Month: November 2019

Amazon fires are causing glaciers in the Andes to melt even faster

If you have turned on a TV or read the news during the past few months, you have probably heard of the widespread fires that wrought havoc on the Amazon rainforest this year. Fires occur in the rainforest every year, but the past 11 months saw the number of fires increase by more than 70% when compared with 2018, indicating a major acceleration in land clearing by the country’s logging and farming industries.

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New algorithms to determine eigenstates and thermal states on quantum computers

Determining the quantum mechanical behavior of many interacting particles is essential to solving important problems in a variety of scientific fields, including physics, chemistry and mathematics. For instance, in order to describe the electronic structure of materials and molecules, researchers first need to find the ground, excited and thermal states of the Born-Oppenheimer Hamiltonian approximation. In quantum chemistry, the Born-Oppenheimer approximation is the assumption that electronic and nuclear motions in molecules can be separated.

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Ionizing radiation in the Chernobyl region lowers the population sizes of bank voles

Population sizes of bank voles are lower in the areas where radiation level in the environment is increased. In her dissertation at the University of Jyväskylä Kati Kivisaari studied the effects of ionizing radiation on bank vole growth and reproduction. In males, the quality of the sperm was weakened and females produced smaller litters in the contaminated areas. In addition, brain mass was decreasing and spleen mass increasing with increasing radiation level in the environment. Results are indicating more stress related response towards radiation instead of e.g. mutations.

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