Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Post-apocalyptic fossils show rise of mammals after dinosaur demise
A revelatory cache of fossils dug up in central Colorado details as never before the rise of mammals from the post-apocalyptic landscape after an asteroid smacked Earth 66 million years ago and annihilated three-quarters of all species including the dinosaurs.
The fossils, described by scientists on Thursday, date from the first million years after the calamity and show that the surviving terrestrial mammalian and plant lineages rebounded with aplomb. Mammals, section-5d668068a902e after 150 million years of subservience, attained dominance.
Plant life diversified impressively.
Google unveils quantum computer breakthrough; critics say wait a qubit
Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it had achieved a breakthrough in computing research by using a quantum computer to solve in minutes a complex problem that would take today’s most powerful supercomputer thousands of years to crack.
Google researchers expect that quantum computers within a few years will fuel advancements in fields such as artificial intelligence, materials science, and chemistry. The company is racing rivals including IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp to be the first to commercialize the technology and sell it through its cloud computing business.
NASA plans to send water-hunting robot to moon surface in 2022
NASA will send a golf cart-sized robot to the moon in 2022 to search for deposits of water below the surface, an effort to evaluate the vital resource ahead of a planned human return to the moon in 2024 to possibly use it for astronauts to drink and to make rocket fuel, the U.S.
space agency said on Friday. The VIPER robot will drive for miles (km) on the dusty lunar surface to get a closer look at what NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has touted for months: underground pockets of “hundreds of millions of tons of water ice” that could help turn the moon into a jumping-off point to Mars.