206 articles from FRIDAY 7.5.2021

Massive molecular study uncovers clues to the evolution and diversification of essential plant family

The most comprehensive study of the family tree for legumes, the plant family that includes beans, soybeans, peanuts, and many other economically important crop plants, reveals a history of whole-genome duplications. The study also helps to uncover the evolution of genes involved in nitrogen fixation—a key trait likely important in the evolutionary spread and diversification of legumes and vital...

Study describes new mechanism for terminating transcription of DNA into RNA in bacteria

A bacterial protein helps to stop transcription—the process of making RNA copies of DNA to carry out the functions of the cell—by causing the cellular machinery that transcribes the DNA to pause at the appropriate spots in the genome. The protein, known as NusG, pauses the transcription machinery at specific DNA sequences to facilitate what is called "intrinsic termination" and prevent...

WHO approves first Chinese Covid vaccine for emergency use

Sinopharm jab will also be added to Covax programme for the developing world in the coming weeksThe World Health Organization has given emergency use approval to one of the Chinese-made Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccines in a major boost to the product’s credibility.The long-awaited decision made on Friday by a WHO technical advisory group would also see the Chinese vaccine being included in the...

Why hotter clocks are more accurate

A new experiment shows that the more energy consumed by a clock, the more accurate its timekeeping. This is the first time that a measurement has been made of the entropy -- or heat loss -- generated by a minimal clock tens of nanometers thick and 1.5 millimeters long. Understanding the thermodynamic cost involved in timekeeping is a central step along the way in the development of future...

Damage to white matter is linked to worse cognitive outcomes after brain injury

A new study challenges the idea that gray matter (the neurons that form the cerebral cortex) is more important than white matter (the myelin covered axons that physically connect neuronal regions) when it comes to cognitive health and function. The findings may help neurologists better predict the long-term effects of strokes and other forms of traumatic brain injury.

Soybean and linseed oils added to cows' diet improves the quality of milk

Inclusion of soybean and linseed oils in the diet of dairy cows made the fatty acid content of their milk even healthier for human nutrition. It also increased the proportions of omega-6 and omega-3, which in the right balance play a key role in preventing cardiovascular diseases, for example, as well as chronic inflammation and some kinds of cancer.

A Chinese rocket is falling back to Earth—but we don’t know where it will land

Last week, China successfully launched Tianhe-1, the first part of its new space station, to be completed before the end of 2022. A week later, the mission is still making huge waves—and not in a good way. The core booster from the Long March 5B rocket that launched Tianhe-1 ended up in an uncontrolled orbit around Earth. It is expected to fall back to Earth this weekend, with current...

Perseverance Mars rover captures video, audio of fourth Ingenuity flight

For the first time, a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds of a separate spacecraft. NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used one of its two microphones to listen as the Ingenuity helicopter flew for the fourth time on April 30, 2021. A new video combines footage of the solar-powered helicopter taken by Perseverance's Mastcam-Z imager with audio from a microphone belonging to the...