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Low ratings for language in textbooks in Germany

The linguistic complexity of textbooks is frequently not adequate for students’ level of development, resulting in mental overload or, sometimes, underload. That is the result of a study that analyzed roughly 3,000 texts from geography books by four different publishers for grade levels 5 to 10 at German lower and upper secondary schools.

MIT physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Physicists at MIT have designed a pocket-sized cosmic ray muon detector to track these ghostly particles. The detector can be made with common electrical parts, and when turned on, it lights up and counts each time a muon passes through. Show More Summary

Young scientist wins PETA Science Consortium Award for Commitment to Animal-Free Research

(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) The results are in for the PETA International Science Consortium's contest to send one early-career scientist to the annual four-day workshop at the prestigious Institute for In Vitro Sciences. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill toxicology doctoral student Brett Winters is the winner.

Corruption and the Rule of Law: Could Brazil Be the Envy of Latin America?

Talk to a Brazilian lately and there is not much reason for him or her to be cheerful—other than the good shape of their national football team. The country is still reeling from the worst economic crisis in a century. On top of that,...Show More Summary

“Peer Review for Candidates”

A few weeks back, the Washington Post ran 38 short ideas from various commentators on fixing American democracy.  I wanted to flag Elaine Kamrack’s contribution, with the title above, which focused on changing the presidential nomination process.  It resonates with … Continue reading ?

Ancient fish scales and vertebrate teeth share an embryonic origin

In biology, one long-running debate has teeth: whether ancient fish scales moved into the mouth with the origin of jaws, or if the tooth had its own evolutionary inception.

Regulation Endangers Baltimore's Berger Cookie

Priya Krishna reports at Atlas Obscura on one business struggling with the implications of the Obama-era ban on trans fats that goes into effect next year: The Berger Cookie has become a fixture of Baltimore culture—a point of prideShow More Summary

Albatross populations in decline from fishing and environmental change

The populations of wandering, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses have halved over the last 35 years on sub-antarctic Bird Island according to a new study published today (20 November) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cholesterol helps flu virus escape through host cell's membrane

After a flu virus infects a host cell and hijacks its inner workings to create copies of itself, these copies gather into viral buds that break free from the host cell to infect again. A new study from MIT now provides the clearest picture yet of how the buds are pinched off from the host cell membrane.

The strange case of the scuba-diving fly

More than a century ago, American writer Mark Twain observed a curious phenomenon at Mono Lake, just to the east of Yosemite National Park: enormous numbers of small flies would crawl underwater to forage and lay eggs, but each time they resurfaced, they would appear completely dry.

Peace, equality and prosperity all depend on affordable clean energy, study shows

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are aimed at achieving equality, securing global peace and ending extreme poverty – an ambitious agenda that will require a wide-range of conditions to be met. But one requirement lies at the center of most of the SDGs: that people have access to clean, affordable energy, says a new study.

Interstellar object confirmed to be from another solar system

Astronomers have named interstellar asteroid ’Oumuamua and found it to be rich in organic molecules Astronomers are now certain that the mysterious object detected hurtling past our sun last month is indeed from another solar system....Show More Summary

2 Million Beautiful Images of Biodiversity Are Now Available for Free

There are thought to be about 10 million distinct species of plants and animals on Earth. That number is incomprehensibly large, not least because most species are still undiscovered. But now the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an open-access...Show More Summary

Astronomers Hunt for Oldest Stars in Our Solar Neighborhood --"May Harbor Planets with Ancient Civilizations"

"Finding old stars could also lead to the discovery of new planets. Maybe we can find some ancient civilizations around these old stars," said Dr. Wei-Chun Jao, lead author of a new study and research scientist in the Department of...        

Eight Los Alamos innovations win R&D 100 Awards

(DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory) Eight Los Alamos National Laboratory technologies won R&D 100 Awards last week at R&D Magazine's annual ceremony in Orlando, Florida.

The Damage of Fearing Failure

We are taught from a young age that failure is bad. Our performance is measured and graded, and we are often defined by our level of success as others see it. We are conditioned to fear failure because it is anti-success and therefore downgrades our […]

Incestual Relations: CCP Welcomes Global Heritage Alliance

American Committee for Cultural Policy welcomes Global Heritage Alliance, a new cultural policy advocacy organization, but, but... they are basically the same old guys... there's nothing much 'new' in what they are saying and doing. Same old story.

Robotic device tracks plant growth at the cellular level

(American Society of Plant Biologists) Determining how various treatments and conditions affect the mechanical properties of plant cells could allow scientists to understand plant growth at the cellular level and devise ways to enhance it. Show More Summary

Preclinical study demonstrates promising treatment for rare bone disease

(Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have led a preclinical study demonstrating that the drug palovarotene suppresses the formation of bony tumors (osteochondromas) in models of multiple hereditary exostoses (MHE). Show More Summary

PSU researchers design survey to tap students' motivation in STEM

(Portland State University) Researchers at Portland State University are learning more about undergraduates' experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes and sharing a set of survey questions that will help researchers and educators at other universities do the same. Show More Summary

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