Science X Newsletter Week 21

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 21:

Solar storms are back, threatening life as we know it on Earth

A few days ago, millions of tons of super-heated gas shot off from the surface of the sun and hurtled 90 million miles toward Earth.

An almost complete extinct dwarf emu egg found on King Island

A pair of researchers, one with the UK's Natural History Museum, the other a King Island historian, has found an almost complete extinct dwarf emu egg on King Island. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Julian Hume and Christian Robertson describe the egg and compare it to other dwarf emu eggs and also with the eggs from the mainland emu.

Cosmic 2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse combines with supermoon

The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years coincides with a supermoon this week for quite a cosmic show.

Mapping the local cosmic web: Dark matter map reveals hidden bridges between galaxies

A new map of dark matter in the local universe reveals several previously undiscovered filamentary structures connecting galaxies. The map, developed using machine learning by an international team including a Penn State astrophysicist, could enable studies about the nature of dark matter as well as about the history and future of our local universe.

Scientists overhear two atoms chatting

How materials behave depends on the interactions between countless atoms. You could see this as a giant group chat in which atoms are continuously exchanging quantum information. Researchers from Delft University of Technology in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and the Research Center Jülich have now been able to intercept a chat between two atoms. They present their findings in Science on 28 May.

Biologists construct a 'periodic table' for cell nuclei

One hundred fifty years ago, Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table, a system for classifying atoms based on the properties of their nuclei. This week, a team of biologists studying the tree of life has unveiled a new classification system for cell nuclei and discovered a method for transmuting one type of cell nucleus into another.

Milky Way not unusual, astronomers find

The first detailed cross-section of a galaxy broadly similar to the Milky Way, published today, reveals that our galaxy evolved gradually, instead of being the result of a violent mash-up. The finding throws the origin story of our home into doubt.

Curiosity rover captures shining clouds on Mars

Cloudy days are rare in the thin, dry atmosphere of Mars. Clouds are typically found at the planet's equator in the coldest time of year, when Mars is the farthest from the Sun in its oval-shaped orbit. But one full Martian year ago—two Earth years—scientists noticed clouds forming over NASA's Curiosity rover earlier than expected.

Researchers find Greenland glacial meltwaters rich in mercury

New research shows that concentrations of the toxic element mercury in rivers and fjords connected to the Greenland Ice Sheet are comparable to rivers in industrial China, an unexpected finding that is raising questions about the effects of glacial melting in an area that is a major exporter of seafood.

Prebiotic ethanolamine found in a molecular cloud near the center of the Milky Way

An international team of researchers has found evidence of prebiotic ethanolamine (NH2CH2CH2OH) in a molecular cloud near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of the amino alcohol and why they believe it could have contributed to the development of life on earth.

Does the Milky Way move like a spinning top?

An investigation carried out by the astrophysicists of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) Žofia Chrobáková, a doctoral student at the IAC and the University of La Laguna (ULL), and Martín López Corredoira, questions one of the most interesting findings about the dynamics of the Milky Way in recent years: the precession, or the wobble in the axis of rotation of the disc warp is incorrect. The results have just been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Astronomer reveals never-before-seen detail of the center of our galaxy

New research by University of Massachusetts Amherst astronomer Daniel Wang reveals, with unprecedented clarity, details of violent phenomena in the center of our galaxy. The images, published recently in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, document an X-ray thread, G0.17-0.41, which hints at a previously unknown interstellar mechanism that may govern the energy flow and potentially the evolution of the Milky Way.

Resetting the biological clock by flipping a switch

The biological clock is present in almost all cells of an organism. As more and more evidence emerges that clocks in certain organs could be out of sync, there is a need to investigate and reset these clocks locally. Scientists from the Netherlands and Japan introduced a light-controlled on/off switch to a kinase inhibitor, which affects clock function. This gives them control of the biological clock in cultured cells and explanted tissue. They published their results on 26 May in Nature Communications.

People of color more exposed to heat islands, study finds

In nearly every major city in the U.S., people of color are exposed to more extreme urban heat than white people, a new study found.

Why the sun's atmosphere is hundreds of times hotter than its surface

The visible surface of the sun, or the photosphere, is around 6,000°C. But a few thousand kilometers above it—a small distance when we consider the size of the sun—the solar atmosphere, also called the corona, is hundreds of times hotter, reaching a million degrees celsius or higher.

Endangered Iberian lynx population jumps 10-fold

Once on the verge of extinction, the Iberian lynx population in Spain and Portugal has risen more than 10-fold over the past 18 years, the Spanish government said Friday.

Good news: Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection

Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

A new 'gold standard' compound for generating electricity from heat

Thermoelectric power generators that make electrical power from waste heat would be a useful tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it weren't for a most vexing problem: The need to make electrical contacts to their hot side, which is often just too hot for materials that can generate a current.

Surge in nitrogen has turned sargassum into the world's largest harmful algal bloom

For centuries, pelagic Sargassum, floating brown seaweed, have grown in low nutrient waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, supported by natural nutrient sources like excretions from fishes and invertebrates, upwelling and nitrogen fixation. Using a unique historical baseline from the 1980s and comparing it to samples collected since 2010, researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and collaborators have discovered dramatic changes in the chemistry and composition of Sargassum, transforming this vibrant living organism into a toxic "dead zone."

World may breach 1.5C warming within 5 years: WMO

The world may temporarily breach the 1.5-Celsius warming mark within the next five years, according to an updated assessment of global climate trends released Thursday.


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