This Week In Science!


Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockAug 13 2021, 11:26 UTC
This week in science IFLScience

Landmark IPCC Report: Climate Catastrophe Ahead If Humans Don't Act Quickly 

The world's largest-ever climate change report has been released and while the conclusions are very serious, there is a glimmer of hope. We are speeding towards the 1.5°C warming limit set by the Paris Agreement, likely reaching it in 20 years, but immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and action by policymakers and governments could prevent disaster. Since humans are driving these changes, we hold the power to stop them.  

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Asteroid Bennu’s Chance Of Hitting Earth Has Just Been Refined By NASA 

Asteroid Bennu is one of the two most potentially hazardous known objects to Earth in the Solar System. It’s due a very close flyby of our planet in 2135, and although chances of it hitting Earth are low, thanks to OSIRIS-Rex, we now have more certainty on the probability of impact, and even when that might happen. The risk may be slightly higher, but not enough to worry about, NASA says.  

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Fearsome ”Dragon” Was Largest Known Flying Reptile To Rule Australia’s Skies 

Australia is living up to its reputation of everything wanting to kill you with the discovery of its largest known flying reptile yet. This toothy predator had a 7-meter wingspan and a meter-long skull, perfect for swooping down and grabbing both sea and land creatures. Living in Northwest Queensland 110 million years ago, researchers described it as the closest thing we have to a real-life dragon.  

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Complete Eradication Of Covid-19 Is Possible, New Study Suggests 

A new study has said that instead of just learning to live with COVID-19, complete eradication may be possible. Researchers looked at factors involved in the eradication of smallpox and polio, thanks to global vaccine campaigns, to look at how realistic that goal is for SARS-CoV-2 and found that it should be doable. Available vaccines are essential, but so are social, political, and economic factors, and, vitally, public acceptance of infection control measures.   

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Warrior Buried 900 Years Ago May Have Been Non-Binary, Study Reveals 

Just over 50 years ago, remains of a warrior armed with a sword were discovered in southern Finland. Dressed in typical female clothing of the time, they were buried with two swords, often (but not always) associated with masculinity in 11th-century Europe. Archaeologists recently took a second look at this individual, discovering that they appear to have had an extra X chromosome (XXY), positing they could have been non-binary. 

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Feature article  

COVID-19: Could Companies Start Paying Employees Less If They're Unvaccinated? 

A huge amount of effort has gone into enticing those who are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine to get immunized. From arguing with reason to throwing cash and shiny toys at people, success has been mixed. However, when the carrot on a stick fails, there’s usually only one other option – don’t offer something to gain, offer something to lose. Now, it seems some employers are thinking about hitting unvaccinated workers with up to a $50-per-month health surcharge stick. 

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