11.11.2019

Is 5G safe for humans? Who owns science? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Nov 4 - Nov 10, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best and brightest from the world of science news, find out how you can watch Mercury's transit across the Sun, and explore the link between Indonesian wildfires and your favorite sweet treats. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Today (Monday the 11th of November), you can see Mercury's transit across the Sun!
Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SwRI, MSSS Image processing by Kevin M. Gill (CC BY 3.0)
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11.04.2019

How many people could be threatened by rising seas by 2100? What happens if you stuff marijuana up your nose and leave it for 18 years? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Oct 28 - Nov 3, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this weeks' best and brightest from the world of science news, find out how human interference is affecting forests' ability to retain water, and why you should be careful about what you put in your plastic water bottle. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks.

10.28.2019

Why are Biogen submitting a failed Alzheimer's drug for FDA approval? Does a new CRISPR system hold the key to correcting all genetic disease? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Oct 21 - Oct 27, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's exciting edition of the best from the world of science news, explore the surprising connection between traumatic brain injury and criminality, and find out what's happening in the Amazonian rainforest now that media coverage of the fires has died down. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks.

10.21.2019

What does the formation of a binary star look like? Why do some people need less sleep? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Oct 14 - Oct 20, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best and brightest from the world of science news, see the picture that solves a fifty-year-old chemistry question, and find out how indigenous people are breaking the law in California to preserve their ancestral way of life. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?

Astronomers using ALMA have obtained an extremely high-resolution image showing two disks in which young stars are growing, fed by a complex pretzel-shaped network of filaments of gas and dust.
Credit: Image - ESO via ESO.org Caption: Tim Kendall at Extreme Astrophysics (CC-BY 4.0)
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10.14.2019

Who won this years' Nobel prizes in Chemistry and Physics? Could blocking out the sun be a way to halt global warming? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Oct 7 - Oct 13, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm

In this week's best and brightest from the world of science news, explore how speculative conclusions and media hype have led to some very wrong articles about mosquito transgenics, and how the gene-editing technique CRISPR may help tackle loss of biodiversity. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

10.07.2019

How may have the female orgasm evolved? Why shouldn't you be too upset to have parasites? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Sept 30 - Oct 6, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm

In this week's most important and topical posts from the world of science news, explore the neurological reward mechanisms that make mourning a part of the healing process, and read about how Brexit may be bad for minorities' mental health. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
When you're worried, taking action may make you feel like you'll be less worried in future, which can lead to those who need rest most avoiding it.
Credit: jeet_sen via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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9.30.2019

What lessons can we learn from the face-eating cancer decimating Tasmanian devils? Why do old people hate new music? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Sept 23 - Sept 29, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's bumper edition of the best stories from the world of science news, discover why whales don't have saliva and get in-the-know about the THC vaping brands that are causing lung problems in the USA. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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9.23.2019

Could eating urchins help reverse ecosystem collapse? How does origami inspire shape-shifting electronics? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Sept 16 - Sept 22, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's roundup of the creme de la creme of science news, find out why Acid and Coke are a dangerous combination for marine life, and explore the most massive neutron star ever discovered. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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9.16.2019

Does the discovery of water on a habitable-zone planet mean we've found Earth 2.0? What weird bubbles have been found at the centre of the Galaxy? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Sept 9 - Sept 15, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's selection of the best articles and posts from the world of science news, find out why bees are getting punched to make ice cream, and explore the risk of oil spills from long-forgotten sunken ships. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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9.12.2019

Call for Editors! Become part of the most comprehensive source of science coverage.

Looking for a new challenge or opportunity in 2019?

When it comes to reporting science, the mainstream media can struggle, and often falls into sensationalism, undermining its message. ScienceSeeker is therefore an essential resource, enabling readers to access knowledge that helps make sense of the headlines. We aggregate the most comprehensive list of science blogs, written by a community including top scientists. Every week, our volunteer editors scour what’s been reported to distil it down to the most essential content. We’ve got a vibrant team - but we're still short in some areas.

