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Ajit Johnson
Cancer biologist, University of Edinburgh.
March 18, 2017 · 9 Reads

This week in science- march 11–17, 2017

CERN discovered a new system of five particles, gives us new clues about the earliest moments of our universe.

  • Today, CERN announced an exceptional new discovery that was made by the LHCb, which unveiled five new states all at once.
  • The team notes that this revelation improves our understanding of quantum theory in general and, most notably, gives us new clues about the earliest moments of our universe.

Ref: CERN

Scientists are close to creating a fully synthetic genome by the end of the year

An international team of researchers has been able to devise a way to synthesize a large part of yeast’s genetic code. Prior to this announcement, the team had been able to completely synthesize one of yeast’s 16 chromosomes. Now, the team has published a series of papers in the journal Science showing that they have been able to add another five chromosomes, thus bringing their total to six. They say they’re on track to finish the remaining ten chromosomes to form a completely synthetic genome by the end of this year.

Ref: Science

China unveils works on a rocket that will land people on Moon by 2020

China is working to develop a new spaceship that can both fly in low-Earth orbit and land on the moon.

Their announcement comes shortly after the US announced plans to fly two private citizens around the Moon by late 2018, under private aerospace company SpaceX.

China’s spacecraft will be designed to be recoverable, with better capacity than other similar spaceships, capable of shuttling multiple crew members. Spaceship engineer Zhang Bainian, who spoke to Science and Technology Daily, compared the planned spacecraft to the NASA and the European Space Agency’s Orion — a spacecraft equipped for a moon landing operation, which they hope will be able to bring astronauts to space by 2023.

Scientists engineer a molecular leaf that can collect solar energy without solar panels

Liang-shi Li at Indiana University and an international team of scientists discovered this novel way to recycle carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. With the use of light or electricity, the molecule built by the team can convert the notorious Greenhouse Gas into carbon monoxide. The molecular leaf is the most efficient method of carbon reduction to date.

The carbon monoxide generated by this molecule could be reused as fuel. Burning carbon monoxide releases an abundance of energy as well as carbon dioxide. Because converting carbon dioxide back into carbon monoxide requires as much energy as is released by burning carbon monoxide, this potential cycle has been largely one way, leading to a build-up of carbon dioxide. The team’s work could lead to reducing this carbon dioxide build-up by making the conversion cycle more efficient and by harnessing solar power.

Ref: Journal of the American Chemical Society

Researchers unveiled the first chicken meat grown without chickens

  • The environmental impact of the meat industry is staggering, but not often talked about: 51 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions are believed to be caused by animal agriculture.

  • Lab-grown meats reduce the reliance of natural resources, but are currently costly endeavors: the first engineered meatball cost $18,000 a pound to produce.

Physicists have created a tape that is 100 times more conductive than copper

  • Eurotapes has made a superconducting tape composed of carbon oxide. This threadlike material can conduct 100 times more electricity than copper.
  • Eurotapes said its new superconducting tapes could make a big impact in the market of high-temperature superconducting materials.

Ref: Phys

A clinical trial just ‘reversed’ type 2 diabetes in 40% of participants

  • Researchers conducted a pilot study in which patients with type 2 diabetes underwent a medical intervention that included glucose-controlling drugs and a strict diet and exercise regiment.
  • Four months after the intervention, the study revealed that 40 percent of the 83 subjects were able to effectively stop taking their medications, staying in partial or even complete remission.

Ref: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Stephen hawking finally revealed his plan for preventing an AI apocalypse

Stephen Hawking is, undoubtedly, one of modern society’s greatest minds, so a lot of people pay attention whenever he shares his thoughts on the world. Recently, he has been talking about one subject in particular: the future.

Hawking has expressed his opinions about topics that range from extraterrestrial life to artificial intelligence (AI), and of the latter, he has serious misgivings. He isn’t against developing AI technology. In fact, he once said AI could be the greatest event in the history of our civilization. But like many other scientists and thinkers in today’s world, Hawking is concerned that the rise of AI is bringing with it various negative side effects.

The Surg is an exclusive platform for scientists to blog about their latest peer-reviewed publications. If you would like to write about your research, email us at write@thesurg.com

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