They ’re Healthy. They’re Sustainable. So Why Don’t Humans Eat More Bugs?
Sylvain Hugel is one of the world’s foremost experts on crickets of the Indian Ocean Islands. So when he received an email from a fellow entomologist in March 2017 asking for help identifying a species in Madagascar that could be farmed for humans to consume, he thought it was a joke. “I’m working to protect those insects, not eat them,” the French academic responded tartly. But the emails from Brian Fisher, an ant specialist at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, kept coming. Fisher had been doing fieldwork in Madagascar when he realized that the forests where both he and Hugel c...
Source: TIME: Science - February 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized Evergreen feature Londontime longform overnight Sustainability TIME 2030 Source Type: news

‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals
This report shows that current levels of climate ambition are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris Agreement goals,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “While we acknowledge the recent political shift in momentum towards stronger climate action throughout the world, decisions to accelerate and broaden climate action everywhere must be taken now.” Another report will be released prior to COP 26, the global meeting on Climate Change, currently scheduled for November in the U.K., giving stragglers time to catch up, says Espinosa. “It’s time...
Source: TIME: Science - February 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized climate change embargoed study Londontime overnight Source Type: news

NASA Hid an Inspiring Message on the Parachute of the Mars Rover Perseverance
NASA’s Perseverance rover is the gift that keeps on giving. In the wake of the rover’s awe-inspiring touchdown on Mars on Feb 18, an event that brought over 20 million people together to watch NASA’s livestream of the successful landing, there was even more to the incredible spectacle than met the eye. An intrepid computer science student and his father cracked a coded secret message hidden within the pattern of the rover’s parachute it used to descend onto the Marian surface. Allen Chen, the engineer in charge of the landing system, hinted during a Monday news conference that video footage of Perse...
Source: TIME: Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Megan McCluskey Tags: Uncategorized Brief Space Source Type: news

Watch the Perseverance Rover Land on Mars in This Newly Released NASA Video
When the Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, NASA controllers had only the data-stream coming back from the spacecraft to confirm that the hair-raising descent was going as planned. It was only when they got the “weight on wheels” signal—the confirmation that the rover was on the ground and supporting itself—that they knew the landing was a success. Now, just four days later, NASA has released footage of the landing captured by multiple cameras on both the spacecraft itself and the “sky crane” descent stage that lowered the rover the last 21 meters (70 ft.) to the ground....
Source: TIME: Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

The Science of Awe and the Mars Perseverance Rover
A version of this article appeared in this week’s It’s Not Just You newsletter. SUBSCRIBE HERE to have an essay delivered to your inbox every Sunday. Perseverance and Why Feeling Awe Increases Empathy Here’s a secret: I am a recovering cynic with recurring pessimistic tendencies. It’s hereditary. On a sunny day, my Irish grandfather would look out the window and say: “We’ll pay for this.” And I won’t even get into the generations of head-spinning drama on the Russian side. Lately, for all the obvious reasons, it’s been way too easy to fall into compulsive fretting. B...
Source: TIME: Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Susanna Schrobsdorff Tags: Uncategorized Evergreen It's Not Just You Source Type: news

Lawyers Are Working to Put ‘Ecocide’ on Par with War Crimes. Could an International Law Hold Major Polluters to Account?
When a Nigerian judge ruled in 2005 that Shell’s practice of gas flaring in the Niger Delta was a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights to life and dignity, Nnummo Bassey, a local environmental activist, was thrilled. Bassey’s organization, Friends of the Earth, had helped communities in the Niger Delta sue Shell for gas flaring, a highly polluting practice that caused mass disruption to communities in the region, polluting water and crops. Researchers had found that those disruptions were associated with increased rates of cancer, blood disorders, skin diseases, acid rain, and birth defects&mdash...
Source: TIME: Science - February 19, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mélissa Godin Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime Source Type: news

Lawyers Are Working to Put ‘Ecocide’ on a Par with War Crimes. Could an International Law Hold Major Polluters to Account?
When a Nigerian judge ruled in 2005 that Shell’s practice of gas flaring in the Niger Delta was a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights to life and dignity, Nnummo Bassey, a local environmental activist, was thrilled. Bassey’s organization, Friends of the Earth, had helped communities in the Niger Delta sue Shell for gas flaring, a highly polluting practice that caused mass disruption to communities in the region, polluting water and crops. Researchers had found that those disruptions were associated with increased rates of cancer, blood disorders, skin diseases, acid rain, and birth defects&mdash...
Source: TIME: Science - February 19, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mélissa Godin Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime Source Type: news

