41 articles from SATURDAY 17.2.2024

Examining viruses that can help 'dial up' carbon capture in the sea

Armed with a catalog of hundreds of thousands of DNA and RNA virus species in the world's oceans, scientists are now zeroing in on the viruses most likely to combat climate change by helping trap carbon dioxide in seawater or, using similar techniques, different viruses that may prevent methane's escape from thawing Arctic soil.

Finding Skywalker gibbons with love songs: Study

Valentine's day is over but love's call lingers: the Skywalker gibbons' mating song, scientists reported this week, has revealed a previously unknown population—the largest in the world—of the endangered primate in the jungles of Myanmar.

Japan to launch world’s first wooden satellite to combat space pollution

The environmentally friendly LignaSat probe – set to orbit this summer – has been created to combat harmful aluminium particlesJapanese scientists have created one of the world’s most unusual spacecraft – a tiny satellite that is made of timber.The LignoSat probe has been built of magnolia wood, which, in experiments carried out on the International Space Station (ISS), was found to be...

Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum – video

A bronze age woman who suffered lower back pain 4,000 years ago and an iron age Pictish man who lived a life of hard labour 1,500 years ago are among our ancient ancestors who have been brought to life in dramatic facial reconstructions. Cutting-edge technology will enable visitors to Scotland’s new Perth Museum to come face to face with four individuals from our past in modern-day...

UK report: Innovative approaches by financial institutions can make a crucial difference in gambling-related harm

With a record number of people seeking help for problem gambling through the National Gambling Helpline last year, and the Gambling Commission's new figures suggesting that as many as 1.3 million adults in Great Britain might experience gambling-related harm, new research from Queen Mary University of London reveals innovative and effective approaches by financial institutions to support affected...

Ancient faces brought back to life at Scottish museum

Dramatic reconstructions of local people who lived up to 4,000 years ago will go on display thanks to advanced DNA techniquesA Bronze Age woman who suffered lower back pain 4,000 years ago and an Iron Age Pictish man who lived a life of hard labour 1,500 years ago are among our ancient ancestors who have been brought to life in dramatic facial reconstructions.Cutting-edge technology will enable...

‘There are no serious safeguards’: can 23andMe be trusted with our DNA?

The at-home genetic testing company is dealing with financial woes and a security breach. What does that mean for customers?What’s next for 23andMe? Most people know the biotech company as a genetic testing service. Stories of people sending their cheek swabs off in the mail only to discover that a parent who raised them wasn’t their biological one have become a kind of millennial horror...

The week in audio: The Gatekeepers; Million Dollar Lover; Radical Empathy and the Devil; Barry Humphries: Gloriously Uncut – review

How social media companies have become the new information gatekeepers; a gripping real-life love affair – or is it?; a psychiatrist reflects on her work with violent offenders; and remembering the late, great Steve WrightThe Gatekeepers (Radio 4) | BBC SoundsIntrigue: Million Dollar Lover | BBC Sounds Heart and Soul: Radical Empathy and the Devil (BBC World Service) | BBC SoundsArchive on 4:...

Image: Hubble views a massive star forming

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is teeming with color and activity. It features a relatively close star-forming region known as IRAS 16562-3959, which lies within the Milky Way about 5,900 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius.

Saturday Citations: Einstein revisited (again); Atlantic geological predictions; how the brain handles echoes

Einstein's inexhaustible field equations just keep on predicting weird stellar objects, and the latest one is a doozy—so strap on your helmet, inside of which is another helmet, encasing still yet another helmet. This headgear is modeled on a weird solution to the field equations described below, along with an interesting neural study involving human speech in reverberant environments and...

Newborn gas planets may be surprisingly flat, says new research

A new planet starts its life in a rotating circle of gas and dust, a cradle known as a protostellar disk. My colleagues and I have used computer simulations to show that newborn gas planets in these disks are likely to have surprisingly flattened shapes. This finding, published in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters, could add to our picture of exactly how planets form.