New COVID-origin data points to raccoons in the Chinese market

BEIJING (AP) – Genetic material collected at a Chinese market near where the first human cases of COVID-19 were identified shows raccoon DNA mixed with the virus, adding evidence to the theory that the virus originated in animals, not from a laboratory, say international experts. “These data do not provide a definitive answer to how … Read more

A UK program will sequence the genomes of 100,000 newborn babies

CNN  —  The UK is set to begin sequencing the genomes of 100,000 newborn babies later this year. It will be the largest study of its kind, mapping the babies’ complete set of genetic instructions, with potentially profound implications for child medicine. The £105 million ($126 million) Newborn Genomes Programme will screen for around 200 … Read more

What is happening at the Fukushima plant 12 years after the meltdown?

OKUMA, Japan (AP) – Twelve years after the triple reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan is preparing to release a massive amount of purified radioactive waste water into the sea. Japanese officials say the release is inevitable and should begin soon. Handling the waste water is less of a challenge than … Read more

Beijing air quality plummets amid dust storm, pollution

BEIJING (AP) — Skyscrapers in Beijing disappeared in the haze and air quality plummeted as China’s capital was enveloped in a dust storm and heavy pollution on Friday. Concentrations of the tiny PM2.5 particles, which can reach deep into the lungs and bloodstream, entered dangerous territory at air quality monitoring sites, with the IQAir website … Read more

La Nina is gone. These were the deadly storms during its course

La Nina seemed to treat Louisiana and the rest of the southeastern United States like a punching bag. Its three-year barrage of body blows has come to an end, but left a lot of scars from hurricanes and tornadoes, among other weather disasters. Experts warn that it is difficult to attribute a single event to … Read more

The 3D-printed rocket’s debut launch was aborted at the last minute

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A rocket made almost entirely of 3D-printed parts remained on the pad Wednesday after its debut launch attempt was aborted at the last minute. California-based Relativity Space attempted to launch the rocket into orbit from a former missile site at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. There was no immediate … Read more

The African states on the east coast suffer from too much, too little rain

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) – Surrounded by miles of parched land and what’s left of his starving livestock, Daniel Lepaine is a worried man. Dozens of his goats in Ngong, a town in southern Kenya, have died after three years of severe drought in the east and the Horn of Africa. The rest are on the … Read more

The latest astronaut from the UAE is getting used to space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – The second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates is still adjusting to life off the planet after rocketing to the International Space Station last week. “I’m still managing. I’m still learning,” Sultan al-Neyadi said Tuesday, but added that he hopes to improve in the coming days. He is the second … Read more

Daughter unravels decades-old mystery of disabled mother’s rape

Magdalena Cruz grew up knowing she owed her life to a terrible crime. She was born in 1986 to a mother who could not take care of her or herself. For a decade, Cruz’s mother had been a resident of a state facility for the severely disabled in Rochester, New York. She was nonverbal. She … Read more

Japan launches H3 rocket, destroys it after 2nd stage failure

TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s space agency intentionally destroyed a new H3 rocket minutes after its launch Tuesday because ignition failed in the second stage of the country’s first new rocket series in more than two decades. Coming three weeks after an aborted launch due to a separate bugThe H3’s failure was a setback for Japan’s … Read more