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Science in the News Weekly

Science at the Top of the News for May 7-11

The most-viewed news story last week by subscribers to Science in the News involved an investigation by the Chicago Tribune into flame-retardant chemicals. Also popular were news items on the "Top Ten Mysteries of the Universe" and a way to guarantee complete randomness in a flow of information, such as the numbers generated by a roulette wheel. Subscribe for free daily updates.

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Bird Flu Hybrid May Transmit in Humans

Controversial research on a hybrid strain of bird flu that could potentially spread between humans was published last week in Nature after security restrictions on the work were lifted. Publication was delayed after the U.S. government's biosecurity advisers said key sections of the paper should be struck out to prevent the details being exploited by bioterrorists. ...

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'Pretty Basic Things' Led to September Blackout

Federal investigators reported last week that millions of people in Southern California, Arizona and northern Mexico were plunged into darkness last September because of errors and system problems paralleling those that caused the great Eastern blackout of 2003. ...

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ESA Heads to Jupiter

The European Space Agency has set its sights on Jupiter and its icy moons. A probe, called Juice, was approved at a meeting of member state delegations in Paris. It would be built in time for a launch in 2022. ...

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Science at the Top of the News for April 30-May 4

The most-viewed news story last week by subscribers to Science in the News involved what can be learned about relationships from speed dating. The New York Times explored the often-overlooked Permian extinction and what it meant for marine evolution. The Times also looked at research on clouds' effects on climate change. Subscribe for free daily updates.

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Recent Studies Question Link Between Gums and Heart Health

The American Heart Association said last week that the data connecting gum disease and heart health aren't as strong as experts had thought. It turns out that most studies suggesting a connection were not rigorous clinical trials that first measure dental health and then compare it to subsequent heart issues. ...

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Mexico Adopts Legally Binding Emissions Goals

The Mexican legislature passed one of the strongest national climate-change laws to date on April 19. Mexico ranks 11th in the world for both the size of its economy and its level of carbon emissions. ...

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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones


The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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