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This Community Is Advocating for Air Quality—With Science

Kamita Gray and her mom have spent a lot of time volunteering at Brandywine Elementary School, helping kindergarteners learn to write their names and making sure everyone has a turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every time they’re at the Maryland school, they’re struck by the heavy black smoke from diesel ...

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Why Big Stuff Cools Off Slower Than Small Stuff

Welcome to another chapter in my ongoing saga entitled “big things are not small things.” In this edition of big vs. small, let’s look at hot stuff. Here I have three aluminum objects. A large block, a small block, and a heat sink. Just for reference, the big block is ...

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What Does It Take to Put a Waterfall on a Skyscraper?

[embedded content] You don’t see this very often—a 350-foot artificial waterfall pouring out of a skyscraper. It looks cool, but it also looks expensive. Gushing water isn’t free: You not only have to get the H2O, but you need energy to bring it to the top of the building. This ...

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This Robot Hand Taught Itself How to Grab Stuff Like a Human

Elon Musk is kinda worried about AI. (“AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization and I don’t think people fully appreciate that,” as he put it in 2017.) So he helped found a research nonprofit, OpenAI, to help cut a path to “safe” artificial general intelligence, as opposed ...

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Optical neural network demo

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a silicon chip that distributes optical signals precisely across a miniature brain-like grid, showcasing a potential new design for neural networks. The human brain has billions of neurons (nerve cells), each with thousands of connections to other neurons. ...

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Gut bacteria byproduct protects against Salmonella, study finds

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a molecule that serves as natural protection against one of the most common intestinal pathogens. Propionate, a byproduct of metabolism by a group of bacteria called the Bacteroides, inhibits the growth of Salmonella in the intestinal tract of mice, according ...

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Hurricane Harvey samples saddled with antibiotic-resistant genes

Rice University scientists have released the first results of extensive water sampling in Houston after the epic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. They found widespread contamination by E. coli, likely the result of overflow from flooded wastewater treatment plants. The microbial survey showed high levels of E. coli, a fecal ...

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European Ruling Could Slow Africa’s Push For Crispr Crops

Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food. In a 15,000-word opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice suggested that gene-edited crops should not face the same stiff regulations as genetically ...

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