Science X Newsletter Week 04

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 04:

First evidence that water can be created on the lunar surface by Earth's magnetosphere

Before the Apollo era, the moon was thought to be dry as a desert due to the extreme temperatures and harshness of the space environment. Many studies have since discovered lunar water: ice in shadowed polar craters, water bound in volcanic rocks, and unexpected rusty iron deposits in the lunar soil. Despite these findings, there is still no true confirmation of the extent or origin of lunar surface water.

First people to enter the Americas likely did so with their dogs

The first people to settle in the Americas likely brought their own canine companions with them, according to new research which sheds more light on the origin of dogs.

Geological phenomenon widening the Atlantic Ocean

An upsurge of matter from deep beneath the Earth's crust could be pushing the continents of North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa, new research has found.

Carbon at pressures 5 times that of the Earth's core breaks crystal formation record

Carbon, the fourth most abundant element in the universe, is a building block for all known life and a material that sits in the interior of carbon-rich exoplanets.

The mystery of the blue flower: Nature's rare color owes its existence to bee vision

At a dinner party, or in the schoolyard, the question of favorite color frequently results in an answer of "blue". Why is it that humans are so fond of blue? And why does it seem to be so rare in the world of plants and animals?

A glimpse into the wardrobe of King David and King Solomon, 3000 years ago

"King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon. Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior inlaid with love." (Song of Songs 3:9-10)

Researchers construct molecular nanofibers that are stronger than steel

Self-assembly is ubiquitous in the natural world, serving as a route to form organized structures in every living organism. This phenomenon can be seen, for instance, when two strands of DNA—without any external prodding or guidance—join to form a double helix, or when large numbers of molecules combine to create membranes or other vital cellular structures. Everything goes to its rightful place without an unseen builder having to put all the pieces together, one at a time.

Physicists develop record-breaking source for single photons

Researchers at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum have developed a source of single photons that can produce billions of these quantum particles per second. With its record-breaking efficiency, the photon source represents a new and powerful building-block for quantum technologies.

New concept for rocket thruster exploits the mechanism behind solar flares

A new type of rocket thruster that could take humankind to Mars and beyond has been proposed by a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

NASA's Perseverance rover 22 days from Mars landing

Seven minutes of harrowing descent to the Red Planet is in the not-so-distant future for the agency's Mars 2020 mission.

Mineral often found on Mars discovered deep in Antarctic ice

An international team of researchers has found evidence of the mineral jarosite in ice cores extracted from Antarctica. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers describe how the discovery came about and why they believe it could bolster theories regarding the presence of the same mineral on the surface of Mars.

Puzzling six-exoplanet system with rhythmic movement challenges theories of how planets form

Using a combination of telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO's VLT), astronomers have revealed a system consisting of six exoplanets, five of which are locked in a rare rhythm around their central star. The researchers believe the system could provide important clues about how planets, including those in the Solar System, form and evolve.

On nights before a full moon, people go to bed later and sleep less, study shows

For centuries, humans have blamed the moon for our moods, accidents and even natural disasters. But new research indicates that our planet's celestial companion impacts something else entirely—our sleep.

Long-term study reveals harm in regular cannabis use

Regular cannabis use has harmful effects regardless of the age a person starts using, a University of Queensland-led study has found.

Using science to explore a 60-year-old Russian mystery, the Dyatlov Pass incident

Researchers from EPFL and ETH Zurich have conducted an original scientific study that puts forth a plausible explanation for the mysterious 1959 death of nine hikers in the Ural Mountains in the former Soviet Union. The tragic Dyatlov Pass Incident, as it came to be called, has spawned a number of theories, from murderous Yeti to secret military experiments.

Global ice loss increases at record rate

The rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet is speeding up, according to new research.

Mouse study: Gabapentin prevents harmful structural changes in spinal cord

Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine found that the widely prescribed pain-relief drug gabapentin can prevent harmful structural changes in the injured spinal cords of mice, and also block cardiovascular changes and immune suppression caused by spinal cord injury.

Pompeii's museum comes back to life to display amazing finds

Decades after suffering bombing and earthquake damage, Pompeii's museum has been reborn, showing off exquisite finds from excavations of the ancient Roman city.

Study provides insight into how the brain may have evolved

Researchers from The University of Western Australia have uncovered evidence of an important genetic step in the evolution of the brain. The finding highlights how genetic events that took place in our fish-like ancestors play crucial roles in human brain biology today.

How vitamins, steroids and potential antivirals might affect SARS-CoV-2

Evidence is emerging that vitamin D—and possibly vitamins K and A—might help combat COVID-19. A new study from the University of Bristol published in the journal of the German Chemical Society Angewandte Chemie has shown how they—and other antiviral drugs—might work. The research indicates that these dietary supplements and compounds could bind to the viral spike protein and so might reduce SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. In contrast, cholesterol may increase infectivity, which could explain why having high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for serious disease.


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