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11 October 2016

Trees are much better at creating clouds and cooling the climate than we thought [Phys]

The pre-industrial atmosphere contained more particles, and so brighter clouds, than we previously thought. This is the latest finding of the CLOUD experiment, a collaboration between around 80 scientists at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva. It changes our understanding of what was in the atmosphere before humans began adding pollution – and what it might be like again in the future.

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9 October 2016

Êtes-vous aussi intelligent que les poissons ? [Sciences et Avenir - Animaux]

Certains poissons seraient plus intelligents que les reptiles, les oiseaux voire ... les grands mammifères ! C’est ce qu’affirme l’éthologue américain, Jonathan Balcombe dans son livre "What a fish knows" sorti en 2016. On ne confère souvent aux poissons ni sentiment, ni capacité cognitive. Et pourtant, de nombreuses études comportementales démontrent le contraire.

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8 October 2016

As DNA reveals its secrets, scientists are assembling a new picture of humanity [Stat News]

When Benedict Paten stares at his computer monitor, he sometimes gazes at what looks like a map of the worst subway system in the world. The screen is sprinkled with little circles that look like stations. Some are joined by straight lines — sometimes a single path from one circle to the next, sometimes a burst of spokes radiating out in many directions. And sometimes the lines bend into sweeping curves that soar off on express routes to distant stations.
A rainbow palette of colors makes it a little easier to digest the complexity. But if you stare a little too long, vertigo sets in.
This map is not a guide to any city on Earth. It is a sketch of the human gene pool.

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7 October 2016

La "Théorie de l’Esprit" aurait été démontrée chez les grands singes [Sciences et Avenir - Animaux]

Des chercheurs affirment avoir démontré la "Théorie de l’Esprit" chez trois espèces de grands singes. Une petite révolution dans le monde de l’éthologie.

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7 October 2016

The ecology and economics of autumn leaves [PLOS/Blogs]

Beyond pumpkin flavored everything, autumn is big business in some parts of the United States. And the main draw are the leaves themselves. In New England alone, tourists venturing to witness the change-in-color, a hobby known colloquially as “leaf peeping,” spend upwards of $3 billion US dollars annually. There are even great debates about where the best places to go “leaf peeping” are—a personal nod for me towards the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. And while we are amazed at the natural tapestry autumn brings us, the underlying ecology is equally fascinating.

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