In an unusual move, Trump administration will protect a pine tree due to climate change

with Alexandra Ellerbeck

In an unexpected decision, the Trump administration announced that a lethal fungus, a rapacious beetle and even a changing climate jeopardize the survival of an iconic tree of the American West.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is set to propose Wednesday listing the whitebark pine as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. 

Granting federal protections to the tree is a “watershed decision,” said Diana Tomback, professor of integrative biology at the University of Colorado at Denver who has studied the tree for decades.

The whitebark pine’s habitat spans over 80 million acres across seven states and Canada. In its official filing, the agency acknowledged that rising temperatures are pushing the high-elevation tree’s habitat up to higher altitudes, hurting the chances of survival for a pine whose nutritious seeds provide sustenance for everything from red squirrels to black bears.

a man standing next to a tree: A dead whitebark pine tree in the mountains east of Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Mead Gruver/AP)

© Mead Gruver/AP
A dead whitebark pine

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NZXT Halts Sales of Its Xbox-Like PC Cases Due to Fire Hazard

Illustration for article titled NZXT Halts Sales of Its Xbox-Like PC Cases Due to Fire Hazard

Image: NZXT

While reports of Xbox Series X fires seem to have amounted to nothing after it turned out people were blowing vape smoke through the cases, reports of NZXT’s H1 PC cases catching on fire—the ones that kind of look like an Xbox Series X—are real. As reported by TechSpot, the company is advising H1 owners who have yet to experience problems to power down their PCs until it can send a repair kit. The company has also paused sales of its H1 case until it can implement design changes to units they plan to ship in the future.

In a recent statement, NZXT said the issue currently affects fewer than 10 cases, and the probability of it occurring in your H1 case is next to nil, but NZXT is not taking any chances. The issue is with the PCIe riser assembly to the chassis, specific

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Study could help better treat calcium malabsorption due to bariatric surgery and aging — ScienceDaily

A Rutgers study has discovered that vitamin D regulates calcium in a section of the intestine that previously was thought not to have played a key role. The findings have important implications on how bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, may disrupt calcium regulation.

In a healthy person, the body absorbs calcium to maintain strong bones and perform other important functions like helping muscles move and nerves carry messages between the brain and body parts. Vitamin D is critical for this calcium absorption from the intestine and for the function of the intestine.

The study, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, highlights the importance of the distal segments of the intestine — including the colon — in vitamin D regulation of calcium and bone calcification. Previously, this regulation was thought to only occur in the proximal intestine, the first section of the intestine immediately beyond the

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Pitt and Virginia Tech to wear face masks in game due to mandate

Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech players will all wear face masks during gameplay on Saturday in accordance with the state of Pennsylvania’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

The Panthers released a statement on Friday confirming both teams are aware of the guidelines.

“In alignment with the recent guidance from state officials regarding the current health climate, Pitt’s football team will be appropriately outfitted for Saturday’s game with face coverings to use on the field and sideline. This is being communicated to Virginia Tech’s sports medicine staff as well,” Pitt said in the statement.

According to ESPN, a Hokies official confirmed the program has been informed of the guidelines.

The Hokies and Panthers will be the first college football teams to wear face coverings while playing. It remains unclear how the policy will be enforced during the game.

This week, Pennsylvania secretary of health Dr. Rachel Levine announced the state’s new efforts to

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Iconic SETI Dish Will Be Demolished Due to Risk of ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse

Arecibo Observatory in spring 2019, before the cable failures.

Arecibo Observatory in spring 2019, before the cable failures.
Photo: UCF Today

The recent failure of two support cables at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has destabilized the structure such that it cannot be repaired without placing construction workers at significant risk, according to officials with the National Science Foundation. As feared, the beloved 1,000-foot telescope will have to be decommissioned.

As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, we received news this morning that the giant dish at Arecibo will have to be demolished. The National Science Foundation came to this hard decision following a review of engineering assessments, which concluded that the observatory is in seriously bad shape and that it cannot be stabilized without placing workers in danger. The NSF is now planning for the controlled decommission of the dish, ending a historic 57-year run.

“I want to say this as forcefully as possible,” said Ralph

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COVID-19 or lung injury due to vaping? Similar symptoms of vaping-related lung injury and COVID-19 can be confusing — ScienceDaily

A UC Davis Health pediatric team presented a powerful case series of three teenagers who had unexplained breathing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series highlighted the similarities between e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and COVID-19 symptoms and manifestations.

