A famous equation used in the search for alien life has inspired a new model that estimates the odds of COVID-19 transmission.

The new model — which is essentially a single equation with several terms multiplied together — estimates the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the air. The researchers were motivated in their work by another simple, yet historically significant mathematical formula known as the Drake equation, which estimates the chances of finding intelligent extraterrestrial life in our galaxy. Developed in 1961 by astronomer Frank Drake, the equation is based on just seven variables and provides an “easy-to-understand framework” for looking at something as seemingly unknowable as the number of alien civilizations, the authors said.

Earth’s oldest, knotted and scarred pine trees are a boon for forest life. These old mountain pines (Pinus uncinata) offer food and shelter for lichens...

Uppsala University is the new world record holder for electrical energy generation from CIGS solar cells. The new world record is 23.64 per cent efficiency....

This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here. The past half-century has seen remarkable improvements in air quality in many parts...

The new material rapidly transports lithium ions through its structure and could help make rechargeable lithium-ion batteries safer and more efficient. Researchers have created a...

SLAC's Alan Fry, Arianna Gleason, and Siegfried Glenzer help lead the lab's fusion energy research. Credit: Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Fusion is a natural...