Selected Sci-News Items July  25- July 31, 2020

General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate
SftPublic zoom recordings uploaded to SftP website, Belmont Media Center Community TV, and WGBH Forum Network. See videos below                                                             
August events list:    

The Atlantic, July 24, 2020
Nearly five months into the pandemic, all hopes of extinguishing COVID-19 are riding on a still-hypothetical vaccine.

NPR/Shots, July 13, 2020  (w/audio)
Research already shows that germicidal UV can effectively inactivate airborne microbes that transmit measles, tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-1, a close relative of the novel coronavirus.

STAT, July 28, 2020
Since the outset of the pandemic, vaccine-related falsehoods have ballooned on [Facebook] - and recent research suggests some of those inaccurate posts are gaining traction among people who weren't previously opposed to vaccinations.

National Geographic, July 24, 2020
As schools prepare to reopen, experts weigh in on whether youth protects against the virus, and how readily kids can spread it to adults.

Nature, July 23, 2020
Genetic research is rewriting the history of diseases.


Smithsonian, July 20, 2020
In cultures around the world, folklore of a 'Wild Man' share a common narrative.

The Guardian, July 28, 2020
Microbes had lain dormant at the bottom of the sea since the age of the dinosaurs.

Phys.Org, July 24, 2020
Science fiction authors foresaw augmented reality video games, the rise of social media and trends of hyper-consumption, and can help predict future consumer patterns.

Undark, July 15, 2020
India is key to the story of early human migration. But its archaeological sites are rapidly disappearing.

Quanta, July 22, 2020
Why do mathematicians enjoy proving the same results in different ways?

Whence Came Stonehenge's Stones? Now We Know
New York Times, July 30, 2020
Last year archaeologists pinpointed the origin of many of the ancient monument's massive stones. A new study identifies the source of the rest.

Quantum Tunneling Is Not Instantaneous, Physicists Show
Scientific American, July 22, 2020
A new experiment tracks the transit time of particles burrowing through barriers, revealing previously unknown details of a deeply counter-intuitive phenomenon.

What Dark Matter Is (Probably) Not
Symmetry, July 28, 2020
No one knows for sure what dark matter is. But we know we need something to explain what we see in the universe, and we've crossed a few ideas off of our list.

Hubble Delivers Incredible New Image of Saturn
Sci News, July 23, 2020
NASA has released a stunning image captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of Saturn and its ring system.

How the Bits of Quantum Gravity Can Buzz
Quanta, July 23, 2020
New calculations show how hypothetical particles called gravitons would give rise to a special kind of noise.

Phys.Org, July 28, 2020
Scientists at CERN have reported on their first significant evidence for a process predicted by theory, paving the way for searches for evidence of new physics in particle processes that could explain dark matter and other mysteries of the universe.


New York Times, July 24 2020
Keep baking bread. Small grain companies may suggest a better path for American business.

Scientists Discover A New Material For Cleaning Up Oil Spills
NPR, July 17, 2020  (w/audio)
Oil spills are often sopped up with synthetic, spongy materials, but researchers are looking to nature for more sustainable alternatives.

Phys.Org, July 27, 2020
Officials at NASA have made clear their desire to send humans to Mars, but before that can happen, many technical challenges will have to be overcome-one of the most serious is protecting astronauts from radiation.

Deutsche Welle, July 22, 2020
With high temperatures and water scarcity, the Emirates might seem an unlikely place for a farm. Yet, as coronavirus and climate change heighten the desire for food security, could vertical farms be the solution?

Love Avocados? Thank the Toxodon
The Conversation, July 24, 2020
Given avocado's popularity today, it's hard to believe that we came close to not having them in our supermarkets at all.


Environmental Health News, July 29, 2020
Researchers estimate a climate effort in the Northeast U.S. helped the region reduce toxic air pollution and avoid hundreds of asthma and autism cases, preterm births, and low birth weights.

Treehugger, July 21, 2020
Biodegradable or reef-safe sunscreen refers to a specific sunblock formula that degrades naturally and doesn't contain chemicals that could be harmful to the environment, specifically coral reefs.

Washington Post, July 24, 2020
Regulators say many of the products contain dangerous levels of methanol, which can lead to blindness, hospitalization and even death.

Cosmos, July 29, 2020
Blood biomarkers could make detection cheaper and easier.

NPR, July 29, 2020
Though the dietary supplements may not directly claim to treat COVID-19, NPR has found more than 100 supplements listed for sale on Amazon that make unsubstantiated and potentially illegal claims that they can fight viruses.


Space, July 23. 2020
While scientists know how Earth's tectonic plates shift and move, exactly how they got started has remained somewhat of a mystery.

Getting to the Bottom of Goosebumps
Harvard Gazette, July 20, 2020
If you've ever wondered why we get goosebumps, you're in good company - so did Charles Darwin, who mused about them in his writings on evolution.

New York Times, July 27, 2020
Some trees can live for thousands of years, but we may not be around long enough to really know whether they can die of old age.

Discover, July 24, 2020
Even if they're not the most scientifically accurate, we're obsessed with learning about ourselves and where we fit in groups.

Treehugger, July 09, 2020
Although monogamy and lifelong pair bonds are generally rare in the animal kingdom, there are some animals that really pull it off.


Inside Climate News, July 28, 2020
The Union of Concerned Scientists, faulting Trump for ignoring climate change, says flooding there could wash deadly chemicals into nearby communities.

Science, July 24, 2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that a massive mine proposed for the heart of a vast Alaskan wilderness won't hurt ecosystems there, including the world's largest run of sockeye salmon.  But opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine, including environmental scientists, say the analysis is deeply flawed.

The Guardian, July 29, 2020
A lack of bees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, a new US-based study has found, suggesting that declines in the pollinators may have serious ramifications for global food security.

National Geographic, July 23, 2020
An ambitious plan, two years in the making, might have the solution.

Washington Post, July 14, 2020
A bill that would provide billions of dollars to the National Park Service, Forest Service and Land and Water Conservation Fund has been called one of the most important environmental proposals in decades.


The Guardian, July 27, 2020
The world needs America's leadership - walking away will do nothing to stop the consequences of climate change.

Science News, July 23, 2020
Study weighs costs of reducing virus spillover from animals against the toll of disease outbreak.

Environmental Health News, July 26, 2020
Forty years ago, Jimmy Carter's Global 2000 report sounded dire warnings about our environment.

PRI/Living On Earth, July 17, 2020  (w/audio)
The Natural Resources Defense Council, Earth Justice, and are joining more than 1000 companies in pausing their advertising on Facebook in July as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign.

Wildfires, Record Warmth and Rapidly Melting Ice: Arctic Climate Goes Further Off the Rails This Summer
Washington Post, July 29, 2020
Records shattered in Siberia, Svalbard, Nunavut and other areas as study points to historic shifts.  


Science for the Public is a volunteer organization, whose mission is to provide accurate information about science concepts, innovations and issues from outstanding scientists. 

We produce public lectures, an interview program ( Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations), and a mini-documentary series ( Working Science).  All of our productions are videotaped and are available on our website and our online channels, as well as on WGBH Forum Network and Belmont Media Center Community TV. 

Visit our website at and sign up for our newsletter. 
Contact us at