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Water exists on sunny parts of the moon, scientists confirm | Science News

water exists on sunny parts of the moon, scientists confirm | science news

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Past observations have suggested that there’s water on the moon. New telescope observations conclude that those findings hold water.

Spacecraft have seen evidence of water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles (SN: 5/9/16), as well as hints of water molecules on the sunlit surface (SN: 9/23/09). But water sightings in sunlit regions have relied on detection of infrared light at a wavelength that could also be emitted by other hydroxyl compounds, which contain hydrogen and oxygen. 

Now, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, has detected an infrared signal unique to water near the lunar south pole, researchers report online October 26 in Nature Astronomy. “This is the first unambiguous detection of molecular water on the sunlit moon,” says study coauthor Casey Honniball, a lunar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “This shows that water is not just in the permanently shadowed regions — that there are other places on the moon that we could potentially find it.”

These observations could inform future missions to the moon that will scout out lunar water as a potential resource for human visitors (SN: 12/16/19).

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Science’s annual Ph.D. dance contest will go on, with new COVID-19 category

science’s annual ph.d. dance contest will go on, with new covid-19 category

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By Science News StaffOct. 26, 2020 , 11:30 AM

Have you, even with COVID-19, been contemplating a chemistry cha-cha? Or started to plan a physics polka before the pandemic? For you and others, we’re delighted to announce that Science’s annual Dance Your Ph.D. competition will go on—and hopefully provide a joyful diversion during these trying times. As usual, we’re challenging scientists to explain their research with fancy footwork but no PowerPoint slides or jargon. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting your Ph.D. or you completed it decades ago; you just need to be able to keep a beat.

Now sponsored by the artificial intelligence company Primer, the contest is entering its 13th year. This year, category winners—physics, biology, chemistry, and social science—can take home $750 and the top dance will earn glory and an extra $2000. In a new twist, we’ve added a bonus $500 category on COVID-19. This pandemic has shown the challenges and importance of clearly communicating science, so we’re inviting dances on research that helps us understand any aspect of COVID-19 and its consequences to health and society. This category is not limited to people who study the disease.

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The Science of It: Scary Challenge

the science of it: scary challenge

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The Science of It: Scary Challenge

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Updated: 10:56 AM EDT Oct 26, 2020

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MICHELLE: BUGS, MICE, HEIGHTS EVEN TORNADOS. , THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON — THEY ARE THINGS PEOPLE FEAR. TODAY WE’RE GETTING INTO A SCARY CHALLENGE WITH OUR FRIENDS OVER AT THE ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER. >> GOOD MORNING, AND WELCOME BACK TO THE SCIENCE OF IT. THIS IS FEAR FACTOR JUNIOR AND TODAY I’M JOINED BY SPENCER. I AM A LITTLE EXCITED, NERVOUS/A LOT OF SPOOKY THINGS HAPPENING. WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY? >> FEAR FACTOR JUNIOR IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE DO AT THE SCIENCE CENTER. IT IS EXCITING AND WE LIKE TO PREY ON PEOPLE’S FEARS BECAUSE IT IS HALLOWEEN. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR? >> BUGS, DON’T LIKE ROACHES. >> THAT IS GREAT NEWS FOR ME PERSONALLY. I AM CERTAINLY OF — AFRAID OF CERTAIN BUGS. WHEN WE ARE WATCHING A HORMONE BE, GO TO A HAUNTED HOUSE, WE LIKE TO PREY ON THESE FEARS. PEOPLE THROW FAKE STUFF AT YOU — IT IS NOT ACTUALLY SCARY. IF THERE WAS A LYING IN FRONT OF ME, I WOULD PROBABLY HAVE A DIFFERENT — >> YOU WOULD REACT. >> ABSOLUTELY. I HAVE …

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How to be happy, according to science

how to be happy, according to science

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In 2014, two psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, launched an online course with a lofty goal: teaching students how to be happy, through both science and practice, in just eight weeks. No big deal, right? The amazing thing: It seemed to work. Thousands of students took the Science of Happiness course (which is still free to audit on edX, a provider of open online courses) and learned about the science of connection, compassion, gratitude and mindfulness. Perhaps more importantly, they also completed a series of simple activities that research suggests increase happiness. Those who fully participated saw their positive feelings increase each week. They reported feeling less sadness, stress, loneliness, anger and fear, while at the same time experiencing more amusement, enthusiasm and affection, as well as a greater sense of community. During the course, students’ happiness and life satisfaction increased by about 5%. And that boost remained even four months after the course ended (though it’s difficult to fully untangle that result; it could’ve been from doing the activities, the students’ new understanding of the psychology of happiness, or something totally different).
Brett Pearce/CNET
How does this work? Can you really change how …

