Is there life on Venus?

Scientists who study the possibility of life beyond Earth look for chemical compounds that might have a biological origin. Space agencies have done this by sending rovers, by listening to radio transmissions with radio telescopes, or by spectroscopes that detect light. Telescopes can be used to track the biosignatures in the atmospheres of planets. In […]

A Pandemic Pivot in Earth Science Outreach and Education

In classrooms around the world, rapid shifts to fully online learning necessitated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged educators and students from preschool to graduate school. In many cases the hasty switch revealed frailties in educational systems, especially as instructors faced increased workloads and potentially reduced budgets, whereas in other cases, […]

Why you want Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip inside your next phone

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip will live inside high-end Android phones. (Qualcomm/) It’s easy to buy a smartphone—even a powerful flagship device—without ever thinking about the hardware inside. Even if you do dig into the spec sheets, you’ll typically find whatever Qualcomm’s latest chip is inside most high-end Android phones. Today, Qualcomm announced the latest version […]

Common neural circuit and potential target for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder

Anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are disabling psychiatric conditions and the major contributors to global burden of nonfatal illness. The lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders in adults under 60 years ranged from approximately 30-35%, whereas the lifetime prevalence of in the general population is estimated at 2-3% for full OCD but over 25% for […]

Supernova surprise creates elemental mystery

Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant in the constellation Cassiopeia. Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have discovered that one of the most important reactions in the universe can get a huge and unexpected boost inside exploding stars known as supernovae. This finding also challenges ideas behind how some of the Earth’s heavy elements […]

COVID-19 quarantine now 10 days, 7 with test, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shortened the quarantine period for close contacts of people with COVID-19. That period is now 10 days if the person doesn’t develop symptoms — or seven days, if the person has no symptoms and gets a negative test at the right point in time. Previously, the […]

U.K. is first to clear Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve a fully tested COVID-19 vaccine for its citizens on December 2 when it OK’d Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use. Russia and China have allowed emergency use of vaccines made in those countries, but did so before safety and effectiveness trials were completed (SN: 8/11/20; SN: 7/21/20). […]

“Thirstier” Atmosphere Will Increase Wildfire Risk out West

Recent years have seen the largest, most destructive wildfires on record in California. Accompanying these extreme events have been extreme levels of evaporative demand—the degree to which the atmosphere “wants” to evaporate water from plants and the ground, regardless of how much water is available. A new analysis of global climate model simulations […]

Dog owners may catch COVID-19 more often, but the reason will surprise you

Fido doesn’t need a mask, but he also doesn’t need to be going on puppy play dates while rates are rising. (Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels/) You probably already know the ins-and-outs of how to protect yourself from COVID-19 when it comes to dealing with other human beings. If you do have to be […]