What Perseverance, NASA ’s New Mars Rover, Will Be Doing in its Years on the Red Planet
There was plenty of reason to celebrate when the Perseverance rover successfully touched down in Mars’s Jezero Crater this afternoon. But in some ways, the rover showed up too late—3.5 billion years too late, in fact. Long ago, in an earlier epoch, as studies of Mars have shown, Jezero Crater was Jezero Lake, a 45 km (28 mi.) depression in the northern Martian hemisphere, fed with water via a channel that cut through the crater rim and spread into the lake in a graceful delta. There was atmosphere and there was warmth and there was ample water—and, all that being present, there may have been life. Not lo...
Source: TIME: Science - February 18, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Don ’t Blame Wind Turbines for Texas’ Massive Power Outages
Don’t point too many fingers at Texas wind turbines, because they’re not the main reason broad swaths of the state have been plunged into darkness. While ice has forced some turbines to shut down just as a brutal cold wave drives record electricity demand, that’s been the least significant factor in the blackouts, according to Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid. The main factors: Frozen instruments at natural gas, coal and even nuclear facilities, as well as limited supplies of natural gas, he said. “Natural gas p...
Source: TIME: Science - February 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Will Wade, Naureen S. Malik and Brian Eckhouse / Bloomberg Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

NASA ’s Climate Communications Might Not Recover From The Damage Of Trump’s Systemic Suppression
Before former U.S. President Donald Trump incited a hostile insurrection against the Capitol, he’d already smashed wrecking balls through the ranks of government agencies. Among the many casualties was the truth about climate science, which NASA was routinely prevented from sharing with the public that supports it. I was the senior science editor for NASA’s Global Climate Change website and witnessed the impact of science suppression firsthand. I’d been at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), one of 10 NASA centers, for a decade when, three weeks into the Trump Administration, on Feb. 16, 2017, t...
Source: TIME: Science - February 10, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Laura Tenenbaum Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Healthy Planet, Healthy People. How Slowing Climate Change Saves Lives
Just because the United States has re-joined the Paris Agreement doesn’t mean that the world is on a path to a better climate future. The 2015 agreement, in which signatories pledged to collectively cap global warming at “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels, is only the first step. Member nations still have to adopt ambitious carbon emission reduction plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and with the current level of commitments the world is on track for a global temperature rise of more than 2.5°C. However, a study published in a special issue of The Lancet Planetar...
Source: TIME: Science - February 10, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized Brief climate change embargoed study Londontime overnight Source Type: news

The Strange Allure of a Flight to Nowhere (and Other Places We ’re Desperate to Go)
A version of this article appeared in this week’s It’s Not Just You newsletter. SUBSCRIBE HERE to have It’s Not Just You delivered to your inbox every Sunday. OH, THE PLACES WE’RE DESPERATE TO GO Lately, in that gray-blue hour before a winter sunrise, I’ve taken to staying in bed and flying to Morocco. It’s the place I’ve been that’s the least like Brooklyn, where I have spent most of this pandemic. Trying to remember the way the air feels on your skin in an unfamiliar climate is the smallest of escapes. Maybe it’s a necessary one, now that everything within reach feel...
Source: TIME: Science - February 7, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Susanna Schrobsdorff Tags: Uncategorized Evergreen It's Not Just You Source Type: news

Underwater Noise Pollution Is Disrupting Ocean Life —But We Can Fix It
The ocean soundtrack of the popular imagination is a largely silent one, interrupted only by the mournful aria of migrating whales or the acapella vocalizations of dolphin pods. In fact, the underwater realm sounds more like an orchestra warming up, the cetaceans hitting their high notes while other marine mammals clear their throats against a background of breaking waves. A distant downpour sends out a staccato riff that can be heard for miles, even as fish and marine invertebrates snap out a syncopated rhythm designed to scare off predators or attract mates. It is a cacophonous soundscape that had changed little in tens ...
Source: TIME: Science - February 5, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized embargoed study Londontime overnight TIME 2030 Source Type: news

