The new line of attack on climate science in the age of megafires

Every morning, wildland firefighters gather around radios to listen to the weather forecast. This summer, I was part of the team that fought a fire near Big Sur. When I heard the staticky voice announce that temperatures would exceed 105 degrees, the forecast sounded like a death sentence.



a close up of clouds in front of a sunset: The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )


© (Noah Berger / Associated Press)
The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )

Across California, unprecedented heat has made wildfires more difficult to predict and control. During the heat wave in Big Sur, the fire, which had been 40% contained at 30,000 acres, tripled in size in a matter of days. It has now burned nearly 125,000 acres.

Fighting wildfire involves hauling heavy packs and tools up mountains. Record heat makes this work more difficult and dangerous. After

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Firefighters are paying the price of climate denial

Every morning, wildland firefighters gather around radios to listen to the weather forecast. This summer, I was part of the team that fought a fire near Big Sur. When I heard the staticky voice announce that temperatures would exceed 105 degrees, the forecast sounded like a death sentence.

Across California, unprecedented heat has made wildfires more difficult to predict and control. During the heat wave in Big Sur, the fire, which had been 40% contained at 30,000 acres, tripled in size in a matter of days. It has now burned nearly 125,000 acres.

Fighting wildfire involves hauling heavy packs and tools up mountains. Record heat makes this work more difficult and dangerous. After hours cutting atop an exposed ridge, my arms and legs spasmed from muscle cramps. Extreme heat makes hearts race and brains falter. Firefighters often collapse. In Big Sur, plumes of smoke grew like thunderclouds.

We have entered

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Tardigrades survive deadly radiation by glowing in the dark

Tardigrade
This tardigrade uses fluorescence to resist lethal UV radiation

Harikumar R Suma & Sandeep M Eswarappa

A tiny tardigrade can survive intense ultraviolet radiation for an hour by glowing in the dark. “It acts like a shield,” says Sandeep Eswarappa at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are animals around 1 millimetre long. They are famous for being able to withstand extreme conditions that would kill most organisms, such as being completely dried out.

Studying moss at their institute’s campus, Eswarappa and his colleagues found what may be a new species of tardigrade, though they don’t yet have enough information to formally describe it. For now, they are calling it Paramacrobiotus BLR, short for Bangalore.

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“We found this particular tardigrade in many places, especially in places that are well lit with sunlight,” says Eswarappa. The researchers

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Houston will be home to the nation’s largest psychiatric hospital in 2021

The UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center will be making history in Houston.

The facility will be the first public mental health hospital constructed in more than three decades, and will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

UTHEALTH MAKING WAVES IN RESEARCH: UT Health Science Center shows off new high-tech teaching facility

UTHealth enlisted the help of architecture firm Perkins and Will to design the mental health facility near the Texas Medical Center.

The future building will “consist of two buildings connected by a glazed bridge, surrounded by a tranquil green space,” as reported by Jillian Goltzman at Innovation Map.


The facility will be an educational hospital, where future physicians and specialists will be trained. Not only will the facility provide mental healthcare, but substance use intervention, treatment and medical care via integrated treatment programs, according to Innovation Map.

The infrastructure of the new building is being

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Why Scientists Should Stop Misusing Science To Influence The Election

Earlier this month, the editors of Scientific American, published an all-out, endorsement of Joe Biden for President—something unprecedented in the journal’s 175 year history. Then, last week, all of the New England Journal of Medicine’s editors signed a scathing review of the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 emergency, calling for Trump to be voted out of office.

In truth, both editorials offer several valid criticisms of the administration on scientific grounds. And to be clear: The present article is not making any counter-endorsement of Donald Trump—far from it.

Rather, we pose an important question: Are high-profile scientists crossing a dangerous line by using their trusted platforms to influence the election? Based on behavioral science, we believe they are and their actions come at the risk of diminishing the public’s trust in

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COVID-19 can survive on phone screens for 28 days in the dark, study suggests



a hand holding a cell phone: Crystal Cox/Business Insider


© Crystal Cox/Business Insider
Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • Research from Australia’s national science agency suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive on smooth surfaces for 28 days at room temperature.
  • The study tested the virus on glass mobile phone screens, plastic and paper banknotes, and stainless steel.
  • Researchers kept these surfaces in the dark during the study. UV light has been shown to kill COVID-19.
  • Previous studies have suggested the virus lingers on these surfaces for seven days or less.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The COVID-19 virus can survive on phone screens for 28 days under laboratory conditions, longer than previously thought, new research from the Australian government’s science agency has found. 

