Apr 19, 2017

How to look for alien life

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Powerful telescopes and sophisticated analytical tools are allowing scientists to see further into the cosmos. The list of places that could conceivably be home to life is growing. Last week NASA announced Saturn's moon Enceladus could support life and today scientists reported the discovery of a super-Earth in the habitable zone of a small star near our solar system.

We seem to be entering a new phase of discovery in an age-old quest to determine if there is life beyond Earth. We have targets in that search, but what exactly are we are looking for?

We asked four researchers to weigh in on that head-scratcher of a question:

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U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 26 mins ago - Health

FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, testing kits take days to produce results. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 823,479 — Total deaths: 40,636 — Total recoveries: 174,019.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 175,067 — Total deaths: 3,415— Total recoveries: 6,000.
  3. Public health updates: Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows — FDA authorizes two-minute test kit to detect coronavirus
  4. Federal government latest: NIAID director Anthony Fauci said the White House coronavirus task force will hold an "active discussion" about broadening the use of medical masks to protect against coronavirus.
  5. In Congress: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline a virtual town hall on Facebook Tuesday on the coronavirus and the health care priorities of the Democratic party.
  6. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  7. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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