The Biden Presidency Could Fundamentally Change the U.S. Space Program
Nobody was thinking much about the newly elected junior senator from Delaware back in December of 1972, when the Apollo 17 moonwalkers collected lunar sample 76015, 43. The senator was Joseph Biden, the moon walkers were Jack Schmitt and Gene Cernan, and the rock was a 3.9-billion-year-old, 332 gram (0.73 lb.) sample collected in the moon’s Taurus-Littrow Valley. Today, Schmitt is 85, Cernan has passed away, Biden is the 46th President of the United States and the rock rests on a bookshelf in his newly redecorated Oval Office, after he requested a lunar sample from NASA for display. For space lovers looking for reaso...
Source: TIME: Science - January 29, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Agnes Kalibata, the UN ’s Food Systems Chief, on How Science Can Transform Farming to Help Save the Planet
Agricultural systems are one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing about 20% of total global emissions. At the same time, the single biggest threat of climate change is the collapse of global food systems. As the world population grows, the climate heats up and resources become more scarce, how will we ensure we have enough food to go around? Science is being combined with agriculture to develop new crops that can withstand the impacts of climate change. A group working at the forefront of this collaboration is CGIAR, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the world’s larges...
Source: TIME: Science - January 28, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized climate change Exclusive Londontime overnight TIME 2030 Source Type: news

mRNA Technology Gave Us the First COVID-19 Vaccines. It Could Also Upend the Drug Industry
“No!” The doctor snapped. “Look at me!” I had been staring her in the eyes, as she had ordered, but when a doctor on my other side began jabbing me with a needle, I started to turn my head. “Don’t look at it,” the first doctor said. I obeyed. This was in early August in New Orleans, where I had signed up to be a participant in the clinical trial for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It was a blind study, which meant I was not supposed to know whether I had gotten the placebo or the real vaccine. I asked the doctor if I would really been able to tell by looking at the syringe. &...
Source: TIME: Science - January 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Walter Isaacson Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 feature Magazine Source Type: news

Seeding the Ocean: Inside a Michelin-Starred Chef ’s Revolutionary Quest to Harvest Rice From the Sea
There are very few things that Ángel León hasn’t done with the fruits of the sea. In 2008, as a young, unknown chef, he took a loin from one fish and attached it to the loin of another, using collagen to bind the two proteins together. He called them hybrids and served them to unsuspecting diners at Aponiente, his restaurant in the southern Spanish port town of El Puerto de Santa María, just across the bay from Cádiz. He discovered that fish eyes, cooked at 55°C in a thermal circulator until the gelatin collapsed, made excellent thickening agents for umami-rich sauces. Next he found th...
Source: TIME: Science - January 9, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Matt Goulding Tags: Uncategorized climate change feature longform Magazine Source Type: news

E.U. Regulators Approve Drawing up To Six Doses From BioNTech-Pfizer Vaccine Vials
(BRUSSELS) — The European Union’s drug agency on Friday approved doctors drawing up to six doses from each vial of the coronavirus vaccine made by BioNTech-Pfizer, a move that could speed up the pace of vaccinations in the 27-nation bloc. The European Medicines Agency said its human medicines committee recommended updating the product information for the vaccine to clarify that each vial contains six doses instead of the five that were advised when it originally greenlighted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 21. German Health Ministry spokesman Hanno Kautz told reporters in Berlin that the change would come i...
Source: TIME: Science - January 8, 2021 Category: Science Authors: SAMUEL PETREQUIN and MIKE CORDER/ AP Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Londontime wire Source Type: news

2020 Ties With 2016 for Warmest Year Ever Recorded
For a year of dubious superlatives, 2020 has left the planet one last parting gift. On 8 Jan., the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which tracks global climate trends announced that not only had 2020 tied with 2016 for the hottest year on record, it also capped the warmest decade on record. For Europeans, there was an extra bonus: the region just had its hottest year ever. If there was ever any doubt that the world is heating up due to increased fossil fuel emissions, they have been effectively quashed. In a year already defined by the record melting of Greenland’s glaciers, near-record...
Source: TIME: Science - January 8, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime overnight Source Type: news

Global Warming Already Baked In Will Blow Past Climate Goals, a New Study Says
The amount of baked-in global warming, from carbon pollution already in the air, is enough to blow past international agreed upon goals to limit climate change, a new study finds. But it’s not game over because, while that amount of warming may be inevitable, it can be delayed for centuries if the world quickly stops emitting extra greenhouse gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, the study’s authors say. For decades, scientists have talked about so-called “committed warming” or the increase in future temperature based on past carbon dioxide emissions that stay in the atmosphere for we...
Source: TIME: Science - January 5, 2021 Category: Science Authors: SETH BORENSTEIN / AP Tags: Uncategorized climate change overnight wire Source Type: news

