Today’s stories include Something is Missing from Quantum Field Theory to Will We Ever Define the Conscious Mind? and much more.
Is Something’s Missing from Quantum field theory, what may be the most successful scientific theory of all time. Steven Strogatz speaks with theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge, David Tong about this enigmatic theory, for Quanta.
Could Earth ever leave our solar system? And how could it happen? asks Joe Phelan for Live Science. “In Liu Cixin’s short story “The Wandering Earth” (first published in Chinese magazine Science Fiction World in July 2000), Cixin portrays a scenario in which the planet’s leaders agree to propel Earth out of the solar system to escape an imminent solar flare that is expected to decimate all of the terrestrial planets.”
Planet of Apes Hypothesis: Would the ‘Human Evolutionary Niche’ Be Filled If We Go Extinct? asks Jackie Faherty for The Daily Galaxy. “We failed to build a radio during the first 99% of our 7 million year existence.”
Artemis I will deliver the first biology experiment to deep space –“When NASA’s Artemis I launches next week on a journey to the moon, no animals or people will be onboard, but it will still carry biology investigations to see how living things react to the deep space environment. The Orion spacecraft will carry items like yeast, algae, fungi and seeds rather than a traditional crew,” reports CNN.
Yale Study Suggests That Evolution Can Be Predicted--Evolution might be less random than we thought. Evolution has long been thought of as a relatively random process, with species’ features being formed by random mutations and environmental factors and thus largely unpredictable. An international team of scientists headed by researchers from Yale University and Columbia University discovered that a specific plant lineage independently developed three similar leaf types repeatedly in mountainous places scattered across the Neotropics.
Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses –A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has no known counterpart in more complex, reports Annie Melchor for Quanta. “ A new study published this month in Science discovered that a family of proteins in bacteria and archaea, the simple prokaryotic cells that are the oldest form of life, detect viruses in a way never seen before.”
Why masses of new species have been staring us in the face all along, reports New Scientist. “Cutting edge analyses are revealing that species of mammal are more numerous than we thought, with thousands more hiding in plain sight. These discoveries could be key to rescuing biodiversity and preventing future pandemics.”
Will we ever define the conscious mind? asks Big Think–“Consciousness is the biggest mystery of the brain — a private inner universe that utterly disappears in states such as general anesthesia or dreamless sleep. The “hard problem” of consciousness is to understand why any physical processes in the brain are accompanied by conscious experience. Consciousness may always remain outside the limits of human comprehension, but by process of elimination, we can at least narrow down its physical causes.”
Immortal jellyfish genes identified that may explain their long lives –By performing a DNA comparison of two similar jellyfish species, researchers have found the genes that could stop and reverse ageing in immortal jellyfish, reports New Scientist.
Four Things We’ve Learned About NASA’s Planned Base Camp on the Moon –Eventually the station will allow astronauts to spend up to two months on the lunar surface, reports The Smithsonian. “This lunar outpost will allow the Artemis missions to eventually shatter Apollo 17’s record for longest stay on the moon (74 hours, 59 minutes, 38 seconds), while serving as a jumping off point for in-depth exploration.”
How Cameroon’s biggest lakes exploded — and killed 1,800 people -In 1984, a lake in Cameroon exploded, killing nearby people and animals. In 1986, it happened again, killing some 1,800 people. Scientists from all around the world came to investigate. The culprit was carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lakes. A pipe was installed to remove the carbon dioxide, hopefully preventing another tragedy.
Heatwave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world, reports New Scientist–A spell of extreme hot and dry weather is affecting energy, water supplies and food production across China.