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Breaking Science News|Sci-News

Welcome to the “Breaking Science News” update from Hawaii Science Digest.  Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Content provided by “Sci-News.”  Accessed on 07 May 2019, 1535 UTC.

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ASTRONOMY

Hubble Sees Extremely Distant Lensing Galaxy Cluster

A spectacular new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows SPT-CL J0615-5746, a very massive group of galaxies located approximately 7.7 billion light-years away in the constellation Pictor. First discovered by the South Pole Telescope less than a decade ago, SPT-CL J0615-5746 is so massive that its gravity bends light like a lens, making it very useful for peering deep into the early…

SPACE EXPLORATION

NASA’s InSight Lander Sees Stunning Sunrise and Sunset on Mars

In April 2019, NASA’s InSight lander used its Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) to capture a series of Martian sunrise and sunset images. NASA’s InSight lander used its IDC camera to record the Martian sunrise on April 24, 2019. This image was taken around 5:30 a.m. Mars local time. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech. The first mission to send back such images was NASA’s Viking 1 lander, which…

ARCHAEOLOGY

Scientists Reconstruct Face of Neolithic Dog

The face of a 4,000-year-old dog has been brought back to life by a team of researchers and forensic artists. A 3D model created from a dog skull discovered at Cuween Hill chambered cairn, Orkney, Scotland. Image credit: Historic Environment Scotland. In 1901, archaeologists found the 4,000-year-old remains of at least 24 dogs in Cuween Hill chambered cairn on Orkney, off the northern coast of Scotland. Now,…

PALEONTOLOGY

Small T. rex Relative Found in New Mexico: Suskityrannus hazelae

A new species of predatory tyrannosauroid dinosaur that lived about 92 million years ago (Cretaceous period) has been identified from fossils found in New Mexico. An artist’s rendering of how Suskityrannus hazelae may have looked. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. The new dinosaur, named Suskityrannus hazelae, was a tiny relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, about 9 feet (2.7 m) long and 3 feet (0.9 m) tall…

BIOLOGY

Songbirds Have Unusual Chromosome in Germ Cells: Study

An international team of researchers has discovered that all songbirds have an additional chromosome in their germ cells — the ‘germline restricted chromosome’ (GRC). The western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava), a small passerine bird in the family Motacillidae. Image credit: Sci-News.com. Somatic (normal) cells have two copies of each chromosome. Germ cells typically have the same set…

PHYSICS

High-Velocity Charged Particles Emit Cherenkov Radiation in Quantum Vacuum

According to new research published in the journal Physical Review Letters, charged particles traveling through empty space can emit Cherenkov radiation by interacting with quantum vacuum. Macleod et al analyzed the properties of vacuum Cherenkov radiation in strong laser pulses and the magnetic field around a pulsar. Image credit: Gerd Altmann. It has long been known that charged particles, such…

MEDICINE

Alzheimer’s Amyloid-Beta and Tau Proteins Act as Prions, New Research Finds

Prions are misfolded versions of a protein that can spread like an infection by forcing normal copies of that protein into the same self-propagating, misfolded shape. According to new research led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Alzheimer’s disease is a double-prion disorder in which amyloid beta and tau proteins together destroy the brain. Using novel lab tests, UCSF researchers…

GENETICS

Narwhal Genome Sequenced

A team of researchers from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and Malaysia’s AIMST University has successfully sequenced and analyzed the genome of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), the most specialized endemic Arctic cetacean, well known for its elongated horn-like tusk and deep diving capabilities. Narwhals (Monodon monoceros)…

GEOLOGY

Geologists Offer New Theory about Earth’s Thermal Evolution

A new theory on the thermal evolution of Earth explains why the planet’s upper mantle was cool enough to produce diamonds in the Archean Eon between 4 billion and 2.5 billion years ago, rather than turning into lumps of common graphite. After studying thousands of rocks samples dating at least 2.5 billion years old, Kamber & Tomlinson determined the Earth’s upper mantle was much cooler than…

OTHER SCIENCES

Alzheimer’s Amyloid-Beta and Tau Proteins Act as Prions, New Research Finds

Prions are misfolded versions of a protein that can spread like an infection by forcing normal copies of that protein into the same self-propagating, misfolded shape. According to new research led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Alzheimer’s disease is a double-prion disorder in which amyloid beta and tau proteins together destroy the brain. Using novel lab tests, UCSF researchers…