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Red planet has a big core, complex crust

Enlarge / Some seismic waves bounce off Mars' core before reaching the InSight lander. (credit: Chris Bickel / Science) We've learned a lot about our planet's interior simply by tracking how the seismic energy released by earthquakes moves through or reflects off the different layers present beneath Earth's surface. For over a Martian year, we've...

Nuclear power’s reliability is dropping as extreme weather increases

Enlarge / Cooling water is only one factor that limits the productivity of nuclear power plants. (credit: Getty Images) With extreme weather causing power failures in California and Texas, it's increasingly clear that the existing power infrastructure isn't designed for these new conditions. Past research has shown that nuclear power plants are no...

The Tokyo Olympics could be a COVID-19 “super evolutionary event”

Enlarge / Flag bearers Yui Susaki and Rui Hachimura of Team Japan lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (credit: Matthias Hangst | Getty Images) Ten days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, Kara Lawson, the coach of the United States women’s...

SpaceX to launch the Europa Clipper mission for a bargain price

NASA has selected SpaceX's Falcon Heavy to launch the Europa Clipper, the first mission to conduct detailed reconnaissance of this Jovian moon. [credit: Trevor Mahlmann ] After years of speculation, NASA officially announced Friday that...

Maker of dubious $56K Alzheimer’s drug offers cognitive test no one can pass

Enlarge / The exterior of the headquarters of biotechnology company Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe) Do you ever forget things, like a doctor's appointment or a lunch date? Do you sometimes struggle to think of the right word for something common? Do you ever feel more anxious or irritable than you typically do?...

Archaeologists find ancient Egyptian warship sunk near Alexandria

Enlarge (credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) Twenty-four hundred years ago, Heraklion was ancient Egypt’s largest port on the Mediterranean Sea. Today, the ancient city lies submerged beneath Abu Qir Bay, a few kilometers off the coast of Alexandria. Archaeologists recently discovered the wreck of a warship from the city’s final years buried...

Rocket Report: Super Heavy lights up, China tries to recover a fairing

Enlarge (credit: Blue Origin) Welcome to Edition 4.08 of the Rocket Report! It's been another big week for private spaceflight, which means I made my second trip in nine days to the El Paso airport. This time, I enjoyed getting to see Blue Origin's launch site in West Texas, and watching New Shepard launch in person. It's an impressively engineered...

“Get vaccinated! Take delta seriously!” US experts plead as cases skyrocket

Enlarge / Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a Senate committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 20, 2021. (credit: Getty | J. Scott Applewhite) As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the country—with some states seeing vertical rises—public health experts are once...

Google turns AlphaFold loose on the entire human genome

Enlarge (credit: Sloan-Kettering) Just one week after Google's DeepMind AI group finally described its biology efforts in detail, the company is releasing a paper that explains how it analyzed nearly every protein encoded in the human genome and predicted its likely three-dimensional structure—a structure that can be critical for understanding disease...

CIA officer from bin Laden hunt to lead Havana Syndrome probe as cases rise

Enlarge / Picture of the US embassy in Havana, taken on October 3, 2017. (credit: Getty | YAMIL LAGE) An undercover Central Intelligence Agency officer who helped hunt down Osama bin Laden will now lead the agency task force charged with investigating the mysterious health incidents that continue to plague US personnel, according to a report Wednesday...

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