44 articles from SATURDAY 9.12.2023

Climate 'tipping points' can be positive too—our report sets out how to engineer a domino effect of rapid changes

A young boy is forced to sit at a dinner table with grown-ups talking endlessly about grown-up stuff. He's bored. He finds it hard at first, to push with his feet against the table frame, tip his chair onto its back legs, and straighten his legs. But towards the pivot point, it becomes an almost effortless, floating experience, requiring only the slightest toe poke now and then.

Seven tips for ethical shopping this Christmas

As you walk into a shop or go online hunting for Christmas gifts, it can feel pretty daunting. Who needs what, how much will it cost, will they like it? But also very important: am I making a good choice in where I am shopping?

Lost in space no more: missing tomato found in space station after eight months

But Nasa and space jocks alike haven’t explained either the mysterious disappearance or reappearance of space-grown fruitIt might have remained one of the greatest mysteries of the universe, destined never to be solved until a freak recent discovery by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS).The subject? A tomato grown from seed in microgravity by US astronaut Francisco “Frank”...

A new (micro) lens on optics: Researchers develop hybrid achromats with high focusing efficiencies

Using 3D printing and porous silicon, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed compact, visible wavelength achromats that are essential for miniaturized and lightweight optics. These high-performance hybrid micro-optics achieve high focusing efficiencies, while minimizing volume and thickness. Further, these microlenses can be constructed into arrays to form larger...

Government and nonprofit workers are getting billions in student loan debt canceled through a public service program

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which the George W. Bush administration created in 2007 to encourage people to work for the government and nonprofits, has grown significantly during Joe Biden's presidency. The Conversation asked economist William Chittenden to explain what this student loan program is, who is eligible and what has changed lately.

Sunak faces new questions at Covid inquiry after pranksters claim they reached his old phone number

PM likely to be asked about WhatsApp messages from pandemic that he says are irretrievable, despite reports number accessedFresh questions are being raised over whether Rishi Sunak has handed over all relevant material to the Covid inquiry after reports that pranksters have been able to access an old phone number he used during his time as chancellor.The prime minister will face a day of...

The longstanding mystery of Mars' moons—and the mission that could solve it

The two small moons of Mars, Phobos (about 22km in diameter) and Deimos (about 13km in diameter), have been puzzling scientists for decades, with their origin remaining a matter of debate. Some have proposed that they may be made up of residual debris produced from a planet or large asteroid smashing into the surface of Mars (#TeamImpact).