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Sophisticatedly engineered ‘watercourts’ stored live fish, fueling Florida’s Calusa kingdom

The mighty Calusa ruled South Florida for centuries, wielding military power, trading and collecting tribute along routes that sprawled hundreds of miles, creating shell islands, erecting enormous buildings and dredging canals wider than some highways. Unlike the Aztecs, Maya and Inca, who built their empires with the help of agriculture, the Calusa kingdom was founded on fishing.

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A new tool for controlling reactions in microrobots and microreactors

In a new paper, Thomas Russell and postdoctoral fellow Ganhua Xie, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, report that they have used capillary forces to develop a simple method for producing self-assembling hanging droplets of an aqueous polymer solution from the surface of a second aqueous polymer solution in well-ordered arrays.

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New explanation for sudden collapses of heat in plasmas can help create fusion energy on Earth

Scientists seeking to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth must deal with sawtooth instabilities—up-and-down swings in the central pressure and temperature of the plasma that fuels fusion reactions, similar to the serrated blades of a saw. If these swings are large enough, they can lead to the sudden collapse of the entire discharge of the plasma. Such swings were first observed in 1974 and have so far eluded a widely accepted theory that explains experimental observations.

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