2020 Was a Year of Climate Extremes. What Can We Expect in 2021?
2020 was a year of extreme weather around the world. Hot and dry conditions drove record-setting wildfires through vast areas of Australia, California and Brazil and Siberia. A record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season landed a double blow of two hugely destructive storms in Central America. Long-running droughts have destroyed agricultural output and helped to push millions into hunger in Zimbabwe and Madagascar. A super-cyclone unleashed massive floods on India and Bangladesh. And overall, 2020 may end up the hottest year on record—despite a La Niña event, the ocean-atmospheric phenomenon which normally temp...
Source: TIME: Science - December 31, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ciara Nugent Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime Source Type: news

Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains
When he was two years old, Ben stopped seeing out of his left eye. His mother took him to the doctor and soon discovered he had retinal cancer in both eyes. After chemotherapy and radiation failed, surgeons removed both his eyes. For Ben, vision was gone forever. But by the time he was seven years old, he had devised a technique for decoding the world around him: he clicked with his mouth and listened for the returning echoes. This method enabled Ben to determine the locations of open doorways, people, parked cars, garbage cans, and so on. He was echolocating: bouncing his sound waves off objects in the environment and cat...
Source: TIME: Science - December 29, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Eagleman and Don Vaughn Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Belarus and Argentina Start Vaccinations With Russian Shots
(MOSCOW) — Belarus and Argentina launched mass coronavirus vaccinations with the Russian-developed Sputnik V shot on Tuesday, becoming the first countries outside Russia to roll out the vaccine, which has faced criticism over the speed with which it was approved. The first batch of Sputnik V arrived in the former Soviet republic of Belarus on Tuesday, according to a joint statement by the Belarusian Health Ministry, the Russian Health Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled development of the jab. “A new stage starts in Belarus today with mass vaccinations against COVID-19. Medical staff...
Source: TIME: Science - December 29, 2020 Category: Science Authors: DARIA LITVINOVA and ALMUDENA CALATRAVA / AP Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Pfizer and BioNTech to Supply U.S. With Additional 100 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
(WASHINGTON) — Pfizer said Wednesday it will supply the U.S. government with an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine under a new agreement between the pharmaceutical giant and the Trump administration. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said that will bring their total current commitment to 200 million doses for the U.S. That should be enough to vaccinate 100 million people with the two-shot regimen. The government also has an option to purchase an additional 400 million doses. “This new federal purchase can give Americans even more confidence that we will have enough supply to vaccinate eve...
Source: TIME: Science - December 23, 2020 Category: Science Authors: RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR / AP Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 wire Source Type: news

Pfizer and BioNTech To Supply U.S. With Additional 100 Million Doses of Vaccine
(WASHINGTON) — Pfizer and BioNTech will supply the U.S. with an additional 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine under a new agreement. The drugmakers said Wednesday that they expect to deliver all the doses by July 31. Pfizer already has a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of its vaccine. Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration and initial shipments went to states last week. It has now been joined by a vaccine from Moderna, which was developed in closer cooperation with scientists from the National Institutes of Health. (Source: TIME: Science)
Source: TIME: Science - December 23, 2020 Category: Science Authors: JONATHAN LEMIRE and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR / AP Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

The Chang ’e 5 Capsule Returns to Earth Carrying Moon Rocks in the Latest Breakthrough for China’s Space Program
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region, state media reported shortly after 2 a.m. (1800 GMT). The capsule earlier separated from its orbiter module and performed a bounce off Earth’s atmosphere to reduce its speed before passing through and floating to the ground on parachutes. Two of the Chang’e 5’s four modules set down on the moon on Dec. 1 and collected about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds...
Source: TIME: Science - December 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

SpaceX Launched Its Starship on the Highest Test Flight Yet. It Crash-Landed
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX launched its shiny, bullet-shaped, straight-out-of-science fiction Starship several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, but the 6 1/2-minute test flight ended in an explosive fireball at touchdown. It was the highest and most elaborate flight yet for the rocketship that Elon Musk says could carry people to Mars in as little as six years. Despite the catastrophic finale, he was thrilled. “Mars, here we come!!” he tweeted. Mars, here we come!! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020 This latest prototype — the first one equipped with a...
Source: TIME: Science - December 10, 2020 Category: Science Authors: MARCIA DUNN / AP Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

