Sci-News Roundup February 20 - February 26 2021
General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

SftPublic programs are zoom-recorded and uploaded to SftP Website & YouTube, Belmont Media Center Community TV, and WGBH Forum Network. Videos are uploaded to their event pages (below) a.s.a.p.

Jan-Feb-Mar video events see SftP website

NPR/Shots, February 18, 2021
The COVID-19 vaccines are here, but if it's your turn to get vaccinated, how are you supposed to sign up?

Scientific American, February 19, 2021
What does “95 percent effective” mean? Should you get vaccinated if you have had COVID? Is there a best vaccine?

Slate, February 09, 2021
In the 1800s, they helped lay the groundwork for the anti-vaccine movement.

Science News, February 23, 2021
Fall semester was the start of a big experiment

Washington Post, February 22, 2021
Centuries before coronavirus, plague, smallpox, yellow fever and other contagions killed hundreds of millions around the world


Cosmos, February 23, 2021
A kangaroo painting is now Australia’s oldest known rock art.

Quanta, February 22, 2021
A new proof demonstrates the power of arithmetic dynamics, an emerging discipline that combines insights from number theory and dynamical systems.

Insider, May 23, 2018
From the famous artist M.C. Escher to Magic Eye posters, here are some of the most famous optical illusions.

Science Alert, February 24, 2021
Although archaeologists have been eyeing the representations of local waterfowl since the fresco's discovery at the dig site of Meidum in 1871, it's taken an evolutionary biologist's clever taxonomic sleuthing to see the birds for what they really were.

New York Times, February 20, 2021 (N. Kristof)
Scientists are concerned by falling sperm counts and declining egg quality. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be the problem.


The Conversation, February 18, 2021
Nearly all scientists believe that Oumuamua is an asteroid or comet-like object that has traveled through interstellar space.  But Avi Loeb, a Harvard professor of astronomy, suggested it is indeed an alien spaceship.

Universe Today, February 23, 2021
When NASA says that the Perseverance rover will be looking for fossil evidence of ancient life they are not looking for actual animal skeletons.

Hakai, February 22, 2021
To boldly farm fish where no one has farmed fish before.

Astrobiology, January 29, 2021
When the Huygens probe descended from the Cassini spacecraft in 2005 and gave humans a close-up of Titan’s dense atmosphere, scientists began dreaming of a future mission that would further explore Saturn’s largest moon.

Sky & Telescope, February 22, 2021
New information challenges ideas about the evolution of massive stars.


The Guardian, February 23, 2021
The rodents are often considered ‘nuisance animals’, but they can play a vital role in maintaining healthy landscapes.

Science Times, February 24, 2021
This device is the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module (PRAM).

Elemental +, February 23, 2021
Scientists are working on a ‘universal’ coronavirus vaccine.

BBC News, February 23, 2021
Apple has acquired about 100 companies over the last six years, the company’s chief executive Tim Cook has revealed.

TechXPlore, February 24, 2021
Extreme weather driven by climate change is making power outages more commonplace even as the need for electricity-dependent home health equipment grows.


Medical News Today, January 16, 2020
Research has specifically linked arugula and other cruciferous vegetables with the health benefits listed here.

CNN Health, February 23, 2021
Here are tips from sleep and anxiety experts on how to shut down that whirling dervish of a brain and coax your body back into much-needed sleep.

New York Times, February 21, 2021
Food researchers debate whether highly processed foods like potato chips and ice cream are addictive, triggering our brains to overeat.

Environmental Health News, February 19, 2021
Regulators are considering whether disinfectant ingredients called quats are safe and effective in light of increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deutsche Welle, February 23, 2021
Distressing ringing noises in the ears are often treated with cortisone. Now, a German researcher is remedying the problem by stimulating people's tongues.


The Guardian, February 23, 2021
The display was described by one expert as “one of the most striking in the last few decades”.

Treehugger, February 27, 2021
New study suggests that over-hunting (the standard explanation) wasn't the reason they disappeared.

Science, February 18, 2021
Radiocarbon levels in several pieces of wood chart a surge in radiation from space, as Earth’s protective magnetic field weakened and its poles flipped

Nature, February 17, 2021
Permafrost-preserved teeth, up to 1.6 million years old, identify a new kind of mammoth in Siberia.

Atlas Obscura, February 23, 2021
These ancient guardians of the traditional nomadic way of life are making a comeback.


The Guardian, February 25, 2021
As oil companies go out of business, they are leaving a legacy of abandoned wells that leak huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

Quanta, February 23, 2021
An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.

Deutsche Welle, February 18, 2021
A new UN blueprint offers an integrated 'peace plan' to tackle three interlinked environmental emergencies — the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution — that cannot be solved in isolation.

The Conversation, February 18, 2021
Billionaires have carbon footprints that can be thousands of times higher than those of average Americans.

NPR, February 22, 2021
Sea level rise and heavier rainstorms driven by global warming are sending more water into residential neighborhoods from the Gulf Coast to New England to Appalachia to the Pacific Northwest.


Carbon Brief, February 23, 2021
In recent years, tipping points – thresholds where a small change could push a system into a completely new state – have increasingly become a focus for the climate research community.

New York Times, February 22, 2021
Many big businesses have not set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Others have weak goals.

The Guardian, February 17, 2021
The outgoing head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says action on environmental crises must be defining focus of wealthy countries after Covid

Reuters, February 22, 2021
Roughly 4.3 million homes - concentrated in Florida, California, South Carolina and Texas - have a substantial risk of sustaining economic damage from flooding this year, the report shows.

PRI/Living on Earth, wk of February 12, 2021
India is experiencing dramatic climate impacts, with both increased flooding and drought.