Study: Neanderthal genes may be liability for COVID patients
Sep 30, 2020

By Frank Jordans Scientists say genes that some people have inherited from their Neanderthal ancestors may increase their likelihood of suffering severe forms of COVID-19. A study by European scientists published Wednesday by the journal Nature examined a cluster of genes that have been linked to a higher risk of hospitalization and respiratory failure in …

For Math Fans: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Number 42
Sep 29, 2020

By Jean-Paul Delahaye Everyone loves unsolved mysteries. Examples include Amelia Earhart’s disappearance over the Pacific in 1937 and the daring escape of inmates Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin from Alcatraz Island in California in 1962. Moreover our interest holds even if the mystery is based on a joke. Take author Douglas Adams’s popular …

A Physicist Has Come Up With Math That Makes ‘Paradox-Free’ Time Travel Plausible
Sep 28, 2020

By David Nield No one has yet managed to travel through time – at least to our knowledge – but the question of whether or not such a feat would be theoretically possible continues to fascinate scientists. As movies such as The Terminator, Donnie Darko, Back to the Future and many others show, moving around in time creates a …

Redfield voices alarm over influence of Trump’s new coronavirus task force adviser
Sep 28, 2020

By Monica Alba The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has grown increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump, pushed by a new member of his coronavirus task force, is sharing incorrect information about the pandemic with the public. Dr. Robert Redfield, who leads the CDC, suggested in a conversation with a colleague …

Pastor Who Downplays COVID in Church Makes Volunteers Sign COVID Risk Waivers
Sep 28, 2020 · 2 

By Hemant Mehta For months now, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in California has been telling his congregation not to take the virus seriously. He’s openly celebrated the lack of social distancing and face masks in his congregation, once telling a packed house, “the good news is you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.” …

The Quiet of Covid-19 Has Birds Singing Sultrier Songs
Sep 25, 2020

By Dharna Noor While social distancing measures have pushed many people into sexless, joyless bubbles, San Francisco birds are getting flirtier and more coy. I’m glad someone’s getting some. Coronavirus precautions and shutdowns have have made cities a lot quieter. In a study published in Science this week, researchers found that, with fewer cars roaring, people chattering, and construction projects …

Earth’s new minimoon might be a rocket humans launched into space in the 1960s
Sep 24, 2020

By Rafi Letzter Earth is getting a small new moon, but it might have been made by people. Astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona first detected the object back in February as a flash of light darting across space. Right this moment, it’s not in orbit around the Earth, but it’s nearby. And it’s going …

The first-ever image of a black hole is now a movie
Sep 23, 2020

By Davide Castelvecchi The historic first image of a black hole unveiled last year has now been turned into a movie. The short sequence of frames shows how the appearance of the black hole’s surroundings changes over years as its gravity stirs the material around it into a constant maelstrom. The images show a lopsided blob of …

Astronomers Discover ‘Pi Earth’ Exoplanet Orbits Its Star Once Every 3.14 Days
Sep 22, 2020

By Michelle Starr Every exoplanet is special in its own way, but a newly discovered exoplanet 186 light-years away is an especially delicious treat. It’s a smallish world around the same size as Earth, whipping around its star on an orbit that takes just 3.14 days. That’s extremely close to the mathematical constant π (Pi), …

Rising temperatures shrink Arctic sea ice to second-lowest level on record
Sep 21, 2020

By Reuters Rising temperatures in the Arctic shrank the ice covering the polar ocean this year to its second-lowest extent in four decades, scientists have announced, in yet another sign of how the climate crisis is rapidly transforming the region. Satellites recorded this year’s sea ice minimum at 3.74m sq km on 15 September, only the second …

Pastel-colored Jupiter dazzles in gorgeous Hubble telescope photo
Sep 18, 2020

By Mike Wall It’s like somebody put Jupiter under a blacklight. A new photo by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the solar system’s largest planet in surprising pastel hues. The image, captured on Aug. 25, combines data in ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light to give researchers a new look at Jupiter, one that could reveal insights about the gas …

The world set a 2020 deadline to save nature but not a single target was met, UN report says
Sep 17, 2020

By Jessie Yeung In 2010, leaders from 196 countries gathered in Japan and agreed on a list of goals designed to save the Earth. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets laid out a 10-year plan to conserve the world’s biodiversity, promote sustainability, and protect ecosystems. The targets were ambitious, but crucial. One, for instance, aimed to prevent the extinction of threatened …