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SCIENCE

How long does a quantum jump take?

Quantum jumps are usually regarded to be instantaneous. However, new measurement methods are so precise that it has now become possible to observe such a process and to measure its duration precisely — for example the famous ‘photoelectric effect’, first described by Albert Einstein. It was one of the crucial …

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Moderate warming could melt East Antarctic Ice Sheet

Parts of the world’s largest ice sheet would melt if Antarctic warming of just 2°C is sustained for millennia, according to international research. University of Queensland scientist Dr Kevin Welsh was part of a team that used evidence from warm periods in Earth’s history to see how the East Antarctic …

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Cane toad: Scientists crack genetic code

A group of scientists from UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney, Deakin University, Portugal and Brazil have unlocked the DNA of the cane toad, a poisonous amphibian that is a threat to many native Australian species. The findings were published in academic journal GigaScience today. “Despite its iconic status, there …

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Creating 3D printed ‘motion sculptures’ from 2D videos

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has often credited his success to spending countless hours studying his opponent’s movements on film. This understanding of movement is necessary for all living species, whether it’s figuring out what angle to throw a ball at, or perceiving the motion of predators and prey. But simple …

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Magellanic Clouds duo may have been a trio

Two of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way — the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — may have had a third companion, astronomers believe. Research published today describes how another “luminous” galaxy was likely engulfed by the Large Magellanic Cloud some three to five billion years ago. ICRAR Masters …

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More ships and more clouds mean cooling in the arctic

With sea ice in the Arctic melting at an alarming rate, opportunities for trans-Arctic shipping are opening up, and by mid-century ships will be able to sail right over the North Pole — something not previously possible for humankind. UConn geographer Scott Stephenson and colleagues say the growth of trans-Arctic …

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We are predisposed to forgive, new research suggests

When assessing the moral character of others, people cling to good impressions but readily adjust their opinions about those who have behaved badly, according to new research. This flexibility in judging transgressors might help explain both how humans forgive — and why they sometimes stay in bad relationships, said the …

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Multi-joint, personalized soft exosuit breaks new ground

In the future, smart textile-based soft robotic exosuits could be worn by soldiers, fire fighters and rescue workers to help them traverse difficult terrain and arrive fresh at their destinations so that they can perform their respective tasks more effectively. They could also become a powerful means to enhance mobility …

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Witnessing violence in high school as bad as being bullied

Students who witness violence in school at age 13 are at later risk of psycho-social and academic impairment at age 15, according to a new longitudinal study by researchers at Université de Montréal with colleagues in Belgium and France. In the study, published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and …

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Organic farming methods favors pollinators

Pollinating insects are endangered globally, with a particularly steep decline over the last 40 years. An extensive 3-year study from Lund University in Sweden has found that organic farming methods can contribute to halting the pollinator decline. This beneficial effect is due to both the absence of insecticides and a …

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Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France

The British mainland was formed from the collision of not two, but three ancient continental land masses, according to new research. Scientists have for centuries believed that England, Wales and Scotland were created by the merger of Avalonia and Laurentia more than 400 million years ago. However, geologists based at …

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New genetics tool helps answer evolutionary questions

The age of big data is here. Thanks to innovations in genetic sequencing technology, scientists can now generate massive datasets describing the genomes of Earth’s diverse set of species. This ever-growing genomic encyclopedia has the capacity to reveal the forces shaping complex patterns of genetic variation between individuals, populations and …

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Famous theory of the living Earth upgraded to ‘Gaia 2.0’

A time-honoured theory into why conditions on Earth have remained stable enough for life to evolve over billions of years has been given a new, innovative twist. For around half a century, the ‘Gaia’ hypothesis has provided a unique way of understanding how life has persisted on Earth. It champions …

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