261 articles from WEDNESDAY 11.3.2020

Report: Amazon and Gates Foundation aim to team up with scientists on home test kits for coronavirus

Amazon Care is offering assistance to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a plan to deliver coronavirus test kits to Seattle homes, CNBC reports. The plan as described would be a grand convergence involving two major players on Seattle's tech scene, plus the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study. Amazon Care is an on-demand healthcare clinic that's open on a pilot basis to...

Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, March 7-8

Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports, listed in eastern time.Eight U.S. states have declared a state of emergency in response to confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday evening.Washington state, Florida and California were among the first to declare a state of emergency after confirming the the only fatalities in the U.S. There have...

Budget 2020: UK to launch £800m 'blue skies' research agency

Brainchild of Dominic Cummings will seek to return Britain to its ‘pioneering scientific roots’, says chancellorThe government will pump at least £800m into a new “blue skies” science research agency as part of a series of pro-business measures designed to boost Britain’s competitive edge.The UK agency, the brainchild of Boris Johnson’s closest political adviser, Dominic Cummings,...

Advice from a country with regular shortages: stop hoarding toilet paper, get ready for boredom | Dan McGarry

In Vanuatu, where cyclones regularly interrupt trade, we are watching the west’s collective panic with bemusementI’ve lived in the south Pacific island nation of Vanuatu for 16 years. Tropical weather regularly interrupts trade. Even when they’re hundreds of kilometres away, cyclones wreak havoc on shipping. Isolation and deprivation define our lives. We know better than most how to cope.So...

New flood damage framework helps planners prepare for sea-level rise

Scientists agree that sea levels will continue to rise this century, but projections beyond 2050 are much more uncertain regarding exactly how much higher ocean levels will be by 2100. While actions to protect against 2050 sea-level rise have a secure scientific basis, this range in late-century estimates makes it difficult for coastal communities to plan their long-term adaptation strategies.

Researchers find new minor planets beyond Neptune

Using data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), researchers have found more than 300 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), minor planets located in the far reaches of the solar system, including more than 100 new discoveries. Published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, the study also describes a new approach for finding similar types of objects and could aid future searches for the...

Genetics research sheds light on 'dark' portion of genome

Just as there is a mysterious dark matter that accounts for 85 percent of our universe, there is a "dark" portion of the human genome that has perplexed scientists for decades. A study published March 9, 2020, in Genome Research identifies new portions of the fruit fly genome that, until now, have been hidden in these dark, silent areas.

Magic twist angles of graphene sheets identified

Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and can be as much as 6 times lighter. These characteristics alone make it a popular material in manufacturing. Researchers have now identified how twisted graphene sheets behave and their stability at different sizes and temperatures.

Bumblebees aversion to pumpkin pollen may help plants thrive

Researchers have found that squash and pumpkin pollen have physical, nutritional and chemical defense qualities that are harmful to bumblebees. The results of their recent study suggest that deterring bumblebees from collecting and eating pollen may provide an evolutionary benefit to cucurbit plants.

New minor planets found beyond Neptune

Using data from the Dark Energy Survey, researchers have found and cataloged more than 300 minor planets beyond Neptune, including more than 100 new discoveries. This updated catalog of trans-Neptunian objects, and the methods used to find them, could aid in future searches for undiscovered planets in the far reaches of the solar system.

Stegosaurus footprints found on Isle of Skye

Grapefruit-sized tracks are first evidence that iconic dinosaurs roamed ScotlandGrapefruit-sized depressions found in rocks on the Isle of Skye have revealed that a type of stegosaurus once wandered the landscape, researchers say.The newly discovered tracks form a single line, a few metres long, with a right-left pattern and two different-sized prints – as would be expected for an animal on all...

Experts skeptical that warm weather will slow COVID-19 outbreak

A man wearing a mask as a precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus gets his temperature taken at a small medical center that specializes in respiratory illnesses in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) As health officials around the world continue to learn more about the ongoing spread of COVID-19, one of the most pressing questions centers on...