For nearly 650 years, the fortress walls in the Chinese city of Xi’an have served as a formidable barrier around the central city. At 12 meters high and up to 18 meters thick, they are impervious to almost everything — except subatomic particles called muons.Now, thanks to their penetrating abilities,
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In shallow coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, a seagrass-scrounging cousin of the manatee is in trouble. Environmental strains like pollution and habitat loss pose a major threat to dugong (Dugong dugon) survival, so much so that in December, the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the
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Prairie voles have long been heralded as models of monogamy. Now, a study suggests that the “love hormone” once thought essential for their bonding — oxytocin — might not be so necessary after all.Interest in the romantic lives of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) was first sparked more than 40 years
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In full swingThe swaying feeling in jazz music that compels feet to tap may arise from near-imperceptible delays in musicians’ timing, Nikk Ogasa reported in “Jazz gets its swing from small, subtle delays” (SN: 11/19/22, p. 5).Reader Oda Lisa, a self-described intermediate saxophonist, has noticed these subtle delays while playing.“I
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More than a century ago, scientists proved that carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere could act like a thermostat — adding more CO2 would turn up the heat, removing it would chill the planet. But back then, most scientists thought that Earth’s climate system was far too large and stable to
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Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez saw the future of energy on a broiling-hot day last September.An email alert hit her inbox from the San Diego Gas & Electric Company. “Extreme heat straining the grid,” read the message, which was also pinged as a text to 27 million people. “Save energy to help avoid power
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