Gravity is not uniform. It varies geographically.

As this map of Bouguer's gravity anomaly shows, the pull of the earth varies considerably by region.

Image: USGS
  • The law of gravity may be universal, gravity itself varies considerably across the earth.
  • Most factors can be mathematically accounted for; local geology is the odd one out.
  • Bouguer gravity anomaly maps like these show regional gravitational variation.
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Scientists find a new way to measure gravity

Researchers develop a novel method to measure gravity that can get much more information.

Credit: Sarah Davis / Victoria Xu
  • Scientists use lasers that suspend atoms in air to measure gravity.
  • This method can be more precise and allow for gathering of much more information.
  • Portal devices using this technique can help find mineral deposits and improve mapping.
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Who is a non-human person?

An orangutan has settled into a Florida home after a court granted her personhood rights. But what is the basis for personhood?

Photo Credit: TheDman / Getty Images
  • An orangutan named Sandra was granted non-human personhood rights in 2015 and has been moved from the Buenos Aires Zoo to a home in Florida.
  • Legal personhood is not synonymous with human being. A "non-human person" refers to an entity that possesses some rights for limited legal purposes.
  • Sentience might be the characteristic necessary for granting legal rights to non-human species.
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Full Moon Syncs Migratory Birds’ Autumn Flight

New research provides insights on the effect of the lunar cycles on wildlife behavior.

Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images
  • Researchers at Lund University in Sweden charted the migratory activity of European nightjars to find out how the lunar cycle and moon light affected the birds' departure.
  • The birds consistently took flight for sub-Saharan Africa around ten to eleven days after the full moon in synchronization.
  • Previous research has indicated that lunar cycles affect wildlife, for example the Great Barrier Reef coordinates its "annual sex festival" with the full moon.
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Has Jurassic Park fostered misunderstanding about extinction?

While the blockbuster franchise might have given us a distorted view of science's capabilities to address species extinction, new research might come close to "resurrecting" lost species' DNA.

Image source: Universal / Getty Images
  • Jurassic Park has fueled public misconceptions about science's abilities to bring extinct species back to life.
  • De-extinction technology can resurrect genetic material from extinct species into their living relatives in a way that can assist conservation efforts.
  • Fostering empathy for other-than-human lives through stories might be the key to addressing the current ecological catastrophe.
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