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Are lives around the globe just as valuable as American lives?
U.S. Army strategist and military historian Danny Sjursen says Americans don't value all lives the same.
Major Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives with his wife and four sons near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
U.S. Army strategist and military historian Danny Sjursen says Americans don't value all lives the same. They continually fight people who don't look like them, making it easier to not care as much about their lives. If the U.S. military is to be truly engaged around the world, it may need to learn how to value all lives equally. NOTE: The views expressed in this video are those of the guest speaking in an unofficial capacity and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Command and General Staff College, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US government.
Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.
Our family tree is complicated, and some of the branches are still unlabled.
- A new study of the genomes of Modern Humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans suggests the three were interbreeding quite often.
- The study also found DNA from an unidentified, archaic human ancestor which we inherited from the Denisovans.
- Homo Erectus is the most likely source of this DNA.
Some of our evolutionary relatives never really left, genetically speaking.<p>The paper, <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1008895" target="_blank"><em>Mapping gene flow between ancient hominins through demography-aware inference of the ancestral recombination graph</em></a><em>, </em>was published in PLOS Genetics. It's authors used a new statistical method to analyze the genomes of two Neanderthals, a Denisovan, and two modern humans.</p><p>The new method allowed the researchers to determine when segments of one individual's DNA are worked into the chromosomes of another. These occurrences are called "recombination events" and can be used to determine when specific genes entered our genome and provide evidence of where it came from. As an example of how this can be <a href="https://www.livescience.com/mystery-ancestor-mated-with-humans.html" target="_blank">used</a>, if Neanderthal DNA contained genes from another pre-human ancestor that they then passed to us, this method would identify it. </p><p>The analysis confirmed previous studies that showed that Modern Humans interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans. However, this analysis suggests that some of this mixing took place between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, long before what previous studies had suggested. It also indicates that more instances of interbreeding occurred than previously suspected.</p><p>Most interestingly, the researchers noticed that one percent of the DNA in the Denisovans from an even more ancient human ancestor. Fifteen percent of the genes that this ancestor passed onto the Denisovans still exist in the Modern Human <a href="https://phys.org/news/2020-08-dna-ancient-unidentified-ancestor-humans.html" target="_blank">genome</a>. </p><p>Exactly who this ancestor was is remains unknown, but some clues point to who it was. The fact that this ancestor separated from the linage that would lead to modern humans about 1,000,000 years ago is the most useful one we currently have. This led the researchers to suggest Homo Erectus as the most likely candidate. </p>
Who was Homo Erectus?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="oZzgXq4d" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="0007d6c597f8cc6c95d9d3b5fae7c1ad"> <div id="botr_oZzgXq4d_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/oZzgXq4d-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/oZzgXq4d-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/oZzgXq4d-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The bane of all school teachers focusing on human evolution and the original "missing link," <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus" target="_blank">Homo Erectus</a> was the first human ancestor to leave Africa. They spread widely throughout the old world, with their remains found from Spain to Java. They resembled modern humans, though they were a tad shorter. They were the first to control fire, made tools, created artwork, and likely had rudimentary language.</p><p>It should be repeated that while Homo Erectus is the probable source of this ancient DNA, the jury is still out. We would have to sequence its genome to know for sure. </p><p>Studying human evolution leads us down some very strange roads. It is increasingly clear to us that wherever there was an overlap of human species, there was interbreeding and that a considerable amount of the genetic remnants of this endure to this day. While this might get in the way of the old view of evolution as a slow climb to the humanity, the pinnacle of biological achievement, it does provide us a richer view of who we are, where we come form, and where we might be going. </p>
Some of the most extreme weather in the Solar System just got stranger.
- The Juno probe orbiting Jupiter has observed lightning at impossibly high points in the Jovian atmosphere.
- The findings, combined with other atmopsheric data, led to the creation of a new model of the atmosphere.
- The findings answer a few questions about Jupiter, but create many more.
Shouldn’t be all that surprising really, the planet is named after the god of thunder….<p>The findings are described in the study, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2532-1" target="_blank"><em>Small lightning flashes from shallow electrical storms on Jupiter</em></a><em>, </em>published in <em>Nature</em>. Previous missions to Jupiter, including Voyager 1, Galileo and New Horizons, all observed lightning, but without the benefits of the equipment on the Juno probe or more recent developments in models of the Jovian atmosphere.</p><p>In this case, the lighting is notable for how high it is occurring in the atmosphere. While previous observations suggested lightning in water-based clouds deep inside the gas planet, the new data suggests lightning exists in the upper atmosphere in clouds of water and ammonia. This lightning is dubbed "shallow lightning." </p><p>According to a <a href="https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/08/ammonia-sparks-unexpected-exotic-lightning-jupiter" target="_blank">press release</a> by Cornell University, where two of the scientists involved in the study hail from, the ammonia is vital in creating the lightning, as it functions as an "anti-freeze" of sorts to keep the water in the clouds from freezing. The collision of droplets of mixed ammonia and water with ice water particles creates the charge needed for lightning strikes. <br> <br> This is different from any process that creates lightning on Earth.</p><p>That wasn't the only bit of strangeness the probe noticed. While Juno saw plenty of ammonia near the equator and at lower levels of the atmosphere, it was hard-pressed to find much anywhere else. To explain this, researchers developed a new model of atmospheric mixing. They suggest that the ammonia at lower levels of the atmosphere rises into storm clouds, interacts with water to cause the aforementioned lightning, and then falls back down in the form of <a href="https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ammonia-rich-hail-jupiter-weather.html" target="_blank">hailstones</a>. </p><p>The scientists gave these ammonia and water ice hailstones the name "mushballs<a href="https://www.inverse.com/science/jupiter-mush-balls" target="_blank"></a>."</p><p>This model explains many things, including why Juno couldn't detect ammonia where it expected to: the mushballs would be more challenging to detect than ammonia or water vapor. The scientists further speculated that the weight of the mushballs pulls the ammonia to lower levels of the <a href="https://scitechdaily.com/nasas-juno-spacecraft-reveals-jupiters-unusual-electrical-storms-shallow-lightning-and-mushballs/" target="_blank">atmosphere</a> where it is detected in more significant amounts. </p>
A NASA designed graphic demonstrating the weather systems theorized to create "mushballs." The liquid water and ammonia rises in the storm clouds until they reach points where the extremely low temperatures cause them to freeze. Freezing into semi-solid "mushballs" causes them to fall where they redistribute ammonia throughout the lower atmosphere.
How can we possibly know all of this?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="DywYHLlW" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="5a2fd33c35687b126de47078bac6875d"> <div id="botr_DywYHLlW_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DywYHLlW-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/DywYHLlW-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DywYHLlW-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Juno relies on several pieces of equipment. The most relevant in this case is the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_Radiometer_(Juno)" target="_blank">microwave radiometer</a>. This device uses microwaves, like the ones you cook with, to measure the Jovian atmosphere's composition. When microwaves hit water or ammonia particles, they begin to heat up. By hitting the planet with microwaves and then looking for changes in the particles' observed temperature, the probe can determine what chemicals are present.</p><p>The findings of these studies demonstrate that Jupiter's atmosphere is more complicated than previously thought. Given how we already knew about the storms larger than <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Red_Spot" target="_blank">Earth</a>, temperatures that swing between extremes in different layers of the atmosphere, and winds that blow at 100 meters per <a href="http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~showman/publications/ingersolletal-2004.pdf" target="_blank">second</a>, that is saying something.</p>
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