Coronavirus may technically be ‘airborne,’ but that may not matter for preventing its spread

Experts agree that the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 spreads through direct contact and large droplets that, once sneezed or coughed out, often fall harmlessly to the ground. But a recent letter signed by 239 scientists suggests that the virus may also spread by airborne transmission, lingering in the air for hours within lighter “microdroplets.” The […]

Ice age mining camp found ‘frozen in time’ in underwater Mexican cave

At the end of the last ice age, Indigenous miners in what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico risked life and limb — venturing into pitch dark caves illuminated only by fire — to extract a prized mineral, a new study finds. That mineral wasn’t gold or diamonds, but red ochre, a valuable crayon-like pigment […]

350 elephants drop dead in Botswana, some walking in circles before doing face-plants

More than 350 elephants in Botswana have mysteriously died since May, in a phenomenon that some scientists have dubbed a “conservation disaster,” and one that has evaded explanation. The elephants — which died in the swampy Okavango Delta — still had their tusks intact, suggesting that ivory poaching hadn’t driven the deaths, The Guardian reported. […]

Weird new ‘pentadiamonds’ could be ultrahard, ultralight and conduct electricity

What’s lighter than a diamond, almost as hard and zips with electricity? A pentadiamond — a crystalline arrangement of carbon atoms that is made up mostly of pentagons.  These pentadiamonds don’t exist yet; they’ve only been created in computer simulations. But if a pentadiamond can be made, it could have a number of useful properties. […]

Bubonic plague case confirmed in China’s Inner Mongolia

A case of plague has been confirmed in China’s Inner Mongolia region, leading authorities to issue an alert about the age-old disease, according to news reports. On Sunday (July 5), a herdsman in Bayannur city, in western Inner Mongolia, was diagnosed with bubonic plague, according to The New York Times. Health authorities said in a […]

Coronavirus-fighting antibody cocktail being tested in thousands of people

An antibody cocktail designed to prevent and treat COVID-19 is now entering late-stage clinical trials, according to reports.  When naturally infected with COVID-19, the body generates Y-shaped molecules called antibodies that latch onto the virus and mark it for destruction, or hinder its ability to infect healthy cells, Live Science previously reported. These antibodies can […]

Humans are hardwired to dismiss (coronavirus) facts that don’t fit their worldview

Bemoaning uneven individual and state compliance with public health recommendations, top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He called this bias “inconceivable,” because “science is truth.” Fauci compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to […]

Rocket Lab Electron launch fails to reach orbit, 7 satellites lost

 A Rocket Lab Electron booster failed to reach orbit while attempting to launch seven small satellites for three different customers on Saturday (July 4).  The two-stage Electron booster rose off the pad at Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launch site at 5:19 p.m. EST (0919 GMT; 9:19 p.m. local New Zealand time), carrying seven Earth-imaging satellites […]