Today’s Top Science-Technology News


Welcome to “Today’s Top Science-Technology News” from Hawaii Science Digest.

Topic:  A look at today’s top science and technology news from the world’s leading science publications.

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Accessed on 26 February 2020, 0255 UTC.

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CDC Expects Community Spread of Coronavirus in U.S., Warns Disruptions Could be “Severe”

A top official urged American businesses and families to start preparing for the possibility of a bigger outbreak — Read more on
WHO Says Coronavirus is Not Yet a Pandemic, But Urges Countries to Prepare

The Director-General said nations should aim to protect groups at highest risk, including health care workers and the elderly — Read more on
Hubble Telescope Test Inspires Changes at NASA to Combat Gender Bias

The space agency’s adoption of dual-anonymous review for certain science programs seeks to ensure proposals are judged on merit alone — Read more on
National Security Experts Call for Eliminating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To avoid disruptions that could lead to conflict and displacement, the world must rapidly reach net-zero emissions, a new report says — Read more on
White Noise Helps Mice Distinguish Similar Tones

Understanding a surprising effect may eventually improve human hearing — Read more on
One Reason to Not Leave Radioactive Fluid in Your Pocket

Originally published in August 1901 —


Most Adults Don’t Need to Get Routine Boosters for Tetanus, New Research Shows

Adults who were fully immunized as children are protected against tetanus and diphtheria — and do not need booster shots.
African Americans Are at Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s, But Why?

African Americans face higher risks for many diseases. This is partly due to poverty, discrimination and lack of access to care. But there may be something different about the higher rates of Alzheimer’s.
How Big Is the Milky Way?

Our home galaxy is bigger than previously thought.
California’s Snowpack Shrivels, Raising Fears of Future Wildfires

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies have so far received a bounty of snow. But new research portends a dry future ahead for 40 million people in the western U.S. and Mexico.
Food Waste Is a Serious Problem. Here Are 9 Ways to Throw Away Less Food

A third of all food produced is lost or wasted. Here are some strategies to waste less food in your home.
NASA’s InSight Lander Detects Hundreds of ‘Marsquakes,’ Proving Mars is Seismically Active

The first working seismometer on Mars has detected 174 marsquakes in just 10 months. The results confirm that the Red Planet is both seismically and volcanically active.


Human populations survived the Toba volcanic super-eruption 74,000 years ago

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s Department of Archaeology, together with international partners, present evidence that Middle Palaeolithic tool-users were present in India before and after the Toba super-eruption 74,000 years ago. The findings support arguments that Homo sapiens was present in South Asia pr
Tel Aviv University researchers discover unique non-oxygen breathing animal

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have discovered a non-oxygen breathing animal. The unexpected finding changes one of science’s assumptions about the animal world.
Exceptional catapulting jump mechanism in a tiny beetle could be applied in robotic limbs

The fascinating and highly efficient jumping mechanism in flea beetles is described in a new research article in the open-access journal ZooKeys. Despite having been known since 1929, the explosive jump has not been fully understood. Recently, a team of Chinese and US scientists joined forces to test the existing theories, using micro-computed tomography, 3D reconstructions, high-speed filming and
Treatment to reset immune cells markedly improves TBI symptoms

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that targeting overactive immune cells in the brain with an experimental drug could limit brain cell loss and reverse cognitive and motor difficulties caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI). The findings, published Monday in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest a potential new treatment for TBI and possibly other brain inju
New study shows significant increase in weight after breast cancer

New study findings suggest that weight gain after breast cancer is a greater problem than previously thought. The first national survey on weight after breast cancer in Australia, published in BMC Cancer journal, found close to two-thirds (63.7%) of women reported weight gain at an average of nine kilograms after a breast cancer diagnosis, and overall nearly one-in-five women (17%) added more than
Regular walnut consumption linked to health and longevity in women, according to new study

According to a new epidemiological study, women in their late 50s and early 60s who consumed at least two servings of walnuts per week had a greater likelihood of healthy aging compared to those who did not eat walnuts. After accounting for various factors that could impact health in older adults, such as education and physical activity, walnuts were the only nut associated with significantly bett


Animal that doesn’t need oxygen to survive discovered

It was thought all animals needed oxygen to survive, but a parasite that infects fish has completely lost the ability to use oxygen to generate energy
World’s stinkiest fruit could make super-fast electric chargers

Durian fruits, famous for their bad smell, could be used to make electrodes in ultra-fast chargers for electric cars and gadgets
Exclusive: Brain scans used to read minds of intensive care patients

People with severe brain injuries can be unable to communicate. Now brain scanners are being used to see if some can tell doctors what kind of care they want
Seagulls are more likely to pick up food that humans have handled

Seagulls are known for aggressively attempting to swipe people’s food, and it seems that when given the choice between identical meals, they favour the one handled by humans
Covid-19: Our chance to contain the coronavirus may already be over

We don’t know the sources of many of the covid-19 cases in South Korea and Italy, suggesting the virus is now spreading untraceably among communities
Woman urinates alcohol without drinking due to yeast in her bladder

A woman was denied a liver transplant after repeatedly failing alcohol tests – but she hadn’t been drinking. It turns out that yeast in her bladder was to blame


