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High-energy cosmic rays come from outside our Galaxy

By Davide Castelvecchi The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina finally has solid evidence that the most energetic particles in nature come from sources outside the Milky Way. Scientists have suspected this for decades, but weren’t able to confirm it — until now. “For the first time, we have proof that the highest-energy cosmic rays are of […]

Plan to save Great Barrier Reef from encroaching farm pollution

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By Alice Klein The sky above is grey and drizzly, but the wetlands are still beautiful to behold. Flocks of magpie geese settle on the glassy water, honking and nibbling at bright green tufts of sedge. I’m at Mungalla Station, a cattle property in far north Queensland. Here, a large-scale conservation project is underway. Its […]

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GOP rep on paying for flood loss: ‘At some point, God is telling you to move’

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By Julia Manchester Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said on Thursday that it’s unreasonable for taxpayers to repeatedly pay for homes that have flooded, suggesting that homeowners move out of at-risk houses. “We have these repetitive loss properties. So, for example, we have one property outside of Baton Rouge that has a modest home worth about $60,000 that’s […]

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Roy Moore Defends His Use of Racist Slurs by Claiming They’re From the Bible. (They’re Not.)

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By David Badash Over the weekend “Judge” Roy Moore referred to Native Americans and Asians as “reds and yellows.” The leading candidate in the runoff race to be the Republican nominee to fill the seat in the U.S. Senate vacated by Jeff Sessions, Moore has a lengthy history of racism, homophobia, and religious extremism. And Moore tried to […]

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CRISPR used to peer into human embryos’ first days

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By Heidi Ledford Gene-edited human embryos have offered a glimpse into the earliest stages of development, while hinting at the role of a pivotal protein that guides embryo growth. The first-of-its-kind study stands in contrast to previous research that attempted to fix disease-causing mutations in human embryos, in the hope of eventually preventing genetic disorders. Whereas those studies raised […]

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ACLU sues Michigan over religious exemptions for adoptions

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By Susan Miller The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Wednesday challenging Michigan’s practice of allowing adoption agencies to spurn potential LGBT parents under the guise of religion. Religious exemption laws let people, churches and sometimes corporations cite religious beliefs as a reason not to enforce a law — such as declining to marry a same-sex couple or letting state-funded […]

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Proposed NM Science Standards Omit References to Evolution and Global Warming

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By Hemant Mehta New Mexico is on a path to adopt science standards for all public school students that would eliminate mentions of evolution, the age of the Earth, and global warming. You wouldn’t know it, though, because the state’s Public Education Department based their own curriculum on the Next Generation Science Standards, a 2013 list adopted by […]

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Prepping for Alien Oceans, NASA Goes Deep

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By Jennifer Berglund In late 2012 NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted what appeared to be plumes of water vapor spewing from the frozen surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Another observation last year provided more evidence this was not a fluke. It is likely that below that distant world’s ice is an ocean larger than all […]

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Researchers unite in quest for ‘standard model’ of the brain

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By Alison Abbott Leading neuroscientists are joining forces to study the brain — in much the same way that physicists team up in mega-projects to hunt for new particles. The International Brain Lab (IBL), launched on 19 September, combines 21 of the foremost neuroscience laboratories in the United States and Europe into a giant collaboration that […]

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Trump judicial nominee said transgender children are part of ‘Satan’s plan’, defended ‘conversion therapy’

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By Chris Massie and Andrew Kaczynski In a pair of 2015 speeches, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Texas described transgender children as evidence of “Satan’s plan,” lamented that states were banning conversion therapy and argued that sanctioning same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality. Jeff Mateer, the current first assistant […]

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