Extreme Pandemics Like COVID-19 Aren't Rare, We Roll The Dice Each Year

science20.com – COVID-19 is certainly worse than the SARS and MERS pandemics that occurred a few years prior, and the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 is worse than those others is open for debate, but one thing is not; pandemics, even extreme ones, are not as rare as many believe.The big difference between pandemics now and those of prior generations is the prevalence of r

Source: Marco Marani, Gabriel G. Katul, William K. Pan, Anthony J. Parolari. Intensity and frequency of extreme novel epidemics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

Ancient solar storm proves Vikings lived in Newfoundland by at least AD 1021, scientists say

cbc.ca – Norse legends and archeological evidence had scientists guessing when the Vikings erected a thousand-year-old settlement in Newfoundland. But the discovery of an ancient solar storm offers new evidence, nailing down the exact year they lived there.

Source: Margot Kuitems, et al. Evidence for European presence in the Americas in ad 1021. Nature, 2021.

Disturbing Answers to the Mystery of Tuskless Female Elephants

sciam.com – Poaching brings evolutionary pressure for tusklessness

Source: Chris T. Darimont, Fanie Pelletier. Of war, tusks, and genes. Science, 2021.

Watch this wooden knife cut effortlessly through juicy, medium-well-done steak

arstechnica.com – Also: A hardened wood nail performed as well as its stainless steel counterpart.

Source: Bo Chen, et al. Hardened wood as a renewable alternative to steel and plastic. Matter, 2021.

Origins of domesticated horses traced to north Caucasus region, study finds

upi.com – Horses were first domesticated in the northern Caucasus region, before conquering the rest of Europe and Asia within a few centuries, according to research published Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Source: Pablo Librado, et al. The origins and spread of domestic horses from the Western Eurasian steppes. Nature, 2021.

Martian floods? Scientists say rover found evidence

nbcnews.com – NASA's Perseverance rover discovered evidence that the Jezero crater on Mars it touched down in was once a lake bed fed by a river with floods, scientists say.

Source: Perseverance rover reveals an ancient delta-lake system and flood deposits at Jezero crater, Mars. Science, .

A planet 6,000 light years from Earth reveals how the end of our solar system will look

nbcnews.com – A darkened planet circling the feeble remnant of a burned-out star about 6,000 light-years from Earth shows what our own solar system will look like at the end.

Source: J. W. Blackman, et al. A Jovian analogue orbiting a white dwarf star. Nature, 2021.

Covid-19 news: Pfizer trial finds booster vaccine over 95% effective

newscientist.com – The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Source: Ben Y. Reis, et al. Effectiveness of BNT162b2 Vaccine against Delta Variant in Adolescents. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

Amazing 100-million-year-old crab found perfectly preserved in amber

zmescience.com – The pristine fossil fills huge gaps in the fossil record, explaining how early crabs left the ocean for land.

Source: Javier Luque, et al. Crab in amber reveals an early colonization of nonmarine environments during the Cretaceous. Science Advances, 2021.