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India bans e-cigarettes as global backlash at vaping gathers pace
18 September 2019 - India banned the sale of electronic cigarettes on Wednesday [18 September] and warned of an 'epidemic' among young people, in the latest and potentially biggest move globally against vaping over growing health concerns. (more)

US: Cornell's medical school debuts free education for students who qualify for financial aid
18 September 2019 - Students may graduate medical school with a new title but often leave with something else: Massive student loans. Cornell University's medical school announced Monday [16 September] that won't be the case for many of its students because it's offering a free education to all who qualify for financial aid. The school isn't just covering courses, though. Future doctors who qualify won't have to borrow money for housing, books, food, or other related expenses either -- it's all covered by scholarships. (more)

Regular aerobic exercise may slow progression to Alzheimer's for those most at risk
17 September 2019 - A half hour of aerobic exercise four to five times a week may prevent or slow cognitive decline in older adults who are at a high risk of developing Alzheimer's, according to a study published Tuesday [17 September] in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. (more)

Cornell's Medical School offers full rides in battle over student debt
17 September 2019 - Concerned that young doctors were being driven by financial pressures to become specialists rather than practice pediatrics or family medicine, some prominent universities have begun using major gifts from donors to relieve students from having to borrow to pay tuition. On Monday [16 September], Cornell University went even further. Its medical school, Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, announced that all students who qualify for financial aid will get a full ride: All costs will be covered by scholarships, including tuition, room and board, books, and other educational expenses. (more)

US: New York state ban on flavored e-cigarettes given final approval
17 September 2019 - New York became the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes on Tuesday [17 September] after its Democratic governor called for emergency action in response to concerns about their rising use among teens and a nationwide spate of lung illnesses. New York is the second state in the nation to introduce such a ban, after Michigan did so earlier this month. (more)

Want to live longer? Be an optimist, study says
17 September 2019 - A new study published Monday [26 August] inds men and women with the highest levels of optimism had an 11 percent to 15 percent longer life span on average ... The highest-scoring optimists also had the greatest odds of living to age 85 or beyond. Optimism doesn't mean ignoring life's stressors. But when negative things happen, optimistic people are less likely to blame themselves and more likely to see the obstacle as temporary or even positive. They also believe they have control over their fate and can create opportunities for good things to happen in the future. (more)

Most massive neutron star ever detected strains the limits of physics
16 September 2019 - Astronomers have detected the most massive neutron star ever, and it almost shouldn't even exist. Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, with a diameter comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta. They are the leftover remnants of supernovae. But they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. So think of the sun, compressed into a major city. The researchers weren't necessarily looking for this neutron star. Rather, it was happenstance as they searched for gravitational waves. (more)

US: Pennsylvania's largest solar energy project to help fuel Penn State University for 25 years
16 September 2019 - Penn State students joined Governor Tom Wolf and [Pennsylvania State University] President Eric Barron at a ceremony launching Penn State's newest and biggest eco-friendly initiative -- a 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project that will provide 25 percent of the university's purchased electricity over the next 25 years. (more)

US: New York to ban flavored e-cigarettes after illnesses, deaths
15 September 2019 - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday [15 September] announced a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes besides tobacco and menthol in response to a recent nationwide spate of sometimes deadly lung illnesses that U.S. health officials have linked to vaping. Governor Cuomo said vaping was dangerous and that he was concerned fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes were leading young people to get hooked on nicotine. (more)

On a sunny day this German factory runs completely on solar power
13 September 2019 - Multinational tech firm ABB claims to have opened a factory that can generate all of its energy needs via solar power. In May 2019, Zurich-headquartered ABB unveiled what it described as a CO2-neutral factory in the town of Luedenscheid, Germany. The site employs around 800 people to manufacture electrical equipment ... (more)

US: Michigan poised to nearly quadruple its solar power capacity
13 September 2019 - The Michigan Public Service Commission has given the green light to a case settlement between Consumers Energy and independent solar companies that could dramatically increase solar power in Michigan. (more)

British supermarket Sainsbury's vows to halve plastic packaging by 2025
12 September 2019 - Britain's second-biggest supermarket, Sainsbury's, vowed on Friday [13 September] to halve plastic packaging by 2025, promising to switch to alternative materials and refillable options to meet consumer demand for less waste. (more)

