December 5, 2023
We need a proper science of indoor air pollution

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A pelican, suspected to have died of H5N1 chicken flu, is seen on a seaside in Lima on December 1, 2022. The extremely pathogenic H5N1 chicken flu virus has killed 1000’s of pelicans, blue-footed boobies and different seabirds in Peru, based on the World Well being Group. Nationwide State Forest and Wildlife Service. (Ernesto Benavides/AFP through Getty)

An outbreak of the H5N1 flu virus in mink, reported in January, has added to long-standing considerations about how far “chicken flu” can unfold. The 1997 Hong Kong chicken flu outbreak raised critical considerations a couple of human pandemic, when it claimed six lives. However the virus appears to ebb and circulate, Which makes it unpredictable — and unnerving. It’s already destroying wild chicken populations and turning into a serious downside for the agricultural trade. Scientists say the world’s poor response to the COVID-19 pandemic means that no matter occurs, we aren’t ready for it.

STAT | 10 minutes to read

Learn extra: Avian flu outbreak in mink raises concern about its unfold to folks (Nature | 4-minute learn, from January)

Mining moon mud and capturing it into house might scatter sufficient daylight to stave off the worst of world warming, based on the speculation of three astrophysicists. A 10-billion-kilogram dust cloud in space, invisible to people on Earth, would block the equivalent of six days of sunlight on Earth each year.. The mud can be pushed out inside every week, so common recharges can be required. Scientists have named This “starter” thought is “completely irresponsible” and “enjoyable and scientifically fascinating hypothesis” that’s unlikely to ever be put into observe.

Washington Post | 8 minutes to read & Guardian | 4 minutes to read

reference: PLoS climate paper

plastic cleansing pieceLabroad Demidiatus) appears to acknowledge his personal face – an indicator of self-awareness that has to this point solely been present in people and some different species. Composite photographs of every fish had been proven: I took pictures of her head on the body of another fish and her body on the head of another fish. The fish had been much less aggressive in the direction of their faces, even over the physique of one other fish, indicating that this fish types a psychological picture of its personal face.

Science News | 6 minutes to read

reference: PNAS paper

White, blue and black fish in an exposed tank with a mirrored wall.

The bluestere cleansing piece seems to be at its reflection within the mirror.Credit score: Taiga Kobayashi

Options and opinions

Indoor air air pollution kills as many individuals as poisonous air outdoor — greater than three million in 2020, based on the World Well being Group — nevertheless it hasn’t confronted the identical scrutiny. Should you’re studying this, you doubtless spend most of your time indoors, the place carbon monoxide, mildew spores, carcinogenic fumes, particulate matter, and respiratory pathogens can construct up. This selection makes it troublesome to find out what good indoor air seems to be like and one of the simplest ways to realize it. It is time to ramp up the science, argue atmospheric chemist Alastair Lewis, public well being doctor Deborah Jenkins and Christopher Whitty, chief medical adviser to the UK authorities.

Nature | Learn for 11 minutes

What’s one of the simplest ways to take care of analysis tasks that dance alongside the sting of feasibility? 4 researchers provide suggestions, together with pausing or redefining a challenge fairly than ending it, and utilizing your skilled circles to realize expertise which may assist get a stagnant challenge going once more. Most significantly, preserve an open thoughts about exploring choices, and be taught to let go: “Many tutorial researchers are emotionally invested of their tasks, which is nice — you wish to love doing what you are doing, however there is a good steadiness between being persistent and being persistent,” says the biomedical engineer. Dragana Savic.

Nature | Learn 9 minutes

Scientists You grapple with the language used to describe autism. Some researchers say calling autism a “dysfunction” or “illness” — fairly than a neurological distinction or distinction — dehumanizes autistic folks. Others counter by saying that the lack to make use of phrases like “signs” and “comorbidities” stifles scientific progress and diminishes the importance of the expertise of some folks with autism. “Why not simply be particular?” asks psychologist Monique Botha, who has autism. “Particular will at all times be extra rigorous and exact than generalization.”

Sciences | 6 minutes to read

quote from right this moment

Digital geographer Karen Bakker says know-how reminiscent of digital recording and synthetic intelligence will give us the power to listen to and perceive animal communications on their very own phrases. (Scientific American | Read for 7 minutes)

Common readers know that our favourite penguin, Leif Penguinson, can conceal nearly anyplace. newfound Comimano Fordesithe largest penguin that ever livedIt might need been harder. It weighed about 155 kilograms – greater than all however the heaviest panda. (The biggest species of penguin residing right this moment, Emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri), with a mean of about 35 kilograms.) Being a tiny baby has its benefits, says paleontologist Daniel Ksepka. “Should you’re a one-pound little penguin, a seagull can rip your head off,” he says. “However a 300-pound penguin would not have to fret a couple of seabird touchdown close to it as a result of it could simply crush it.” Comimano Fordesi It’s one in every of 9 new penguin specimens from the late Paleocene described in a new sheetand it’s unlikely to ever be massively defeated: scientists consider it’s near the dimensions restrict of a flightless seabird.

thanks for studying,

Flora Graham, Senior Editor, Nature Briefing

With contributions by Katrina Kramer and Diane Lewis

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