New approach to show how ghost-like neutrinos helped shape the Universe — ScienceDaily

Computer simulations have struggled to capture the impact of elusive particles called neutrinos on the formation and growth of the large-scale structure of the Universe. But now, a research team from Japan has developed a method that overcomes this hurdle.

In a study published this month in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba present simulations that accurately depict the role of neutrinos in the evolution of the Universe.

Why are these simulations important? One key reason is that they can set constraints on a currently unknown quantity: the neutrino mass. If this quantity is set to a particular value in the simulations and the simulation results differ from observations, that value can be ruled out. However, the constraints can be trusted only if the simulations are accurate, which was not guaranteed in previous work. The team behind this latest research aimed to address this limitation.


Read More

Tony Hsieh, Zappos icon who helped revitalize downtown Las Vegas, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh in the Ogden

Steve Marcus

Tony Hsieh, CEO of, poses in the Ogden in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, June 7, 2012.

Updated 1 hour, 5 minutes ago

Tony Hsieh brought Zappos, his Amazon-owned shoe company, to downtown Las Vegas in 2013. He also brought a vision of creating “the co-learning and co-working capital of the world,” investing $350 million in DTP Companies to transform the area into a modern-day tech landing spot.

The company developed Container Park to bring a central recreation and dining destination, and built the sleek Fremont9 apartments, among other developments.

“It’s just been really cool seeing the evolution of this area,” Hsieh said in 2015.

Hsieh, who unexpectedly died Friday, is being remembered as someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks, which for downtown Las Vegas resulted in a multimillion-dollar personal investment to turn the area

Read More

Dr. Mary Fowkes, 66, Dies; Helped Science Understand the Pandemic

Dr. Mary Fowkes, a neuropathologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan whose autopsies of Covid-19 victims early in the pandemic discovered serious damage in multiple organs — a finding that led to the successful use of higher doses of blood thinners to treat patients — died on Nov. 15 at her home in Katonah, N.Y., in Westchester County. She was 66.

Her daughter, Jackie Treatman, said the cause was a heart attack.

When Dr. Fowkes (rhymes with “pokes”) and her team began their autopsies, little was known about the novel coronavirus, which was believed to be largely a respiratory disease. The first few dozen autopsies revealed that Covid-19 affected the lungs and other vital organs, and that the virus probably traveled through the body in the endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels.

“We saw very small and very microscopic blood clots in the lungs, the heart, the

Read More

Don Brooks helped the Carnegie Institution run for a half-century. He died of covid-19 just months shy of retirement.

“He just was a gentle soul,” Doyle said. “Saying he was beloved by everybody was an understatement. . . . He just was sagely and so even-keeled that he could offer advice that many people said changed their lives.”

Brooks often got a flu when the seasons changed, and when he developed a cough in early October he insisted it was not serious.

But “he just laid there, and that’s not like him,” recalled his wife, Gloria Brooks. When he wasn’t working, her husband was “a fixer-upper” — always improving their Brookland house in some way. She persuaded him to see a doctor, and he was hospitalized immediately. She never saw him alive again; he died Oct. 24.

Brooks grew up in a sharecropping family in Natchez, Miss. He met his future wife in the two-room schoolhouse where his mother taught. In 1963, he and his younger brother were arrested

Read More

How Google’s Project Guideline Technology Helped A Blind Runner Gain ‘The Freedom To Run Solo’

In a blog post published last week, Google shared a first-person account by Thomas Panek on using Google’s Project Guideline technology to help him better pursue his passion for running. An avid runner, Panek, who is blind, has completed more than twenty marathons, including five Boston Marathons. Last year, he became the first blind runner to complete the New York City Half Marathon guided entirely by dogs. Panek is president and CEO at Guiding Eyes For The Blind. The organization helps people with vision loss access resources such as orientation & mobility training, guide dogs, and more. “[We] work tirelessly to help people with vision loss receive running guide dogs that can help them live more active and independent lives,” he wrote.

Project Guideline is a Google Research initiative, a group that tinkers with

Read More

The Arecibo telescope found other worlds, helped win the Nobel Prize and starred in movies. Now, the US says it can’t afford to fix it

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.

The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope — one of the world’s largest — given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6, one of the telescope’s main steel cables snapped, causing further damage and leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse.

NSF officials noted that even if crews were to repair all the damage, engineers found that the structure would still be unstable in the long term.


Read More

Burning Fossil Fuels Helped Drive Earth’s Most Massive Extinction

Paleontologists call it the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, but it has another name: “the Great Dying.” It happened about 252 million years ago, and, over the course of just tens of thousands of years, 96 percent of all life in the oceans and, perhaps, roughly 70 percent of all land life vanished forever.

The smoking gun was ancient volcanism in what is today Siberia, where volcanoes disgorged enough magma and lava over about a million years to cover an amount of land equivalent to a third or even half of the surface area of the United States.

But volcanism on its own didn’t cause the extinction. The Great Dying was fueled, two separate teams of scientists report in two recent papers, by extensive oil and coal deposits that the Siberian magma blazed through, leading to combustion that released greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane.

“There was lots of oil, coal

Read More

COVID-19 Lockdowns Helped Lower Global Nitrogen Dioxide By 20%, Discovers NASA


  • Researchers found a 20% decline in nitrogen dioxide concentrations since February
  • The decline was attributed to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic
  • Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant produced during the combustion of fossil fuels

COVID-19-related restrictions significantly lowered the concentration of a key air pollutant while transport declined and industries slowed down globally. NASA researchers have detected a 20% dip in global nitrogen dioxide levels since February.

To find out how much of the nitrogen dioxide decline can be attributed to changes in human activity during the COVID-19 lockdowns, researchers at NASA compared data from recent observations to a model of a hypothetical coronavirus-free 2020, the space agency said.

Nitrogen dioxide is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels by numerous industries as well as transportation. 

“We all knew the lockdowns were going to have an impact on air quality,” said lead author Christoph Keller of Universities

Read More

Algorithm-driven digital program helped lower patients’ cholesterol, blood pressure — ScienceDaily

Using a remotely-delivered, algorithm-driven program for disease management, patients experienced significant improvement in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, according to late-breaking research presented today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The virtual meeting is Friday, November 13-Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care. The manuscript of this study is simultaneously published today in Circulation, the American Heart Association’s flagship journal.

Failure to appropriately treat hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and hypertension (high blood pressure) remains an ongoing clinical challenge that increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and cardiovascular death. Using digital tools, clinicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, initiated and continue to conduct a remote, algorithmically driven, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension management program.

Between January of 2018 and May of 2020, researchers screened 18,810 patients and

Read More

Financially troubled startup helped power Trump campaign

The app lets Trump’s team communicate directly with the 2.8 million people who downloaded it — more than any other app in a U.S. presidential campaign — and if they gave permission, with their entire contact list as well.

Once installed, it can track their behavior on the app and in the physical world, push out headlines, sync with mass texting operations, sell MAGA merchandise, fundraise and log attendance at the president’s rallies, according to the app’s privacy policy and user interface.

Yet the enterprise software company that built a tool to propel Trump’s mass movement is in financial distress and has been sustained at key points by the administration and the president’s campaign, according to interviews with former employees, financial filings and court documents.

Austin-based Phunware Inc., whose stock is trading for pennies, recently paid Uber $4.5 million as part of a settlement over claims of fraudulent advertising and

Read More