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Ajit Johnson
Cancer biologist, University of Edinburgh
July 30, 2018 · 302 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists uncover evidence for giant lake of liquid water on Mars

Scientists have found signs of liquid water on the surface of Mars — and not just the mere droplets they’ve spotted before. A study by Italian researchers detected evidence of an entire lake beneath the southern polar ice cap on the Red Planet.

Reference: Science

Scientists announce discovery of a a new genus of dinosaur

With its head and snout covered in bony armour shaped like cones and pyramids, a spiky tank-like dinosaur unearthed in southern Utah was not just another pretty face. Scientists have announced the discovery of fossils of a dinosaur named Akainacephalus johnsoni that lived 76 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. It was a four-legged, armour-studded animal with a menacing club at the end of its tail but ate only plants.

Reference: PeerJ

Electronic skin lets amputees feel pain through their prosthetics

researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created a new electronic dermis (e-dermis). When placed over a prosthetic device, this artificial skin lets an amputee feel pain and other sensations in their missing limb.

Reference: Science Robotics

Scientists found a neurological link between poor sleep and depression

Research has long associated poor sleep with an increased risk of depression, but scientists have just identified the neural mechanism responsible for this link – a discovery that could lead to better treatments in the future. An analysis of the records of 9,735 people living with depressive problems found that there was increased activity between these brain regions in people who also reported disrupted sleep patterns, and that’s a crucial discovery in our understanding of these conditions.

Reference: JAMA Psychiatry

The Milky Way’s long-lost sibling finally found

Scientists at the University of Michigan have deduced that the Andromeda galaxy, our closest large galactic neighbor, shredded and cannibalized a massive galaxy two billion years ago.

Reference: Nature Astronomy

Scientists advance new way to store wind and solar electricity on large scale

A new combination of materials developed by Stanford researchers may aid in developing a rechargeable battery able to store the large amounts of renewable power created through wind or solar sources. With further development, the new technology could deliver energy to the electric grid quickly, cost effectively and at normal ambient temperatures.

Reference: Joule

Just 13% of oceans remain untouched by the damaging impacts of humanity

The 1st systematic analysis revealed. Outside the remotest areas of Pacific and the poles, virtually no ocean is left harboring naturally high levels of marine wildlife.

Reference: Current Biology

Scientists reverse aging-associated wrinkles and hair loss in mouse model

Researchers have reversed wrinkled skin and hair loss, hallmarks of aging, in a mouse model. When a mutation leading to mitochondrial dysfunction is induced, the mouse develops wrinkled skin and extensive, visible hair loss in a matter of weeks. When the mitochondrial function is restored by turning off the gene responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction, the mouse returns to smooth skin and thick fur, indistinguishable from a healthy mouse of the same age.

Reference: Cell Death & Disease

First blood test for autism proves high accuracy in second trial

One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum. A physiological test that supports a clinician’s diagnostic process has the potential to lower the age at which children are diagnosed, leading to earlier treatment. Results of the study, which uses an algorithm to predict if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on metabolites in a blood sample.

Reference: Bioengineering & Translational Medicine

Scientists develop new materials that move in response to light

Researchers have developed magnetic elastomeric composites that move in different ways when exposed to light, raising the possibility that these materials could enable a wide range of products that perform simple to complex movements, from tiny engines and valves to solar arrays that bend toward the sunlight.

Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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