Selected Sci-News Items July 18 - July 24, 2020
General Interest Cosmos
Innovation Health Nature Environment Climate
SftPublic zoom recordings uploaded to SftP website, Belmont Media Center, and WGBH Forum Network. See videos below
Nature, July 21, 2020
Scientists caution against comparing immune responses shown in early-stage trials, and say there might be more than one path to an effective vaccine.
'Super-Spreading' Events, Triggered by People Who May Not Even Know They Are Infected
Washington Post, July 18, 2020
Most spread the virus to only a few people - or none at all. But studies show a small percentage transmit it with alarming efficiency.
CDC: Actual Covid-19 Case Count Could Be 6 to 24 Times Higher Than Official Estimates:
STAT, July 21, 2020
The study...based on serological tests...are different from diagnostic tests, which only detect people who currently have the virus, called SARS-CoV-2.
How to Identify Flawed Research Before It Becomes Dangerous
New York Times, July 20, 2020
Scientists and journalists need to establish a service to review research that's publicized before it is peer reviewed.
'The Virus Doesn't Care About Excuses': US Faces Terrifying Autumn as Covid-19 Surges
The Guardian, July 18, 2020
The breathing space afforded by lockdowns in the spring has been squandered, with new cases running at five times the rate of the whole of Europe. Things will only get worse.
The Complex Chemistry of Fire
Chemistry World, July 20, 2020
Despite its ubiquity in human life, chemists have still barely unlocked what's happening amid the flames.
Plato Was Right: Earth Is Made, on Average, of Cubes
Science Daily, July 20, 2020
The ancient philosopher Plato posited the shapes of the building blocks of the universe. According to him, the earth was formed
of cubes. Researchers now find a fundamental truth in that premise.
Do the TRAPPIST-1 Planets Have Atmospheres?
Universe Today, July 16, 2020 (w/video)
In a recent study that provides an overview of all observations to date on TRAPPIST-1 planets, a team found that depending on the planet in question, they are likely to have good atmospheres, if any at all.
Spotting Quantum Black Holes in the Lab
Quantum, July 15, 2020
Can we test speculations about how quantum physics affects black holes and the Big Bang?
Pinning Down the Sun's Birthplace Just Got More Complicated
Science News, July 20, 2020
Our star's birthplace might have been a tight, stellar cluster, researchers say.
A Month of Milestones for Mars Missions
EOS, July 14, 2020
Mars launch season has arrived, and it brings the first space exploration mission from the Arab world, China's first Mars landing, and the first powered flight on another planet.
America's Innovation Engine Is Slowing
The Atlantic, July 19, 2020
Universities are in trouble and the influx of brainpower from overseas is shrinking. The long-term consequences could be disastrous.
Designing to Survive
Washington Post, July 13, 2020
As we try to understand the role of architecture post-pandemic, we have to first better understand the ways we inhabit buildings and move through space
Tracking Misinformation Campaigns in Real-Time Is Possible, Study Shows
TechXplore, July 22, 2020
A research team led by Princeton University has developed a technique for tracking online foreign misinformation campaigns in real time, which could help mitigate outside
interference in the 2020 American election.
Jellyfish Larger Than Blue Whales?
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, June 26 2020
WHOI scientists weigh in on recent jelly sightings in Massachusetts
Study Reveals Strange Magnetic Behavior 8-11 Million Years Ago
Phys.Org, July 20, 2020
Research...suggests that today's South Atlantic Anomaly is a recurring feature and unlikely to
represent an impending reversal of the Earth's magnetic field.
What Is the Eye of the Sahara?
Thought Co., October 30, 2018 (archive) (great image)
The Blue Eye of the Sahara, also known as the Richat Structure or the Guelb er Richat, is a geological formation in the Sahara Desert that resembles an enormous bullseye, stretching across a 40 kilometer-wide region of the desert in the nation of Mauritania.
EPA Pays Tribute to Rep. John Lewis and Environmental Justice
Colorlines, February 27, 2014 (archive)
In 1992, Rep. Lewis introduced [with Al Gore] the Environmental Justice Act, the first piece of legislation dedicated to abolishing racial disparities in how environmental protection was applied.
Why Limiting PFAS in Drinking Water Is a Challenge in the US
Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) July 20, 2020
The EPA faces legal and other hurdles as it attempts to regulate PFOA and PFOS.
New Emails Show How Energy Industry Moved Fast to Undo Curbs
New York Times, July 21, 2020
The messages, made public in a lawsuit, suggest the E.P.A. rescinded a requirement on methane at the behest of an executive just weeks after President Trump took office.
Court Strikes Down Trump Administration's Methane Rollback
The Hill, July 16, 2020
A federal court has struck down a Trump administration rule that weakened restrictions on methane gas releases from
drilling on public land, restoring an Obama-era rule.
Changes in Farming Urgent to Rescue Biodiversity
Science Daily, July 20, 2020
Humans depend on farming for their survival but this activity takes up more than one-third of the world's landmass and endangers 62% of all threatened species.
How Much Will the Planet Warm if Carbon Dioxide Levels Double?
New York Times, July 22, 2020
hat remains, however, is still an array of effects that mean worldwide disaster if emissions are not sharply reduced in coming years.
World Bank Says Global Gas Flaring Hit Highest in Over a Decade in 2019
Reuters, July 21. 2020
The top four gas flaring countries - Russia, Iraq, the United States, and Iran - continue to account for 45% of all global gas flaring, for three years running (2017-2019), the World Bank said.
Where Will Everyone Go?
ProPublica, July 23, 2020
ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center, have for the first time modeled how climate refugees might move across international borders.
The Guardian, July 21,2020
Researchers say potent climate-heating gas almost certainly escaping into atmosphere.
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