Scientists detect tones in the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time
12 September 2019 - If Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity holds true, then a black hole, born from the cosmically quaking collisions of two massive black holes, should itself 'ring' in the aftermath, producing gravitational waves much like a struck bell reverbates sound waves. Einstein predicted that the particular pitch and decay of these gravitational waves should be a direct signature of the newly formed black hole's mass and spin. (more)

This clean energy invention runs on nothing but cold, night air
12 September 2019 - Engineers at UCLA and Stanford University have designed a generator that harnesses heat energy from the cool night air to produce renewable electricity. It is a modern twist on a technology that has existed for nearly 200 years, called thermoelectric generators. Right now the device can only power simple LED lights or charge a phone, but [Aaswath Raman, an engineer and materials scientist at UCLA who co-led the study published Thursday in Joule] said a few tweaks could increase its energy output. (more)

US: Chief executives of 145 companies urge Senate to pass gun control laws
12 September 2019 - Leaders of 145 companies wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate on Thursday [12 September], urging the legislative body to take action on gun safety. 'These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan, and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action,' the letter concludes. (more)

High schoolers who don't date are less depressed than their counterparts who do, US study says
11 September 2019 - ... A recent study published in the Journal of School Health reveals that adolescents who choose not to date fare as well as, or better than, their coupled counterparts in social and leadership skills. They're also less depressed. (more)

US: Veterans with PTSD, anxiety turn to beekeeping for relief
11 September 2019 - Researchers are beginning to study whether beekeeping has therapeutic benefits. For now, there is little hard data, but veterans in programs like the one [at Manchester VA Medical Center in New Hampshire] insist that it helps them focus, relax, and become more productive. The programs are part of a small but growing effort by Veterans Affairs and veteran groups to promote the training of soldiers in farming and other agricultural careers. (more)

Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system
11 September 2019 - Scientists for the first time have detected water in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star, evidence that a key ingredient for life exists beyond our solar system, according to a study published on Wednesday [11 September]. The latest discovery was reported in research by a team of scientists at University College London (UCL) published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy. (more)

Event Horizon Telescope hopes to produce first-ever moving image of a black hole
10 September 2019 - The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration hopes to produce the first-ever moving image of a black hole by the end of the 2020s. Still images of black holes can give scientists a lot of information about the mysterious and fundamental objects. But videos can help them drill into the details of how black holes consume matter and affect the galaxies they find themselves within, EHT project director Shep Doeleman said. (more)

The Bahamas needs your tourist dollars: Here's where you can still visit
10 September 2019 - After Hurricane Dorian tore a path of destruction through the Atlantic, images and stories began to emerge from the Abacos and other Bahamian islands that had been devastated by the Category 5 storm. As these islands begin the slow work of rebuilding, other Bahamian islands remain untouched and open for business. This is good news, as about 60 percent of the country's revenue comes directly and indirectly from tourism. (more)

US: New York Governor proposes ban on flavored e-cigarettes
9 September 2019 - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation on Monday [9 September] to ban flavored e-cigarettes statewide in an effort to protect young people from the unknown consequences of vaping. If the proposed legislation were to become law, New York would become the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, following Michigan, which passed a ban on Wednesday [4 September]. (more)

Romania's Enescu music festival thrives in shaky political times
8 September 2019 - Floating above the turbulent politics of modern-day Romania, the biennial George Enescu Festival is a welcome relief for Bucharest's classical music fans, with performances not just in the main concert hall but on street corners and in bookstores. The 24th festival, which kicked off on August 31, features the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko. (more)

Asian cities turn to electric vehicles in anti-pollution drive
6 September 2019 - Asian cities are switching to electric vehicles in a bid to tackle worsening air quality, cut climate changing emissions, and expand their public transport networks, climate experts said on Friday [6 September]. (more)

Event Horizon Telescope researchers win 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
6 September 2019 - The 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has been given to members of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration for obtaining 'the first image of a supermassive black hole, taken by means of an Earth-sized alliance of telescopes'. The $3m prize will be shared equally by all 347 authors of six papers that announced the image on 10 April 2019. (more)

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