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Medical Students Can Give Vital Help in the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting an enormous strain on the health care system. This is due in part to the explosion in the number of cases and in part because health care professionals are themselves getting sick—in some cases fatally succumbing to the virus. While medical students aren’t full-fledged physicians, we have a significant amount […]

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Scientists Fear Second Coronavirus Wave as China’s Lockdowns Ease

For the first time in months, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the coronavirus first emerged, is getting attention for a good reason. COVID-19 cases there have dropped to practically zero, and last week authorities lifted travel restrictions in and out of the province, some 60 days after much of it was dramatically locked down. […]

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Coronavirus Lockdowns Have Changed the Way Earth Moves

The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise—the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust—that could be the […]

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Antibiotic Resistance Could Lead to More COVID-19 Deaths

In four months, COVID-19 has transformed the world. Thousands of lives have ended, billions are in quarantine, and global economies have shed trillions of U.S. dollars. Regaining control will depend on our ability to model and implement effective physical distancing measures, provide sufficient respirators and protective gear, maintain functioning health systems, and develop effective vaccines, […]

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Several States, Environmental Groups Vow to Sue Over Car Pollution Rollback

The Trump administration yesterday unsheathed the second part of its massive rollback of Obama-era clean car standards, setting the stage for a prolonged legal feud as the nation struggles to address the global coronavirus pandemic. The long-awaited and nearly 2,000-pageSafer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Ruleunravels a 2012 standard designed to significantly curb air pollution and […]

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NASA’s Next Solar Mission Will Use Six Spacecraft to Make One Giant Telescope

Want to build the largest radio telescope to fly in space? Here’s an easier technique: Design six tiny satellites to fly in formation and work together. That’s the approach of a NASA’s new Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) mission, which is scheduled to launch no earlier than July 2023. SunRISE aims to help scientists understand the […]

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Cats Can Get Coronavirus, Study Suggests–But Pet Owners Need Not Panic

Cats can be infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and spread it to other cats, but dogs are not really susceptible to the infection, according to researchers in China. The team, at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, also concludes that chickens, pigs, and ducks are not likely to catch the virus. Scientists say […]

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Bird Fossil Shared Earth with T. rex

Who’s your favorite superhero? Captain Marvel? Superman? Well, in a minute, you might just change your answer to the Wonderchicken. [CLIP: “Yes, the Wonderchicken: Strange visitor from this planet. A 67-million-year-old fossil that’s helping researchers piece together the bird family tree.”] An amateur fossil hunter dug up this specimen 20 years ago in Belgium. But it wasn’t […]

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The Loneliness of the “Social Distancer” Triggers Brain Cravings Akin to Hunger

Loneliness hurts. It is psychologically distressing and so physically unhealthy that being lonely increases the likelihood of an earlier death by 26 percent. But the feeling may serve a purpose. Psychologists theorize it hurts so much because, like hunger and thirst, loneliness acts as a biological alarm bell. The ache of it drives us to […]

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STEM Education Needs a Course Correction

By Ainissa Ramirez For the past several years, I’ve lived as a science evangelist, crisscrossing the country and preaching the gospel of the importance of getting a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. My work began with my TED talk in 2012, when I exchanged the security of a lab bench for an assortment […]