The notion that there is considerable disagreement among credible scientists about the reality of human-caused climate change is widely held, but wrong. In an analysis of a national survey of nearly 800 US adults, environment school researcher Anthony Leiserowitz and his colleagues found that 66 percent of respondents did not understand that there is very broad consensus in the scientific community about global warming. The results were reported in Nature Climate Change.

Medical school immunobiologist Kevan C. Herold and his team have developed a novel method that detects the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas—the hallmark of type 1 diabetes—long before the disease becomes obvious. Herold’s innovation, so far demonstrated only in prediabetic mice, involves measuring a biomarker created early enough in the disease process that doctors might be able to combat the cell destruction in humans before it progresses too far. The research appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Meditators are no daydreamers, medical school psychiatry researcher Judson A. Brewer has shown. He used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brains of 12 long-term meditators and 13 matched controls who were novice meditators. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the long-term meditators were more focused while engaged in tasks and turned off parts of the daydreaming mind.

Engineers have figured out how to flip a tiny switch with just a flash of light. Electrical engineering researcher Hong Tang and his colleagues built a device to pump light of certain wavelengths into a silicon bridge. The action leaves the switch, which is many times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, in an up or down position. The innovation was reported in Nature Nanotechnology.  


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