies beyond Neptune’s orbit in the far reaches of our solar system — a mysterious, giant planet dubbed “Planet Nine.” That theory is based on the strange orbital motions of small, distant worlds that behave like some unseen object is influencing their movements. But now a group of researchers has come up with another way to explain these orbital oddities. In research published in the Astronomical Journal, the team suggests t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS

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Researchers Find New Insights Into Role of Little-Understood Placenta

By Roni Dengler | January 22, 2019 3:00 pm

More than 15 percent of women in developed countries suffer from pregnancy complications associated with the placenta, the disk-shaped organ that sustains a growing fetus. Now researchers find the placenta adapts when nutrients are scarce. The discovery identifies possible targets for intervention, the researchers say.

“Pregnancy complications are [often] linked to poor placental growth and function,” said Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, a physiologist and developmental biologist at the Unive …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: UNCATEGORIZED

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Compressed Air in Underground Rocks Could Be the Next Batteries

By Bill Andrews | January 22, 2019 2:50 pm

With reports about climate change becoming increasingly dire, it’s increasingly important to find an eco-friendly way to not only generate energy, but also store it. After all, wind turbines and solar power and the like don’t run steadily. So we can’t just stick that extra energy in a bottle to use when the wind dies down and the sun sets.

Only no, that’s almost exactly what a group of Scottish scientists is proposing. Except, in this case, the bottle is a layer of porous rocks …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGYTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ENERGY
The U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, California. Wikimedia Commons.

ROCKY PLANET

The Geologic Nature of Our Borders

By Erik Klemetti | January 22, 2019 10:02 am

The world’s current political climate is one where we are very aware of borders. They divide what we humans decide is one country, one state, one region from another. They can be very clearly defined where everyone would notice the boundary and in other cases, they are merely defined by imaginary lines we’ve projected on our planet. Much of the time, these boundaries are geologic — that is, they use features created by geologic processes to demarcate one nation from another. However, when y …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

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Mosquito Birth Control May Prove More Environmentally Friendly Than Insecticides

By Catherine Meyers | January 21, 2019 6:00 pm

(Inside Science) — Scientists searching for environmentally friendly ways to fight the menace of mosquitoes may want to consider a new type of pesticide, according to a new study. Mosquitoes are more than an annoyance at summer picnics — the World Health Organization has estimated the insects kill several million people each year by transmitting diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

A common way to fight mosquito-borne illnesses in places where there can be high rates of transmissi …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLD
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALSSUSTAINABILITY

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SNAPSHOT: Musicians Don Motion Capture Devices to Reveal How Bands Synchronize

By Alison Mackey | January 21, 2019 5:45 pm

Musicians from a Canadian chamber music ensemble called the Gryphon Trio have been helping scientists at McMaster University in Ontario learn how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another.

When a band plays, musicians often rely on nonverbal cues to synchronize their movements and play as one. So, to catch this in action, the research team fitted each musician with motion capture devices. That let the team measure and analyze every movement.

Interestingly, the scientists disc …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGY
MORE ABOUT: COMPUTERS

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‘Hot Jupiter’ Exoplanets May Be Born Uncomfortably Close to Their Stars

By Alison Klesman | January 21, 2019 5:30 pm

Today, astronomers have numerous extrasolar systems to study, but most look very different from our own. Determining how these solar systems — and ours — formed is challenging. New research presented at the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington, on January 8 lends credence to an idea that goes against previous thoughts about planet formation, but has been gaining traction in the field: Giant planets that orbit their stars in a matter of days may have f …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICS
MORE ABOUT: EXOPLANETSSTARS

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Radio Jets from the Milky Way’s Black Hole Could be Pointing Right at Earth

By Amber Jorgenson | January 21, 2019 5:00 pm

We’ve spent decades trying to decode our supermassive black hole, but crucial clues could’ve been in front of us all along.

Using an array of 13 radio telescopes, astronomers from the Max Planck Institute were able to home in on Sagittarius A* (pronounced A-star), the region that houses the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole. And once they’d cleared out the noise of scattered light that surrounds it, they found that the powerful radio emission that blasts from the black hole is co …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: COSMOLOGY
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For the latest science and technology news, please visit this blog daily.
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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
https://hawaiidigest.science.blog

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