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Jan 21, 2021

Discovery of new praying mantis species from the time of the dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

A McGill-led research team has identified a new species of praying mantis thanks to imprints of its fossilized wings. It lived in Labrador, in the Canadian Subarctic around 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, in the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers believe that the fossils of the new genus and species, Labradormantis guilbaulti, helps to establish evolutionary relationships between previously known species and advances the scientific understanding of the evolution of the most ‘primitive’ modern praying mantises. The unusual find, described in a recently published study in Systematic Entomology, also sheds light on wing evolution among mantises and their relatives more generally.

Digging through mountains of rubble

The research team, which included members from the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, and the Musée de paléontologie et de l’évolution in Montreal, found the specimens during fieldwork at an abandoned iron mine located in Labrador, near Schefferville (Quebec).

Jan 21, 2021

‘Exercise protein’ doubles running capacity, restores function and extends healthy lifespans in older mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A new study shows that humans express a powerful hormone during exercise and that treating mice with the hormone improves physical performance, capacity and fitness. Researchers say the findings present new possibilities for addressing age-related physical decline.

The research, published on Wednesday in Nature Communications, reveals a detailed look at how the encodes instructions for regulating physical capacity, performance and metabolism during aging and may be able to increase healthy lifespan.

Continue reading “‘Exercise protein’ doubles running capacity, restores function and extends healthy lifespans in older mice” »

Jan 21, 2021

Chinese scientists may have key to delaying ageing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Scientists in Beijing may be one step closer to having the answer to living longer and reversing the effects of ageing. A group of biologists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences say they have developed a world-first new gene therapy and have been running tests on mice. It involved screening around 10000 genes in search of particularly strong drivers of cellular ageing. They identified 100 genes in that pool, but the one that really stood out was the kat7. They then inactivated that kat7 gene in the livers of mice, Professor Qu Jing explained some of their findings: “These mice show after six to eight months, they show overall improved appearance and grip strength and most importantly they have extended lifespan for about 25%.” Kat7 is one of tens of thousands of genes found in the cells of mammals. The scientists also tested the function of the gene in human stem cells, human liver cells and more. So far there have been no side effects of cellular toxicity. Despite this, the method still has a long way to go from being ready for human trials and will require a lot of funding and much more research. “In the end we do hope that we can find a way to delay ageing even by a very minor percentage we want to delay the human ageing in the future.” For now, there’s no final answer to cheating death, but the scientists plan on testing the function of kat7 in other cell types of humans and other organs of mice.

Jan 21, 2021

This is a Simulation of the Interstellar Medium Flowing Like Smoke Throughout the Milky Way

Posted by in category: space travel

How do stars form?

We know they form from massive structures called molecular clouds, which themselves form from the Interstellar Medium (ISM). But how and why do certain types of stars form? Why, in some situations, does a star like our Sun form, versus a red dwarf or a blue giant?

Jan 21, 2021

New metamaterial merges magnetic memory and physical changes

Posted by in category: materials

A mix of actuator and bit-level memory.

Jan 21, 2021

Researchers discover the earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe

Posted by in category: cosmology

Nearly every galaxy hosts a monster at its center—a supermassive black hole millions to billions times the size of the Sun. While there’s still much to learn about these objects, many scientists believe they are crucial to the formation and structure of galaxies. What’s more, some of these black holes are particularly active, whipping up stars, dust and gas into glowing accretion disks emitting powerful radiation into the cosmos as they consume matter around them. These quasars are some of the most distant objects that astronomers can see, and there is now a new record for the farthest one ever observed.

A team of scientists, led by former UC Santa Barbara postdoctoral scholar Feige Wang and including Professor Joe Hennawi and current postdoc Riccardo Nanni, announced the discovery of J0313-1806, the most distant quasar discovered to date. Seen as it would have appeared more than 13 billion years ago, this fully formed distant quasar is also the earliest yet discovered, providing astronomers insight into the formation of massive galaxies in the early universe. The team’s findings were released at the January 2021 meeting of the American Astronomical Society and published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Quasars are the most energetic objects in the universe. They occur when gas in the superheated accretion disk around a supermassive black hole is inexorably drawn inwards, shedding energy across the electromagnetic spectrum. This releases enormous amounts of electromagnetic radiation, with the most massive examples easily outshining entire galaxies.

Jan 21, 2021

The NASA Engineer Who’s a Mathematician at Heart

Posted by in category: transportation

Christine Darden worked at NASA for 40 years, helping make supersonic planes quieter and forging a path for women to follow in her footsteps.

Jan 21, 2021

Israeli-made mask eliminates over 99% of coronavirus, lab tests suggest

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology, transportation

The SonoMask displayed an ability to neutralize the novel coronavirus at an effectiveness of 99.34% within trials performed by the ATCCR Testing laboratory in China, Ramat Gan-based Israeli fabric maker and developer Sonovia announced on Saturday. Sonovia’s reusable anti-viral masks are coated in zinc oxide nanoparticles that destroy bacteria, fungi and viruses, which it says can help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Results from the most recent round of testing showed that the mask has the ability to neutralize fallen traces of SARS-COV-2 within 30 minutes after making contact with the fabric. The SonoMask was also proven to maintain its protective properties throughout 55 wash cycles.” Following this outstanding result – the product of several months of dedicated anti-viral sonochemistry formulation – we can now assure the public that our SonoMask is working continuously, permanently and rapidly to neutralize the spread of COVID-19,” said Sonovia CEO Joshua Hershcovici. “We are proud of our latest accomplishment that will help people feel safe and protect their loved ones, all the while remaining the most ecologically sound option upon the PPE market.” Sonovia also participated in trials with Adler Plastic in Italy earlier this year, working toward creating a solution for carpets and other types of fabrics. The company boasted a 99.999% efficiency rate against bacteria during the pilot testing round. Furthermore, the Israeli fabric maker has attracted the cooperation of top brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Adidas, working on the Fashion for Good Plug and Play accelerator project – and earning a $250000 investment for their innovation.” We see our breakthrough technology transforming our everyday life, implemented in all textiles surrounding us: from the clothes we wear, to the textiles in our home, the textiles in our public spaces, in public transportation and of course as a protective measure in the workplaces & medical institutes – in a manner that ensures safer surroundings during these unusual times,” said Sonovia’s Chief Technology Officer Liat Goldhammer.

Jan 21, 2021

U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Coming into Force

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, treaties

Tokyo, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)—The U.N. treaty to ban the production, possession and use of nuclear weapons has started taking effect in countries that ratified it by October last year.

Among the 50 signatories, Kiribati and other island countries in the South Pacific became the first to see the nuclear weapons ban treaty coming into force on Friday, the day of effectuation in respective time zones.

The landmark international treaty was adopted in 2017 with support from 122 nations and regions at the initiative of nonnuclear weapons states frustrated with long-stalled disarmament talks. It met the requirement of having 50 member states as Honduras ratified it in late October.

Jan 21, 2021

Astronomers spotted a rare galaxy shutting down star formation

Posted by in category: cosmology

A distant galaxy harbors an active black hole and active star formation at the same time – an unusual coincidence.

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