The Riddle, and Controversy, of All That Missing Plastic

The Riddle, and Controversy, of All That Missing Plastic

To complement these findings, Ocean Cleanup used data on winds and currents to show that when pieces of plastic come out of, say, rivers, they tend to stick around the coastline.Ocean Cleanup reckons that in total, just .06 percent of plastics from the shore and coastline make their way into gyres.

Algorithms Should’ve Made Courts More Fair. What Went Wrong?

Algorithms Should’ve Made Courts More Fair. What Went Wrong?

After being mandated to consider a score predicting the risk a person would reoffend or skip court, the state’s judges began offering no-bail release to white defendants much more often than to blacks.

Colonies of Aggressive, Social Spiders Boom After a Hurricane

Colonies of Aggressive, Social Spiders Boom After a Hurricane

They found that the most aggressive colonies were located in places with the highest historic exposure to cyclones.“There’s clearly some kind of selection going on here for the aggressive individuals in response to these extreme weather events, and that’s what’s really fascinating,” says George Uetz, a spider biologist at the University of Cincinnati.

Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine

Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine

For first-time vapers, merely inhaling vape juice from an e-cigarette caused their blood vessels to constrict, stiffen, and circulate less oxygen.Last week, the Centers for Disease Control announced that it is opening an investigation into the health effects of smoking e-cigarettes, after nearly 100 teenagers in 14 states reported lung illnesses related to vaping.

Beware the Epiphany-Industrial Complex

Beware the Epiphany-Industrial Complex

The Stanford Prison Experiment has burrowed its way into the culture, inspiring an epiphany-industrial complex that deploys social science research in support of facile claims about human nature, public policy, and interpersonal relationships.

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

Launched in 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will take years to swoop into orbit around the Sun, but once it’s there, its main goal is to figure out exactly what drives the solar wind, the constant stream of highly charged particles that are spit out from the openings in the surface.

A Strange Radioactive Cloud Likely Came From Russia

A Strange Radioactive Cloud Likely Came From Russia

After the ruthenium plume was detected in late 2017, IRSN issued a report in which it theorized that the accident occurred when Mayak attempted to create a highly compact, highly radioactive material that could emit a large number of neutrinos (difficult-to-detect fundamental particles) for a physics experiment in Italy called SOX.

Americans Trust Scientists, Until Politics Gets in the Way

Americans Trust Scientists, Until Politics Gets in the Way

Like many surveys and studies before it, a new report from the Pew Research Center confirms this truth: Americans love and trust scientists.

Icy Waterfalls Are Roaring as a Heat Wave Sizzles Greenland

Icy Waterfalls Are Roaring as a Heat Wave Sizzles Greenland

As a glaciologist who studies the plumbing system of Greenland’s ice sheet, Gulley is one of the foremost explorers of these melt caves, called moulins. The study also projected that Greenland’s ice sheet will completely melt in the next 1,000 years unless society drastically reduces carbon emissions and bends the climate curve.

Many Animals Can’t Adapt to Climate Change Fast Enough

Many Animals Can’t Adapt to Climate Change Fast Enough

“I think the results of this paper really add an abundance of caution, that we shouldn't hope that species will adapt to changing climate and changing habitats, that we don't need to do anything,” says Mark Reynolds, lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy’s migratory bird program, who wasn’t involved in the study.

The Blazing Science of This Year's Total Solar Eclipse

The Blazing Science of This Year's Total Solar Eclipse

“So the detailed observations of the middle corona that we make at eclipses will remain unique for the foreseeable future.” He adds that the new telescope also can’t generate wide-field views the way smaller telescopes can during eclipses—allowing for study of the farthest reaches of the coronal footprint—nor can it match the resolution of the instrumentation on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory now in orbit around Earth.

Cold War Spy Photos Show How Fast Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting

Cold War Spy Photos Show How Fast Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting

The study looked at images of 650 individual glaciers and found they have been losing a foot and a half of ice each year since 2000, threatening water supplies for millions of people who rely on Himalayan meltwater throughout large parts of Asia.

YouTube Testimonials Lure Patients to Shady Stem Cell Clinics

YouTube Testimonials Lure Patients to Shady Stem Cell Clinics

Then there’s the ease with which stem cell clinics reach potential patients online. Often, this involves the patient testimonial video—one of the most successful marketing strategies employed by stem cell clinics.

Why Kevin Durant's Achilles Tendon Was His Achilles Heel

Why Kevin Durant's Achilles Tendon Was His Achilles Heel

He’d later on Instagram that yes, his right Achilles tendon had ruptured, that he had gotten surgery to repair it, and that he wouldn’t be playing basketball for a while.

These Ancient Peoples Smoked the Chronic at Funerals

These Ancient Peoples Smoked the Chronic at Funerals

Researchers analyzed ancient incense burners (known as braziers) from burial grounds at the so-called Jirzankal Cemetery, nearly 10,000 feet up in the mountains of Central Asia, and found residue that tested positive for cannabis .