Would you like to join us? E-mail sciseekers AT gmail DOT com if you're interested or have any questions. Read on for more details:

What is ScienceSeeker?

ScienceSeeker is a unique science blog aggregator that brings together over 2,400 blog sites (and growing!). It emerged as part of the ScienceOnline movement that has energized the science communication community in recent years. Although ScienceOnline is now defunct, ScienceSeeker continues on a sustainable basis thanks to the sterling effort of its volunteer supporters. For more details about what we do and who we are, see our 'About' page.

What does an editor do?

A ScienceSeeker editor commits to spending some of their valuable time reading science blogs or listening to science podcasts and selecting the newest developments in science every week. The commitment depends on circumstances. An especially busy person might be able to make selections from their general reading. An enthusiastic editor might dedicate three hours a week or more to select the most relevant content. Each editor usually focuses on a limited set of subject areas to restrict the time they have to invest, although there are opportunities to help build ScienceSeeker's platform. The goal of this recruitment exercise is to add to the team of editors so that the effort can be shared more broadly.

Who are we looking for?

We are currently interested in expanding the coverage on science discoveries in the areas of podcasts, psychology, neuroscience and mathematics. We also welcome help with curating and/or creating content for our YouTube channel. If you are fond of reading and/or listening to science, it’s your chance to contribute to science outreach by highlighting those pieces you think the society needs to be aware of!

What’s in it for you?

At a general level, it’s rewarding to make an input into a community. In this case you’re helping create an authoritative voice on science that supplements and corrects conventional media coverage. You’re also boosting the reach of individual blogs that might not otherwise be read by many people.

At a personal level, being a ScienceSeeker editor is a relatively low-effort activity that looks good on your résumé. There are also great benefits that arise from the effort invested in reading ScienceSeeker blogs. For scientists and writers, ScienceSeeker blogs often showcase ideas, research and styles of communication that you might not otherwise have encountered that can prove useful in your paid work. And whoever you are, ScienceSeeker blogs are interesting and entertaining – reading them is not a bad way to spend time at all!

Is there a closing date?

No. The ScienceSeeker team is continually evolving, and as such we always welcome enquiries from prospective editors.

9.09.2019

Has AI really developed a drug by itself? How is the Indian salt industry damaging wildlife? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of Sept 2 - Sept 8, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this weeks' edition of the best from the world of science news, find out how unbroken forest may be the key to a sustainable palm oil industry, and how failure to accurately assess the baseline population size of a species may mean that we also fail to identify when they are becoming endangered. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

9.02.2019

Why are environmental defenders being murdered in Latin America? How are Brazilian protestors fighting back against Bolsonaro over the Amazon wildfires? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of August 26 - Sept 1, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best from the world of science news, delve deeper into the catastrophic wildfires that ravage the Amazon, and find out how having a positive outlook may extend your life expectancy. Possibly two subjects that are mutually exclusive! ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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8.26.2019

What impact can E-cigarettes have on your health? Did humans domesticate wolves or the other way around? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of August 19 - August 25, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's edition of ScienceSeeker's curated selection of the best from the world of science news, find out who tamed who between humans and dogs, and explore what makes a life event meaningful. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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8.19.2019

What's the good news about Ebola? Why don't tardigrades invade the Moon? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of August 12 - August 18, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best posts from the world of science news, look deep into the world of cellular biology with the relaunch of Sophtalksscience's 'Cellfie' series, and find out why scientists are dyeing animal skeletons hot pink. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks.

8.12.2019

How much does Westeros have in common with Earth? How does indigenous management of land improve upon modern methods? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of August 5 - August 11, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best posts from the world of science news, explore how our inner narratives help or hinder us in our journey to understand the world, and find out more about 'Smart drugs', and if they are really too good to be true. Also new this week on ScienceSeeker - check out our physics editor, Thanassis Psaltis' post on the Origin of Gold, part of the Communicating Science workshop at the first annual ComSciCon workshop in Canada, ComSciConCAN. We hope to bring you more articles from the workshop in the future.

ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

8.08.2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Origin of Gold in the Universe

This year ScienceSeeker physics editor Thanassis Psaltis helped organise the first annual ComSciCon workshop in Canada, ComSciConCAN. ComSciCon is a ‘Communicating Science’ workshop for graduate students, and one of the things participants do is write about an interesting topic. We hope to be able to publish some of their pieces in coming weeks, but to start with here’s Thanassis’ piece from last year’s ComSciCon. 

The universe? Why, it's elementary, dear Watson.
Credit: Karan Jani/Georgia Tech
So, you think the gold in jewelry comes from a mine?  That is very superficial my dear Watson, I can assure you. The origin of gold is a very intriguing question for scientists. Until very recently, they believed that most of the heavy elements in the universe, such as gold, silver and uranium are produced during the death of a massive star, a supernova explosion. However, recent observations of gravitational waves by the LIGO and VIRGO Gravitational Wave Observatories, suggest that there might be another source of heavy elements, and that Watson, complicates things a lot.

But, let’s take first things first: the building blocks of matter, the atoms, are produced in astrophysical environments. Hydrogen, for example, was made around three minutes after the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago. Elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, elements necessary for life, are forged into the fiery hearts of stars, by a process called nuclear fusion [1]. Every star in the universe shines because this transformation process is happening in its core. How can we know that this is actually happening? We know it, my dear Watson, because otherwise our Sun, and the rest of the stars in the cosmos wouldn’t exist! Gravity, that invisible force that keeps us on Earth and makes the planets revolve around the Sun, is constantly trying to squeeze stars, like a lemon. Nuclear fusion counteracts gravity, by an equal and opposite force and that keeps the star intact.

Nuclear fusion creates many of the elements in the periodic table, but it fails for the ones heavier than iron, the so-called “heavy elements”, since it cannot generate energy by fusing two of them together. So, how does nature create the rest of the periodic table? Excellent question, Watson! There are two main mechanisms, which both involve neutrons. Neutrons are neutral particles and one of the fundamental building blocks of atoms, along with protons and electrons. They can easily be captured by heavy elements, since they don’t have any charge. These two mechanisms for creating heavy elements are (1) slow and (2) rapid neutron capture, also known as the s- and r- process [2,3]. The s-process happens at the late life stages of a star with mass between 1-10 times more massive than our Sun and accounts for roughly half of the heavy elements in nature.

The r-process, however, is a big mystery for scientists. It was first thought to happen after the death of massive stars, in a supernova explosion. The remnant of such an explosion can be a neutron star, an object that has an immense number of neutrons that can quickly be captured by heavy elements. However, my dear Watson, scientists haven’t thought about what happens when we bring two neutron stars close together.

Around 130 million years ago, in the galaxy NGC 4993 of the constellation of Hydra, there were two neutron stars revolving around each other. These exotic objects came very close together and after a cosmic spiral dance they merged, causing a huge explosion. The explosion disturbed the fabric of space and time, creating small ripples, waves that were observed on Earth last August by LIGO and Virgo Gravitational Wave Observatories [4].

What is incredible about this particular discovery is that the same event was also observed using other telescopes in different wavelengths: Fermi in γ-rays, Chandra in x-rays, Swift in ultraviolet, Hubble in optical and VLA observatory in radio waves. This multi-messenger observation was unique in the history of astronomy. It was also really important for the field of Nuclear Astrophysics, the interdisciplinary scientific branch that studies the origin of the elements in the universe, as well as their relative abundance and consists of astronomers, astrophysicists and nuclear physicists both in theory and experiment. By studying the observations from the other telescopes, scientists calculated that gold, and the rest of the heavy r-process elements can be also produced during the collision of neutron stars!
 
