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Growth rings in whale-shark vertebrae have shown specimens to be up to 50 years old at the time of death — implying that some whale sharks could live for more than 100 years, and perhaps up to 150 years. Researchers have found spikes in carbon-14 concentrations corresponding to years when above-ground thermonuclear tests peaked, at the height of the cold war. “It suggests that these things are probably intensely vulnerable to over-harvesting,” says fish biologist Mark Meekan.
Features & opinion
What could US$35 billion — the amount NASA plans to spend to land on the Moon again — buy you in space? Ars Technica’s list of ten alternatives includes boosting the tracking of near-Earth objects and learning how to deflect the scariest ones; replacing NASA’s ageing fleet of Earth-observation probes to understand the impact of greenhouse-gas emissions; and launching a new generation of telescopes to study the cosmos. Quirkier ideas also made the list, such as developing nuclear space propulsion or sending people to Mars — although it’s unclear whether that would cost less than NASA’s Moon programme.
Mentors must change their approach during an outbreak that has left many of us feeling frightened, worried and overwhelmed. Ruth Gotian, the assistant dean for mentoring at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, offers her tips for mentors: check in and chat (accepting that children, pets and pajamas might be there too), suggest a different type of ‘to do’ list and don’t forget to just listen.
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Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing
With contributions by Davide Castelvecchi