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'Intrinsic to our identity': kiwi brought back to Wellington's wilds
25 November 2022 - New Zealand's national bird vanish from the capital 100 years ago. A new cohort of 11 birds is changing all that. Along a windswept ridge line on Wellington's south coast, 11 kiwi -- New Zealand's treasured national bird -- are making themselves at home for the first time in generations. The unique flightless birds have been busy in the week since their arrival. (more)

Gold coin proves 'fake' Roman emperor was real
25 November 2022 - An ancient gold coin proves that a third century Roman emperor written out of history as a fictional character really did exist, scientists say. The coin bearing the name of Sponsian and his portrait was found more than 300 years ago in Transylvania, once a far-flung outpost of the Roman empire. Now scientists say scratch marks visible under a microscope prove that it was in circulation 2,000 years ago. (more)

Africa bets on solar mini grids to fix electricity access gap
24 November 2022 - Solar-powered mini-grids could be the key to connecting 265 million people across Africa to electricity by 2030. Twenty-one low-income countries have been earmarked as beneficiaries of the Africa Minigrids Programme. (more)

'Sunny Makes Money': India installs a record volume of solar power in 2022
23 November 2022 - Twinkling signs of hope popping up on rooftops across India's sprawling megacities: solar panels. Despite having lots of tropical sunshine, India gets about 70% of its electricity from burning coal -- which exacerbates air pollution that's already some of the worst in the world. But this year, the country has also installed a record volume of solar energy. (more)

A museum 2,300 years in the making
22 November 2022 - When the International African American Museum opens in January in Charleston, South Carolina, it will tell the story of slavery in the US -- going all the way back to 300 BCE. (more)

EK Janaki Ammal: The 'nomad' flower scientist India forgot Published
22 November 2022 - In March, the magnolias begin blooming at Wisley, a small town in Surrey in the UK, beckoning passers-by to stop and smell them. Few know ... they were planted by EK Janaki Ammal, a scientist who was born in the southern Indian state of Kerala in the 19th Century. ... In 1924, she was teaching at a women's college when she received a prestigious scholarship from the University of Michigan in the US. Eight years later, she became the first Indian woman to be awarded a doctorate in botanical science. (more)

This bird hadn't been seen by researchers in over 140 years. They finally spotted it.
21 November 2022 - With black and orange feathers and red eyes, the critically endangered black-naped pheasant-pigeon remained a mystery for over a century after it was first -- and last -- observed by researchers in 1882. But 140 years later, the bird has been spotted for the second time ever. The bird exists in the rugged, just over 500-square-mile Fergusson Island, just off the coast of southeast Papua New Guinea. (more)

US: Wildlife crossings built with tribal knowledge drastically reduce collisions
20 November 2022 - The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes collaborated with the Montana Department of Transportation to design and build one of the largest networks of wildlife highway crossings in the U.S. Previously known as one of Montana's most dangerous roads, Highway 93 was upgraded to include 42 wildlife crossings that were built based on Indigenous traditional knowledge and values. According to a 2015 study, animal collisions declined by 71 percent. (more)

Black-naped pheasant-pigeon sighted in Papua New Guinea for first time in 140 years
19 November 2022 - Some 140 years after the black-naped pheasant-pigeon was last sighted by scientists, researchers have 'rediscovered' the rare bird. After a month of searching, a team in September captured footage of the species deep in the forest of a tiny island off Papua New Guinea. ... Researchers hope the discovery will help save the species from extinction. (more)

This bird hadn't been documented since 1882. Then scientists captured video of it in Papua New Guinea
19 November 2022 - A bird thought to be extinct for 140 years has been rediscovered in the forests of Papua New Guinea. The black-naped pheasant-pigeon was documented by scientists for the first and last time in 1882, according to a news release from nonprofit Re:wild, which helped fund the search effort. (more)

Singing sea turtles among dozens of vocal animal species once thought to be silent
18 November 2022 - It turns out that birds, amphibians, and mammals aren't the only animals to communicate by sound. Scientists have discovered dozens of animal species that were once thought to be silent are actually vocal communicators -- including singing sea turtles and acoustic-producing living fossils. (more)

Vocal communication recorded in 53 animals we thought were silent
18 November 2022 - Vocal communication is much more widespread in vertebrate animals than we thought. Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and his colleagues collected recordings from 53 species that were previously thought to be non-vocal, including the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the Cayenne caecilian (Typhlonectes compressicauda), the South American lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa), and 50 species of turtles. (more)

