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Letter: Science of how COVID-19 spreads is clear | Echo Press

letter: science of how covid-19 spreads is clear | echo press

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To the editor:

The science of how COVID-19 spreads is now clear. Regardless of what you see on Facebook or elsewhere, folks like Dr. Fauci and other government and independent scientists agree that COVID-19 is mostly spread when we breathe, talk, sing, shout, cough or sneeze. In other words it is expelled from our mouths and noses human-to-human. The coronavirus is too small to be seen and is contained in the tiny water droplets infected individuals exhale. The tiniest droplets hang in the air longer and travel further, up to 16 feet, carried on air currents. Clearly we are at greater risk of catching or spreading the virus in enclosed spaces and safer when outdoors or being indoors with mask-wearing, adequate distancing and good ventilation. We have learned that in addition to high-risk individuals, people with no pre-existing conditions can become gravely ill. It is our obligation to protect both ourselves and others by social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing. Stay home for two weeks if you test positive whether or not you have symptoms. Do your duty. Sandra Johnson, M.D.

Erika Johnson, M.D. Alexandria, MN

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Science News Presents The SN 10: Scientists to Watch

science news presents the sn 10: scientists to watch

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For the sixth consecutive year, Science News is spotlighting 10 early- and mid-career scientists on their way to greater widespread acclaim. Some of this year’s honorees are focusing on questions with huge societal importance, including how we can prevent teen suicide, what are the ingredients in wildfire smoke that are damaging to health and whether there is a better way to monitor earthquakes. Others are trying to understand how weird and wonderful the universe is — from exploring how many black holes are out there to uncovering the drama that unfolds when life divvies up its genetic material.
Each scientist included in the SN 10 was nominated by a Nobel laureate, recently elected member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences or a scientist previously named to our SN 10 list. All are age 40 or under, and were selected by Science News staff for their potential to shape the science of the future.
Science News is proud to present this year’s SN 10:

Tonima Tasnim Ananna, 29, Dartmouth College
Alessandra Corsi, 40, Texas Tech University
Emily Fischer, 39, Colorado State University
Prashant Jain, 38, University of Illinois
Anna Mueller, 40, Indiana University
Phiala Shanahan, 29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mikhail Shapiro, 39, Caltech
Bo Wang, 39, Stanford University

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Celebrating successes and next steps for the Science of Behavior Change Program

celebrating successes and next steps for the science of behavior change program

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Janine SIMMONS, Chief, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch,Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR).

Chandra KELLER, Social Science Analyst,Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR).

We all know first-hand how tough it can be to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, even though we know that poor health behaviors account for a good portion of the disease burden in the United States.

In response to this challenge, NIH launched the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program in 2009. The program was established with two major long-term goals: 1) to promote a systematic approach to discovering the mechanisms underlying successful behavior change, and 2) to provide blueprints for developing behavior interventions that could reliably improve health outcomes.

Over the past 10 years, under the leadership of co-chairs Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director, NIA; and Dr. Patricia Grady, former director, National Institute of Nursing Research, SOBC has hosted several scientific workshops and annual meetings of investigators and supported 48 awards and administrative supplements. You can learn more about the work of SOBC’s network of researchers in special issues of Behavioural Research and Therapy (February 2018), Health Psychology Review (February 2020), and Health Psychology (September 2020).

Continuing our work

Common Fund programs are meant to be transformative and …

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Conservative unease with science is global, but extreme in the US

conservative unease with science is global, but extreme in the us

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Nothing says “scientist” like test tubes.Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

On Tuesday, the Pew Research Center released survey results that represent a picture of how the publics of 20 different countries view science and the technologies it enables—or at least how those countries viewed science and tech immediately before the pandemic struck. The good news is that there’s widespread trust in scientists and a strong desire to act on their findings on issues like climate change.
But the results also contain plenty of reasons for concern. Some of the outcomes of scientific development, such as genetically modified foods, are widely mistrusted by the public in most countries. And, in many countries, there’s a large partisan divide in views of scientists—and the divide is the most extreme in the United States.
Respect
Normally, we’d spend some time discussing the details of how survey data was gathered. But with 20 countries, each with its own independent surveys, we’ll just link you to the details and note that at least 1,000 people were surveyed in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, …

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New Course Teaches Dental Hygienists The Science Of Holistic Dental Hygiene

new course teaches dental hygienists the science of holistic dental hygiene

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“For many years, our dental hygienist members sought to construct a specialized training course to provide a detailed understanding about how biological dentistry treats the whole body as part of oral health care,” explains Kym Smith, Executive Director of the IAOMT. “It’s a testament to our hygienist members that they achieved their goal of putting together scientific research and hands-on resources to create this innovative new program.”

