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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg.
August 4, 2017 · 58 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists have successfully edited DNA of human embryo which gets rid of mutation that causes heart failure

Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to erase a heritable heart condition, cracking open the doors to a controversial new era in medicine. The embryos could grow for only a few days and there was never any intention to implant them to create a pregnancy. The most recent work is particularly sensitive because it involves changes to the germ line, that is, genes that could be passed on to future generations.

Reference: Nature

Physicists for the first time observed neutrinos colliding with atom’s nucleus

The discovery provides physicists with another way to probe this ghostly particle, one that could help us better understand some of the Universe’s biggest mysteries. Produced in high-energy collisions and travelling near the speed of light, they can cross vast distances without being bothered much by matter standing in its way, making them well worth catching if we want to know more about the very distant reaches of our Universe.

Reference: Science

Scientists have detected water molecules around a planet outside our solar system

“Glowing” water atmosphere detected on an exoplanet for the first time, giving us the best evidence yet of an exoplanet with a stratosphere. It’s a huge find, and one that could tell us a lot more about the science of Hot Jupiters – a mysterious class of insanely toasty Jupiter-ish gas giants that are common throughout the galaxy, but not found inside our own solar neighbourhood.

Reference: Nature

Researchers have developed a method to repair spinal cord injuries on a cellular level

There’s nothing simple about repairing spinal cord injuries. But new research has pinned down how one of the most cutting edge techniques works, and how the body can repair itself with a little prompting from surgeons. As well as giving experts more insight into existing treatments, it’s hoped the study will lead to techniques for tackling other types of damage to the nervous system – perhaps even in cases where the spinal cord itself is severed.

Reference: Frontiers in Neurobiology

Abnormal protein could be spreading type-2 diabetes like mad cow disease, study finds

A type of misbehaving protein might be behind some cases of type 2 diabetes, indicating the condition could potentially be contracted through blood transfusions and organ transplants or passed to children before birth. While a lot more research needs to be done to determine if the risks to the public are in any way significant, the finding has established a new area of study in how the disease develops and spreads inside individuals.

Reference: The Journal of Experimental Medicine

Physicists have captured the first spectral fingerprints of antihydrogen

It’s been about nine months since a team of CERN researchers succeeded in their goal of measuring the spectrum of light emitted from hydrogen’s mirror particle, antihydrogen. They were just getting started. Now the researchers have detailed evidence of the structure of antihydrogen using spectroscopy, setting a landmark in our quest to determine why there is something in the Universe rather than nothing.

Reference: Nature

Scientists discovered that memories of Alzheimer’s patients can be recovered optogenetically (with the use of light)

This could shift our understanding of the disease from the idea that it destroys memories to the concept that it simply disrupts recall mechanisms. The team used a fibre optic cable to shine a blue laser into the mice’s brains. This successfully “reactivated” the lemon and electric shock memory and caused the mice to freeze when they smelt it. The research could possibly revolutionise Alzheimer’s research and treatment, helping the 5 million Americans who are suffering from the disease.

Reference: Hippocampus

Talking to yourself in third person can reduce stress and negative emotions

Talking to yourself in the third person can help you keep your emotions in check, based on new research that aims to find simple and effective ways to reduce the impact of stress and other negative feelings. The study found that a few silent words about yourself in the third person used up as much mental effort as the standard first-person talking-to-yourself chat, but was more effective at keeping emotions balanced.

Reference: Scientific Reports

New study may suggest that sugar intake is linked with depression and mental disorder

Intake of sweet food, beverages and added sugars has been linked with depressive symptoms in several populations. The aim of this study was to investigate systematically cross-sectional and prospective associations between sweet food/beverage intake, common mental disorder (CMD) and depression and to examine the role of reverse causation (influence of mood on intake) as a potential explanation for the observed linkage.

Reference: Scientific Reports

Researchers have created protein from electricity that could be served as food

Researchers have created a batch of single-cell protein that is nutritious enough to serve for dinner using a system powered by renewable energy. The entire process requires only electricity, water, carbon dioxide, and microbes. The synthetic food was created as part of the Food From Electricity project

Research: LUT


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