ecology, flora, biodiversity, forests, tropical trees, social distancing
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Tropical Trees Use Social Distancing to Maintain Biodiversity: Study (Maria)

The author writes, “Tropical forests often harbor hundreds of species of trees in a square mile, but scientists often struggle to understand how such a diversity of species can coexist. In a study published in Science, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have provided new insights into the answer by uncovering a key characteristic of the spatial distribution of adult trees.”

Hacking Tool Flipper Zero Tracked by Intelligence Agencies, Which Fear White Nationalists May Deploy It Against Power Grid (Sean)

From the Daily Dot: “Police departments in major cities have been put on alert over the Flipper Zero hacking tool and expressed concern over its potential use by racially motivated extremists, documents obtained by the Daily Dot show.”

Idaho Health Care Providers Can Refer Patients for Abortions Out of State, Federal Judge Rules (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “A federal judge has ruled that it would violate Idaho medical providers’ free speech rights to sanction them for referring patients to out-of-state abortion services, rejecting the state attorney general’s interpretation of Idaho’s abortion ban. Idaho’s law makes it illegal to perform or attempt to perform an abortion, a crime punishable by two to five years in prison. It also makes it unlawful for health care professionals to assist in the provision or attempted provision of one, with the penalty being the suspension or loss of their medical license.”

‘This Is a Really Big Deal’: How College Towns Are Decimating the GOP (Laura)

From Politico: “Growing population in America’s highly educated enclaves has led to huge gains for the Democratic Party. And Republicans are scrambling for answers.”

Americans Are Moving to Places Besieged by Extreme Heat (Reader Jim)

From The Economist: “Roughly a third of Americans live in areas where the government has issued warnings about extreme heat. … These hot cities are in the Sunbelt, or the southern part of the country, ranging from Los Angeles to Miami. Tourists flocked sweatily to Death Valley, California, the hottest place on Earth, to see if it would get warmer than the previous record of 56.7 C [134 F] (it didn’t). Researchers in Florida worry that hot ocean temperatures will bleach coral reefs and worsen hurricane season.”

Gene Mutation May Explain Why Some Don’t Get Sick From COVID19 (Mili)

The author writes, “People who contract COVID-19 but never develop symptoms — the so-called super dodgers — may have a genetic ace up their sleeve. They’re more than twice as likely as those who become symptomatic to carry a specific gene variation that helps them obliterate the virus. … The secret lies with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), or protein markers that signal the immune system. A mutation in one of the genes coding for HLA appears to help virus-killing T cells identify SARS-CoV-2 and launch a lighting attack. The T cells of some people who carry this variant can identify the novel coronavirus, even if they have never encountered it before, thanks to its resemblance to the seasonal cold viruses they already know. The discovery points to new targets for drugs and vaccines.”

Rare Pink Bird Spotted in Wisconsin for the First Time in 178 Years (Dana)

The author writes, “Midwestern birders are rejoicing after a rare and conspicuous waterbird touched down in Wisconsin. A roseate spoonbill — a leggy bird with a wide, flat beak and distinctive pink coloring — has been hanging out near Green Bay in the northeastern part of the state in recent days. This unusual occurrence marks the first time anyone has reported seeing a living roseate spoonbill in Wisconsin. Historical records indicate that a dead roseate spoonbill was found in the state’s Rock County in 1845, making this the first time anyone has seen the species — dead or alive — in the Badger State in 178 years.”


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