On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest they've been in the sky since the year 1226. Here's how to see the rare conjunction event.
Relativity Space says it’s brought in another $500 million in investment to speed up its effort to build entire orbital-class rockets using 3D printing. The startup — which was founded in Seattle less than five years ago and is now headquartered in Long Beach, Calif. — has attracted more than $685 million from investors so far, and is said to have a total valuation in excess of $2 billion. That rise to unicorn status has sparked comparisons to another California-based space venture, SpaceX, even though Relativity has yet to launch a rocket. In a news release, Relativity Space CEO Tim… Read More
California-based Rocket Lab's 16th mission to space using its Electron rocket took off last Thursday from the company's New Zealand launch site, with its four-storey-tall booster stage returning back to Earth under parachutes for the first time instead of burning up in the atmosphere. "What it really proved to us is that, yep, this is a feasible approach, and we're really confident that we can make Electron a reusable launch vehicle from here," Rocket Lab's chief executive, Peter Beck, told reporters on Monday.
China hailed as a success its pre-dawn launch on Tuesday of a robotic spacecraft to bring back rocks from the moon in the first bid by any country to retrieve lunar surface samples since the 1970s, a mission underscoring Chinese ambitions in space. The Long March-5, China's largest carrier rocket, blasted off at 4:30 a.m. Beijing time (2030 GMT on Monday) in a launch from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying the Chang'e-5 spacecraft. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) called the launch a success and said in a statement that the rocket flew for nearly 37 minutes before sending the spacecraft on its intended trajectory.
The Chang'e-5 mission is the latest step in China's ambitious plan to land on and study the moon. The rock samples will come from an unexplored area.
Four Native American tribes on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast requested United Nations assistance this year to force action by the U.S. government on invading salt. “That strips us of not only being able to generate an income to provide for ourselves, it also strips us of our ability to feed ourselves healthy,” Shirell Parfait-Dardar, chief of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, said in an interview. The tribes’ plight offers an extreme example of a lesser-known but fast-growing impact in the climate crisis: saltwater intrusion.
A cosmetic chemist and board-certified dermatologist debunk 19 of the most common myths about skincare. They discuss acne, pores, cellulite, and more.
Officials and well-wishers gathered at Islamabad Zoo on Monday for a farewell party for Pakistan's lonely elephant Kaavan before he sets off for a new life in Cambodia this week. After years of campaigning by animal rights advocates and pop star Cher to rescue him from grim conditions with no companion, Kaavan was finally set to be airlifted to an elephant sanctuary on Sunday. To mark the occasion, officials, including lawmakers and Pakistan's climate change minister, gathered among balloons and signs saying "Farewell Kaavan, we will miss you".
"A long holiday dinner, inside, and with many people, is about as risky of a situation I can imagine for us," Guido Vanham wrote to his kids.
In a recent study by Arizona State University and World Economic Forum, companies listed numerous reasons for their lack of testing.
New York's chief medical officer has a backlog of coronavirus victims, with around 650 bodies still in freezer trucks from the pandemic's first wave.
Greenhouse gas concentrations climbed to a new record in 2019 and rose again this year despite an expected drop in emissions due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization said on Monday, warning against complacency. Many scientists expect the biggest annual fall in carbon emissions in generations this year as measures to contain coronavirus have grounded planes, docked ships and kept commuters at home. The annual report released by the Geneva-based U.N. agency measures the atmospheric concentration of the gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - that are warming our planet and triggering extreme weather events.
The news follows recent announcements about vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, both of which showed greater efficacy in late-stage trials.
The head of the White House's "Operation Warp Speed" on Sunday said that some people in the US could receiving the COVID-19 vaccine within weeks.
A new documentary on Hulu about Greta Thunberg reveals that she was selectively mute before she became the leader of the youth climate movement.
Vickie Hicks, who weaves intricate sweetgrass baskets in Charleston, South Carolina's historic city market, remembers climbing onto the table at her grandmother’s booth downtown when the floodwaters rushed by. Although residents recognize the need for action before Charleston is overwhelmed by the unfolding effects of climate change, many are not certain the wall will do enough to address flooding woes that go beyond storm surges. In 2019, the downtown flooded a record 89 times according to the National Weather Service — mostly from high tides and wind pushing water inland.
President Xi Jinping said China is "willing to strengthen coordination" internationally for vaccine "research and development, production, and distribution."
This week, Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective, and Pfizer and BioNTech said that theirs was 95% effective.
