How the Cosmic Microwave Background Reveals the Universe’s Contents | Quanta Magazine

A photograph of the infant cosmos reveals the precise amounts of dark matter and dark energy in the universe, leaving precious little room for argument. — Read on http://www.quantamagazine.org/how-the-cosmic-microwave-background-reveals-the-universes-contents-20200128/

Humans coexisted with three-tonne marsupials and lizards as long as cars in ancient Australia

When people first arrived in what is now Queensland, they would have found the land inhabited by massive animals including goannas six metres long and kangaroos twice as tall as a human. — Read on theconversation.com/humans-coexisted-with-three-tonne-marsupials-and-lizards-as-long-as-cars-in-ancient-australia-138534

Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun | Quanta Magazine

... it’s possible that life might have gotten its start on the surface of the Earth, where it found creative ways to survive and spread, including to deeper environments. But it’s also possible that life began underground, at some fortuitous juncture between rock and water — eventually also making its way to the surface and [...]

Quantum Steampunk: 19th-Century Science Meets Technology of Today – Scientific American

The field of thermodynamics—which deals with the physics of heat and efficiency—arose during the Industrial Revolution. Scientists today are working to update these laws to address modern technology, particularly quantum computers, quantum communication and quantum information. This melding of 19th-century science and futuristic technology resembles the combination of Victorian style and sci-fi invention in the [...]

The Man Who Saw the Pandemic Coming – Issue 83: Intelligence – Nautilus

Dennis Carroll doesn’t mean to sound callous when he says the coronavirus outbreak was predictable. And he doesn’t. He sounds sympathetic to people frightened by the outbreak. He has been an eyewitness to people around the world suffering from similar viruses. Most of all, Carroll sounds authoritative. For decades, Carroll has been a leading voice [...]

Seven books on the fascinating human brain [reading list] | OUPblog

The human brain is often described as the most complex object in the known universe – we know so much, and yet so little, about the way it works. It’s no wonder then that the study of brain today encompasses an enormous range of topics, from abstract understanding of consciousness to microscopic exploration of billions of neurons. [...]

Excitement, baby steps and reams of rejections – how scientific knowledge builds on itself | Aeon Videos

Getting a paper published in a respected scientific journal can be an exhilarating opportunity for researchers to contribute to their fields, but it’s often a patience-testing exercise in rejection, rewriting and waiting. In this short by the French filmmaker Charlotte Arene, the physicists Frédéric Restagno and Julien Bobroff, both of the University of Paris-Saclay, offer [...]

Heavy metal may rain from the skies of planet WASP 76b | Science News

On one distant world, “heavy metal” could be a weather forecast. Telescope observations indicate that an exoplanet nearly 400 light-years away has iron rain. The planet, dubbed WASP 76b, is an extreme kind of exoplanet known as an ultrahot gas giant (SN: 7/30/19). These worlds “are complete oddballs,” says astronomer David Ehrenreich of the University [...]