Scientists compile new evidence that atolls are formed by cyclic changes in sea level — ScienceDaily

Marine geologist and oceanographer André Droxler knows Charles Darwin’s theory about atolls is incorrect. But Droxler, who’s studied coral reefs for more than 40 years, understands why Darwin’s model persists in textbooks, university lecture halls, natural science museums and Wikipedia entries.

“It’s so beautiful, so simple and pleasing that everybody still teaches it,” said Droxler, who recently retired from Rice University. “Every introductory book you can find in Earth science and marine science still has Darwin’s model. If they teach one thing about reefs or carbonates in marine science 101, they teach that model.”

Droxler, a professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Rice for 33 years, is hoping to set the record straight with a 37-page, tour de force paper about the origins of atolls. Published this month in the Annual Review of Marine Science, the paper was co-authored by Droxler and longtime collaborator Stéphan Jorry, a

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New Beats Flex Earphones Take BeatsX to the Next Level for Just $49.99

Apple’s Beats brand today is introducing Beats Flex wireless earphones, which add some upgrades to the previous BeatsX earphones yet come with a much lower $49.99 price tag. The new price makes them the cheapest way to get into Apple’s wireless earphone ecosystem, which is especially important now that Apple is no longer including earphones in the box with its iPhones.


As with BeatsX, the new Beats Flex earphones are wireless Bluetooth earphones with a cord between the two earpieces that drapes around the neck and provides access to some physical controls. Beats Flex will be available in four colors, with Beats Black and Yuzu Yellow available for pre-order today ahead of an October 21 launch and Smoke Gray and Flame Blue coming in early 2021.

Beats Flex employs a proprietary layered driver with dual-chamber acoustics to achieve rich, balanced sound with outstanding stereo separation. Laser cut micro-venting and an

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Amazon’s Prime Day Sales Seen Sharply Exceeding 2019 Level

Online retailer Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping extravaganza starts at midnight U.S. Eastern Oct. 13 and sales are expected to exceed those of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

The Seattle tech provider and online retailer’s event, which runs two full days, could net $9.9 billion in total sales, eMarketer estimates. 

That figure is more than 38% above last year’s Prime Day. Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for the event, but researchers pegged last year’s sales at roughly $7.16 billion.

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth more conservatively estimates Amazon will take in $7.5 billion of revenue from the event this year, up 42% from an estimated $5.3 billion in 2019. 

“The biggest difference this year is that Prime Day is running three months later than its typical mid-July timing. [And] as such Amazon is promoting the event as an early start to holiday shopping vs. Prime Day’s typical

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The Next Level of Alt Data

Alternative data isn’t a new idea, but what’s new in alternative data and how it’s being used always makes for an interesting conversation. It’s especially enjoyable if that conversation is with Laurent Laloux, Chief Product Officer, Capital Fund Management (CFM). Laloux has a knack for explaining technically complex ideas in an engaging and informative manner, and probably has the most concise and memorable definition of “big data” you’ll ever hear or read about. At a firm that bases every investment strategy on a quantitative and scientific foundation, Laloux also knows that no matter how good the data, what really matters is how it fits into and improves investment strategy performance. II recently spoke with Laloux about big data, alt data, and how natural language processing (NLP) and other AI techniques can help reveal hidden indicators in the market that lead to investment opportunities.

Is it accurate to say

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Findings shed light on how hearing happens at the molecular level — ScienceDaily

We hear sounds in part because tiny filaments inside our inner ears help convert voices, music and noises into electrical signals that are sent to our brains for processing. Now, scientists have mapped and simulated those filaments at the atomic level, a discovery that shed lights on how the inner ear works and that could help researchers learn more about how and why people lose the ability to hear.

The findings, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involve very fine filaments in the inner ear called tip links. When sound vibrations reach the inner ear, the vibrations cause those tip links to stretch and open ion channels of sensory cells within the inner-ear cochlea, a tiny snail-shaped organ that allows our brains to sense sound. When tip links open those channels, that act triggers the cochlear electrical signals that we interpret as sound.

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Damage uncovered on Antarctic glaciers reveals worrying signs for sea level rise

Damage uncovered on Antarctic glaciers reveals worrying signs for sea level rise
Crevasses observed on Pine Island Glacier. These open fractures are a sign of structural weakening. Credit NASA

A new study into the structural damage of two major Antarctic glaciers reveals that ice shelf weakening has rapidly evolved in recent years. Multi-satellite imagery identified damage areas, sparking concerns that structural weakening could lead to major ice shelf collapse in the decades to come. This collapse, in turn, reduces the glaciers’ ability to hold back major sections of the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet from running into the ocean.


Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier are located in the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The fastest-changing outlet glaciers in the region, they account for Antarctica’s largest contribution to global sea level rise. Scientists have anticipated for at least 20 years that these glaciers will be the first to respond to climate change, Jessica O’Reilly, an environmental anthropologist at Indiana University, told GlacierHub.

If the

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Low level alcohol use during pregnancy can impact child’s brain development — ScienceDaily

New research from the University of Sydney finds that even low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have an impact on a child’s brain development and is associated with greater psychological and behavioural problems in youth including anxiety, depression and poor attention.

Published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study was led by the University’s Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use.

The impact of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy on child development is relatively unknown and there has been extensive debate about whether there is a safe level of consumption.

The researchers investigated whether any alcohol consumption in pregnancy was related to psychological, behavioural, neural and cognitive differences in children aged nine to ten years. With a sample of 9,719 youth, this is the largest study to investigate the impacts of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy. Low levels of drinking were considered

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Office real estate market will get back to pre-Covid level, in 2025: Cushman & Wakefield

  • The coronavirus hit to office space will surpass the financial crisis, with a net loss of up to 95 million square feet of unoccupied real estate from Q2 2020 to Q3 2021, according to a new forecast from Cushman & Wakefield.
  • The steepest level of vacancies will occur in the U.S., Canada and European countries in the coming years at a net negative level of over 200 million square feet.
  • The number of permanent remote workers, and hybrid workers, will increase over time, but population and economic growth, as well as concentration in knowledge-based work, should lead to a full recovery in the next decade.

Office vacancies won’t return to pre-Covid level until 2025: Study

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The coronavirus remote work experiment will become a permanent trend, but at some point, employees will return to the office in numbers that match the past. When? It could take

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M-CUBE aims to take MRI technology to the next level

It is hard to see inside the human body, but because it is vital for diagnosing certain illnesses, several techniques have been developed and perfected over the last century.

One of these is magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. The MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of parts of the body that can’t be seen as well with X-rays, CT scans or ultrasound. It produces detailed cross-sectional images that can be turned into three-dimensional pictures.

It works by using a magnetic field to order the hydrogen atoms in the body’s water molecules and then sends them radio waves from an antenna.

After the interaction, the atoms send the waves back with an intensity that depends on the type of tissue reached. The process then builds up a map of the body tissue.

MRI is painless and

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S&P 500 closes at lowest level since July as tech shares fall anew

Stocks accelerated losses into the close, erasing earlier gains and ending an advance that began on Tuesday. The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq each had their worst day in two weeks.

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The S&P 500 sank more than 2%, led by a drop in the energy and information technology sectors, to close at its lowest level since the end of July. The Nasdaq’s more than 3% decline brought the index down also to near a two-month low.

The Dow fell to its lowest close since the beginning of August, even as shares of component stock Nike Nike (NKE) climbed to a record high after reporting quarterly results that far surpassed consensus expectations. However, the increase was offset in the Dow by declines in tech names including Salesforce and Apple.

Shares of Stitch Fix (SFIX) sank more than 15%, after the digital personal styling service posted a wider than expected

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