ecology, recycling, plastics, microbes, low temperature
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Microbes That Can Digest Plastics at Low Temperatures Discovered (Maria)

The author writes, “Microbes that can digest plastics at low temperatures have been discovered by scientists in the Alps and the Arctic, which could be a valuable tool in recycling. Many microorganisms that can do this have already been found, but they can usually only work at temperatures above 30C (86F). This means that using them in industrial practice is prohibitively expensive because of the heating required. It also means using them is not carbon neutral. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute WSL have found microbes that can do this at 15C, which could lead to a breakthrough in microbial recycling.”

A Look at the Rise of the AR-15 in America after 8 Killed at Texas Outlet Mall (Reader Jim)

From PBS News Hour: “AR-15s, like the one used to kill eight people at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, have become more popular around the country. The rifles have been involved in ten of the country’s 17 deadliest mass shootings. The Washington Post spent months examining the rise of the AR-15 in America and the politics and culture surrounding it. Geoff Bennett discussed that series with reporter Todd Frankel.”

Job Cuts May Intensify as IBM Plans to Use AI to Replace 30% of Back Office Jobs (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “IBM plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to replace 7,800 jobs over the next five years, CEO Arvind Krishna said in an interview, sparking fears of widespread job losses across industries.”

Simulation Suggests 2020 Census Missed Many Noncitizens (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “New results from a U.S. Census Bureau simulation indicate a significant number of noncitizens were missed in the 2020 census, a national head count during which the Trump administration tried to prevent people in the United States illegally from being tallied at all. Some civil rights groups pointed to the bureau’s latest findings as evidence that, despite the Trump administration’s failure to exclude residents in the country illegally from the 2020 count altogether, the former president’s push contributed to an undercount for some racial and ethnic minorities.”

Should You Really Worry about Solar Flares? (Sean)

From Scientific American: “The sun is unleashing powerful outbursts that could strike Earth, but these events are far more common — and much less worrisome — than some hyped headlines suggest.”

How Mexico City’s Mural Movement Transformed Walls Into Art (Michaela)

The author writes, “Jonatan Chávez, historian of San Ildefonso, said that muralism arose in a highly politicized context. Many of the wall paintings criticize political leaders, inequality or the Catholic Church because the young muralists were influenced by revolutionary nationalism and academic scholarship that transformed their ideas about the Indigenous population.”

Why Some People Lose Their Accents but Others Don’t — Linguistic Expert (Al)

From The Conversation: “You may think of your accent as a physical part of who you are — but a conscious or subconscious desire to fit in can influence the way you speak, whether you want it to or not. Research has shown a person’s accent will move towards that of the group of speakers with which they identify at some stage in their lives.”

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