“EVALI and COVID-19 share many symptoms but have very different treatment plans,” said Kiran Nandalike, associate professor of pediatrics and lead author on the study. “For this reason, providers caring for pediatric patients with unexplained respiratory failure should consider EVALI and ask for relevant smoking/vaping history.”

Teenagers facing COVID-19 and EVALI

As of February 2020, over 2758 EVALI hospitalized cases and 64 deaths have been reported in the U.S. More than half of those hospitalized were younger than 25 years old.

According to Nandalike, most adolescents who vape using recreational marijuana get the substance from friends, family members or unlicensed dealers. The unregulated access to these products is

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NSF plans to decommission Arecibo Observatory’s 305m telescope due to safety concerns

NSF plans to decommission Arecibo Observatory's 305m telescope due to safety concerns
Arecibo Observatory’s 305-meter telescope in November of 2020. Credit: University of Central Florida

Following a review of engineering assessments that found damage to the Arecibo Observatory cannot be stabilized without risk to construction workers and staff at the facility, the U.S. National Science Foundation will begin plans to decommission the 305-meter telescope, which for 57 years has served as a world-class resource for radio astronomy, planetary, solar system and geospace research.

The decision comes after NSF evaluated multiple assessments by independent engineering companies that found the telescope structure is in danger of a catastrophic failure and its cables may no longer be capable of carrying the loads they were designed to support. Furthermore, several assessments stated that any attempts at repairs could put workers in potentially life-threatening danger. Even in the event of repairs going forward, engineers found that the structure would likely present long-term stability issues.

“NSF prioritizes the

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South, Midwest retain more demand due to essential workers — ScienceDaily

The COVID-19 pandemic had surprising effects on demand for public transit in American cities, new research suggests.

While demand for public transit dropped about 73% across the country after the pandemic hit, the reduction didn’t impact all cities equally, according to the study, which analyzed activity data from a widely used public transit navigation app.

Large, coastal cities — like Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C — saw demand fall further than cities in the Midwest and South. The reason had to do with the nature of jobs in different cities and who was actually using public transportation before the pandemic, said Luyu Liu, lead author of the study and doctoral student in geography at The Ohio State University.

“Many of the people who used public transit in large, coastal cities could work remotely from home after the pandemic,” Liu said.

“But in cities in the Midwest and the deep

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Virgin Galactic Falls After Space-Flight Delay Due to Covid

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) shares fell on Monday after the space-travel company said that a scheduled flight from New Mexico would be delayed due to the pandemic.

“Virgin, in accordance with new guidelines from the New Mexico Department of Health to disrupt the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the state, today announced that it will be minimizing its operational footprint at its New Mexico facilities,” the company, founded and partly owned by the U.K. entrepreneur Richard Branson, said in a statement.

“In consultation with government officials, and as a result of these new operations restrictions, the space flight that was planned to occur between November 19-23 will be rescheduled.” The company said it will reschedule a new test-flight window as soon as it can.

Virgin’s operations base sits at Spaceport America in south-central New Mexico, north of Las Cruces, while its manufacturing and development activity is in California’s Mojave Desert.

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Virgin Galactic’s postponing its first human test flight out of Spaceport America due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico

a screen shot of Richard Branson: If the planned crewed mission is successful, Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic's founder, will himself step on board SpaceShipTwo — a winged vehicle designed to rocket up to six passengers for more than $200,000 a ticket. Reuters

© Reuters
If the planned crewed mission is successful, Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic’s founder, will himself step on board SpaceShipTwo — a winged vehicle designed to rocket up to six passengers for more than $200,000 a ticket. Reuters

  • Virgin Galactic said Monday it’s delaying a pivotal crewed launch planned for mid-November due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico.
  • “[W]e take this pause in stride and will be prepared to resume our pre-flight procedures and announce a new test flight window as soon as we can,” CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement Monday.
  • The postponed November mission is scheduled to be the first human test flight from the company’s base Spaceport America in New Mexico.
  • New Mexico announced statewide coronavirus restrictions Friday as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. State health officials have recorded 64,201 cases in total.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Virgin Galactic announced Monday that

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