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Why Roman concrete lasts for ages


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NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion crew capsule lifts off from its launch complex with boosters ignited.

NASA’s new Area Launch System rocket, carrying the Orion capsule, lifts off on 16 November 2022 as a part of the Artemis I mission.Credit score: Steve Nesius/Reuters

In 2022, 180 rocket launches efficiently reached orbit — essentially the most ever. SpaceX launched 61 of its Falcon rockets: one each six days, on common. China had 62 launches — the second-highest quantity after the USA. This yr may see extra damaged data: SpaceX hopes to conduct 100 launches.

Nature | 3 min learn

Rush to orbit: Area chart showing number of objects weighing more than 100 kg in low Earth orbit from 2005 to 2023.

Knowledge from Jonathan McDowell

College of California researchers have ended the biggest higher-education strike in US historical past after six weeks. Some 48,000 graduate college students, postdoctoral researchers and educational workers negotiated expanded advantages and wage will increase starting from 20% to 80%. Union representatives say they’re now fielding queries from researchers in different components of the nation about arrange unions, conduct negotiations and implement strikes.

Nature | 5 min learn

Roman concrete has ‘self-healing’ properties which have helped it to final for millennia. Researchers analysed 2,000-year-old Roman concrete samples and located lumps of lime within the mortar — you may need noticed these distinctive shiny white clumps of calcium carbonate in your newest journey to the agora. When the cement will get moist, these deposits can dissolve, filling cracks and strengthening the construction. The researchers blended up their very own model of Roman concrete and located that cracks in it healed inside two weeks; these in trendy concrete didn’t.

Ars Technica | 5 min learn

Reference: Science Advances paper

Within the Brazilian Amazon, the components of the forest that had been meant to be essentially the most protected misplaced timber twice as quick as different areas between 2018 and 2021. Greater than half of the forest within the Brazilian Amazon has been formally designated as Indigenous territory or protected space. However protected land was made extra weak by weakened environmental rules and fines beneath former president Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, which started in January 2019. And COVID-19 brought on excessive mortality charges amongst Indigenous individuals, permitting unlawful loggers and miners to extra simply encroach on their land.

Grist | 4 min learn

Learn extra: President Lula strikes to guard Brazilian Amazon (Nature | 6 min learn)

Reference: Nature Sustainability paper

Options & opinion

Adivasis and Dalits, essentially the most marginalized communities in India, make up lower than 1% of professors on the top-ranked universities among the many 23 Indian Institutes of Expertise. Six charts present how universities fail to satisfy authorities quotas that should guarantee truthful illustration of those teams in academia. There may be not sufficient assist for undergraduate college students from underprivileged communities, who is perhaps the primary of their households to attend college. And PhD college students can have difficulties discovering a mentor: it’s “fairly widespread” for privileged-caste professors to not supervise college students from marginalized communities, says environmental scientist Kirpa Ram.

Nature | 9 min learn

International locations should decide to ending new oil and gasoline growth now, slightly than look forward to agreements at future United Nations local weather conferences, argues a Nature editorial. The worldwide automotive trade is shifting to electrical automobiles as international locations are pushing to section out combustion engines. This yr, trade leaders and policymakers must ask: what interventions may bend the curve in different sectors comparable to power, aviation and meals manufacturing?

Nature | 5 min learn

Sabbaticals can provide busy researchers the time to be taught new abilities, write papers, develop collaborations or take their profession in a brand new route. Even a couple of weeks away from educating and administrative tasks can enhance creativity and scale back stress ranges. On the similar time, sabbaticals require cautious planning to discover a host and prepare ample funds. Some researchers go for at-home ‘staybaticals’ as a result of going overseas means uprooting their private life and having to discover a technique to hold their analysis group completely happy whereas away.

Nature | 11 min learn

Quote of the day

The signal held up by earth scientist Rose Abramoff on the American Geophysical Union assembly in December has price her her job on the Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory in Tennessee. (The New York Instances | 6 min learn)

Right now I’m tickled to find that there’s a growth in individuals having fun with chatting in Morse code. Positive, it’s slower than a cellphone name, however apparently it’s so nuanced that skilled tappers can acknowledge every others’ inflections — and it’s extra dependable. “When you’ll be able to’t get by means of with your individual voice, Morse code will get you thru,” says beginner radio fanatic Bob Inderbitzen. This text in Smithsonian Journal consists of a information to constructing your individual easy Morse-code machine.

Whereas I practise my dots and dashes, why not ship me your suggestions on this article? Your e-mails are all the time welcome at briefing@nature.com. And should you get a name that simply says “dit di-di dit dit” — it’s me.

Thanks for studying,

Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing

With contributions by Katrina Krämer

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