The Atlantic, March 26, 2020
The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal
There are two realistic paths to achieving this “population-level immunity.” One is the development of a vaccine. The other is for the disease to work its way through the population, surely killing many, but also leaving many others—those who contract the disease and then recover—immune. “They’re just Teflon at that point,” meaning they can’t get infected again and they won’t pass on the disease, explains Andrew Noymer, a public-health professor at the University of California at Irvine. …“Prematurely ending severe social distancing would be an incredible blunder that would have major human consequences,” Noymer told me. “What is ‘prematurely’? The truth is, we don’t know yet, exactly, but it’s longer than a fortnight. It could be eight to 12 weeks.”
Newsweek, March 25, 2020
Congress’ $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package not ‘nearly enough’ to safeguard 2020 election, experts say
“It’s not nearly enough money,” [Chancellor’s Professor] Richard Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Newsweek. “This is a start, but much more will be necessary.” … “Every state is going to have increased absentee balloting, even if things ebb a bit with the virus. We know costs are going way up. Absentee balloting is more expensive in terms of scanners, employees checking ballot envelopes and other costs,” Hasen noted.
The Weather Channel, March 26, 2020 (Video)
Meanwhile On The Climate Beat: Greenland Lost 600 Billion Tons of Ice Last Year
“We expect more warm events like the one of 2019 (and 2012) in the future; this is a signature of the rapidly changing climate in the Arctic,” said lead author Isabella Velicogna, an Earth science professor at the University of California at Irvine and a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. … This loss itself is also particularly significant. “The 2019 mass loss illustrates that melting of ice in Greenland is not proceeding at a steady state but includes a lot of variability,” Velicogna explained.
Science, March 26, 2020
Congress pumps up NSF program to fast-track COVID-19 research
Roxane Silver studies the health effects of traumatic life events. So it was a no-brainer for the social psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, to ask the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a study of how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic would affect the well-being of Americans. Fortunately for Silver, NSF has a mechanism for fast-tracking time-sensitive ideas like hers. It’s called Rapid Response Research (RAPID). … Silver is one of a dozen investigators to date who have received RAPID awards relating to COVID-19.
Scientific American, March 26, 2020
Milky Way Dark Matter Signals in Doubt after Controversial New Papers
A new study closely analyzed the pattern of the gamma rays in terms of both their spatial spread and their energy. The researchers found that the light matches the shape of the regular stars, gas and galactic emission from the “bulge” at the center of our galaxy somewhat better than it does models of how dark energy by-products would act. “With that, since we have a better fit, the question is: How much room is left for dark matter?” says [Physics and Astronomy Professor] Kevork Abazajian of the University of California, Irvine, lead author of the paper …. The answer, they found, is not much. “We’ve put the strongest constraints on dark matter annihilation yet.”
Previously “In the News”