Science X Newsletter Week 23

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 23:

Candle box from 500 years ago found in melting glacier in Norway

A team of archaeologists with the Glacier Archaeology Program in Innlandet have discovered a candle box in the Lendbreen glacier in Norway's Breheimen National Park. The team has been posting its findings on their Facebook page.

99-million-year-old snail fossilized in amber while giving birth

Land snails are usually preserved as fossilized snail shells or imprints, while preservation of their soft bodies is a rarity. "Our new amber find is truly remarkable for this reason as well," explains Dr. Adrienne Jochum of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt and the Natural History Museum of the Burgergemeinde Bern, and she continues, "In a piece of Cretaceous amber from Myanmar, we discovered the body and shell of an exceptionally well-preserved female land snail shortly after the birth of her offspring, which is also preserved in the amber."

A new material made from carbon nanotubes can generate electricity by scavenging energy from its environment

MIT engineers have discovered a new way of generating electricity using tiny carbon particles that can create a current simply by interacting with liquid surrounding them.

A generation of seabirds was wiped out by a drone at a reserve. Now, scientists fear for their future

Eggs littered the sand, but there was no sign of life around or in them.

Subatomic particle seen changing to antiparticle and back

Physicists have proved that a subatomic particle can switch into its antiparticle alter-ego and back again, in a new discovery revealed today.

New discovery shows human cells can write RNA sequences into DNA

Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

School lesson gone wrong leads to new, bigger megalodon size estimate

A more reliable way of estimating the size of megalodon shows the extinct shark may have been bigger than previously thought, measuring up to 65 feet, nearly the length of two school buses. Earlier studies had ball-parked the massive predator at about 50 to 60 feet long.

Asteroid 16 Psyche might not be what scientists expected

The widely studied metallic asteroid known as 16 Psyche was long thought to be the exposed iron core of a small planet that failed to form during the earliest days of the solar system. But new University of Arizona-led research suggests that the asteroid might not be as metallic or dense as once thought, and hints at a much different origin story.

Infrared imaging leaves invasive pythons nowhere to hide

For more than 25 years, Burmese pythons have been living and breeding in the Florida Everglades, where they prey on native wildlife and disrupt the region's delicate ecosystems. A new study shows that infrared cameras could make it easier to spot these invasive snakes in the Florida foliage, providing a new tool in the effort to remove them.

Scientists discover new exoplanet with an atmosphere ripe for study

An international group of collaborators, including scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and The University of New Mexico, have discovered a new, temperate sub-Neptune sized exoplanet with a 24-day orbital period orbiting a nearby M dwarf star. The recent discovery offers exciting research opportunities thanks to the planet's substantial atmosphere, small star, and how fast the system is moving away from the Earth.

Astronomers spot a 'blinking giant' near the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have spotted a giant 'blinking' star towards the center of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away.

Ultra-high-density hard drives made with graphene store ten times more data

Graphene can be used for ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDD), with up to a tenfold jump compared to current technologies, researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Center have shown.

Largest password data breach in history has been leaked online

Back in 2009, threat actors hacked into the website servers of social app RockYou, accessing over 32 million user passwords stored in plaintext. Now, in what appears to be the largest data breach in history, attackers have compromised 262 times as many passwords. With 3.2 billion leaked passwords from multiple databases, this attack has been dubbed RockYou2021.

Researchers create quantum microscope that can see the impossible

In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.

Say goodbye to your camera bump: Miniaturized optics through new counterpart to lens

Can you imagine one day using a telescope as thin as a sheet of paper, or a much smaller and lighter high-performance camera? Or no longer having that camera bump behind your smartphone?

ALMA discovers earliest gigantic black hole storm

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago. This is the earliest example yet observed of such a wind to date and is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the universe.

Arctic rotifer lives after 24,000 years in a frozen state

Bdelloid rotifers are multicellular animals so small you need a microscope to see them. Despite their size, they're known for being tough, capable of surviving through drying, freezing, starvation, and low oxygen. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on June 7 have found that not only can they withstand being frozen, but they can also persist for at least 24,000 years in the Siberian permafrost and survive.

Meet Australia's largest dinosaur: Australotitan, the southern titan

What's as long a basketball court, taller than a b-double and has just stomped into the record books as Australia's largest dinosaur? It's time to meet Australotitan cooperensis—a new species of giant sauropod dinosaur from Eromanga, southwest Queensland.

Physicists report definitive evidence how auroras are created

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, that fill the sky in high-latitude regions have fascinated people for thousands of years. But how they're created, while theorized, had not been conclusively proven.

'Vegan spider silk' provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics

Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products.


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