Science

270 Review of Skin Deep

9 December 2019

Four years after the Paris Agreement

UN report calls for “radical transformations” to avert global climate catastrophe

By Bryan Dyne, 27 November 2019

Rising global greenhouse gas emissions demonstrate the inability to address climate change under capitalism.

Social inequality in Early Bronze Age Europe

By Philip Guelpa, 12 November 2019

Genetic and archaeological data indicate that social stratification in Europe during the third and second millennium BC was more complex than previously thought, and may indicate the origins of later, slave-based ancient societies.

Eleven thousand scientists warn of climate emergency

By Daniel de Vries, 11 November 2019

Forty years of climate negotiations among capitalist governments have done nothing to alter the trajectory towards environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.

Google announces a new breakthrough for quantum computing

By Bryan Dyne, 26 October 2019

By exploiting the quantum properties of matter at an atomic level, quantum computing represents a potentially gargantuan leap in computing power over ordinary machines based on integrated circuits.

250 Quantum computing

25 October 2019

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for research in cosmology and exoplanets

By Bryan Dyne, 11 October 2019

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics focuses on the deeper understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos that has been developed over the past six decades.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for research in cellular responses to oxygen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 October 2019

Everyone understands the general need for oxygen, but how cells actually use it has not been well understood.

As US vaping-related lung illnesses soar, FDA found negligent in enforcing e-cig regulations

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 October 2019

A report issued by the NIH’s drug abuse section highlights the dramatic rise in vaping among teenagers; 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported they had vaped in the past 12 months.

Study predicts significant outbreaks of measles in Texas due to low vaccination rates

By Gary Joad, 2 October 2019

Texas, the second most populous state, grants the greatest number of vaccine exemptions for personal philosophical and religious reasons of any state in US.

230 Climate Change

30 September 2019

The only solution to climate change is world socialism

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 19 September 2019

The millions marching against global warming must turn to the international working class to solve the unfolding environmental catastrophe.

Stunning discovery of pre-human fossil skull in Ethiopia

By Frank Gaglioti, 19 September 2019

As a near complete skull 3.8 million years old, the find opens the road to future research that will allow scientists to look back to more primitive species, while being able to reassess the transition to true humans.

Video: Paleoanthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie explains the significance of the discovery

19 September 2019

The video shows the area in Ethiopia where the human-like skull of Australopithecus anamensis, known as MRD, was found and explains its significance.

Hubble Space Telescope detects water vapor on habitable-zone exoplanet

By Bryan Dyne, 13 September 2019

The discovery is another step toward finding a world with an environment, and possibly life, on a planet outside our Solar System.

The issues raised by climate change in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

By Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2019

The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian further supports the prediction that global warming will cause more destructive tropical storms.

New human species discovered in the Philippines

By Frank Gaglioti, 21 August 2019

The latest find adds to our knowledge of the complex evolutionary path of human-like species and fills an important gap in our understanding.

Fifty years since the first Moon landing

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2019

The first Moon landing remains an epoch-making scientific, technical and organizational achievement.

Multiple studies demonstrate global warming is melting glaciers faster

By Philip Guelpa, 24 June 2019

The accelerating rate of ice melting occurring around the world is a grave warning that climate change is rapidly reaching the point at which its catastrophic consequences will be felt by billions of people.

A million species threatened with extinction, UN-backed report warns

By Daniel de Vries, 14 May 2019

The comprehensive study of biodiversity called for “transformative change” to protect nature and humanity.

First imagery of black hole by the Event Horizon Telescope

By Bryan Dyne, 11 April 2019

The results from the planet-wide array of radio telescopes are the first direct measurements of the structure of a black hole and its surrounding environment.

Bone marrow transplant removes HIV from a second patient

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 March 2019

The “London patient” will be considered cured if free of the virus for three to four more years.

220 Bone Marrow HIV cure

25 March 2019

Ocean degradation accelerated by global warming

By Henry Allan, 19 March 2019

The decline in oceanic oxygen caused by climate change is at least as dangerous to marine life as ocean acidification.

The Youth Climate Strike and the fight against global warming

By Bryan Dyne, 14 March 2019

That the demonstration planned for Friday has evoked a broad response is an indication of both the serious nature of the ecological crisis and the radicalization of youth all over the world.

Opportunity rover ends 15 years of Martian exploration

By Bryan Dyne, 15 February 2019

The Mars rover has provided an immense wealth of scientific knowledge and served as the eyes for tens of millions of people to view the landscapes of another world.

Science and social crisis in 2019

By Bryan Dyne, 19 January 2019

A series of major scientific breakthroughs demonstrate the potential for the progressive development of humanity, even as capitalism drags mankind into war and barbarism.

