A first look at the power behind solar flares | Satellites help find hidden emperor penguin colonies | Study ties iron meteorites to core crystallization
August 6, 2020
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Physicists have struggled to figure out what propels solar flares, but they have come closer by measuring -- for the first time -- the specifics of the magnetic field of a current sheet. The research team was able to conduct the first-time measurements through the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array.
Full Story: ScienceAlert (Australia) (8/5) 
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Getting to September, Part II: The First Four Weeks
As students and teachers prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year, questions linger. What will instruction look like this year? Will learning be fully online, in person or a mix of both? Tune in August 18th to hear a panel of educators discuss strategies for navigating the first few weeks successfully. Register Now
Science in the News
Satellites help find hidden emperor penguin colonies
Eight new emperor penguin colonies that had been previously overlooked have been found in Antarctica after high-resolution satellite images spotted the birds' guano. Some of the new colonies are located offshore, including one near an iceberg, according to findings published in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.
Full Story: Science News (8/5) 
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Earth's iron meteorites originate from early crystallized parts of ancient planetary objects, a study in Nature Geoscience suggests. Researchers who examined iron isotopes in the meteorites say the ratios are related to a process called core crystallization.
Full Story: United Press International (8/4) 
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The transformation of natural lands into farmland and urban areas may have given animal diseases a better chance to cross over to humans, according to a study in Nature. "Our findings show that the animals that remain in more human-dominated environments are those that are more likely to carry infectious diseases that can make people sick," said study author Rory Gibb.
Full Story: BBC (8/5) 
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People with shingles who didn't receive treatment had 1.3 times increased risk of developing dementia, compared with those who were given treatment, researchers reported in the journal European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. Researchers also correlated antiviral drug treatment with nearly 25% lower dementia risk among individuals with shingles.
Full Story: Specialty Pharmacy Times (7/31) 
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A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases linked obesity in adults with a higher risk of H1N1 influenza but not with H3N2 influenza. While it is not known how obesity might impact influenza outcomes, researcher Aubree Gordon suggested that adults with obesity may not get influenza more often, but when they do there is a higher rate of severe disease.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (8/2) 
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Researchers have calculated the amount of energy used by microbes that live in seabeds and found the number to be significantly lower than what's believed necessary to survive, according to findings published in Science Advances. "We calculate that the average microbe trapped in deep ocean sediments survives on fifty-billion-billion times less energy than a human," says study author James Bradley.
Full Story: PhysOrg (8/5) 
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Funding Watch
A $13 million grant was awarded by the Department of Energy to a nationwide project headed by John Sedbrook, a genetics professor at Illinois State University. The project aims to strengthen the pennycress plant genetically so it might be used for biofuel and bioenergy production.
Full Story: Seed World (7/31) 
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Sigma Xi News
Sigma Xi joined other organizations in signing a letter to United States Vice President Mike Pence that voices support for "leading with science and with the best data available" during a national public health emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic. The letter names Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as one expert who is leading with science. Please visit this link for more information. 
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Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society's magazine American Scientist has been recognized for its excellence and leadership in association publishing. A pre-recorded announcement released on July 14 named the Society's magazine as the winner of three EXCEL Awards from SIIA's Association Media and Publishing. The awards competition, which is open to nonprofit and for-profit associations, received more than 800 entries and gives awards in Gold, Silver, and Bronze tiers. American Scientist won a Gold Award in Digital Media-Single Blog Post, a Gold Award in Journals-General Excellence, and a Bronze Award in Journals-Design Excellence. Please visit this link for more information.
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I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder.
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