What Plants Teach Us About Human Suffering to Is Science Like Mythology? (Planet Earth Report)


Planet Earth from Space


Today’s stories range from Nasa-led team has developed a new message in the hope of making first contact with intelligent extraterrestrials to As creation stories go the Big Bang is a good one to What happens if the Solar System’s largest comet collides with Earth to The strange world of bird funerals, 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.

Scientists hope to broadcast DNA and Earth’s location for curious aliens –Beacon of Galaxy message could be sent into heart of Milky Way, where life is deemed most likely to exist, reports The Guardian. ““Even if the aliens are short, dour and sexually obsessed,” the late cosmologist Carl Sagan once mused, “if they’re here, I want to know about them.” A Nasa-led team of international scientists has developed a new message in the hope of making first contact with intelligent extraterrestrials.

The Extraterrestrial Signal -We May Not Want to Receive, reports Avi Shporer with the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research for The Daily Galaxy. “Our  galaxy may be teeming with technologically active life or populated by a single very long-lived civilization. In either case, we should be incredibly lucky to get a detection one day,” wrote physicist Claudio Grimaldi in an email to The Daily Galaxy about the possibility of there being a fundamental flaw in why we have not received a signal from an advanced alien civilization.

Avi Loeb’s Galileo Project Reaches for the Stars –There may be more Earth-like planets in the universe than grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches combined, researchers predict. “The extraordinary claim is to say that we are special and unique,” Harvard astrophysicist Loeb says. Loeb has attracted attention and widespread criticism for his unwavering commitment to unconventional beliefs. Now, through the Galileo Project, Loeb hopes to provide more concrete evidence for his claims, reports the Harvard Crimson.

As Creation Stories Go, the Big Bang Is a Good One –How science is like mythology when it pushes the boundaries of the known, reports Paul Sutter for Nautilus. 

Largest-Ever Collection of Brain Maps Charts How the Brain Changes Over a Lifetime, reports Singularity Hub –“Our brains are unique snowflakes that change shape throughout our lives. Yet buried underneath individual differences is a common throughline, with the brain growing rapidly during childhood then slowly declining with age. But that’s just a crude sketch of an average brain’s lifetime. What are we missing?

The lady vanishes –The history of ideas still struggles to remember the names of notable women philosophers. Mary Hesse is a salient example. “What was the name of the female scientist who pioneered the mRNA research behind the success of recent COVID-19 vaccines? Who was that 16th-century catholic nun from whom René Descartes stole the evil demon thought experiment that secured his place in public memory as the father of modern philosophy? I doubt you remember either woman, reports Aeon.

The Chain Reaction That Propels Civilization –What do living cells, Britain’s canals, and deep learning have in common? reports IEEE Spectrum.

Quantum experiments add weight to a fringe theory of consciousness –Experiments on how anaesthetics alter the behavior of tiny structures found in brain cells bolster the controversial idea that quantum effects in the brain might explain consciousness, reports New Scientist.

What plants can teach us about human suffering –Plants are very sensitive to touch, with research showing that touching a plant can change its genome and launch a cascade of plant hormones, reports Big Think’

Covid hasn’t given up all its secrets. Here are 6 mysteries experts hope to unravel, reports STAT. “More than two years after SARS-CoV-2 appeared, as documented deaths in the U.S. near 1 million and estimated global deaths reach as high as 18 million, there are still many mysteries about the virus and the pandemic it caused. They range from the technical — what role do autoantibodies play in long Covid? Can a pan-coronavirus vaccine actually be developed? — to the philosophical.”

4 Billion-Year-Old Oort-Cloud Comet 1000x Mass of the Impactor that Caused the Extinction of the Dinosaurs, reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. “But our Pale Blue Dot will be safe. “While Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein (C/2014 UN271) is far too small to blast a Moon out of Earth, it is big enough that it would cause a global catastrophe if it hit Earth. It probably has about 1000x the mass of the impactor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs

What happens if the Solar System’s largest comet collides with Earth? –The recently discovered Oort cloud comet, Bernardinelli–Bernstein, has the largest known nucleus: 119 km. Here’s what it could do to Earth, reports Big Think.

NASA is using 3D telemedicine technology to teleport doctors to the ISS. In a recent release, the Space Agency has unveiled images of NASA flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid, industry partner AEXA Aerospace CEO Fernando De La Pena Llaca, and their teams, being the first humans holoported from Earth all the way into space, reports DesignBoom.

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. A new study reports that helium-3, a rare isotope of helium gas with two protons and only one neutron in its nucleus, is leaking out of Earth’s core.”

Devastating Ice Age Floods That Occurred in the Pacific Northwest Fascinate Scientists –The Scablands were formed by tremendous and rapid change, and may have something to teach us about geological processes on Mars, reports Riley Black for The Smithsonian.

Time Might Not Exist, According to Physicists, reports SciTechDaily. ” developments in physics suggest the non-existence of time is an open possibility, and one that we should take seriously.

Save the planet? Earth will survive climate change; humans, maybe not, reports the Los Angeles Times. “We know from fossil records the average surface temperature has ranged from freezing 650 million years ago to upward of 90 degrees as recently as 250 million years ago. Today’s surface average is in the middle at 57 degrees. Different species rose and fell along with those temperatures, and Earth kept on spinning.”

BBC Future: Should we be eating three meals a day? “Before considering how frequently we should eat, scientists urge us to consider when we shouldn’t. Intermittent fasting, where you restrict your food intake to an eight-hour window, is becoming a huge area of research.

As the crow dies: The strange world of bird funerals, reports BBC Science Focus –“Corvids are not only incredibly intelligent birds, but they even show fascinating behavior when one of the pack dies.” They have some intriguing rituals when it comes to their dead… and could even be capable of feeling empathy.”

In Sexy Worms, Inheritance Beyond Genes Can Help Evolution –Experiments that showed a surprising persistence of sexiness in worms reveal how much we are still learning about the rules governing heritability, epigenetics and natural selection, reports Quanta.com– “

How the African rainforest is helping fight climate change, reports BBC Future Planet. “In the midst of the African rainforest, one elusive animal wreaks havoc on vegetation – and in doing so, offers a big favour for the climate.”

How tall will Mount Everest get before it stops growing? asks BBC Future. Arching over 8,849 meters (29,032ft) into the sky, Everest is the world’s tallest mountain. But will it always be?

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