Science X Newsletter Week 29

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 29:

Blood test detects positive COVID-19 result in 20 minutes

World-first research by Monash University in Australia has been able to detect positive COVID-19 cases using blood samples in about 20 minutes, and identify whether someone has contracted the virus.

Bacteria with a metal diet discovered in dirty glassware

Caltech microbiologists have discovered bacteria that feed on manganese and use the metal as their source of calories. Such microbes were predicted to exist over a century ago, but none had been found or described until now.

Scientists discover key element of strong antibody response to COVID-19

A team led by scientists at Scripps Research has discovered a common molecular feature found in many of the human antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Scientists achieve first complete assembly of human X chromosome

Although the current human reference genome is the most accurate and complete vertebrate genome ever produced, there are still gaps in the DNA sequence, even after two decades of improvements. Now, for the first time, scientists have determined the complete sequence of a human chromosome from one end to the other ('telomere to telomere') with no gaps and an unprecedented level of accuracy.

Researchers find younger age for Earth's moon

The moon formed a little later than previously assumed. When a Mars-sized protoplanet was destroyed in a collision with the young Earth, a new body was created from the debris ejected during this collision, which became the moon. Planetary geophysicists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), led by Maxime Maurice, together with researchers at the University of Münster, have used a new numerical model to reconstruct the time at which the event occurred—4.425 billion years ago. The previous assumptions about the formation of the moon were based on an age of 4.51 billion years—that, is 85 million years earlier than the new calculations reveal. The scientists have reported their findings in Science Advances.

Scientists uncover SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered COVID-19 and SARS patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

Veterinarians urge pet owners to prepare for the arrival of rabbit hemorrhagic disease

An emerging virus threatens both wild and pet rabbits in the United States. The fatal virus—which causes an Ebola-like disease called rabbit hemorrhagic disease—already has been reported in the western and southwestern United States.

The research is clear: White people are not more likely than Black people to be killed by police

When he was asked this week why Black people are "still dying at the hands of law enforcement" in the U.S., President Donald Trump responded by focusing on white people who had been killed by police.

4-foot prehistoric-looking bird seen at Outer Banks lighthouse is on wrong coast, experts say

Strange things often wash up on North Carolina's Outer Banks, and the National Park Service says the latest example is a big, prehistoric-looking bird that is far outside its natural range.

Archaeologists date earliest known occupation of North America

A team led by Newcastle University, UK, used analysis of ancient coprolites—fossilized excrement—to identify that samples from one of the most famous "pre-Clovis" sites at Paisley Caves, in Oregon, north America, contained human fecal biomarkers.

Tiny bubbles make a quantum leap

Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Montana State University report today that they have found that placing sufficient strain in a 2-D material—tungsten diselenide (WSe2)—creates localized states that can yield single-photon emitters. Using sophisticated optical microscopy techniques developed at Columbia over the past three years, the team was able to directly image these states for the first time, revealing that even at room temperature they are highly tunable and act as quantum dots, tightly confined pieces of semiconductors that emit light.

Scientists have discovered a new physical paradox

Researchers from the Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have discovered and theoretically explained a new physical effect: amplitude of mechanical vibrations can grow without external influence. The scientific group offered their explanation on how to eliminate the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou paradox.

New insight into the origin of water on the earth

Scientists have found the interstellar organic matter could produce an abundant supply of water by heating, suggesting that organic matter could be the source of terrestrial water.

Scientists discover heavy element chemistry can change at high pressures

New research shows that one of the heaviest known elements can be manipulated to a greater degree than previously thought, potentially paving the way for new strategies to recycle nuclear fuel and better long-term storage of radioactive elements.

Blast sends star hurtling across the Milky Way

An exploding white dwarf star blasted itself out of its orbit with another star in a "partial supernova" and is now hurtling across our galaxy, according to a new study from the University of Warwick.

New solar material could clean drinking water

Providing clean water to soldiers in the field and citizens around the world is essential, and yet one of the world's greatest challenges. Now a new super-wicking and super-light-absorbing aluminum material developed with Army funding could change that.

Global methane emissions soar to record high

Global emissions of methane have reached the highest levels on record. Increases are being driven primarily by growth of emissions from coal mining, oil and natural gas production, cattle and sheep ranching, and landfills.

Replacing lithium with sodium in batteries

An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS, Russian Academy of Science and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf has found that instead of lithium (Li), sodium (Na) "stacked" in a special way can be used for battery production. Sodium batteries would be significantly cheaper and equivalently or even more capacious than existing lithium batteries. The results of the study are published in the journal Nano Energy.

New study provides evidence for decades-old theory to explain the odd behaviors of water

Water, so ordinary and so essential to life, acts in ways that are quite puzzling to scientists. For example, why is ice less dense than water, floating rather than sinking the way other liquids do when they freeze?

Breakthrough in deciphering birth of supermassive black holes

A research team led by Cardiff University scientists say they are closer to understanding how a supermassive black hole (SMBH) is born thanks to a new technique that has enabled them to zoom in on one of these enigmatic cosmic objects in unprecedented detail.


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