Science News Roundup: U.S. scientists turn virus into melody to aid research; Ancient marine cross adapted like whales to ocean life and more
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Coronavirus the musical: U.S. scientists turn virus into melody to aid research
From tinkling harmonies as the virus disarms cells to clashing and stormy as it replicates, U.S. scientists have translated the novel coronavirus' spiked protein structure to music in an effort to better understand the pathogen. Professor Markus Buehler at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his team used artificial intelligence to transform a model of the protein structure of SARS-CoV-2, as the virus is formally called, into interwoven melodies in classical musical composition.
Ancient marine crocs adapted like whales to ocean life - only earlier
A wondrous lineage of crocodile relatives that developed into fast-swimming seagoing predators at a time when dinosaurs dominated the land adapted to life in the open ocean with a pivotal evolutionary modification also present in whales. But the crocs did it more than 100 million years earlier.
Interstellar gatecrasher 2I/Borisov is no ordinary comet
Scientists have discovered that a comet called 2I/Borisov - only the second interstellar object ever detected passing through the solar system - is surprisingly different in its composition from comets hailing from our celestial neighborhood. Gas coming off 2I/Borisov contained high amounts of carbon monoxide - far more than comets formed in our solar system - indicating the object had large concentrations of carbon monoxide ice, researchers said on Monday.
NASA sets launch date for SpaceX U.S. manned mission to space station
NASA on Friday set a launch date of May 27 for its first astronaut mission from U.S. soil in nearly 10 years. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company, SpaceX, will send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Falcon 9 rocket from Florida - marking the company's first mission carrying humans aboard.
(With inputs from agencies.)