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Friday, March 1, 2024

This Week in Science and Technology

Air pollution more harmful than cigarettes
Air pollution is more carcinogenic than second-hand cigarette and cigar smoke according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Transportation, industrial and agricultural emissions produce particulate matter that has contributed to increased rates of lung cancer.

Oarfish Gone Wild
Giant Oarfish found off the California coastline raise many questions. The world’s largest bony fish typically lives at great depths, and their proximity to shore could signify distress caused by changes in ocean water chemistry (oarfish are thought to be responsible for tales of sea serpents, image search them up to see why).

Sleep more, age less
Sleep detoxifies the brain of waste-products associated with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other forms of neurodegeneration common with aging, according to recent studies from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Healing hugs
Young apes develop emotions, namely empathy, in the same way as human children. According to a study conducted at a bonobo sanctuary near Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, young apes who are orphaned show signs of anxiety like scratching and screaming, tend to have trouble coping with their own emotions, and were less likely than other apes to console another bonobo who was distressed. How do bonobos console one another? They hug.

Huge leap in HIV prevention
Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a medication that blocks and destroys the HIV virus before it integrates its genome into the DNA of the human host. <medicalxpress.com/news/2013-10-medicine-hiv-human-dna.html>

Recycled innovation
Kodjo Afate Gnikou, an inventor from the West African country of Togo, made a 3D printer from scavenged parts of scanners, computers and printers. <popsci.com/article/diy/check-out-3-d-printer-made-e-waste>

Prehistoric skull redefines Homo Erectus
The discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old intact skull belonging to an early homo erectus has made it possible to simplify and track the human species over a time span of one million years. Cranial specimen that were previously thought to belong to different species are now redefined as having varied traits within an evolving species.

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