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Elein Chahoud verified badge
Intern Pharmacist
November 11, 2018 · 167 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists discovered that genetics has a limited impact on longevity.

According to a new analysis of the family tree of more than 400 million people, genetics has far less influence on lifespan than previously thought. The findings suggested that the heritability of lifespan is no more than 7%, perhaps even lower.

Reference: Genetics

Researchers designed a device that aids frogs regenerate their legs.

Researchers invented a bioreactor device – containing progesterone – that can induce partial back limb regeneration in adult aquatic African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) by ‘kick-starting’ tissue repair at the amputation site. The study results introduce a new model for testing cell-stimulating therapies.

Reference: Cell Reports

Astronomers found that all stars evolve from the same generation.

Astronomers have long assumed that many clusters consist of a single generation of stars because once stars have formed, their radiation blows away nearby material needed to make new stars. However, in the Wild Duck Cluster which is also known as Messier 11, stars of the same brightness appear in different colours, suggesting they are of different ages. To understand how stars in Messier 11 have evolved, researchers studied Messier 11 cluster for decades and discovered that its stars were born in the same generation and their rotation causes them to appear in a spread of colour, not their ages.

Reference: Nature Astronomy

Scientists developed a device for harvesting solar and space energy.

In a recent study, scientists demonstrated that solar heat and outer space coldness could be collected at the same time using a single device. The research suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can help each other function more efficiently.

Reference: Joule

Pesticides can dramatically affect bees’ social behaviours, a study showed.

In a study to observe bees’ behaviour using an innovative robotic platform, researchers noted that after the exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides – the most commonly used class of pesticides in agriculture – bees spent less time nursing larvae and were less social than other bees. The findings also showed that exposure impaired bees ability to warm the nest and to build insulating wax caps around the colony.

Reference: Science

Astronomers observed black hole emerges during galaxy coalescence.

For the first time, astronomers observed several pairs of galaxies in the final stages of merging into single, more massive galaxies. The researchers captured pairs of supermassive black holes – each of which once occupied the core of one of the two original smaller galaxies – merging and peering through thick walls of gas and dust before they coalescence into one giant black hole.

Reference: Nature

Scientists use nanotechnology to heal kidneys.

Scientists developed a novel method for treating and preventing acute kidney injuries. The technique involves the use of tiny, self-assembling forms measuring just billionths of a meter in diameter.

Reference: Nature Biomedical Engineering

New study found that taurine in energy drinks regulates sleep in fruit flies.

In a recent study, researchers uncovered the mechanism that modulates sleep and wakefulness in fruit flies by controlling the movement of taurine into neuron cells of the fly brain. Taurine is a common ingredient found in many energy drinks. It is also abundant in the human brain and is consistently elevated in blood and urine of sleep-deprived people.

Reference: Current Biology

Scientists found that AMPK enzyme can help and hinder tumours.

The protein complex AMPK which long thought to suppress cancer by slowing the metabolism process in the cells also seemed to help some tumours grow. Now, researchers have solved the long-standing mystery around why AMPK can both hinder and help cancer.

Reference: Cell Metabolism

Researchers found air pollution increase hospital visits for heart and lung diseases.

Air pollution becomes a significant health threat worldwide. A new multicity study confirmed that exposure to certain air pollutants is linked to increased emergency department visits for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Reference: Environment International

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