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Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 155

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 155.

Supercomputer predicts existence of new six-quark particles

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 11:00 PM CST

In a study published earlier this year in Physical Review Letters, researchers from RIKEN Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Program predicted the existence of a particle combining six quarks.

Supercomputer predicts existence of new six-quark particles 01

While atoms are made of subatomic particles such as protons and neutrons, these particles are made from elementary particles known as quarks. A particle that comprises three quarks is known as a baryon. Therefore protons and neutrons, each made of three quarks, are baryons.

Systems containing two baryons, named dibaryons, have been speculated to exist by scientists. Deuteron, the nucleus of deuterium, is the only known dibaryon to exist in nature. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen which typically has one proton in its nucleus, referred to in isolation as protium. Deuteron instead has an additional neutron to accompany the lone hydrogen.

Continue reading: Supercomputer predicts existence of new six-quark particles (full post)

New biosensors allow CRISPR gene edits to be seen with the naked eye

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 5:30 AM CST

New technology developed by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) allows the activity of CRISPR to be seen with the naked eye and an ultraviolet flashlight.

New biosensors allow CRISPR gene edits to be seen with the naked eye 01

In a paper published in ACS Synthetic Biology, scientists describe the development and function of this technology. Their process involves redirecting CRISPR from its target sequence of DNA to a section of the genome that encodes for a non-functioning green fluorescent protein (GFP). CRISPR edits the genes in this sequence, allowing the production of functioning GFP, which leads to a green glow signaling CRISPR activity.

"Before this, the only way to tell if genome engineering occurred was to do a forensic analysis. To be successful, you would need to know what the genome looked like before it was rewritten. We wanted to design a platform where we could proactively observe CRISPR activity," said Paul Abraham, head of ORNL's Secure Ecosystem Engineering and Design Science Focus Area.

Continue reading: New biosensors allow CRISPR gene edits to be seen with the naked eye (full post)

Recent volcanic activity suspected on Venus

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 5:15 AM CST

A recent paper published in The Planetary Science Journal indicates that at least one volcano on Venus may still be active, helping shape the planet's landscape around it.

Recent volcanic activity suspected on Venus 01

More volcanoes are found on Venus than any other planet in our solar system, with more than 1,600 hundred major volcanoes and potentially up to around a million smaller ones. So far, it has been unclear whether any remain active currently, as the planet is difficult to analyze both from space or on the surface due to the extremely hostile environment.

However, Piero D'Incecco of D'Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy, in his study of Idunn Mons, a Venusian volcanic peak roughly 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) high and 125 miles (200 km), has shown signs of potential recent activity. The volcano is located in the Imdr Regio, a region in southern Venus rich in volcanoes.

Continue reading: Recent volcanic activity suspected on Venus (full post)

Communication between immune cells shows potential for cancer vaccine

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 5:00 AM CST

In a new study posted in the journal Cell, researchers have identified how cells in the immune system communicate and coordinate with one another to fight cancer.

Communication between immune cells shows potential for cancer vaccine 01

Patients struggling with cancer have undergone immunotherapy to help boost their natural immune response to cancer in their bodies. However, sustained benefits from this therapy only continued in about twenty percent of patients who received them.

Scientists have found in recent years that those most likely to survive lung cancer developed structures similar to lymph nodes around tumors. Much like lymph nodes, the structures produce immune system cells like CD4 helper T cells, CD8 killer T cells, and B cells, which can identify, attack, and produce antibodies against cancer cells and tumors, respectively.

Continue reading: Communication between immune cells shows potential for cancer vaccine (full post)

Nanotech to be trialled in upcoming therapeutic trial for cancer

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 4:45 AM CST

Nanoparticles dubbed "Cornell dots" are entering their first therapeutic trial, used in the treatment of advanced, recurrent, and refractory cancers.

Nanotech to be trialled in upcoming therapeutic trial for cancer 01

Developed in Ulrich Wiesner's lab at Cornell University, the C'Dots are silica-encased, fluorescent nanoparticles first unveiled in 2005. They have since been used in creating the world's smallest laser and are shown to have great potential as biological markers. Since proving itself capable of finding cancerous tumors, a new version was created equipped with antibody fragments that allowed them to kill cancer cells in tumors.

After three diagnostic human clinical trials, C'Dots have been proven safe and effective and now begin their first therapeutic trial. Elucida Oncology, Inc. is a biotechnology company co-founded by Wiesner based out of New Jersey, which has iterated on C'Dots to make C'Dot drug conjugates (CDCs), which are nanoparticles attached to dozens of drug molecules.

