The novel “War Dogs” by Greg Bear was published for the first time in 2014. It’s the first book in the trilogy of the same name.
Sergeant Michael Venn is a Skyrine – Sky + marine – part of an international force specialized in fighting against the Antags (Antagonists), the aliens who reached Mars. On his latest tour he’s sent to the Red (Mars) but the Earth’s fleet is attacked in orbit by the Antags and only some of them survive and land. Weapons, equipment, supplies and above all air are limited.
Venn’s group is left looking for resources on Mars in the hope of finding air, water and food while trying to get in touch with other groups of survivors or receiving messages from the Earth’s spaceships with information on the Antags’ positions. The impact of a comet suggests that the Antags can control its trajectory. A hope for the Skyrines comes from the encounter with a Muskie, the daughter of Earthlings who arrived on Mars decade earlier to colonize it.
An article published in the journal “PLOS One” describes a research on Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, a relatively small dinosaur but part of the clade of sauropodomorphs, the giant dinosaurs that include iconic species such as brontosaurus. Paleontologists Adam Marsh and Timothy Rowe of the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences studied the fossils of this dinosaur that lived about 185 million years ago analyzing migrations and diversifications within its clade.
In recent days a new genetic project has been announced to collect and sequence the DNA of orcas living in the Pacific Northwest to try to save them from extinction, which at this point is a serious risk. The project is a collaboration between NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the non-profit organization Nature Conservancy and the BGI genomics company. Skin or other biological samples of more than one hundred specimens that have been collected over more than two decades will be used to obtain DNA.
Google has announced it’s closing its social network Google+ to consumers to remain open to enterprise users. The transformation will take place in 10 months, giving users time to make a copy of their messages. The news was provided along with the revelation of a security problem that left the data of many users visible to anyone who could exploit it.
The novel “Under the Dome” by Stephen King was published for the first time in 2009.
Chester’s Mill is a normal Maine town until one day a transparent dome covers it completely. Its origin is unknown and the only activity it shows is to blow up all the electronic devices that get too close, otherwise it’s a passive barrier that seems impossible to breach.
Chester’s Mill’s isolation immediately becomes an opportunity for James “Big Jim” Rennie, one of the city’s selectmen, to assert his power. Taking advantage of the weaknesses of the other selectmen and the death of the police chief, whose pacemaker exploded near the Dome, he quickly turns the police into his personal militia. Dale “Barbie” Barbara, an ex military man, and Julia Shumway, the owner of the city newspaper, are among the few who oppose him.