137 articles from MONDAY 17.2.2020

Vaccine misinformation and social media

People who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media, according to a new study. The study, based on surveys of nearly 2,500 US adults, found that up to 20% of respondents were at least somewhat misinformed about vaccines.

New guidelines on aspirin in primary prevention

New guidelines recommend aspirin use in primary prevention for people ages 40 to 70 years old who are at higher risk of a first cardiovascular event, but not for those over 70. Yet, people over 70 are at higher risks of cardiovascular events than those under 70. As a result, health care providers are understandably confused about whether or not to prescribe aspirin for primary prevention of heart...

Reconstructing the diets of fossil vertebrates

Paleodietary studies of the fossil record are impeded by a lack of reliable and unequivocal tracers. Scientists from the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, the MPI for Chemistry and the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) in Mainz have now tested a new method, the isotope analysis of zinc isotopes from the tooth enamel of fossil mammals, and found it to be well suited to expand our knowledge about...

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

Historically, the oceans have done much of the planet's heavy lifting when it comes to sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Microscopic organisms known collectively as phytoplankton, which grow throughout the sunlit surface oceans and absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, are a key player.

Atomic structures mapped in measles, mumps, flu and RSV

Northwestern University researchers have, for the first time, determined the 3-D atomic structure of a key complex in paramyxoviruses, a family of viruses that includes measles, mumps, human parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Door-to-door evacuations continue in Mississippi as Pearl River crests

Mississippi officials expressed cautious optimism on Monday as they announced the swollen Pearl River had crested at a height lower than initially feared.The crest came after what Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves called a "long weekend" due to rising floodwaters and additional evacuations throughout the waterlogged capital city of Jackson and broader central Mississippi area.The river, which...

Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to combat climate change

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced today he plans to contribute $10 billion toward fighting climate change through the creation of a new philanthropic project called the Bezos Earth Fund. "Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Bezos wrote in an Instagram post. "I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating...

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s government: eugenicists not wanted | Editorial

The press – and opponents within and without the Tory party – have brought Dominic Cummings to heel. But his mission remains the pursuit of polarising politics.Dominic Cummings, the chief special adviser to the prime minister, thinks the answer to Britain’s problems is hiring brilliant people to work outside of bureaucratic constraints. He may be right, but not if one of his first hires as a...

Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, kicking off his own effort to fight climate change

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he's launching a $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund that will issue grants aimed at addressing climate change — a move that comes less than a month after hundreds of Amazon employees criticized what they saw as the company's weak commitment to tackling the issue. Bezos, who's the world's richest individual with a net worth estimated at nearly $130 billion,...

Coronavirus causes mild disease in four in five patients, says WHO

Covid-19 not as deadly as Sars, figures show, and children not affected in same way as adultsCoronavirus – latest updatesCovid-19, the new coronavirus that has killed nearly 1,800 people in China, causes only mild disease in four out of five people who get it, the World Health Organization has said.“It appears that Covid-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses, including Sars and Mers,”...

No 10 furore is latest chapter in long, dark history of racist science

Idea that members of one race are intellectually superior has had to be confronted regularlyThe notion that members of one race are inherently more intelligent than members of another – brought back into circulation by the appointment of Andrew Sabisky, who claims that black Americans have a lower average IQ than white people, as a Downing Street adviser – is an idea with a deep and disturbing...

The beginning of the end for the flu season?

All of the lower 48 states are reporting widespread cases of flu, with the exception of Oregon, which is seeing regional cases as of the week ending Feb. 8, 2020. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) The latest flu data can be viewed with optimism, since it appears the flu season is starting to wind down. The data also offers a cold dose of reality: 24 United States states showed either...

Why the hunt for alien life is pointless | Letters

David Robson thinks the time it will take to make contact presents a problem. John Boyd questions the purpose of finding extraterrestrial life when we can’t respect life on our own planetWhile reading your report (Is anybody out there? Biggest hunt ever to begin for alien life, 15 February) I wondered why scientists are trying to persuade people to believe there is any point in contacting life...

Video captures dramatic moment a landslide crumbles a Tennessee home

An angry landslide in Tennessee ripped through Hardin County, Tennessee, on Saturday and Sunday, shredding a pair of homes in its path. The two homes were previously in danger of collapsing before heavy rain triggered the landslide that swept the large residences into the Tennessee River.Both homes, located just north of Savannah, were unoccupied at the time of collapse, although one was still...

SpaceX lost another Falcon booster to the sea

This morning, at 10:05AM ET, SpaceX successfully launched its fifth batch of Starlink internet satellites via a Falcon 9 rocket. Unfortunately, it did not manage to land the rocket's booster as...