Researchers tested the virus on smooth surfaces such as glass phone screens and paper banknotes. They kept them in the dark at room temperature, around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

They found the virus could

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Mathematician refines model of predator-prey relations in the wild

RUDN University mathematician refined the model of predator-prey relations in the wild
The traditional mathematical model of predator-prey relations in the wild does not take into account indirect nonlocal interactions. However, according to a mathematician from RUDN University, they affect the dynamics of predators and prey in a system, and the nature of this effect is sensitive to the initial conditions. Credit: RUDN University

The traditional mathematical model of predator-prey relations in the wild does not take into account indirect nonlocal interactions. However, according to a mathematician from RUDN University, they affect the dynamics of predators and prey in a system, and the nature of this effect is sensitive to the initial conditions. An article about his work was published in the Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation journal.


Ecologists use mathematical models of ecosystems to understand their structure and predict their development. Predator-prey is one of the basic models of this kind. With its help scientists can for instance calculate

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Johnson has ignored the science and blown our chance to stop a second wave

We shouldn’t be here. Back in June, England had the opportunity to suppress the virus. With a functional test and trace system, support to help people self-isolate, a robust set of regulations to keep work and leisure spaces safe and a clear public communications campaign, we could have suppressed coronavirus into the winter.



Boris Johnson in a suit and tie: Photograph: Toby Melville/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Toby Melville/AFP/Getty Images

But the opportunity was squandered. Worse, as restrictions were lifted on 4 July – what became known colloquially as “Freedom Saturday” – we were encouraged to relax, to travel back to work, to go to the pub, to mix and mingle. Meanwhile, the country’s dysfunctional, centralised and privately-run test and trace system lurched from one calamity to the next. World class? At failing to contact people and succeeding in losing data, perhaps.

The virus never went away. In some deprived communities, such as Bolton and Rochdale, infections remained

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3M Survey Reports Decline In Science Skepticism For First Time In 3 Years

Since 2018, 3M has launched an annual State of Science Index to track public attitudes towards science across the world. But for 2020, the company conducted two surveys, a Pre-Pandemic Wave and a Pandemic Pulse Wave survey, finding that science skepticism has declined for the first time in three years, and that there is an increased public understanding of the importance of science in our daily lives.

In the Pre-Pandemic Wave survey, representative samples of 1,000 adults (aged 18+) in 18 countries, including China, Mexico and the US, were asked to complete a 15-20 minute long survey to assess their attitude towards science. Among the pre-pandemic survey findings, there was a rise in science skepticism to 35%, from an original 29% in 2018.

“As the pandemic sort of

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What’s the best way to get out the vote in a pandemic?

<span class="caption">Virtual neighborhood meetings, like this Democratic effort in Reedsburg, Wis., are among the latest efforts to get people to vote.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://newsroom.ap.org/detail/Election2020GroundGame/1ea10d7a31db4be3a7353a3d5df3beb7/photo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AP Photo/Tom Beaumont">AP Photo/Tom Beaumont</a></span>
Virtual neighborhood meetings, like this Democratic effort in Reedsburg, Wis., are among the latest efforts to get people to vote. AP Photo/Tom Beaumont

Identifying supporters and getting them to the polls are key parts of any political campaign. The pandemic, however, creates new challenges for candidates trying to convey their messages and mobilize voters.

Decades of political science research have made clear that mobilizing in person, either on the doorstep or on the phone, is the most effective way of moving voters to the polls. A well-run door-to-door campaign can be expected to increase turnout by 7 to 9 percentage points; an effective phone campaign can be expected to lead to a 3% to 5% increase in voter turnout.

However, even before the pandemic, it was getting harder and harder to reach voters in person or on the phone. When I began studying voter mobilization in 2005, it was common

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