Science X Newsletter Week 49

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 49:

China turns on nuclear-powered 'artificial sun' (Update)

China successfully powered up its "artificial sun" nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, state media reported Friday, marking a great advance in the country's nuclear power research capabilities.

Drug reverses age-related cognitive decline within days

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome , prevent noise-related hearing loss, fight certain types of prostate cancer , and even enhance cognition in healthy animals.

Divers find Nazis' Enigma code machine in Baltic Sea

German divers who recently fished an Enigma encryption machine out of the Baltic Sea, used by the Nazis to send coded messages during World War II, handed their rare find over to a museum for restoration on Friday.

Solar telescope releases first image of a sunspot

The world's largest solar observatory, the U.S. National Science Foundation's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, just released its first image of a sunspot. Although the telescope is still in the final phases of completion, the image is an indication of how the telescope's advanced optics and four-meter primary mirror will give scientists the best view of the Sun from Earth throughout the next solar cycle.

Study reveals connection between gut bacteria and vitamin D levels

Our gut microbiomes—the many bacteria, viruses and other microbes living in our digestive tracts—play important roles in our health and risk for disease in ways that are only beginning to be recognized.

Researchers offer new theory on 'Venus' figurines

One of world's earliest examples of art, the enigmatic 'Venus' figurines carved some 30,000 years ago, have intrigued and puzzled scientists for nearly two centuries. Now a researcher from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believes he's gathered enough evidence to solve the mystery behind these curious totems.

Newly discovered Amazon rock art show the rainforest's earliest inhabitants living with giant Ice Age animals

Amazonian rock art newly discovered by researchers provides further proof the rainforest's earliest inhabitants lived alongside now-extinct giant Ice Age animals.

First in line for Covid vaccine? Some US health care workers say no

They can move to front of the line for a COVID-19 vaccine if they want, but some US health care workers are skeptical about taking a vaccine that was developed in record time—even as the pandemic rages on.

Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk

A new study of airflow patterns inside a car's passenger cabin offers some suggestions for potentially reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sharing rides with others.

New tech can get oxygen, fuel from Mars's salty water

When it comes to water and Mars, there's good news and not-so-good news. The good news: there's water on Mars! The not-so-good news?

Titanium atom that exists in two places at once in crystal to blame for unusual phenomenon

The crystalline solid BaTiS3 (barium titanium sulfide) is terrible at conducting heat, and it turns out that a wayward titanium atom that exists in two places at the same time is to blame.

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses

A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday.

Oral drug blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission

Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered.

Scientists reverse age-related vision loss, eye damage from glaucoma in mice

Harvard Medical School scientists have successfully restored vision in mice by turning back the clock on aged eye cells in the retina to recapture youthful gene function.

Chinese photonic quantum computer demonstrates quantum supremacy

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has built and tested a photonic quantum computer that demonstrates quantum supremacy. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their computer, which they call Jiuzhang, and how well it performed while conducting Gaussian boson sampling.

Common pipe alloy can form cancer-causing chemical in drinking water

Rusted iron pipes can react with residual disinfectants in drinking water distribution systems to produce carcinogenic hexavalent chromium in drinking water, reports a study by engineers at UC Riverside.

Supernova surprise creates elemental mystery

Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have discovered that one of the most important reactions in the universe can get a huge and unexpected boost inside exploding stars known as supernovae.

Researchers observe what could be the first hints of dark bosons

Extremely light and weakly interacting particles may play a crucial role in cosmology and in the ongoing search for dark matter. Unfortunately, however, these particles have so far proved very difficult to detect using existing high-energy colliders. Researchers worldwide have thus been trying to develop alternative technologies and methods that could enable the detection of these particles.

Greenland ice sheet faces irreversible melting

In a study published this week in The Cryosphere, researchers from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and University of Reading demonstrate how climate change could lead to irreversible sea level rise as temperatures continue to rise and the Greenland ice sheet continues to decline.

The solar system follows the galactic standard—but it is a rare breed

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have investigated more than 1000 planetary systems orbiting stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and have discovered a series of connections between planetary orbits, number of planets, occurrence and the distance to their stars. It turns out that our own solar system in some ways is very rare, and in others very ordinary.


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Science X Newsletter Sunday, Dec 6

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 6, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk

New CRISPR-based test for COVID-19 uses a smartphone camera

Japan awaits capsule's return with asteroid soil samples

Gene-editing treatment shows promise for sickle cell disease

Double Dragons: SpaceX launches space station supplies

Japan's capsule with asteroid samples retrieved in Australia

Virtual doctor visits are increasing, but use differs by patient race, age and insurance

Assessment finds millions of lives can be saved with climate action

Once hospitalized, Black patients with COVID-19 have lower risk of death than white

Officials: Rodents likely destroyed rare plants at mine

Google AI researcher's exit sparks ethics, bias concerns

Colorado student, scientist named Time's 'Kid of the Year'

Study reveals surprising benefit of clonal hematopoiesis in allogeneic transplants

CAR T-cell therapy found highly effective in patients with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma

EPA says flood control project not subject to previous veto

Physics news

Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk

A new study of airflow patterns inside a car's passenger cabin offers some suggestions for potentially reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sharing rides with others.

Astronomy and Space news

Japan awaits capsule's return with asteroid soil samples

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully released a small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet, the country's space agency said.

Double Dragons: SpaceX launches space station supplies

SpaceX launched a newer, bigger version of its Dragon supply ship to the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first time the company has two capsules in orbit at the same time.

Japan's capsule with asteroid samples retrieved in Australia

A Japanese capsule carrying the world's first asteroid subsurface samples shot across the night atmosphere early Sunday before landing in the remote Australian Outback, completing a mission to provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.

Chinese probe prepares to return moon rocks to Earth

A Chinese probe that landed on the moon transferred rocks to an orbiter Sunday in preparation for returning samples of the lunar surface to Earth for the first time in almost 45 years, the space agency announced.

Technology news

Google AI researcher's exit sparks ethics, bias concerns

Prominent artificial intelligence scholar Timnit Gebru helped improve Google's public image as a company that elevates Black computer scientists and questions harmful uses of AI technology.


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