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Writer Fuel: What Are “Zombie Viruses” and Are They Dangerous?

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There is a frozen soup of viruses, bacteria and fungal spores lurking beneath the frigid Arctic soil. Unlike the icy leftovers in the back of your freezer, some of these microbes haven’t interacted with a cell since well before ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids of Giza. As climate change continues to cook the planet, however, … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Rising Sea Levels Could Swamp US Coasts by 2050

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Sea levels are likely rising faster than previously thought, meaning low-lying coastal cities in the U.S. could flood far more regularly in the coming decades, a NASA study has revealed. According to the study, which analyzed three decades of satellite observations, by 2050, sea levels along the coastlines of the contiguous U.S. could rise as … Read more

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Writer Fuel: How Close Is Actual Usable Nuclear Fusion?

Nuclear Fusion - NIF

Scientists have just announced a breakthrough in nuclear fusion ignition: For the first time the heart of a powerful fusion reactor has briefly generated more energy than was put into it. But experts are urging caution, saying that the breakthrough, while hugely significant, is still a long way from safe, limitless nuclear energy. On Tuesday (Dec. 13), physicists at … Read more

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Writer Fuel: There’s a River Under Antarctica

ice river - deposit photos

A river longer than England’s Thames flows beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, draining an area the size of France and Germany combined, new research reveals. This under-ice river was discovered using ice-penetrating radar mounted on aircraft. In a series of aerial surveys, researchers discovered a river system snaking 285 miles (460 kilometers) and draining into … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Plants Give Off Their Own Electricical Discharges During Thunderstorms

plants lightning electricity - deposit photos

When lightning flashes above, plants on the ground may respond in kind. Scientists have long been aware that plants and trees can emit small, visible electric discharges from the tips of their leaves when the plants are trapped beneath the electrical fields generated by thunderstorms high overhead. These discharges, known as coronas, are sometimes visible … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Are eFuels the Wave of the Future?

e-fuel test - Audi

Hydrogen and natural gas are among the alternative fuels starting to get more attention as car companies work to reduce emissions. But Audi is exploring another option that you may not have heard much about yet: e-fuels. The German automaker, which aims to develop synthetically engineered e-fuels as a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel, … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Early Martian Life May Have Destroyed Itself Via Climate Change

Mars - Pixabay

Ancient microbial life on Mars could have destroyed the planet’s atmosphere through climate change, which ultimately led to its extinction, new research has suggested. The new theory comes from a climate modeling study that simulated hydrogen-consuming, methane-producing microbes living on Mars roughly 3.7 billion years ago. At the time, atmospheric conditions were similar to those … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Scientists Discover Really Old DNA Under Antarctic Seafloor

Antarctica - Pixabay

DNA from ancient microorganisms, some of which dates back to roughly 1 million years ago, has been discovered beneath the seafloor in Antarctica. The DNA is the oldest ever discovered from seafloor sediments, a new study shows. Scientists accidentally collected the unusual genetic samples, known as sedimentary ancient DNA or sedaDNA, up to 584 feet … Read more

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Writer Fuel: What Happened to King Solomon’s Mines?

King Solomon's Pillars - Deposit Photos

Copper mines in Israel’s Negev Desert — ancient sites that may have inspired the legend of King Solomon’s mines of gold — were abandoned 3,000 years ago, when people there used up all the plants to make charcoal for smelting, a new study finds. The researchers studied fragments of charcoal from ancient furnaces in the … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: How Close Are We to Climate Tipping Points?

Climate Change - Deposit Photos

Climate tipping points — the “points of no return” past which key components of Earth’s climate will begin to irreversibly break down — could be triggered by much lower temperatures than scientists previously thought, with some tipping points potentially already reached. There are also many more potential tipping points than scientists previously identified, according to … Read more