Why Chuck Yeager Claimed He Had No ‘Right Stuff’
Frank Borman did not expect to hear a congratulations from Chuck Yeager one day in 1962—and that’s just as well because he didn’t get one. It wasn’t a surprise that Yeager wouldn’t extend much courtesy to the likes of Borman. There were rules, after all, and there was a hierarchy after all, and Yeager, who on Dec. 7 died at the age of 97, was then the commander of the flight school at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where test pilots were trained. Borman was just one more young Air Force officer who had scrapped and competed to be assigned to so coveted a billet as learning under Yeager&...
Source: TIME: Science - December 9, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

2020 Marks the Point When Human-Made Materials Outweigh All the Living Things on Earth, a New Study Finds
In a startling sign of the impact that humans are having on our planet, a study published Dec. 9 estimates that 2020 marks the point when human-made materials outweigh the total mass of Earth’s living biomass. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science found that the total mass of human-made materials—such as concrete, steel and asphalt—has increased rapidly since 1900, when it made up the equivalent of just 3% of the mass of living biomass—plants, animals and microorganisms. As humans have constructed more buildings, roads, structures and objects over the last 120 years, the mass of...
Source: TIME: Science - December 9, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ciara Nugent Tags: Uncategorized embargoed study Environment Londontime Source Type: news

The World Is Headed for 3 Degrees of Warming This Century, U.N. Report Warns —But a Green Pandemic Recovery Could Offer Hope
Dense U.N. reports may not make onto anyone’s must read list for the holidays, so think of the United Nations Environment Program’s 2020 Emissions Gap survey as a warning letter from Santa, on behalf of the planet. The report, released today, is published at the end of every year and measures national commitments to reduce emissions against what science says is needed to limit global warming to an increase of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the goal set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement. This year, we are still firmly on the naughty list, as we have been for the past five years: Despite a brief dip in carb...
Source: TIME: Science - December 9, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized climate change embargoed study Londontime overnight Source Type: news

Chinese Spacecraft Lifts Off From Moon Carrying Lunar Rocks
(BEIJING) — A Chinese spacecraft lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a load of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported. Chang’e 5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon and the first to take off from it again, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing’s space program, which also has a orbiter and rover headed to Mars. The Chang’e 5 touched down Tuesday on the Sea of Storms on the moon’s near side. Its mission: collect about 2 kilograms (4 pounds) of lunar rocks and bring them back to Earth, the...
Source: TIME: Science - December 4, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

China Says Its Moon Probe Is Preparing to Return Rock Samples to Earth
BEIJING — China said Thursday its latest lunar probe has finished taking samples of the moon’s surface and sealed them within the spacecraft for return to Earth, the first time such a mission has been attempted by any country in more than 40 years. The Chang’e 5, the third Chinese probe to land on the moon, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing’s space program, which also has a probe en route to Mars carrying a robot rover. The Chang’e 5 touched down Tuesday on the Sea of Storms on the moon’s near side, on a mission to return lunar rocks to Earth for th...
Source: TIME: Science - December 3, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

China Is Poised to Bring Home Moon Samples in Its Most Ambitious Lunar Mission Yet
The moon’s Ocean of Storms was once a busy place. Back in 1967, the U.S. successfully landed its Surveyor 3 spacecraft in the vast plain in the northern lunar hemisphere; little more than two years later, the Apollo 12 crew returned, touching down within 200 meters (656 ft.) of the Surveyor and collecting more than 34 kg (75 lbs.) of lunar rock and soil to bring back to Earth. But things have been quiet in the Ocean of Storms since—until now. Nearly 50 years after the U.S. abandoned its lunar dreams, China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft is set for a Dec. 1 landing in NASA’s long-ago stomping grounds, ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 30, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

For Much of the U.S., Good Weather Will Allow for an Outdoor (and Safer) Thanksgiving
Public-health officials have for weeks been urging Americans to avoid gathering for Thanksgiving this year, lest the holiday turn into a national super-spreading event. But for those who still plan on getting together, experts say an outdoor get-together is far safer than prolonged time indoors, where it’s easier for the virus that causes COVID-19 to spread. Whether an outdoor Thanksgiving is really feasible, however, largely depends on, well, the weather. Good news: a look at the Thanksgiving Day forecast reveals that, for most of the U.S., temperatures will be above normal and the skies will be clear. “When ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alex Fitzpatrick Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 weather Source Type: news

