Science

The mysterious case of man who can read letters—but not numbers—exposes roots of consciousness
sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/mysteri… 
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With a condition that’s “too strange for words,” patient can do mental math but cannot recognize numerals

Is it possible to engineer viruses to perform specific tasks within ahuman host--that is, to create viruses that are beneficial rather thandetrimental to human health?
scientificamerican.com/article/is-i… 
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Viruses have primarily been engineered for use by humans as so-called recombinant (or subunit) vaccines. In this technology, the genetic material of a harmful virus is analyzed to identify the gene or genes that encode the antigens (identifying proteins) that trigger the body's immune response.

Dogs may use Earth’s magnetic field to take shortcuts
sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/dogs-ma… 
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GPS-equipped hunting dogs take a curious north-south jog, which seems to help them get their bearings

Scientists make precise gene edits to mitochondrial DNA for first time
nature.com/articles/d41586-020-0205… 

Weird enzyme enables researchers to study — and potentially treat — deadly diseases.

Development of an inactivated vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2
science.sciencemag.org/content/369/… 
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Global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to an urgent race to develop a vaccine. Gao et al. report preclinical results of an early vaccine candidate called PiCoVacc, which protected rhesus macaque monkeys against SARS-CoV-2 infection when analyzed in short-term studies. The researchers obtained multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains from 11 hospitalized patients across the world and then chemically inactivated the harmful properties of the virus. Animals were i…

'Black neutron star' discovery changes astronomy
bbc.com/news/science-environment-53… 
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Laser labs that detect ripples in space-time may have witnessed a new class of cosmic object.

SARS-CoV-2 detected in Barcelona sewage water sample from March 2019
medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06… 

SARS-CoV-2 was detected in Barcelona sewage long before the declaration of the first COVID-19 case, indicating that the infection was present in the population before the first imported case was reported.

An experiment suggested by a Ph.D. student may rewrite chemistry textbooks
phys.org/news/2020-06-phd-student-r… 
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yan McMullen had never heard of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences when he started casting about for a graduate chemistry program. But on the recommendation of one of his professors, he sent an email to the College's Professor of Chemistry Stephen Bradforth proposing an experiment to tease out what makes a metal really a metal.

Bees Can Sense the Electric Fields of Flowers
nationalgeographic.com/science/phen… 
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Flowers are electric billboards! Bumblebees can sense the electric fields of flowers, and detect recently visited ones.

Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal
quantamagazine.org/dark-matter-expe… 
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Researchers say there are three possible explanations for the anomalous data. One is mundane. Two would revolutionize physics.

Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-n… 
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We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.

Engineers find neat way to turn waste carbon dioxide into useful material
newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-t… 
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Making catalysts to convert waste carbon dioxide into useful industrial products has been expensive and complicated – until now. UNSW engineers show it’s as easy as playing with Lego.

Young U.S. men having a lot less sex in the 21st century, study shows
reuters.com/article/us-usa-health-s… 
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Sexual activity among young American men has declined sharply since 2000, with nearly a third reporting no sex with a partner in the prior year, according to a survey study published on Friday that suggests social media and electronic gaming might be filling the void.

Forced Social Isolation Causes Neural Craving Similar to Hunger
blogs.scientificamerican.com/beauti… 
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New research highlights the profound effect of severe social isolation on the brain

Mini human livers grown from stem cells successfully implanted into rats
newatlas.com/science/mini-livers-st… 
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Imagine needing a liver transplant, and instead of waiting for a donor, a new one could be grown from your own skin cells. Scientists have now taken quite a big step towards that future, by successfully transplanting miniature human livers grown from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) into rats.

Researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles
phys.org/news/2020-05-material-micr… 
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At the atomic level, a glass of water and a spoonful of crystalline salt couldn't look more different. Water atoms move around freely and randomly, while salt crystals are locked in place in a lattice. But some new materials, recently investigated by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, show an intriguing propensity to sometimes behave like water and sometimes like salt, giving them interesting transport properties and holding potential promise for a…