189 articles from MONDAY 11.11.2019

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Mini Mercury skipped across the vast, glaring face of the sun Monday in a rare celestial transit. Stargazers used solar-filtered binoculars and telescopes to spot Mercury — a tiny black dot — as it passed directly between Earth and the sun on Monday.

The eastern U.S. and Canada got the whole 5 ½-hour show, weather permitting, along with Central and South America. The rest of the world, except for Asia and Australia, got just a sampling.

Mercury is the solar system’s smallest, innermost planet. The next transit isn’t until 2032, and North America won’t get another shot until 2049.

Read more: Why You Should Care About Mercury’s Transit of the Sun

In Maryland, clouds prevented NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young from getting a clear peek. Live coverage was provided by observatories including NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory.

“It’s a bummer, but the whole event was still great,” Young wrote in an email. “Both getting to see it from space and sharing it with people all over the country and world.”

At Cape Canaveral, space buffs got a two-for-one. As Mercury’s silhouette graced the morning sun, SpaceX launched 60 small satellites for global internet service, part of the company’s growing Starlink constellation in orbit.

A new study used genetic analysis to reveal how two different strains of a single species of flesh-eating bacteria worked in concert to become more dangerous than either one strain alone. The work suggests that other difficult-to-treat infections may be polymicrobial and treating only one organism in a polymicrobial infection could be the cause of many secondary infections and chronic infections that resist treatment.

Infection found in patient who required quadruple amputation after developing rare condition

Doctors have discovered an aggressive flesh-eating infection that spreads around the body when two strains of microbe combine to overcome the host’s defences.

The infection was found in a patient who required a quadruple amputation after they developed necrotising fasciitis, a rare bacterial condition that is lethal in nearly a third of cases, even when treatment is on hand.

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A Dartmouth study finds that artisanal-scale gold mining is altering water clarity and dynamics in the Madre de Dios River watershed in Peru, a tropical biodiversity hotspot. Higher levels of suspended sediment were found in rivers near the mining sites, with increasing impacts as mining has become more widespread in the past two decades. The elevated sediment levels contain mercury and other contaminants, which can pose health risks to humans and have a detrimental impact on fish populations and other aquatic life. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A new study by researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Aslak Grinsted, Peter Ditlevsen and Jens Hesselbjerg shows that hurricanes have become more destructive since 1900, and the worst of them are more than three times as frequent now than 100 years ago. A new way of calculating the destruction, compensating for the societal change in wealth, unequivocally shows a climatic increase in the frequency of the most destructive hurricanes that routinely raise havoc on the North American southern and east coasts. The study is now published in PNAS.