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Astronomers have found one of the universe's oldest star clusters in our own galaxy
22 March 2019 - After decades of research, an analysis of light has finally identified the age of an ancient star cluster in the Milky Way. It's called HP 1, and it's roughly 12.8 billion years old. That makes it one of the oldest ever found -- not just in the galaxy, but in the entire universe. HP 1 hangs out in the galactic bulge, and we've known about it for a while. But getting an accurate reading of its light signature -- its spectrum -- has proven complicated, due to the way our atmosphere distorts incoming light. (more)

CERN: Study sheds light on one of physics' biggest mysteries -- why there's more matter than antimatter
22 March 2019 - Why the universe we see today is made entirely out of matter is one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics. Had there ever been an equal amount of antimatter, everything in the universe would have been annihilated. Our research has unveiled a new source of this asymmetry between matter and antimatter. ... the LHCb [CERN's Large Hadron Collider beauty] experiment has now managed to observe such an asymmetry in particles called D-meson -- which are comprised of charm quarks -- for the first time. (more)

Physicists reveal why matter dominates our universe
22 March 2019 - Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that matter and antimatter decay differently for elementary particles containing charmed quarks. Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone says the findings are a first, although matter-antimatter asymmetry has been observed before in particles with strange quarks or beauty quarks. (more)

Physicists see new difference between matter and antimatter
22 March 2019 - CERN discovery of a tiny effect in particles called D mesons provides fresh way to probe why matter exists. An experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's most powerful particle accelerator, has seen a new difference in the way matter and antimatter behave differently -- one that physicists have been hunting for decades. (more)

UK: Fund to boost female and black physicist numbers
22 March 2019 - The Institute of Physics is launching a bursary scheme to help female and black students to become physics researchers. The scheme is funded by one of the world's leading astronomers, Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The discoverer of pulsars donated the [British pounds] 2.3 million she won as part of an international science award. The initial aim is to increase the number of female physics researchers in the UK from the current level of 22 percent to more than 30 percent in the next 10 years. (more)

Finland tops world's happiest countries list again: U.N. report
21 March 2019 - Finland topped the ranking of the world's happiest countries for the second year in a row, with the Nordic countries taking the leading spots, an annual survey issued on Wednesday (20 March) showed. It ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. (more)

India bursts with color in celebration of Holi
21 March 2019 - Hindus across India this week celebrate the two-day festival of Holi, which marks the beginning of spring, with an explosion of colors, chanting of devotional songs, and prayer. For many, the festival, also known as the 'festival of colors' or the 'festival of love,' which began on Wednesday (20 March), is a time to laugh, forgive, and mend broken relationships. (more)

Italy's Terna to spend record sums on grid for shift to renewables
21 March 2019 - Italy's Terna said on Thursday (21 March) it would spend a record 6.2 billion euros ($7.1 billion) on its power grid to deal with the shift toward the production of more renewable energy. 'The energy transition process is moving faster than expected and renewables and the phasing out of fossil fuels will have a major impact,' Chief Executive Luigi Ferraris told analysts. (more)

Light physical activity tied to lower heart disease risk in senior women
21 March 2019 - Senior women may be able to reduce their risk of developing heart disease by increasing the number of hours they spend in low intensity activities, such as walking and gardening, a new study suggests. In the study of nearly 6,000 older women, researchers found women in the highest category of daily low intensity activity were 42 percent less likely to experience a heart attack or die from heart disease compared to those in the lowest category. (more)

US: Prescriptions for healthy food might save lives -- and money
21 March 2019 - Healthy food prescriptions written for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries might lower the risk of costly chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and at the same time lower the costs of care, a new study suggests. (more)

Why India celebrates Holi: The legends behind the festival of color
21 March 2019 - It's the bold image of India most often seen in ad campaigns, films, and music videos: People coming together from all walks of life to sing, dance, and splash their friends and family with colored powder and water. Brands such as Sony and Canon have used the vibrant festival to showcase their products. British Airways recently joined in the fun with cabin crew members celebrating in cities across India. Before you travel there to celebrate it, you'll want the answer to these questions: What is Holi? And why do Indians celebrate it? (more)

Over a tenth of Danish agricultural land now organic
20 March 2019 - Never before has organic agricultural land been as popular in Denmark as it is currently, according to a new report from the Landbrugsstyrelsen agricultural agency. The report reveals that 10.5 percent of land reserved for agriculture in Denmark has been transformed into organic land, and there are now close to 4,000 organic farmers in the country. (more)

