Royal Society names climate scientist first Brazilian member since 1800s

SAO PAULO – The Royal Society scientific academy has elected climate scientist Carlos Nobre, a leading researcher studying the Amazon rainforest, as its first Brazilian member since the country’s Emperor Dom Pedro II joined the group in the 1800s. Nobre has studied the Amazon for decades and was an early proponent of the theory that rapid deforesation is pushing the world’s largest rainforest toward a tipping point after which the biome could dry out into…

"Royal Society names climate scientist first Brazilian member since 1800s"

In one giant leap for Earth plants, seeds are grown in moon soil

WASHINGTON – Scientists for the first time have grown seeds in soil from the moon – samples retrieved during NASA missions in 1969 and 1972 – in an achievement that heralds the promise of using earthly plants to support human outposts on other worlds. Researchers said on Thursday they planted seeds of a diminutive flowering weed called Arabidopsis thaliana in 12 small thimble-sized containers each bearing a gram of moon soil, more properly called lunar…

"In one giant leap for Earth plants, seeds are grown in moon soil"

Obesity may weaken vaccine protection; unvaccinated Omicron patients face risk from variants

– The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Obesity may weaken vaccine protection in the never infected Severe obesity may weaken the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in those who have never been infected with the coronavirus, according to a small Turkish study. Among those in the study without previous SARS-CoV-2…

"Obesity may weaken vaccine protection; unvaccinated Omicron patients face risk from variants"

Genome study offers hope for diminutive endangered porpoise

WASHINGTON – The most comprehensive genetic assessment to date of the vaquita, the world’s rarest marine mammal, is offering a glimmer of hope that this small tropical porpoise native to Mexico’s Gulf of California may avoid extinction despite its population dwindling to about 10. Researchers said on Thursday genome data from 20 vaquitas showed that while the species possesses low genetic diversity – differences in the DNA among the various individuals – the number of…

"Genome study offers hope for diminutive endangered porpoise"

Four-astronaut team departs International Space Station on flight back to Earth

– The third long-duration team of astronauts launched by SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA departed the orbiting outpost early on Thursday to begin their descent back to Earth, capping a six-month science mission. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying three U.S. NASA astronauts and a German astronaut from the European Space Agency undocked from the ISS shortly after 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) to embark on a return flight expected to…

"Four-astronaut team departs International Space Station on flight back to Earth"

Argentine scientists discover fossil of largest raptor dinosaur

BUENOS AIRES – A team of Argentine paleontologists digging in Patagonia have discovered the remains of the largest dinosaur belonging to the raptor family ever recorded. The dinosaur, a new species named Maip macrothorax, was between nine and 10 meters (29.5 and 32.8 feet) long, while other “megaraptors” were no longer than nine meters, said one of the scientists who participated in the discovery, Mauro Aranciaga Rolando. “This animal is very large in size and…

"Argentine scientists discover fossil of largest raptor dinosaur"

Could key ingredients for life have arrived from space? Scientists say yes

WASHINGTON – A fresh examination of meteorites that landed in the United States, Canada and Australia is bolstering the notion that such objects may have delivered to Earth early in its history chemical ingredients vital for the advent of life. Scientists previously had detected on these meteorites three of the five chemical components needed to form DNA, the molecule that carries genetic instructions in living organisms, and RNA, the molecule crucial for controlling the actions…

"Could key ingredients for life have arrived from space? Scientists say yes"

Explainer-Scientists investigate hepatitis outbreak in children in Europe, US

LONDON – Health authorities around the world are investigating a mysterious increase in severe cases of hepatitis – inflammation of the liver – in young children. Below is a summary of what is known about the outbreak. WHAT’S HAPPENED? More than 130 cases have been identified, with the majority in Britain, which has reported 108 cases since January. Other countries including the United States, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain have also reported smaller…

"Explainer-Scientists investigate hepatitis outbreak in children in Europe, US"

Amazon, SpaceX snag NASA space communications contracts

WASHINGTON – Amazon’s satellite venture, SpaceX’s Starlink network and other satellite firms on Wednesday won a combined $278.5 million in contracts from NASA to demonstrate communications in space as the U.S. space agency moves to replace its current satellite network in orbit with privately-built systems. NASA is increasingly looking to rely on private space companies for its operations and wants to stimulate more commercial activity in areas from space communications to sending humans to orbit.…

"Amazon, SpaceX snag NASA space communications contracts"

Japan researchers develop electric chopsticks to enhance salty taste

TOKYO – Japanese researchers have developed computerised chopsticks that enhance salty tastes, potentially helping those who need to reduce sodium in their diets. Co-developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., the chopsticks enhance tastes using electrical stimulation and a mini-computer worn on a wristband. The device uses a weak electrical current to transmit sodium ions from food, through the chopsticks, to the mouth where they create a sense of…

"Japan researchers develop electric chopsticks to enhance salty taste"