421 articles from THURSDAY 3.12.2020

Covid: 1.5 million dead globally as vaccination schemes set to begin

More than 10,000 people have died on average every day in the past week, according to latest figuresCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt least 1.5 million lives across the globe have been lost to Covid-19, according to a tally of cases maintained by Johns Hopkins University, as vaccinations look set to be rolled out in a handful of nations this month.Reuters reported...

What's killing killer whales?

Pathology reports on more than 50 killer whales stranded over nearly a decade in the northeast Pacific and Hawaii show that orcas face a variety of mortal threats -- many stemming from human interactions.

Leaving so soon? Unusual planetary nebula fades mere decades after it arrived

The tiny Stingray Nebula unexpectedly appeared in the 1980s is by far the youngest planetary nebula in our sky. But a team of astronomers recently analyzed a more recent image of the nebula, taken in 2016 by Hubble, and found that it has faded significantly and changed shape over the course of just 20 years. If dimming continues at current rates, in 20 or 30 years the Stingray Nebula will be...

Research leads to better modeling of hypersonic flow

Designing a thermal protection system to keep astronauts and cargo safe requires an understanding at the molecular level of the complicated physics going on in the gas that flows around the vehicle. Recent research added new knowledge about the physical phenomena that occur as atoms vibrate, rotate, and collide in this extreme environment.

A leading AI ethics researcher says she’s been fired from Google

On December 2, the AI research community was shocked to learn that Timnit Gebru had been fired from her post at Google. Gebru, one of the leading voices in responsible AI research, is known among other things for her groundbreaking work in revealing the discriminatory nature of facial recognition, cofounding the Black in AI affinity group, and relentlessly advocating for diversity in the tech...

Research leads to better modeling of hypersonic flow

Hypersonic flight is conventionally referred to as the ability to fly at speeds significantly faster than the speed of sound and presents an extraordinary set of technical challenges. As an example, when a space capsule re-enters Earth's atmosphere, it reaches hypersonic speeds—more than five times the speed of sound—and generates temperatures over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its exterior...

Leaf microbiomes are a neighborhood affair in northern forests

Forest leaves are teeming with bacterial life—but despite the vast extent of bacteria-covered foliage across the world, this habitat, known as the phyllosphere, remains full of mysteries. How do bacteria spread from tree to tree? Do certain types of bacteria only live on certain types of trees?

Tree lifespan decline in forests could neutralize part of rise in net carbon uptake

Accelerating tree growth in recent years has been accompanied by a reduction in tree lifespan, which could eventually neutralize part of the increase in net uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2). This trade-off between tree growth and life expectancy applies to forests worldwide, including in the Amazon and other tropical regions, as well as temperate regions and the Arctic.

NASA Selects Heliophysics Missions of Opportunity for Space Science Research and Technology Demonstration

Portal origin URL: NASA Selects Heliophysics Missions of Opportunity for Space Science Research and Technology DemonstrationPortal origin nid: 466697Published: Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 16:10Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: NASA has selected two SmallSat missions – a study of Earth’s outer most atmosphere and a solar sail spaceflight test...