Science News (13 – 19 Jun 2021)

Science News related to Microbes in Ocean, Dark Matter – Milky Way, Genetically Engineered Nanoparticle, Planet Formation Secret, RNA-Atlas, Signatures of Life, Bio-Inspired Hydrogel

Note: I do not write/own any of the science news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.


1. Microbes in Ocean Play Important Role in Moderating Earth’s Temperature

Source: Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

14 Jun 2021

A team of researchers discovered microbial communities that rapidly consume the methane, preventing its escape into Earth’s atmosphere. The study collected and examined methane-eating microbes from seven geologically diverse seafloor seeps and found, most surprisingly, that the carbonate rocks from one site in particular hosts methane-oxidizing microbial communities with the highest rates of methane consumption measured to date.


2. Dark Matter Is Slowing the Spin of The Milky Way’s Galactic Bar

Source: University College London

14 Jun 2021

The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study. For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured. The researchers say it gives a new type of insight into the nature of dark matter, which acts like a counterweight slowing the spin.


3. Genetically Engineered Nanoparticle Delivers Dexamethasone Directly to Inflamed Lungs

Source: University of California – San Diego

16 Jun 2021

Nanoengineers Diego have developed immune cell-mimicking nanoparticles that target inflammation in the lungs and deliver drugs directly where they’re needed. As a proof of concept, the researchers filled the nanoparticles with the drug dexamethasone and administered them to mice with inflamed lung tissue. Inflammation was completely treated in mice given the nanoparticles, at a drug concentration where standard delivery methods did not have any efficacy.

Original written by: Katherine Connor


4. Study of Young Chaotic Star System Reveals Planet Formation Secrets

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

17 Jun 2021

A team of scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study the young star Elias 2-27 have confirmed that gravitational instabilities play a key role in planet formation, and have for the first time directly measured the mass of protoplanetary disks using gas velocity data, potentially unlocking one of the mysteries of planet formation.


5. Most Comprehensive RNA-Atlas Ever

Source: Ghent University

17 Jun 2021

Researchers have built one of the most comprehensive catalogues of the human transcriptome ever. By cleverly combining complementary sequencing techniques they have deepened our understanding of the function of known RNA molecules and discovered thousands of new RNAs. A better understanding of our transcriptome is essential to better understand disease processes and uncover novel genes that may serve as therapeutic targets or biomarkers.


6. Scientists Detect Signatures of Life Remotely

Source: University of Bern

18 Jun 2021

Scientists detect a key molecular property of all living organisms from a helicopter flying several kilometers above ground. The measurement technology could also open up opportunities for remote sensing of the Earth.


7. Bio-Inspired Hydrogel Protects the Heart from Post-Op Adhesions

Source: University of California – San Diego

18 Jun 2021

A hydrogel that forms a barrier to keep heart tissue from adhering to surrounding tissue after surgery was developed and successfully tested in rodents by a team of researchers. The team of engineers, scientists and physicians also conducted a pilot study on porcine hearts, with promising results.  In rats, the hydrogel prevented the formation of adhesions altogether. In a small pilot study, porcine hearts treated with the hydrogel experienced less severe adhesions that were easier to remove. In addition, the hydrogel did not appear to cause chronic inflammation.

Original written by: Ioana Patringenaru


That’s all the science news for this week! Maybe you can help me provide news better. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions or send me a message via the contact form! Have fun!

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