DAILY DOSE: Mayon Volcano in the Philippines on the verge of magmatic eruption; GOP candidate embraces AI-derived fake images.

The Mayon Volcano in the Philippines is currently experiencing an eruption, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The local government of Albay has initiated evacuations to ensure the safety of residents in affected areas. Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol confirmed the eruption at the summit of Mayon Volcano.

The volcano is currently under Alert Level 3 due to an increased risk of a hazardous eruption. The observatory recorded numerous rockfall events and pyroclastic density currents, which are mixtures of volcanic particles, gases, and ash that flow down the slopes or outward at high speeds. Mayon Volcano has also emitted plumes reaching 800 meters in height, and its structure has shown signs of inflation.

Pre-emptive evacuation measures are underway, with thousands of residents transferred to safer grounds. Depending on how the situation develops, there are two possible scenarios: a magmatic eruption or the cessation of activity. The local government is prepared to provide assistance, and the area may be declared under a state of calamity. (SOURCE: CNN Philippines)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign has shared altered images of former U.S. President Donald Trump embracing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former top U.S. infectious disease official. These images were part of a video criticizing Trump for not firing Fauci, who became a controversial figure among conservatives due to his push for COVID-19 restrictions.

An analysis conducted by Matthew Stamm, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Drexel University, suggests that the images are likely AI-generated and not real. The use of such AI-generated content highlights how technology is influencing the 2024 presidential race, as generative AI tools make it easier to create convincing deepfakes.

The issue of mass misinformation and the difficulty of detecting AI-generated content pose challenges for combating its potential misuse in the future. (SOURCE: Reuters)

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Meteorologists have announced the early formation of a strong El Nino, a climatic condition that is likely to impact global weather patterns and add additional natural heat to an already warming Earth. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an El Nino advisory, noting that it formed earlier than usual, giving it more time to develop.

There is a 56% chance it will be considered strong and a 25% chance it will reach exceptionally high levels. A strong El Nino can result in record global warmth, similar to events in 2016 and 1998. However, this El Nino is not expected to suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic due to exceptionally warm temperatures in the region. Instead, forecasters predict a near-average Atlantic hurricane season.

The impacts of El Nino will vary across regions, with some areas experiencing drought relief while others face increased dryness or flooding. (SOURCE: Associated Press)

A recent analysis published in BMC Medicine has estimated that scientists wasted $230 million worth of time in 2021 alone reformatting papers for biomedical journals. The inconsistencies in formatting guidelines across different journals often force researchers to spend valuable time and effort reformatting and sometimes rewriting their manuscripts.

The authors of the analysis propose that journals should allow free-format submissions, which would enable researchers to focus on their research rather than formatting. This time burden disproportionately affects early-career researchers and can hinder their productivity. The study suggests a “golden-middle” solution, where researchers can submit manuscripts without strict formatting demands but still adhere to minimal structural requirements.

The authors plan to launch an outreach campaign to encourage journals, publishers, universities, and organizations to adopt their recommendations. (SOURCE: Nature)

A study conducted on the south coast of England has revealed high levels of potentially harmful chemicals, including recreational drugs and antidepressants, in the water. Researchers found evidence that these human chemicals are harming marine life, with oestrogen in the water causing biological changes that feminize male fish. The study, coordinated by the Clean Harbour Partnership (CHP), involved the analysis of water samples from Chichester and Langstone harbours.

Over 50 compounds across 22 sites were detected, including pharmaceuticals, diabetes medicines, and a chemical produced by the liver after cocaine use. The researchers also discovered banned pesticides in the water. The study aims to understand the impact of chemical contaminants on marine life and coastal waters, as aquatic ecosystems are under threat from pharmaceuticals and farming practices.

The findings highlight the need to address water pollution and its impact on the environment. (SOURCE: The Guardian)

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

WORDS: The Biology Guy. (@thebiologyguy)

IMAGE CREDIT: Patrickroque01.

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