Science Blog: Do-It-Yourself COVID-19 Vaccines Fraught With Public Health Problems

Science Blog: Do-It-Yourself COVID-19 Vaccines Fraught With Public Health Problems. “As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the globe, several citizen science groups outside the auspices of the pharmaceutical industry have been working to develop and self-test unproven medical interventions to combat COVID-19. Although some of the interest in a DIY approach stems from the idea that self-experimentation can’t be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other public health authorities, that belief is legally and factually incorrect, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois.”

Lonely Planet: This website aims to find the top places for wildlife spotting in Africa

Lonely Planet: This website aims to find the top places for wildlife spotting in Africa. “Whether you want to tick the Big Five off your African safari bucket list or seek out specific species, a new website from Expert Africa is making it easier than ever to decide which country and even which lodges offer the best chances for wildlife sightings. The data, sourced from more than 700 traveler surveys compiled by the tour operator over two years, has morphed into a huge ‘citizen science’ project and represents nearly 30,000 observations of 26 animal species.”

Cosmos Magazine: Renewed interest in weathered records

Cosmos Magazine: Renewed interest in weathered records. “Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about citizen science in Australia. This week, we report on a new initiative launched by Climate History Australia at the Australian National University (ANU). Scientists at ANU have an ambition to create Australia’s longest daily weather record, beginning in 1838, and they’d like help from citizen scientists.”

ABC News (Australia): Australian Museum crowdsourcing website DigiVol sees spike in volunteers during COVID-19

ABC News (Australia): Australian Museum crowdsourcing website DigiVol sees spike in volunteers during COVID-19 . “DigiVol was developed by the museum in collaboration with the Atlas Of Living Australia to help it and other institutions worldwide digitise and analyse their collections…. Since the website was launched in 2011, 4.4 million items from the museum and other institutions have been analysed by volunteers. Two million of those have been submitted since March.”

Canadian Manufacturing: The next invasion of insect pests will be discovered via social media

Canadian Manufacturing: The next invasion of insect pests will be discovered via social media. “People of all ages are taking to social media to connect with other naturalists. From Whatsthisbug on Reddit (which boasts 245,000 members), to the thousands of active entomologists on Twitter, to the hundreds of groups dedicated to insect identification on Facebook such as Entomology (146,000 members) and Insect Identification (62,000 members), social media are enabling biodiversity conversations. New scientifically unnamed species — from fungi to flowers to insects — are now regularly found via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.”

Phys .org: Citizen scientists help geologists to identify earthquakes and tectonic tremors

Phys .org: Citizen scientists help geologists to identify earthquakes and tectonic tremors. “Tens of thousands of seismic stations around the world continuously record local seismic activity, with an output that is far beyond what scientists can process. Here, researchers from Northwestern University have called over 2,000 citizen scientists to the rescue for the crowd-based analysis of seismic recordings, rendered into audiovisual format, through the program Earthquake Detective on the Open-Science platform Zooniverse. They show that citizens are at least as accurate as machine learning, and can even identify tectonic tremors, which previously was only possible for trained professionals.”

EurekAlert: New smartphone game lets you solve real-world ecological puzzles

EurekAlert: New smartphone game lets you solve real-world ecological puzzles. “EcoBuilder lets players build their own ecosystem of plants and animals. They throw together a bunch of species of different shapes and sizes, decide who eats who within the confines of the game, and depending on their decisions species will either survive or go extinct. The in-game processes that decide extinction and survival are modelled using the same equations used by scientists to study real world ecosystems. This means that natural phenomena can be reproduced inside the game, creating ecosystems that behave in realistic ways to provide real-world answers.”

NASA: ‘Disk Detective’ Needs Your Help Finding Disks Where Planets Form

NASA: ‘Disk Detective’ Needs Your Help Finding Disks Where Planets Form. “Planets form from gas and dust particles swirling around baby stars in enormous spinning disks. But because this process takes millions of years, scientists can only learn about these disks by finding and studying a lot of different examples. Through a project called Disk Detective, you can help. Anyone, regardless of background or prior knowledge, can assist scientists in figuring out the mysteries of planet formation. Disk Detective is an example of citizen science, a collaboration between professional scientists and members of the public.”

EcoWatch: 7 Outdoor Citizen Science Projects to Join This Summer

EcoWatch: 7 Outdoor Citizen Science Projects to Join This Summer. “Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you’re already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one’s home or backyard.”

EurekAlert: Community science birding data does not yet capture global bird trends

EurekAlert: Community science birding data does not yet capture global bird trends. “Binoculars in hand, birders around the world contribute every day to a massive database of bird sightings worldwide. But while community science observations of birds can be useful data, it may not be enough to fill the data gaps in developing countries where professional bird surveys are insufficient or absent.”

CNET: NASA created a game that lets you help map the ocean’s coral reefs

CNET: NASA created a game that lets you help map the ocean’s coral reefs. “Specifically, researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California have spent years canvassing the ocean floor using special cameras mounted to drones and aircraft. The unique lenses on the cameras give the researchers a clear view of the ocean floor, including coral and other wildlife with 3D imagery from locations in places like Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa. Now, NASA has a huge job on its hands — combing through those images and identifying everything that’s in them. NASA’s solution? A new game for Mac and iOS called NeMO-Net, which you can play right now (an Android version is still in the works).”

Slashgear: NASA wants the public to help track light pollution from VLEO satellites

Slashgear: NASA wants the public to help track light pollution from VLEO satellites. “NASA wants the public to help it track very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) satellites and the potential light pollution issues they may cause. The space agency launched a public science project that anyone can participate in, stating that it only requires a tripod, smartphone, and the use of a website that reveals when satellites will be overhead.”

Newswise: Citizen scientists discover a new snail, name it after Greta Thunberg

Newswise: Citizen scientists discover a new snail, name it after Greta Thunberg. “A new to science species of land snail was discovered by a group of citizen scientists working together with scientists from Taxon Expeditions, a company that organises scientific field trips for teams consisting of both scientists and laypeople. Having conducted a vote on how to name the species, the expedition participants and the local staff of the National Park together decided to name the mollusc Craspedotropis gretathunbergae. The species name honours the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg for her efforts to raise awareness about climate change. The study is published in the open access journal Biodiversity Data Journal.”

Penn State News: Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement

Penn State News: Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement. “Raising awareness and offering technological tools to the thousands of citizens groups in the U.S. that monitor water quality might help community leaders tap these volunteers as a way to improve access to plentiful, clean water and possibly avoid water-related crises, according to a team of researchers.”