Today’s stories range from Secret Government Info Confirms First Known Interstellar Object on Earth to Missing Link in Evolution of Viruses Discovered, 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.
Shards of Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs May Have Been Found in Fossil Site –In a North Dakota deposit far from the Chicxulub crater in Mexico, remains of the rock from space were preserved within amber, a paleontologist says, reports Kenneth Chang for the New York Times.
Secret Government Info Confirms First Known Interstellar Object on Earth, Scientists Say –A small meteor that hit Earth in 2014 was from another star system, and may have left interstellar debris on the seafloor, reports Vice Science.
‘Extraordinary’ W boson particle finding contradicts understanding of how universe works –-New measurement of fundamental particle of physics after decade-long study challenges theoretical rulebook in scientific ‘mystery’, reports The Guardian. “After a decade of meticulous measurements, scientists have announced that a fundamental particle – the W boson – has a significantly greater mass than theorized, shaking the foundations of our understanding of how the universe works.”
Did Fermilab’s new result blow a hole in the Standard Model? Fermilab’s TeVatron just released the best mass measurement of the W-boson, ever. Here’s what doesn’t add up, reports Big Think.
Vast Stores of Helium –Planet Earth’s Big-Bang Legacy, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy –“Vast stores of helium from the Big Bang hidden in the Earth’s Core hint that the planet formed inside a solar nebula.”
Is this how aliens could rule the universe? What do the leading experts in the field think about the possibility of alien invasion? What are the odds that aliens actually exist? What would the aliens look like? And what method would they use to pop by? reports BBC Earth.
Dinosaur fossils discovered from the day the asteroid hit Earth, reports Alex Hughes for BBC Science Focus– The discovery could prove once and for all that an asteroid impact 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs.
What Humans Can Learn From Nature’s Biggest Hibernators –Could bears hold the key to better treatments for stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s? reports Chris Woolston for The Atlantic. “Any animal that can spend months underground without eating or drinking and still emerge ready to face the world has clearly mastered an amazing trick of biology.”
Researchers identified over 5,500 new viruses in the ocean, including a missing link in viral evolution, reports The Conversation –“These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA, rather than DNA. RNA viruses evolve at much quicker rates than DNA viruses do. While scientists have cataloged hundreds of thousands of DNA viruses in their natural ecosystems, RNA viruses have been relatively unstudied.”
A tsunami wiped out ancient communities in the Atacama Desert 3,800 years ago –Life in the Atacama took 2,000 years to return to normal, reports ArsTechnica. “Broken walls and toppled stones reveal the calamity that struck Zapatero, an ancient community in what’s now northern Chile, about 4,000 years ago.”
Many of These Plants Older Than Dinosaurs Face Extinction –Cycads have changed a great deal since they first appeared around 280 million years ago, and habitat loss and illegal trade are now threats, reports Riley Black for The Smithsonian.
What Can We Learn About the Universe from Just One Galaxy? –In new research, begun by an undergraduate, William Blake’s phrase “to see a world in a grain of sand” is suddenly relevant to astrophysics, reports Riva Galchen for The New Yorker.
These Space Scientists Want to Update Earth’s Message to Extraterrestrials –The broadcast builds on the 1974 Arecibo message and portrays information about science, math and human life, reports Margaret Osborne for The Smithsonian.
What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind –Grief, conspiracy theories, and one family’s search for meaning in the two decades since 9/11, by Jennifer Senior for The Atlantic.
The Medical Miracle of a Pig’s Heart in a Human Body –Multiple pigs laid over diagrams of the human body and heart valves. The first successful transplantation may solve a donor shortage, but this major scientific advancement is not without challenges, reports for Riva Galchen for The New Yorker.
Maps of Great Lakes shipwrecks detail one of North America’s biggest graveyards –There have been some 6,000 Great Lakes shipwrecks, which have claimed an estimated 30,000 lives. These maps show some of them, reports Big Think.
A Shipwreck, a Robot and an Archival Treasure Hunt Reveal the Diverse History of the Whaling Industry –Free Black Americans and Native Americans once worked on the “Industry,” a whaling ship whose wreck was recently identified in the Gulf of Mexico, reports The Smithsonian.
Five Big Changes Scientists Have Documented During Yellowstone National Park’s 150-Year History –Scientists have monitored the region closely for generations, and these are some of the most dramatic shifts they’ve seen, reports The Smithsonian. “It’s amazing how much more forest there is now, in places, than there used to be,” says paleoclimatologist Cathy Whitlock, who has been comparing historical photos of Yellowstone National Park with what can be seen today.
The world is ‘perilously close’ to tipping points of irreversible climate change. These are 5 that keep scientists up at night. –The world’s scientists say the climate change crisis is upon us. Unless we act now, crucial planetary systems are in imminent peril, reports USA Today.
The world’s most polluted capital city–-“In Northern India, a concoction of seven different fungi could help to thin the smog that pervades the capital city with the worst air pollution in the world.”
What happens to a body after death? –Left unburied and uncovered, here’s what happens to a body, reports BBC Science Focus. “After death, the body breaks down into simpler organic matter through biological and chemical processes. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on a number of factors.”
“How to Spot the Next Pandemic” –Remote regions of sub-Saharan Africa are among the world’s hotspots for new diseases. But Liberia is using an innovative approach to identify outbreaks before they become a problem, reports Cynthia Luogon for BBC Future.
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