Science

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Science • Space
NASA turned image of space into sound
NASA turned image of space into sound
Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/potw1833a

NASA 'sonified' an image taken by the Hubble Space telescope and transformed into a musical composition. The NASA team explained that time flows from left to right, while the sound changes depending on the location of the objects.

"Objects near the bottom of the image produce lower notes, while those near the top produce higher ones. [...] Stars and compact galaxies create short, clear tones, while sprawling spiral galaxies emit longer notes that change pitch", read the description of the uploaded sound video on YouTube.

Science • Nature
Asian giant hornets spotted in the US
Asian giant hornets spotted in the US
Credit: wikimedia/NUMBER7isBEST (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Asian giant hornet, also called murder hornet, has been spotted in the US, mainly in Washington State. Beekeepers have reported thousands of dead bees with their heads ripped off. The hornets are over two inches (5 centimetres) long and can kill a beehive in hours. It's still unclear how the hornets came to the US.

Science • Space
Nasa has selected three companies to determine which lunar landers will be used

With the Nasa program, named Artemis having the goal to land on the moon by 2024, the space agency has awarded three contracts to private firms in order to determine over the next ten months which solution will be used to close the distance between lunar orbit and the surface. SpaceX has been awarded $135m, Blue Origin $579m and Dynetics $253m.

Science • Medicine
Remdesivir trial results show efficacy in Covid-19 treatment

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been running a trial of Remdesivir on 1,063 randomly assigned patients hospitalised with Covid-19. The group who got the Remdesivir treatment showed a median time of recovery of 11 days, while those who got a placebo averaged on a 15 day recovery. Mortality rate was 8% for the Remdesivir group and 11.6% for the placebo group.

Science • Humans
Smart contact lenses could help diagnose and treat diabetes
Smart contact lenses could help diagnose and treat diabetes
Credit: pixabay.com/@slavoljubovski

A team of researchers at POSTECH, Pohang University of Science and Technology, developed a smart contact lens technology for "both continuous glucose monitoring and treatment of diabetic retinopathy". The contact lenses were tested on diabetic rabbits and were able to measure glucose levels in tears that matched their blood glucose levels. The team has also confirmed that the technology could trigger the release of drugs encased in the contact lenses to treat diabetic retinopathy.

Science • Space
Piece of a lunar meteorite is under auction for projected $250,000

A piece of the Northwest Africa 5000 lunar meteorite, that was discovered in the Western Sahara Desert in 2007, is under auction and projected to be sold for $250,000. The slice of the meteorite used to be part of a bigger rock that was cut several times and contains metal that is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.

Science • Animals
No whales will be killed in Iceland in 2020

Both of the Icelandic companies that hunt and kill whales have announced that they'll forgo killing whales in 2020. This makes the first time in 17 years that no whales will be killed during the summer season in the waters around Iceland. Thee general manager of IP-Utgerd, one of the two companies, has said that the hunting has become more expensive due to an extension of a no-fishing zone near the coasts of the island. Instead the company will focus on fishing sea cucumbers.

Science • Space
Astronauts arrive at ISS for a six-month mission

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, along with American astronaut Christopher Cassidy arrived today at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission in space. Before the takeoff, that took place in the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the three men spent a month in quarantine to keep them safe from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Science • Animals
After Australian wildfires: first koalas released back into nature

After being rescued from the wildfires that destroyed large parts of nature in Australia, 12 koalas have been released back into nature, their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains. The Taronga Zoo in Sydney had taken care of the animals and "while they have coped well in care, we are delighted to finally send our koalas home", said Dr. Kellie Leigh the executive director of the Science for Wildlife organization.

Science • Animals
97 endangered sea turtles hatch on a Brazilian beach

The 91 hawksbill sea turtles have hatched on a beach in Paulista in the state of Pernambuco. Only government workers have witnessed the hatching and successful walk of the endangered seat turtles into the Atlantic ocean.

Science • Nature
Scientists discover fossil trace evidence for rain forest in Antarctica

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom and Germany has discovered fossil traces of a rain forest 90 million years old near the South Pole. The analysis of the findings such as preserved roots, pollen and spores have shown that the world was warmer during that time than previously expected. Professor Ulrich Salzman, a co-author and palaeoecologist at Northumbria University said that “The numerous plant remains indicate that the coast of West Antarctica was, back then, a dense temperate, swampy forest, similar to the forests found in New Zealand today". 

Science • Animals
Colorado Wild Animal Sanctuary has rescued 39 tigers from zoo shown in "Tiger King" on Netflix

The staff of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado has rescued 39 tigers and three black bears from the roadside zoo shown in the Netflix documentary "Tiger King". The Chief Science and Welfare Officer at the sanctuary, Becca Miceli, has said how difficult it was seeing the exploitation of the animals with them being held in "small enclosures, the indiscriminate breeding" and other forms of abuse. After rescuing the animals the sanctuary now provides them with large open spaces for the animals to run and decide what they want to do for themselves.

Science • Animals
Zookeepers move into Paradise Park zoo to care for animals during pandemic

In order to continue the care for the zoo animals, four zookeepers have moved into a house on the zoo grounds for the next three months, while the zoo itself is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Science • Animals
Endangered African Black Rhino population is slowly increasing

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published an update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In the statement, they announced that the number of the endangered Black Rhino population has grown from an estimated 4,845 to 5,630 wild animals between 2012 and 2018. According to the IUCN, the main reasons for the increase are "continuing law enforcement efforts and successful population management measures". Even though the numbers have increased and further population growth is estimated, the Black Rhino stays endangered.