Will orcas thrive in the coronavirus pandemic's quieter waters? Scientists aim to find out
SEATTLE — The coronavirus pandemic has upended and refocused orca field research in Northwest waters this season.Some scientists are beached. Others are investigating the effect on endangered southern resident orcas of suddenly much quieter home waters in the Salish Sea, the transboundary waters between the United States and Canada including Puget Sound.The southern residents hunt by sound. Disturbance and noise caused by boats and vessels is one of three main threats to their survival, in addition to lack of adequate chinook salmon (their preferred food) and pollution. So this spring like non...
The Seattle Times
Living with Children: The power of 'no'
In 1972, a Stanford University psychologist conducted a study in which young children, individually, were offered either a small but immediate reward (a marshmallow or a pretzel) or a doubled reward if they were able to wait for 15 minutes. In follow-up studies, researchers found that children who were able to postpone gratification experienced better life outcomes as measured by such things as SAT scores, academic achievement and body mass index.I have long maintained that well-done research in the so-called social sciences does nothing but confirm common sense, and it certainly seems common-...
Tribune News Service
Scientists warn of 'superspreaders' as San Diego flocks to restaurants, salons
SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Captain Comics: Welcome back, Justice Society
“Stargirl” has arrived on DC Universe and The CW, bringing with it the return of the justly legendary Justice Society of America.The Justice Society is the oldest superhero team in comics, arriving in “All-Star Comics” #3 in 1940. Another milestone: The team combined characters from two different publishers, “sister” companies Detective Comics Inc. and All-American Comics Inc. (Eventually these companies would merge into today’s DC Comics.)The publishing premise of the JSA was simple: The team starred second-tier characters who did not have their own self-named titles, in the hopes that the ad...
Tribune News Service
Why is the coronavirus infection usually mild in children? Here's a new clue
One of the biggest mysteries of the new coronavirus is its relative harmlessness in most children who get infected.At least part of the explanation may be in the cells lining their noses, according to a new study by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.The researchers started with archived samples of cells from the nasal lining, or epithelium, of people ages 4 to 60. Then they measured the activity of a gene that directs production of ACE2, a protein that helps coronavirus enter the body. It turned out that ACE2 gene “expression” — the DNA instructions th...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Review: 'American Sherlock,' by Kate Winkler Dawson
“American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics and the Birth of American CSI” by Kate Winkler Dawson; G.P. Putnam’s Sons (336 pages, $27)———The latest nonfiction page-turner from Kate Winkler Dawson is really two books, one of which is great. Dawson — whose riveting “Death in the Air” tracked a deadly fog that cloaked London in 1952 — looks at Edward Oscar Heinrich, the Californian who pioneered crime investigation techniques that police still use today.Blood spatter patterns, fingerprinting, stomach content analysis, specifics of decomposition — Heinrich seems to have been at the forefront of all of i...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Commentary: UN must extend arms embargo on Iran — and US should have a backup plan
Diplomats at the United Nations have less than six months to stop Iran — the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, violator of nuclear nonproliferation agreements and catalyst for regional warfare — from buying weapons from the world’s most eager salesmen, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.The U.N. arms embargo on Iran is scheduled to sunset starting in October, and if it does, Tehran and its terror proxies, regional allies and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will be stronger than ever. Our first priority should be to extend and strengthen the embargo. But America needs a backup plan t...
Trump to make Florida the face of America's reopening at Cape Canaveral rocket launch
MIAMI — Grounded for weeks in Washington by the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump is returning to Florida on Wednesday for the first launch on American soil in nearly a decade of astronauts into space.Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are set to attend an anticipated 4:33 p.m. EDT liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, the same location where Americans last launched to the moon. The SpaceX rocket carrying veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley is considered by the Trump administration to be a test run for the kind of public-private partnerships that ...
Washington state aims to regulate water temperature at federal dams, wading into controversy
SEATTLE — The Columbia is the great river of the West, winding from the north to meet its largest tributary, the Snake in Eastern Washington, then dividing the states of Oregon and Washington on its push to the sea. Big and powerful, its wild energy has been tamed to engineered stair steps controlled by locks and dams.But what has worked well for navigation and carbon-free hydropower production has been a killer for salmon, as its now-lazy reservoirs heat up in summer. When the water gets hot enough for long enough, salmon stop migrating, and even die of stress and disease.Today Columbia and S...
The Seattle Times
Seattle researchers building 'biobank' of patients' blood to unlock the mysteries of the new coronavirus
SEATTLE — Blood and other biological specimens from COVID-19 patients treated in Seattle area hospitals are helping scientists build a massive “biobank” to examine the virus’s long-term impacts on the human body and why it affects some people more severely than others.Disease doctors and researchers hope to use what they learn from the data to help figure out what drugs and therapies are most effective in treating those sick with COVID-19 and to aid other scientists’ in the quest to develop a vaccine against it.“We don’t yet understand exactly what this virus is doing to individuals — what org...
The Seattle Times