164 articles from WEDNESDAY 20.1.2021

Biden’s first steps as president: Action on covid and climate

A flurry of executive orders is expected to take place over the next few days from the new US president as he takes residence in the White House. Here are the highlights of those he has signed so far. The “100 day mask challenge” Biden’s first order is part recommendation, part requirement: it requires people to wear masks on all federal property, and recommend that governors and...

Biden puts U.S. back into fight to slow global warming

President Joe Biden planned Wednesday to return the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming in one of his first official acts, and to immediately launch a series of climate-friendly efforts that would transform how Americans drive and get their power.

Deep sleep takes out the trash

By examining fruit flies' brain activity and behavior, the researchers found that deep sleep has an ancient, restorative power to clear waste from the brain. This waste potentially includes toxic proteins that may lead to neurodegenerative disease.

Late rainy season reliably predicts drought in regions prone to food insecurity

The onset date of the yearly rainy season reliably predicts if seasonal drought will occur in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa that are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, and could help to mitigate its effects. Shraddhanand Shukla and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Climate Hazards Center, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on January 20,...

Describing the worldviews of the new 'tech elite'

The new tech elite share distinct views setting them apart from other segments of the world's elite more generally, according to a study published January 20, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hilke Brockmann from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, and colleagues.

Unravelling the when, where and how of volcanic eruptions

There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide and about 50 eruptions occur each year. But it's still difficult to predict when and how these eruptions will happen or how they'll unfold. Now, new insight into the physical processes inside volcanoes are giving scientists a better understanding of their behaviour, which could help protect the 1 billion people who live close to...

Why Trump’s last-minute cyber order could have limited impact

The news: Hours before leaving the presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order that requires American cloud computing companies to do more to verify the identities of their foreign customers. The stated aim is to help prevent hacking operations against the United States, although the timing and scope of the order mean it is surrounded by uncertainty. What it says: The order instructs the...