Another COVID-19 vaccine success? Candidate may prevent further coronavirus transmission, too
Nov 24, 2020

By Jon Cohen and John Travis A third COVID-19 vaccine candidate has convincing evidence that it works, and it may be easier to distribute and cheaper than the two other vaccines already shown to protect people. Developed by the company AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford, the vaccine had an average efficacy of …

Can a Computer Devise a Theory of Everything?
Nov 23, 2020

By Dennis Overbye Once upon a time, Albert Einstein described scientific theories as “free inventions of the human mind.” But in 1980, Stephen Hawking, the renowned Cambridge University cosmologist, had another thought. In a lecture that year, he argued that the so-called Theory of Everything might be achievable, but that the final touches on it …

Legendary Arecibo telescope will close forever — scientists are reeling
Nov 20, 2020

By Alexandra Witze One of astronomy’s most renowned telescopes — the 305-metre-wide radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico — is closing permanently. Engineers cannot find a safe way to repair it after two cables supporting the structure broke suddenly and catastrophically, one in August and one in early November. It is the end of one …

The End of the Pandemic Is Now in Sight
Nov 19, 2020

By Sarah Zhang For all that scientists have done to tame the biological world, there are still things that lie outside the realm of human knowledge. The coronavirus was one such alarming reminder, when it emerged with murky origins in late 2019 and found naive, unwitting hosts in the human body. Even as science began to …

Burning Fossil Fuels Helped Drive Earth’s Most Massive Extinction
Nov 18, 2020

By Lucas Joel Paleontologists call it the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, but it has another name: “the Great Dying.” It happened about 252 million years ago, and, over the course of just tens of thousands of years, 96 percent of all life in the oceans and, perhaps, roughly 70 percent of all land life vanished forever. …

Mysterious ‘dark river’ may flow hundreds of miles beneath Greenland
Nov 17, 2020

By Peter Dockrill A giant underground river fed by melting ice could be running in a state of perpetual darkness far below the surface of Greenland, according to new research. Nicknamed the ‘Dark River’, this hypothetical waterway – if it truly exists, that is – may stretch for 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), flowing from the deep …

COVID vaccine excitement builds as Moderna reports third positive result
Nov 16, 2020

By Ewen Callaway They say good news comes in threes. For the third time in a week, a coronavirus vaccine developer has reported preliminary results suggesting its vaccine is highly effective. Today, biotech company Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that its RNA-based vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, based on an analysis …

Scientists spot a ‘kilonova’ flash so bright they can barely explain it
Nov 12, 2020

By Meghan Bartels Scientists may have caught the blinding flash of two dense neutron stars colliding to form a strange magnetic star. The first sign of the massive event was a gamma-ray beacon that appeared in telescope data on May 22, prompting astronomers to assemble their best instruments. That response was important: Scientists believe gamma-ray bursts usually stem from …

Don’t Get Too Excited About the Coronavirus Vaccine
Nov 11, 2020

By Aaron E. Carroll and Nicholas Bagley The announcement that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing Covid-19 infections — much better than many anticipated — is cause for celebration. With a vaccine of this efficacy, suppression of the disease is entirely realistic. Unfortunately, this development doesn’t mean we can all relax and …

Jim Bridenstine will step aside as NASA chief when President-elect Biden takes over: report
Nov 10, 2020

By Mike Wall NASA will apparently be getting a new leader after president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine won’t remain in the agency’s lead role in the Biden administration even if asked, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report reported on Sunday (Nov. 8). “You need somebody who has a close relationship with the president of the U.S. … …

NASA Date Appears To Show That Giant Asteroid Is Hollow
Nov 9, 2020

By Dan Robitzski After years of orbiting and eventually touching down to gather samples from the asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has made another surprising discovery. Bennu, a rapidly spinning space rock orbiting near the Earth, seems to be hollow, according to a press release. Not only that, but scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder who analyzed new …

Scientists Say They’ve Found The Missing 40 Percent Of The Universe’s Matter
Nov 6, 2020

By Dan Robitzski Scientists have long assumed that about 40 percent of the universe’s visible matter — the kind makes up everything we can see and touch — was missing, never having been detected. Now, a team of researchers from France’s National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) says it’s finally found it — hidden away …