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SCIENCE

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Researchers from the University of Illinois and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service ...

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Engineers create an inhalable form of messenger RNA

Messenger RNA, which can induce cells to produce therapeutic proteins, holds great promise for treating a variety of diseases. The biggest obstacle to this approach so far has been finding safe and efficient ways to deliver mRNA molecules to the target cells. In an advance that could lead to new ...

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The long memory of the Pacific Ocean

The ocean has a long memory. When the water in today’s deep Pacific Ocean last saw sunlight, Charlemagne was the Holy Roman Emperor, the Song Dynasty ruled China and Oxford University had just held its very first class. During that time, between the 9th and 12th centuries, the earth’s climate ...

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We Need to Not Freak Out About the Robot Revolution

You, like me, may sometimes (or all the time!) feel that the world is spiraling out of control—trade wars and political strife. And, oh right, climate change, arguably the greatest threat our species has ever faced. Or maybe artificial intelligence and robots will put us all out of work before ...

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One Species Loves Our Climate-Wrecking Ways: Fire Ants!

The red imported fire ant is one of the world’s most invasive species. Its sting delivers a burning poison that kills living tissue. Together groups of ants devour deer fawns, baby birds, reptiles, and almost any other source of protein they can get their mandibles on. They form acres of ...

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This Year SpaceX Made Us All Believe in Reusable Rockets

At the beginning of 2018, Elon Musk predicted that SpaceX would pull off 30 launches. The goal seemed far-fetched; among other reasons, some of those flights were planned for the Falcon Heavy, which at the time had yet to fly. Indeed, the company didn’t hit that figure. But the 21 ...

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Our universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension

Uppsala University researchers have devised a new model for the Universe — one that may solve the enigma of dark energy. Their new article, published in Physical Review Letters, proposes a new structural concept, including dark energy, for a universe that rides on an expanding bubble in an additional dimension. ...

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