Scientific breakthrough promises to increase agricultural productivity by 40 percent

By Philip Guelpa and Thomas H. Douglass, 9 January 2019

Newly announced research on photosynthesis in plants, the basis of nearly the entire food chain on the planet, shows that advances in science and technology can abolish hunger and the danger of famine.

New Horizons completes flyby of Ultima Thule

By Bryan Dyne, 4 January 2019

Ultima Thule is 6.4 billion kilometers from Earth, the most distant astronomical body ever explored by a spacecraft.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2018

This is the second and concluding part of a series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 1

By Thomas Scripps, 29 December 2018

This is the first of a two-part series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

Moon targeted for further exploration, orbiting space stations and militarization

By Henry Allan and Bryan Dyne, 27 December 2018

The development of the Lunar Gateway cannot be seen outside the context of the plan to create a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the US military and the growing militarization of space in general.

Greenland ice sheet melting at an accelerating rate due to global warming

By Philip Guelpa, 14 December 2018

Data obtained from ice cores taken from the Greenland ice sheet reveal that the past decade has seen the fastest melt rate in 350 years.

Last light for the Kepler space telescope

By Bryan Dyne, 1 December 2018

The first and most productive space telescope designed to find planets beyond our Solar System has been retired after exhausting its fuel supply.

NASA InSight mission successfully lands on Mars

By Bryan Dyne, 28 November 2018

InSight will spend the next two years studying the tectonic activity, internal heat flow and interior rotation of the Red Planet.

World vertebrate populations have fallen 60 percent since 1970

By Bryan Dyne, 1 November 2018

The latest Living Planet Report demonstrates the far-reaching implications of human activity on both the climate and the degradation of the natural environment.

Japanese space agency lands two rovers on surface of asteroid

By Bryan Dyne, 26 September 2018

Although an asteroid was first landed on in 2001, the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission is the first to successfully deploy rovers on the surface of one.

Waste plastics poison the food chain and contribute to global warming

By Philip Guelpa, 7 September 2018

A variety of recent research highlights the ways in which the huge amounts of discarded plastic products are harmful to the environment and human health.

NASA spacecraft launched for close-up study of the Sun

By Bryan Dyne, 13 August 2018

The Parker Solar Probe spacecraft has begun its three-month journey to get closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft.

Evidence of liquid water lakes under polar ice caps on Mars

By Bryan Dyne, 26 July 2018

The previous 54 years of Mars space exploration have laid the groundwork for this remarkable discovery.

Global warming will increase the severity of hurricanes

By Philip Guelpa, 21 July 2018

Superstorms like Hurricane Harvey are now predicted to occur once every 16 years, rather than once every 100 years.

Large Hadron Collider resumes operations

By Joe Mount, 4 July 2018

Several results from the accelerator have been published in the last 12 months, including recent and more detailed studies of the Higgs boson.

Physics, poetry and the search for quantum gravity: Carlo Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems

By Bryan Dyne, 29 June 2018

Rovelli’s works on modern physics combine a materialist approach to science with a popular approach of explanation that is informed by a knowledge of literature and philosophy.

Martian dust storm covers the entire planet

By Bryan Dyne, 25 June 2018

The Curiosity rover and the constellation of satellites orbiting Mars are using the storm to study Martian weather and climate.

Climate scientists warn about “methane time bomb”

By Matthew MacEgan, 23 May 2018

Climate scientists are warning that human-driven atmospheric changes could lead to a mass extinction event rivaling the one that killed the dinosaurs.

Study finds alarming decline in biodiversity worldwide

By Philip Guelpa, 14 May 2018

The increasingly rapid loss of plant and animal species threatens a sixth mass global extinction.

Some early modern populations in Britain may have had dark skin

By Philip Guelpa, 22 March 2018

Recently published research suggests that Mesolithic Britons may have had dark skin, but the science is unsettled.

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

By Bryan Dyne, 15 March 2018

Hawking, who lived much of his life debilitated by Lou Gehrig’s disease, was one of the world’s most significant cosmologists and a renowned popularizer of physics.

Scientists produce new treatment to block the development of breast cancer

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 February 2018

A team of researchers successfully used an inhibitor called HET0016 to block a chemical known as 20-HETE, which can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.

Falcon Heavy launch marks new stage in the privatization—and perversion—of space exploration

By Don Barrett and Patrick Martin, 9 February 2018

The new rocket has two purposes, neither of them connected with the advance of science: to boost the wealth of billionaire Elon Musk, and to expand the military arsenal of the Pentagon.

“Big Sugar” and metabolic syndrome, killers of millions annually worldwide

By Gary Joad, 2 February 2018

Mass consumption of excessive quantities of sugar plays a major rolein adolescent and adult diabetes, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, a fact that has long been suppressed by the industry and federal agencies.

