Science X Newsletter Week 35

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 35:

New evidence supports idea that America's first civilization was made up of 'sophisticated' engineers

The Native Americans who occupied the area known as Poverty Point in northern Louisiana more than 3,000 years ago long have been believed to be simple hunters and gatherers. But new Washington University in St. Louis archaeological findings paint a drastically different picture of America's first civilization.

An accidental discovery hints at a hidden population of cosmic objects

Brown dwarfs aren't quite stars and aren't quite planets, and a new study suggests there might be more of them lurking in our galaxy than scientists previously thought.

Atomic-scale imaging reveals ants use zinc to sharpen their teeth

Ever wonder how tiny creatures can so easily slice, puncture, or sting? New research reveals that ants, worms, spiders, and other tiny creatures have a built-in set of tools that would be the envy of any carpenter or surgeon.

'Tipping points' in Earth's system triggered rapid climate change 55 million years ago, research shows

Scientists have uncovered a fascinating new insight into what caused one of the most rapid and dramatic instances of climate change in the history of the Earth.

Geologists propose theory about a famous asteroid

The asteroid Vesta is the second largest asteroid in our Solar System. With a diameter of about 330 miles, it orbits the sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter.

Bristol manuscript fragments of the famous Merlin legend among the oldest of their kind

Medieval manuscript fragments discovered in Bristol that tell part of the story of Merlin the magician, one of the most famous characters from Arthurian legend, have been identified by academics from the Universities of Bristol and Durham as some of the earliest surviving examples of that section of the narrative.

Cold planets exist throughout the galaxy, even in the galactic bulge

Although thousands of planets have been discovered in the Milky Way, most reside less than a few thousand light years from Earth. Yet our galaxy is more than 100,000 light years across, making it difficult to investigate the galactic distribution of planets. But now, a research team has found a way to overcome this hurdle.

Female octopuses observed throwing stuff at males harassing them

A team of researchers from Australia, Canada and the U.S. has found that female octopuses sometimes throw silt at males who are attempting to mate with them. The group has written a paper describing their observations and has posted it on the bioRxiv preprint server.

How star-making pollutes the cosmos

Galaxies pollute the environment they exist in, researchers have found.

A drug costing less than $2 a day helps in the treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients

Metoprolol, a drug widely used to treat cardiovascular disease, is beneficial when administered to COVID-19 patients. This is the finding of a study by investigators at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

The first experimental realization of a dissipative time crystal

A time crystal is a unique and exotic phase of matter first predicted by the American physicist Frank Wilczek in 2012. Time crystals are temporal analogs of more conventional space crystals, as both are based on structures characterized by repeating patterns.

Synthetic biology enables microbes to build muscle

Would you wear clothing made of muscle fibers? Use them to tie your shoes or even wear them as a belt? It may sound a bit odd, but if those fibers could endure more energy before breaking than cotton, silk, nylon, or even Kevlar, then why not?

Researchers develop an engineered 'mini' CRISPR genome editing system

The common analogy for CRISPR gene editing is that it works like molecular scissors, cutting out select sections of DNA. Stanley Qi, assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, likes that analogy, but he thinks it's time to reimagine CRISPR as a Swiss Army knife.

Stellar collision triggers supernova explosion

Astronomers have found dramatic evidence that a black hole or neutron star spiraled its way into the core of a companion star and caused that companion to explode as a supernova. The astronomers were tipped off by data from the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), a multi-year project using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).

Nano 'camera' made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions

Researchers have made a tiny camera, held together with 'molecular glue' that allows them to observe chemical reactions in real time.

Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present

Curtin scientists are part of an international research team that studied an ancient supervolcano in Indonesia and found such volcanoes remain active and hazardous for thousands of years after a super-eruption, prompting the need for a rethink of how these potentially catastrophic events are predicted.

Landmark study shows simple salt swap could prevent millions of deaths each year

Replacing table salt with a reduced-sodium, added-potassium 'salt substitute' significantly reduces rates of stroke, heart attack and death, according to the results of one of the largest dietary intervention studies ever conducted.

New mathematical solutions to an old problem in astronomy

For millennia, humanity has observed the changing phases of the Moon. The rise and fall of sunlight reflected off the Moon, as it presents its different faces to us, is known as a "phase curve". Measuring phase curves of the Moon and Solar System planets is an ancient branch of astronomy that goes back at least a century. The shapes of these phase curves encode information on the surfaces and atmospheres of these celestial bodies. In modern times, astronomers have measured the phase curves of exoplanets using space telescopes such as Hubble, Spitzer, TESS and CHEOPS. These observations are compared with theoretical predictions. In order to do so, one needs a way of calculating these phase curves. It involves seeking a solution to a difficult mathematical problem concerning the physics of radiation.

New molecular device has unprecedented reconfigurability reminiscent of brain plasticity

In a discovery published in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers has described a novel molecular device with exceptional computing prowess.

Indian wolf among world's most endangered and distinct wolves

The Indian wolf could be far more endangered than previously recognized, according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and the scientists who sequenced the Indian wolf's genome for the first time.


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