In 2009 there was the swine flu pandemic, with anywhere from 150,000 to 575,000 fatalities. Since it was influenza, it was quite contagious, with an R0 of 1.2 to 1.6. And the world’s medical institutions quickly responded, and in less than a year there were 100 million vaccines available. Click on the graphic below to see more clearly how the world responded.
The R0 for COVID-19 seems to be slightly higher, from 1.4 to 2.5. Still, they are pretty close. Hopefully the WHO and CDC manage to come up with a vaccine quickly for this.
Archaeologists have found the oldest wooden structure ever found. It is a 7000 year old wooden well in eastern Europe. Scientists used dendrochronology to determine how old the wood is. The well shows sophisticated carpentry skills for neolithic people.
Scientists in the UK and Germany have viewed individual metal atoms making and breaking bonds. They used carbon nanotubes as a scaffold to hold the atoms in place. This is with individual rhenium atoms. You can see the distance between the atoms grow and shrink depending on the environment. It looks like this type of microscopy will become important in chemistry.
While they’re mollusks, there’re not brainless. In fact, most of their brain is spread throughout their 8 arms. They like puzzles, make friends, and remember people. Sadly, they have short lives and can’t pass on their knowledge to their offspring because they die soon after reproducing.
Dead Zones are areas in the oceans that have very little oxygen. They don’t have enough oxygen to support most marine life. We’ve known about them for a long time, but now the number of them are increasing rapidly. This threatens populations of large fish, including tuna.
This is tied in with climate change, because warmer water can’t hold as much oxygen as colder water. Over time, this will have profound effects on many marine populations.