Science X Newsletter Week 21

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 21:

Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury

The placentas from 16 women who tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant showed evidence of injury, according to pathological exams completed directly following birth, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Scientists in China believe new drug can stop pandemic 'without vaccine'

A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the coronavirus pandemic to a halt.

New study estimates the odds of life and intelligence emerging beyond our planet

Humans have been wondering whether we alone in the universe since antiquity.

Swarm probes weakening of Earth's magnetic field

In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth's magnetic field is gradually weakening. This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth. Scientists are using data from ESA's Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the 'South Atlantic Anomaly.'

ALMA discovers massive rotating disk in early universe

In our 13.8 billion-year-old universe, most galaxies like our Milky Way form gradually, reaching their large mass relatively late. But a new discovery made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of a massive rotating disk galaxy, seen when the universe was only ten percent of its current age, challenges the traditional models of galaxy formation. This research appears on 20 May 2020 in the journal Nature.

Ketogenic diets alter gut microbiome in humans, mice

Low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets, which have attracted public interest in recent years for their proposed benefits in lowering inflammation and promoting weight loss and heart health, have a dramatic impact on the microbes residing in the human gut, collectively referred to as the microbiome, according to a new UC San Francisco study of a small cohort of volunteer subjects. Additional research in mice showed that so-called "ketone bodies," a molecular byproduct that gives the ketogenic diet its name, directly impact the gut microbiome in ways that may ultimately suppress inflammation, suggesting evidence for potential benefits of ketone bodies as a therapy for autoimmune disorders affecting the gut.

Oldest connection with Native Americans identified near Lake Baikal in Siberia

Using human population genetics, ancient pathogen genomics and isotope analysis, a team of researchers assessed the population history of the Lake Baikal region, finding the deepest connection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas. The current study, published in the journal Cell, also demonstrates human mobility, and hence connectivity, across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age.

Longstanding mystery of matter and antimatter may be solved

An element which could hold the key to the long-standing mystery around why there is much more matter than antimatter in our Universe has been discovered by a University of the West of Scotland (UWS)-led team of physicists.

Scientists use light to accelerate supercurrents, access forbidden light, quantum world

Scientists are using light waves to accelerate supercurrents and access the unique properties of the quantum world, including forbidden light emissions that one day could be applied to high-speed, quantum computers, communications and other technologies.

Vienna Philharmonic says no increased virus risk for orchestras

Vienna's prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra said Monday that a study into how far musicians' breath travels when playing instruments showed they faced no added risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus when performing.

Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction

Climate scientists from the IBS Center for Climate Physics discover that, contrary to previously held beliefs, Neanderthal extinction was neither caused by abrupt glacial climate shifts, nor by interbreeding with Homo sapiens. According to new supercomputer model simulations, only competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens can explain the rapid demise of Neanderthals around 43 to 38 thousand years ago.

A stitch in time: How a quantum physicist invented new code from old tricks

A scientist at the University of Sydney has achieved what one quantum industry insider has described as "something that many researchers thought was impossible".

Earliest evidence of Italians' extraordinary genetic diversity dates back to 19,000 years ago

In Europe, Italians have the highest genetic diversity. The gradient of their genetic variability, scattered all over the peninsula, encloses on a small scale the whole genetic variance between southern and continental Europeans. This amazing diversity started to accumulate soon after the Late Glacial Maximum, which ended approximately 19,000 years ago.

First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe and induces rapid immune response

The first COVID-19 vaccine to reach phase 1 clinical trial has been found to be safe, well-tolerated, and able to generate an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in humans, according to new research published in The Lancet. The open-label trial in 108 healthy adults demonstrates promising results after 28 days—the final results will be evaluated in six months. Further trials are needed to tell whether the immune response it elicits effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Scientists use pressure to make liquid magnetism breakthrough

It sounds like a riddle: What do you get if you take two small diamonds, put a small magnetic crystal between them and squeeze them together very slowly?

Mystery of lava-like flows on Mars solved by scientists

The mystery of some lava-like flows on Mars has been solved by scientists who say they are caused not by lava but by mud.

Curiosity rover finds clues to chilly ancient Mars buried in rocks

By studying the chemical elements on Mars today—including carbon and oxygen—scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.

Scientists puzzle over massive star system

Earlier this year, an international team of scientists announced the second detection of a gravitational-wave signal from the collision of two neutron stars. The event, called GW190425, is puzzling: The combined mass of the two neutron stars is greater than any other observed binary neutron star system. The combined mass is 3.4 times the mass of our sun.

Mississippi Delta marshes in a state of irreversible collapse, study shows

Given the present-day rate of global sea-level rise, remaining marshes in the Mississippi Delta are likely to drown, according to a new Tulane University study.

A system for robust and efficient wireless power transfer

Current methods for charging electronic devices via wireless technology only work if the overall system parameters are set up to match a specific transfer distance. As a result, these methods are limited to stationary power transfer applications, which means that a device that is receiving power needs to maintain a specific distance from the source supplying it in order for the power transfer to be successful.


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