Continue reading: Nanotech to be trialled in upcoming therapeutic trial for cancer (full post)

The supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is leaking

Adam Hunt | Dec 10, 2021 4:30 AM CST

Published in The Astrophysical Journal, new research shows that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy creates astrophysical jets after consuming a large mass.

The supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is leaking 01

The black hole appears to have a vestigial jet dating back thousands of years. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has not captured an image of the jet but has helped find evidence suggesting it is propelling a vast hydrogen cloud.

Black holes attract material into their orbit, joining the accretion disk, though the strong magnetic fields cause some material to be captured by the out-flowing jets. These jets also spew out large amounts of ionizing radiation, and periodically the black hole will become more active and refill these jets.

Continue reading: The supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is leaking (full post)

Comet that no one alive will ever see again photographed passing Earth

Jak Connor | Dec 10, 2021 2:47 AM CST

On December 12, Comet Leonard will be making its closest approach to Earth, and it's teed up to be the brightest and best comet of 2021.

Comet that no one alive will ever see again photographed passing Earth 02

As Leonard makes its way closer and closer to the Sun, astrophotographers around the world are pointing their cameras to the skies to capture the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Leonard will be making its pass by Earth at a stunning speed of 158,084 miles per hour, and after it has passed through our solar system, it will be ejected out for millions of years.

For sky-watchers looking to catch a glimpse at the rare comet, Earth Sky reports that it will be difficult to see with an unaided eye, and that an amateur telescope or a decent pair of binoculars would yield better results. Additionally, if you are interested in checking out Leonard, it can be found traveling below the Big Dipper constellation and the star Arcturus. The image above is from photographer James Billings in the United Kingdom, and the one below is from Will Leverett from Llano County, Texas.

Continue reading: Comet that no one alive will ever see again photographed passing Earth (full post)

If the Sun hits us with this 'it could have a serious impact on Earth'

Jak Connor | Dec 10, 2021 2:12 AM CST

A stellar system located multiple light-years away may have just given researchers a clue into what could happen with our Sun in the future.

If the Sun hits us with this 'it could have a serious impact on Earth' 01

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers investigate the phenomenon known as "coronal mass ejections" or CMEs. Using our Sun as an example, the study explains that CME are eruptions of extremely hot particles or plasma that are thrown out into space at speeds of millions of miles per hour. CMEs can be dangerous as well, as they can cause geomagnetic storms that can cause communication problems with satellites, or even knock out electricity grids.

The researchers were observing a Sun-like star called EK Draconis, which is the same type of star as our Sun, but at just 100 million years old. The researchers observed Ek Draconis eject a CME ten times bigger than the largest CME researchers have ever recorded.

Continue reading: If the Sun hits us with this 'it could have a serious impact on Earth' (full post)

'Something is wrong' with the best comet of 2021, it's acting weird

Jak Connor | Dec 10, 2021 1:32 AM CST

Seeing Comet Leonard is quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience as it won't be returning to our solar system for tens of thousands of years.

'Something is wrong' with the best comet of 2021, it's acting weird 01

As I previously report, Comet Leonard will be making its closest approach to Earth on December 12, 2021, where it will be 22 million miles away from Earth, which is about 90 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. As December 12 approaches Comet Leonard is moving closer to the Sun, which usually means that it will appear brighter to observers as the Sun's rays are melting the ice ball more intensely, which then creates more vapor. However, Leonard isn't doing that.

According to a report from Space.com, researchers noticed in late November that Leonard wasn't getting brighter, it was actually dimming. The publication reports that based on what astronomers know after studying past comets, there are multiple answers to why its dimming, the first being the comet has broken a part and is splitting up as it journeying closer to the Sun. Ultimately, researchers aren't sure why Leonard is dimming, but hypotheses are flying!

Continue reading: 'Something is wrong' with the best comet of 2021, it's acting weird (full post)

NASA's hunt for violent space explosions begins, new telescope launch

Jak Connor | Dec 10, 2021 1:01 AM CST

NASA newest space telescope that will be the instrument the agency uses to hunt for violent celestial explosion has launched.

The new telescope is called the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) and has officially launched on the back of SpaceX's workhorse launch vehicle the Falcon 9 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The new observatory is X-ray focussed, and is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Italian Space Agency.

IXPE will be used by the agencies and astrophysicists to observe the magentic fields of celestial objects such as black holes and neutron stars. The data that will be acquired by the IXPE mission will pave the way forward for a deeper understanding of the environments around dangerous objects such as black holes, which will in turn allow researchers to understand the past and future of these objects.

Continue reading: NASA's hunt for violent space explosions begins, new telescope launch (full post)

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