“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.
Could humans evolve into two different species in the future? –“It wouldn’t be exceptional to have more than one species of humans on this planet, because this was the case over most of the time of our existence. The last “sympatric” humans we know of were Neanderthals, who became extinct only about 30,000 years ago,” writes Francis Blake for New Scientist.
China Aims for a Permanent Moon Base in the 2030s, reports Andrew Jones for IEEE Spectrum– “The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) is a complex, multiphase megaproject that the China National Space Administration (CNSA) unveiled jointly with Russia in June in St. Petersburg. Starting with robotic landing and orbiting missions in the 2020s, its designers envision a permanently inhabited lunar base by the mid-2030s.”
Is There a Thing, or a Relationship between Things, at the Bottom of Things? asks John Horgan for Scientific American. — Quantum mechanics inspires us to speculate that interactions between entities, not entities in themselves, are fundamental to realityhttps://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-a-thing-or-a-relationship-betweenthings-at-the-bottom-of-things/
The black hole paradox that thwarts our understanding of reality –Black holes devour stuff and then shrivel away over billions of years. Explaining what happens to anything that falls in explodes our current theories of physics, says cosmologist Paul Davies
Generation Covid: What the pandemic means for young people’s futures –“The long-term impact of the pandemic will be felt most by those growing up in its grasp. Generational analysis can tell us what we should expect, from education and income to mental health and the response to climate change,” reports New Scientist.
‘Jumping gene’ may have erased tails in humans and other apes—and boosted our risk of birth defects, reports Science –“Researchers may have unearthed a simple genetic change that led to our abbreviated back end: an itinerant piece of DNA that leapt into a new chromosomal home and changed how great apes make a key developmental protein. The finding also suggests the genetic shift came with a less visible and more dangerous effect: a higher risk of birth defects involving the developing spinal cord.”
Even Mild Cases of COVID May Leave a Mark on the Brain –The new findings, although preliminary, are raising concerns about the potential long-term effects of COVID-1, reports Jessica Bernard for The Conversation. “These findings are raising concerns about the long-term impacts that the coronavirus might have on biological processes such as aging.”
Ancient Footprints Push Back Date of Human Arrival in the Americas –Human footprints found in New Mexico are about 23,000 years old, a study reported, suggesting that people may have arrived long before, reports Carl Zimmer for the New York Times.
Alien life ‘could be widespread’ across the universe,–“Co-principal investigator Dr Catherine Walsh, of Leeds University, said: ‘The same ingredients needed for seeding life on our planet are also found around other stars. It’s possible the molecules needed to kick-start life are readily available in all planet-forming environments.’
Death, Physics and Wishful Thinking –-Fear of mortality might underlie physicists’ fondness for the anthropic principle, multiverses, superdeterminism and other shaky ideas. writes John Horgan for Scientific American.
‘Impossible’ Particle Discovery Adds Key Piece to the Strong Force Puzzle –The unexpected discovery of the double-charm tetraquark has given physicists a new tool with which to hone their understanding of the strongest of nature’s fundamental forces, reports Quanta.
U.S. generals planning for a space war they see as all but inevitable, reports Space News –The space battlefield is not science fiction and anti-satellite weapons are going to be a reality in future armed conflicts.
A Giant Space Rock Demolished an Ancient Middle Eastern City, reports Christopher R. Moore in The Conversation –“As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space rock was speeding toward them at about 38,000 mph (61,000 kph).”
Why These Children Fell into Endless Sleep –A neurologist makes an emotional visit to understand “resignation syndrome,” reports Suzanne O’Sullivan for Nautilus.
The Largest Autocracy on Earth –-Facebook is acting like a hostile foreign power; it’s time we treated it that way, reports The Atlantic..
Making Eye Contact Signals a New Turn in a Conversation –Neuroscientists have uncovered an intriguing subtlety in how we communicate—that is, when we’re not on Zoom, reports Scientific American.
Single Cells Evolve Large Multicellular Forms in Just Two Years –Researchers have discovered that environments favoring clumpy growth are all that’s needed to quickly transform single-celled yeast into complex multicellular organisms, reports Veronique Greenwood for Quanta.