Science X Newsletter Week 09

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 09:

Astronomers detect biggest explosion in the history of the Universe

Scientists studying a distant galaxy cluster have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the Universe since the Big Bang.

Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter

Humans have been studying electric charge for thousands of years, and the results have shaped modern civilization. Our daily lives depend on electric lighting, smartphones, cars, and computers, in ways that the first individuals to take note of a static shock or a bolt of lightning could never have imagined.

Quantum researchers able to split one photon into three

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo report the first occurrence of directly splitting one photon into three.

Earth captures new 'mini moon'

Earth has acquired a second "mini-moon" about the size of a car, according to astronomers who spotted the object circling our planet.

Astronomy student discovers 17 new planets, including Earth-sized world

University of British Columbia astronomy student Michelle Kunimoto has discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable, Earth-sized world, by combing through data gathered by NASA's Kepler mission.

Scientists show how caloric restriction prevents negative effects of aging in cells

If you want to reduce levels of inflammation throughout your body, delay the onset of age-related diseases, and live longer—eat less food. That's the conclusion of a new study by scientists from the US and China that provides the most detailed report to date of the cellular effects of a calorie-restricted diet in rats. While the benefits of caloric restriction have long been known, the new results show how this restriction can protect against aging in cellular pathways, as detailed in Cell on February 27, 2020.

Cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA preserved in 75 million-year-old baby duck-billed dinosaur

This study is lead by Dr. Alida Bailleul (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Mary Schweitzer (North Carolina State University, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Lund University and Museum of the Rockies). Microscopic analyses of skull fragments from these nestling dinosaurs were conducted by Alida Bailleul at the Museum of the Rockies. In one fragment she noticed some exquisitely preserved cells within preserved calcified cartilage tissues on the edges of a bone. Two cartilage cells were still linked together by an intercellular bridge, morphologically consistent with the end of cell division (see left image below). Internally, dark material resembling a cell nucleus was also visible. One cartilage cell preserved dark elongated structures morphologically consistent with chromosomes (center image below). "I couldn't believe it, my heart almost stopped beating," Bailleul says.

Ancient DNA from Sardinia reveals 6,000 years of genetic history

A new study of the genetic history of Sardinia, a Mediterranean island off the western coast of Italy, tells how genetic ancestry on the island was relatively stable through the end of the Bronze Age, even as mainland Europe saw new ancestries arrive. The study further details how the island's genetic ancestry became more diverse and interconnected with the Mediterranean starting in the Iron Age, as Phoenician, Punic, and eventually Roman peoples began arriving to the island.

Researchers find new reason Arctic is warming so fast

The Arctic has experienced the warming effects of global climate change faster than any other region on the planet. Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have developed a new theory aided by computer simulations and observations that helps explain why this occurs.

One billion-year-old green seaweed fossils identified, relative of modern land plants

Virginia Tech paleontologists have made a remarkable discovery in China: 1 billion-year-old micro-fossils of green seaweeds that could be related to the ancestor of the earliest land plants and trees that first developed 450 million years ago.

Henneguya salminicola: Microscopic parasite has no mitochondrial DNA

An international team of researchers has found a multicellular animal with no mitochondrial DNA, making it the only known animal to exist without the need to breathe oxygen. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of Henneguya salminicola, a microscopic, parasitic member of the group Myxozoa and its unique physiology.

Why is there any matter in the universe at all? New study sheds light

Scientists at the University of Sussex have measured a property of the neutron—a fundamental particle in the universe—more precisely than ever before. Their research is part of an investigation into why there is matter left over in the universe, that is, why all the antimatter created in the Big Bang didn't just cancel out the matter.

Substance found in fossil fuels can transform into pure diamond

It sounds like alchemy: take a clump of white dust, squeeze it in a diamond-studded pressure chamber, then blast it with a laser. Open the chamber and find a new microscopic speck of pure diamond inside.

Deaf moths evolved noise-cancelling scales to evade predators

Some species of deaf moths can absorb as much as 85 per cent of the incoming sound energy from predatory bats—who use echolocation to detect them. The findings, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface today, reveal the moths, who are unable to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats, have evolved this clever defensive strategy to help it survive.

Diabetes in mice cured rapidly using human stem cell strategy

Researchers have converted human stem cells into insulin-producing cells and demonstrated in mice infused with such cells that blood sugar levels can be controlled and diabetes functionally cured for nine months.

Unraveling turbulence: New insights into how fluids transform from order to disorder

Turbulence is everywhere—it rattles our planes and makes tiny whirlpools in our bathtubs—but it is one of the least understood phenomena in classical physics.

Researchers uncover hidden antibiotic potential of cannabis

McMaster University researchers have identified an antibacterial compound made by cannabis plants that may serve as a lead for new drug development.

Physicists model the supernovae that result from pulsating supergiants like Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse has been the center of significant media attention lately. The red supergiant is nearing the end of its life, and when a star over 10 times the mass of the Sun dies, it goes out in spectacular fashion. With its brightness recently dipping to the lowest point in the last hundred years, many space enthusiasts are excited that Betelgeuse may soon go supernova, exploding in a dazzling display that could be visible even in daylight.

Researchers create new state of light

For 20 years, researchers have studied how light rotates around a longitudinal axis parallel to the direction light travels. But could it move in other ways? After two years of research, and thanks to a sabbatical, University of Dayton researchers Andy Chong and Qiwen Zhan became the first to create a new "state of light"—showing it also can rotate around a transverse axis perpendicular to the direction light travels, like a cyclone.

By gum! Scientists find new 110-million-year-old treasure

A remarkable new treasure has been found by scientists from the University of Portsmouth—the first fossil plant gum on record. The beautiful, amber-like material has been discovered in 110 million year old fossilised leaves.


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