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

SftPublic programs are zoom-recorded, broadcast and distributed by Belmont Media Center Community TV. The videos are also uploaded to WGBH Forum Network and to the SftPublic website..

Feb 15 Creating and Testing Vaccines (video available)
Feb 22 Probing the Causes of Cancer (video available)
Mar 08 Neutron Stars and Gravitational Waves (video available)
for all upcoming events see SftPublic homepage





STAT, March 23, 2021
The latest in the drug manufacturer’s long string of mishaps and miscommunications came Tuesday, when top federal health officials accused the company of highlighting in a press release overly positive data about the efficacy of its coronavirus vaccine

Washington Post, March 19, 2021
Experts agree that now is not the time to lower your guard, but instead to maintain your vigilance so we can return to something like normal by the fall.

Nature, March 18, 2021
Even with vaccination efforts in full force, the theoretical threshold for vanquishing COVID-19 looks to be out of reach.

MIT Technology Review, March 23, 2021
The challenge will be convincing enough outliers to get vaccinated so that America can return to normality.

New York Times, March 23, 2021
“Breakthrough” cases, though quite uncommon, are a sharp reminder that vaccinated people should wear masks while the virus is circulating widely.


GENERAL INTEREST

Washington Post, March 20, 2021
Florida is infested with more exotic and invasive species than any other state and perhaps, some say, than anywhere else in the world.

Science, March 19, 2021
The dates show that early Native Americans were among the first people in the world to mine metal and fashion it into tools.

The Guardian, March 17, 2021
Whalers’ logbooks show rapid drop in strike rate in north Pacific due to changes in cetacean behaviour

Mental Floss, March 20, 2021
You need a good chuckle.

Knowable, February 21, 2021
Misinformation is running rampant. To slow this infodemic, researchers are tracking how it spreads on social media.


COSMOS

Sci News, March 23, 2021
The new results from CERN’s LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) Collaboration suggest particles are not behaving the way they should according to the Standard Model.

Phys.Org, March 22, 2021
First of all, what does "Big Bang" really mean?

Sky & Telescope, March 18, 2021
The Hubble constant expresses the universe’s present-day rate of expansion. There’s only one current expansion rate of the universe, but different studies are coming up with different answers for what it is.

Quanta, March 15, 2021 (podcast + transcript)
The theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek explained what holds atomic nuclei together, and he is still pushing at the limits of what the standard model can tell us.

Smithsonian, March 22, 2021
When the interstellar visitor swept around the sun, it got a speed boost, probably because some of the ice vaporized


INNOVATION

Science, March 22, 2021
If this [non-invasive] approach can be improved, it may offer people who are paralyzed a new means of controlling prostheses without equipment that penetrates the brain.

Science News, March 22, 2021
Options to prevent and treat the severe headaches are becoming available.

Scientific American, March 01, 2021
A hybrid form of transportation could be an alternative to buses or light rails,

MIT Technology Review, March 18, 2021
The device would let you interact with Facebook’s upcoming augmented-reality glasses just by thinking.

The Guardian, March 1`9, 2021
Astroscale hopes its Elsa-d satellite will demonstrate a system to remove unwanted pieces of junk.

HEALTH 

New York Times, March 22, 2021
Many Americans know they’ve put on weight during the pandemic, but it’s been difficult for experts to detail the scope of the problem.

Cosmos, March 23, 2021
Our sounds harm ecological communication, but do their sounds help us?

Science Daily, March 22, 2021
In the afternoon, the effects of the caffeine are more marked than in the morning.

Treehugger, March 17, 2021
Latest EWG report lists the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. This helps shoppers know when to buy organic if they can, and when it doesn't matter.

The Guardian, March 18, 2021
Nanoparticles found in fetal brains and hearts, but impact on human health is as yet unknown


NATURE

Smithsonian, March 22, 2021
The Reykjanes peninsula, not far from the country's capital Reykjavik, hasn't witnessed a volcanic eruption in 800 years. The volcano Mount Fagradalsfjall has been dormant for 6,000 years.

The Guardian, March 24, 2021
Molecular switch makes human organ three times larger than great apes’, study finds

EurekAlert!, March 22, 2021
The discovery suggests that ocean floor eruptions sourced in the Earth's mantle were even hotter and more voluminous than previously thought.

New York Times, March 17, 2021 (w/video)
New generations of a critically endangered species of songbird are failing to learn the tunes they need for courtship. It could lead to extinction.

The Revelator, March 18, 2021
Historical pressures combined with new threats from climate change have pushed more than a dozen species close to extinction.


ENVIRONMENT 

The Guardian, March 19, 2021
As environmental agencies reel from a Republican-led assault on regulations, local activists are taking up the fight

ARS Technica, March 23, 2021
Consumers get most of the benefits of unpaid costs, but companies get a slice, too.

New York Times, February 22, 2021 (book review)
Mark Bittman's “Animal, Vegetable, Junk,” a comprehensive treatise on humanity’s relationship to food, matches our moment — evincing a necessary sense of urgency but also making no bones about the challenge before us.

Treehugger, March 19, 2021
Integrating trees into your garden plan can have a big impact on food production.

Science Daily, March 17, 2021
Scientists have discovered a green, low-energy process to break down polystyrene, a type of plastic that is widely used in foam packaging materials, disposable food containers, cutlery, and many other applications.


CLIMATE 

Common Dreams, March 22, 2021
"Whether humanity has the collective wisdom to navigate the Anthropocene to sustain a livable biosphere for people and civilizations, as well as for the rest of life with which we share the planet, is the most formidable challenge facing humanity."

Science Daily, March 22, 2021
These stores of methane rest in a delicate balance, stable as a solid called methane hydrates, at very specific pressures and temperatures. If that balance gets tipped, the methane can get released into the water above and eventually make its way to the atmosphere.

Yale Climate Connections, March 18, 2021
New study finds the rate of capturing CO2 is increasing at a lower rate.

The Guardian, March 24, 2021
Coal, oil and gas firms have received $3.8tn in finance since the Paris climate deal in 2015.

Washington Post, March 22, 2021
Ten million people are under warnings, with more heavy rainfall forecast in the days ahead.