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This week in STEM Oct. 24

The world runs on science, at the Lumberjack we’re bringing you the top stories every week.

By | Bryan Donoghue

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One of the things that makes weed worrisome is its impact on developing brains. A new study presented at the World Psychiatric Association found that teens who smoke pot are more likely to suffer from psychosis. The results show that people who used cannabis before 18 developed schizophrenia 10 years earlier than other people who didn’t smoke. For every year the teens smoked weed, symptoms of psychosis rose 21 percent annually.

Source: Scientific American, Newsweek, Vice

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You can really use Google Earth to find anything, even discovering something ancient. Over the past decade, Google Earth has been used to identify thousands of burial sites dispersed around Saudi Arabia. Recently, archaeologists used the application to uncover around 400 stone structures called “gates” in the Arabian desert. The researchers believe it may have been built by nomadic tribes anywhere from 2,000 to 9,000 years ago.

Source: New York Times, Popular Mechanics, Forbes

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Climate change isn’t just affecting sea level, but it’s also harming coffee production. Coffee needs specific temperatures to grow properly and is highly likely to have pests. To combat diminishing coffee production, researchers are cross-breeding coffee plants to create a brand new strain. With most of the coffee around the world grown close to the equator, the newest coffee strain resists climate change and is named after the countries that produce our espresso beans. Out of seven new variety hybrids, Centroamericano is the new breed of coffee bean that can best withstand rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall while still producing a large quantity of quality coffee.

Source: The Times, The Denver Post, Phys.org

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Soldiers stuck in the snow will soon have some high tech underwear made of special fabric to combat the threat of sweat freezing. The light fabric uses nanowires, tiny wires of silver, to form a mesh across cotton. The silver reflects body heat back to someone’s skin helping with insulation. To help with sweat, the underwear also has hydrogel beads, a polymer that absorb up to 40 times their weight in water. This will help keep the troops warm for the winter.

Source: Science News for Students, Business Insider

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