Selected Sci-News Items Sept 12 - Sept 18, 2020

General Interest    Cosmos    Innovation    Health    Nature    Environment    Climate
 
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CORONAVIRUS   
 
Covid-19: Fauci Says US Life Won't Return to Normal Until Deep Into 2021
The Guardian, September 11, 2020
"If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality, which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it's gonna be well into 2021. Maybe even towards the end of 2021," he warned in an interview with MSNBC.
 
How COVID-19 Can Damage the Brain
Nature, September 15, 2020
Some people who become ill with the coronavirus develop neurological symptoms. Scientists are struggling to understand why.

Fever Checks Are No Safeguard Against Covid-19
New York Times, September 13, 2020
The practice of taking temperatures is becoming de rigueur in many workplaces and restaurants, even though federal health officials say they are of limited value.

Blood Donations Show That the United States Is Still Nowhere Near Herd Immunity
Science News, September 17, 2020
Less than 2 percent of nearly 1 million blood donors tested positive for coronavirus antibodies

Bill Gates Slams 'Shocking' U.S. Response to Covid-19 Pandemic
STAT, September 14, 2020
In an interview with STAT, Gates sounded exasperated at times as he described the badly bungled launch of Covid-19 testing, the enlisting of a neuroradiologist - rather than an epidemiologist or infectious diseases specialist - to help guide the White House's response decisions, and the recent move to discourage testing of people who have been in contact with a known case but who aren't yet showing symptoms.


GENERAL INTEREST  
 
'Viking' Was a Job Description, Not a Matter of Heredity, Massive Ancient DNA
Science, September 16, 2020
The results [of new study] trace how the Vikings radiated across Europe from their Scandinavian homeland, and how people with roots elsewhere also took up Viking ways.

Why Do People Sneeze? Everything You Need to Know
Thought Co. September 14, 2018 (archive)
Separate fact from fiction with these fun sneezing science facts.

He Invented the Rubik's Cube. He's Still Learning From It.
New York Times, September 16, 2020
Erno Rubik, who devised one of the world's most popular and enduring puzzles, opens up about his creation in his new book, "Cubed." 
 
In First, Scientific American Magazine Endorses Biden
Phys.Org, September 15, 2020
For the first time in its 175-year history, US magazine Scientific American has endorsed a White House candidate, saying Tuesday it wanted Democrat Joe Biden to prevail because President Donald Trump "rejects" science.
 
When Math Gets Impossibly Hard
Quanta, September 14, 2020
Mathematicians have long grappled with the reality that some problems jus
t don't have solutions.
 

COSMOS   
 
Something Weird Is Happening on Venus
The Atlantic, September 14, 2020
The discovery of a strange gas in its atmosphere puts the planet "into the realm of a perhaps inhabited world," a researcher says. 
 
The Weird Space That Lies Outside Our Solar System
BBC Future, September 08, 2020
The mysterious dark vacuum of interstellar space is finally being revealed by two intrepid spacecraft that have become the first human-made objects to leave our Solar System.
 
Origin of the Elements Reviewed
Cosmos, September 16, 2020
Study suggests neutron stars not such big players.
   
New Hubble Data Suggests There Is an Ingredient Missing from Current Dark Matter Theories
Science Daily, September 10, 2020
This missing ingredient may explain why researchers have uncovered an unexpected discrepancy between observations of the dark matter concentrations in a sample of massive galaxy clusters and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed in clusters.
    
An Unexpected Twist Lights Up the Secrets of Turbulence
Quanta, September 03, 2020
Having solved a central mystery about the "twirliness" of tornadoes and other types of vortices, William Irvine has set his sights on turbulence, the white whale of classical physics.

 
INNOVATION
 
Robot Cleaners Are Coming, This Time to Wipe Ip Your Coronavirus Germs
Washington Post, September 08, 2020
Hospitals and airports need to keep things clean. People need to stay away from one another. Enter the scramble for cleaning robots.

Solar Power On The Rise At US Schools
Environmental Health News, September 16, 2020
Report finds an 81% increase in K-12 schools using solar power over the last 5 years.

Life and Breath
AEON, September `15, 2020
There's a strange, and deeply human, story behind how we taught machines to breathe for critically ill patients.
Energy 'Scavenger' Could Turn Waste Heat from Fridges and Other Devices into Electricity
Science, September 11, 2020
Now, researchers have created a device that uses liquids to efficiently convert low-grade heat to electricity.