South Dakota is currently enduring a COVID-19 outbreak. The CEO's firm, Sanford Health, distanced itself from his comments.
With the coronavirus on the march through much of the United States, scientists are urging Americans to adopt the few health measures shown to slow the virus: universal mask use, social distancing, good ventilation indoors and hand hygiene.Mask-wearing has become a particularly divisive -- and partisan -- issue over the past few months. Still, faced with a surge in cases, 40 states, including recent holdouts like Iowa and North Dakota, now have put mask requirements in place.Among public health experts, there is near-unanimous endorsement of universal mask mandates to shield people from the virus and slow the pandemic.Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times"The more people who wear a mask, the more the community is protected and therefore the more you individually benefit," said Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 response program. "It's like a herd effect."Brooks is the architect of a recent agency bulletin saying that masks benefit wearers, not just those around them. Increasing the proportion of people who wear masks by 15% could prevent the need for lockdowns and cut economic losses that may reach $1 trillion, about 5% of gross domestic product, the CDC said."If it can't help us avert the shutdowns that are happening, it can certainly help us come down the backside of this peak and then keep things down," Brooks said.Other experts were careful to note that masks cannot work in isolation. "Controlling community spread of COVID-19 and protecting individuals requires a multitiered approach," said John Volckens, a public health engineer at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.In August, Volckens organized a workshop for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on ways to prevent airborne transmission of the virus. "Masks are a critical part of that approach," he said. "That is definitely the consensus among scientists."So what is the evidence supporting mask use? And what about that Danish study questioning whether masks protect the wearer? We asked experts to weigh in on the latest evidence.There are masks -- and masks.The term mask refers to any kind of protective facial covering, but its effectiveness depends greatly on the type. The gold standard is the N95 respirator which, as its name suggests, can block 95% of harmful particles a wearer might breathe in or out. Surgical masks are also highly effective at filtering these particles.But experts say only health care workers require gold-standard protection. Doctors and nurses work closely with infected patients for prolonged periods, which significantly increases their risk of infection with the coronavirus, Brooks noted.The average person, on the other hand, is exposed to much less virus and less often, and so can be protected with a well-made cloth covering, Brooks said. The best cloth face coverings, which have multiple layers that can trap viral particles -- the thickest are mostly impervious to light -- are as effective as surgical masks in some circumstances.Cloth masks are also reusable and durable, and even after regular washings, they maintain their effectiveness. N95s and surgical masks are usually worn once and "end up in a landfill," Brooks said.Masks prevent infected people from spreading the virus.It's indisputable that N95 respirators and surgical masks prevent pathogens from infecting others -- one reason doctors have traditionally worn surgical masks to protect their patients.There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings, too, stop virus expelled by an infected person when breathing, talking, singing or shouting -- controlling the spread at the source.This discovery became especially important once scientists learned that people who don't even feel symptoms may spread the virus. More than 50% of all infections may be transmitted by asymptomatic people.Apart from epidemiological studies showing that mask use is high in countries that have successfully controlled the virus, mask mandates have been shown to significantly slow the virus in U.S. states and in health care settings, Volckens said.Masks protect the wearer, although how efficiently is still unclear.All kinds of masks offer the wearer some degree of protection, multiple studies have shown. Exactly how much protection is not yet clear."The protection for the wearer is not 100%," Dr. Leana Wen, the former assistant health commissioner of Baltimore, said of cloth masks. "That's also why universal masking is important, because we need the people who are infected to be wearing it."N95 masks are thought to be the most effective in this regard, followed by surgical masks. But evidence for benefit from cloth masks is scarce."There haven't been good studies on protecting the wearer," said Linsey Marr, an expert at Virginia Tech on the airborne transmission of viruses. Still, she added, most researchers assume cloth masks provide at least some protection.Some of the studies on wearer protection were conducted in labs under ideal conditions, or with mannequins, which does not capture more realistic situations in which people wear masks inconsistently or incorrectly.Still, in one such study, a mask made of four layers of tightly woven surgical gauze prevented transmission more effectively when worn by both parties than when worn only by an infected person, Brooks said."They worked best together, and the cloth masks performed essentially as well as surgical masks," he said. "When you're wearing a mask, you're protecting others as well as yourself."It's harder to study masks than drugs or vaccines.Critics of mask-wearing measures have long demanded a randomized clinical trial that establishes their effectiveness. But while such trials are the standard for drugs and vaccines, they are not ideal for evaluating behaviors subject to people's recall, experts said."Show me the clinical trials