COVID-19 Treatments Require so Much Oxygen it Could Delay Rocket Launches

Supply chains have been wreaking havoc across the industrial world.  The complex web that holds the world’s economies together has been fraying at the edges, resulting in some unexpected shortages, such as a lack of rental cars in Alaska and a lack of Lunchables at the author’s local grocery store.  Now there’s a supply shortage that directly ties to the pandemic that is starting to affect the space launch industry – oxygen.

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The Universe is Constantly Bathing you in Radiation. Incredibly, This Could be Used for Medical Diagnosis

A cluster of massive stars seen with the Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust called a nebula. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains the central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603. Recent research shows that galactic cosmic rays flowing into our solar system originate in clusters like these. Credits: NASA/U. Virginia/INAF, Bologna, Italy/USRA/Ames/STScI/AURA

Walk into any modern hospital, and you’ll find a medical imaging department. Medical imaging uses x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and other arcane-sounding methods like positron emission tomography (PET) to image the body’s interior for analysis and diagnosis. To a non-specialist, these techniques can sound almost otherwordly. But in one way or another, these technologies rely on natural phenomena, including radiation, to do their thing.

Now a new study suggests that the Universe’s naturally occurring radiation could be used in medical imaging and could be particularly useful when it comes to COVID-19. The type of radiation in question is cosmic rays.

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How Will Covid-19 affect the Future of Science?

The domes of the two first SPECULOOS telescopes, shortly after their installation in November 2016 at ESO's Paranal Observatory. The SPECULOOS Southern Observatory is designed to detect terrestrial exoplanets around nearby ultra cool stars and brown dwarfs. The VLT is visible in the background of this image.

The full ramifications of the recent novel coronavirus pandemic are not yet known, and probably won’t be known or even felt for quite some time. Entire industries have been shifted and shuttered over the course of only a few tumultuous weeks due to Covid-19. Some industries and professions have been able to adapt quickly, some have had to close down or to send their workers home, while others are faltering and collapsing.

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