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Gene linked to breastfeeding may have boosted survival of earliest Americans

When the ancestors of Native Americans ventured across the Bering land bridge from today’s Siberia to Alaska about 20,000 years ago, they struggled to get enough sunlight during the long, dark winters. Living so far north with scant sunshine should have led to rickets and other health problems, yet the population survived and even thrived enough to live there for thousands of years. Their lucky break, according to a new study, was that they carried a genetic mutation—revealed in ancient teeth—that boosted the development of milk ducts in women’s breasts, which may have helped nursing mothers pass more nutrients to their infants.

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How do you solve a problem like Everest?

Crowds of amateur climbers, mountains of waste, climate change, and poor regulation make every Everest season a challenge. This Livemint story exploring the topic quotes INSTAAR Alton Byers.

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Ice-free Arctic summers could hinge on small climate warming range

A range of less than one degree Fahrenheit (or half a degree Celsius) of climate warming over the next century could make all the difference when it comes to the probability of future ice-free summers in the Arctic, new CU Boulder research shows. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, show that limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) would reduce the likelihood of an ice-free Arctic summer to 30 percent by the year 2100, whereas warming by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) would make at least one ice-free summer certain.

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Arctic sea ice at 1.5 and 2 °C

In the Paris Agreement, nations committed to a more ambitious climate policy target, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 °C rather than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Climate models now show that achieving the 1.5 °C goal would make a big difference for Arctic sea ice.

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A quest for old, cold mud

Sediments from frigid lakes on Baffin Island tell the story of climate change over the past 10,000 years, as told by PhD student Sarah Crump and photographed by Zach Montes of Orajin Media.

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Engineers compete to detect methane leaks, a powerful climate pollutant

In their CU Boulder lab, research scientists Dirk Richter and Petter Weibring were busy building lasers to detect gasses when Richter heard about a contest being held by the Environmental Defense Fund. The EDF was looking for ways to detect leaks of invisible, odorless methane gas from things like oil and natural gas wells. The two engineers—Richter is originally from Germany and Weibring from Sweden—formed the company Quanta3 to develop their idea.

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