10 Stories to Start Your Day


Here are today’s top 10 science and technology stories to start your day from “”

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Accessed on 27 April 2020, 1605 UTC.


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How do epidemics spread and persist before and after introduction of a vaccine?

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 08:11 AM PDT

In the most detailed study to date of epidemic spread, an international team of researchers has modeled measles dynamics based on over 40 years of data collected in England and Wales. The models — which span the prevaccination period, introduction of measles vaccination, and local elimination by vaccination in the 1990s — reveal that, before […]
Under COVID-19 cover, mercury emissions increase in air okayed by Trump EPA

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 08:03 AM PDT

Today [Apr. 16, 2020], the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized their plan to gut the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which regulates toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Since MATS was put in place in 2011, it drastically reduced mercury and other air pollutants, which are linked to breathing illnesses, heart disease, […]
Breakthrough to halt premature aging of cells

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 07:47 AM PDT

Capping decades of research, a new study may offer a breakthrough in treating dyskeratosis congenita and other so-called telomere diseases, in which cells age prematurely. Using cells donated by patients with the disease, researchers at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center identified several small molecules that appear to reverse this cellular aging process. Suneet Agarwal, the study’s senior […]
Are bats getting a bad rap?

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 07:36 AM PDT

Editor’s note: Horseshoe bats in China are a natural wildlife reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Some health experts think wildlife markets – specifically in Wuhan, China – led to the spillover of the new coronavirus into human populations. Though not confirmed, the hypothesis has given bats around the world a bad rap, and public fears of […]
Breastfeeding moms’ exposure to nicotine linked to infant skull defect

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 06:44 AM PDT

Lactating mothers who use e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapies may be putting their breastfed babies at risk for skull defects, a new study in animals suggests. Cigarette smoking has already been linked to increased risk for these abnormalities in previous research. This study tested the effects of nicotine alone on head and face development. Researchers […]
Could diets that mimic fasting improve people’s immune systems?

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 06:40 AM PDT

Professor Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute, is investigating how fasting and diets that mimic fasting’s effects can help immune function, including vaccine efficacy and the body’s response to infection by viruses such as influenza and eventually COVID-19. Fasting and fasting mimicking diets appear to “get rid of damaged or mis­guided cells and replace them […]
Lessons from Deep Water

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 06:38 AM PDT

Ten years ago this month, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87 days, the Deepwater Horizon’s Macondo Well released an estimated 168 million gallons of oil and 170,000 tonnes of natural gas into the ocean, making it the largest […]
Engineers develop precision injection system for plants

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 06:34 AM PDT

While the human world is reeling from one pandemic, there are several ongoing epidemics that affect crops and put global food production at risk. Oranges, olives, and bananas are already under threat in many areas due to diseases that affect plants’ circulatory systems and that cannot be treated by applying pesticides. A new method developed […]
The robots weeding organic farms and patrolling for greenhouse pests

Posted: 27 Apr 2020 05:03 AM PDT

Robots that use artificial intelligence to recognise the health of fruit and vegetable crops and when they’re ready to harvest are being trialled to help small, organic and greenhouse farmers with weeding and patrolling for pests. These robots can take on arduous tasks and help farmers save time. By spotting disease or pests early on, […]
Confidence in one area can influence unrelated decisions

Posted: 26 Apr 2020 10:50 AM PDT

Feeling prepared and confident about a job interview you have tomorrow is great. But a new study suggests that you may bring that sense of confidence into other parts of your life for which you might not be nearly so prepared. In three studies, researchers found that feelings of preparedness in one area made people […]

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

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