Comfort is a big ship — like, really big. The ship is around 100 feet tall, which is the size of a 10-story building. It has a deep draft — it displaces 70,473 tons of water — and, in many ports, it has to stand at least a mile offshore. Over 894 feet long (272 meters), the Comfort is about the length of three football fields and can travel at a speed of 17.5 knots (20.1 mph). … [Read more...] about Everything you need to know about the USNS Comfort, the giant hospital ship in NYC
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None of this has been easy. Indeed, starting with college, hurdling obstacles has been a constant in her life. In the fall of 1970, William H. Wright, a professor of physics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, ushered freshman Marcia McNutt into his office with what she recalls as this observation: “You are here because you must have said something silly on your application about being a physics major. I’ve seen girls come and go in this department, but I’ve yet to see one graduate.” For perhaps the first time in her young life, McNutt was struck speechless. Class valedictorian at the all-girls Northrop Collegiate School in Minneapolis and with perfect SAT scores, she had chosen Colorado over Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, partly for its promise of closer contact with faculty … but not this sort of contact. “No one had ever told me I couldn’t do something,” she told me. “The one thought in my mind was, … [Read more...] about Science academy’s new president cleared many hurdles on way to the top
The microbe's long climb to recognition mirrors Chisholm's own. Early in her career, as the lone woman, and lone biologist, in the civil engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, she had to overcome both scientific and cultural hurdles, adopting the latest techniques to reveal Prochlorococcus's secrets while working with other female faculty to get MIT to address gender discrimination. Her quiet persistence inspired others. Chisholm, who in recent years has been awarded the National Medal of Science and named as one of MIT's 13 Institute Professors, sent "an important message for future academicians," says Heidi Sosik, a biological oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. "You don't have to be a blustery, high-profile white guy to make it." … [Read more...] about Meet the obscure microbe that influences climate, ocean ecosystems, and perhaps even evolution
PCR coronavirus tests: A swab and a waitMost coronavirus testing discussed by public officials and the media refers to polymerase chain reaction testing, better known as PCR. These tests start with a nasopharyngeal swab, or a swab that goes up the nose far back into the throat. This swab collects mucous, saliva, bits of cells and — if present — viral RNA. The samples are then sent to a lab, where researchers apply chemicals to remove everything but the RNA. Enzymes are then added to transcribe the RNA into DNA. Next, this DNA is put into a real-time PCR (RT-PCR) machine along with another set of chemicals. The RT-PCR machine heats and cools the samples in a process that essentially Xeroxes the DNA, making thousands of copies of any genetic material in the samples. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus testing is ramping up. Here are the new tests and how they work.
Zack Snyder's sequel to Man of Steel is shaping up to be a who's who of DC characters. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman — and of course Ben Affleck will be Batman. Other than casting announcements and a rescheduled release date, however, official news on the movie has been relatively quiet, but Snyder unveiled the first image of Ben Affleck as Batman today, right alongside his new Batmobile. … [Read more...] about This is Ben Affleck as Batman, and this is his Batmobile