Here is where things get weird: if we account both scenarios, supernova explosions and neutron star mergers, scientists today predict double the amount of heavy elements that exist naturally. This means that one of the theories overestimates its yield. There are many experiments and calculations that have to be done to clarify this mystery, Watson. 

In the near future, nuclear physicists will be able to use new, powerful particle accelerators to recreate and study the reactions that occur in these exotic environments. At the same time, astronomers will be able to detect far more neutron star mergers to test their theories, with the upgrade of gravitational wave observatories.

Inevitably, one of the two models will need some modifications. It is even possible a third one might appear in the near future. Undoubtedly, Watson, the gold in jewelry comes from space. It is also a great time to work in the field of Nuclear Astrophysics and I really don’t know why we ended up being detectives!

References:
[1] C. Iliadis, (2015)  “Nuclear Physics of stars”, Wiley
[2] F, Kappeler et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 157 (2011)
[3] C. J. Horowitz et al., r-Process Nucleosynthesis: Connecting Rare-Isotope Beam Facilities with the Cosmos, arXiv:1805.04637 (2018)
[4]B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 161101 (2017)

8.05.2019

What is the chemistry behind Kombucha? Could pitting viruses against bacteria be our best defence against antimicrobial resistance? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 29 - August 4, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.


In this week's picks, find out why natural remedies are far from chemical-free and read about the amazing Marie Tharp, the geologist who changed the way we looked at our planet. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

7.29.2019

How is the gut microbiome responsible for cardiovascular health? Has evolution made us more prone to heart attacks? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 22 - July 28, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's curated selection from the world of science news, follow the latest research on the development of micro-hearts and find out why some people can smell 'asparagus pee' while others can't. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

7.22.2019

Are humans meant to be happy? What would the world be like without the Moon? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 15 - July 21, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best and brightest from the world of science news, discover the evolutionary basis for cuteness and find out how scientists are beginning to be able to see quantum phenomena. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
What if happiness is a social construct that humans are not designed for?
Credit: Jean Marconi via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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7.15.2019

How can cuttlefish ink be used to treat tumours? Why is fat stigma a bigger problem than obesity? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 8 - July 14, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best and brightest from the world of science news, find out why the stigma that comes with being overweight is more damaging than obesity itself, and explore how gut bacteria could be employed to overcome blood shortages. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
Check back next week for more great picks!

7.11.2019

Stress in Dogs, at Work and How Exercise and Scary Movies Can Be Helpful: ScienceSeeker Psychology Picks from June 2019

Did you know that dogs can pick up stress from their owners? Or that being too engaged with work can make you defensive and unwilling to share knowledge? These are among the subjects reported in the best coverage of psychology research from June 2019 according to ScienceSeeker editor Antanas Spokas. He has made the video below to summarise them - and to read the posts themselves, access them from our ScienceSeeker picks posts from June.


7.08.2019

What does a volcano look like from space? How can you tell if something is conscious? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 1 - July 7, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm

In this week's best and brightest from the science news blogosphere, watch the seasons change in a beautiful visualisation of the Earth's yearly fluctuations, and find out how far we are from being able to play games telepathically. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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7.01.2019

How biodegradable is your biodegradable cup? What's it like being LGBTQ+ in STEM? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 24 - June 30, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's best from the world of science news, find out about the Quantum Supremacy and why it's not as impressive as it sounds, and uncover the science behind Homo sapiens' unique gift for music. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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6.24.2019

How did 'Puppy dog eyes' evolve? Are people with ADHD more creative? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 17 - June 23, 2019 #SciSeekPicks #SciComm.

In this week's bumper edition of the best coverage of science news from the online world, explore the neurological basis of SAD and how gender inequality may have arisen. ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise also cover many other important and exciting topics. Why not have a read, inform yourself, and indulge your scientific curiosity?
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