Selected Sci-News Items June 27 - July 03, 2020

General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate
 
SftPublic June zoom recordings have been uploaded to SftP website, Belmont Media Center, and WGBH Forum Network. See videos below 
SftPublic upcoming July zoom recordings by Belmont Media Center  
 
 




CORONAVIRUS 

STAT, June 26, 2020  (w/video)  
"[This virus] has such a diversity of effects on so many different organs, it keeps us up at night."
 
Which Drugs and Therapies Are Proven to Work, and Which Ones Won't, for COVID-19?
The Conversation, July 01, 2020
Information about the treatments that have been tried and for which we have the best knowledge. 
 
Here's How We'll Know When a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Ready
National Geographic, June 30, 2020
Health officials have set targets for how good and how safe a COVID-19 vaccine needs to be, but communicating that to the public can present challenges.

Most People With Coronavirus Won't Spread It. Why Do a Few Infect Many?
New York Times, June 30, 2020
Growing evidence shows most infected people aren't spreading the virus. But whether you become a super-spreader probably depends more on circumstance than biology.
 
The Tricky Math of Herd Immunity for COVID-19
Quanta, June 30, 2020
Herd immunity differs from place to place, and many factors influence how it's calculated.


GENERAL INTEREST  
 
In Search of King David's Lost Empire
New Yorker, June 22, 2020
The Biblical ruler's story has been told for millennia. Archeologists are still fighting over whether it's true.

Lion's Mane Jellyfish Spotted In New England Waters
WGBH/Morning Edition, June 16, 2020  (w/audio)
There have been increased sightings of Lion's Mane jellyfish, which can grow up to 8 feet wide, up and down the New England coast - including near Nahant Beach. 
 
New Geometric Perspective Cracks Old Problem About Rectangles
Quanta, June 25, 2020
While locked down due to COVID-19, Joshua Greene and Andrew Lobb figured out how to prove a version of the "rectangular peg problem."
 
'One-in-a-50-Million Chance': Woman with Two Wombs Carrying a Twin in Each
The Guardian, June 26, 2020
Kelly Fairhurst found out about uterus condition when she went for 12-week scan.
 
The Australian Story, Told Beneath the Sea
Cosmos, July 02, 2020
Submerged archaeological sites discovered off Australia's northwest coast offer a new window into the migrations, lives and cultures of Aboriginal people thousands of years ago, when the continental shelf was dry.

COSMOS   
 
Astronomers Think This Black Hole Collision May Have Exploded With Light
ArsTechnica, June 25, 2020
If they're right, it adds one more element to new field of multi-messenger astronomy.
   
Is Dark Matter Made of Axions?
Scientific American, June 23, 2020
New experimental results suggest these long-sought subatomic particles could explain the universe's missing mass.
 
Hundreds of Hadrons
Symmetry, June 30, 2020
Hadrons count among their number the familiar protons and neutrons that make up our atoms, but they are much more than that.

A Brand New Magnetar Found, It's Only 240 Years Old
Universe Today, June 29, 2020
Magnetars are some of the most ridiculous objects in the universe. Composed of the densest material possible spinning faster than your kitchen blender, they generate the absolute most powerful magnetic fields the cosmos has ever seen.

Astronomers Discover 'Monster' Quasar from Early Universe  
Phys.Org, June 25, 2020
Astronomers have discovered the most massive quasar known in the early universe, containing a monster black hole with a mass equivalent to 1.5 billion suns.


INNOVATION  
 
Norway to Build Wireless Charging Network for Jaguar Taxis
TechXplore, June 26, 2020
In its bid to become auto-emissions free by 2024, Oslo is poised to become the first city in the world to boast a network of high-powered wireless automotive-battery charging bays.

Removing Toxic Chemicals from Water: New Environmentally-Friendly Method
Science Daily, June 30, 2020
A newly invented machine, called the Matrix Assembly Cluster Source (MACS), has been used
to design a breakthrough water treatment method using a solvent-free approach.  
 
CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Wreaks Chromosomal Mayhem
Nature, June 25, 2020
Three studies showing large DNA deletions and reshuffling heighten safety concerns about heritable genome editing.

NASA's New Rover Will Collect Martian Rocks-and Clues to Planet's Ancient Climate
Science, June 25, 2020
NASA's newest Mars rover, Perseverance, is going back in time to the bottom of a vanished lake.

Earth's Final Frontier: the Global Race to Map the Entire Ocean Floor
The Guardian, June 30, 2020
An ambitious project to chart the seabed by 2030 could help countries prepare for tsunamis, protect marine habitats and monitor deep-sea mining. But the challenge is unprecedented.


