“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.
There is an alien intelligence living among us. Spiders think with their webs, challenging our ideas of intelligence. With the help of their webs, spiders are capable of foresight, planning, learning and other smarts that indicate they may possess consciousness, writes David Robson for New Scientist.These creatures possess an extraordinary kind of consciousness, including minds that extend beyond their bodies. We are now discovering that some arachnids possess hidden cognitive abilities rivaling those of mammals and birds, including foresight and planning, complex learning and even the capacity to be surprised. Stranger still, the delicate silk threads they spin out behind them, so easily swept up by a feather duster, help them to sense and remember their world.
Pangolins Are Suspected as a Potential Coronavirus Host –The world’s most trafficked mammal may be involved in the Wuhan outbreak, but the evidence is far from clear, writes James Gorman for the New York Times. In the search for the animal source or sources of the coronavirus epidemic in China, the latest candidate is the pangolin, an endangered, scaly, ant-eating mammal that is imported in huge numbers to Chinese markets for food and medicine. The market in pangolins is so large that they are said to be the most trafficked mammals on the planet. James Gorman is a science writer at large for The New York Times and the host and writer of the regular video series “ScienceTake.”
What Scientists Can Learn From Alien Hunters –-The history of the search for extraterrestrial life sheds light on the consequences of dismissing fringe perspectives, in science and in other disciplines. Aliens—hypothetical beings from outer space— writes Sarach Scoles for Wired, fall into roughly three categories. They could be far-away microbes or other creatures that don’t use technology humans can detect; they could be far-away creatures that use technology earthlings can identify; or they could be creatures that have used technology to come to Earth. Scoles is the author of “Making Contact “and the forthcoming book “They Are Already Here”.
“The Enigma Deepens” –Fast Radio Bursts Detected Repeating Every 16-Days. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) — brief, bright flashes of radio waves that last a few milliseconds that release incredible energy–equivalent to the amount released by the Sun in 80 years–remain one of the great unsolved astrophysical mysteries with conjectures ranging from a black hole converting into a white hole and exploding to the collision of cosmic strings — proposed remnants of the Big Bang, galaxy-sized filaments of raw energy that may be threaded through spacetime.
This Reporter Keeps Asking Presidential Candidates About UFOs and It’s Amazing. “I feel like UFOs could be one of the greatest news stories of our time and I want a piece of it,” says New Hampshire-based reporter Daymond Steer. Steer, reports MJ Banias for Motherboard, made waves in 2016 when he asked Hillary Clinton again about UFOs. Clinton told the Conway Daily Sun, “I’m going to get to the bottom of it. I think we may have been [visited already]. We don’t know for sure.”
What if Earth were a super-Earth? –Because there are so many super-Earths out there, it begs the question: What would happen to our planet if it were two or even 10 times the size it is now. For starters, you’d be shorter — you, Mount Everest and every tree in California’s Sequoia National Park — because if you increase the size of a planet and keep everything else identical, gravity increases in kind, writes Donavyn Coffey for Live Science
Spain and Mexico renew search for 17th-century treasure galleon –-Project aims to locate Nuestra Señora del Juncal and train underwater archaeologists, writes Sam Jones for The Guardian. The Nuestra Senora del Juncal reportedly departed from Mexico in October of 1631 packed with gold, silver, and other precious materials to be delivered to Spain. However, shortly after its journey began, powerful storms caused the ship to sink and the treasure subsequently fell to the bottom of the ocean where it is believed to rest to this day.
Can Warfighters Remain the Masters of AI? The Department of Defense, writes Harrson Schramm and Jeff Kline, is engaging in a dangerous experiment: It is investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) equipment and technologies while simultaneously underinvesting in preparation for the workforce will need to understand its implementation. America’s AI workforce, in uniform or out, is not prepared to use this fast-advancing area of technology. Are we educating the masters of artificial intelligence, or are we training its servants?\
A Horse Has 5 Toes, and Then It Doesn’t –As a horse’s hoof forms, scientists say something profound is occurring in its anatomical development., writes Veronique Greenwood for The New York Times. From the perspective of evolutionary and developmental biologists, a horse’s hoof is literally a giant middle finger. It seems to be the remnant of a foot that once had five full toes, with only three remaining visible. But when Kathryn Kavanagh, a biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, was sorting through preserved horse embryos recently, she saw something that at first she couldn’t quite believe.