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Thankfully, Obi-Wan Kenobi Made This Very Crucial Change

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a show filled with memorable fan-favorite moments but the one I’ll truly never forget was the skyline. In the show’s first episode, the largely Tatooine-based story cuts away to this lush, pristine-looking planet. Fans instantly knew where we were and what it meant—this was Alderaan, home of Leia…

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Do You Live in America’s Future Heat Belt?

The U.S. has seen several waves of dangerous heat this year, and extreme high temperatures are set to become more regular by the middle of this century. Researchers are warning about a future “heat belt” that will stretch from Texas up to Wisconsin, where people will regularly be exposed to stretches of heat index…

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Scientists identify potential bioindicators for monitoring plastic pollution in North Pacific Ocean

With an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste escaping to our oceans each year, plastic pollution adversely affects the environment, climate, and even our health. Many plastic products break down in the ocean and are ingested by marine wildlife. Scientists can study these organisms as potential bioindicators to measure how much plastic exists in different ocean regions and help assess the overall health of the marine environment.

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Catching up with quicksilver: MXene material can counter mercury contamination

Researchers estimate that mercury emissions in the atmosphere have quadrupled since the Industrial Revolution. The heavy metal, generated by burning fossil fuels and the disposal of industrial and medical waste, has become so persistent in aquatic environments that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests about a half dozen species of fish are so mercury-contaminated that people should avoid consuming them. Researchers have been working for many years to develop systems for removing mercury from water. But a team at Drexel University might have found just the right material to efficiently catch the evasive quicksilver—even at low levels—and clean up contaminated bodies of water.

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High school students describe two new species of scorpions

California now has two new scorpions on its list of species, thanks to the efforts of two keen-eyed high school students from the Bay Area and the California Academy of Sciences. Harper Forbes and Prakrit Jain, avid users on the community science platform iNaturalist, discovered the new-to-science scorpions while trawling the thousands of observations uploaded by other users in the state.

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Children found to change their views on gender stereotypes when read books that give other views

A team of psychology researchers from the University of Amsterdam, Western Washington University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, has found that reading books to children that have female characters working with math to solve problems reduces stereotypes that have been found to turn women away from interest in STEM careers. The group has written a paper describing experiments they conducted that involved reading to children and what they learned by doing so and have posted it on the open access site PLOS ONE.

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