Israel and Jordan agree to team up to save Jordan River
17 November 2022 - Israel and Jordan signed a declaration of intent on Thursday [17 November] at the U.N. climate conference to conserve and protect their shared Jordan River -- a sacred waterway nearly running dry because of climate change, pollution, and other threats. (more)

NASA's Webb Space Telescope draws back curtain on universe's early galaxies
17 November 2022 - A few days after officially starting science operations, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope propelled astronomers into a realm of early galaxies, previously hidden beyond the grasp of all other telescopes until now. 'Everything we see is new. Webb is showing us that there's a very rich universe beyond what we imagined,' said Tommaso Treu of the University of California at Los Angeles, principal investigator on one of the Webb programs. 'Once again the universe has surprised us. These early galaxies are very unusual in many ways.' (more)

Webb Space Telescope spots early galaxies hidden from Hubble
17 November 2022 - NASA's Webb Space Telescope is finding bright, early galaxies that until now were hidden from view, including one that may have formed a mere 350 million years after the cosmic-creating Big Bang. ... Launched last December as a successor to Hubble, the Webb telescope is indicating stars may have formed sooner than previously thought -- perhaps within a couple million years of creation. (more)

The gut microbiome helps social skills develop in the brain
16 November 2022 - Two recent papers have shown that during a critical early period of brain development, the gut's microbiome -- the assortment of bacteria that grow within in it -- helps to mold a brain system that's important for social skills later in life. (more)

Nicole Mann becomes the first Native American woman in space
15 November 2022 - The Dragon Endurance spacecraft, built by SpaceX, launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Wednesday afternoon [5 October], carrying a crew of astronauts from multiple nations. As the craft hurtled beyond Earth's atmosphere en route to the International Space Station (ISS), the mission had already made history. With it, Nicole Mann became the first Native American woman to go to space. (more)

Hand of Irulegi: ancient bronze artefact could help trace origins of Basque language
15 November 2022 - More than 2,000 years after it was probably hung from the door of a mud-brick house in northern Spain to bring luck, a flat, lifesize bronze hand engraved with dozens of strange symbols could help scholars trace the development of one of the world's most mysterious languages. Although the piece -- known as the Hand of Irulegi -- was discovered last year by archaeologists ... who have been digging near the city of Pamplona since 2017, its importance has only recently become clear. (more)

MacKenzie Scott acknowledges another $2B in donations
14 November 2022 - Megadonor and novelist MacKenzie Scott announced almost $2 billion in donations to 343 organizations in a short blog post Monday [14 November], emphasizing her interest in supporting people from underserved communities. (more)

MacKenzie Scott announces another $2 billion in donations
14 November 2022 - Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated almost $2 billion to more than 300 organizations in the last 7 months, she said in a Medium post Monday [14 November]. This followed an announcement from her ex-husband and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos that he will donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime. (more)

Climate prize winner empowers women in India to become farmers and entrepreneurs
13 November 2022 - Swayam Shikshan Prayog is one of four winners of the Local Adaptation Champions Awards, organized by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), that is being announced at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The awards recognize community-led efforts to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. In an interview with NPR, SSP Director Upmanyu Patil shares significant moments from his journey. (more)

Dolly Parton receives $100 million award from Jeff Bezos
13 November 2022 - Country music star and philanthropist Dolly Parton received a $100 million prize from the 'Bezos Courage and Civility Award' given by Amazon.com founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, an honor that recognizes leaders who 'pursue solutions with courage and civility,' he said online. ... Parton, who this month was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, also has founded a number charities including the Dollywood Foundation, which focuses on education as well as poverty relief. (more)

US: New Memorial on the National Mall honors Native veterans who served the nation
12 November 2022 - Harvey Phillip Pratt is an artist from Oklahoma, a Vietnam veteran, and a member of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations. In 2018, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian chose his design for a veterans' memorial, which will be dedicated on Veterans' Day [11 November]. Pratt says he chose concepts that he hoped would be universal to the nearly 600 recognized tribes of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, as well as Native Hawaiians. After a two-year pandemic delay, Native American veterans are gathering in Washington, D.C., this Veterans Day to dedicate the space Pratt designed. (more)

Dolly Parton receives $100 million Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez
12 November 2022 - Dolly Parton is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award. 'Jeff [Bezos] and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner -- a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work,' Bezos' longtime partner, Lauren Sanchez, posted on Instagram alongside a video of their speech Friday before awarding the grant to the country music legend. 'We can't wait to see all the good that you're going to do with this $100 million award, @DollyParton.' Parton is also known for her philanthropy. (more)

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