that showed the efficacy of hand washing," Volckens said. "And I think we all agree that smoking causes cancer and is bad for you -- does that mean that we can't believe that smoking causes cancer because there isn't a clinical trial?"Most studies on cloth face coverings have been observational and looked at whether their use stopped the spread at a community level. The CDC's latest bulletin on masks lists several such studies confirming the benefit of universal masking mandates.In one study, two masked hair stylists had symptoms but did not transmit the virus to any of their 67 masked clients. In another, face coverings seemed to reduce risk of infection by 70% during an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.It's particularly difficult to assess a mask's benefit to the wearer because "you've got to be able to measure what's behind the mask and what's getting through the mask into their mouth," Marr said.A Danish study published Wednesday was a randomized clinical trial assessing whether a mask protected wearers. It found no statistically significant effect. But the study has serious limitations, experts said: It was conducted when community transmission in Denmark was low, and masks were far from the norm."It didn't get at this communitywide effect," Volckens said.The numbers in the study were small, and only half of the mask-wearing subjects reported doing so as strictly as recommended. Even those who wore them regularly would not have worn them at restaurants, bars, gyms or in their homes -- settings responsible for the majority of spread in a community, Marr noted."It's hard to do these studies in real life," she said.The study still found a 15% protection for the wearer, although the figure was not statistically significant. But it may be an underestimate, Marr and other researchers said."I still think masks are the most cheap, effective, versatile intervention that we can have if social distancing is not possible or variable, or if indoor ventilation is poor," said Julian Tang, honorary professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.Over time, recommendations on masks have changed. That's how science works.The CDC has been criticized for an about-face on masks since the beginning of the pandemic, when it urged only symptomatic people to wear them. The agency did not recommend universal use of face coverings until April. (The World Health Organization was even later, issuing its endorsement in July.)The agency was reluctant to recommend masks at first because it worried about a run on the high-quality masks needed for health care workers, Marr said. "I think it took time to realize that there's different objectives in the health care setting versus in the community," she said.It is natural when dealing with an unknown virus for recommendations to change significantly over time, Wen said. "We know a lot more now, and I think we should acknowledge that we were wrong," she said.Still, changes in guidance should be seen as a sign that the policy is following the latest science, she added."Somehow that change has been framed by some people as public health experts not knowing what we're doing," Wen said. "But actually, we should see this change in guidance as part of the necessary evolution. That's the cornerstone of a solid public health response."For example, it was not clear at first that the virus could be transmitted by air, especially indoors and by people without symptoms. So scientists assumed that the new coronavirus behaved like the coronaviruses causing SARS and MERS.But the CDC was quick to recommend masks once it was clear that asymptomatic transmission was a big contributor, Brooks said: "Science changes. So do we, and so do our recommendations."Likewise, the agency initially recommended masks only to protect those near an infected person because "that's where we had the earliest and clear data." Now there is enough evidence to say that masks also benefit the wearer."Our guidance has not changed -- we are recommending everybody wear masks," he said. "What has changed is we can now give you a reason. a personal reason that will motivate people."Masks alone are not enough to stop the spread.The experts all emphasized that mask use is just one tool that can slow the pandemic. Social distancing, ventilation and hand hygiene are also important."None of those is 100% effective by itself," Marr said. "But when we combine them, then we can make a big dent in the risk of transmission."Masking is also among the easiest of community strategies to adopt, or should be, as states all over the country try to avert lockdowns, Brooks said: "We believe strongly that universal masking policies can help avert shutdowns."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has ridden in three spaceships and spent more than 180 days in space. He said Crew Dragon is "fun to ride."
Archaeologists have discovered the exceptionally well-preserved remains of two men scalded to death by the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD, the Italian culture ministry said on Saturday. The remains were found in Civita Giuliana, 700 metres northwest of the centre of ancient Pompeii, in an underground chamber in the area of a large villa being excavated. "These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge when they were swept away by the pyroclastic current at about 9 in the morning," said Massimo Osanna, director of the archeological site.
Anesthesiologist David Mahjoubi says most clients express newfound energy with the treatments — this is how it works.
“Donald Trump defeated Donald Trump.”
“The victory was a vindication of a style of American politics that many feared was gone forever.”
“Mr. Biden’s victory — and Mr. Trump’s defeat — is a testament to the resilience of American democracy.”
“Trump’s 2020 reelection bid was doomed by his boorish behavior. Time and again, he refused to act like a president.”
“Biden took the opportunity to unite the Democratic Party.”