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SCIENCE

Earth’s Depths Are Teeming With Otherworldly Microbes

This story originally appeared on The Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The Earth is far more alive than previously thought, according to “deep life” studies that reveal a rich ecosystem beneath our feet that is almost twice the size of that found in all the world’s ...

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More bioplastics do not necessarily contribute to climate change mitigation

Bioplastics are often promoted as an environmentally and climate-friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. However, a recent study from the University of Bonn suggests that shifting to plant-based plastics could have less positive effects than expected. Specifically, an increased consumption of bioplastics in the following years is likely to generate ...

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Unknown treasure trove of planets found hiding in dust

“Super-Earths” and Neptune-sized planets could be forming around young stars in much greater numbers than scientists thought, new research by an international team of astronomers suggests. Observing a sampling of young stars in a star-forming region in the constellation Taurus, researchers found many of them to be surrounded by structures ...

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Molecular insights into spider silk

They are lightweight, almost invisible, highly extensible and strong, and of course biodegradable: the threads spiders use to build their webs. In fact, spider silk belongs to the toughest fibres in nature. Based on its low weight it even supersedes high-tech threads like Kevlar or Carbon. Its unique combination of ...

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Apple’s Newest Watch Features Will Transform Heart Health

Today, with a software update, Apple switched on two highly anticipated features of its popular wearable: The first uses optical sensors to detect irregular heart rhythms on Apple Watch Series 1 and later iterations. The second enables wearers of Apple Watch Series 4 to record an electrocardiogram, or ECG, directly ...

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SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule May Be Contaminating the ISS

In February 2017, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted through low clouds, pushing a Dragon capsule toward orbit. Among the spare parts and food, an important piece of scientific cargo, called SAGE III, rumbled upward. Once installed on the International Space Station, SAGE would peer back and measure ozone molecules ...

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