Science

China now launches more rockets than anyone in the world

Enlarge / The 49th Beidou navigation satellite was successfully launched by a Long March 3b carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China on November 5, 2019. Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Images In recent weeks, China’s space program has made news by revealing some of its long-term ambitions for spaceflight. …

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California’s methane super-emitters

Enlarge Oregon Metro Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, trapping much more heat. Point-source methane emitters are typically small—usually less than 10 meters in diameter—but they emit plumes of highly concentrated methane. So if we want to reduce the amount of methane we’re spouting into the air (which we obviously …

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Dark matter link to regular matter’s dominance fails to show up

Enlarge / Given how messy a typical physics lab is, CERN is just as likely to lose the antimatter it intends to store. Maximilien Brice, Julien Ordan/CERN Matter, despite being omnipresent here on Earth, is a bit of a mystery. Most of the matter in the Universe comes in the form of dark matter, which …

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Physicists capture first footage of quantum knots unraveling in superfluid

Enlarge / Researchers captured the decay of a quantum knot (left), which untied itself after a few microseconds and eventually turned into a spin vortex (right). Tuomas Ollikainen/Aalto University The same team who tied the first “quantum knots” in a superfluid several years ago have now discovered that the knots decay, or “untie” themselves, fairly …

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Rare genetic condition gives man Eye of Sauron look

<figcaption class=”caption”><div class=”caption-text”>Like this, except less evil lord-like.</div><div class=”caption-credit”>New Line Cinema</div></figcaption> </figure> Move over, Dark Lord of Mordor. There’s a new blazing peeper in town. Doctors in Texas came face to face with a dark, spine-tingling eye that looked rimmed by flames—or, as they calmly described it in a recent report in the New England …

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the single leading source of anti-vax ads on Facebook

Enlarge / Anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. during a public hearing on vaccine related bills in 2015. Getty | Portland Press Herald Just two organizations were responsible for the majority of anti-vaccine advertisements on Facebook before the social media giant restricted such content in March of this year, according to a November 13 study …

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Major fish nurseries are awash in microplastics

Enlarge / A scribbled filefish in a sea of plastics sampled in surface slicks off Hawai’i Island. David Liittschwager For a brief moment at the start of their lives, fish from different ocean ecosystems live side by side in gigantic fish nurseries, where surface waters converge and the prey is abundant. Prey isn’t the only …

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EPA still moving to limit science used to support regulations

Enlarge / Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Win McNamee / Getty Former Texas Congressman Lamar Smith may have retired in January, but his ideas still stalk the halls of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The New York Times reported Monday that the latest incarnation of Smith’s quest to change the science the EPA can …

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The world finally has an approved vaccine against Ebola

Enlarge / A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019, in Goma. Getty | PAMELA TULIZO Regulators in Europe have granted the world’s first approval of a vaccine against Ebola—and health officials are wasting no time in rolling it out. The European Commission …

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Google has access to detailed health records on tens of millions of Americans

Enlarge / Mountain View, Calif. – May 21, 2018: Exterior view of a Googleplex building, the corporate headquarters complex of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. Getty Images / zphotos Google quietly partnered last year with Ascension—the country’s second-largest health system—and has since gained access to detailed medical records on tens of millions of …

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