Scientists assembled by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the covid-19 pandemic have announced their early findings. They concluded that the first known cases traced to a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019 likely don’t represent the original source of the outbreak. At the same time, they considered the possibility of a lab accident causing the pandemic “extremely unlikely,” and speculated that the virus wasn’t circulating locally in people for very long before the first cases were discovered.
An analysis of coelacanth DNA suggests its genome has experienced some significant changes in recent evolutionary history, potentially dispelling the popular image of these iconic fish as being “living fossils.”
SpaceX’s Starlink is taking another small step towards expanding its public beta test by opening up pre-orders to budding customers. Whereas previously you could register your interest for the chance to sign up to the satellite internet service, entering your details now gives you the ability to put down a $99 deposit. You’ll then get a target coverage date of either 2021 or 2022 based on your location, along with the ability to pay via credit card (no Bitcoin here, we’re afraid).
Amid public pressure to prosecute sexual abuse of children, France might set its age of consent for the first time. According to CBS News, the head of the country’s Justice Ministry announced that they would push to pass an age of consent of 15.
A 7.7. magnitude earthquake struck the South Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings for New Zealand and Fuji but not Hawaii.