China Launches a Mission to Bring Back Material From the Moon
WENCHANG, China — China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back rocks and debris from the moon’s surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. Chang’e 5 — named for the Chinese moon goddess — is the country’s boldest lunar mission yet. If successful, it would be a major advance for China’s space program, and some experts say it could pave the way for bringing samples back from Mars or even a crewed lunar mission. The four modules of the Chang’e 5 ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: SAM McNEIL / AP Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

Exclusive: Pfizer CEO Discusses Submitting the First COVID-19 Vaccine Clearance Request to the FDA
On Friday, Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla announced that the company has filed a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first to do so. In a discussion on TIME 100 Talks, Bourla says that if the FDA authorizes the vaccine, the company will be ready “within hours” from receiving the green light to start distributing the vaccine. Pfizer has been manufacturing doses even while safety and efficacy tests were ongoing, in order to avoid delays in shipping once authorized. According to Bourla, Pfizer is on “on track&rdq...
Source: TIME: Science - November 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

The Renowned Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico Is to Close in a Blow to Science
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life. The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope — one of the world’s largest — given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6...
Source: TIME: Science - November 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: DÁNICA COTO / AP Tags: Uncategorized overnight Research wire Source Type: news

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Coming. Here ’s What to Expect
Vaccines normally take decades to develop and test, but two COVID-19 shots, from Moderna and Pfizer (in partnership with BioNTech), have gone from nonexistent to about 95% effectiveness in 10 months. Public-health officials and governments now have the dual challenge of convincing the public that the vaccines are both safe and scientifically sound, as well as figuring out how to distribute billions of doses. Here’s what we know so far about how that’s going. When can I get vaccinated? That depends. Manufacturers have already begun producing vaccines, betting that they will be effective, so they can be ready to ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

The SpaceX Capsule With Four Astronauts On Board Has Reached the International Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring. The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact. The linkup occurred 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Idaho. This is the second astronaut mission for SpaceX. But it’s the first time Elon Mus...
Source: TIME: Science - November 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: MARCIA DUNN / AP Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

SpaceX ’s Crewed Launch Continues What NASA’s Gemini Astronauts Started
We’re not sure if Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin were watching Sunday when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon lifted off from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral for its first fully operational mission—but the odds are pretty good that they were. Astronauts from past eras of space travel tend to keep up with the doings in the modern one. Either way, the overall audience for the launch was big—NASA’s site carried it live, as did the cable news channels. But of all the people who were watching, it was Lovell and Aldrin whose attention would be the most important, or at least the most poignant. Fifty-four years earlier to ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

Early Data Suggests Moderna ’s COVID-19 Vaccine Is Nearly 95% Effective—And You Can Keep It in the Fridge
For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world. Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S. Dr. Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s presid...
Source: TIME: Science - November 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: LAURAN NEERGAARD / AP Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 News News Desk wire Source Type: news

SpaceX Launches 2nd Crewed Flight, Sending 4 Astronauts to the International Space Station
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company. The Falcon rocket thundered into the night from Kennedy Space Center with three Americans and one Japanese, the second crew to be launched by SpaceX. The Dragon capsule on top — named Resilience by its crew in light of this year’s many challenges, most notably COVID-19 — was due to reach the space station late Monday and remain there until spring. Sidelined by the virus himself, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk was forc...
Source: TIME: Science - November 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Marcia Dunn / AP Tags: Uncategorized overnight Space wire Source Type: news

A Fond Farewell to Trump ’s NASA Administrator
There were plenty of reasons to wince back in 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was appointing Jim Bridenstine as NASA administrator. A former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, Bridenstine was a political pick—unlike most of his predecessors, who came out of the astronaut corps or the aerospace industry. Moreover, Bridenstine had previously questioned the role of human beings in climate change. A politician with so wrong-headed a view of so fundamental and existential an issue was not someone you wanted anywhere near the helm of a science-driven agency. But flash forward to 2020. With Trump now a...
Source: TIME: Science - November 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