Organic farming is on the rise in the U.S.
20 March 2019 - There were more than 14,000 certified organic farms in the United States in 2016, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This represents a 56 percent increase from 2011, the earliest comparable year. And while California remains king when it comes to the number of organic farms, several other states saw dramatic growth in organic farming over this time, particularly in the South. (more)

Philippines: Cagayan organic farmers get certificates
20 March 2019 - The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) has awarded certificates to organic practitioners after they complied with the standards set by the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP). OCCP said its primary purpose is to serve as a certification and inspection body for food and food products, and agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, pesticide, feeds, among others. (more)

In a first, a woman wins math's most prestigious prize
19 March 2019 - Karen Uhlenbeck, a mathematician and professor at the University of Texas, has been awarded this year's Abel Prize, a mathematics prize modeled after the Nobels. It's the first time the prize has gone to a woman. The Abel Prize is awarded by the King of Norway to mathematicians who have greatly influenced their field, and includes a cash award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (about $700,000). The first prize was awarded in 2003. (more)

US professor is first woman to be awarded math's top prize
19 March 2019 - An American professor has become the first woman to be awarded the Abel Prize, one of the world's most prestigious international mathematics awards. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced in Oslo on Tuesday (19 March) that Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin was this year's winner of the prize, seen by many as the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (more)

In Saint Lucia, Britain's Prince Charles touts 'blue economy'
17 March 2019 - On the first leg of his Caribbean tour, Britain's Prince Charles touted a 'vital blue economy,' built on sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, as part of the solution to climate change, noting that rising sea levels represent an especially severe threat to nearby island nations. The Prince, an outspoken environmentalist, in a speech shortly after arriving called attention to efforts to create sustainable agriculture and hailed local entrepreneurs taking risks to protect the environment (more)

Engineers develop cheap, simple tests for car emissions
15 March 2019 - Engineers working to tackle carcinogenic pollution from cars have developed cheap and simple devices to test the effectiveness of particle filters, which could help take toxic vehicles off roads without resorting to blanket bans. ... Regulators also need to find inexpensive ways to measure real-world emissions without installing costly equipment. (more)

India: Hyderabad to get more electric buses
15 March 2019 - The services of most electric buses in the city are limited to routes leading to the airport, which has been raising concerns among commuters, compelling them to ask, when the buses would operate properly in the city. Commuters have been demanding the introduction of electric buses through social media platforms as well. (more)

US: North Carolina's solar power output grew 36 percent in 2018; No. 2 solar state in the country
15 March 2019 - A newly released government report says the annual solar energy production in North Carolina jumped 36 percent in 2018, firmly placing North Carolina as the No. 2 solar-producing state in the nation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed North Carolina's 36 percent growth, which significantly outpaced other leading solar states. North Carolina was third in the nation for connecting new solar projects in 2018. (more)

US: Toyota driving demand for solar power in Ohio Valley
15 March 2019 - Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky. At 100 megawatts, the site would be largest solar array in Kentucky. The project ... will be built on a 700-acre reclaimed surface mine site and could create between 50 and 100 renewable-energy jobs in a region still reeling from the loss of coal employment. (more)

Sweden's emissions-free ferries lead the charge
14 March 2019 - A quiet revolution has taken place in the Oresund Strait between Sweden and Denmark where two of the world's largest battery-powered ferries ply the waters after being converted from polluting diesel power. The route handles more than 7 million passengers and almost 2 million vehicles each year with crossings every 15 minutes. (more)

California leads the way as US installs more than 10 gigawatts of solar power in 2018
14 March 2019 - The U.S. installed 10.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic capacity in 2018, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 'The total amount of solar installed in America is on track to more than double in the next five years, proving solar's resiliency and its economic strength,' [said the SEIA's president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper]. (more)

Canadians want majority of new cars to be electric, expect it in future, survey says
14 March 2019 - A new poll of driving-age Canadians shows strong support for electric cars, and strong expectations that EVs will become the norm in the future. The poll, conducted by Clean Energy Canada, shows that 64 percent of Canadians would prefer electric vehicles to be the majority of vehicles sold in the future. Furthermore, 72 percent of Canadians believe EVs will become the majority of cars sold around the world. (more)

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