Excerpt: Nairobi, 18 January 2016: Kenya faces diverse sustainability challenges such as climate change, degraded ecosystems, poor health, waterborne diseases, and poor waste management. Unsuitable consumption patterns and limited environmental awareness are compounding the problem. There is, therefore, an increased need for capacity development, environmental awareness, and information exchange to foster a generation of environmentally…

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This story has all the elements: a citizen scientist, a mobile phone, and the frankly astonishing complexity of Earth’s ecosystems. Our citizen scientist protagonist, C R Naik, sets a model for how to infuse biodiversity monitoring with vigilant attention. This kind of attention blends multiple senses and sets aside assumptions, letting us dig deeper into…

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Excerpt: Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) scientists were among those taking part in the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco earlier this month. The December 11-17 gathering, which attracted some 24,000 geoscientists, offered an opportunity for HamSCI scientists to present Amateur Radio-based research, discuss possibilities for upcoming experiments, and…

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Excerpt: Turning meadow restoration into cleaner air is the goal of researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Soil Science Laboratory at the University recently partnered with the Earthwatch Institute, an international citizen science research organization, to better understand how restoration and plant communities relate to the soil carbon in Sierra Nevada mountain meadows….

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Excerpt: Back in February, seismologists at UC Berkeley released MyShake, an app that passively monitors for seismic activity, both watching for earthquakes and warning users if one is underway. In the months since its introduction, the app has outperformed its creators’ expectations, detecting over 200 earthquakes in more than ten countries. The app has received…

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Input from about 10,000 volunteers viewing images from Martian south polar regions has identified targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) and erosional features called “spiders.” The volunteers from around the world have been exploring the surface of Mars by examining images from the Context Camera…

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In a unique project, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have crowdsourced the annotation and analysis of a large number of gene expression profiles from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). More than 70 volunteers from 25 countries helped Mount Sinai researchers analyze the data, enabling…

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This news piece overviews two games that engage citizen scientists in helping to develop quantum computing. I am partial to these projects because as a physicist, I have always been drawn in by the deep mysteries of quantum mechanics. And as a fun side note – as it turns out – for at least one of these…

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Since the seventies, millions of North American birds have disappeared and a third of species are now of high regional conservation concern, a new report reveals. Experts agree that their long-term conservation will only be achieved by building transnational partnerships and involving local communities in citizen science projects. Migratory birds connect the North American continent as millions…

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Though it’s the world’s top infectious killer, tuberculosis is surprisingly tricky to diagnose. Scientists think that video gamers can help them create a better diagnostic test. An online puzzle released Monday will see whether the researchers are right. Players of a Web-based game called EteRNA will try to design a sensor molecule that could potentially…

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