Discover Magazine: Latest Blog Posts, 07 Mar 2019

Welcome to the “Discover Magazine” update from Hawaii Science Digest.

Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content provided by “Discover Magazine.”

Accessed on 07 March 2019, 1510 UTC.

Source:  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

D-BRIEF

Physicists Suggest Hunting ‘Dark Matter Fossils’ Deep Underground

By Korey Haynes | March 6, 2019 4:30 pm

In the elusive hunt for dark matter, some researchers are looking underground. The mysterious, unseen substance makes up more than 85 percent of the material in our universe. And since dark matter doesn’t interact much with normal matter (that’s what makes it “dark”), scientists usually rely on extremely large detectors to maximize their chances of observing a signal. But the physical hunt for dark matter is relatively new, so these experiments have only been running for a few years.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: PHYSICS

THE CRUX

Scientists Still Stumped By The Evolution of Human Breasts

By Bridget Alex | March 6, 2019 3:15 pm

“How about breasts?” The question came from a jock-y guy in one of my graduate school classes on human evolution.

Far from offensive, the query was appropriate and astute. My classmates and I nodded approval, and the professor added it to a growing list on the board.

We were brainstorming features that distinguish our species, Homo sapiens, from other primates. That list includes human peculiarities like big brains, upright walking, language, furless bodies … and permanently enl …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANTHROPOLOGYEVOLUTION

D-BRIEF

Inner Ear Discovery Helps Explain How Sound Waves Become Brain Signals

By Lacy Schley | March 6, 2019 1:45 pm

Scientists at Rockefeller University claim they’ve pinpointed a protein in the ear that acts as a sort of molecular gatekeeper, helping convert soundwaves into the electrical signals that our brains interpret as sound. The finding, though incremental, helps establish a more detailed understanding of how hearing works.

Down the Inner-Ear Rabbit Hole

But first, some basics. Deep inside the ear, through your ear canal and past your ear drum, lies the inner ear. Here, there’ …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINELIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SENSES
A geyser basin at Yellowstone Caldera. Image by Erik Klemetti

ROCKY PLANET

What Might Happen if Yellowstone Were Really Heading Towards an Eruption?

By Erik Klemetti | March 6, 2019 12:17 pm

Everyone loves Yellowstone, don’t they? For a volcano that might not have erupted for 10,000 years, it gets a disproportionate amount of media attention. Much of the hype is just because the media (news and entertainment alike) has made Yellowstone seem like something that is bound to erupt in our lifetimes and destroy all civilization. Yet today, there are really no signs that the Yellowstone caldera is heading towards a new eruption anytime in the near future — and that’s geologic “near  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

VINTAGE SPACE

The New Apollo 11 Documentary is Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous

By Amy Shira Teitel | March 6, 2019 12:07 pm

The new Apollo 11 documentary boasts that it is a “cinematic event fifty years in the making.” Which it is. It’s less a documentary and more a compilation of restored 16mm film and rarely-if-ever heard audio records from the first lunar landing mission, and it’s absolutely incredible. (Heads up: this blog contains spoilers, but then again, most of us know what happened on Apollo 11, right? Right.)

The trailer, just in case you haven’t seen it kicking around yet.

The most im …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: UNCATEGORIZED

D-BRIEF

There’s A Good Reason for Why We ‘Uh’ and ‘Um’ When We Talk

By Lacy Schley | March 6, 2019 11:44 am

Ever catch yourself saying “uhhh” too many times? Many people vow to cut back on relying on such verbal crutches once they realize they’re using them, but they’re not just filler. It seems they act as a cue of sorts for your conversational partners. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics found that listeners actively track when a speaker says “uh” to help predict what kind of word might follow.

The Power of Uh
Based on previous research, psycholinguis …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: MIND & BRAINTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

A Better Solar Panel Through Buckets of Water, Rocks

By Bill Andrews | March 6, 2019 11:00 am

Rare is the tech story whose main development is decidedly low-tech – but not impossible. Rather than a fancy atomic clock or rat cyborgs, for instance, this tech story deals with buckets of rocks and water. Well, solar panels too, but that’s not the cool new part.

Today, at a meeting of the American Physical Society, Colgate University physicist Beth Parks described a new way to wring even more energy from a solar panel — a major development for people with no access to reliable po …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGYTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ENERGY

THE CRUX

A Map to Planet Nine: Hunting Our Solar System’s Most Distant Worlds

By Jake Parks | March 6, 2019 9:00 am

Last December, a trio of astronomers set the record for the most distant object ever discovered in the solar system. Because the small world is located about three times farther from the sun than Pluto, the researchers dubbed it Farout. Now, not to be outdone (even by themselves), the same group of boundary pushers have announced the discovery of an even more far-flung object. And since the new find sits a couple billion miles farther out than Farout, the team has fittingly nicknamed it Farf …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SOLAR SYSTEM

THE CRUX

Are Insects Going Extinct? The Debate Obscures the Real Dangers They Face

By Troy Farah | March 6, 2019 7:00 am

Insects, the most abundant and diverse animals on Earth, are facing a crisis of epic proportions, according to a growing body of research and a rash of alarmist media reports that have followed. If left unchecked, some scientists say, recent population declines could one day lead to a world without insects.

“The Insect Apocalypse Is Here,” New York Times Magazine avowed in an in-depth story examining the trend, while other outlets have warned of an impending “ecological Armageddon� …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALSCLIMATE CHANGEECOLOGY

THE CRUX

Before We Colonize the Moon, We Must Learn to Mine There

By Paul K. Byrne, North Carolina State University | March 5, 2019 4:40 pm

If you were transported to the moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That’s because there’s no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don’t kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the moon is not a hospitable place to be.

Yet if human beings are to explore the moon and, potentially, li …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION
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For the latest trends in science, technology, medicine, health, the environment, cyber security, and artificial intelligence (AI), please visit this blog daily.
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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
https://hawaiisciencedigest.net

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