Sci-News Roundup January 02 - January 08, 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.

For Dec video-recordings see Recent Events on SftP homepage

Washington Post, January 04, 2021
We all want to know when we can go to concerts and ballgames again. Or even just go to the office. (Let’s start small.)

BBC News, January 06, 2021
All viruses naturally mutate over time, and Sars-CoV-2 is no exception. Since the virus was first identified a year ago, thousands of mutations have arisen.

NBC News, December 22, 2020
There could be 3.2 million deaths in the U.S. this year, at least 400,000 more than in 2019.

New York Times, December 31, 2020
Reports of Covid-19 cases that appeared shortly after a single shot of a two-dose vaccine shouldn’t cause concern.

The Guardian, January 06, 2020
Researchers say big Facebook accounts still condemn vaccines while anti-vaxxers banned from Facebook have fled to Instagram.


Smithsonian, January 05, 2021
The winning illusion is a 3-D interpretation of a classic optical illusion, the Shröder Staircase, Andrew Liszewski reports for Gizmodo.

Prevention, January 03, 2021
A TikTok video of a novel, ancient multiplication method has gone viral. While the user calls the method Japanese multiplication and some mathematicians say it’s “Vedic multiplying,” its real origins aren’t exactly clear.

Archaeology, Jan-Feb, 2021
Everything from a mummy cache to the first English playhouse.

TechXplore, December 30, 2020
the nature of the affected organizations alone makes it clear that this is perhaps the most consequential cyber-attack against the U.S. to date.

Quanta, December 21, 2020
Even as mathematicians and computer scientists proved big results in computational complexity, number theory and geometry, computers proved themselves increasingly indispensable in mathematics.


National Geographic, December 29, 2020
The year ahead offers many heavenly delights, including close planetary encounters, dazzling meteor showers, and a “blood moon” eclipse.

MIT Technology Review, December 29, 2020
As astronauts get ready to go back to the moon and spend more time in space, they’ll need better gear to help them survive.

The Conversation, January 01, 2021
Space exploration achieved several notable firsts in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including commercial human spaceflight and returning samples of an asteroid to Earth. The coming year is shaping up to be just as interesting.

Universe Today, January 05, 2021
As far as the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System goes, Enceladus checks many boxes.

NPR, December 29, 2020
The detection of gravitational waves verified a theoretical prediction that Vishveshwara himself had made nearly half a century earlier.


New York Times, December 30, 2020
This year, technology firms big and small stepped up to help with the Covid-19 pandemic and other thorny challenges.

EurekAlert! January 01, 2021
Use of the delivery system in mouse models results in unprecedented siRNA penetration across the intact blood brain barrier

Science Daily, January 05, 2021
Researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax.

Wired, December 30, 2020
Eric Green, head of the nation’s top genomics research institute, looks back on how far the field has come and shares his bold vision for the future.

Ensia, September 09, 2020
By meshing laboratory science with Traditional Ecological Knowledge, college professors aim to cultivate better environmental decision makers — and decisions.


Sci-News, January 05, 2021
In a new study..individuals with brown fat had lower prevalence of cardio-metabolic diseases, and the presence of brown fat was independently correlated with lower odds of type 2 diabetes and other conditions.

Environmental Health News, November 01, 2020
Picking ingredients for a better lifestyle.

New York Times, January 04, 2021
Just as you might grab a handful of chips or nuts to break the monotony of your day, an exercise “snack” is a short burst of movement you can enjoy at home or in the office or outdoors.

Environmental Health News, January 05, 2021
There's a reason the pesticide aldicarb is banned in more than 100 countries and one of only 36 pesticides out of thousands designated as "extremely hazardous" by the World Health Organization.

The Conversation, December 28, 2020
When people talk about a fast or slow metabolism, what they’re really getting at is how many calories their body burns as they go about their day.


Deutsche Welle, December 23, 2020
For a long time, scientists believed that a powerful tsunami destroyed Doggerland 8,200 years ago. Sediment analysis now suggests that the land once connecting Great Britain with the rest of Europe had a later demise.

Science Daily, January 05, 2021
Discovery of liquid glass sheds light on the old scientific problem of the glass transition: An interdisciplinary team of researchers has uncovered a new state of matter, liquid glass, with previously unknown structural elements - new insights into the nature of glass and its transitions.

Treehugger, January 05, 2021
Animal rights groups support the Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021.

E&E News, January 04, 2021
The ballyhooed Everglades rescue — one of the world's largest ecosystem restoration efforts — is in trouble, besieged by rising seas, rapacious developers, toxic algal blooms and a python invasion worthy of a horror movie.

Science, December 29, 2020
You’d never know it by looking at the dragonfly-like adult antlion, but its wingless larvae—fingernail-size eating machines with huge, poison-filled jaws— build deadly sand traps to capture tiny insects, including ants.


Nautilus (no date)
Palm oil is an environmental scourge. Plant biology has a solution.

Reuters, December 25, 2020
Prime Minister Suga has made green investment a top priority to help revive the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and to bring Japan into line with the European Union, China and other economies setting ambitious emissions targets.

The Guardian, December 31, 2020
UNESCO warns of urban centers sinking because of unsustainable farming and groundwater extraction.

Hakai, November 24, 2020
A stealthy source of pollution leaves the highway in astonishing amounts and heads to sea, toxic chemicals and all.

NPR, January 05, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency adopted a new rule restricting the types of scientific studies its own regulators can use to rein in pollution, in the Trump administration's latest effort to undercut the use of science in establishing public health standards.


Washington Post, January 05, 2021
A sudden stratospheric warming event has pushed the polar vortex off the North Pole, sending Arctic air on the move.

E&E News, January 06, 2021
Potentially lowering expectations for the incoming president's early climate efforts, Biden officials say their agency review teams have found deeper budget cuts, wider staff losses and more systematic elimination of climate programs and research than they realized.

Scientific American, January 06, 2021
Despite some promising developments, the need for action has grown even more urgent.

ABC News, January 04, 2021
A new study says the amount of global warming already baked into the air because of past carbon pollution is enough to blow past internationally agreed upon climate limits.

BBC News, January 01, 2021
Countries only have only a limited time in which to act if the world is to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Here are five reasons why 2021 could be a crucial year in the fight against global warming.