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Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes

Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful smoke.

Smart bulk plastic reacts to light, temperature and humidity

Imagine that products have a longer shelf life because of smart packaging, that plastic robots are driven by their environment, and that clothing adapts while being worn. In short: that you can make plastic smart so that the material reacts to its environment, for example by adjusting humidity, temperature or light. For his Ph.D. research Rob Verpaalen...

You wouldn't hit a dog, so why kill one in Minecraft? Why violence against virtual animals is an ethical issue

Violence against animals in video games is ubiquitous. Players can kill or torture animals in various popular games, including Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V. The rise of this (increasingly realistic) trend in games, along with people's tendency to go along with it, raises important questions.

Most Angelenos say climate change is a threat—but few act accordingly

Anew report shows that a solid majority of Los Angeles County residents believe that climate change is caused by human activity and that it poses a threat to their well-being. And the more mindful they are of the threat, the more willing they are to adopt practices that benefit the environment. However, less than half of residents are aware of government...

First candidate for an extragalactic planet identified

A team of researchers from the U.S. and China has found the first evidence for a candidate planet in another galaxy. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, the team describes their work studying the possible planet and what they have found so far.

The use of graph neural networks to discover particles

Machine learning algorithms can beat the world's hardest video games in minutes and solve complex equations faster than the collective efforts of generations of physicists. But the conventional algorithms still struggle to pick out stop signs on a busy street.

Deforestation squeezes top predators in forest streams

Streams in areas converted to oil palm have different top predators to those flowing through intact forests, affecting stream food webs.

Software program Allchemy identifies prebiotic synthesis of biochemical compounds from primordial precursors

A team of researchers working in the Institute of Organic Chemistry's lab at the Polish Academy of Sciences has developed a software product to aid in discovering the chemical processes that led to the development of life on Earth. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their software program, which they have named Allchemy,...

Image: Tarawa, Kiribati

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Tarawa Atoll in the Republic of Kiribati – a remote Pacific nation threatened by rising seas.

Provably exact artificial intelligence for nuclear and particle physics

The Standard Model of particle physics describes all the known elementary particles and three of the four fundamental forces governing the universe; everything except gravity. These three forces—electromagnetic, strong, and weak—govern how particles are formed, how they interact, and how the particles decay.

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