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Clinton, Trump and Stein answer 20 top questions about science, engineering, technology, health and environmental issues

This year’s highly unusual presidential election resembles the past two campaigns in at least one way. The candidates of the two major parties— Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump—provided answers to 20 questions about the most important science-based issues the U.S. faces in coming years. Green Party candidate Jill Stein answered the questions as well. (Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has not responded so far.)

The questions were developed and refined by dozens of scientific organizations representing more than 10 million scientists and engineers after a crowd-sourcing effort led and coordinated by ScienceDebate.org. Scientific American, as the group’s media partner, plans to grade the candidates’ answers in advance of the September 26 presidential debate.

Our plan is to grade the answers on a pass/fail basis, using the following three questions as a guide: Does the answer address the question asked? Is it well informed with respect to scientific consensus about the issue? Does the response offer specific, workable details?
Please e-mail your responses to editors@sciam.com with the words “Science Debate 2016” in the subject line. We regret that we will not be able to respond to all the answers individually.

Read the questions and answers below and watch this space for our evaluation on September 22.

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Source: Scientific American Please go read all the questions & answers!

Sorry to other mods, I know we really want to have full articles posted, but this was SOOOO Long, it wouldn't post--
DNA Surprise! Giraffes Are Four Species, Not One

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation asked scientists to carry out a genetic analysis of giraffes in Namibia, southwest Africa, merely to understand how similar, or not, different populations were to each other, and how that could help in conservation efforts.

But the scientists uncovered something unexpected.

Though modern giraffes had long been recognized as a single species, Giraffa camelopardalis, divided into a few subspecies, the researchers found four distinct species.

“We were extremely surprised, because the morphological and coat pattern differences between giraffe are limited,” said study lead researcher Dr. Axel Janke, a geneticist at Germany’s Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Resear

Following a comprehensive genetic analysis using the DNA from 190 giraffes, Janke and his team discovered that the four species of giraffe had been separated for 1 to 2 million years, “with no evidence of genes being exchanged between them.”

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source is huffpo who may have had a misleading title

Google to test drone burrito delivery with Virginia Tech students, researchers

Virginia Tech is teaming up with Google researchers and Chipotle Mexican Grill to test burrito drone delivery on a select group of students.

Google hopes to conduct hundreds of test flights beginning this month. They will not be open to the public or media, according to Google spokeswoman Jacquelyn Miller.

The selected customers, who were chosen because they work near the undisclosed test site, will stand at a kiosk and punch in their orders, Miller said. The burritos will be prepared at a food truck "several hundred meters" away, loaded onto a drone and flown to the customers. The drones will then hover in the sky and lower the meals down from a significant height with a tether and winch.

who"s going to pay for it? MEXICO!!Collapse )

source is roanoke times which OP was so excited over she forgot to add
This Tree Started Growing During the Viking Age

Europe's oldest officially dated tree has been uncovered in Greece, and despite living more than a millennium (and counting!), it doesn't look a day over 200.

The tree, dubbed "Adonis" by the scientists who discovered it, is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) that took root in A.D. 941, high in the Pindus mountains of Greece. (In ancient Greek mythology, Adonis was the god of beauty, youth and desire.)

"It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years," Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the leader of the expedition that found the tree, said in a statement. (Dendrochronology is the study of tree-ring dating.) [Nature's Giants: Photos of the Tallest Trees on Earth]

The venerable tree lives within a pristine forest of ancient pines that are nearly as old, the researchers said.

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orig link cedar
Think It’s Hot Now? Just Wait

July wasn’t just hot — it was the hottest month ever recorded, according to NASA. And this year is likely to be the hottest year on record.

Fourteen of the 15 hottest years have occurred since 2000, as heat waves have become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting. A study in the journal Nature Climate Change last year found that three of every four daily heat extremes can be tied to global warming.

This map provides a glimpse of our future if nothing is done to slow climate change. By the end of the century, the number of 100-degree days will skyrocket, making working or playing outdoors unbearable, and sometimes deadly. The effects on our health, air quality, food and water supplies will get only worse if we don’t drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions right away.

