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The Price of Life Is Death, but Sex Improves the Exchange Rate - Issue 88: Love & Sex

Nautilus

Epidemics have a way of making one wonder about death. To put it plainly, in the raw form it takes as it first rises from our hearts: Why? Why on Earth does it have to be this way? In The Plague, Albert Camus' novel of harrowing disease in an Algerian city, Father Paneloux, a faithful Jesuit, steps to the pulpit and offers his explanation. "This same pestilence which is slaying you," Paneloux says, "works for your good and points your path."


These Fish Evolved to Live in Extremely Toxic Water

National Geographic

The researchers sequenced the entire genomes of these fish and compared them to the genomes of killifish in unpolluted waters nearby each site. The researchers found a common set of mutations among the pollution-tolerant fish. Many of these mutations help to deactivate or turn off a molecular pathway responsible for a lot of the cellular damage caused by the chemicals. This complex set of mutations was rare among fish living in the unpolluted areas. That's probably because these mutations don't provide a survival advantage for fish in clean waters, according to the researchers.


Apple Pledges to Be Carbon Neutral by 2030

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Apple Inc. is pledging to become carbon neutral across its business, including its mostly overseas supply chain, within the next 10 years, the latest corporate giant planning to shift its operations to battle climate change. The iPhone maker said Tuesday that the new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have been produced with no net release of carbon into the atmosphere. The company plans to reduce its emissions by 75% and develop carbon-removal solutions for the remaining 25% of its footprint.


Report: EU Aims for Bloc to Go Carbon Neutral by 2050

U.S. News

Scientists say only by ending the use of fossil fuels within about three decades -- a process known as decarbonization -- can the 2015 Paris accord's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) be achieved.


Really cool neutral plasmas

Science

Plasmas are supposed to be hot. Hydrogen nuclei undergo fusion in the Sun because plasma temperatures and pressures are so high. The ion temperature is a chilly 0.05 K, so thermal speed of the ions is equivalent to a person taking a brisk walk. Surprisingly, the properties of this low-density, low-temperature plasma provide clues about the workings of high–energy-density physics relevant for fusion power research.