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Science 

Australia’s Heat Wave Fries Bats’ Brains, Hundreds Found Dead

Enlarge this image Hundreds of flying fox bats died over the weekend near Sydney, Australia, from dehydration during a heat wave. Ian Waldie/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Ian Waldie/Getty Images It’s summer in Australia and extreme heat is causing bats’ brains to fry. Hundreds of fur-covered flying fox bats, which lack sufficient canopy cover and shade in Australia’s suburbs, died over the weekend outside of Sydney as temperatures soared to 117 degrees F, the hottest it’s been since 1939. The Camden Advertiser reports as of Monday, 204 dead bats…

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Science 

Climate Change Means ‘Virtually No Male Turtles’ Born In A Key Nesting Ground

Enlarge this image The sex of green sea turtles is determined by the egg’s temperature as it’s being incubated. Megan Nagel/USFWS hide caption toggle caption Megan Nagel/USFWS Warming temperatures are having a profound and potentially devastating impact on one of the most important green sea turtle populations in the world. Scientists were surprised to find that “virtually no male turtles” are being hatched in a key breeding ground in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Like many reptiles, the sex of a turtle is determined by how warm the egg is…

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Science 

Astronomical Growth Turns Out To Be ‘Fake News,’ Says Japanese Astronaut

Enlarge this image Norishige Kanai prior the launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket in Kazakhstan on Dec. 17. As is the norm, the Japanese astronaut grew in outer space, just not by as much as he initially thought. Dmitri Lovetsky/AP hide caption toggle caption Dmitri Lovetsky/AP An apology for “tweeting out such fake news” didn’t come from a media member accused by President Trump, but from a Japanese astronaut whose growth in outer space was miscalculated. In a tweet on Monday, Norishige Kanai claimed he had grown by as much as…

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Science 

A Scientist’s Gender Can Skew Research Results

Enlarge this image Study participants often answer questions differently, depending on the questioner’s gender. Sex hormones can affect results, too. sanjeri/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption sanjeri/Getty Images The results of an IQ test can depend on the gender of the person who’s conducting the test. Likewise, studies of pain medication can be completely thrown off by the gender of the experimenter. This underappreciated problem is one reason that some scientific findings don’t stand the test of time. Colin Chapman found out about this problem the hard way. He had…

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Technology 

React JavaScript library on the rise in NPM registry

Judging by downloads from the NPM registry, React, Facebook’s popular JavaScript UI library, has seen good fortunes lately as a front-end JavaScript framework while the Backbone framework has slipped. On the back end, Express dominates. In a study of 28-day download cycles for front-end JavaScript frameworks, NPM, which oversees the popular JavaScript package registry, found that React has been on a steady upward trajectory; it now accounts for about 0.05 percent of the registry’s 13 billion downloads per month as of the fourth quarter of 2017. Web developers as well…

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Science 

‘Butterfly Tongues’ Are More Ancient Than Flowers, Fossil Study Finds

Enlarge this image A modern moth with a proboscis, the organ adapted for sucking up fluids such as nectar. Newly discovered fossil evidence suggests ancestors of such animals exists before flowering plants, raising questions about what ancient butterflies and moths used their tongue-like appendages for. Hossein Rajaei/Science Advances hide caption toggle caption Hossein Rajaei/Science Advances Butterfly beak. Moth mouthpiece. Lepidoptera lips. Call it whatever you want, the proboscis is a big deal. It’s a defining feature of many moths and butterflies – the long, flexible mouthpiece that dips into flowers…

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Science 

Man As God: ‘Frankenstein’ Turns 200

Enlarge this image thomaguery/Getty Images/iStockphoto “A man is a god in ruins,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century. Ever since people contemplated the existence of a divine dimension — and this belief must go back to the very early stages of Homo Sapiens or even earlier — with Neanderthals, a split occurred between the human condition and the eternal. As humans, it is our curse and our blessing to be aware of our own mortality — and to suffer with the loss of our close ones — and,…

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Science 

Fallout From ‘Nuclear Button’ Tweets: Jump In Sales Of Radiation Drug

Enlarge this image Pharmacist Donna Barsky measured potassium iodide at the Texas Star Pharmacy in 2011 in Plano, Texas. Richard Matthews/AP hide caption toggle caption Richard Matthews/AP A Twitter battle over the size of each “nuclear button” possessed by President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has triggered a surge in sales of a drug that protects against radiation poisoning. Troy Jones, who runs the website www.nukepills.com, said demand for potassium iodide soared last week, after Trump tweeted that he had a “much bigger & more powerful” button than…

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