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Weekend Reads 12/19/20

Once You Get The COVID-19 Vaccine, Can You Still Infect Others?

But we don’t know yet if that is true of the COVID-19 vaccines, she told me. That’s because the focus of the clinical trials was narrow. It had to be because of the time constraints. Scientists wanted to know whether these things prevented illness. They wanted to know whether the drugs were safe. And they got those answers.

But getting those questions answered fast came at the expense of answering other questions — like whether vaccinated people can still spread the virus.

Yes, the U.S. can go carbon neutral by 2050, says new Princeton study

One such path requires an investment in solar and wind manufacturing, which offers long-term domestic employment opportunities without incurring too many additional technology costs. The caveat? Manufacturing capacity for turbines and photovoltaics would have to increase drastically by 2050 — up to 45 times for wind and 120 times for solar.

History Matters: On the 400th Anniversary of Plymouth We're Still Clinging to Destructive National Myths

Most laughable of misapprehensions about the pilgrims is the sentimental pablum which reads the theocratic Calvinists as uncomplicated partisans of ecumenical religious liberty. Historian Abram C. Van Engen explains that the language of liberty associated with the pilgrims and puritans, “especially in a religious context, had little to do with the idea of freedom that many people have since embraced.”

Meet Au-Spot, the AI robot dog that's training to explore caves on Mars

On Mars, caves may offer shelter for future human colonies, providing natural protection against deadly UV radiation, extreme cold and intense dust storms that can last for weeks and are sometimes big enough to be spotted by telescopes on Earth, according to NASA. Caves may also harbor evidence of life from Mars' distant past, or even provide a current home for organisms living deep underground, the researchers said at AGU. Legged robots that can walk around rocks, lower themselves into caves and select a path — while also gathering measurements and building a map of what they "see" — could offer scientists new opportunities to detect signs of life beyond Earth.

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