Welcome to the “Discover Magazine” update from Hawaii Science Digest.
Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Content provided by “Discover Magazine’, 11 March 2019.
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Many Families With High Breast Cancer Risk Await a Genetic Explanation
For decades, Piri Welcsh has had professional and personal stakes in understanding the genetics of breast cancer.
In the 1990s, the molecular geneticist participated in an international race to clone BRCA1, the first gene linked to breast cancer risk, and she works to this day in the lab of pioneering breast cancer geneticist Mary-Claire King at the University of Washington.
And then there’s Welcsh’s own family. Her grandmother died of breast cancer, her mother is a breast cancer …
Can Men Tell When Women are Ovulating? Decades of Creepy Experiments Still Can’t Prove It
For most animals, sex time is obvious. During the fertile phase of their reproductive cycles, females go into heat. They act, smell and look different, sending an unambiguous signal to males: “Come impregnate me.”
But what about humans? Women have sex throughout their menstrual cycles, and don’t show conspicuous outward changes around ovulation — the time of month when pregnancy can occur.
Yet many researchers think there are subtle clues that a lady is in her fertile window. N …
NASA Budget Proposal Funds Mars Sample Return, Slashes Other Missions
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday to talk about the proposed NASA budget for 2020.
While Bridenstine referred to the Trump administration’s proposed NASA budget as “strong,” and emphasized that funding for spaceflight exploration is high, the budget proposal also strikes funding from some missions. And, in total, it allocates $500 million less than what Congress appropriated for NASA last year.
Congress, not the executive branch,� …
Few Remaining Paths Lead to a Tolerable Amount of Climate Change
Climate change is riddled with questions that have uncertain answers. How fast will Earth’s population grow? When will renewables become affordable enough to take over? How much carbon dioxide can the oceans suck up? But even with these uncertainties, researchers in a new study say it’s clearer than ever that the actions society chooses to take today will dictate the climate for future generations.
“They make clear our choices — in a world of uncertainties — our choices are t …
CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON
The SciStarter team is hitting the road.
The best part of our work is meeting the people who power citizen science either by visiting and joining SciStarter, engaging in projects, or sharing, saving, or facilitating projects and events.
If you’re receiving this message, that includes YOU! We’d love to meet you in person at any of the following events. Fingers crossed that one of them takes place near you. If so, please come say “hi!”
The SciStarter Team
Citizen Science Association Conference, Raleigh NC, M …
The Curious Foreign Accent Syndrome
“Foreign Accent Syndrome” (FAS) is a rare disorder in which patients start to speak with a foreign or regional tone. This striking condition is often associated with brain damage, such as stroke. Presumably, the lesion affects the neural pathways by which the brain controls the tongue and vocal cords, thus producing a strange sounding speech.
Yet there may be more to FAS than meets the eye (or ear). According to a new paper in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, many o …
What Happens When Galaxies Collide?
Galactic smash-ups can reignite or destroy galaxies — but which will it be? Astronomers using space- and ground-based telescopes to peer inside the mergers of nearby galaxies are hoping to learn more about these events and what they mean for the history and future of our universe.
Mergers: Good or Bad?
Galaxy mergers have built our universe into the place it is today. Over time, smaller galaxies crash into each other, creating larger, more complex structures. But what exactly happens dur …
You Should Take Care of Your Lungs, They’re Beautifully Complex
Lungs are remarkable organs that continuously achieve amazing feats, which they do so well that we take them for granted, except when their function is diminished. It all happens in a space inside your chest, divided in two and reduced by the presence of the heart, the great vessels and the esophagus.
With Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg having recently returned to the court after surgery for lung cancer, I have been asked a lot of questions about the lungs, as I am a professor …
CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON
Citizen Science and March Mammal Madness
The 7th annual March Mammal Madness Tournament (MMM) is upon us! What is MMM, you ask? Only the most engaging, riveting, and scientifically accurate bracket-based tournament around! Eighty-two contenders enter, but only one (or this year, perhaps two) will be the Champion!
March Mammal Madness was developed in 2013 by Dr. Katie Hinde, a professor at Arizona State University (ASU), who created a bracket of 64 mammals in four divisions and then determined the probability of who wou …
Crew Dragon Still Faces Crucial Tests Before NASA Certifies it Safe for Astronauts
Now that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has successfully landed back on Earth and completed its first full test flight, dubbed Demo-1, Elon Musk’s rocket company must quickly turn its gaze to the next tests on its journey to put humans in space.
SpaceX launched early on March 2, docked with the International Space Station, and returned home Friday morning, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean at 8:45 a.m. EST. While SpaceX has flown many missions to the ISS with its cargo Dragon vehicle …