Beginnings
Associated Press/Photo by Elaine Thompson (file)

Color coding rivers

Science | The shifting shades of bodies of water can tell scientists about their health
by John Dawson
Posted 1/07/21, 12:14 pm

America’s rivers are changing colors, moving from blue to shades of green and yellow, a group of researchers says.

A team of scientists poured over hundreds of thousands of river images dating back to 1984 and published their findings in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in December. They found about a third of American rivers have changed color, according to lead author John Gardner of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Associated Press/Photo by Peter Byrne/PA (file)

A mutating virus

Science | A U.K. variant of the coronavirus spreads quickly
by John Dawson
Posted 1/07/21, 12:09 pm

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered England into its third lockdown, warning that the nation’s hospitals could become overwhelmed within 21 days. But it wasn’t just an increase in COVID-19 cases that prompted the move—the country is also facing a new, quick-spreading variant of the virus that causes the illness.

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Associated Press/Photo by Virginia Mayo (file)

Medical research hits the front page

Science | The coronavirus pandemic made scientific matters a topic of daily conversation in 2020
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/31/20, 03:28 pm

It’s rare that one news story spans a whole year. But this year, everything happened in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic—and that falls squarely within the science beat. Questions about the origin and nature of and effective response to the virus have abounded from day one and only became more intense and controversial as the months dragged on. The urgent search for treatments and vaccine also sparked renewed debate about ethical research methods. But the pandemic wasn’t the only big science news this year.

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