“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species. Our caffeine-inspired curation team scours the world, doing your work for you –all in one place.
MIT: Freeman Dyson in his own words –Freeman Dyson died today, at age 96. He was one of the foremost physicists of his generation, and also wrote widely on the relationships between science, technology, and the world.
Bill Gates: Coronavirus may be ‘once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about, ’reports CNBC. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the coronavirus is starting to behave like the “once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.” Gates pointed out COVID-19′s current predicted fatality rate is higher than that of the 1957 influenza pandemic, which killed an estimated 66,000 people in the U.S. “I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise.”
This Parasite Doesn’t Need Oxygen to Survive –But that’s not the weirdest thing about this jellyfish cousin that turns up in the muscles of salmon, writes Veronique Greenwood for The New York Times. Researchers in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report that a tiny parasitic cousin of jellyfish, which under a microscope looks something like the head of an archetypal bigheaded and dark-eyed alien, is bucking the trend: It has no mitochondria, suggesting it does not use oxygen for respiration. It appears to get its energy from some other source that remains mysterious.
“Alien Origin” — “An enduring mystery regarding the origin of life,” said NASA scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center in June, 2019 about the inorganic transition to life, abiogenesis, “is how biology could have arisen from non-biological chemical processes.” Now, scientists have reported the discovery of “the first protein from an extraterrestrial source,” marking the only time that this important component of life has ever been found in a meteorite, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.
Race to unravel mystery of 1908 Tunguska catastrophe – the world’s biggest explosion. Russian scientists hopeful of finding traces of cosmic matter left after the explosion, reports the Siberian Times. Over the past century, speculation for what could have been behind the incident has ranged from a micro-black hole invader to the farside suggestion that Nikola Tesla was somehow to blame for the event.
Wormholes Reveal a Way to Manipulate Black Hole Information in the Lab –A proposal for building wormhole-connected black holes offers a way to probe the paradoxes of quantum information. A group led by Sepehr Nezami of the California Institute of Technology has suggested how to actually perform this extraordinary experiment — and they are beginning to work with collaborators to put the idea to the test, writes Phillip Ball for Quanta.com.
This ‘Blood-Red’ Snow Is Taking Over Parts of Antarctica –After a month of record-breaking temperatures, a kind of snow algae that turns ruby-hued in warm temperatures thrives, writes Lily Katzman for Smithsonian. With unprecedented temperatures, algae that normally thrive in freezing water and lie dormant across the continent’s snow and ice are now in full bloom and cover the Antarctic Peninsula with blood-red, flower-like spores.