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The unholy alliance of covid-19, nationalism, and climate change – MIT Technology Review

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Aligning biological clock with day-night cycles

Scientists studying bacteria have identified the roots of a behavior that is regulated by the circadian clock. The research provides a striking example of the importance of keeping the internal biological clock aligned with the external environment so that key processes occur at the right time of day.

Coral tells own tale about El Niño’s past

(Rice University) Rice University and Georgia Tech scientists use data from ancient coral to build a record of temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last millennium. The data question previous links between volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

(University of California – Riverside) A team led by UC Riverside geologists has discovered the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most animals today, including humans. The wormlike creature, Ikaria wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut. It was found in Ediacaran Period deposits in Australia and was 2-7 millimeters long, with the largest the size of a grain of rice.


Microplastics found in a quarter of San Diego estuary fish

Nearly a quarter of fish collected from a San Diego stream contain microplastics. The study, which examined plastics in coastal sediments and three species of fish, showed that the frequency and types of plastic ingested varied with fish species and, in some cases, size or age of fish.

Earth’s mantle, not its core, may have generated planet’s Early magnetic field

(University of California – San Diego) A trio of studies are the latest developments in a paradigm shift that could change how Earth history is understood. They support an assertion by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography geophysicist that a once-liquid portion of the lower mantle, rather than the core, could have exceeded the thresholds needed to create Earth’s magnetic field during its early history.

Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

(University of California – San Diego) UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years.


The microbes in your mouth, and a reminder to floss and go to the dentist

Most people know that good oral hygiene — brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits — is linked to good health. Microbiome researchers offer fresh evidence to support that conventional wisdom, by taking a close look at invisible communities of microbes that live in every mouth. Their study found a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease.