Why the Sun’s atmosphere is hotter than its surface

How can the temperature of the Sun’s atmosphere be as high as 1 million degrees Celsius when its surface temperature is only around 6000°C? By simulating the evolution of part of the Sun’s interior and exterior, researchers have identified the mechanisms that provide sufficient energy to heat the solar atmosphere. A layer beneath the Sun’s surface, acting as a pan of boiling water, is thought to generate a small-scale magnetic field as an energy reserve which, once it emerges from the star, heats the successive layers of the solar atmosphere via networks of mangrove-like magnetic roots and branches.

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Is phthalate alternative really safe?

A commonly used  plasticizer known as DINCH, which is found in products that come into close contact with humans, such as medical devices, children’s toys and food packaging, might not be as safe as initially thought. According to a new study, DINCH exerts biological effects on metabolic processes in mammals. The findings may have important implications since DINCH has been promoted by industry has as a safe alternative to phthalate plasticizers, despite there being no publicly available peer-reviewed data on its toxicology.

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Researchers develop pioneering new method to map enzyme activity

A new discovery could have wide-reaching implications for the creation of manufactured goods, biofuels and therapeutic drugs, investigators report. By labelling certain segments of an enzyme with heavy isotopes, the researchers have found that ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ versions of enzymes have different catalytic properties, allowing them to determine which regions are linked to specific functions.

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IDG Contributor Network: Blame Chomsky for non-speaking A.I.

Professor Noam Chomsky revolutionized linguistics in 1957 with his publication of Syntactic Structures, and his Chomsky hierarchy from the previous year remains a foundation stone in computer science for programming languages. But programming languages are a far cry from speaking A.I., and Chomsky’s unprecedented success in that part of linguistics should bear the blame for holding back the advancement in another part of linguistics — the use of human language for A.I.

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IDG Contributor Network: My journey to tech leadership as a minority

In the past few years, we have witnessed many incidents surrounding race and racial divide in the nation. Everyday there are stories related to racial tension on most major news channels.

My journey to becoming a chief information officer in higher education technology has also seen its share of challenges as a black male in a majority white leadership environment. While my experiences could have very well been barriers in my success, perseverance and persistence have led me to turn those experiences into fuel for excellence.

From programmer to supervisor

During my early years in technology as a programmer, I was judged primarily on my skills and performance. Nonetheless, it seemed like the more I progressed professionally, the more roadblocks were intentionally placed in my path to hinder me. After a few years of being a top-performing programmer, I was assigned my first supervisor role. Almost immediately I began to face criticism from colleagues who felt years of service were more important than job performance and accomplishments. Complaints were made to my supervisor and almost daily I was engaged in conversations where colleagues tried to prove they were more knowledgeable. 

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Microsoft woos startups with $120K in cloud computing credits

Microsoft is trying to lure more startups onto its Azure cloud services by offering a substantial $120,000 credit for companies that qualify for its BizSpark Plus program.

Starting July 1, qualifying companies will receive $10,000 worth of Azure credits every month for a year, which they can spend on services to power their business. Those offerings include Microsoft’s App Service — a set of tools designed to power mobile, Web and other applications — along with infrastructure services like virtual machines and higher level services like Azure Machine Learning.

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