Henneguya salminicola: Microscopic parasite has no mitochondrial DNA

An international team of researchers has found a creature with no mitochondrial DNA, making it the only known animal to exist without the need to breathe oxygen. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of Henneguya salminicola, a microscopic, parasitic member of the group Myxozoa and its unique physiology.
Substance found in fossil fuels can transform into pure diamond

It sounds like alchemy: take a clump of white dust, squeeze it in a diamond-studded pressure chamber, then blast it with a laser. Open the chamber and find a new microscopic speck of pure diamond inside.
Researchers create new state of light

For 20 years, researchers have studied how light rotates around a longitudinal axis parallel to the direction light travels. But could it move in other ways? After two years of research, and thanks to a sabbatical, University of Dayton researchers Andy Chong and Qiwen Zhan became the first to create a new “state of light”—showing it also can rotate around a transverse axis perpendicular to the dir
Cooling of a trapped ion to the quantum regime

Neutral atoms and charged ions can be cooled down to extremely low temperatures (i.e., to microkelvins, 1 millionth of a degree above absolute zero) using laser techniques. At these low temperatures, the particles have often been found to behave in accordance with the laws of quantum mechanics.
Human populations survived the Toba volcanic super-eruption 74,000 years ago

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s Department of Archaeology, together with international partners, have presented evidence that Middle Palaeolithic tool users were present in India before and after the Toba super-eruption 74,000 years ago. The findings support arguments that Homo sapiens was present in South
Deaf moths evolved noise-cancelling scales to evade prey

Some species of deaf moths can absorb as much as 85 per cent of the incoming sound energy from predatory bats—who use echolocation to detect them. The findings, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface today, reveal the moths, who are unable to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats, have evolved this clever defensive strategy to help it survive.


Your bones do more than you give them credit for

Dem bones do plenty. (DepositPhoto/) For February, we’re focusing on the body parts that shape us, oxygenate us, and power us as we take long walks on the beach. Bony bonafide bones. These skeletal building blocks inspire curiosity and spark fear in different folks—we hope our stories, covering everything from surgeries and supplements to good old-fashioned boning, will only do the first. Once yo
The Sahara used to be full of fish

The Sahara desert didn’t always look this dry. (DepositPhotos/) When you think of the Sahara, seafood probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. For thousands of years, this massive desert stretching across North Africa has been home to just the scant few animals adapted to life in hot, arid land. But during the Holocene, the Sahara was lush—and full of fish. A study published last week
China’s missile force is growing at an unprecedented rate

Vehicles with long-range DF-26 missiles during a military parade in Beijing, China, in September 2015. (Ge jinfh/) China’s long-range missiles play a central role in the country’s military plans . And, in the event of armed conflict between that nation and the US, they’re the weapon the American military worries the most about. Despite their pivotal role in Chinese war-fighting strategy, the serv
Doctors need to change the way they treat obesity

A more nuanced billing code could encourage doctors to take a more nuanced approach. (DepositPhoto/) We now know that obesity, a chronic disease that affects almost half of the United States population and contributes to millions of deaths worldwide, isn’t just about how much you weigh . A huge variety of factors , from physical and mental health to genetics and upbringing, all contribute to the
Hit the trail with homemade fruit leather and other dehydrated snacks

Bringing dehydrated fruit snacks means you won’t have to stress about whether those tasty-looking berries are actually poisonous. (blackboard1965G via Depositphotos/) Snacks are essential for every hiker’s backpack. They keep your energy up, your mind focused, and give you something to do while contemplating the majesty of Mother Nature. But store-bought snacks and bars are expensive, and often c
Watch tiny tadpoles breathe by ‘bubble sucking’

View this post on Instagram 🐸 Tiny tadpoles breathe by “bubble-sucking.” This high-speed camera footage reveals the Pokemon-like technique for the first time. 🐸 Blowing spit bubbles might seem silly or immature, but when you’re a tiny aquatic creature just trying to catch a breath, there’s a good reason for it. Researchers at @uconn have finally cracked the timeline of a tadpole’s breathing pro


New study associates intake of dairy milk with greater risk of breast cancer

Intake of dairy milk is associated with a greater risk of breast cancer in women — up to 80% depending on the amount consumed — according to a new study.
Unique non-oxygen breathing animal discovered

Scientists have discovered a new non-oxygen breathing animal. The tiny, less than 10-celled parasite demonstrates that evolution can go in strange directions, the researchers say.
How sleep helps teens deal with social stress

Study found that adequate sleep allowed students to cope with discrimination and challenges associated with ethnic or racial bias. It also helps them problem-solve more effectively and seek peer support when faced with hardships.
The effects of obesity mirror those of aging

R esearchers argue that obesity should be considered premature aging. They look at how obesity predisposes people to acquiring the kinds of potentially life-altering or life-threatening diseases normally seen in older individuals: compromised genomes, weakened immune systems, decreased cognition, increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer a
Weight-based bullying linked to increased adolescent alcohol, marijuana use

Adolescents who are bullied about their weight or body shape may be more likely to use alcohol or marijuana than those who are not bullied, according to new research.
Cynicism and disrespect: A vicious cycle

An international study with data from Europe and the USA has found that disrespectful treatment leads to cynical beliefs about human nature. These cynical beliefs, in turn, again lead to
For the latest trends in science, technology, medicine, health, the environment, and artificial intelligence, please check the blog sidebars and links.  These news feeds are updated daily.  Thanks for joining us today.
Until next time,
Russ Roberts (breaking science and technology news).

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