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Natural telescope sets new magnification record

Extremely distant galaxies are usually too faint to be seen, even by the largest telescopes. But nature has a solution: gravitational lensing, predicted by Albert Einstein and observed many times by astronomers. Now, an international team of astronomers, led by Harald Ebeling of the Institute for Astronomy at the University ...

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The Dirty Secret of California’s Cannabis: It’s Dirty

This is a story about marijuana that begins in a drawer of dead birds. In the specimen collections of the California Academy of Sciences, curator Jack Dumbacher picks up a barred owl—so named for the stripes than run across its chest—and strokes its feathers. It looks like a healthy enough ...

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Climate Change: The Complete Guide

The world is busted. For decades, scientists have carefully accumulated data that confirms what we hoped wasn’t true: The greenhouse gas emissions that have steadily spewed from cars and planes and factories, the technologies that powered a massive period of economic growth, came at an enormous cost to the planet’s ...

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Reconstructing an ancient lethal weapon

Archaeologists are a little like forensic investigators: They scour the remains of past societies, looking for clues in pottery, tools and bones about how people lived, and how they died. And just as detectives might re-create the scene of a crime, University of Washington archaeologists have re-created the weapons used ...

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Can Our Phones Save Us From Our Phones?

Hi. My name is Robbie, and I’m addicted to browser tabs. For years, I deluded myself into thinking they were an efficient way to gather information on a given subject. Or subjects. Sub-subjects, too. You see the problem. Which is why, for the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with ...

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How to reduce heat extremes by 2-3 degrees Celsius

New research published today in Nature Geoscience has found that climate engineering that modifies the properties of the land surface in highly populated areas and agricultural areas over North American, Europe and Asia could reduce extreme temperatures there by up to 2-3°C. The modifications could include lightening buildings, roads and ...

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Yes, There *Is* Gravity in Space

This week, I settled down to watch the first episode of The 100. If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll just point out that it takes place in the near future (though it ran, on the CW, in the near past). For reasons that I won’t get into, there is ...

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From stem cells to a functional heart: The role of the Mesp1 gene

Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles and University of Cambridge identified the role of key gene Mesp1 in the earliest step of cardiovascular lineage segregation. This discovery may help to better understand congenital heart defects. The heart is the first organ that forms during development and contains four different ...

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