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Researchers at California State University, Long Beach, used drones to study juvenile white sharks along the Southern California coastline and how close they swim to humans in the water. Turns out, it’s pretty close. That's according to the university's Shark Lab, whose researchers published their findings Friday. There were no reported shark bites in any of the 26 beaches surveyed between January 2019 and March 2021. The juvenile sharks mostly congregated in two spots and swam near humans on 97% of the days surveyed in those areas. The sharks often swam within 50 yards of the wave breaks — closest to surfers and stand-up paddle boarders.

Canada is dealing with a series of intense wildfires that have spread from the western provinces to Quebec, with hundreds of forest fires burning. Wind has carried smoke from the fires southward, triggering air quality alerts throughout the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday issued a poor air quality alert for New England, a day after parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received a similar advisory. Last week, U.S. officials as far south as Maryland, Baltimore, Virginia and Pennsylvania reported being impacted by the wildfires. Fine-particle pollution — known as “PM 2.5” — is what’s being measured. The tiny particles are small enough to get past airway defenses and cause breathing problems.

A federal judge is temporarily blocked portions of a new Florida law that bans transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers. Judge Robert Hinkle says in Tuesday's ruling that “gender identity is real” and the state has no rational basis for denying patients treatment. Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction, saying three transgender children can continue receiving treatment. The lawsuit challenges the law Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the same week he announced a run for president. The ruling was narrowly focused on the three children whose parents brought the suit. Attention on the new law has focused on language involving minors. Hinkle’s ruling focuses on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

Scientists say they've found evidence an ancient human cousin may have buried its dead and carved symbols into cave walls, surprising findings for a creature with a small brain. Fossil remains of the species were uncovered in underground caves in South Africa around a decade ago. Since then, researchers have kept squeezing into the caves to look for clues. Now, researchers say the burials and carvings show that the species called Homo naledi was capable of more complex behavior than expected, since its brain was only about one-third the size of ours. Their findings were posted online Monday but some outside scientists think more evidence is needed.

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In this photo provided by National Geographic, researchers lay out fossils of Homo naledi at the University of the Witwatersrand's Evolutionary Studies Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014. The new species of human relative was discovered by a team led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand deep inside a cave located outside Johannesburg. In research released on Monday, June 5, 2023, scientists say they've found evidence that the ancient human cousin buried its dead and carved symbols into cave walls, actions previously tied only to bigger-brained species. (Robert Clark/National Geographic via AP)

Scientists have found that air quality monitoring stations pick up lots of DNA that can reveal what plants and animals have been in the area.. Researchers reported Monday that air monitoring stations set up to test for pollution also suck up DNA from the local environment. They say this could be a useful way to see how biodiversity changes over time. After testing air filters from stations in the UK, the scientists were able to identify more than 180 kinds of plants, animals and fungi in the area. The filters picked up on species like hedgehogs, deer and owls that shed their DNA into the atmosphere.

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The cause of global warming is showing no signs of slowing as heat-trapping carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has increased to record highs in its annual Spring peak. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations says carbon dioxide levels in the air are jumping at one of the fastest rates on record. Those levels are now the highest they’ve been in more than 4 million years. The last time the air had similar amounts was during a less hospitable hothouse Earth before human civilization. Levels for May, which is when carbon dioxide most saturates the air before plants suck it up, are at 424 parts per million.