Sun(RISE)

Inverse Daily: solar storm chaser

In order to observe the violent, raging solar storms, NASA is launching the largest radio telescope ever designed.

These days, how are you? feels like a loaded question because the answer is obvious. When the world is in the middle of a pandemic, no one is okay. That’s normal.

In past newsletters, we’ve talked about maintaining social connections, binging on good and bad TV, and supporting mutual aid projects. It’s also important — for me, at least — to set aside time to process what is happening in the world, grieve, and find ways to just be quiet in this moment.

Poetry can be a great way of tuning into your feelings. So, if I may, here’s a poem by Ada Limón called “The Quiet Machine,” which feels like a necessary sigh. And the poet Billy Collins has been reading poetry by Facebook video from his home office, a daily reminder that there’s a lot of good out there yet.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for April 3, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Coronavirus resources from Inverse staffers

Ina Garten’s quarantine playbook (The Atlantic)

How alcohol impairs your immune system and makes you vulnerable to coronavirus (Mel)

Two doctors log their days inside NYC emergency rooms (Slate)

From vodka to hand sanitizer: Air Company's coronavirus-inspired pivot (Mic)

Coronavirus is having an unexpected effect on the power grid

You might think that the coronavirus outbreak would cause power usage to go up as people spend their time at home streaming shows, video chatting, and posting things on social media, but it appears it's having the opposite effect. With so many restaurants, bars, offices and other businesses closed down, cities are seeing a drop in power usage. While that is happening, cities are also being forced to take extreme steps to make sure the workers who maintain the power grid stay healthy enough to keep working.

Read up on why hunkering down is causing the power to go down.

More insights into the coronavirus and utilities:

Study reveals the “true magnitude” of how exercise influences metabolism

Getty Images

New research on a group of Australian soldiers reveals consistent exercise sets off a cascade of positive metabolic changes and alters the way the body burns fuel more than previously thought. These metabolic benefits aren’t a total surprise, but this study reveals a glimpse of the “true magnitude” of exercise’s powerful effects, the researchers say. As if you needed another reason to get off the couch and get moving!

Read up on the cascading effects of exercise.

More on the science of working out:

NASA will launch six “toaster ovens” to protect future astronauts from radiation death

NASA

In order to observe the violent, raging solar storms, NASA is launching the largest radio telescope ever designed. SunRise comprises six small satellites known as CubeSats, each about the size of a toaster oven, and will study how the Sun releases these massive solar flares into outer space. The goal of NASA's latest mission, scheduled for a 2023 launch date, is to be able to predict when these solar storms will take place in order to protect orbiting spacecraft and astronauts.

Read up on this massive radio telescope in the works.

News from our solar system:

New insights into a coronavirus vaccine

University of Pittsburgh

Early stage research is pointing to another candidate vaccine for SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It's one of many in the works, but this one has a key distinguishing feature: It is the first to have been peer-reviewed as part of a scientific study.

The vaccine was created in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh, where scientists have been studying other coronaviruses like those responsible for SARS and MERS. Ultimately, they created a vaccine that's delivered using a small, velcro-like patch that contains hundreds of microneedles.

In mouse models, that vaccine was able to stimulate the production of antibodies that can fight off SARS-Cov-2. These antibody levels spiked as soon as two weeks after immunization.

Now, the team has to undergo clinical trials on humans and is awaiting the green light from regulators, but they already have plans to scale up their process. Just one person, the researchers say, can make hundreds of these patches.

Read up on the potential that a small, velcro-like patch could hold.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for April 3, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.