Nu River

Abstracts: Shrinking Shorebirds, China’s Canyons, and More


• In 2003, China proposed to build 13 dams on the nation’s last undammed river, known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” A wave of activism since has caused government officials to consider making it a national park. (National Geographic)

• While elderly people’s stroke rates have declined, there’s a troubling new trend: a sharp uptick in the frequency of strokes in people of ages 25 to 44. (Washington Post)

Red knot bird

The red knot, a bird that breeds in the Arctic, has decreased in size over the years. Researchers think climate change is at fault. (Visual by Jason Crotty/Flickr)

• Researchers measuring shorebirds for 33 years in Poland found the effects climate change writ large in the small birds. They think that the birds, called red knots, have declined in size over the years because they can’t get enough food at their Arctic breeding grounds. (The Atlantic)

• Patients have demanded drugs that haven’t passed FDA approval. There’s now a way for a limited group to access the them — but a bioethicist questions the move. (STAT)

• About a third of the United Kingdom’s family doctors have used a software program to decide whether to prescribe statins. The software’s developers recently announced that the program had an error. (New Scientist)

• The Hyperloop, a transit experiment that uses electromagnetism to power movement along a track, had an unimpressive trial run in Nevada. (MIT Technology Review)

• The Obama administration rolled out first rules for methane emissions, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. (New York Times)

• The first studies of Zika in mice showed strong evidence that the virus causes microcephaly. And an unexpected finding in one of the study’s experiments could point the way towards a cure. (New Yorker)

• Brazil’s science ministry has already faced budget cuts.  Now, the interim president has merged the Ministry of Science with the telecommunications department. (Nature)

• And finally: a new app, Goodbye Gun Stocks, offers to help people avoid unwittingly investing in the gun industry with their 401(k). (Vice: Motherboard)