Sunday's science stories

Johnson & Johnson takes control of COVID vaccine output in Baltimore

Employees in Februar work in a lab at Emergent Biosolutions, which has been manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced late Saturday that it's "assuming full responsibility" for manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine at a Baltimore plant where 15 million doses were ruined last week.

Of note: AstraZeneca said Saturday night it is in "full cooperation with the U.S. government" moving production from the facility, run by Emergent BioSolutions, which been producing both vaccines.

Apr 4, 2021 - World

Argentina's president tests positive for COVID after vaccination

President Alberto Fernández during the opening session of the 139th period of the Argentine Congress on March 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Natacha Pisarenko - Pool/Getty Images

Argentina's President Alberto Fernández announced Saturday that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Of note: Fernández received his first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 21 and the second on Feb. 11, per the Wall Street Journal.

Apr 3, 2021 - Science

Brace for Brood X cicadas

Adult cicadas in Reston, Va., during their last visit in 2004. Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Like people in a pandemic winter, periodical cicadas are waiting for the warmer weather of spring.

What's happening: In a few weeks, billions of the insects are predicted to emerge in parts of the eastern U.S. after 17 years — and the vast majority of their life — underground.

Apr 3, 2021 - Science

Bioengineering stronger crops that can survive extreme weather

Standing water surrounds corn plants. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A leading synthetic biology company is using bioengineering to try to create more resilient crops.

Why it matters: Extreme weather and a 7.8 billion-and-growing global population are ratcheting up pressure on an already fragile food system — and the environments that support it.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Apr 3, 2021 - Science

Companies race to design private space stations before ISS goes offline

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Companies are rapidly designing private space stations that could one day dominate operations in orbit around Earth.

Why it matters: NASA is hoping private industry will start to take over operations in low-Earth orbit once the International Space Station comes to an end, creating a robust commercial market in that part of space.