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Bill Nye: Climate change is reason for Louisiana floods

As Louisiana tries to dry out and start rebuilding after last week's catastrophic flooding, Bill Nye has an ominous message: It's going to happen again.

"This is a result of climate change," Nye told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "It's only going to get worse."
But can we save ourselves?Collapse )

The Solutions Project is a group that is pushing for 100% renewable energy. Check them out. Think about your own carbon footprint and what you can do to step up your game-- from recycling & composting to buying electric vehicles or installing solar.
She’s expressing strong support for loosening restrictions.

On Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced it won’t reschedule marijuana from a Scheduled I controlled substance, meaning that in the eyes of the feds it’ll continue to be regarded as dangerous drug with no medical value, akin to heroin and bath salts.

Many observers were surprised by the announcement, especially in light of President Obama’s measured backing of medical marijuana last year. But the good news for supporters of marijuana reform is the strong support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continues to express for rescheduling marijuana.Read more...Collapse )

Source: ThinkProgress

I know some of you probably think that Hillary isn't going to do anything she says she will. That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it, so go right ahead and roll your eyes. This post is for those of us who think she at least might try to do some of what she says she's going to do (which is, lbr, all most presidential candidates manage anyway).
A grimy, black biofilm is starting to cover the Jefferson Memorial, and it can’t be killed

It’s black! It’s creepy! And it’s crawling over the Jefferson Memorial!

It’s biofilm — a microbial invasion of uncertain origin that has begrimed the stone surface of one of the nation’s most hallowed monuments.

Part algae, part bacteria, part fungi, the biofilm won’t eat your flesh, like the gooey Blob in the 1958 horror film, as a National Park Service spokesman remarked.

But it’s not clear if it’s munching on the stone.

And it can’t be killed.

sounds like a MST3K movieCollapse )

source is the WaPo
Ice Bucket Challenge funds gene discovery in ALS (MND) research

In just two months (...), the Ice Bucket challenge raised $115m for ALS research in the U.S.
Good news under the cut...Collapse )

OP: This is really good news! :-) This is such a terrible disease.

Doug Mesner, who goes by the professional name Lucien Greaves, is co-founder and spokesman for the Satanic Temple, a group of political activists who are seeking to establish After School Satan Clubs as a counterpart to fundamentalist Christian Good News Clubs, which they see as an attempt to infiltrate public education and erode the constitutional separation of church and state. (Josh Reynolds/For The Washington Post)

SALEM, Mass. —It’s a hot summer night, and leaders of the Satanic Temple have gathered in the crimson-walled living room of a Victorian manse in this city renowned for its witch trials in the 17th century. They’re watching a sepia-toned video, in which children dance around a maypole, a spider crawls across a clown’s face and eerie, ambient chanting gives way to a backward, demonic voice-over. The group chuckles with approval.

They’re here plotting to bring their wisdom to the nation’s public elementary school children. They point out that Christian evangelical groups already have infiltrated the lives of America’s children through after-school religious programming in public schools, and they appear determined to give young students a choice: Jesus or Satan.

“It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think,” said Doug Mesner, the Satanic Temple’s co-founder.

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Source - Washington Post

A little something to break up the monotony of all the Trump posts :)
Obama Just Became The First Sitting President To Publish A Scientific Paper

President Obama has achieved a first for a sitting president – he's published a paper in a leading peer-reviewed journal. The paper reviews the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, summarizes its effects, and considers what can be done in the future.

Being president doesn't usually leave a lot of time for other intellectual pursuits, and some recent occupants of the White House never seemed to have had much respect for science in the first place. Obama has always been different in that respect. John Holdren, Obama's science advisor, described how his boss enjoyed questioning scientists about their work more than his time with sports stars.

Now, Obama has joined the ranks of public health researchers as sole author of a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in which he reviews his most famous work, often known as Obamacare.

The paper includes a little on the history of the Act's passage, but the main focus is on how it has operated.

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