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Portal:Science

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Science portal

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A magnet levitates above a superconductor

Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE. Their contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age. The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived " natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science."

Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which deal with symbols governed by rules. There is disagreement, however, on whether the formal sciences actually constitute a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection. ( Full article...)

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View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is toward the northeast. Earth, also known as Terra, and (mostly in the 19th century) Tellus, is the third-closest planet to the Sun. It is the largest of the solar system's terrestrial planets and the only planetary body that modern science confirms as harboring life. Scientific evidence indicates that the planet formed around 4.57 billion years ago, and shortly thereafter (4.533 billion years ago) acquired its single natural satellite, the Moon.

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Barbara McClintock (June 16, 1902 – September 2, 1992) was a pioneering American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize cytogenetics. The field remained the focus of her research for the rest of her career. From the late 1920s, McClintock studied chromosomes and how they change during reproduction in maize. She developed the technique to visualize maize chromosomes and demonstrate genetic recombination by crossing-over during meiosis—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, and she demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere. She was awarded prestigious fellowships and elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1944.

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Science News

11 June 2021 – Discoveries of exoplanets
A group of scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of New Mexico announces that water clouds are discovered on TOI-1231 b, a Neptune-like exoplanet that is located 90 light-years away from Earth. (CBS News)
10 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
Researchers from the University of Strathclyde and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay announce that they have developed a low-cost, portable sensor that can detect fragments of the virus responsible for COVID-19 within wastewater in concentrations as low as 10 picograms per microlitre using the Polymerase Chain Reaction test. (The New Indian Express)
1 June 2021 –
Australian and Chinese researchers announce the discovery of two new, distinct species of woolly flying squirrel in the Himalayas: the Tibetan woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus tibetensis) and the Yunnan woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus nivamons). (Mirage News)
26 May 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
U.S. President Joe Biden orders intelligence agencies to increase their investigations into the origin of the virus, following reports that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill a month before the pandemic began. (Al Jazeera)
26 May 2021 –
The Galápagos National Park in Ecuador confirms that a female tortoise discovered by scientists two years ago is a Fernandina Island Galápagos tortoise, following recent genetic tests performed at Yale University. Prior to this rediscovery, the species was thought to have been extinct for over a century. (The Guardian)
10 May 2021 – Chernobyl disaster
Ukrainian scientists report that, for an unknown reason, the levels of nuclear radiation have increased in the remains of the Chernobyl power plant. Most areas of containment have shown decreasing radiation levels, however, in one particular room, radiation counts have doubled over the last four years. These radiation levels are high enough to preclude installing sensors. Additionally, fuel containing materials, which were initially the consistency of lava, are disintegrating into radioactive dust. (Popular Mechanics) (Nature)

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