Thousands of people participated in the March for Science in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

Abstracts: Optimism Summit, Opioids, and More

Republish

• While many scientists and their supporters took to the streets of D.C. for the March for Science on Saturday, the first Earth Optimism Summit was held just down the street. The summit featured over 200 presentations on success stories in fields like conservation and energy efficiency. The goal was to figure out what strategies work when it comes to helping out Mother Earth, and how those solutions can be scaled up. (Science)

Thousands of people participated in the March for Science in Washington, D.C. last weekend. Visual: Victoria Pickering/Flickr

• Scientists have been trying to figure out how Ötzi the Tyrolean Iceman died ever since his mummified body was discovered in 1991. Turns out, this quarter-century-old mystery probably has a remarkably straightforward answer: Ötzi froze to death. (Science News)

• The FDA issued new safety warnings against medications containing the opiates codeine and tramadol on Thursday. According to the FDA, these drugs shouldn’t be given to patients under 12 because they put children at serious risk for breathing problems or even death. Teenagers and breastfeeding mothers are advised to take such medications sparingly. (STAT)

• In other opiate-related news, it seems the opioid epidemic actually consists of two epidemics: one afflicting millennials, the other baby boomers. A study presented at a national drug abuse summit last Tuesday showed that while heroin overdose is killing more people in their 20s, prescription painkiller overdoses more often claim the lives of people in their 50s and early 60s. (Buzzfeed)

• It’s the beginning of the end for Cassini. On Saturday, the spacecraft swung past Saturn’s moon, Titan, to slingshot itself toward the space between Saturn and its rings. Over the next few months, Cassini will make several passes through this gap before it vaporizes in Saturn’s atmosphere this September. (Associated Press)

• U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy was removed from his position by the Trump administration last week. Murthy’s temporary replacement is his former deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams. (Washington Post)

• Paleontologists in southern China are trying to stave off phosphate mining that threatens to destroy fossils of some of Earth’s earliest animals. (Nature)

• And finally, a piece of space debris smashed into the European Space Agency’s Earth observation satellite last year, damaging the spacecraft’s solar panel. Now the agency is calling for a serious effort to clean up near-Earth orbit, so that manmade space trash doesn’t compromise other satellite missions. (The Guardian)

Republish