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Science News Roundup: SpaceX's first astronaut launch; skeletons at Mexico City airport construction site and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-05-2020 10:41 IST | Created: 29-05-2020 10:31 IST
Science News Roundup: SpaceX's first astronaut launch; skeletons at Mexico City airport construction site and more
Representative Picture. Image Credit: Twitter (@SpaceX)

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Weather postpones SpaceX's first astronaut launch from Florida

Stormy weather thwarted a landmark moment for private rocket company SpaceX and NASA on Wednesday, forcing launch directors in Florida to postpone what would have been the first flight of U.S. astronauts into orbit from American soil in nine years. The countdown, made especially suspenseful by shifting weather conditions, was halted just 16 minutes and 54 seconds before the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had been due to launch astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a 19-hour ride to the International Space Station.

Mammoth skeletons dug up at Mexico City airport construction site

Alongside construction crews racing to build the Mexican capital's new airport, skulls and curving tusks of massive mammoths peek through the dirt as archaeologists dig up more and more bones belonging to the ice age's most famous mammal. The latest discoveries include two huge skulls, along with scattered ribs and limbs, found just inside the perimeter of where a new civilian airport is being built, about 30 miles (50km) north of downtown Mexico City.

Exclusive: GSK says science does not link pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine to sleep disorder

British drugmaker GSK said on Thursday that its previous flu pandemic vaccine, which used some of the same ingredients as COVID-19 vaccines currently under development, was not linked to a rise in cases of the sleep disorder narcolepsy. A spokesman for GSK said the "science has moved on" since concerns were raised about links between narcolepsy and its H1N1 vaccine, called Pandemrix, which was developed during the flu pandemic 10 years ago.

In lean times, fierce dinosaur Allosaurus resorted to cannibalism

The dreaded dinosaur Allosaurus was the scourge of the Jurassic Period landscape some 150 million years ago, an apex predator just as Tyrannosaurus rex was 80 million years later during the Cretaceous Period. And, like T. rex, Allosaurus may have engaged in cannibalism to keep its tummy filled during lean times, based on a western Colorado trove of fossils described by scientists on Wednesday.


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