The Biological Dental Hygiene Accreditation Program covers essential components of holistic dental hygiene through an online course consisting of training articles and videos, as well as a workshop that can be attended virtually or in person. Coursework includes learning how to mitigate mercury exposure from amalgam fillings, understand patient biocompatibility with dental materials, recognize nutrition’s role in periodontal health, and identify signs of sleep-disordered breathing. Participants also receive a one-on-one mentor, access to peer-reviewed research articles about biological dentistry, and partnership in a professional network committed to continuing to investigate the oral-systemic connection.
The IAOMT is a global consortium of dentists, hygienists, physicians, other health professionals, and scientists who research the biocompatibility of dental products and practices, including the risks of mercury fillings, fluoride, root canals, and jawbone osteonecrosis. The IAOMT is a …

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New science curriculum provides hands-on learning

new science curriculum provides hands-on learning

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Brayden Luikens watches as Maddie Riesen pours water into their over the soil. The cup, which has holes at the bottom, will let water stream over the soil, showing the students how erosion works.
























Alyssa Yetter pours water into a holey cup while Cali Treffer watches what happens to the soil during their science experiment at Lake Minatare Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
























Spencer Lease, science instructor at Lake Minatare Elementary, explains the project his fourth grade students would be participating in on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Students got to get their hands dirty while learning about erosion.
























Jozlynn Michal uses a straw to blow on the water that falls from her holey cup. This represents wind erosion paired with water erosion.
























Fourth grader Jaylee Sarchet unwraps her straw that she will use to blow on the water as it trickles through her mound of soil. This will show wind erosion’s affect on soil.
























Fourth Graders Sophia Farrier and Aubree Scott jot down their observations after pouring water through a holey cup over their mound of soil during their hands-on science experiment on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
























Ashton Schluterbusch and Davin Powell pour water into a holey cup which will then send the water …

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New science curriculum provides hands-on learning at Lake Minatare school

new science curriculum provides hands-on learning at lake minatare school

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Brayden Luikens watches as Maddie Riesen pours water into their over the soil. The cup, which has holes at the bottom, will let water stream over the soil, showing the students how erosion works.
























Alyssa Yetter pours water into a holey cup while Cali Treffer watches what happens to the soil during their science experiment at Lake Minatare Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
























Spencer Lease, science instructor at Lake Minatare Elementary, explains the project his fourth grade students would be participating in on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Students got to get their hands dirty while learning about erosion.
























Jozlynn Michal uses a straw to blow on the water that falls from her holey cup. This represents wind erosion paired with water erosion.
























Fourth grader Jaylee Sarchet unwraps her straw that she will use to blow on the water as it trickles through her mound of soil. This will show wind erosion’s affect on soil.
























Fourth Graders Sophia Farrier and Aubree Scott jot down their observations after pouring water through a holey cup over their mound of soil during their hands-on science experiment on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
























Ashton Schluterbusch and Davin Powell pour water into a holey cup which will then send the water …

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How to Make Science Class Relevant During the Pandemic

how to make science class relevant during the pandemic

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Opinion

—DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

On COVID-19, climate change, and science standards
By

Andrew Zucker & Pendred Noyce

September 29, 2020

COVID-19 has prompted many people to learn more about viruses and other aspects of science. But do you know that the thick volume that is America’s national science education standards—the Next Generation Science Standards—does not say it is important for students to learn about viruses, antibodies, immunization, or vaccines? Nor does the NGSS expect teachers to teach about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or any other scientific institution. These topics, however, were important before the pandemic and will remain so after it is history.
And it’s not just the pandemic that offers a vivid example of why science education is so important. Look at the recent wildfires or extreme weather events tied to climate change or the recent measles outbreaks tied to skepticism of vaccines.
Increasing students’ “scientific literacy” is a central goal for K-12 education, but exactly what that means is open to debate. The pandemic provides a rare opportunity for parents, school board members, PTAs, politicians, and others to ask whether state and national science education standards and local …

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Flower colors are changing in response to climate change

flower colors are changing in response to climate change

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Alpine cinquefoil flowers picked in 1977 (left) and 1999 (right) have noticeably different ultraviolet pigment patterns.

Matthew Koski

By Lucy HicksSep. 28, 2020 , 3:00 PM

As the world’s climate changes, plants and animals have adapted by expanding into new territory and even shifting their breeding seasons. Now, research suggests that over the past 75 years, flowers have also adapted to rising temperatures and declining ozone by altering ultraviolet (UV) pigments in their petals.

Flowers’ UV pigments are invisible to the human eye, but they attract pollinators and serve as a kind of sunscreen for plants, says Matthew Koski, a plant ecologist at Clemson University. Just as UV radiation can be harmful to humans, it can also damage a flower’s pollen. The more UV-absorbing pigment the petals contain, the less harmful radiation reaches sensitive cells.

Previously, Koski and colleagues found that flowers exposed to more UV radiation—usually those growing at higher elevations or closer to the equator—had more UV pigment in their petals. He then wondered whether two factors affected by human activity, damage to the ozone layer and temperature changes, also influenced the UV pigments.

To find out, Koski and colleagues examined plant collections from North America, Europe, and Australia dating back …

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