The Daily Dose: NBA providing scientists with important COVID-19 data; Einstein’s right (again).

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen across Europe. Spain has essentially closed the wine region, La Rioja. The United Kingdom projects that deaths will soon surge past 61,000. Germany is teetering on an outbreak more in line with its continental neighbors. Russia moved to tighten restrictions. Italy and Poland experienced widespread protests against government mandated mitigation attempts. The World Health Organization issued a bleak warning, “Dr Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Health Organization, told BBC World at One that across the European region there is ‘an intense and alarming increase in cases and deaths with daily cases increasing by a third and unfortunately daily deaths, increasing by close to 40% compared with the previous week, particularly France, Spain, the United Kingdom’.”

The National Basketball Association led the way back in March when it was the first professional league around the world to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has proven a source of reliable COVID-19 data for scientists. Per Nature, “Before and after play restarted, athletes and staff members were repeatedly checked for SARS-CoV-2 with a version of the highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction method, which can be used to assess a person’s viral levels. The intensive testing offered a rare chance to monitor viral levels in infected people who had not yet developed symptoms, and in those who never felt ill.” With the regularity with which professional athletes are being tested, the data they have been collecting must be significant.

Time and again, Albert Einstein’s theories have proven right. Add another prediction to the bucket list: gravity induced redshift. Per, “Now, while scientists have found absolute evidence of this effect in our solar system, they have found less evidence farther away because the observations are more difficult to make. But now, in a new study, researchers have spotted gravitational redshift in a two-star system a whopping 29,000 light-years (200,000 trillion miles or 321868800000000 kilometers) away called 4U 1916-053.” His ghost must be saying, “Keep it coming.”

There may be enough water on the surface of the moon to support long-term outposts. Per, “For the first time ever, scientists have identified water on the moon’s sunlit surface. They also found that water is more common on the moon than previously thought, with pockets of ice hiding in shadowy regions of ‘eternal darkness,’ some as small as a penny, new studies reveal.” The more hospitable the moon proves, the greater the chances of reaching Mars since the low gravity lunar environment will theoretically serve as an interplanetary launch point.

The Internet has been fearing for the dragon. According to the BBC, “A photo of a Komodo dragon facing a truck has raised concerns about a “Jurassic Park” attraction being built on an Indonesian island. The multi-million dollar site is part of the government’s plans to overhaul tourism in Komodo National Park. The viral image has sparked questions about the impact on the conservation of the famed dragons, the world’s largest lizards. Officials said no dragons had been harmed and their safety was paramount.”

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