“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.
The UK is spooking everyone with its new covid-19 strain. Here’s what scientists know, reports MIT Technology Review. European nations are throwing up travel barriers to the UK over fears of a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus.
Neanderthal gene found in many people may open cells to coronavirus and increase COVID-19 severity, reports Ann Gibbons for Science.
The Cosmologist Working to Preserve the Night Sky for the Future, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard Science.– Dr. Aparna Venkatesan studies the distant reaches of space and time, while advocating for a night sky undamaged by orbital clutter.
Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse –We don’t know why the universe appears to be expanding faster than it should. New ultra-precise distance measurements have only intensified the problem, reports Natalie Wolchover for Quanta.
Are strange space signals in Antarctica evidence of a parallel universe? –Odd detections at the South Pole have so far defied explanation, inviting theories beyond conventional physics, reports Astronomy.
Should people take more than one type of COVID-19 vaccine? –All these authorizations foretell a world with vaccine choice. Here’s what research says about whether more is better for boosting your immunity, reports National Geographic..
Why The Expanse should become your next favorite sci-fi show, reports The Guardian.–Move over, Game of Thrones/. Amazon’s gritty and ambitious space-set drama has slowly become one of TV’s most compelling genre offerings and one that deserves a bigger audience.
US states are suing Google: here’s what you need to know –A new lawsuit alleges anti-competitive activity by the search giant—including deals with Facebook. Here’s what it claims, reports MIT Technology Review.
“Dinosaur Dust to Future Apocalypse” –Earth’s Mass Extinction Cycles, reports The Daily Galaxy.–Sixty Six million years ago it would have been a pleasant day one second and the world was already over by the next, wrote Peter Brannen about the Mount Everest sized asteroid that blasted a hole in the ground, the Chicxulub Impact, releasing the equivalent of 100 million megatons of TNT creating a 20-mile deep, 110-mile hole and sterilizing the remaining 170 million square miles of the ancient continent of Pangaea, killing virtually every species on Earth.
2020 in review: The hunt for life on Venus continues, reports New Scientists –Clara Sousa-Silva spent most of 2020 sitting on a huge secret – the apparent detection of phosphine, a potential sign of life, on Venus. She tells New Scientist what it felt like and what comes next.
Why We Need Quantum Tech In Space to Fight Climate Change, reports Maddie Bender for Motherboard/Vice. Classical Earth observations are reaching their limit, so scientists are probing fundamental physics in space to understand our planet’s complexity.
Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine, reports Adrienne LaFrance for The Atlantic– “If the age of reason was, in part, a reaction to the existence of the printing press, and 1960s futurism was a reaction to the atomic bomb, we need a new philosophical and moral framework for living with the social web—a new Enlightenment for the information age, and one that will carry us back to shared reality and empiricism.”
Early humans may have survived the harsh winters by hibernating –Seasonal damage in bone fossils in Spain suggests Neanderthals and their predecessors followed the same strategy as cave bears, reports The Guardian.
The Mystery of Mistletoe’s Missing Genes –Mistletoes have all but shut down the powerhouses of their cells. Scientists are still trying to understand the plants’ unorthodox survival strategy, reports Quanta.
Ancient European Hunters Carved Human Bones Into Weapons, reports The Smithsonian. –Scientists suggest 10,000-year-old barbed points washed up on Dutch beaches were made for cultural reasons.
How Science Beat the Virus, reports Ed Yong for The Atlantic–“Much like famous initiatives such as the Manhattan Project and the Apollo program, epidemics focus the energies of large groups of scientists. …But ‘nothing in history was even close to the level of pivoting that’s happening right now,’ Madhukar Pai of McGill University told me. …No other disease has been scrutinized so intensely, by so much combined intellect, in so brief a time.
Why cruise ships are setting sail again as COVID-19 rages –The surreal world of cruising during a pandemic requires temperature checks at meals, pre-boarding virus tests, and masks on the dance floor, reports National Geographic.