37 articles from SATURDAY 26.11.2022

Mind the gaps: The world needs to radically transform its educational systems, not just upgrade them

In September 2022 the United Nations organized the first-ever high-level Transforming Education Summit, inviting stakeholders to put forward commitments and tackle the challenges we face. Once again we heard how staggering the needs are: in lower-income countries, 25% of young people and just over 55% of adults are still illiterate, while 250 million children remain out of primary school.

What if the dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct? Why our world might look very different

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid hit the Earth with the force of 10 billion atomic bombs and changed the course of evolution. The skies darkened and plants stopped photosynthesising. The plants died, then the animals that fed on them. The food chain collapsed. Over 90% of all species vanished. When the dust settled, all dinosaurs except a handful of birds had gone extinct.

Some Archaea found to have integrons, allowing cross-domain gene transfer

A team of researchers at Macquarie University, in Australia, has found evidence showing that some Archaea have integrons. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how they used a recently developed technique called metagenome-assembled genomes (MAG) to study the genomes of Archaea samples in a new way, and what they learned by doing so.

Skull and partial skeleton found in Morocco helps link ancient whale species

Three researchers, one with the University of Michigan, the other two with the University of Casablanca, have found a skull and partial skeleton in Morocco that they suggest link together several species of ancient whales. In their paper published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, Philip Gingerich, Ayoub Amane and Samir Zouhri describe the fossils and how they tie together the evolution of...

Study investigates a rare Type Icn supernova

An international team of astronomers has conducted optical and near-infrared observations of a rare Type Icn supernova known as SN 2022ann. The results of the study, published November 9 on the preprint server arXiv, shed more light on the nature of this supernova and its unique properties.

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: ‘There are quite a few areas where physics blurs into religion’

To answer life’s biggest questions, says the German theoretical physicist and YouTuber, we need to abandon unscientific ideas such as the multiverseSabine Hossenfelder is a German theoretical physicist who writes books and runs a YouTube channel (with 618,000 subscribers at time of writing) called Science Without the Gobbledygook. Born in Frankfurt, she studied mathematics at the Goethe...

Nasa’s Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbit as test flight nears halfway mark

Nasa considers capsule’s flight a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronautsNasa’s Orion capsule has entered an orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles around the moon, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4bn demo that’s meant to pave the way for...

‘The sheer scale is extraordinary’: meet the titanosaur that dwarfs Dippy the diplodocus

One of the largest creatures to have walked the Earth is to become the Natural History Museum’s new star attractionIt will be one of the largest exhibits to grace a British museum. In spring, the Natural History Museum in London will display the skeleton of a titanosaur, a creature so vast it will have to be shoehorned into the 9-metre-high Waterhouse gallery.One of the most massive creatures...