Today’s stories range from The Cloud Decoded to a video preview of The Man Who Fell to Earth to Was there life on early Moon to If energy cannot be created or destroyed, where does it come from? and much more. The “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 Coronavirus’s Next Move –Here are four shapes that the next variant might take—which will also dictate the shape of our response, reports The Atlantic. ““Omicron is not the worst thing we could have imagined,” says Jemma Geoghegan, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Otago, in New Zealand. Somewhere out there, a Rho, a Tau, or maybe even an Omega is already in the works.”
Alpha Centauri Star System: Life On Its Earth-like Planets Have Had About a Billion Years Longer to Evolve reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “A billion years ago, our ancestors were amoeba-like creatures fond of engulfing paramecium-like creatures.”
Moore’s Law: Scientists Just Made a Graphene Transistor Gate the Width of an Atom, reports Singularity Hub –“There’s been no greater act of magic in technology than the sleight of hand performed by Moore’s Law. Electronic components that once fit in your palm have long gone atomic, vanishing from our world to take up residence in the quantum realm.”
Is there asymmetry in nature? –From lefty snails to deadly chemicals, asymmetry in nature is more common than you think. “Have you ever wondered why your heart is on the left side of your chest? Or why snail shells always seem to coil to their right side? Is there asymmetry in nature? Sometimes known as chirality – turns out it’s more common than you might have guessed.”
Icy, Earth-like worlds may be rare –Hundreds of thousands of simulations show few possible exoplanets with climate conditions like ours, reports Astronomy.com. “A team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Bern computationally modeled hundreds of thousands of hypothetical exoplanets. They discovered that our fortunate ice situation isn’t that common, and is due mostly to Earth’s relatively moderate axial tilt.”
Google “hijacked millions of customers and orders” from restaurants, lawsuit says –Restaurants say blue “order online” button saps profits, diverts customers, reports Ars Technica.
Time to take a long, hard look at humanity’s future in the cosmos, reports New Scientist –““If so many planets are out there, how come intelligent life hasn’t come our way?” asks astrophysicist Martin Rees in the captivating interview.
Check out the preview of the “Man Who Fell to Earth”–People attending SXSW this weekend were treated to the series’ world premiere.
Astronomer Spotted An Asteroid Just Hours Before It Impacted Earth, reported Eric Mack for Forbes –“For just the fifth time ever, astronomers discovered a new asteroid right before it slammed into Earth’s atmosphere.”
Einstein’s Diet –Was Einsteinnewscientist.com/…/mg25333771-200-if-energy-cannot-be-created-or-destroyed-where-does-it-come-from’s genius, as some have claimed, aided by what he ate? Let’s find out, reports Inverse.com
What is a law of nature? asks Aeon.com –Laws of nature are impossible to break, and nearly as difficult to define. Just what kind of necessity do they possess?
If energy cannot be created or destroyed, where does it come from, asks Herman D’Hondt for New Scientist. “It may sound incredible, but many scientists believe that the total energy of the universe is zero. Hence, no energy needed to be “created” when the universe came into existence.”
Is this Idea Too Crazy? Was There Life on Early Moon? asks Mind Matters –“Astronomer Dirk Schulze-Makuch and planetary scientist Ian Crawford have looked into the possibilities.
This Ancient Turtle Survived the Extinction Event That Killed T. Rex –The softshell turtle roamed the waters during the Late Cretaceous 66 million years ago. “With this study, we gain further insight into winners and losers during the cataclysm that ended the Age of Dinosaurs,” said research adviser Peter Dodson. “The mighty dinosaurs fell, and the lowly turtle survived.”
Scientists Warn a Giant Palm-Sized Spider is Spreading Across U.S. –According to the University of Georgia, giant spiders the size of your palm are set to parachute from the sky all over the Eastern United States this summer, reports Futurism.
The New Captain of the Endurance Shipwreck Is an Anemone –A who’s who of the new invertebrate crew steering Ernest Shackleton’s sunken ship in the Weddell Sea, reports The New York Times.
Future Evolution: How Will Humans Change in the Next 10,000 Years?, asks Singularity Hub.
A piece of space junk hit the Moon. Oddly, scientists are elated –One scientist called the impact of human space debris “a fortuitous experiment”, reports Salon.com
Octopuses Are Increasingly Using Trash For Shelter, Harrowing Study Shows –Human waste has become so ubiquitous in the ocean, it’s becoming easier for octopuses to shelter in our trash than in seashells or coral, reports Science.com
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The next generation of robots will be shape-shifters reports University of Bath –Physicists have discovered a new way to coat soft robots in materials that allow them to move and function in a more purposeful way.
I Just Want to Know What I’m Made Of –-It’s time to admit quantum theory has reached a dead end. Can we please go back to the math? reports Michael Brooks for Nautilus.com
Why Werner Herzog thinks human space colonization “will inevitably fail” –Herzog and son discuss their new Discovery+ documentary, Last Exit: Space, reports Ars Technica.
Will artificial intelligence help us find evidence of UFOs? –Top tech founders and research scientists are now taking UFOs seriously, reports Sifted.com, “In May last year, Barack Obama admitted that there really are objects moving in our skies that can’t be easily explained away: “There’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory… They did not have an easily explainable pattern.”
China Plans Asteroid Missions, Space Telescopes and a Moon Base –The China National Space Administration has released an overview of its plans for the next five years, which include launching a robotic craft to an asteroid, building a space telescope to rival the Hubble and laying the foundations for a space-based gravitational-wave detector, reports Scientific American.
What makes mankind special? And what does it mean to flourish on the frontier of a technological future? Robert J. Marks discusses new technology, what artificial intelligence can and can’t do, and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence with Gretchen Huizinga. This interview was originally published by the Beatrice Institute and is repeated here with their permission, reports Mind Matters.
‘Limited’ Tactical Nuclear Weapons Would Be Catastrophic –Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the limits of nuclear deterrence, reports Scientific American. “The blatant aggression against Ukraine has shocked Europe and the world. The war is a tragedy for Ukraine. It also exposes the limits of the West’s reliance on nuclear deterrence.”
Could the James Webb Space Telescope detect civilizations similar to ours? How would we look for them? The best answers come from understanding what humanity’s presence on Earth looks like from outer space, reports SETI Institute.
Company Plans to Dig World’s Deepest Hole to Unleash Boundless Energy –The geothermal startup Quaise Energy has raised $63 million in funding to tap Earth’s deep subterranean power, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.
What Were Humans Doing in the Yukon 24,000 Years Ago? –-Scientists have examined remains from caves and think the shelters served as temporary camps for hunters who targeted horses, reports The Smithsonian.
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