Remote Monitoring is Rapidly Growing -- and a New Class of Patient-Consumer Is Driving the Shift
STAT, September 16, 2020
The transformation - which began years ago as healthy people moved to optimize wellness and people with chronic conditions pushed for more convenient care - has taken on a more permanent tone amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 
 

HEALTH   
 
What Is 'Friluftsliv'? How an Idea of Outdoor Living Could Help Us This Winter
National Geographic, September 11, 2020
Get outside, says this Norwegian concept that promises to make the pandemic's colder months more bearable.

Local' and 'Organic' Food Labels Only Tell Part of the Story
Treehugger, September 14, 2020
Eco-minded grocery shoppers love labels. If a food says "organic" or "local" or "sustainable," it becomes more desirable than its less decorated neighbors.  
 

Exercise May Make It Easier to Bounce Back From Stress
New York Times, September 09, 2020
Regular exercise helped lab mice remain psychologically resilient even when their lives seemed filled with threats.

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Reasons to Eat Them
Everyday Health, May 13, 2020 (archive)
'Superfood' is a marketing term, and in reality, the best diet is one that is balanced. But some foods stand out more than others for their sterling nutritional profile.

What's in Your Medicine May Surprise You - a Call for Greater Transparency about Inactive Ingredients
The Conversation, September 11, 2020
There are many more ingredients in every pill you take than what is listed on the bottle label.


NATURE  
 
How Animals Sense Earth's Magnetic Field
Astrobiology, May 18, 2020 (archive)
If you have ever wondered how homing pigeons make round trips without GPS, or how pregnant sea turtles find the same beach on which they were born decades earlier to lay their own eggs, it is all thanks to their sense of magneto-reception.  
 
"The Warning Lights Are Flashing" Report Finds Nations Failing to Protect Biodiversity
Science, September 15, 2020
The United Nations Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, released this week, concludes that the world has not met ambitious targets set 10 years ago to protect nature.  
 
Long Kept Secret, Canada's Ghostly Spirit Bears Are Even Rarer Than Thought
The Guardian, September 14, 2020
Adept at catching salmon because they blend into the daylight, the white bears are small in number - yet First Nations are stepping in to help.

Why Some Hurricanes Grow Into Massive Storms - and Why They Are Hard to Predict
PBS NewsHour, September 10, 2020
"The hurricane is a giant engine for extracting heat energy from the ocean,"

This Hummingbird Survives Cold Nights by Nearly Freezing Itself Solid
Science News, September 08, 2020
The black metaltail goes into a state of suspended animation, becoming 'cold as a rock'


ENVIRONMENT   
 
Egypt Cuts Highways Across Pyramids Plateau, Alarming Conservationists
The Guardian, September 145, 2020
Project championed by Egypt's powerful military will slice across world heritage site

They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won't Anybody Listen?
ProPublica, August 28, 2020
This is a story about frustration, about watching the West burn when you fully understand why it's burning - and understand why it did not need to be this bad.

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
WBUR/NPR, September 11, 2020
NPR and PBS Frontline spent months digging into internal industry documents and interviewing top former officials.
 
Toxic Ozone At Ground Level Threatens Food Crops
Deutsche Welle, September 16, 2020
Basic food crops for millions of people worldwide are endangered because of surging ground-level ozone concentration. Indian farms are among those most at risk. Scientists are now racing to make plants more resistant.

How Big Farms Got a Government Pass on Air Pollution
Public Integrity, September 16, 2020
An EPA deal came with a promise to help communities exposed to animal emissions. That's still unfulfilled.

CLIMATE   
 
Dietary Changes Could Produce Big Offsets to Carbon Emissions
Science Daily, September 10, 2020
Eating less meat and dairy products in favor of plant-based proteins like those found in grains, legumes and nuts could make a huge difference in how much carbon dioxide reaches the atmosphere.

What Tipping Points Are Telling Us
Cosmos, September 11, 2020
Why we need to understand them and respond.

The Arctic Is Burning Like Never Before - and That's Bad News for Climate Change
Nature, September 10, 2020Fires are releasing record levels of carbon dioxide, partly because they are burning ancient peatlands that have been a carbon sink.

UN report: Increased Warming Closing In On Agreed-Upon Limit
PBS News Hour, September 09, 2020
The world is getting closer to passing a temperature limit set by global leaders five years ago and may exceed it in the next decade or so, according to a new United Nations report. 
 
Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration
ProPublica, September 15, 2020
Wildfires rage in the West. Hurricanes batter the East. Droughts and floods wreak damage throughout the nation. Life has become increasingly untenable in the hardest-hit areas, but if the people there move, where will everyone go?    

 

 
 
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