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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | January 26, 2020


Earth's most biodiverse ecosystems face a perfect storm
A combination of climate change, extreme weather and pressure from local human activity is causing a collapse in global biodiversity and ecosystems across the tropics, new research shows.
Prescription drug improves symptoms of autism by targeting brain's chemical messengers
Bumetanide -- a prescription drug for oedema (the build-up of fluid in the body) -- improves some of the symptoms in young children with autism spectrum disorders and has no significant side effects, according to a new study from researchers in China and the UK.
Patients suffer invasive treatments for harmless cancers
Australians are increasingly being diagnosed with cancers that will do them no harm if left undetected or untreated, exposing them to unnecessary surgeries and chemotherapy, says a new study published online today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

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False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
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When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.