Explore the complexities and beauty of Earth’s oceans in Blue Planet II

By Bryan Dyne, 22 January 2018

The series is a vindication of what can be achieved with scientifically coordinated and socially progressive human activity.

Insights into a new class of HIV retroviral drugs

By Benjamin Mateus, 30 December 2017

Recent investigation into the process of the HIV virus capsid maturation suggests a new method of disrupting its ability to infect.

The roots of intelligence: What the study of whales and dolphins can reveal about the basis of human intelligence

By Philip Guelpa, 12 December 2017

Both humans and cetaceans have large and highly developed brains as well as sophisticated social behaviors.

Genetic study demonstrates that racial classification by skin color has no scientific basis

By Philip Guelpa, 9 November 2017

Skin color is controlled by multiple genes, each with many variants, which have deep evolutionary origins and are widely dispersed across human populations, irrespective of “racial” categories.

Brazil cuts science budget amid mounting yellow fever threat

By Miguel Andrade, 8 November 2017

Brazil’s Science Ministry is facing a 44 percent funding cut by the end of 2017 and another reduction of 15 percent for 2018.

Trump administration silences government environmental scientists

By Daniel de Vries, 27 October 2017

The EPA ordered three agency scientists to cancel long planned talks this week which were related to climate change.

Neutron star merger observed through gravitational waves and light

By Don Barrett, 18 October 2017

The initial detections by the LIGO, Virgo and Fermi collaborations were followed up by observations involving more than 3,500 astronomers.

Observation of gravitational waves wins Nobel Prize in physics

By Bryan Dyne, 6 October 2017

The announcement comes seven weeks after the detection of the fourth gravitational wave by the two Advanced LIGO detectors and the Advanced Virgo detector.

FDA recommends approval of new leukemia treatment

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 September 2017

This is the first time that white blood cells have been successfully engineered to fight off a cancer.

The legacy of the Cassini spacecraft

By Don Barrett, 16 September 2017

After 20 years of insights into Saturn, its rings, its moons and the Solar System as a whole, Cassini’s mission has ended.

Inherited genetic disorder corrected in human embryos

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 September 2017

New research in the study of the human genome has provided a new way to reduce or potentially eliminate inherited genetic disorders by correcting harmful genetic mutations while the subject is still an embryo.

Millions travel to view 2017 total solar eclipse

By Don Barrett, 21 August 2017

The first solar eclipse in 99 years to cross the whole of the continental United States has attracted interest among millions of people.

Will the Trump administration censor climate scientists?

By Daniel de Vries, 15 August 2017

A draft of an authoritative federal study by US scientists was released amid fear of suppression.

Curiosity rover marks fifth year on Mars

By Bryan Dyne, 9 August 2017

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of NASA’s Pathfinder mission, which paved the way for all subsequent Mars landers and rovers.

Evidence of early rice domestication found in southern China

By Philip Guelpa, 25 July 2017

The process of rice domestication by humans involved a range of social and technological adjustments associated with increasing reliance on a particular food source.

Albert Einstein’s life, or parts of it, in the first season of National Geographic’s Genius

By Bryan Dyne, 20 July 2017

The 10-episode season depicts the life of one of the most renowned scientists in world history without paying much attention to the science he developed.

Climate change and the struggle against capitalism

By Patrick Martin, 14 July 2017

The main obstacles to a rational climate policy are capitalist private ownership of the means of production and the division of the world into rival nation-states.

Scientists warn of “biological annihilation” as Earth’s mass extinction accelerates

By Josh Varlin, 12 July 2017

A scientific study published Monday concludes that the planet is already seeing its sixth mass extinction—the first since humans evolved.

Evolutionary divergence between apes and humans may have occurred in Europe, not Africa

By Philip Guelpa, 8 June 2017

Fossil specimens from Greece and Bulgaria may represent very early members of the hominin lineage.

New evidence for life-capable environments on Saturn’s moon Enceladus

By Bryan Dyne, 6 June 2017

The Cassini spacecraft has uncovered molecular hydrogen in material erupting from the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon.

Poisoned Water: “NOVA” science series broadcasts segment on Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 3 June 2017

The Public Broadcasting Service presented an engaging and informative documentary on the science behind the Flint water crisis.

New dating of Homo naledi fossil alters its position in the human evolutionary tree

By Philip Guelpa, 19 May 2017

A South African fossil hominin raises many intriguing questions about how the dialectic of technology, environment, and physical and intellectual development played out in human evolution.

The global cyberattack, the NSA and Washington’s war propaganda against Russia

By Bill Van Auken, 15 May 2017

The cyberattack that hit some 200,000 computers around the world, using malicious software developed by the US National Security Agency, is only expected to escalate and spread in the coming days.

Brazil’s science march and the role of nationalism and the military

By Miguel Andrade, 3 May 2017

Military interests have cast a shadow for almost a century over the scientific community in Brazil.

