“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.
How Life Could Continue to Evolve. On the origin of an interstellar species, reports Caleb Scharf for Nautil.us. Regardless of the finer details of what life is built out of, we might imagine that the schemes represented by these mechanisms of genetic exchange will emerge in any persistent living system anywhere in the cosmos. That fact raises some intriguing possibilities about what we might discover beyond the bounds of Earth. All to be taken for what they are—informed but utterly speculative proposals.
The Ocean Carries ‘Memories’ of SARS-CoV-2. We’ve been looking in the wrong place for a deeper understanding of the virus, reports Scientific American. Every aspect of this vast oceanic system can be viewed as holding memory, from short-term to long-term, individualized to collective. For example, the cold, salty surface waters in polar regions that sink to form the rest of the deep sea (cold, dense water sinks) carry the memory of their initial interactions with the polar atmosphere—in the form of a unique temperature/salinity signature—for a thousand years, in the process keeping the ocean circulating globally for the benefit of all life on the planet.
Global Wave Discovery Ends 220-Year Search, reports Quanta. An 18th-century physicist first predicted the existence of a chorus of atmospheric waves that swoop around Earth. Scientists have finally found them.
What if We Could Live for a Million Years? Asks Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb. Vastly extended life spans would bring dazzling opportunities—and daunting risks reports Scientific American. Recently, scientists discovered bacteria that had been buried beneath the ocean floor for more than a hundred million years and was still alive. What would change if we could live for even just a million years?
Mitochondria May Hold Keys to Anxiety and Mental Health, reports Quanta. Research hints that the energy-generating organelles of cells may play a surprisingly pivotal role in mediating anxiety and depression.
A Broken Cable Has Wrecked One of Earth’s Largest Radio Telescopes, reports Motherboard/Vice.–The cable tore a 100-foot hole in the gargantuan dish in Puerto Rico, which was featured in Carl Sagan’s novel ‘Contact’ and the James Bond film ‘GoldenEye.’
Massive wildfire spawns first fire tornadoes in Northern California, reports the LA Times.
Continent-Size Pressure Waves Are Rippling Through Earth’s Atmosphere, reports The Atlantic. Scientists first theorized about the waves 220 years ago. In June, they finally found solid evidence.