The Quantum Century to Events That Could Have Ended Humanity (Planet Earth Report)

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“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.


“And So It Begins” –Quantum Physicists Create a New Universe With Its Own Rules, reports The Daily Galaxy –Albert Einstein was fond of saying that “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” What if our world, our universe, following Einstein’s insight, is the result of a quantum-physics experiment performed by some ancient hyper-advanced alien civilization. A civilization that, as astrophysicist Paul Davies speculates, may exist beyond matter.

The quantum century –Manipulating quantum devices has been like getting an intoxicating new superpower for society, reports ArsTechnica.

America has sent five rovers to Mars—when will humans follow?–With its impeccable landing on Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance became the fifth rover to reach Mars—so when can we finally expect the long-held goal of a crewed expedition to materialize? asks

Scientists Really, Really Want a Piece of Mars –A new NASA rover has jump-started an intense effort to finally bring home a pristine sample from the red planet, reports Marina Koren for The Atlantic.

The moments that could have accidentally ended humanity –In recent history, a few individuals have made decisions that could, in theory, have unleashed killer aliens or set Earth’s atmosphere on fire. What can they tell us about attitudes to the existential risks we face today? reports BBC Future.

The eccentric scientist behind the ‘gold standard’ COVID-19 test –Bombastic biochemist Kary Mullis invented PCR, a tool that redefined genetic science, while driving in 1983. That was only the beginning, reports National Geographic. Biochemist Kary Mullis says he was driving from the Bay Area to his cabin in Mendocino in 1983 when suddenly, like a bolt of lightning out of the California sky, he came up with a way to pinpoint a particular stretch of DNA and synthesize an enormous amount of copies.

Scientists Achieve Real-Time Communication With Lucid Dreamers in Breakthrough –International scientists have unlocked a new and exciting avenue to explore the world of dreams, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.

Is It Safe to Delay a Second COVID Vaccine Dose? –Some evidence indicates that short waits are safe, but there is a chance that partial immunization could help risky new coronavirus variants to develop, reports Marla Broadfoot for Scientific American.

Until Recently, People Accepted the ‘Fact’ of Aliens in the Solar System –For centuries, right up until the 1960s, the notion life on Mars—and elsewhere—wasn’t considered especially remarkable, reports astrophysicist Caleb Scharf for Scientific American.

Life from Earth could temporarily survive on Mars, reports Frontiers –Study shows sending microbes to Earth’s stratosphere, to test their endurance to Martian conditions, can reveal their potential use and threats to space travel

Deepest land-dwelling microbes found at bottom of 5km hole in China –There are microbes near the bottom of the third deepest hole in the world. The cells, recovered from rocks almost 5 kilometers below the surface in China, are the deepest so far found anywhere on land – and they may push beyond the known heat tolerances of life on Earth. It is widely accepted that life exists at depth. Until now, the deepest known microbes on land were tiny nematode worms found 3.6 kilometers below the surface in a South African gold mine.

Million-Year-Old Mammoth Teeth Contain Oldest DNA Ever Found, reports Jeanne Timmons for Gizmodo–“An international team of scientists has sequenced DNA from mammoth teeth that is at least a million years old, if not older. This research, published today in Nature, not only provides exciting new insight into mammoth evolutionary history, it reveals an entirely unknown lineage of ancient mammoth.”

Six Brilliant Tesla Inventions That Never Got Built–These futuristic visions have yet to come to fruition, either because of technological limitations or market viability—or both, reports Christopher Klein for History.

Martin Luther Rewired Your Brain–How mass literacy, spurred by Protestantism, reconfigured our neural pathways, reports Nautilus.

The Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff


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