“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.
A Group of Scientists Presses a Case Against the Lab Leak Theory of Covid –In a review of recent studies and comparisons to other outbreaks, a group of virologists contends that there is more evidence to support a natural spillover from animals to humans, reports The New York Times.
Newly-Discovered ‘Borg’ DNA Is Unlike Anything Scientists Have Ever Seen –These ‘Borg’ elements assimilated genes from other organisms, and could be used to help fight climate change, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.
Exploding stars may have assaulted ancient Earth, reports Daniel Clery for Science –“For our Australopithecus ancestors who roamed Africa 2.5 million years ago, the bright new star in the sky surely would have aroused curiosity. As luminous as the full Moon, it would have cast shadows at night and been visible during the day. As the supernova faded over the following months, it probably also faded from memory. But it left other traces, now coming to light.”
A Video Tour of the Standard Model of Physics–The Standard Model is a sweeping equation that has correctly predicted the results of virtually every experiment ever conducted, as Quanta explores in a new video.
Star Trek’s Warp Drive Leads to New Physics –Researchers are taking a closer look at this science-fiction staple—and bringing the idea a little closer to reality, reports Scientific American.
NASA Is Supporting the Search for Alien Megastructures, reports Daniel Oberhaus for Supercluster –“For the first time in history, America’s space agency is officially sponsoring a search for alien megastructures. ‘I’m encouraged that we’ve got NASA funding to support this,’ says [UC Berkeley’s Steve] Croft. ‘We’re using a NASA mission to fulfill a stated NASA objective—the search for life in the universe. But we’re doing it through a technosignature search that is not very expensive for NASA compared to some of their biosignature work.”
Big Bang: How We Are Trying to ‘Listen’ to It—and the New Physics It Could Unveil, reports Singularity Hub.
How Many Numbers Exist? Infinity Proof Moves Math Closer to an Answer, reports Natalie Wolchover for Quanta –For 50 years, mathematicians have believed that the total number of real numbers is unknowable. A new proof suggests otherwise.
Derinkuyu: the ancient underground city, once home to 20,000 people. The maze-like underground city resembles an ant colony, reports Tibi Puiu for ZME Science.
New Approach Could Boost the Search for Life in Otherworldly Oceans, reports Scientific American –“Ecological biosignatures” hold promise for revealing alien organisms that may dwell within icy moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus.
Jeff Bezos Has Picked an Unusual Space Crew –No group like this one has ever gone to space before, reports The Atlantic.
Frogs are battling their own terrible pandemic – can we stop it? asks New Scientist –The deadly chytrid fungus has wiped out 90 species of amphibians, and is threatening ecosystems. Now there’s hope that several new treatments could help us fight the plague.
Hubble Space Telescope Is Back, reports Gizmodo –NASA was finally able to bring the orbiting observatory back online after it spent a month in safe mode.
Were dinosaurs doomed before the asteroid hit? asks BBC Future –“results show that the number of species was in steep decline from 10 million years before the asteroid strike until the dinosaurs were wiped out.”
Why Rome’s gladiatorial games were more complex than just a blood sport, reports National Geographic –“new archaeological discoveries and analysis are presenting more details about the gladiatorial games and the people involved. It’s showing us just how deeply the Roman Empire depended on these games both for the elites and the common citizen.”
Your free twice-weekly fix of stories of space and science –a random journey from Planet Earth through the Cosmos– that has the capacity to provide clues to our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our Anthropocene epoch.