“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.
Are Viruses Alive? Virologist Chart hints at a larger debate around COVID-19. When one of those 219 viruses infects us, it feels like it emerges out of thin air. In reality, viruses’ existence is a story of perplexing evolution, rooted in the natural world. To better understand viruses, Inverse spoke with virologists about where viruses come from, why viruses can make us sick, and why SARS-CoV-2 definitely didn’t come from a lab.
Why Immunity to the Novel Coronavirus Is So Complicated –Some immune responses may be enough to make a person impervious to reinfection, but scientists don’t yet know how the human body reacts to this new virus. A scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (NIAID / flickr)
Our incredible origins: The astonishing tale of Homo naledi –Lee Berger helped unearth stunning fossils of ancient human relatives in Africa. He explains why we need to rewrite our family tree.
The Birds Are Not on Lockdown, and More People Are Watching Them –Bird-watching has surged in popularity during the pandemic. It’s easy to start, and you can do it anywhere — even from inside, and even in urban spaces.
Our solar system emerged from the Milky Way and another galaxy smashing into each other –Violence ruled the early universe. About 5.7 billion years ago, the nascent Milky Way collided with the Sagittarius galaxy. Astrophysicist Tomás Ruiz-Lara and his research team now believe this is how most of the stars in our galaxy emerged.
Scientists Pin Down a Link B etween Happiness & One Daily Activity –-Even under normal circumstances, it’s tough to get motivated to bike across town or visit a museum when you’re feeling low. But that’s exactly what you should do, scientists say. Exploring the unknown has a powerful influence on mood, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
American Spaceflight Is Now in Elon Musk’s Hands –The most important NASA mission in decades is about to lift off on a billionaire’s private rocket.
Why Titanic’s first call for help wasn’t an SOS signal –The wireless technology that saved hundreds from the shipwreck was in its infancy, and competing distress signals didn’t help.
Growing Anomalies at the Large Hadron Collider Raise Hopes –Collider physicists report that several measurements of particles called B mesons deviate from predictions. Alone, each oddity looks like a fluke, but their collective drift is more suggestive.
SpaceX Launch of NASA Astronauts Is Postponed Over Weather –Persistent clouds did not clear in time, pushing the launch back to either Saturday or Sunday, the next window of opportunity. Despite discouragement from top NASA officials, crowds had gathered along Florida’s Space Coast, and the rocket was on the launchpad, ready to head toward orbit — and a transformed era of human spaceflight.
Testing Nuclear Weapons Again Would Be a Terrible Idea –The Washington Post has reported that the Trump administration discussed conducting the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992. Experts say this is a bad way to make a political point.
AI could help scientists fact-check covid claims amid a deluge of research –An experimental tool helps researchers wade through the overwhelming amount of coronavirus literature to check whether emerging studies follow scientific consensus.