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Coronavirus – work continues to test existing drugs

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We found and tested 47 old drugs that might treat the coronavirus: Results show promising leads and a whole new way to fight COVID-19

The more researchers know about how the coronavirus attaches, invades and hijacks human cells, the more effective the search for drugs to fight it. That was the idea my colleagues and I hoped to be true when we began building a map of the coronavirus two months ago. The map shows all of the coronavirus proteins and all of the proteins found in the human body that those viral proteins could interact with.

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Fish livers found to contain oil from Deepwater Horizon blowout

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Researchers use Atlantic mackerel for bait on long-lining fishing sampling expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico.. C-IMAGE Consortium, CC BY-ND

Scientists have found oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout in fishes’ livers and on the deep ocean floor

Over the decade since the Deepwater Horizon spill, thousands of scientists have analyzed its impact on the Gulf of Mexico. The spill affected many different parts of the Gulf, from coastal marshes to the deep sea.

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SpaceX reaches for milestone in spaceflight

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is raised into a vertical position on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A. NASA/Bill Ingalls

A new era begins as a private company launches astronauts into orbit

On May 27, two American astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, are planning to launch from the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to the International Space Station. If successful, this will mark the first time in nine years that American astronauts will launch into space from American soil. What’s even more remarkable is they will not be launched by NASA but by a private company, SpaceX.

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Plankton capture twice as much carbon as scientists thought

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Ocean carbon storage is driven by phytoplankton blooms, like the turquoise swirls visible here in the North Sea and waters off Denmark. NASA

Tiny plankton drive processes in the ocean that capture twice as much carbon as scientists thought

Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The ocean plays a major role in the global carbon cycle. The driving force comes from tiny plankton that produce organic carbon through photosynthesis, like plants on land.

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Quarantine screen time could be harmful to kids’ eyesight

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With online learning, children are staring at computer screens for more hours each day. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Increasing screen time during COVID-19 could be harmful to kids’ eyesight

Shu-Fang Shih, University of Michigan and Olivia Killeen, University of Michigan

The coronavirus pandemic is remaking the way children learn, and it could have an impact on their eyes.

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COVID-19 and the cytokine storm

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www.scientificanimations.com, CC BY-SA

Blocking the deadly cytokine storm is a vital weapon for treating COVID-19

Alexander (Sasha) Poltorak, Tufts University

The killer is not the virus but the immune response.

The current pandemic is unique not just because it is caused by a new virus that puts everyone at risk, but also because the range of innate immune responses is diverse and unpredictable. In some it is strong enough to kill. In others it is relatively mild.

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What needs to go right to get a coronavirus vaccine quickly

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Photo of a syringe and vial of medicine
A coronavirus vaccine is coming, but when? Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment via Getty Images

Marcos E. García-Ojeda, University of California, Merced

I, like many Americans, miss the pre-pandemic world of hugging family and friends, going to work and having dinner at a restaurant. A protective vaccine for SARS-Cov2 is likely to be the most effective public health tool to get back to that world.

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Naturally occurring CO2 also a serious threat

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Photo of carbon dioxide seeping from the ocean floor
Droplets rising from the Champagne vent on the ocean floor in the Mariana Islands. Fluids venting from the site contain dissolved carbon dioxide. NOAA Ocean Explorer

Deep sea carbon reservoirs once superheated the Earth – could it happen again?

Lowell D. Stott, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

As concern grows over human-induced climate change, many scientists are looking back through Earth’s history to events that can shed light on changes occurring today. Analyzing how the planet’s climate system has changed in the past improves our understanding of how it may behave in the future.

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Carbon dioxide has a huge impact on Earth’s climate

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Artist drawing of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Satellite
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite makes precise measurements of Earth’s carbon dioxide levels from space. NASA/JPL

Climate explained: why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate

Jason West, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CC BY-ND

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

I heard that carbon dioxide makes up 0.04% of the world’s atmosphere. Not 0.4% or 4%, but 0.04%! How can it be so important in global warming if it’s such a small percentage?

I am often asked how carbon dioxide can have an important effect on global climate when its concentration is so small – just 0.041% of Earth’s atmosphere. And human activities are responsible for just 32% of that amount.

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The puzzling questions of the coronavirus

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Photo of nearly empty Brooklyn Bridge
The typically crowded Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, now nearly desolate in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Getty Images / Victor J. Blue

A doctor addresses 6 questions that are stumping physicians

William Petri, University of Virginia

Editor’s Note: As researchers try to find treatments and create a vaccine for COVID-19, doctors and others on the front lines continue to find perplexing symptoms. And the disease itself has unpredictable effects on various people. Dr. William Petri, a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, answers questions about these confusing findings.

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