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Quantum paradox points to shaky foundations of reality

Quantum paradox points to shaky foundations of reality

Nearly 60 years ago, the Nobel prize–winning physicist Eugene Wigner captured one of the many oddities of quantum mechanics in a thought experiment. He imagined a friend of his, sealed in a lab, measuring a particle such as an atom while Wigner stood outside. Quantum mechanics famously allows particles to occupy many locations at once—a so-called superposition—but the friend’s observation “collapses” the particle to just one spot. Yet for Wigner, the superposition remains: The collapse occurs only when he makes a measurement sometime later. Worse, Wigner also sees the friend in a...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 17
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This is the way the universe ends: not with a whimper, but a bang

This is the way the universe ends: not with a whimper, but a bang

In the unimaginably far future, cold stellar remnants known as black dwarfs will begin to explode in a spectacular series of supernovae, providing the final fireworks of all time. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which posits that the universe will experience one last hurrah before everything goes dark forever.Astronomers have long contemplated the ultimate end of the cosmos. The known laws of physics suggest that by about 10100 (the No. 1 followed by 100 zeros) years from now, star birth will cease, galaxies will go dark, and even black holes will evaporate through a process known as...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 11
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‘Its body looked like a warzone.’ Air pollution could kill off critical honey bees in India

‘Its body looked like a warzone.’ Air pollution could kill off critical honey bees in India

Bees feel the sting of air pollution more acutely than we do. A 3-year study in India finds that even mildly dirty air could kill 80% of giant Asian honey bees, a key pollinator in South Asia. Without such bees and other insects, domestic production of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes could be at risk, the team says.“This is an important and timely study,” says Olli Loukola, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Oulu who was not involved with the work. The findings, he says, are the first to document the impact of air pollution on insects, and they emphasize just how far-ranging...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 10
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Fossil captures ancient ‘hell ant’ in action

Fossil captures ancient ‘hell ant’ in action

A new fossil reveals how a mysterious ancient insect captured its meals.The discovery depicts a 99-million-year-old encounter between a “hell ant,” one of the earliest known ants, and its prey, an extinct relative of the cockroach. Preserved in amber, the ant, less than half the length of a dime, grasps the victim’s neck between two sharp mandibles and a hornlike protrusion on its head (pictured left, illustrated right).The find highlights hell ants’ strange anatomy. Whereas the mandibles of modern ants (as well as all adult insects) move horizontally, those of hell ants moved vertically,...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 6
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This tiny camera can show the world from a bug’s point of view

This tiny camera can show the world from a bug’s point of view

To save energy, many insects swivel their head—instead of their entire body—to scan the world around them. Researchers have now replicated this with a tiny camera with a one-of-a-kind arm they can maneuver from a smartphone. The total system weighs just 248 milligrams—less than a dollar bill.When strapped onto a beetle’s back, the camera can stream video in close to real time. It can also pivot to provide a panoramic view from the beetle’s perspective (as seen in this video). What’s more, when the camera was mounted onto an insect-size robot, the bot used up to 84 times less energy by...

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NewsfromScience
July 27, 2020
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Designer antibodies could battle COVID-19 before vaccines arrive

Designer antibodies could battle COVID-19 before vaccines arrive

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.While the world is transfixed by the high-stakes race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, an equally crucial competition is heating up to produce targeted antibodies that could provide an instant immunity boost against the virus. Clinical trials of these monoclonal antibodies, which could both prevent and treat the disease, are already underway and could produce signs of efficacy in the next few months, perhaps ahead of vaccine trials. “If you were going to put your money down, you would bet that...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 4
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Doctors diagnose advanced cancer—in a dinosaur

Doctors diagnose advanced cancer—in a dinosaur

This deformed bone is the first clear example of a malignant tumor diagnosed in a dinosaur. The partial fibula—a bone from the lower leg—belonged to a horned, plant-eating Centrosaurus that lived roughly 76 million years ago in what is now Dinosaur Park in southern Alberta in Canada.Paleontologists initially thought the bone’s strange shape was due to a fracture that hadn’t healed cleanly. But a new study, published today in The Lancet Oncology, compares the internal structure of the fossil (above) with a bone tumor from a human patient to seek a diagnosis. The conclusion: , a cancer that,...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 3
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Twitter account of embattled #MeTooSTEM founder suspended

Twitter account of embattled #MeTooSTEM founder suspended

Twitter has suspended the account of MeTooSTEM founder BethAnn McLaughlin after allegations emerged that the former Vanderbilt University neuroscientist fabricated the Twitter account of an apparently nonexistent female Native American anthropologist at Arizona State University (ASU) who had claimed to be an anonymous victim of sexual harassment by a Harvard professor. McLaughlin announced on 31 July that Alepo, the woman supposedly behind the @Sciencing_Bi account, had died after a COVID-19 infection. The company has also suspended that pseudonymous account. of McLaughlin’s recent actions...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 3
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Antiabortion ethicists and scientists dominate Trump’s fetal tissue review board

Antiabortion ethicists and scientists dominate Trump’s fetal tissue review board

Last summer, the Trump administration clamped down on federally funded fetal tissue research by . Research advocates were eager to learn who Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar would appoint to the board and to see its ideological makeup. Today they got their first look as it gathered online for a one-time run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).Although the 1-hour public portion of the meeting was perfunctory—limited to introductions and public comments—it offered a glimpse of the opposition that may greet proposals to work with fetal tissue donated after elective...

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NewsfromScience
Jul 31
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The pandemic stilled human activity. What did this ‘anthropause’ mean for wildlife?

The pandemic stilled human activity. What did this ‘anthropause’ mean for wildlife?

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.After the coronavirus pandemic exploded worldwide, Ari Friedlaender, a marine ecologist at the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, had to abandon his fieldwork in Antarctica, where he was studying the effects of tourism and fishing on humpback whales. He was stressed, but after returning home Friedlaender realized the pandemic offered an unprecedented opportunity for similar studies of whales in nearby Monterey Bay. Lockdowns had dramatically reduced noisy boat traffic, which can stress...

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NewsfromScience
Aug 13
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