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Western Chimpanzees – a Critically Endangered Species – Share Overlapping Territories With Humans

Camera trap image of a chimpanzee feeding on orange fruit behind someone’s house in Caiquene village. Credit: E Bersacola and Kim Hockings / Cantanhez Chimpanzee Project Chimpanzees and humans “overlap” in their use of forests and even villages, new research shows. Scientists used camera traps to track the movements of western chimpanzees — a critically […]

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Emergence of Life From Chaos – Did Darwinian Evolution Begin Before Life Itself?

How long-chain molecules are formed. Credit: © LMU LMU physicists demonstrate that fundamental characteristics of polymeric molecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting. Before life emerged on Earth, many physicochemical processes on our planet were highly chaotic. A plethora of small compounds, and polymers of […]

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Rare “Mud Carapace” Mortuary Treatment of Egyptian Mummy Uncovered – And a Case of Mistaken Identity

Mummified individual and coffin in the Nicholson Collection of the Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney. A. Mummified individual, encased in a modern sleeve for conservation, NMR.27.3. B. Coffin lid, NMR.27.1. (Published under a CC BY license, with permission from the Chau Chak Wing Museum, original copyright 2019). Credit: Sowada et al, PLOS ONE […]

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Evidence That Earth’s First Cells – 3.8 Billion Years Ago – Could Have Made Specialized Compartments

“Protocells” containing bubble-like compartments formed spontaneously on a mineral-like and encapsulated fluorescent dye. This could have been what happened 3.8 billion years ago when cells first began to form. Credit: Image courtesy of Karolina Spustova New research by the University of Oslo provides evidence that the “protocells” that formed around 3.8 billion years ago, before […]

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NASA’s Unprecedented Map of Sun’s Magnetic Field – Including the Mysterious Chromosphere

The chromosphere, photographed during the 1999 total solar eclipse. The red and pink hues – light emitted by hydrogen – earned it the name chromosphere, from the Greek “chrôma” meaning color. Credit: Luc Viatour For decades after its discovery, observers could only see the solar chromosphere for a few fleeting moments: during a total solar […]

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Simply Talking While Infected Can Spread COVID-19 – Even While Wearing Masks

Airflow patterns around two people conversing in typical situations, such as hair salons, medical exam rooms, and long-term care facilities. COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic but infected people through small aerosol droplets in their exhaled breath. Most studies of the flow of exhaled air have focused on coughing or sneezing, which can send aerosols flying […]

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New “Metalens” Shifts Focus Without Moving – Enables Miniature Zoom Lenses for Drones, Cellphones, or Night-Vision Goggles

A new MIT-fabricated metalens shifts focus without tilting, shifting, or otherwise moving. The design may enable miniature zoom lenses for drones, cellphones, or night-vision goggles. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers Polished glass has been at the center of imaging systems for centuries. Their precise curvature enables lenses to focus light and produce sharp images, whether […]

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Hubble Captures an Eye in the Sky – “Evil Eye” Galaxy With Strange Internal Motion

 NGC4826 — a spiral galaxy located 17 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) — captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Picture of the Week features NGC4826 — a spiral galaxy located 17 […]

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Stress Was Leading Reason Teachers Quit Before Pandemic – COVID Has Made Matters Worse

Stress was the most common reason teachers cited for leaving the profession before and during the pandemic, according to a RAND Corporation survey of nearly 1,000 former public-school teachers. Three of four former teachers said work was often or always stressful in the most recent year in which they taught in a public school. In […]

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Stromatolites – Fossils of Earliest Life on Earth – May Owe Their Very Existence to Viruses

Stromatolites at Shark Bay, Western Australia. Credit: UNSW Sydney/Brendan Burns As the Mars Rover sets out to look for evidence of life on another planet, scientists back on Earth suggest viruses played a key role in creating stromatolites, our planet’s earliest lifeforms. It may pain us to hear this during a deadly viral pandemic, but […]

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