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The Social Genius of Animals

At the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, tucked away in the trees near Chiang Mai, a pair of Asian elephants gazes at two bowls of corn on the other side of a net. The corn is attached to a sliding platform, through which researchers have threaded a rope. The rope’s ends lie on the elephants’ side of the net. If only ...

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How Mountaintop Mining Affects Life and Landscape in West Virginia

0SHARESShare JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump has pledged to revive the coal industry, and has already begun rolling back some government regulations. In one case, that means boosting so-called mountaintop mining. But even as many in coal country applaud those moves, there’s concern over what it means for the environment. That is the focus of this week’s report from Miles O’Brien. ...

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A New Dam on the Nile Reveals Threats from Warming

Climate change could play a role in exacerbating water conflict in Africa, likely worsening geopolitical wrangling over issues like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The dam, a 6,450-megawatt hydropower project that’s nearing completion just miles from the Ethiopia-Sudan border, has been a point of contention in the region. While it will allow the Ethiopian government more control over flood prevention ...

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The Physics of Poop

The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation , an online publication covering the latest research. The ancient Chinese practiced copromancy , the diagnosis of health based on the shape, size and texture of feces. So did the Egyptians, the Greeks and nearly every ancient culture . Even today, your doctor may ask when you last had a bowel ...

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A Long-Running Study Finds People's Characters Don't Remain Fixed

0SHARESShare Many studies suggest that our personalities remain fairly stable, even over the course of decades. Yet a small but long-running study finds that traits related to dependability differ substantially between adolescence and late life. The findings raise new questions and highlight the challenges inherent in trying to track a person’s defining characteristics over many years. In the new research, ...

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All Fox News All The Time on FDA Headquarters TV?

0SHARESShare People at the headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week noticed something that some of them found odd about the televisions at their sprawling headquarters—they were all turned to Fox News. Two people who work at the facility told Scientific American that the monitors, which normally include broadcasts from a variety of channels including CNN and ...

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What Does the Environmental Protection Agency Do?

0SHARESShare A bill was introduced in Congress last week and referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology by Representative Gaetz from Florida to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. If you’re thinking, but hasn’t the EPA been around for a long time?, you’re not wrong—the EPA was proposed by President Nixon in 1970 via an executive order which ...

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Air quality: Diesel scrappage scheme being considered

The government’s draft clean air plan has been dismissed as “toothless” and “weak” by critics. Under the proposals to tackle dirty air, some drivers of older cars could be paid to move to electric vehicles. The draft plan also considers retrofitting buses, lorries and black cabs as a way of delivering cleaner air. Clean air zones could be set up ...

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India launches 'invaluable' South Asia satellite

0SHARESShare India has successfully launched a new communications satellite for South Asia from Sriharikota space centre. The satellite, funded entirely by India, is aimed at helping regional countries boost their telecommunication and broadcasting services. Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan will benefit from this satellite. But Pakistan has opted out from the initiative. Analysts have called the launch ...

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Is the Baby in Pain? Brain Scans Can Tell

Pain in infants is heartbreaking for new parents, and extremely difficult to treat effectively—if at all. Every year an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely, most of whom will then undergo numerous lifesaving but painful procedures, such as heel pricking or insertion of a thin tube known as a cannula to deliver fluids or medicine. Preterm babies in the ...

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