Telemedicine Makes It Safe to Get Abortion Drugs in the Mail

Telemedicine Makes It Safe to Get Abortion Drugs in the Mail

“We have six clinics providing the service in eight states, and one of them is Georgia. “And these also tend to be the most rural states with the fewest abortion providers.” Raymond’s TelAbortion work helps show that telemedicine is safe, and could provide support in lawsuits against that restriction.

An Illicit Chemical Is Again Jeopardizing the Ozone Layer

An Illicit Chemical Is Again Jeopardizing the Ozone Layer

Based on data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the previous study reported new emissions of about 13,000 tons a year of CFC-11 from somewhere in eastern Asia starting in 2012.That was two years after the 2010 date for ending all CFC production under the terms of the Montreal Protocol.

Scientists Find a Volume Knob for Emotional Memories

Scientists Find a Volume Knob for Emotional Memories

Though the experiments were conducted in mice, and are just a proof of concept, Ramirez says understanding how these regions of the brain play a role in enhancing positive memories or suppressing negative ones could unlock targets for treating psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.Scientists identified neurons in a mouse's hippocampus, shown in green, that were involved in encoding a fear memory.

Scientists Go Back in Time to Find More Troubling News About Earth's Oceans

Scientists Go Back in Time to Find More Troubling News About Earth's Oceans

Even if warming oceans don’t have a very big physiological impact on a species itself, climate change could still affect the organisms it interacts with.

Abortion Bans Create a Public Health Nightmare

Abortion Bans Create a Public Health Nightmare

Foster’s team has a paper in review on actual, longer-term health consequences among the turnaways, but it’s not out yet, and I didn’t find any research comparing outcomes in states with different abortion access levels beyond when women get abortions during a pregnancy—second-trimester abortions become more common—and the admittedly blunt statistical instruments of maternal and infant mortality.

What's So Special About Human Screams? Ask a Screamologist

What's So Special About Human Screams? Ask a Screamologist

Overall, however, Gouzoules’ data suggests that humans are pretty good at distinguishing screams from other nonverbal vocalizations, regardless of whether they’re fearful, excited, or aggressive.

The Evidence Is Strong: Air Pollution Seems to Cause Dementia

The Evidence Is Strong: Air Pollution Seems to Cause Dementia

“I have no hesitation whatsoever to say that air pollution causes dementia,” says Caleb Finch, gerontologist and the leader of USC’s Air Pollution and Brain Disease research network, which has completed many of these new studies.

Riding a Scooter? Protect Your Head

Riding a Scooter? Protect Your Head

“A helmet is recommended for safety in riding a scooter or a bicycle,” says Marissa Monroy, the city transportation department’s communications head, though she notes no city rules require riders to do so.

The Grid Might Survive an Electromagnetic Pulse Just Fine

The Grid Might Survive an Electromagnetic Pulse Just Fine

The study by the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility-funded research organization, finds that existing technology can protect various components of the electric grid to buffer it from the effects of solar flares, lightning strikes, as well as an EMP from a nuclear blast, all at the same time.

Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses

Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses

Moreover, the researchers inferred the existence of five community-level groups of viruses that mapped onto distinct marine ecological zones based on temperature and depth: Arctic, Antarctic, temperate and tropical surface, temperate and tropical subsurface, and deep ocean.

YouTube's 'Slow-Mo Guys' Share the Best Slow-Motion Videos

YouTube's 'Slow-Mo Guys' Share the Best Slow-Motion Videos

"You get to see things from a scientific perspective that you wouldn't normally get to see normally," says Daniel Gruchy, one half of the duo better known as YouTube's The Slow Mo Guys.

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

Earlier this month the University of Nottingham published a study in PloSOne about a new artificial intelligence model that uses machine learning to predict the risk of premature death, using banked health data (on age and lifestyle factors) from Brits aged 40 to 69.

A Shocking Find Shows Just How Far Wind Can Carry Microplastics

A Shocking Find Shows Just How Far Wind Can Carry Microplastics

You might assume a film with more surface area would travel farther than a fragment, but that just hasn’t been tested.“That's one of the challenges moving forward is trying to actually model how these plastics move in 3D in the air, so we can figure out where they come from,” says environmental pollution scientist Deonie Allen of the EcoLab, part of the National Center of Scientific Research for France, coauthor on a new paper in Nature Geoscience.

Are Humans Fit for Space? A ‘Herculean’ Study Says Maybe Not

Are Humans Fit for Space? A ‘Herculean’ Study Says Maybe Not

A human mission to Mars could last as long as three years, and in the laconic tones of the twins study, “genetic, immune system, and metabolic functions are of particular concern given exposure to space radiations, restricted diets … disrupted circadian rhythms, and weightlessness.”.

Lasers Highlight Ketamine's Depression-Fighting Secrets

Lasers Highlight Ketamine's Depression-Fighting Secrets

And mice don’t have anywhere near our behavioral complexity.“It's important to recognize here the mouse doesn't really have depression per se,” says Yale psychiatrist Alex Kwan, who has studied the effects of ketamine on mouse brains.