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As STAT turns 5, a look back at science and medicine’s biggest headlines

as stat turns 5, a look back at science and medicine’s biggest headlines

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The past five years have been packed with medical and scientific advances, a series of public health crises that have gripped the world, and uproar over rising prescription drug costs.
They’ve also been a heck of a time to launch a publication about health and medicine.
As STAT celebrates its five-year anniversary, our reporters took a look back at six areas we’ve covered closely — CRISPR, infectious disease, the opioid crisis, drug pricing, AI in medicine, and cell and gene therapy — to recap the biggest headlines and controversies and cast an eye to what may lie ahead.
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CRISPR: A Nobel, He Jiankui’s bombshell, and an ugly patent fight
Even before STAT published its first stories, we knew CRISPR would be big: Breakthrough scientific papers in 2012 and early 2013 showed that this technique for changing the DNA of plants and animals was so easy to use that labs across the world would seize on it to understand basic biological processes as well as develop cures for genetic diseases. That’s why my first story for STAT profiled one of CRISPR’s inventors, biologist Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute. Check out his “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” analogy.
Sure enough, …

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Biden Would Increase Science Funding | Inside Higher Ed

biden would increase science funding | inside higher ed

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Increasing federal spending on research and science, including at universities, will be a top priority of his administration, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told a left-of-center podcast.Biden told Pod Save America, run by former Obama administration aides, that if he is elected, combating the coronavirus pandemic would be at the top of his agenda, followed by increasing investments to generate economic growth.
“The first thing we’re going to have to do is to, in order to compete internationally, is we’re going to have to compete,” he said. “We’re going to invest in science and technology. We’re going to make sure that we can compete with the rest of the world and lead the rest of the world. We have the greatest institutes. We have more great research universities in the United States of America than every other research university in the entire rest of the world combined.”
Barbara R. Snyder, who recently became president of the Association of American Universities, said in an interview the group had written both Biden and President Donald Trump’s campaigns, urging them to increase investment in research.
The group has said federal investment in research and development had dropped since 1976 …

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A power list of the LatinX scientists who are changing the world

a power list of the latinx scientists who are changing the world

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In their own words, the Biota Project is “a mixed-media science communication and education organization with a grassroots approach for connecting underrepresented communities to symbiotic relationships in nature and society.” The Biota Project and Massive Science have partnered to bring underrepresented voices in science to a broader audience.
In honor of LatinX heritage month (September 15 – October 15) and fast-approaching Election Day, The Biota Project and Massive Science are spotlighting a number of influential LatinX scientists and STEM professionals (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) whose scientific work is making waves in the policy sphere. 
The “scientific method” is a tool used to study and make inferences about the world around us. Scientific study is driven by human values; the topics that we study reflect our interests and many of us aspire to change or improve the world around us with our work. The scientists that we will be highlighting here are working to make a difference in their communities and are actively addressing issues that inform public policy.
Much of the laws and regulations set by our local and national governments are informed by the findings and principles of science. A key example of this was the 1954 Brown vs. Board of …

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S.E. Cupp: Biden will follow science — and that’s not the insult Trump thinks it is

s.e. cupp: biden will follow science — and that’s not the insult trump thinks it is

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He meant it as a threat. At a Nevada rally earlier this month, President Trump promised his supporters that if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected, “he’ll listen to the scientists.”
It says a lot that Trump believed — and is likely correct — that his followers would disapprove of the notion that Biden would take his cues from scientists when it comes to the covid-19 health crisis, instead of going with his gut. It says a lot about them, that is.
Trump went on, saying, “If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression.”
Oh? As it stands right now, under Trump’s “leadership” during covid-19, the United States has the highest number of cases and death toll in the world. Infections jumped nearly 17% in the last two weeks, and the virus has killed more than 220,000 people. We are looking at a winter that could see the death toll climb to nearly 400,000 by February. Entire industries are collapsing from layoffs, and the unemployment rate due to covid-19 shot …

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One in five Australian scientists planning to leave the profession, survey shows

one in five australian scientists planning to leave the profession, survey shows

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Science

Survey reveals 17% gender pay gap and strain on industry at a time when it has been at the forefront of responding to coronavirus

A scientist carries out sample aliquoting of a coronavirus sample. A new survey shows one in five Australian scientists are planning to leave the profession.
Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Nearly one in five scientists in Australia are planning to leave the profession permanently, according to a new survey, which also reveals a 17% gender pay gap among those who responded.
The survey, based on answers from 1,464 scientists, provides an insight into challenges in the science workforce at a time when it has been at the forefront of responding to Covid-19 but has also come under intense strain.

Professional Scientists Australia – one of the two professional organisations that carried out the research – said the results “deepened concerns that the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis will further exacerbate” the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) fields and the gender pay gap.
Conducted in May with Science & Technology Australia, but released on Monday, the survey found almost one in five respondents, or 18.3%, indicated they intended to leave the profession permanently – but this sentiment …

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