Researchers claim evidence that humans were in the Americas 130,000 years ago

By Matthew MacEgan, 1 May 2017

This claim is receiving wide attention because it is 115,000 years earlier than any date previously suggested for the peopling of the western hemisphere, based on existing evidence.

Climate scientist Michael Mills describes the devastation of a nuclear detonation

People get “melted into burning pools of fat”

By Bryan Dyne, 27 April 2017

Michael Mills has spent nearly a decade modeling the climatic effects of what the US military would consider a “limited nuclear war.”

More voices of the March for Science

By our reporters, 26 April 2017

Dozens of scientists, students, workers and other supporters of science spoke with Socialist Equality Party supporters during marches on April 22.

Voices of the March for Science

By our reporters, 25 April 2017

Dozens of scientists, students, workers and other supporters of science spoke with Socialist Equality Party supporters during marches on April 22.

Hundreds of thousands march worldwide to defend science

By Patrick Martin, 24 April 2017

More than 600 marches and protests were held in support of the main demonstration in Washington, DC, which drew about 75,000 people.

Science protests held across Canada

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

Demonstrations took place in 18 towns and cities across Canada on Saturday in conjunction with the global March for Science, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and many regional and university towns.

Thousands march in London in defence of science

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

One demonstrator said, “I think a discussion of science in terms of socialism is necessary and we need some real debates about what kind of political model fits science best.”

Germany: Thousands participate in protests in defence of science

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

Protests took place in at least 20 German cities, with the biggest in Berlin, attended by 8,000 participants.

Thousands join March for Science demonstrations in Australia

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

In contrast to the concerns of protestors, rally organisers sought to sow illusions about pressuring governments to withdraw their attacks on science.

Hundreds of thousands to participate in worldwide “March for Science”

By Bryan Dyne, 22 April 2017

Scientists, researchers, workers and youth are marching today in at least 130 countries encompassing six continents in the world’s largest pro-science demonstration to date.

“To the staff of the WSWS and its readers”

A response from a scientist to “Science and socialism”

22 April 2017

The defense of science cannot take place on the basis of either skepticism about wide layers of the population or American nationalism.

The issues posed by the worldwide March for Science

Science and Socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party, 20 April 2017

Hundreds of thousands of scientists and other professionals, together with students and working people, will take part this Saturday in the worldwide March for Science.

“In a nuclear war between the US and Russia, everybody in the world would die”

Nuclear experts speak on the dangers of war between the US and Russia

By Bryan Dyne and Barry Grey, 15 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with Steven Starr and Greg Mello, both experts on the consequences of nuclear war.

Spectrum of anti-hydrogen observed

By Joe Mount, 13 April 2017

Initial results from the ALPHA-2 experiment show that matter and antimatter differ by at most 200 parts per trillion.

250 Anti-hydrogen

12 April 2017

New discovery sheds light on the deep roots of the Agricultural Revolution

By Philip Guelpa, 27 March 2017

The discovery of 23,000-year-old tools used to harvest cereal grains in northern Israel adds to our understanding of the processes leading to the development of agriculture.

The discovery of a system with seven “Earth-like” exoplanets

By Bryan Dyne, 24 February 2017

The discovery of the new planetary system was based on collaboration towards a common goal whose driving force was the pursuit of knowledge, not the amassing of personal wealth.

Federal employees resist administration attempts to impose media gags

By Bryan Dyne, 3 February 2017

Scientists at various government agencies are concerned that any mention of climate science will be silenced.

Nuclear winter—the long-suppressed reality of nuclear war

An interview with scientist and anti-nuclear activist Steven Starr

By Bryan Dyne, 19 January 2017

The World Socialist Web Site recently interviewed Steven Starr, an expert on the dangers of nuclear war.

230 Nuclear winter

18 January 2017

Some significant scientific developments of 2016

By Joe Mount, 4 January 2017

Scientific advances during the past year shed light on a variety of topics, from the nature of space and time to the increasingly dire state of Earth’s environment.

Great Barrier Reef suffering worst-ever coral bleaching

By Bryan Dyne, 30 December 2016

Global warming has caused the worst destruction of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Planet Earth II: David Attenborough narrates the dramas of life a second time

By Bryan Dyne, 16 December 2016

The BBC documentary explores how life has evolved and adapted across islands, mountains, jungles, deserts, grasslands and cities.

New dinosaur discovery in Myanmar includes feathers

By Matthew MacEgan, 13 December 2016

Researchers recently discovered a dinosaur tail encased within a chunk of amber where its bones, muscle, ligaments, skin, and feathers remain intact.

Record-low sea ice as Arctic temperatures soar

By Daniel de Vries, 22 November 2016

Never since satellite monitoring began in the late 1970s has such little ice covered the polar seas this time of year.