Sunday Science (22 – 28 Nov 2020)

Science News related to Interest in Moon Resources, New Framework for Clean Water, Predicting Pandemic Infection Rates, Response to Early Tuberculosis Infection, Space Travel’s Impact on Health, Evidence of Fusion Dominant in Many Stars, Quantum Nanodiamonds for Diseases, Ice Sheets on the Move, Uneven Impact of Climate Change

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. Growing Interest in Moon Resources Could Cause Tension

Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

23 Nov 2020

Researchers have identified a problem with the growing interest in extractable resources on the moon: there aren’t enough of them to go around. With no international policies or agreements to decide “who gets what from where,” scientists believe tensions, overcrowding, and quick exhaustion of resources to be one possible future for moon mining projects.

2. Scientists Design New Framework for Clean Water

Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

24 Nov 2020

Scientists have designed a new crystalline material – called ZIOS (zinc imidazole salicylaldoxime) – that targets and traps copper ions from wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed. ZIOS offers the water industry and the research community the first blueprint for a water-remediation technology that scavenges specific heavy metal ions with a measure of control at the atomic level.

3. Time to Rethink Predicting Pandemic Infection Rates?

Source: American Institute of Physics

24 Nov 2020

In a new article, a physicist explains how he combined math in the form of Tchebychev’s inequality with a statistical ensemble to understand how macroscopic exponential growth with different daily rates arise from person-to-person disease infection.

4. Lung-On-Chip Provides New Insight on Body’s Response to Early Tuberculosis Infection

Source: eLife

24 Nov 2020

Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings. These findings add to the understanding of what happens during early TB infection and may explain in part why those who smoke or have compromised surfactant functionality have a higher risk of contracting primary or recurrent infection.

5. Space Travel Can Adversely Impact Energy Production in a Cell

Source: Georgetown University Medical Center

25 Nov 2020

Studies of both mice and humans who have traveled into space reveal that critical parts of a cell’s energy production machinery, the mitochondria, can be made dysfunctional due to changes in gravity, radiation exposure, and other factors, according to researchers. The research has implications for future space travel as well as how metabolic changes due to space travel could inform medical science on Earth.

6. Neutrinos Yield First Experimental Evidence of Catalyzed Fusion Dominant in Many Stars

Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst

25 Nov 2020

An international team of scientists reports detection of neutrinos from the sun, directly revealing for the first time that the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion-cycle is at work in our sun. The CNO cycle is the dominant energy source powering stars heavier than the sun, but it had so far never been directly detected in any star, they explain.

7. Quantum Nanodiamonds May Help Detect Disease Earlier

Source: University College London

25 Nov 2020

The quantum sensing abilities of nanodiamonds can be used to improve the sensitivity of paper-based diagnostic tests, potentially allowing for earlier detection of diseases such as HIV, according to a study. The new research found that low-cost nanodiamonds could be used to signal the presence of an HIV disease marker with a sensitivity many thousands of times greater than the gold nanoparticles widely used in these tests.

8. Ice Sheets on The Move: How North and South Poles Connect

Source: McGill University

25 Nov 2020

Over the past 40,000 years, ice sheets thousands of kilometres apart have influenced one another through sea level changes, according to research. New modelling of ice sheet changes during the most recent glacial cycle offers a clearer idea of the mechanisms that drive change than had previously existed and explains newly available geological records.

9. Satellite Images Confirm Uneven Impact of Climate Change

Source: Faculty of Science – University of Copenhagen

26 Nov 2020

Researchers have been following vegetation trends across the planet’s driest areas using satellite imagery from recent decades. They have identified a troubling trend: Too little vegetation is sprouting up from rainwater in developing nations, whereas things are headed in the opposite direction in wealthier ones. As a result, the future could see food shortages and growing numbers of climate refugees.

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