My Octopus Teacher Became a Viral Sensation on Netflix. Its Human Star Craig Foster Wants the Film to Inspire Change
The dense kelp forest off the southern tip of South Africa is home to an unparalleled diversity of sea animals including sharks, rays, and, once upon a time, a common octopus that has just had an uncommon run as the star of the new Netflix documentary, My Octopus Teacher. Her onetime den lies a couple of dozen feet off the coast of Cape Town suburb Simon’s Town. The Octopus is long gone—octopuses rarely survive more than 18 months in the wild—but her co-star and “student,” filmmaker Craig Foster, still visits her former home in daily dives that are as much about pilgrimage as they are about sc...
Source: TIME: Science - November 10, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker / Cape Town Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

As a Candidate, Biden Said Little About Space. Here ’s What He Might Do as President
Charlie Bolden likes to tell the story about the time he and Joe Biden composed a sort of a song. It was back in 2010, when the former Vice President was overseeing the Obama White House push to pass a NASA budget authorization bringing private sector players like SpaceX and Boeing into the business of launching crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Bolden, then head of NASA, was championing the plan and he and Biden huddled to discuss how best to sell it to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill. “I remember when we were really having trouble getting funding out of Congress,” Bolden said at a p...
Source: TIME: Science - November 10, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

The U.S. Just Officially Left the Paris Agreement. Can it Be a Leader in the Climate Fight Again?
The U.S.—the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases—formally withdrew from the U.N.’s 2015 Paris climate change agreement on Nov. 4. Now ratified by 189 countries, the Paris Agreement is the most important international accord on combating climate change. It sets a central goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial era—a threshold at which the impacts of climate change become catastrophic for life on earth. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. was central to negotiating the deal five years ago. But in June 2017 ...
Source: TIME: Science - November 4, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ciara Nugent Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime Source Type: news

NASA Found More Water On the Moon —But Don’t Plan On Having a Sip Any Time Soon
The permanently shadowed craters at the moon’s south pole are both the first and last place lunar astronauts would want to spend their time. The appeal is that they have generous deposits of water ice, a critical resource for any potential lunar base (ice means drinking water, yes, but it also means oxygen that can be used for synthesizing atmosphere and hydrogen for rocket fuel). But then there’s that business of the permanent shadows. It gets awfully cold on an airless body if there’s no sunlight—about -250º C (-418º F), in this case—and working in permanent darkness is no easy bus...
Source: TIME: Science - October 26, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

NASA ’s OSIRIS-REx Probe Punched an Asteroid in the Name of Science. Here’s What the Mission Could Teach Us
There is absolutely nothing inherently special about the asteroid Bennu. A loosely-packed agglomeration of dust and rock about as big across as the Empire State Building and currently 322 million km (200 million mi.) from Earth as it orbits the sun, it is just one of about a million asteroids that astronomers have identified and catalogued. But on Tuesday, Bennu became the most famous asteroid in the solar system, after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made contact with it for a dramatic six seconds to blast loose and collect a sample. “I must have watched about a hundred times last night,” said Dante Laurett...
Source: TIME: Science - October 22, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jeffrey Kluger Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

U.K. Plans ‘Challenge Trials,’ Which Will Intentionally Give People COVID-19 to Test Vaccines
On Oct. 20, researchers at the Imperial College of London announced plans for the first human challenge study of COVID-19, which involves deliberately infecting volunteers with the virus that causes the disease, in order to test the effectiveness of vaccines. The strategy is controversial, as researchers have to weigh the risks of infection against the benefits of learning how well the various vaccine candidates can fight that infection. The strongest argument in favor of the studies has to do with time. If cases of COVID-19 are waning, then the likelihood that people who are vaccinated would get exposed to and potentially...
Source: TIME: Science - October 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

The Antarctic Ocean Is in Climate Crisis. This Week, the World Could Take a Big Step Towards Protecting Its Future
Sixty years ago a dozen nations, including arch-rivals the United States and the Soviet Union, agreed to preserve the Antarctic continent as a place of peace, research and conservation. Commercial exploitation of its resources and its animals was forbidden. Yet much of the ocean that surrounds the territory does not have the same protections. This will be up for discussion during a virtual meeting of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) from 22-30 October. The Convention is meeting to discuss the region’s future and will decide whether or not it’s time to give some o...
Source: TIME: Science - October 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Aryn Baker Tags: Uncategorized climate change Londontime overnight Source Type: news