HEALTH   
 
Here's How Many Squats You Should Do for a Bigger Butt, According to Fitness Experts
Prevention, August 26, 2019 (archive)
"What daily or weekly squats will do is strengthen those big muscles in your lower body-primarily the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hips."  
 
Phys.Org, June 26, 2020 
Human exposure to food-borne TiO2 NPs comes primarily from a food additive known as E171, which makes products look whiter and more opaque.  It is found in such food as desserts, candy, beverages and gum. 
 
  No Evidence That Vitamin D Prevents Coronavirus, Say Experts
The Guardian, June 29, 2020
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that, having examined five studies, it had not
found evidence to support any benefit from vitamin D with respect to Covid-19.   
 
Overuse on Cattle Feedlots Is a Key Factor in Antibiotic Resistance
Minn Post, June 29, 2020
Cattle producers purchased 42 percent of all medically important antibiotics sold for livestock use in the United States in 2018 - about the same amount sold for chicken and pork production combined, according to a scathing report published this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
 
Yes, You Should Still Go to the Dentist. But Be Careful.
Washington Post, June 28, 2020
Dental practices are adapting how they work in and around a patient's mouth to account for [our new] complicated reality.

 
NATURE 
 
Think Before You De-Extinct
Anthropocene, July 01, 2020
Being able to resurrect [extinct] species would be exciting-but lessons from reintroduction biology help us imagine what could go wrong.

Humans and Dogs Have Been Sledding Together for Nearly 10,000 Years
National Geographic, June 25, 2020
Sled dogs have also evolved adaptations to their harsh lifestyle, such as the ability to thrive on high-fat diets, a new study says.

Two Lightning Mega-Flashes Shattered Distance and Duration Records
Science News, June 25, 2020
A bolt that lit up the sky over Argentina on March 4, 2019, lasted a mind-boggling 16.73 seconds, more than twice as long as
the previous record holder. Meanwhile, a lightning bolt on October 31, 2018, set the new record for length.  
 
The Bat-Virus Detente
Knowable, June 19, 2020
Bats cope with myriad viruses, including the one causing Covid-19, with few ill effects. Scientists are probing their immune systems to fathom how they do it. The answers might help infected people, too.

8 Slowest Animals in the World
Treehugger, June 25, 2020
While animals like the cheetah and greyhound show off their graceful speed, these creatures are content to amble and creep, moving sometimes just a few feet per minute.

 
 
ENVIRONMENT   
 
Geochemists Solve Mystery of Earth's Vanishing Crust
Science Daily, June 26, 2020
A team of geochemists has found new evidence that Earth has been consistently churning out crust since its formation 4.5 billion years ago and that some crust is made of ancient, resurfaced chunks.

Five Ways Mega-Dams Harm the Environment
Deutsche Welle, June 25, 2020
As the conflict over a new dam on the Nile River heats up, DW examines the ways such mega-dams hurt the environment, and looks at a few alternatives.

How One Teaspoon of Amazon Soil Teems with Fungal Life
BBC News, June 27, 2020
Largely invisible and hidden underground, the "dark matter" of life on Earth has "amazing properties", which we're just starting to explore, say scientists.

Saharan Dust Is Bad for Health. But It's Also Crucial to Earth's Biology and Climate
National Geographic, June 30, 2020
The Saharan dust plume is a supersized version of ones that cross the Atlantic all the time, ferrying particles that irritate lungs but also fertilize plant and ocean life.

The Supreme Court Approved More Drilling Under the Appalachian Trail
Outside, June 25, 2020
During a week of historic decisions, the Supreme Court decided that an energy company can drill under the Appalachian Trail.


CLIMATE  
 
Pew Research Center, June 23, 2020
Bipartisan backing for carbon capture tax credits, extensive tree-planting efforts.
 
Fading Winters, Hotter Summers Make the Northeast America's Fastest Warming Region
Inside Climate News, June 27, 2020
Connecticut's average temperature has risen 2 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, double the average for the Lower 48 states.  
 
South Pole Warming Faster Than We Feared
Cosmos, June 30, 2020
Research reveals its true sensitivity to climate change.  Over the past 30 years, the South Pole has been one of the fastest changing places on Earth, warming more than three times more rapidly than the rest of the world.
 
Milking the Planet
IATP, June 15, 2020
How Big Dairy is heating up the planet and hollowing rural communities.
 
New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America
New York Times, June 30, 2020
Across much of the United States, the flood risk is far greater than government estimates show, new calculations suggest, exposing millions of people to a hidden threat.
   
 


 
 
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